Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Long Way Down - 10 tips to prepare your 4x4 vehicle for Africa

!±8± The Long Way Down - 10 tips to prepare your 4x4 vehicle for Africa

For many years living and working in Africa, providing services to thousands of tourists and dozens of independent travelers encounter, was an appropriate time in the top ten tips for those who want to embark on an adventure to explore their African 4x4 vehicle.

They have spent years reading every book written Overlanding from Cairo to Cape Town, you have all bought the Lonely Planet guides on the internet and spent days looking for the epic journey. The decisionmade to go ahead and do it. But before you go out and spend thousands of kitting your favorite 4x4 or, worse, buying the perfect car, you should read this.

1 Worried of not knowing what's out there, many people take their car in the shop preparing shipment. These people sell everything under the sun "until it is corrugated iron, it must be good." "You have these tires for Africa", but say they do not make that particular size of tire and is not available anywherein Africa. So after the first hit-out you are stuck. The last $ 2000 USD aluminum roof rack technology looks good, but it is likely that Africa may be on the roads and the two places that a specialist can weld aluminum, have cracks in Nairobi and Cape Town.

If all "in Africa must have" equipment was good and important would be to sell in Africa and not in the Western world.

2 There are a million consoles available depend cans, gas bottles, high-jack,Sand mats, shovels, etc. on the side of the vehicle. If you do not fall is likely to wake up one morning and everything will be gone. Think how much equipment you really need and if they can all be stored safely in the vehicle.

3 Keep it simple, I have people who drive their old standard two-wheel-drive all the way across Africa met they did without any problems. Vehicle manufacturers have spent time and money in designing your 4x4 with all the handling characteristicsSo, keep in mind when you lift the chassis and body, we will change the management and steering.

4 Remember, most of the vehicles in Africa are not 4x4, but they are constantly in motion. A 4x4 can be useful but not essential. Often makes it safer drivers can cause this, such as locked themselves in the midst of the difficulties of the Sahara.

Also, do not get on every single rock and the vehicle's power metermud pools. Just to drive around the obstacle!

5 GPS devices and other electronic toys are large, but the three things I hate electronic devices;
Heat, vibration and dust. And this is exactly what is going to get you on a journey by land through Africa. Do not rely on them and make sure you are able to sail without them. In 2004, while crossing the Sahara in Mauritania, we have tested traditional Dom navigation, compass and GPS. Climbing sand dunes in the GPS we had placed30 km from the sea - we could not even see the sea from where we were! The sun has won, came second GPS compass and the third is free! Here's a tip, have your compass be installed by a qualified technician to ensure it is calibrated to your car.

6 The lighter the better. Small engines are more fuel efficient vehicle that does not mean you have to carry more gallons of fuel. Heavy vehicles are stuck in the sand or mud. Light vehicles handle better and more funto drive. In 2006, a companion lead a rally from Paris to Bamako, the starting line, entered a default Nissan Bluebird with a tool-box provided by the supermarket, two spare wheels and 1x20lt cans for water. It 'was the only out the insert in Bamako, without getting lost in the Sahara desert. All the others were fully decorated $ 100,000 from 4x4 (very difficult) and have been blocked permanently.

7 Food and drink - unless you go to spend weeks in the middle of the Saharathere is no need to carry tons of food. There are millions of people living in Africa and eat it. In most big cities there are supermarkets for expatriates and surprisingly can be the little luxuries from home, that is to buy Pringles, ham, bacon and cheese. Bottled water can be purchased or taken from wells and water boiled or treated with iodine or other water applications.

8 paperwork - for all vehicles traveling through Africa on a foreign license plate musthave a carnet de passage. Available at your local Automobile Association. This document is inches, you can temporarily import a vehicle in the country. Do not leave home without documenting them.

9 Newest 4x4 vehicle technology have improved performance and fuel efficiency, but they are full of electronics and high-tech turbocharger. These technologies are unknown in Africa. It is likely that something will go wrong and no one can solve the problem. This can be blocked for weeksbe flown outside waiting for replacement parts in your country. Add a couple of days authorized, bribes, customs duties, stamp duties and nerves around them with local ones.

10 Never drive at night. One area that is safe enough, during the day, the country banned during the night. Local vehicles tend to have the lights or defective, the low-speed trucks, donkeys, cyclists and wildlife in the street. Traveling at night can easily turn into a suicideMission.

The easiest way is, you can not go wrong. You want to travel and experience, rather than to enjoy Africa to spend half your time fixing your car and all devices. Surely you can without the 12-volt hair dryer that to survive in the cigarette lighter plug.

Africa is a continent with an extraordinary and little 'know-how and common sense, anyone can take the Long Way Down.

The Long Way Down - 10 tips to prepare your 4x4 vehicle for Africa

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