The journey - posthistory and preparation
The post history lists only information of both Andreas and Jens. You will find all other individual information under their separate pages about Jens and Andreas, which you can find under about us. More detailed info such as how they met can be found at Highlights , e.g. how they mat by accident during their preparation.
There wasn't much time between the decision to do this in December 1989 and the departure in March 1990. At the beginning we still tried to get all visas before the start of the journey. We gave up quickly. It would have been too difficult to forecast when we would arrive in each country so Jens had no visas in his passport and Andreas had only the one for Algeria. As we later found out, each country had an embassy at their neighboring country which issued the required visa.
We had immunizations against tetanus, yellow fever and typhoid. A hepatitis immunization didn't exist back than. Once we reached Benin we took malaria prophylaxis all the way to Zimbabwe. It was a mixture of paludrine and chloroquine which the body processed easily. It didn't prevent us from getting malaria in central Africa. Only the, then new, lariam medication healed us completely. Today it is prescribed as a malaria prophylaxis and it is doubtful if it would help us as effective today as in 1990.
We had a medical travel insurance, which we had to renew every 6 months.
To cover all dry seasons in the journey was impossible. The main aim was to get through the Sahara Dessert as early as possible, so when we crossed it in April it was already hot and extremely hot in the Sahel area of Niger. In West Cameroon, one of the wettest areas in the world, it rained constantly. We didn't want to arrive in South Africa during winter, so the only departure time for our journey was between January and March.
- All terrain bikes with 18 gears plus racks in the front and in the back for 2 bags each and one at the handle bar
- Detailed maps from the Geographical Institute Paris
- The Michelin Africa maps (3 maps) with many mistakes
- Tent, inflatable mattress and sleeping bag
- 3 water bottles with holders mounted on frame
- Water filter from 'Katadyn' Switzerland
- 10-litre water bag
- Tools and medications
- Camera and films
- Far too much clothing (reduced itself by half in Africa)
We both had similar bikes and equipment. To be more independent everybody carried their own tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, tools, medications and maps
All terrain bike from company "Fahrradmanufaktur" with 18 gears. 6 tyres from "Schwalbe" company.
In the back: two big paniers, sleeping bag, tent
In front: two small panniers, one bag at handle bar
Complete weight at departure without water
Complete weight at arrival in Cape Town without water
The following report of our cycling tour through Africa is a collection of monthly written newspaper articles, which Andreas wrote during the trip. Names, governments and general situations have changed a lot, in particular in South Africa after the first democratic election in 1994.
Please bear this in mind while reading the tour report.
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