Saturday, 21 June 2014

Busy Times Preparing For The Adventure Ahead

We've had a busy few months since getting back to the UK with Aminah at the end of April. There's only a few seats left on our Southbound trips this coming season, starting in October, so now is the time to get in touch if you want to experience the magic of West Africa with us!

Al and Hatter have been busy getting Aminah spick and span for her next adventure. She's now all spruced up, safely parked up in the UK, and ready to head back down through Europe in a few months time.

We're in the process of having some videos made from all the footage taken on our recent trips. We'll be releasing these on our You Tube Channel over the next few weeks. Below is the first of the videos, showing off some of the incredible dancing and singing our Dakar to Freetown and Freetown to Dakar groups got to witness at Tendaba camp on the banks of the river Gambia....what a night, check it out!

Stay tuned for more inspirational footage highlighting the music, dancing, colourful characters, epic roads, truck life and more from our recent adventures. Many thanks to all of the passengers who provided some of the footage used in this video we really appreciate it!

We're very pleased to announce that Jason Parry will be joining Al as co-driver and mechanic for our upcoming 2014-2015 season. We know Jason well from his time working for Dragoman Overland; he has been away from overlanding for the past few years doing a 'normal' job in the real world, and is itching to be out on the road again!

Jason fixing a passing donkey cart, and taking some down time!
We’ll let Jason introduce himself:

‘Africa has been under my skin since I spent 4 months working in South Africa back in early 2000. Since then, I have travelled independently in South Africa, Kenya and Namibia,, as well as riding solo for most of my time running Encounter trips for Dragoman Overland between 2006 and 2008.

I reluctantly left the road in 2008, intending to knuckle down for a couple of years in a ‘proper job’, and secure myself some sort of financial security for my future years. My intention was always to return to overlanding, and after too many years of masquerading as a grown up, I am finally in a position to do just that. OWA approaching me earlier this year could not have been timed any better.

I know Dave & Jimmy through Dragoman, last seeing them in person just prior to their first OWA trip. Having recently met up with Al in preparation for the season ahead, I cannot wait to get back out on the road, and am looking forward to immersing myself in the diversity of cultures, customs, terrain, and of course passengers!

Jason making sure nothing goes to waste!
We have recently partnered with 'Friends of Conakry Refugee' School, where 26 staff offer an education to 500 students, provide them with a meal each day, and help with safe housing for the vulnerable. Guinea has historically received rather less NGO assistance than some of its neighbours, so it is great to see a UK organisation involved with such a valuable project.

Many of the children are orphans from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire and simply can't afford to go to school. The school is setting up small business initiatives such as catering and soap making, and running IT and English classes for the local community so it can subsidise the education of the poorest. We plan to visit the school on our Freetown to Dakar trip, bring out supplies from the UK, and make a financial donation to the project.

There is much more information about the project here on the Friends of Conakry Refugee School website.

Stay tuned for more travel videos in the next few weeks, like this short one of Al and Nev driving through the jungle in Ivory Coast, and we hope to see you onboard Aminah in West Africa later this year!