A man with a van needs a plan

At the time of writing, my plan of action goes something like this:

Receive the truck in Dubai by late October and possibly / probably spend an inordinate amount of time trying to register it. Obviously it’s a bit of an odd-ball vehicle, unique to the region, so “this could be complicated”. Over the following few months I’ll finish equipping it with spare parts, recovery equipment, cookware, linen etc and learn the fundamentals of the various on board systems, electrics, water, heating etc.

I will take the truck for a short shakedown trip to the Musandam peninsula, then a longer one to Oman, probably Salalah via the coastal route, over the winter months, and maybe a trip down to the Rhub Al Khali too. In early 2017, obtain the various visas I’ll need for the first leg of the journey. I’ll finally head out of Dubai in mid March 2017, driving across Saudi Arabia to Jeddah, from where I will catch a ferry to Port Sudan. A transit visa for Saudi is not normally a possibility for overlanders, but because I’m resident in Dubai, I’m hopeful I can obtain one. If not, I will probably have to ship the truck directly from Dubai to Dar Es Salaam.

Assuming I catch the ferry from Jeddah, my route takes me to Sudan, Ethiopia, (possibly Eritrea – we’ll see) Djibouti, back into Ethiopia, into Kenya then Uganda, probably spending about a month in Sudan and Ethiopia, up to a week in Djibouti, then again a month in Kenya and Uganda. At some point I will have to find secure parking in Uganda or Kenya and fly back to Dubai, after some 4 or 5 months away. I will then spend as long as it takes to obtain the next handful of visas, maybe pick up a few provisions more easily obtained in Dubai, deal with any business administration issues, then fly out to the truck and pick up where I left off.

The plan is to repeat this process as I circumnavigate Africa, returning briefly to Dubai every few months, so the whole trip could take me a couple of years I reckon – I’m in no great rush.

Obviously there are several ‘must see’ places and events on my To Do list, but I’m keeping my plans deliberately flexible, so there’s no point going into detail here and now. After all, you all need something to look forward to in my future posts!

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