Take a cheap flight to Johannesburg, buy a 4x4 and start driving up to Kenya – that was the plan.
So I arrived in Jo’burg. Remember Marnus and Hon? The couple I met at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Ko Phi Phi (Island). They are living in Pretoria and offered that I stay a few days, until I had my 4x4, but during the preparation for the trip, it turned out that I underestimated the work, the knowledge, the details and last but not least the South African bureaucracy.
The vehicle: Only a Four Wheel Drive would bring me through the rough dirt roads, also a long range tank, diff-locks, only a Toyota-vehicle, other cars break down easily and I won’t get spare parts all over Africa. The 4x4 should not be too old, but also not too expensive. It wasn’t easy at all.
Finally after almost two weeks I found a 19 year old Toyota Hilux at a dealership in Johannesburg. Marnus’ and Hon’s best friends are Chris and Alex. Chris is so to speak crazy about 4x4s. He helped me a lot with all his knowledge about cars tents and bush camping. He recommended a workshop where I spend all day to finish the technical service.
Next big mission: How to register a car on a foreigner’s name? I got documents and documents. My passport, 2 photos, a proof of temporary residency with Marnus and Hon, confirmed by the police station, an electricity and water bill for their house, a bank confirmation about my financial independence and a (fake) return ticket. It is unbelievable but after spending about 8 hours in different queues in Pretoria and in Jo’burg, I am still waiting for my registration. The papers are now on their way to Capetown to get a registration there; in the meantime I am back at the workshop, because the rear differential and the alternator of my Hilux decided to die.
Only because of the excellent service of Alex from DriveAfrica (www.driveafrica.co.za) I finally got a registration with my name – now I am „living“ in Cape Town, but who cares 😉
Next step is a “Carnet de Passage” a document which is required in some African countries, if you want to travel through them.
After all Chris sent me a list of the most important stuff you should take with you. Have a look at this list.In a nutshell you can say that I was a bit hasty to think all those challenges would be met in one or two weeks.
But luckily I was staying at Hon and Marnus and I was even luckier that they have friends like Chris and Alex. All of them helped me a lot with all their knowledge about the local stores, dealerships, workshops, etc. and they took me to all parties, drinking events and barbeques in the area.
Now I can say that South Africans drink just as much as Germans. The next competition will be on the Oktoberfest 😉
I am staying here now for three weeks and they make me feel like I could stay another six. Either they are very good actors or we really got along well 😉
Hopefully the vehicle will be repaired by tomorrow and I can start my trip to Kruger National park.