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Into The Desert

51mps54x6OL. SX384 BO1,204,203,200
Coffe Table Photography book out now!

999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me

The city is scorching hot during the days, and I don’t need to hang around to get visas or anything else, so I move North, excited to drive into the desert. I want to get a closer look at the merge of the two Nile Rivers into one, and inadvertently take a “bridge tour” of Khartoum, driving over basically every crossing of the rivers as I make my way out of the city.

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The desert appears endless

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I have no idea what this sign says.. hopefully something along the lines of “The Government of Sudan”

As soon as the city fades in the mirror small sand dunes and rocky desert dominate the landscape, and overtime I get close to the mighty Nile River I’m immensely impressed by how green everything is and how much the locals depend on this water to live. I stop for lunch at a small truck stop, and using hand signals manage to tell the owner I would like to eat the same thing as the nearby truck drivers – the food is delicious, and the shade immensely welcomed.
Again, everyone continues to be extremely friendly and kind, even though I can’t speak Arabic.

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Lunch at a side-of-the-road truckstop

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As I pull into camp it’s nice and hot

I am to visit a few Pyramids not far from the road, though when I arrive at them I’m told the entrance fee is $20USD – apparently the government realized a couple of years ago that tourists actually come to these sites and increased the price dramatically, while also charging USD instead of the local currency.

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Sunset lasted for a very long time

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Great views to cook dinner

Though the sites look impressive from a distance, I’d rather just enjoy the stunning scenery, so I wild camp out in the desert, and thoroughly enjoy the complete silence.

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Camping in the wild

-Dan

13 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    Hi Dan, over the years reading your Africa travels you have inspired my wife and I to do an around the world trip in our Toyota Tacoma beginning next year and will be following a similar path to yours through east and west Africa. The US government issued a travelers advisory “Reconsider Travel” in Sudan which is a high warning level for them. Considering that’s about the only easy way to get to Egypt from Ethiopia you could you give your thoughts? I am assuming that you were staying away from the troubles in southern Sudan. Thanks! After Egypt what are your plans??

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Andy,

      That’s awesome to hear, you are set to have the adventure of a lifetime! Do you have a website where I can follow your trip?
      As for Sudan – it’s easily the safest I have ever felt, anywhere. People are extremely friendly and kind, and I wouldn’t worry about it in the least. That travel warning will be because the citizens are currently protesting against the President (a dictator) and they are marching in the streets of the bigger cities.
      I met someone that was caught up in one of the protests – a local came over and told him he should probably leave the area, and everyone stopped marching while he drove through, then when he was a safe distance away they resumed protesting.
      Yes, the Sudanese really are that kind and considerate, especially to foreigners.
      Also keep in mind Sudan is on the list of five “bad” countries according to the US, so no matter what there will be a travel warning against Sudan for political reasons more than actual reasons.
      If I were you, I’d be much more concerned about Ethiopia, especially the border areas. I never felt less safe than I did in Ethiopia.

      Good luck with your plans, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance

      -Dan

      • Andy Elsbree says:

        We haven’t set up a website yet I only have a thread started in Tacoma world called, Taking a Tacoma around the world, need advice. I will be relying upon my tech savvy sons to put together a website. Are you by chance going to the expo west this May in Flagstaff, Arizona? We’ll be there.

        Are you finding out you need to buy a Carnet de Passage for Egypt?

        • Dan Grec says:

          Hi Andy,

          That’s fantastic news! Yes, I will be presenting and speaking on multiple panels at Overland Expo West – please be sure to come up and say hello!
          I’m extremely happy to help with any questions you have or further information you require.

          Egypt is the only country on the entire continent where a carnet can’t be avoided, I’ve organized a local to get me one from the Egyptian Motoring Club for $500USD. No deposit, no fuss. Way cheaper and easier than getting one from the US.

          -Dan

  2. Chris says:

    Hey dan, glad to see you’re safe and sound still. A couple of questions…first, are you still planning to end the trip once you get the Cairo? I know you mentioned that to me a while back. Second, have you thought about your next trip or what you’re going to do once your back in the states?

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hey Chris,

      Yes, Egypt will be the end of the line. The Egyptian Police&Military are so concerned about the well being of tourists there is no way they will let me cross the Sinai into Israel, unfortunately. Going the other way, a visa for Libya is utterly impossible, and again, the Egyptians will never let me get close to the border.
      So I’ll get to Cairo, then Alexandria, then ship the Jeep back to North America. I plan to base myself in Northern Canada again, though first I’m going to show the Jeep and speak at a bunch of Overland/4×4 shows in North America for the summer.
      Lots of details on that coming soon.

      -Dan

      • Chris says:

        Any chance any of those talks might be in the Dallas, Texas area?

        • Dan Grec says:

          Hi Chris,

          I’m not currently planning on getting to any shows that far South, but I honestly don’t know what’s available.
          I will be at Overland Expo West, in Flagstaff AZ, which I think is close, relatively speaking of course.
          I hope I can catch you somewhere along the way!

          -Dan

          • Chris McMillan says:

            If you make it to the Dallas area, the beer is on me. I’d love to hear your stories first hand.

            • Dan Grec says:

              Cheers Chris,

              Looking at a map I might drive across I40 on my way to Overland Expo West… I think for now that’s as close as I plan to come, but you never know!

              -Dan

  3. Richard says:

    Hi Dan, I’ve enjoyed watching your travels over the years. Since you’ve completed North/South America (pan-american highway) and soon to be Africa, do you have future ambitions to drive some sort of journey through Asia? Best of luck on your home stretch.

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for following along over the years, I’m happy to hear you have enjoyed my stories and photos.
      At this point, I don’t know what the future holds. I have plenty of ideas, and a few different irons in the fire.

      Stay tuned, there are absolutely more adventures in the works!

      -Dan

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