London, England to Cape town, South
part 2 - Mali to the Congo
Photos by Graham Jackson and
After leaving Mauritania, their journey
took them inland through the country of Mali. This
impoverished land locked nation is perhaps best known
for one of its cities, Tombouctou (or as it is more
commonly but less correctly spelled, Timbuktu). Although
the southern-most portion of the country borders on
the edge of the jungle climate of central africa,
the majority of Mali is gripped by the arid Saharan
desert. Mali is also home to the Great Mosque of Djenne,
the world's largest mud or adobe structure in the
Heading out of Mali, the group travelled
east across Niger and the edge of the Saharan desert
to get to their southerly route. Throughout Mali
and Niger, Graham's truck was plagued with problems
in the front suspension. There was a problem that
caused the shocks to keep breaking, eventually leading
to a makeshift repair by a local welder.
Their route took them for a brief drive
through the southwest corner of Chad. This route
around the edge of Lake Chad allowed them to get
to the country of Cameroon, while avoiding the less
safe country of Nigeria.
Heading south into Cameroon, the group
began its journey through central Africa. They left
the desert land behind and entered the lush jungle.
Gabon is located in the heart of central
Africa, flush with dense jungle, rich natural resources
and diverse fauna. Recently, Gabon made the revolutionary
move to set aside 10% of its country as national
park land in order to preserve it for the future.
The Africa Overland route went straight through
the heart of Gabon, where they were able to witness
first hand this beauty. While there, they joined
up with another group of overlanders, with whom
they intended to travel for the remainder of their
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
had only recently recovered from a long and violent
civil war. During this time, the flow of tourists
had been virtually shut off to this country. The
Africa Overland group was in fact the first tourists
to cross from Gabon to the Congo in many years.
This made for a bit of a complication in that the
border officials required various bits of paperwork
and letters, dragging the border crossing out a
number of days.