Thursday, 21 January 2010

A Gentle Drive to Kenya?

The dream of a "gentle" drive from home in the UK, through Europe, Asia, and some of Africa to home in Kenya, a total of about 6,500 miles.

When I returned from South Africa, I wanted to go back. I wanted to drive the length of Africa. That was my dream.

Since my first visit to Kenya, I have dreamed of driving there one day - not in my present vehicle as I doubt it would get to Dover - but in a suitable conveyance, an old Landrover 110, for example.

Then, this Christmas, I got a Garmin GPS, into which I can enter Long/Lat. coordinates, so I did. I entered the coordinates for the Junction in Kisii and lo! A map popped up of the Junction in Kisii - brilliant.

So I told the Garmin to calculate the route from my home in the UK to Kisii, and it did, giving a distance of 6,497.2 miles. I love the .2 miles, how accurate is that? And I will arrive at 23:03 if I leave now. It doesn't tell me which day though, just the time.

So, could I do the trip, or will it remain a dream? Frankly, the logistics frighten me more than the trip itself, but then, I get nervous flying out to Kenya, and let's face it, when flying, virtually everything is done for me! It's not like I have to fly the plane. Actually, I wouldn't mind giving it a go, but I would need a navigator, unless I could fly low enough to pick out landmarks.

I had imagined getting sponsorship to cover the trip expenses and make some money for Twiga and KCIS, but people have done the whole of Africa, so a trip to Kenya is a bit tame really. Would I get sponsorship?

And then there's the vehicle. I don't have the funds to buy even the oldest and tattiest of 4x4s, let alone all the kit I would need en route.

I have just realised that I am being very negative, which is not allowed in my New Year's resolution.

So, keeping a positive frame of mind, of course I could do it, of course I can get a suitable vehicle, of course I can get sponsorship.

So, how long would it take, driving through Europe, around the eastern edge of the Mediterranean and then following the Nile (roughly)? 6,500 miles, 8 hours driving a day, at an average speed of ... 15? 20?

I reckon that driving every day, it would take about 54 days or nearly 8 weeks, almost 2 months.

I also reckon we would need about 800 gallons of fuel. At present UK prices, that alone would cost almost £1,000 - wow! That's two return trips to Nairobi by air (off-season, of course).

Next question, could I find someone who could put up with a grumpy old man to accompany me? How about a Kenyan wanting to return home from Europe? I might learn a bit more Swahili on the trip.

I have come to the conclusion that I don't have a clue about how to plan a trip like this, let alone have the ability to raise the money to put it into action.

So, if there is anyone reading this who has a fantasy of driving through Europe to Kenya, get in touch. Add a little reality to my dream.

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