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The Road Chose Me: Driving an AEV equipped JKUR around Africa - 2+ years & 80,000mi.

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  • The Road Chose Me: Driving an AEV equipped JKUR around Africa - 2+ years & 80,000mi.

    Hi Everyone,

    My name is Dan Grec, I previously drove my 2000 TJ Wrangler 40,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina through 16 countries over 2 years. I documented the entire expedition on my website The Road Chose Me, and wrote a couple of magazine articles. That was the trip of a lifetime for me, and I became completely addicted to travel in remote parts of the world in my own Jeep.

    A year and a half ago I set out on my second big expedition, driving my 2011 JKUR around the entire continent of Africa.
    To date I have driven 18,000 miles through 17 countries on the West Coast of the continent, all the way through Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissua, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, DRC, and now Angola.
    Highlights have included the endless mud pits in Ivory Coast, the fast-pace and bribery attempts in Nigeria, the remoteness of Gabon and the mud slog through the DRC before crossing the Congo River on the smallest and most ramshackle ferry of my life.

    I will drive to the Southern tip of the continent before turning North on the East Coast all the way to Cairo in Egypt.

    Below is my planned vs. actual route:


    I heavily customized my Jeep with a ton of AEV kit, and a lot of unique modifications never before done to a JKUR including a drinking water tank, filtration and treatment system, a modified J30 Camper pop-up from Ursa Minor that allows me to stand up and walk around in the back of the Jeep and much, much more.
    You can see the entire build of the Jeep on my site here: The Road Chose Me - The Jeep


    The Jeep has performed brilliantly so far, with only a few minor modifications and repairs required. The AEV Tire carrier, suspension, bumpers and snorkel have all been flawless, and I genuinely could not complete this expedition without them.

    As well as regular updates on my website and writing for multiple magazines, I'm also posting to social media as I move around the continent.
    Instagram - @theroadchoseme
    Facebook - The Road Chose Me
    Twitter - @dangrec

    I'm also filming a YouTube series as I make my way around, here's a video that shows the road conditions I have been tackling on the West Coast:


    Feel free to ask any questions you have, I am always happy to help others get out there an explore in any way I can!

    I will keep this thread updated as I start the trek North on the East Coast.

    -Dan
    Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
    --
    Follow: Facebook / YouTube
    --
    WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

  • #2
    Hi All,

    Here are a few highlights from my Expedition so far along the West Coast of Africa:

    The Sahara Desert in Mauritania was stunning


    Guinea has some of the best waterfalls I have seen in my life begging to be explored:


    The beaches in Ivory Coast are some of the best I have seen in my life:


    Crossing Nigeria was intense. Hundreds of military roadblocks with bribery attempts (I paid zero), insane traffic and spectacular jungles and mountains.


    The wilderness and tracks to explore in Gabon are like nowhere else I have been. Also I bumped into this guy, the first forest elephant I saw, just walking along a road:


    The mud slog through the DRC is something I will never forget - smiling faces and the most ramshackle ferry of my life to cross the mighty Congo River!


    Now, after 3,088 miles in Angola, it's time to move into Namibia.
    Here is the hood of my Jeep as it stands today:


    -Dan
    Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
    --
    Follow: Facebook / YouTube
    --
    WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

    Comment


    • #3
      Awesome. Keep the videos coming.

      Pete

      Comment


      • #4
        Look at the tusks on that elephant.

        Comment


        • #5
          AMAZING!!! The things you've seen must be something few have or EVER will... Fantastic!!! I love following yours photos on Instagram..!!

          Safe travels and I look forward to more, Ben
          Ben Hedrick
          www.BenHedrick.com
          HEDRICK Speedsports

          "Ive got a Jeep problem"
          2007 5.7L HEMI Sahara Unlimited - Sold
          2010 6.1L HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
          2011 6.4L (392) HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
          2002 4.0L AEV Brute - Sold
          2003 6.4L "Stroker" HEMI AEV Brute - Sold
          2005 4.0L SC AEV K9 Brute - Sold
          2014 345 HEMI Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
          2000 4.0L AEV 112 Long Wheelbase
          2006 4.0L AEV Brute Rubicon

          Comment


          • #6
            Merry Christmas everyone!

            I have driven into Namibia, country number 18 - without any signs or warning, I swapped to driving on the left for the first time on the expedition.

            This should be interesting!




            More: http://theroadchoseme.com/into-namibia

            -Dan
            Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
            --
            Follow: Facebook / YouTube
            --
            WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

            Comment


            • #7
              I asked you about your tires on instagram and have been looking hard at that exact same tire. How true to size are they?
              "Dont wish for it,work for it."
              2014 Anvil Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited-Procal-Heat Reduction hood and Snorkel with prefilter-black Pintlers-Superlift 2.5 with AEV Geo brackets-buffalo key chain

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by forsakenfuture View Post
                I asked you about your tires on instagram and have been looking hard at that exact same tire. How true to size are they?
                I have photos and measurements somewhere.. I can't find them right now, sorry. Memory says they measured out to 32" mounted.
                There are pics here comparing them to the stock Rubicon BFG Mud Terrains : http://theroadchoseme.com/tire-selec...o2-all-terrain
                They are significantly taller and almost identical in width.

                -Dan
                Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
                --
                Follow: Facebook / YouTube
                --
                WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Everyone,

                  I have been exploring the extremely remote Namib Desert in the North West of Namibia.
                  It is absolutely spectacular. I'm wild camping every night and loving it!



                  Tons more photos here: http://theroadchoseme.com/the-namib-desert-namibia-pt-1

                  -Dan
                  Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
                  --
                  Follow: Facebook / YouTube
                  --
                  WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi All,

                    We have reached the Coast in Namibia, and I push the Jeep hard in the big dunes to get to the Sandwhich Harbor area of the Skeleton Coast!


                    http://theroadchoseme.com/around-sandwich-harbor

                    More: http://theroadchoseme.com/around-sandwich-harbor

                    With the KO2s down to 10psi the Jeep did great on the dunes.
                    With all the weight there were plenty I couldn't get up without staying in tire tracks.

                    -Dan
                    Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
                    --
                    Follow: Facebook / YouTube
                    --
                    WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi All,

                      We've been exploring down more dry riverbeds and bumping into all kinds of wildlife.




                      Also, this might just be the best wild camp of the entire expeidtion. Elevated above the riverbed waiting for animals to wander by!


                      And then back to the desert


                      Tons more pics: http://theroadchoseme.com/riverbeds-...s-and-wildlife

                      -Dan
                      Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
                      --
                      Follow: Facebook / YouTube
                      --
                      WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I really enjoy watching your adventure on Instagram!! I hope that you write a book, with LOTS of photos too!

                        Safe travels, Ben
                        Ben Hedrick
                        www.BenHedrick.com
                        HEDRICK Speedsports

                        "Ive got a Jeep problem"
                        2007 5.7L HEMI Sahara Unlimited - Sold
                        2010 6.1L HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
                        2011 6.4L (392) HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
                        2002 4.0L AEV Brute - Sold
                        2003 6.4L "Stroker" HEMI AEV Brute - Sold
                        2005 4.0L SC AEV K9 Brute - Sold
                        2014 345 HEMI Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
                        2000 4.0L AEV 112 Long Wheelbase
                        2006 4.0L AEV Brute Rubicon

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ben Hedrick View Post
                          I really enjoy watching your adventure on Instagram!! I hope that you write a book, with LOTS of photos too!

                          Safe travels, Ben
                          Thanks Ben!

                          I'm actually putting the finishing touches on my first book now - it's a collection of stories and lessons from my 2 year, 40,000 mile drive through 16 countries from Alaska to Argentina in my bone-stock TJ.

                          After the Africa Expedition I will write another for sure, and I plan to make a "coffee table" photo book too !

                          -Dan
                          Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
                          --
                          Follow: Facebook / YouTube
                          --
                          WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Grecy View Post

                            Thanks Ben!

                            I'm actually putting the finishing touches on my first book now - it's a collection of stories and lessons from my 2 year, 40,000 mile drive through 16 countries from Alaska to Argentina in my bone-stock TJ.

                            After the Africa Expedition I will write another for sure, and I plan to make a "coffee table" photo book too !

                            -Dan
                            That is good to hear. Put me down for a pre-ordered copy! I wish my life (sometimes) allowed me more "adventure" travel but it just hasn't. I've had LOTS of spectacular adventures and done many things in my life that few have so I although I can't drive a Jeep around the world, I can follow you and others that do. Keep sending the great stuff!

                            Thanks, Ben
                            Ben Hedrick
                            www.BenHedrick.com
                            HEDRICK Speedsports

                            "Ive got a Jeep problem"
                            2007 5.7L HEMI Sahara Unlimited - Sold
                            2010 6.1L HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
                            2011 6.4L (392) HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
                            2002 4.0L AEV Brute - Sold
                            2003 6.4L "Stroker" HEMI AEV Brute - Sold
                            2005 4.0L SC AEV K9 Brute - Sold
                            2014 345 HEMI Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
                            2000 4.0L AEV 112 Long Wheelbase
                            2006 4.0L AEV Brute Rubicon

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi All,

                              During all the dry riverbeds I found yet another wild camp that contents for best of the entire expedition.
                              Let me know what you think


                              More details on the riverbeds here: http://theroadchoseme.com/riverbeds-...s-and-wildlife

                              After all that it was time for a change of pace so I visited a Cheetah Conservation place.
                              I will never, ever forget patting a cheetah while he purrs loudly:

                              Details here: http://theroadchoseme.com/otjitotong...tah-guest-farm

                              And then it was time for a visit to Etosha National Park. I have been told no visit to Namibia is complete without a stop.
                              I enjoyed it, though I think I prefer the completely wild animals. I have been spoiled already

                              Tons of photos here: http://theroadchoseme.com/etosha-national-park

                              Namibia continues to impress. I love this place as much as I always thought I would!

                              -Dan
                              Africa circumnavigation in a Jeep Wrangler @ The Road Chose Me (previously Alaska->Argentina in a TJ)
                              --
                              Follow: Facebook / YouTube
                              --
                              WikiOverland.org - Everything you need to know to Travel Overland across a country, continent or the world.

                              Comment

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