The West Africa section of this blog was transferred from the now unused site overlandrover-westafrica.net It is about the experience of buying an older Land Rover Defender in Accra Ghana and restoring and outfitting it to explore West Africa. It will be of interest to the Land Rover community in general, especially to anyone completing or contemplating preparation of Land Rover as an expedition vehicle, to those who have an interest in planning and executing 4×4 overland journeys, or just to those interested in discovery and travel. To some extent the project will offer an angle of vision into West African society and culture. It will start in Ghana, which provides the setting for the procurement, restoration and outfitting of the vehicle and the planning for the journey and in time will, if all goes according to plan, take us through many other West African countries, following a circuitous route perhaps as far as Morocco.
Along the way I hope there will be opportunity to provide insights into West African life, its history, geography, culture, society and economy. Much of the insights will be through the lens of procuring and restoring a Land Rover in Ghana. Eventually the focus will shift from vehicle restoration and outfitting to the story of a journey, which is of course the core of the whole project.
The author is a Canadian development worker on a first posting in Africa, who has been in Ghana since 2009. I have lived, worked and traveled extensively around the world, but until now without visiting Africa. To a great extent the blog will tell the story of my own discovery of Africa, viewed through the lens of preparing for and experiencing an overland journey. Among overland journey stories what may be unique about this one is the fact that the preparation is taking place in Ghana, not in Europe, or in South Africa, which each have a strong industrial and service base which provides relatively easy access to products and services related to expeditions. In Ghana the market for related goods and services is much smaller, which will add a level of challenge to everything. At the same time, the very informality of much of the Ghana economy offers some strong points for the restoration project.
Navigation of the site will be made easier with knowledge of how it is organized. The site is divided into categories reflecting the stages of the project: planning, procurement, restoration, outfitting, travel, and demobilization. These categories appear on the right-hand side of the page. While these are roughly chronological, there will be overlap. If you go to any of these categories you will see the most recent posts at the top. To get to the earlier posts just scroll down tot the bottom and when you get there go to “earlier posts”.
Alternatively you can peruse historically by selecting a month to go to, also displayed on the right hand side of the page Like the categories, the the last post appears first and you just need to scroll to the bottom for the earliest posts. Again, watch to see if there are “earlier posts” at the bottom of the page.
As a final note, in addition to being new to Africa, to Land Rovers and to overlanding, which together to greatly increase the risks associated with everything, I am also new to blogging. That will no doubt be evident from this site. Hopefully I will be able to gain a greater mastery of the art of blogging and improve the site over time. Enjoy.