Next to the old-fashioned atlas and road maps on paper, we will also use modern technique to find our way.
We will use a Garmin Map 276C GPS System. In order to navigate with this system we will use:
World Map: This is the basic map of Garmin
Maps of Tracks 4 Africa, you can download them at
Maps of Tracks 4 Australia, you can download them at Different from the African maps, these maps do not contain much information about campsites, gas stations etcetera yet, but they do contain a lot of roads and tracks. At the moment you can still download these maps for free.
Open street Maps: Free maps for Garmin. Maps of almost the whole world are available (for Mac and Windows). Link to maps: Here you will find an instruction for installing the maps: . As OSM uses only one filename when downloading the maps you will need an extra program to rename the maps in order to built your own database with maps of all countries you want to visit. The program we use is: JaVaWa.
Our meaning after the trip: We used our GPS device every day. For navigation, information about the altitude and for sunset and sunrise times. When you go to Africa, as indispensible as a GPS are the tracks for Africa maps. Every road interesting for travellers are on these maps.
Our website a an important communication tool.
Our meaning after the trip: Maintaining the website was a lot of work but is was also a lot of fun and in brought in contact with many great people. Even today it still does. For us it was worth it.
In addition to our Iphone we will also ring an old sim-lock free Nokia. De Iphone will mainly be used as smartphone voor pictures, movies, internet through wifi etc. The old Nokia will be used for making phone calls with localy bought sim cards.
Our meaning after the trip: A normal mobile phone is very handy. You will have recpetion almost every where and local sim cards are easily available. With a local sim making phone calls to Holland was often very cheap and receiving text messages was free most of the time. United Mobile does not exist anymore.
In more and more cybershops you will find Skype installed on the computers. With Skype you can make phone calls with a computer. This is by far the most cheapest way to make international phone calls; you only pay internet costs. There is however one condition; the person you are calling also must have Skype installed on his or her PC. In order to make phone calls with Skype we will bring two headsets and two splitters. This way we can both listed and talk during a phone call.
Our meaning after the trip: Skype is one of the best inventions. On many pc’s in internet shops Skype is installed. You only need to bring your own headset. Making calls from one computer to another is free with Skype. However we also used if for making phone calls to normal land lines. You just have to buy some credits. Making phone calls this way is very cheap and reception in pretty good.
For some music during long trips we bought an Ipod. An MP3-player has some mayor advantages. First you can bring your whole music collection without carrying a lot of cd's and second, an mp3-speler is not sensitive to dust and shocks, which of course is a big advantage when driving off-road. Together with the Ipod, we have an extra fuse to charge it using the 12-volt outlet and play music over the car radio.
For some music around the car when camping, we also bought a set of small mini speakers for the Ipod or laptop.
Our meaning after the trip: The Ipod was used a lot. Do not forget to bring national music. Because far from home this is great. We also often used the small speakers. Attached to a noteboot you have a better sound when watching a movie.
Thanks to modern techniques we do not have to bring along a heavy pile of books anymore. For reading we bought an Ereader. After some comparison we choose the Kindle Paperwhite. A small lightweight reader that reads like a real book and has extra led lights for reading in the dark. The disavantage of the Kindle is that is does not handle .epub files. But there are many free programs available to convert them. We are using Calibre.
Photo and film
HD action camera:
For filming in action we bought a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition. The camera is dust and waterproof. We will use the camera for filming while driving, swimming or doing other activities. Maybe, if we have enough space, we will bring along a kite that can carry the GoPro to make aerials.
Digital reflex camera:
On our journey most pictures will be made with our digital reflex camera, a Nikon D5300. With the camera we will use an 18-135mm and an 70-300mm lens.
Our meaning after the trip: The digital camcorder and compact camera we brought along on our first trip will remain home. We hardly used them the first time and no with the GoPro and Ipone they will be redundant.
On the road a notebook is almost indispensable. Therefore we did not economize. We choose a well-known international brand that is delivered and can hopefully also be repaired all over the world. On our journey the notebook will be mainly used for maintaining the website, for our travel administration, for (un)loading our GPS maps to our Garmin device and for saving video, pictures and other information.
Our meaning after the trip: The notebook was indispensible. We used it for loading maps onto our GPS, for maintaining our websites, storage of pictures and movies.
External hard drive:
In order to have some extra capacity for saving all our images we also have an additional hard disk. An extra advantage of an external hard disk is the possibility to easily make a backup of all the software and information on our notebook.
Our meaning after the trip: Very needed for making a backup of all your data (maps pictures etc). We also loaded many movies on the drive and watched it later on the notebook.
These we will mainly use for uploading our website or downloading information. The USB keys are small and easy to use cybercafé’s.
Our meaning after the trip: You cannot do without if you want to maintain a website. As you cannot connect you own notebook at all times you need it for uploading your websites in Internet cafe’s. However nowadays Wi-Fi is available more and more which makes uploading with your data with your own laptop more easy.
Equipment (used in 2007, but we will not bring it with us again)
Although many of the travellers that have returned say you actually do not really need such a phone, we still bought one, just to be safe. We will not only carry it for our own safety, but we also find it important that our family can reach us at any time, in case something happens with them. The telephone we will use is a Motorola 9505 that uses the Iridium network. A big advantage of the phone is the possibility to send sms messages that are free of charge for both the receiver and the sender. As these phones are pretty expensive we bought a used one on EBay in Germany. We bought our prepaid minutes from a Belgium company . they were not expensive and offered good service. Please note: Iridium guarantees receipt every between the North and South Pole. However receipt does not mean that you can call everywhere. In some countries, for example Sudan, using satellite communication is not always allowed. This has to do with political reasons. We bought two sim cards. One will be activated immediately and will be loaded with African prepaid minutes (Africa is a special zone and these minutes are much cheaper that "world minutes"). The second sim card will be activated later when we leave Africa and will then be loaded with a prepaid card with "world minutes". Once a sim card is activated with African minutes you cannot use it for "world minutes" anymore. Despite the extra costs for an extra sim card and activation costs this option still saves us many euro's and is much cheaper than buying only prepaid "world minutes". By buying the second sim card immediately and bringing it with you, you do not have the problem of receiving it by mail without having an postal address.
Our meaning after the trip: We brought a satellite phone mainly for our own feeling. It gave us a sense of more safety. In reality however we hardly used it. Somewhere halfway we started using up our expensive minutes otherwise they would be lost. If you want to bring it for making convenient phone calls you might get disappointed. Reception was not always very good.
For communication within short distances we bought two walkie-talkies. We will use these when travelling together with another car or to keep in touch with each other when for instance one has to arrange something whilst the other has to stay with the car. Our walkie-talkies have a 3-kilometer reach.
Our meaning after the trip: We never used them and would not bring them again. The main problem is the amount of batteries you need.
As we do not want to spend a lot of money on disposable batteries we will use a battery charger that can charge all battery sizes.
Our meaning after the trip: We did not used this a lot. It takes a lot of time before the batteries are fully charged and even then they are not that powerful than disposable batteries. And another disadvantage the rechargeable batteries do not last as long as disposables one. Eventually we stopped charging batteries and just bought them. You can buy them everywhere.