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Old 12-23-2003, 08:00 AM   #1
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Cape Town to Cairo

I just finishied reading Lillie Douglass' book about a caravan of 41 Airstreams that traveled over 13,000 miles of Africa in 1959. The book was very interesting, though it tended to be more of a travel journal than a book on Airstreaming.

That made me think. With the 50th anniversary of what could arguably be called the greatest Airstream caravan of all time only five years away, are there any talks of a recreation? Granted, the political situation in Africa is unstable and it would be difficult to find enough people to undertake such an adventure. Nevertheless, if Airstream, WBCCI, and a major network like The Discovery Channel were to team up, such a trip might actually be feasible. Five years is about what it would take to plan...
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Old 12-23-2003, 11:45 AM   #2
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I recently finished reading "Thank You, Marco Polo" by McGregor Smith. It recounted the 63-64 Around the World Caravan. It was a great book too. I've been trying to find "Cape Town to Cairo" but so far no luck. I've got the DVD from the VAC and they are definately worth watching. I would have loved to have been able to participate in one of those old caravans.
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Old 12-23-2003, 12:19 PM   #3
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Re: Cape Town to Cairo

Quote:
Originally posted by LuvSub
Granted, the political situation in Africa is unstable and it would be difficult to find enough people to undertake such an adventure.
That's an understatment! In a world where people regularly kidnap rich foreign tourists for ransom, or worse, I don't think I'd want to be dragging a silver palace through war torn Africa. It's not just tribal warfare, we're talking tanks and minefields. I'm sure not all of Africa is like that, but I imagine it would be pretty hard to recreate the journey. That would certainly take some adventurous folks to try it!
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
That's an understatment! In a world where people regularly kidnap rich foreign tourists for ransom, or worse, I don't think I'd want to be dragging a silver palace through war torn Africa. It's not just tribal warfare, we're talking tanks and minefields. I'm sure not all of Africa is like that, but I imagine it would be pretty hard to recreate the journey. That would certainly take some adventurous folks to try it!
Would anyone have ANY idea of the COST of shipping our trailers, and the cost of taxes they would impose on us for doing so, and the cost of the travel itself, and as Steph says, most LIKELY the cost of our ransoms, plus ransom for the aluminum, plus little things like lost wages while we're gone?

Other than those things, we're up for it!
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:26 AM   #5
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???

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvSub
I just finishied reading Lillie Douglass' book about a caravan of 41 Airstreams that traveled over 13,000 miles of Africa in 1959. The book was very interesting, though it tended to be more of a travel journal than a book on Airstreaming.
What was the title of this book?
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:27 AM   #6
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?? Title ??

[QUOTE=flamingo-kid1]
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvSub
I just finishied reading Lillie Douglass' book about a caravan of 41 Airstreams that traveled over 13,000 miles of Africa in 1959. The book was very interesting, though it tended to be more of a travel journal than a book on Airstreaming.

What was the title of this book?
I assume it WAS "Cape Town to Cairo".. from your title, but didn't she write something else??
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Old 01-22-2005, 09:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
It's not just tribal warfare, we're talking tanks and minefields.!
Oh my! I hope we realize this picture of Africa is one presented to Americans in order to sell newspapers and airtime and doesn't necessarily reflect the situation in most of that great continent.

And I hope we don't think that Africa in 1958 was entirely a jungle paradise. The Cape to Cairo route skirted two colonial countries: Tanzania, which was in the process of elections to determine self rule from Gr. Britain (in the end, a relatively peaceful process), and Mozambique which was on the verge of revolt from Portugal because of unfair labor practices and official humiliation.

Maybe the WBCCI back then was a more adventurous group, I don't know. I do know it was one of Wally Byam's visions that more Americans should travel abroad in order to foster cultural understanding and tolerance.

I think a re-creation of the caravan would be a difficult, expensive, frustrating, once-in-a-lifetime, great trip! No heads will roll as long as the blue berets stay safely on their hooks at home. It may not be prudent to follow the original route exactly (through eastern Zaire and Zimbabwe), but I imagine a suitable route could be determined. If folks were serious about persuing this, maybe contact some touring companies about the feasibility?

I worked for four years in east Africa on the '90s, traveling from Ethiopia to Mozambique. I lived a socially and culturally interesting-but otherwise normal- life. I'd love to return for a trip like this - but not in five years. I'll still be working to reassemble our trailer.

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Old 01-22-2005, 11:02 AM   #8
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I read a great book last summer by Alexandra Fuller called Don't Lets Go To The Dogs Tonight about growing up farming in Africa during the Rhodesian civil war. It's a fascinating story.
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Old 01-22-2005, 01:50 PM   #9
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With all of the turmoil in Africa, maybe an alternative would be to tour through South America. Start in the south and travel north just as the Capetown to Cairo caravan did. Just a thought.

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Old 01-22-2005, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfshr
With all of the turmoil in Africa, maybe an alternative would be to tour through South America. Start in the south and travel north just as the Capetown to Cairo caravan did. Just a thought.

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Old 01-22-2005, 06:04 PM   #11
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Another book on Africa

There was a previous thread on this subject and someone suggested the book: "Dark Star Safari" by Paul Thoreaux. I read it as as result of that thread. It's a story of his travels from Cairo to Capetown. I spent Nov. in South Africa with my wife's family. A cousin came down from Zim. She came to SA to visit us as she didn't think it was such a good idea for us to go there. They were famers for generations there and the current government in Zimbabwe has taken their farm from them (as well as most white farmers/landowners). She suggested there was a lot of corruption and unpleasantness in many of the counties. I don't think the African continent is quite the same as it was when Wally went.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:48 PM   #12
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It was dangerous enough in 1959, and that was when Americans were fairly well liked.
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Old 12-30-2005, 10:03 AM   #13
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Smile Africa Safari in 2009 might be a possibility

I recently flew on a trip, and met the most interesting person. He coordinates events for a major church group and helps fund missions all over the world. He mentioned they have groups all over Africa and they might be interested in helping us put together a Caravan across Africa. If we could get say 50 families and corporate sponsorship, it might be possible with this group working to have supplies in strategic locations. ??? Jim Flint (Denver, 1968 24' Tradewind). jim@vpn3.com Just thinking out loud. There is no fear greater than fear itself. I suspect we could arrange for security if the group thought it prudent in certain areas. Once in a lifetime opportunity? I'm an event planner (Triathlons) and arranging sponsorship might be easier than we think. Email me if you'd like to discuss this more. :-)
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Old 12-30-2005, 10:34 AM   #14
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Already in progress

Jim,

There is already a group working this, I mean two guys. One is Pete Daniels of our Washington, DC unit, pete@consultadc.com, and Bert Kalet from North Carolina. They are working tow vehicle sponsorship from the likes of Chevy and Ford and trailer sponsorship from corporate Airstream. Bert's email is dotkalet@juno.com. Contact either one if interested. Rob
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