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Series IIa 109 safari in Algerian sahara (photo)


Diff
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Any clue when that was taken? Nothing in the photo gives any clues, it could be any time from 1959 to present day! A great photo to be sure.

1959! Strewth John! You've met me, and I hope I don't look old enough to have driven a Landrover across Africa in 1959!

I know I have had a few interesting adventures, but I hope they haven't taken that much of a toll on my appearance! :D

It was taken in 1990. It does have the date on the door, but it is difficult to make out as it is a scan of a regular photo from one of my albums. (First time test of the scanner).

I took the photo after I got the Land Rover ('Clarence') stuck. You can see some of the other expedition members climbing the dune on foot to have a look from the top.

The Land Rover was one of 2 (the other was a series IIa 109 forward control which I used on a Trans Sahara Expedition in 1986) built up by myself and a pal in 1984/1985 after a previous expedition in 1993 with a Series 3 109 Safari.

A few parts from the 1971 Series 3 109 safari Land Rover used in the 1983 expedition ended up in the 1959 Land Rover pictured which was used in 1990. It had a number of mods for overlanding. Both were called 'Clarence'.

We were doing a London to Cape town expedition. We took 7 and 1/2 months and covered about 20,000 miles. I had a couple of articles about the expedition in two of the 4x4 magazines in 1991 or 2 I think.

During the expedition we made a small film about the endangered Black Rhino and its conservation. The Rhino filming was done in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.

Countries travelled through: France, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo (Zaire), Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and finally South Africa.

Happy Days!

Regards,

Diff

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1959! Strewth John! You've met me, and I hope I don't look old enough to have driven a Landrover across Africa in 1959!

Didn't mean it like that mate! :lol: It's just that the contents of the piccy give no real clue, as I said could be 1959 or 2007.

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Didn't mean it like that mate! :lol: It's just that the contents of the piccy give no real clue, as I said could be 1959 or 2007.

I know, I was just having a laugh :D.

Sadly the days of overlanding in the Algerian Sahara have changed. It has been politically difficult and impossible for many of the years since 1990. It is possible again now, but there are many restrictions, including the need to go with/hire guides.

In the 1980's there were very few restictions, and no need for guides. There was very little in the way of tarmac. Now, one or two routes are a piece of cake because some roads have been completed.

People have GPS and access to the internet to help with vehicle prep and route information which has also changed things a bit too.

Regards,

Diff

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Hi diff, thats a lovely evocative shot of the moment. Do you still have the 109?

you're travels sound exciting ....some Michelin maps,compass and food/water/spares..no GPS or sat phone.

Back in 1983 i " Africa-ised " a 109 Camper for a family (Rover diesel , 3 fuel tanks , roof box HD springs overhaul everything else ) . They had a great trip over 8 months UK to Tammanrasset & Agadez then to Dakar then back to UK.

.......mind you 3 months into their trip as the vehicle builder sat back home I did dream of sat radio to reassure me things were ok :P ..they were i just had no contact for ages....

looking after the son's Asia Rockster now ...he was 6 back then and I would still love to overland in Africa now

again lovely photo , any mad stories to tell ?

cheers

Steveb

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry I have taken a while to reply guys, I have just been out to Tunisia for a couple of weeks - Lovely! Sadly no old Land rover this time, dune bashing is a bit easier in a modern, powerful 4x4!

Cols, Yep, very hard work, no power steering and very little engine power to speak of! Always a challenge and never a dull moment. The reality is that with an underpowered, overloaded old bus, you tend to have to find ways around most dunes rather than routes over them! Would have loved the power of your TD5 back then.

Steve, back to basics travelling is certainly exciting. Sadly I had to sell that particular 109 in South Africa in order to pay for a flight home! I bet you wished you could have gone with the Landy you prepared. There's still time!

Many, many mad stories to tell from various expeditions. I may write some of them down one day. My son is 8 and likes some of my stories, so I might write them down so that he and his younger sister can have a laugh. I know it is hard for kids to realise that their parents used to have their own lives before they came along!

I may scan a few more photos in one day, If people want to see a few more. Trouble is, my time is always required elsewhere!

Jim, although bogged, I didn't spin the wheels in a pointless attempt to keep going up the dune, so luckily I was able to simply reverse back down since I had gravity helping me. No digging required on this occasion, though there were plenty of others!

Regards,

Diff

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Steve, back to basics travelling is certainly exciting. Sadly I had to sell that particular 109 in South Africa in order to pay for a flight home! I bet you wished you could have gone with the Landy you prepared. There's still time!

Many, many mad stories to tell from various expeditions. I may write some of them down one day. My son is 8 and likes some of my stories, so I might write them down so that he and his younger sister can have a laugh. I know it is hard for kids to realise that their parents used to have their own lives before they came along!

I may scan a few more photos in one day, If people want to see a few more. Trouble is, my time is always required elsewhere!

Ta for the reply ........would have loved to go but was in the middle of an eng apprenticeship......everything I'm doing now is to put myself in the right "place" to do more overlanding . I'd love to do something 2008/9 to celebrate 60yr birthday of our favourite marque so i'll keep at it . I'm sure lots of us would love to hear some of your travel stories so if you have time you'll get my vote.

Hey Jim, what prompted your move to SA was it after travels or work initially? Bet you have some tales to tell too eh?

cheers

Steveb

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