Six weeks after the “Overland 12” expedition commenced, the caravan arrived in Lome, the capital of Togo. The orange convoy had travelled through 9 of the 28 countries outlined in the itinerary.
In Ghana’s capital of Accra, prior to reaching Togo, the first partial team replacement took place. As originally planned before the expedition departed, some of the crew left the mission and back home.
This was an emotional time for both the old and new crews. The old crew left to return back home with an abundance of unforgettable memories of a unique experience, whilst the new crew were fearful of having to live up to the very high standards set by their colleagues. At home, this nostalgic feeling is humorously referred to as “mal d’Overland” rather than the traditional “mal d’Afrique”
Crew turnover has become necessary as a result of the high stress and risks that are faced during expeditions of this nature.
Travelling across countries with no political stability, territories with poor or no viability, and regions where armed conflicts have left war debris like mines are the main concerns on the itinerary.
Another danger, even more menacing and invisible, is the risk of infectious disease. Prevention is compulsory; the entire crew underwent a rigorous vaccination programme against malaria, yellow fever and typhoid fever, diseases that continuously infect the African continent.
As the expedition crew had to be ready and prepared for every challenge that may occur during this trip, the Iveco vehicles also had to be rigorously prepared to guarantee versatility to cross the most difficult and binding off-road steps of the expedition: excellent vehicle specifications and a thorough additional preparation made it possible for the “Overland 12” convoy to maintain the demanding schedule and match all of its objectives.