Florian Keller, the managing director of Enchanting Africa, leaves today for his 200-day trip from Kenya to Brazil using an old car.
The 40,000km trip will take him to 25 countries. These are Ethiopia, Djibouti, Oman & Emirates, through Arabia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhsta, Russia, Mongolia, South Korea United States, Mexico & Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama. He will also go through Central America, Colombia, Ecuador & Peru, from Cartagena to Machu Picchu, Peru, Bolivia & Brazil. The final leg will be through Machu Picchu to Rio de Janeiro.
Keller will be driving his adorable monster, a 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser VX 80 series.
But why use such an old vehicle for a long trip? Keller chose this vehicle from his experience in his adventures. In 2010 he drove to the World Cup held in South Africa in another Land cruiser VX 80 and he never got disappointed.
This type of vehicle is strong and the main engine in the 80-series was the 6-cylinder 4.2-litre turbo diesel. The first models in the 80-series came with a 1HD-T-type engine, which produced 165PS/37.2kgm. With the minor change in 1995, this engine was replaced by the 1HD-FT-type, a 24-valve power unit that produced 170PS/38.7kgm. The diesel engine progressed from the turbo spec 1HD-T-type to the 1HD-FT-type, which was also a 4-valve per cylinder type.
In the power train, the transfer gained a central differential, and all but one grade had a full-time 4×4 system. A switch on the instrument panel enabled you to go from 2WD to high-range 4WD, while a lever on the floor enables you to directly shift into LO range 4WD. This so-called HF2A transfer has electronic controls for locking the central differential when wanted to, so that according to ground conditions even in part-time 4×4 mode you can drive effectively on bad roads.
This particular vehicle has undergone some slight modification in readiness for this trip. It has been fitted with a strong grill that has a winch just in case the vehicle got stuck. It has also been fitted with all-terrain tyres and two extra spare tyres.
The top has a carrier with four jerrycans of 20 litres each to carry his diesel fuel. The vehicle has a repair kit on board which includes a power battery fitted at the back with an inverter to convert power from direct current to alternate current for use in inflating car tyres, powering the photo printer that Keller intends to carry on his trip and also for an extra heater which will be of great use in Mongolia and Russia, where he expect to face minus 20 degrees of temperatures.
This will be the most challenging areas of his adventure. All this cost Sh600,000, including a gearbox and steering box.
Another cost incurred is the vehicle passport, which is known as Carnet de Passages. The Carnet allows travellers to temporarily import their vehicles, or other items of value such as broadcasting equipment, without having to leave a cash deposit at the border. It is, in essence, an international guarantee for payment of customs duties and taxes to a government should the vehicle or item not be re-exported from that country.
Motorists in Kenya can typically a vehicle passport from the Automobile Association of Kenya, valid for one year.
To calculate the premium, the vehicle is insured three times its value. The balance is refundable on presentation of the booklet, which is usually stamped at every border point, and presentation of the same vehicle to the motorist association.
We wish Florian Keller a safe trip!
News Source: allAfrica