|Posted on August 4, 2015 at 5:00 AM||comments (2)|
Welcome to the Newsletter of August 2015,
Many things have happened with us in the last month, firstly we opened up "booking" of the trip at the start of July, and we were unprepared for how many people would want to join, in 30 days we sold over half the seats, so only 6 seats left , we are trying to slow down the sales right now as we still have 5 months left until we go and want to make a even and fun mix of people.
We have guys and girls joined from all over the world like New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Finland, USA, there is even one guy who joined from Antarctica, OK he is American but working in Antarctica, amazing our little website made it all the way there. So technically we have people joining us from 4 continents.
We have started Facebook paid advertising as we are trying to get a couple of Icelanders aboard. We should have our first Icelander signed up by mid month (she is waiting for her pay check). Also we had our first meetings with people in Reykjavik, fun to meet potential sign ups.
Frazer the Driver/Tour leader is still considering who he would like to be his Co-driver/Courier, there is a possibility that it may be Thorkell the Icelandic Co-Driver from the 2013 trip.
Good news from the ferry company, they have made sailing in the winter official, always before the ferry from Iceland to Denmark (via the Faroe Islands) did not officially go, but "kind of went" but now they have a official schedule and everything, and more good news in the last 3 years the winter ferry has only been cancellated once and that was because of bad weather (well it is the Atlantic sea in the winter)
2 weeks ago we took the truck to the countryside, this was to test the vehicle and more importantly to pick up some spare parts. We drove to a stone quarry were we spend 2 days and 1 night in the remote outdoors working on a second Bedford truck we bought for stripping of parts. Now we have a spare gearbox, Air breaks controller, headlamp, fuel tank, fuel pump, Starter motor and more. We are now considering making a compartment accessible from under the truck to put the spare gearbox inside, as it is quite heavy and takes up a bit of space, we even needed to use a crane/digger to lift it onto the back of the truck.
The drive out to the countryside was very successful and without mechanical issue, although we still need to fix the back break light. The truck is pretty slow in the strong winds of Iceland, but that's just life, we are not built for speed but for strength and when we came to the stone quarry we got to play around going off road and over steep and rough ground, with this our truck is very secure.
News on getting a spare tire, apparently its in Reykjavik now, Its been donated from someone who has a farm in the north of the country and the last time he came south he brought it down for us, now we just need to pick it up from him and get it fixed onto the wheel rim. We still plan to get some new tires in Morocco as well.
We have been featured in 2 different articles one for the biggest Icelandic newspaper, you can find below, and use google translate to understand it, we even had a photo shoot.
The other article is for a on-line magazine that runs story's about travel for single people
Now is the time for people who have signed up to start to take vaccinations, as if you want full coverage for hepatitis A and B it takes a few month for full coverage to work. Most of the other vaccinations can be taken closer to the time of departure.
If you are interested to join us on our trip, please write to use before you pay with PayPal and make sure we have places available.
European support team
|Posted on July 1, 2015 at 12:35 PM||comments (0)|
Its now 6 months until we will leave on our trans African expedition, so we are now officially opening up our booking for people who want to join this trip.
To secure a seat on our truck you must pay 1/4 of the trip price, we do this via PAYPAL as this is the safest and easiest way and offers some protection. We know that its a big commitment but it is a adventure of a life time, you will be telling your children and grand children of the time you crossed the Sahara's no-mans-land, or when you pushed a 10 ton truck out of a ditch deeper than you are tall.
So just go to the link and click on..add to cart and get things rolling Pay 1/4 of the trip
Pay 1/4 of the trip
Truck driving overland from Reykjavik to Cape town In January 2016,with 14 passengers, 6 months via West and Central Africa Trans-Africa ,Travelling in the deserts ...
View on www.vikingsacrossafri...
Preview by Yahoo
Our work on the truck has been coming along very well lately, we started to paint the truck orange, although the shade is a little off so maybe we will need to add a little yellow to the paint tins. We have also put in 2 more windows, so that means the windows are almost finished, just one more big window on the side to do ( which is pre cut so easy) and we will also replace the glass windows on the front of the passengers area with PVC , as it will often be hit by trees and we dont want it to smash. Sitting in the back of the truck is very light and open feeling now.
We have the seat cushions now, they are firm foam covered in plastic, we just need to cut them down to size,the back of the truck is really starting to look good, we may even paint it yellow in the inside ( well we need to buy yellow paint anyway)
Frazer the driver says he has a good contact in Morocco for tires so sounds like we will be buying a new set when we arrive there.
Last weekend we went to visit the neighbouring town of Akranes, there by chance we found a similar Bedford truck, we have since contacted the owner of it and are in negotiations to ether buy some parts or the whole truck and strip it for parts to take with us.It will make life a little simpler if we have a few extra in the back.
Good news from Africa, in Mali the north and the south have signed a peace accorded, looks like things are a lot better for travelling in the area now. Its always good to hear of peace and progress coming along.
Remember, there is only 14 seats...so its good to book early.
European support team
p.s. since writing the draft newsletter we have already sold 1 seat...so only 13 left
|Posted on July 1, 2015 at 12:35 PM||comments (0)|
This is our newsletter for June
We have been very busy lately fixing up our new overland truck, its no unusual for people to see us down at the truck at 2 am working on it. Thanks to Icelands 24 hours of sunlight in the summer we have been able to go down at any time of day or night and work ( as long as we keep the noise down) . This last month we have fixed up the water container storage area, this will let us be pretty independent and travel for many days without having to re-supply our water for drinking/cooking/cleaning. This is particularly useful when we are in areas that we dont trust the local water, we dont need to re-supply, we can just wait until we get to a safe source.
Also this last month we have added the back shelf to the truck, its a little area about a meter long that we can use to put the kitchen storage box and also keep the gas tank for cooking.its always good to make more space for things.
On friday we started on the back of the seat benches, this is the area were we are building small personal day lockers for things like cameras and water bottles, the things you want to keep handy.
In the coming month, if the weather is fine, we will start with some painting of the truck, it is currenty white/cream with orange areas. We are going to stick with this colour scheme but we will be adding more orange to the sides and front and back of the truck.trying to make it a bit more friendly and fun.
Last week we had a phone call from Frazer our driver/tour leader, he is currently on holiday in Cambodia but very much looking forward to come and work, he should hopefully be coming for a visit to Iceland and check out our new truck in the summer.
There should be a new article coming out about our last trip sometime soon, find a link below for a rough copy, it will be slightly long and more detailed when it comes out.
There is also a good chance that we will be on the local radio. RUV , One of the passengers on the last trip may be doing a 1 hour interview about the trip on a travel show.
If you go onto our facebook page you will find new pics of the truck build
The most important news is that at the start of the next month, we will be opening up to book a place on the trip. We already have a list of 22 people who would like to join us, but lets see who signs on....
If you would like to join, to secure your place on the truck , then there is a non refundable payment of £662.50 about US$1000 .Which is 1/4 of the trip price. The rest of the Money ( the other 3/4) can be payed sometime before we leave, no hurry. We take this with PAYPAL, its the safest and easiest way, but if you want to pay a different way, just get in contact. All the terms and conditions of the trip are on the paypal button.
If you have not used PAYPAL before, then you can use the test button before to see that it works ok for you.
So now its coming to the time that you need to deicide if you are really up for this trip of a lifetime... We are not expecting to sell out straight away, but if you want to be sure to join, then make sure you have a PAYPAL account and get ready for the 1st of July.
European support team
|Posted on May 26, 2015 at 12:50 PM||comments (0)|
So sorry guys for the late newsletter, life and work have been getting busy now that summer has finally arrived up here in Reykjavik. It is now a sunny 5 degrees Celsius, but hell its daylight for around 21 hours a day and the winter wind has died down.
The truck has officially been taken out of its winter hibernation, we have fixed most of the damage from the winter winds, which was mostly just our sign age was washed away, we have now new name signs on the cab side along with a Africa map and new name signs on the front of the cab.
We have fixed the back door to make it easier to open for the passengers to get in and we have started to experiment with different options on how we are going to build the storage area for the kitchen/cooking gas. We were donated a metal locker/box by someone that we will probably put in this new area.
In this next week we will have finished the water storage area, here we will be using many 20 litre plastic water containers, we find it is better to have lots of smaller water containers than one big tank as there is a lot less of a chance of the water getting contaminated and they are much easier to fill up. we expect to have on the truck water storage for between 150 and 200 litres of water and we will have a water purifier for safe drinking.
We are still having issues finding a good spare tire for the truck, we have a kind offer from someone of a tire that we can use as a backup until we arrive in mainland Europe, there we can pick up the right type of Bar-Grip tires, these are special army tires that are very very good in mud and sand.So it is possible we may have to spend a extra day in Denmark or Germany on the way down to pick a couple of them up.
2 days ago we meet Dave from Canada he was in Iceland on a visit to friends and also he flew over to check out the truck as he is thinking of joining us on the trip. If anyone wants to check out the truck, just get in contact and we will give you a tour.
There has been a few days when our official website has been working very slow or not at all, this is because of our server....not us, if you still see problems with the site, please get in contact and we will talk again with the website host. On a positive note, our website has now revived over 50,000 hits.
News in Africa is looking good for our route and also for our backup routes, A new road is almost completed from the Nigerian border to the first Cameroon town, which used to be one of the least fun and rough roads out there, but dont worry guys, there are plenty of other "hell roads" that we will need to use.
We have never planed to go to any ebola infected countrys, but some good news for the people out there is that the outbreak has been declared over in Liberia now and is almost over everywhere else.
There are now 2 new short videos from the 2013 trip that were posted from the Italian girl who was on the trip on our facebook page.... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vikings-Across-Africa/339299959447052?fref=ts
The last news is that if everyone who is on our Newsletter list would join the trip, then we would be full, but i would expect that not everyone will actually sign on.
Bookings will start on the 1st of July, so if you are really interested to join our trans African expedition, then put it in your calendar.
European support team
|Posted on April 27, 2015 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
this is a short article about our last trip in 2013, im no journalist but its just a rought idea about some of the stuff we got up to.....
In January 2013 we set off from Reykjavik , we wanted to be the first ever overland trip to make it driving all the way from Iceland to South Africa, we had a 35 year old ex British army truck that was converted to carry 15 people and had big mud tires and strong 4x4. We were the first to try, 66° North to 33° South driving via west Africa, cooking on camp fires and camping in the bush.
Our group was made up of roughly equal Icelanders and Internationals with a 50/50 mix of guys and girls,with our age group going from 20 to 40. Almost everyone on the tip was single when they joined the trip,most people shared there tents, with 2 people in each tent, this made life easier often, as not always did you have energy after a long day to set up a tent, thats when your tent partner could help out,but if anyone felt like they wanted to sleep alone, they always had the option of having there own tent.
There are many modern companys that do overland tours in Africa, but this was a more basic type of company ,reminiscent of the 60s and 70s overland expeditions no aircon, no fridge, no cook and with everyone working together as a team to make it happen. We were..... Vikings across Africa
We started off the tour in Iceland spending time on the South Coast for a few days, while visiting the glacier lagoon which is a semi frozen lagoon with icebergs floating inside it that leads to the sea, The heaters in the back were very small and basic so in the end most of us decided, that the January Arctic weather was a little much and we sat in the tuck in our sleeping bags.
It took us 4 days to cross Iceland visiting different waterfalls and also crossing europes largest desert,mile after mile of black baron landscape with volcanic features , this was the first of our many deserts .We manged to stay in small rural villages in the nights.often hosted by friends of some of the people on the trip.
In the east we came to the ferry port Seyðisfjörður, from there we sailed to the Faro Islands which is a small Danish autonomous island in the middle of the Atlantic, its probley the least visited place in western europe and then we made our way onto Denmark to start the journey across Europe.
We spent a cold and wet week driving across Germany and France staying some nights in old medieval towns and arrived in the first sun in Spain were we spent time getting a few emergency food supplies for our journey through Africa,our truck had cooking fuel and water to last a month alone and enough backup pasta and ketchup to last even longer.
From Spain we sailed past the rock of Gibraltar over to Morocco with our first few nights staying in the mountain town of Chefchaouen, this small place let us have our first introduction to the continent were we would spend the next 6 months of our lives,it had the narrow streets of a old middle eastern Medina but it was not too large to get lost, this was good preparation for the next market citys Marrakesh and Fes, these were massive places with endless mazes of streets.All the different smells and tastes of a new place were a true explosion of culture .behind ever corner was a ancient mosque or strange market.
Headed south to the Sahara,the temperature raised daily, and we were able to drive the truck with its sides open without windows , we were now part of the environment, feeling the wind in our face and tasting the sand in the air. We got to spend time in a Bedouin camp staying in a old nomads tent, with its woven walls and carpeted floor. Our driver also found us a ex French foreign legion fort in middle of the desert and we stayed there for a few nights exploring.
We continued south across the vast deserts and sand dunes of Mauritania, here we were in the real 3rd world, this was were we first found donkeys used as the main form of transport and goats on every street.The neighbouring country was having a little instability so for security we had to make a detour to the jungles of Senegal,there we visited our first national parks that had wildlife, taking a river cruse around crocodiles.
Our detour took us through Guinea, this is one of the least visited places in Africa, but it also turned out to be our most friendly,many times we would camp in peoples villages or on the school playing field and even though the roads were very rough and left our skin coated in the red dust of the dirt road every day, most of us found this to be our favourite place,maybe it was the lack of electricity or internet that made it more real to us, or maybe it was the very cheap beer.
In the Ivory Coast we camped almost every night in the jungle enjoying being in nature,in this time the closest we came to a shower for a couple of weeks was a bucket of water or a wash in a passing river .In the evenings we would sit around the camp fire and hear villages close by singing in the night Eventually we arrived at our halfway point in Ghana. Here we found an amazing unspoilt beach and camped there for a week, going skinny dipping in the nights and making a BBQ of a whole local goat to celebrate getting this far. Afterwards we spent the next few weeks in the capital cities of Ghana, Togo and Benin sorting out visas and enjoying some of the last few luxuries’s before we headed into the more difficult parts of our journey .But before this we had time to visit some local fetish markets and participate a in voodoo ceremony.
We entered Nigeria, which is large and has good roads but has a bad reputation for corruption and security, because of this we drove across fast and instead of our normal camping in the bush or on the beach we only stayed in places that had secure compounds and guards, this meant that we often stayed in 5 star hotels,with big pools and fancy bars,but surprisingly camping in the back for free, With us walking around still covered in the dirt and mud of camping but hanging around with rich local oil barons and VIPs, even stranger was for 3 nights were were invited to stay inside the compound of a brewery, the kind hosts piled food and beer onto us, and made Nigeria nothing like anyone had expected. Yes there were lots of road blocks and sometimes some prity aggressive people, but also much hospitality with many people trying to make our trip confabulate.
After the stress of Nigeria, we stayed a while on a few different beaches in Cameroon,taking time to go visit a Pygmy village were the locals introduced us to there traditional instrument and dances. then onto the national parks of Gabon that host wild elephants, sleeping the nights in jungles with monkeys jumping over our tents in the trees . Our most difficult roads were to come after this in the Congo’s and Angola.
At this point we were happy to be driving a 4×4 ex-army truck, no other vehicle would be able to cross such bad roads and difficult terrain. We herd that other tour company’s had to cancel there tours because they were in to big trucks or send the vehicle on a ship, but we just kept driving through… it got rough, but by this point in the trip we were all working well as a team and being in extremely remote areas was not a worry to us at all, as we were well equipped with everything to be self sufficient in case anything went wrong.
These areas were defiantly the most abandoned and remote places that we had visited,when we crossed one of the borders the only official border post had a sign from over 100 years ago to declare you had arrived in Belgian Congo, this country has had 2 other official names since this post was erected, but no one ever put up a new sign and defiantly no one had done any road maintenance in the last 100 years.Some of the roads were so rough that the people just sat on the floor of the truck otherwise they would bounce half a meter off there seats into the air.
After many days on this road of hell we eventually found the ferry that would take us across the great Congo river, standing on the boat we could not help but feel a sense of achievement, that soon we would be in Angola, which would be our first nation of southern Africa. We were expecting the roads to get a little easier, well were were wrong,They were almost as bad as in central Africa but with the added problem that we could not normally bush camp as there were many land mines in the countryside, fortunately we were welcomed to camp in the grounds of local Catholic missions or in the backyards of bars,one time we were even invited to stay the night in a army camp, these brave soldiers were being employed in removing the land mines, we had a interesting time discussing how this is done and inspecting there equipment.
We were rewarded after the rough roads with Namibia, a very developed country.This was our first taste of the west again. Everyone in our group was smiling as we were greeted by a shopping mall and the ability to go instantly on-line , It’s the little things you miss, but quickly you start to miss the real Africa.
We visited one of the best national parks in the world, the Etosha park. We saw every animal possible, watching lions get chased away from the waterholes by rhinos, as well as elephants, giraffes ,zebra, and wildebeests. At night we could hear the lions roar as we went to sleep,fortunately we had a fence around us to keep the lions out.
The countryside had changed again , no longer the jungles of the Congos or the bush of Angola now we drove across our last deserts of our trip and visited the remains of a old mining ghost town that is being slowly reclaimed by this vast desert nation.
From the national parks we began our journey to cross into South Africa, travelling along the western coastline and spending the last few days together with many BBQs .We sat together watching the remaining sunsets thinking back on the last 6 months of travelling together.
We had finally arrived to our final destination, 20,000km, 20 countries with a whole lot of fun, with friends for life… In Cape Town we said our sad goodbyes.
Sound like your idea of travel ? …….. we’re organising another one. Reykjavik to Cape Town, leaving Iceland in January 2016 . Through Europe, West and Central Africa to South Africa, we’ll be mostly camping and getting to some real remote and unforgettable areas. Visit http://vikingsacrossafrica.com/
|Posted on April 9, 2015 at 6:05 PM||comments (0)|
Welcome to our April Newsletter, for our Overland trip across Africa starting in January 2016.
This last month has still been a quiet month, as the winter weather is still here up in Iceland, a few weeks ago we had so much wind one day that it blew all the stickers on the side of the truck off. We went down a week later and attempted to do new sign-age, it started out well, but then the wind and snow started again, and in the end it was a bit of a fail, But we will try again soon.
We also gave the truck a bit of a drive, just to make sure its all tiptop.... and had no issues, apart from needing to fix one of the break lights ( loses connection)
Last night we had a bar meetup with some of the travellers from the 2013 trip, we all still keep in contact and a few have even moved in with each other.
Great news from Africa, the Ekkok border between Nigeria and Cameroon is open without too much hassle now, this was the main current problem crossing Africa... if that was closed it would be one hell of a detour via a bunch of different country's.. thankfully the crossing is back to its old normal condition... bad road conditions but friendly Cameroon officials and even the road is being graded, so things should be even better when we arrive.
The Nigerian elections went peacefully and for the first time in Nigerian history, the opposition won and the government stepped aside and let them come to power... things may well be changing there, although it is sad that we will no longer be seeing the funny name of the president Goodluck Jonathan (real birth name) and his awesome cowboy hat.
We have slowly started to post about our trip on different travel forums and we are getting plenty of response of people who would like to join. If anyone wants to, they can repost for us as well on forums they are member's of.... the more interest the better.
We have been putting up our promo video on different video sites... If you have not seen it before then check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJm0ZyL6Kkw
So for you guys interested to join, take a look at your passport and make sure you have at least 20 free pages, We know you have plenty of time to get a new one, but its better to get it earlier than later. But dont worry about vacations yet, we have time.
We've recently been in contact with a local African charity and they have suggested that if we have time, it might be fun to check out in Ghana this http://ghana-nima-tours.yolasite.com/
We will have around 2 weeks rest in one location in Accra, it will more or less be our half way point, so its plenty of time to check it out... or go explore Ghana away from the group for a few day ( its nice to have a break by yourself sometime)
Recently we've had a talk with Frank and he is totally excited to be the Tourleader/Driver for our trip, he has tons of experience of this work and has spent half his life in Africa. He is looking forward to getting his hands back on a Bedford truck. He is currently in the UK, so if you are out there, its not impossible to meet up with him.
As always, if you have any questions please write to us, or if you are in Reykjavik give us a call and we can meet up.
European support team
|Posted on March 17, 2015 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Worst storm in Iceland this year hit last night...i just went to check the truck after the wind and rain battering....its all in good state, only damage is the "Vikings across Africa" stickers from the sides have washed away...its a tough truck...hard to damage, this winter has been one of the worst winters in the last 50 years, so we have not been getting down to the truck much to work on it, but on Sunday we had it running and we drove a little to give ithe truck a bit of a exersise .
|Posted on March 3, 2015 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
Just renewed the truck insurance for this year....we are good for europe again
almost forgot to renew, just got a last min reminder call from the insurance company
|Posted on September 24, 2014 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
As many of you may know, we are going to officially postpone our 2015 trip from Reykjavik to Capetown.
unfortunately Ebola has played a part of this, we never planned to visit any infected areas, but because of west African politics, many borders that we were planning to use have been closed, this is especially true about the Nigeria/Cameroon border. without this important crossing we would have to go to unstable areas of Central Africa and at this time we cant say this option would be safe enough for us.
We did not feel it was fair for us to send the truck down with only a 50/50 chance of making it without flying or sailing...we are a overland truck...not a fly and ship truck
Everyone who had signed on has revived a full refund via PAYPAL
We plan to take the truck down in 2016 instead, hopefully things in west and central Africa will have settled down by then, with borders open again.
If any of you guys are interested to join us in 2016, please be in contact closer to the time
European support team
|Posted on July 10, 2014 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Welcome to the July Newsletter, this last month has been the start of us getting busy,
Our new truck arrived in Reykjavik on Thursday, it came from England via Denmark and the Faroe islands. the truck was mechanically fine for the drive which considering that it had been stood for 9 months was very good,the only issue we had was a flat tyre.
Already we have been working hard in the last few days to convert it for the trip, we have removed 95 percent of the fittings in the back of the truck, we took out the stove/shelves/old benches/tables, there is only a little left to remove that will take a bit of brute force and a strong hammer.
This coming weekend we will be down working on the truck, which is parked in the carpark on Myrargata outside the 10/11 shop near grandi in reykjavik, if you would like to come down and check us out and even help fix up the truck , please join us, just go down and take a look or give us a call to make sure we are there and not still in bed on 8573095. im expecting at least 2 people who are interested to join the trip to be visiting this weekend to help work,were some old cloths as you may get dirty.
The plan is to get the back totaly empty ( there is still some wood in the back that we will use to build with) and to start to seal up the sides a little better to make it more waterproof, we also need to do a real good clean so we can start fresh. Either this weekend or the start of next week we will start building the new benches, we are going to try and make them a little larger than last time so there will be more storage area and also bigger personal day lockers, Eventually we will also put up netting above everyone head so people can store there sleepingbags and rollmats close by and easy to find.
There has not been time yet to check the inventory of everything that came with the truck, but already we can see that there are many spare parts and tools, surprisingly we even have a winch that could come in handy and some very strong chains for pulling stuff.
The road and political situation in Africa continues to be ok for use to travel next year, we continue to plan to drive only in the south of Nigeria away from the less stable northern areas and as we said before in Nigeria we will always be staying in guarded compounds in the night and we will cross the country fast.
Currently there is still a outbreak of Eboli in parts of Guinea and Liberia, but it has not reached any country that we plan to go to, we continue to monitor the situation daily, but in reality its not a issue for this type of trip.
Mauritania's election went on without a hitch, same guys won as last time ( no surprise) Mali has become very stable now, with the french army still in the north keepings quiet and safe.
We have uploaded a couple of new photos on our facebook pageof the new truck and we will continue to update it whaen we are making changes to the truck. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vikings-Across-Africa/339299959447052
The most important news now is that Its only 6 months until we start the trip....,This means that booking is now OPEN, so its possible that you can now join us and become one of the 14 travellers on our next expedition.
To reserve your seat on the truck you will need to pay 1/4 of the trip price, which would mean you would pay £662.50 which is non-refundable, the rest of the payment can be payed sometime before we leave.full details are here, http://www.freewebs.com/vikingsacrossafrica/apps/webstore/products/show/2922834
As always, if you have any questions please get in contact.
European support team