|Sunset in on the Niger River in Segou, Mali|
To date I've worked and travelled through 30 countries in Africa with various countries being a semi-stable base for a short time at some stage. Rwanda was my base for 5 years although even then I was travelling a lot by road and also flying off to visit countries outside of Africa.
In 2011 I did a solo expedition with a 2-wheel drive 8ton Mercedes truck through West Africa from Zimbabwe to Bamako, the capital of Mali.
This was a childhood dream come true!! Not the truck driving...the solo expedition through West Africa. I was contracted to take the truck up to Mali with most of the actual trip planning and logistics up to me. Post-arrival I was then employed as driver and also assisting the owners training the crew for overland trips through West Africa. A week before the coup d'etat in 2012,
I flew out of Bamako - timing was only coincidence!
Yes, it made a difference being paid to follow No 2. on your list of dreams albeit a financial difference anyway. The further upside of this was having support "crew" out there albeit one in Australia and one in Mali. Other overland crew and ex-crew were brilliant though with their advice and tips - all of which were used at some stage or another.
West Africa is so far my favourite region after having spent time in East, Southern and Central Africa. The north and northern central countries still elude me with the exception of Egypt. Then again, I spent a few days in Cairo and the rest in Dahab and the Sinai Peninsula, so Egypt still needs to be explored more.
Through this blog I will venture into more detail about the countries and my experiences and hopefully with information that can help other travellers to this stunning continent I call home.