Africa Overland 1 – England to Mauritania

London England to Cape Town, South Africa
Photos by Graham Jackson and Witt Sparks

In 2004, Graham Jackson and Connie Rodman, along with friends Witt and Jen Sparks took two Land Rover Defender 110s on excursion across Africa. Their journey took them from London, England to Cape Town, South Africa by way of the western coast of Africa.


Graham and Connie and Witt and Jen spent a great deal of 2003 building and preparing their 110s for the expedition. In addition, they did a couple of brief shakedown trips, including a trip out to Moab before loading the Defender 110s into a container to England.

England and Europe

After a month on the water, the container ship arrived from the US carrying the precious cargo of their Defender 110s. Leaving from England, the group headed across to the mainland of Europe, where they travelled down the length of France and Spain. Once in Gibraltar, they were just a short ferry ride away from Morocco, and the beginning of their trip across the African continent.


Morocco was their first taste of the African continent. This country, located on the southern edge of the Mediterranian sea is more Arabic than African in influence, but nonetheless, the stunning mountains and sparse deserts made for nothing less than an epic beginning to their adventure. In southern Morocco, they began to notice a something bad going on with the white 110. Upon further inspection, they discovered the transmission had gone out. The solution was a complex international collaboration to get them a new transmission shipped to Morocco. If only the weather conditions had cooperated with the complex replacement, but the African sands had something else in mind.


With a new transmission in place, they headed south from Morocco into the country of Mauritania. This country, located on the western coast of northern Africa lies within the heart of the great Saharan desert. The expedition’s route took them through the middle of the desert with vast barren expanses of dunes.


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