Most trips described on various web sites unfold more or less the same way. Travellers make plans one to two years before starting; they gather information on visas, required paperwork and insurances. Then, they buy a vehicle and modify it. Finally, the trip start and last from 6 months to 2 years.
As far as I am concerned, the sequence of events is different. I started working as an adventure guide and I mostly worked in Tanzania and Uganda. It was my first experience on the African continent. Since I liked the land and the African people, I said to myself that it would probably be worthwhile to do a grand tour of Africa. However, I thought that public transport in Africa was very hard going (slow and uncomfortable). I also got used to travelling with my own vehicle back home (in Westfalia). Even though such a trip is more expensive than with public transport, having a vehicle allow for a great liberty. Thus, this project started.
Why did I leave from Tanzania?
Simply put, I was already there for work. People I work with helped me purchase a good vehicle and handle all the paperwork required for such an ordeal (vehicle in proper order, maintenance, transfer of ownership, registration, insurance and vehicle storage).
NOTE: If I had to redo it, I would not buy again in Tanzania. It is very expensive and the selection is not very good. I would buy a vehicle in South Africa (you need help from local people in order to get the necessary papers for buying).
Why a five weeks test-drive?
Between two contracts as a guide, I had some free time that I filled with this trip. This small journey allowed me to test the car and evaluate what modifications were needed for some extra comfort.
Why come back to Quebec after East Arica?
The first stage has ended in mid-February 2013 just before the beginning of the rainy season. Therefore, a small break in Quebec is welcome. It will allow me to sort my pictures, buy some hard to find equipment (for example: water filters). Finally, I will apply for an Ethiopian visa since it can only be acquired in an embassy in its own country.