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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 27 Sep 2009
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Through Eastern Africa in a Citroën Berlingo?


my partner and I are planning a trip through Africa starting in Denmark and going via the Middle East, through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and further down through Namibia ending i South Africa.

We are strongly considering doing this in a Citroën Berlingo multispace 1.8. We have been discussing much back and forth whether this is possible and debating whether the classical 4x4 solution is the one to go for. Since we already have the Berlingo, we are very much interested in taking this option, but at the same time we don't want to jeopardise the trip.

Any experience / advice would be very, very welcome!

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Old 27 Sep 2009
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I guess you could ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. Do you want the trip to be about getting the vehicle across Africa, or do you want the trip to be about maximizing the time you have on the trip experiencing the places you pass through.

2. Do you expect the Citroen to still be in good order if and when it gets to the other side, complete with all panels still shiny and undented etc etc?

I'd suggest selling it, thus maximising what it is worth now and taking a Toyota Landcruiser of some kind (which will still be worth what you paid for it after your trip).
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Old 1 Oct 2009
jim jim is offline
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Ive always been of the opinion that a 4x4 is not necessary for the E coast, all you need is decent ground clearance which you wont get from the Berlingo unless you modify it (I have a Peugeot Partner which is the same vehicle...). Really a Landcruiser is overkill and it uses ridiculous amounts of fuel ! Without 4x4 you will have to choose your route carefully and be prepared for a few slow days, but for sure its possible especially seeing as though the Sudan roads are (im told) much better now.
"If we don't find something good at least we will find something new." Voltaire
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Old 11 Oct 2009
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Hi Jim,
that's what I've heard from a few other people as well, that a 4x4 isn't a must for travelling in this area. We were thinking that we would modify the car a bit before going, do you have any specific suggestions? We were thinking perhaps raising it a bit and maybe seing if we can set up a protective 'plate' of some sort under the engine.
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Old 15 Oct 2009
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The Berlingo is a great car .... the most important thing is reliability and ease of parts…

OK so assuming you’re not worried about body damage etc I would recommend a simple ali plate to protect your sump, a decent garage or metal shop can help here. Also check you don’t impair the airflow / cooling. Make a simple wire grill to protect your radiator, at the least stopping large stones damaging it. Look to the world of Vans and see if you can buy van spec winter tyres (& wheels) as these are typically taller and heaver duty. You might even gain a few cm’s lift… (will have a impact on road holding). In France you can buy all sorts of front bumper protectors … Other things to think about are; very big front windscreen, can you find a replacement if smashed. Vehicle security / keeping cool inside glass side windows vs panel van. Lastly make sure you have strong recovery points and mark them clearly. Pack a hand winch and you’ll be amazed where you can go…

Just look at the people who have successfully traveled in VW campers / old Mercs and 2cv’s

I found this link…http://www.morocco-overland.com/merc/stage.htm

Good luck
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Old 22 Oct 2009
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Thanks for all the good advice, hopefully we will start fixing the car soon keeping all the tips in mind and then be on our way
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