My ride to South Africa was inspired by many things. I had wanted to do a riding adventure not necessary to South Africa but somewhere. I had the time since i was between jobs and i also had some savings. I was single at the time and so could take off easily. However, this was also my very difficult time despite things looking up for an adventure. I had lost my mom in April, 2015 after nursing her and seeing her through her illness watching her go in and out of hospital for quite sometime. My siblings live abroad and so i was all alone. After the funeral, everyone went back to their lives. Life was empty and i thought i can kill two birds with one stone.
I can take the adventure and i can mourn my mom. I can also find myself and figure out my future. It seemed only well to take this trip.
MY BUDGET & PLANNING.
Most of my money had gone to my family needs and i had only Kshs 500,000 between me and poverty. From this money, i was to buy a bike, ride to South Africa and back home. Hopefully have some change for getting food when back.
I had a friend who had done this route and i asked him to share the map and any other important details. That saved me a lot of time in logistics and planning. I had a bike but it was old and beaten. I could not use it for the long trip. I shopped around for a bike and settled for a 180 cc bike. That cost me Kshs 180,000.
I had some of the items like helmet and boots however, i had to buy proper adventure riding pants & jacket, some warm clothes since i was going to be in South Africa during the cold season. I also purchased few other accessories like phone that i used for navigating and pictures. I got some items from friends and purchased others second hand. This helped a great deal in making a saving.
I left Kenya and traveled to Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and back to Kenya.
Psychologically i was ready to go but had not given the “solo travel” much thought. It hit me in Tanzania after my GPS failed me and i ended up taking a very long route away from my scheduled one. That was the first and only time i felt lonely. It also did not help that it happened so soon after leaving home and i got myself wondering how the rest of the journey would be. From here i engaged locals and anyone i had an opportunity to talk to and it turned out to be so much fun. I would say solo travel can be lonely only if you let it be.
After my GPS misled me in Tanzania, i also figured out that i would need to re-look in to my plan again. I did, and i threw it away. Being without a plan became the best plan way forward. Other than the scheduled meet ups with people i knew before leaving Kenya and we had that arrangement, the rest of my travel was without a plan. I only needed to make sure i am in South Africa within my visa requirements. This worked perfectly well.
I met people and participated in sports. I did bungee jumping in South Africa and met amazing people in Namibia. I don’t know what adventure is, if it is not all these.
Two years later, am ready to take off again. This time with my wife (no longer single 😉 ) for three years. We will travel around the world on our motorbikes. We will go to all seven continents and over 50 countries. Keep it here.