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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 4 Apr 2006
2SA 2SA is offline
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How far can I go....

South in Africa can I go with a Transit van and twin axle caravan, I've been reading with great interest that its tarred all the way to/into Nigeria, whats it like after that, my route is going to be direct to SA so I wont be doing anything touristy, thinking of carrying around 6 Jerry cans for diesel and say 50 liters of water, topping up as I go.

The transit van is a rear wheel tye and loads of grund clearance as it is of the 350 version, not long wheel base, tyres at present are 215 but I think if need be I could push on 230s with a squeeze, I guess having wider tyres on the caravan would be ideal too, reason why Im keen on taking caravan as far as I can go is that I will have my two big dogs with me so it will be ideal for space and use, I'll shortly be working out my trip in detail as Im not able to locate Chris Scotts book so will have to dig further for info. Anyone else interested in joining me is welcome as I lived in SA 99% of my life doing all sorts in all places but with a van and caravan is a new challenge to me......

Your input would be appreciated

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Old 4 Apr 2006
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Depends which way you go. If you go down East Africa you could get all the way to Cape Town although if its a standard caravan, you'll probably do a good job of trashing it along the way. If you go down the west Africa, you should be okay all the way to Nigeria but it may be difficult going down the west coast. The van should go through okay, you might struggle with the caravan. Try and find a 4x4 to team up with for the difficult bits. The caravan only represents three problems - 1) a standard one will probably get damaged on the bad roads, may bottom out, 2) it will add more drag meaning you will lose traction more easily, 3) it will limit your ability to reverse out of situations where you get bogged or to get pulled out of those situations. Given those limitations, its still perfectly possible. Personally don't think its worth the bother, would kit out the van and even with two large dogs, think you will have plenty of space, the luxuries of the caravan will probably be more than offset by the hassle of dragging it through but each to their own.
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Old 4 Apr 2006
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Till the Mauri border no problem. But then...
The border area still has some unsurfaced bits with sand pits. No problem for a 2WD, but with a caravan you might struggle.

Then, on the road to NKT, you're still forced off the road regularly. Meaning you're driving rough sand again.

Next you'd probably want to take it trough northern Senegal. which means carnets etc. Also, here the potholes will start. no problem if you see them in time, but you don't, so you'll hit them, at times pretty hard. How would the caravan handle those? Maybe with larger (higher, not wider) weels, and good shocks?

Once in Bamako or so, you can ride on tar till the Cameroon border in Nigeria. And that really is as far as you can get.
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Old 4 Apr 2006
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Thanks so far for the input, guess I'll pass it onto a local which Im sure they will appreciate, the van has enough room so Im not worried about kitting it out for the rest of the trip, 99% kitted out already so will be easy to use and sleep in, though not in comfort
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