1. Attitude – you must have the right attitude for different cultures, religions, food, people, places, music, travel
2. Patience – Africa can see impatience from far – and it will cost you
3. Buy Bradt travel guides of each country. You will save the cost the first night of driving around.
4. Money at ATMs which are all over the place.
5. Change currency of current country at border post of next country. Just be discreet, don’t do it in the open.
6. Credit card transactions are zero.
7. Toyota is the vehicle for overlanding in East Africa. All vehicles up to Egypt use by the locals are Toyota, the Land Cruiser 70, Hilux, Hi Ace and Coronas.
8. Only 500 ppm diesel available. Fuel was always available in abundance.
9. Don’t overload your vehicle with spares – only diesel and air filter. Arrange with SA dealer to courier spares if necessary.
10. Cell phone networks widely available all over East Africa, even in the deserts. Sat-phone as backup. Buy local sim card for alternative cell and communication with people in that country.
11. Wi-fi available, but many times limited, cannot access internet .
12. Electrical kettle and one plate stove – Electricity is widely available – save a lot of gas.
13. Wood/charcoal box on roof rack with strong bags for smaller quantities.
14. Buy small charcoal stoves from locals – cheap and work better than gas.
15. Although sad to participate in charcoal and tree burning, you don’t really have an option.
16. Don’t bring a lot of food, except meat. Bread, eggs, live chicken , vegetables, fruit are available along the road – the best quality.
17. Bottled water is always available. Check label and seal. Don’t buy expensive filter systems.
18. Use Anderson plugs – if you want cold beer and meat.
19. Solar buddy lamp – Better than all other battery or gas lights.
20. Fridays are a holiday in Muslim countries. Shops not open during day, only at night.
21. Fridays and Sundays are not good for border crossings.
22. Use Mazar and Kamal for border crossing between Sudan and Egypt, unless you can read and speak Arabic.
23. Appoint an agent from a travel company in Egypt to arrange hotels and guides as you go from place to place. They have an amazing network.Use Ahmed, he is good.But negotiate.
24. Don’t handout sweets, pens, T-shirts to children. It creates a huge problem for all, the local chiefs are all against it. There are charity organisations to which you can donate.
25. Must have Carne de passage available from AA.
26. Buy Comesa insurance document, although you can buy individual insurance at each country, the higher up you go, they only want to see that.
27. If you don’t have a document they are looking for, don’t admit you haven’t got it, just give them everything you have, even unrelated SA documentation. Keep on talking/spinning, they will let you through.
28. Don’t bribe – it was never necessary and we experienced professional service from border and Police officials
29. Buy additional medical and travel insurance – AA – All immunisations and yellow fever card from your travel nurse, prescribed medicine from Doctor, including malaria prevention, testing equipment and treatment. Enough treatment for stomach things. Enough Antisan for all the bites and stings, which you will get.
31.Mouse grid between canopy window and cab to prevent them climbing in
31.Stop dreaming, just do it