The "Trans Africa" from Ishi (our Tour Leader)

Thinking of joining us on an epic journey from the UK to Gibraltar and then down into Morocco and the less explored regions of West Africa?  39 weeks later ending the tour in Cairo, via CapeTown. Check out our Trans Africa expedition.

Below is what our wonderful tour leader Ishi (currently in Nigeria) has to say about it so far. You can also view her blog ZebraPartyPants online and keep up to date with her journey.

So…. You’re looking thirty square between the eyes, it’s happening, you’re getting old and it’s time to evaluate your life. Wasn’t that hard when I actually got down to it. Single, sharing flats with anyone who thought they could manage living with me, squandering my meager earnings on second-hand clothes and cheap travel and owning nothing more valuable than an iPad and a beat up road bike called Jean-Claude. Time for a change I hear you thinking? Indeed… Which is probably why I found my way into the madcap, utterly ridiculous world only occupied by overland crew. If Oasis Overland deemed me suitable for the road and were willing to put 18 tonnes of yellow metal and 24 mental backpackers at a time into my capable (sic) hands then who was I to argue?

That was about 18 months ago. In that time I’ve somehow earned the stripes (or perhaps the mental instability, drinking prowess and generall don’t give a rats ass attitude) that miraculously landed me the mutha of all trips… The Western Trans or in layman’s terms ‘The Crazy-Stupid-Whatthehell-38week-26country Trip that will take us round the African Continent – London-Cape Town-Cairo. I’m now going to turn thirty single, sharing a truck with 25 people never previously met, squandering my earnings on African print fabric and beer and owning nothing more valuable than several packs of baby wipes (a overlanders gold nugget) and so I think that I can safely say that progress has indeed been made! Yay for me!

Back I flew from East Africa, where I had been treading the boards on the infamous Nairobi to Cape Town circuit, fully clad in my African print onesie (I kid thee not – please refer to the photographic evidence) a head full of dreads and full of a special kind of vim and vigour only found in those who have led an existence based on 10 o clock beers and a good old barter for a tomato in a bustling market. Strange things began to happen… I found myself wearing jeans… Ugg boots… Make-up. The dreads were unpicked (a tedious, time-consuming, painful procedure that will ensure that I never get wasted enough to agree to getting them put in EVER AGAIN) and poor vim and vigour looked like they were being swallowed up in a potent combo of post-road blues and British Winter.

Luckily for old V&V and the bank balance I was throwing at new and wholly impractical clothes, I had another trip to prepare for so off I popped to Oasis HQ to meet my new yellow home on wheels and the man who was to steer her (and me) in the right direction. Now, I’ve never been good at lying (there’s a reason I had to bail on law school) and so I’m not going to lie to you now – I freaked the heck out. This shit was real. I was supposed to be in charge of the year’s only trans-continental expedition, through desert and rainforest and FCO ‘are you mad’ zones? To top it all my partner in crime was to be none other than living legend, king of the overland track, Steve Newsway, a man who could recall the 1976 trans with such clarity that I felt I was reliving the endless days of chewing river water, manioc leaf dinners and rebuilding roads in order to actually go overland just by being within a 10m radius of his beard. Cripes! This was to be no ordinary undertaking… And I used to think life was tough if the kuche kuche (the finest beer Malawi will ever produce) wasn’t cold by 10am…!