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We have used so many resources in researching and preparing for our adventure. Below are some that you may also find useful.
Kirk and Dale continue to be immensely helpful in answering emails and sharing their adventures. We also managed to meet up with them - their enthusiasm about their trip through West Africa was infectious! Their website has been very useful for us.
The Scenic Route Home
Lots of useful information, particularly on the medical preparations.
Luke and Shell are embarking on a route very similar to ours. We have been in touch with them (we have a few questions already!) and will be following their progress.
Nick and Vicki have recently completed a year long adventure down the West Coast of Africa. Their website is packed full of useful information.
The Africa Overland Network
The Africa Overland Network provides a catalogue of independent overland travellers and their websites. The websites are indexed on current, past and future trips. We used this portal to find similar trips and meet up with explorers who had completed their trips. Well worth linking in.
What the weather is normally like for thousands of places worldwide. We used this website to understand rainfall and temperature patterns for our journey.
Another catalogue of overland travel. It seems to have more trips from the Americas, but interesting nonetheless.
Online store with lots and lots of outdoor related fabrics. I have used them for various sewing projects (such as new ground tent storage bags). Their service leaves a little to be desired: delivery not really close to their indicated 5- 7 days, and no contact in case of delay. However, their fabrics are good quality, and I will continue to use them.
Great customer service here! I ordered webbing and buckles for the car seat covers. This is a small part of their inventory - they also stock tie down straps, wire winch cables, shackles and carabinas, ratchet straps … It is well worth a visit - even if you are not looking for sewing accessories!
Deck Chair Stripes
Great customer service here too! I ordered fabric for the car seat covers, and cushion covers.
And yet more great customer service here too! Great for thread, zips and other sewing odds & ends. Their speedy order fulfilment and delivery will continue to attract my custom.
Experience in bucket loads! We wish we had discovered Julian earlier in the preparation process. Being able to work on the vehicle together with Julian is invaluable.
Desert Winds Publishing
This book was recommended, but due to limited copies available, second hand copies were reaching ridiculous prices online. After we contacted Tom directly, he kept in touch with us when he published a new edition, and we were able to purchase a copy. Definitely worth the wait
Frontrunner were very generous with their help and advice when we contacted them from UK for kit we wanted to purchase from them in SA. They were also patient when I visited, and took lots of photos and measurements to see if items would fit our vehicle.
Chris has been an absolute pleasure to deal with! He had sourced items for us, and been generous with his time and advice as we prepare. He also has a soft spot for Land Cruisers. We were able to collect items from him, saving us delivery charges. Very helpful.
We chose a Patriot roofrack for our trip. Like many other suppliers, Paul was generous with his time, and made sure we left with everything we needed to fit the tent and jack securely.
We chose to pay for business cards rather than use so-called free business cards from other companies. Goodprint have provided good service and great quality products, and have many other printing products too.
We ordered our embroidery patches through e-patches, and received only great customer service. Many questions answered via email, payment was easy, the proof was sent through to promised timescales, and patches arrived to promised timescales. Quality is great, and I would definitely use them again.
We searched long and hard to find someone to make our banner for us at a price we felt comfortable with. This company did just that. Although there was a hiccup with the instructions, they did manage to create our banner from my very non-professional artwork created in Powerpoint! Their turnaround was impressive, and banner is great!
This company does easy-to-order vinyl lettering, which we used to put our website on our vehicle. Ordering and customising lettering online was simple, and production turnaround was lightning fast! They didn’t seem keen to do any other custom car vinyls, unfortunately, but the lettering was excellent.
We have found these books useful in our research and preparation - many will be joining us on the adventure too!
Borrow, Nik: Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa
Ham, Anthony: West Africa (Lonely Planet Multi Country Guide), 7th Revised Edition
Scott, Chris: Overlanders' Handbook, 1st Edition
Scott, Chris: Sahara Overland, 2nd Edition, reprinted with amendments
Shephard, Tom: Vehicle-dependant Expedition Guide, Edition 2.2
Sinclair, Ian and Peter Ryan: Birds of Africa: South of the Sahara, 2nd Edition
Sinclair, Ian et al: Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, 4th edition
Stuart, Chris and Tilde Stuart: Field Guide to Larger Mammals of Africa
White, Andrew St. Pierre: The Complete Guide to Four-Wheel Drive, 4th Edition (International Edition)