The Rigid Security Bolt Kit means the driving lights can not be stolen. From $28.99 on Amazon

Manantali & Casper’s Cool Camp

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

999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me

On the advice of many Overlanders I make my way across to the tiny town of Manantali, to meet up with Casper and checkout his “Cool Camp” where he has setup a rustic campground on the banks of a beautiful river. It’s just downstream of a monster dam that is bringing development to the region, and the river flows crystal clear, absolutely perfect for swimming in the sweltering midday sun.

camping manatali mali casapers place 720x480

Camping at Casper’s Cool Camp, Manantali, Mali

Casper spent ten years driving all over the world, and is a wealth of knowledge on all topics Overland Travel, especially West African Overlanding. He has become a real member of the community here, so it’s great to wander around town through the market with him. He is looking to buy a ring for his mother, and we wind up in the local jewelers house/shop. Gold mining is big business in this part of the world, and my ears perk up when I’m told I can profit at least a hundred dollars for every ounce I bring from this part of the world to the first world.
Of course, it means going to some very remote locations with pocketfuls of money, not typically my favorite activity.

manatali jeweler 720x480

Malian Gold to turn into a ring

manatali gold ring 720x480

Making a gold ring

Tourism took a dive a few years back when the war broke out in Mali, and Casper was getting a little bored, so he branched out and now also grows bananas, papayas and the odd mango and also repairs water pumps in the local region for free, because he can. The fresh fruit for breakfast is spectacular.

mali manatali market 720x480

Manantali Market

mali manatali market ladies 320x480

Ladies selling fruit and veg at the Manantali market

So far roads in Mali have varied greatly – major highways are sealed and very good, and I can sit on 60 mph for the first time in a long time. As soon as I turn off the major highway I’m back on extremely bumpy, potholed gravel and mud, still with a lot of water hanging around from the recently finished rainy season.

jeep dometic cfx35 frdige stickers 720x480

My Dometic fridge is awesome, and I honestly don’t think I could do the trip without it


Recommended books for Overlanding

419ZjSjogHL. SL160
Drive Nacho Drive: A Journey From The American Dream T...
by Brad Van Orden, Sheena Van Orden
From $15.95 with Prime shipping
515Li9myqfL. SL160
We Will Be Free: Overlanding In Africa And Around Sout...
by Mr Graeme Robert Bell
From $20.00 with Prime shipping
61DTHoc1F0L. SL160
Crossing The Congo: Over Land And Water In A Hard Place
by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker, Charlie Hatch-Barnwell
From $29.95 with Prime shipping
51FED4ICbhL. SL160
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide To The Art Of Long-term...
by Rolf Potts
From $17.00 with Prime shipping

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

My ARB Awning keeps the sun and rain off my cooking area. From $181.00 on Amazon
I have a Titan Tanks 13Gal Transfer Tank for a total range of ~600mi.. From $489.00 on Amazon