Three friends and seasoned travelers, Nathan Riggs, Lee Gordon, and Justin Ledden are planning on participating in the “touring edition” of the Budapest to Bamako Rally, a two-week off road sojourn in which anyone, by any means, navigates over land and the Mediterranean Sea from Budapest, Hungary to Bissau, Guinea Bissau in West Africa. The rally kicks off from Budapest on Saturday, January 14th, 2012. In addition to taking part in the charitable activities associated with the rally, such as donating funds and supplies to local schools in Senegal and Guinea Bissau, Voyages Verts has partnered with All for Africa, a charity based in New York which supports local charities throughout Africa.
On January 29, 2012, with a bit of luck, we plan to arrive in Guinea Bissau in good health with our vehicle, gear, and traveling spirits intact. Lee and Justin have a vague plan to continue on and arrive in South Africa in the summer of 2012, traveling along the way with an assorted group of friends, family and fellow adventurers. The route, the timing and the activities will be to a large extent to be shaped by events on the ground and our hopes to visit and volunteer with All for Africa’s beneficiaries along the way. One certainty is that we plan to document this experience through filming a documentary and frequently updating this blog.
Our vehicle of choice for the expedition is a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser GS, which we purchased in England from Footloose 4×4, an outfitter that specializes in equipping vehicles for just such an occasion. It has a diesel engine which we are planning to convert to run on vegetable oil. Essentially, we plan to weave our way along the paved roads, dirt roads and through the desert, bush, and whatever else we encounter of West, Central, and Southern Africa for thousands of kilometers on vegetable oil.