We’ve been following the Ranger Odyssey teams closely – what an adventure! Of coures, the prize of a new Ford Ranger – Odyssey equipped – would draw many an adventurer into Africa.
But, it wouldn’t be a true African adventure if improvisations didn’t have to be made. Following the political unrest in the north of Mozambique, the group has had to revise their 21-day route to avoid the potentially unsafe area. Tourists have been evacuated out of Gorongosa. All our travelers are advised to stay well clear of the area, and if planning a trip to Mozambique, please keep an eye on the SA 4×4 Community forum thread here to find out whether the conflict has spread to your destination.
The first week of the Ranger Odyssey went as planned, and you can read day-by-day summaries of their progress on Facebook, here. You can also read the blogs of the individual competitors on their website, here.
So far, Day 5 brought one of the toughest drives – an arduous trek through the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and many villages until they reached the town of Bagamoyo – a world heritage site. The group had to liaise with media vehicles that had departed from Dar es Salaam to collect a contingent of SA journalists, after being trapped in an 80km stretch of traffic for five hours! Then, the following day the news of a route change made for more challenges, with a 500km stretch to Iringa in heavy commercial traffic. The convoy stopped in a baobab forest for a break, and then headed to the Old Farm House campsite for the night, and then headed on to Zambia through Tanzania the next morning.
The original plan was to head into Mozambique on Day 11 – tomorrow. As they’re now off-route and in Zambia, however, it’s more likely they will meet up with the old route plan in Zimbabwe on Saturday. From there Botswana is a likely option, although conflict in the south of Mozambique is minimal and the proposed fishing trip on days 16 and 17 may still be on the cards.
UPDATE: Herewith the new route and dates as from Ford South Africa:
30 June: Iringa – Mbeya
1 July: Mbeya – Mpika (Kapishya Hot Springs)
2 July: Mpika – Lusaka
3 July: Lusaka – Livingstone
4 July: Livingstone – Nata, via Kasane
5 July: Nata – Francistown
6 July: Francistown – Pontdrift
7 July: Pontdrift – Pafuri
8 July: Pafuri – Mabote (Mapai – Limpopo Crossing)
9 July: Mabote – Inhambane
10 July: Inhambane day
11 July: Inhambane – Xai Xai
12 July: Xai Xai – Maganetta
13 July: Maganetta – Nelspruit
14 July: Nelspruit – De Rust
Here are a few videos selected from their trip so far. To view more, go to Ford South Africa’s YouTube Channel.