The couple have just spent six months and 27,000km exploring Australia’s off-road icons, taking in everything from the beaches of the Coral Coast to the Red Centre’s ancient landforms. As travellers who have travelled overseas more than their own backyard, the Aussie Overlanders found exploring Australia to be a humbling experience.
“Australia is an extremely vast country to travel around. We were amazed by our country’s pristine beaches, the natural beauty of our gorges and the amount of stars you are able to see in the Outback,” says Kirsty.
“Australia can't be summed up as a whole. If you dropped me in the Kimberley, blindfolded me and transported me to the big forests of Tasmania I would think I was in a completely different country. As Australians, we are so lucky to have all of this to ourselves, and to be so far away from the rest of the world seems to have kept so much of our land untouched and pure.”
This appreciation for diversity and natural beauty will come in handy when it comes to taking in Africa, though Gareth is well aware that four-wheel driving in Africa can be much different to Australia.
“Driving across the African continent day-by-day will be an experience and challenge in and of itself; South Africa alone has more than double the population of Australia at just over 51 million people. The availability of Vegemite is another of my big concerns.
“The cultures, roads and bureaucracy we face as we cross the border of twenty-plus countries in our trusty 1989 LandCruiser will undoubtedly deliver us lessons thick and fast. We will be getting out of our comfort zone and it is so exciting!” Gareth says.
Swapping Australia for Africa is destined to throw up different attractions of similar significance to the Aussie Overlanders: instead of historical ruins and Aboriginal rock art there will be the Nubian Pyramids of Sudan, instead of swimming with whale sharks it will be diving off the coast of Mozambique, and instead of Victoria’s alpine ranges there will be Ethiopia’s intricate Simien Mountains.
Setting Africa apart from the rest of the world is its wildlife, with Gareth and Kirsty’s route along Eastern Africa positioning them to experience it with full force. The couple will see everything from giraffes to lions in Zambia’s famous South Luangwa National Park, embarking on their own African safari in the same Troopy that still has dirt from the Kimberley somewhere in its crevices. The explorers will even be trekking to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and taking the trip to Mana Pools in Zimbabwe to get close to the many elephants that typify the region.
After living on the road for over five months in the most remote regions of a country known for its harsh beauty, Gareth and Kirsty are set to transition from one dream explorer’s destination to another when they reach Africa’s shores. Taking up life on the road on another continent is going to be the start of a new experience, but continue an overall journey for the Aussie Overlanders on their overland expedition towards London.
Don’t miss a moment of the Aussie Overlanders' trans-continental adventure by following them on Facebook, and prepare to see Africa in a whole new light from the humble perspective of a couple of Australian explorers and their Troopy.