When I started planning my trip I decided that I would not run around and begging money from companies or societies. It is my trip and I have to see me through to the end.
However, the idea of travelling alone through Africa without any support fascinated more and more people. It was not long before the first offer lay on my table: Wonderful people infected by tracks to faraway horizons, who, for many reasons, cannot do a trip like this now, become part of my trip by giving me something of them with.
Down below you will see the result. Strangers and friends who will support me next year. To all of you a heartfelt "Thank you"! I will have you as company at my small fire next year.
Earlier this year I met two beautiful people at Golden Gate. Martin and Liezel Prinsloo are nature lovers from Centurion. We had a lovely chat while we were camping together at Glen Reenen. Out of the blue came an offer a week later: They would sponsor me a new tent for the trip next year! Martin and Liezel, thank you so much for the kind offer! I do appreciate it!
Martin & Liezel Prinsloo
Liezel and Martin in Naboom.
These two beautiful people brought me the tent that they sponsored for my trip next year. What impressed me the most: The tent after I had pitched it, or these two nearly strangers that are so fascinated by the lesser-known and lesser-traveled tracks of our continent?
Liezel and Martin, I hope that we'll get the chance of sitting at Makgadigadi one night, watching the stars, before I leave on my trip next year.
Louis de Villiers (back), Jean, Riana and Jacques de Villiers (in front)
When a company sponsors a person or a team, they expect something back. That is how business works.
If friends sponsor a journey, what can one say, what can one offer? I stand dumbstruck before such a gesture. Louis and Riana, Jacques and Jean (and Pierre far away in the Cape), thank you so much! Riana wrote the beautiful poem (see the Afrikaans front page). In the poem I found the answer on how to thank friends for such a generous offer. When I travel through countries far away from here I will let my friends see through my eyes, I will say their names when the beauty and diversity of the continents let me speechless.
Louis and his family sponsor the communication part of the tour next year, more specific the cost of updating the website with reports and photographs.
I salute you!
Johannes will probably be the most crucial person during my tour next year. In many ways our journeys together covered many miles and shores and I shared a lot with him and his wife Liezel.
Johannes is a technical wizard that can fix any problem, even if that is over many thousands of kilometers. Johannes offers his time, his knowledge and technical expertise should anything go wrong during the trip. Should I need any spare parts that are not available where I am, he will courier it to me within days.
Johannes is also responsible for the administration of all my needs during any medical emergency or emergency evacuation, should the need arises.
I once said it on a DVD: I don't like travelling in Africa without a backup of the caliber of Johannes. Thanks my old bush friend!
Ernst is a good friend from Germany, with whom I had many lovely trips through Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Ernst will sponsor the petrol for 2 000 km's. That would be from Naboomspruit up to Lilongwe in Malawi.
Thank you so much Ernst!
Anja is an old friend from Germany and co-traveller on many Botswana trips of the past.
To make sure that I won't lose any photographs Anja sponsored me a 4 GB and an 8 GB flash drive where I can store my photographs. And should I lose any photographs she ensured that I would not lose a good night's rest by sponsoring me an air mattress as well.
Thank you so much Anja, I do appreciate your help! Tell me, am I still a f ... d ...?
Estelle and Jacques Roos
My travel buddies since 2004, my friends through happy and sad days. Jacques and Estelle made sure that I will always have enough air in the wheels by sponsoring me a special air pump (like those for a mountain bike). This is one gift that I wish that I never have to use though. Adding to this they sponsored me the petrol for another 2 000 km.
Jaques and Estelle, my eyes will be your eyes, I will see and experience on your behalf!
Luke Signs, 446 Amarillis Street, Marble Hall
The wonderful people of Luke Signs sponsored me a sticker for my bike with www.naboom2germany.co.za on it. Rina Bondesio came all the way from Marble Hall to bring me the sticker. Thank you guys!
So, if you travel somewhere and you see a KLR with luggage, have a look at the fairing. If you see the sticker, it is my bike. Let us then have a coffee together.
The telephone number of Luke Signs is 013 / 261 2538.
Elana Swart, London
Elana is an old friend of mine living and working in London now. She misses the colours and different smells of the bush. She makes sure that a small part of her soul will be my companion on my trip over Africa by sponsoring petrol for 3 700 km!
Elana, thank you so much! I will touch the green of Africa on your behalf.
John is a farmer in the Waterberg: Broad shoulders, a neck that would make poor Os jealous, and arms that can force any young bull on his farms in the direction John wants him to go. However, in John is a small heart bleeding for any poor soul suffering. To many people he was an angel in need.
Quite often his language would let any dominee shrink away in disgust. On hearing about my trip his short comment was: Are you f%$# mad?"
John sponsors me petrol for a 1 000 km. According to my calculations it will be for the stretch into the desert. I really hope that I would not need him as my guardian angel for that stretch because this big man is afraid of flying!
Thank you so much John!
Helen is a special person with a big heart. On hearing the story of the Francistown girl she decided to buy the girl a teddy bear. Helen, thank you so much! Adding to that she is going to sponsor me petrol for a 1 000km! With friends like her one can literally go very far! Helen, you are a star!
Rina is a very talented person. With her artisan skills she designed me a letter head, business cards and stickers for my KLR. The one sticker with the website on it already caught the eye on the Namibian part of the trip. Not only is she the sponsor of all these stickers and cards, she will sponsor also petrol for another 1 000km. Thank you so much Rina!
Krap is a legend, a man whose voice can be heard long before one sees him. Krap called me, told me about his plan of how to trace me should I disappear somewhere in Africa. He is going to sponsor me 100 coins. One the one side will be the South African flag, on the other side my name and the website. I have to give a coin to a petrol station attendant each time when I fill up with petrol. Krap, you are a genius. Thanks my friend!
The person that helped me the most with all the information that wasn't available in South Africa was Dorothée Moritz from Germany. She went searching for books about similar trips and sent it by airmail from Germany to me. She bought maps and posted it. That helped so much and made the preparation much easier! Thank you so much Dorothée! All those books will stay a wonderful memory of all your assistance once the trip is over.
My dad sponsored petrol for 1 000km. It is a lot of money for a pensioner, therefore my gratitude towards him goes further than words.
Charlene, an old friend since my Germany days, is going to sponsor me for 1000km. Charlene, thank you so much my dear friend! And don't think that I'll forgive you for beating me to the top of that hill on the cycle tour!
Louise and Trevor Bernardt
Louise and Trevor are two doctors in Canada. I received a petrol sponsorship of 1200 km from them this weekend. Thank you so much Louise and Trevor! On my trip through Africa I will drink in the heat and sunshine of Africa on your behalf! I look forward to our visit to Botswana during September. See you then!
Marius is a guy who has done that already: Last year he travelled from Tunisia to South Africa on his Honda Africa Twin. See his website www.itsaboutliving.co.za (.) Marius lent me his BGan to do updates of the website on those days when there is no GPRS coverage or internet cafes nearby. Marius is a good example of a man who can put unconditional trust in a person. Marius, I still battle to come to grip with this wonderful offer! The website of his company, Interexcel, is www.interexcel.co.za
Greg du Plooy
Greg of Jetline (Lynnwood Glen, Pretoria) surprised me with a kind offer to sponsor multi-colour Naboom2Germany stickers for the tour. Greg, I do appreciate your generosity. May your business go from strength to strength! The telephone number of Jetline is 012 / 348 7650