Alexander van Wulfften Palthe and Jan-Willem Roossink

We are two Dutch students from Amsterdam, 24 and 25 years of age. We met in 2000 when we both joined the student fraternity H.O.M.E.R.V.S. in Amsterdam. Later on, we also came to live in the same student houses in Amsterdam. As a result we’ve known eachother for 5 years now. At the moment we are both finishing our studies. Jan-Willem is writing his thesis for his study econometrics and Alexander is an interns at the department of vascular medicine at the AMC in Amsterdam. After returning from the trip he will have two more years of work before he can be called “docter” Alexander.

What’s the plan?
In short: jump in the Land Rover in Cape Town and drive home! Our journey will start on the 4th of September, when we will be flying to Cape Town. For the Land Rover, adventure starts a bit earlier. Somewhere at the beginning of August the Landy will be shipped to Port Elizabeth. Our goal is to be back in Amsterdam before the 1st of January 2007. That makes four months of adventure!

What was the inspiration?
The idea for this trip was born when Jan-Willem bought a book at Cape Town airport (he was on holiday). This was a book written by Mike Copeland, who had made almost the same trip, from Cape Town to Cairo by car. After we both read the book we decided to do the same thing! Luckily, we already had a Land Rover we could use. See “The land Rover” for more detail. After this moment, we started the preparations…

Very. We don’t want to discourage people who have the same plan, so we did not place any prices on our website. If you are really interested in the money stuff, please mail us.
When preparing for a trip like this, you must realise that you can spend all the money you have and go completely broke! Make sure you only buy things you need, and only prepare the car for the trip you’re going to make. Don’t spend thousands of euros on stuff like heavy duty suspension, the only thing this does is make sure your roof rack will fall of your car one day and that you will come home with a hernia. In our preparations, we made realistic budgets, and stuck to them! This way you keep control of your wallet, and have some money left to go rafting over the Zambezi river…

Also, try to do as much preparations (on your car) yourself! You’ll be amazed by how much you can do. We made a great deal with a garage in Rozenburg, near Rotterdam, called Vreugdenhil 4x4 ( Our landy had been serviced there for the past few years. We worked on our car here for a whole week, the bosses (Albert and Bertus) showing us the way, and us doing most of the work. This was absolutely great because our Land Rover got a huge service and technical check up and we learnt all the basics wich we will probably need at some point in Africa.

Isn’t it dangerous?
That’s a question we get a lot! And that’s not to strange, considering the fact that there always are dangerous countries in Africa. Convincing our mothers it was safe enough wasn’t that easy (we know, we’re 24/25 and still our moms are the boss).

Some of the countries we will pass are quite dangerous e.g. Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. We have to be very careful there. The most important thing to do in this type of county is not to draw to much attention, just keep low and mind your own business. Also, it is advisably to pass dangerous areas with other overlanders. Maybe we’ll have to wait a few days, but this is what we’re going to do. But also countries like South-Africa can be dangerous, especially in the big cities. Don’t thinks you’re safe in the city and unsafe in the bush. It could be the other way round. Especially when you are two blond Dutch guys in a white Land Rover with Dutch plates! Luckily Jan-Willem spent 6 months in Congo (one of the most unsafe countries in Africa), so he knows a bit more about the African way of life. Will we bring a gun? No way, this only makes your trip more dangerous.

How is everything going so far?
So far so good, check the log for the latest updates on our preparation. If you have any other questions, please mail us! For other overlanders check the website of Africa-Overland.

Piet & Leen