Pre-Departure Note

In four days I am going to hop on a plane to Cape Town, South Africa.

From there I plan on spending roughly the next year traveling via an indirect route from Cape Town to Cairo; slowly and close to the ground.

Spending an unconstrained amount of time traveling through central Africa and into remote areas of Africa is something that I have wanted to do for many years.  But the ideal time to depart for such a trip was always some time further in the future.  So I decided to leave my job, bought a plane ticket to set a hard date and started boxing up everything in my Chicago apartment and moving it into my grandma's basement.  The past few weeks have been full of packing, moving, getting together with friends, endless back and forth with the Angolan Embassy in DC trying to get a visa, getting immunizations and prescriptions, and trying to fit what I want to take with me into a 30 liter pack. 

Tomorrow is my last day at work.  Tomorrow afternoon I am taking a rental car full of what is left in my apartment and driving to the great state of Wisconsin to spend three days with friends and family before heading back to Chicago on Sunday night to catch my flight to Cape Town.

There are few things in life that I enjoy more than traveling and I am very much looking forward to the experiences, the people I will meet, and the places I will see as I move along on this trip.
Travelogue | Riding and racing ostriches in Oudtshoorn, South Africa »


Have a fantastic trip, John!

How much are you budgeting for the whole trip?

It is difficult to give a number for the entire trip - primarily because I do not know how long the entire Cape Town to Cairo trip will take. So far I have been getting by on an average of about US$30 per day for accommodation, food and transportation.

Wow, you have become quite the world traveler!! Please be safe and have a wonderful trip! I can't wait to see your posts in Egypt!!

John!! I am so very excited for you!! You are going to have the most fabulous time!! Cannot wait to hear about all your adventures! I will keep you posted on the Rwandan trip - it will most likely be this fall. A rendezvous in Africa would be most appropriate. Bon voyage!! Safe travels Mr. Bradley

Good luck man! I can't wait to follow you....virtually.

Safe travels!

Hey John, I hope you have a fantastic and life changing journey.

Your plan is similar to what I plan on doing in 2011. I'll keep informed about your journey.

Will you be putting any information about the bus routes and companies (when they apply) that you'll be using to get from place to place? I think it would be a great source of reference and inspiration to fellow travelers who are contemplating this epic itinerary.

Hi Jason, The trip has been absolutely fantastic so far - not a bad day yet (although I have stayed at backpackers/hostels in Maputo and Johannesburg where guests have come back in the evening after being mugged and relieved of their possessions). I have met a number of fascinating and generous individuals and am looking forward to new experiences as I continue to head North. I have been keeping track of the bus and minibus taxi rank locations in most of the cities I have been in. I will work on putting that information together on a page and send you an email once I get it up.

Hi there,

I live in Cape Town. You should have contacted a number of tv shows over here, so that they could have too documented your travels.

Anyways, how is it going so far...and where about are you now?


Shaun W

Hi Guys,
I'll go in September with a group of 12 old cars (pre 1972) from Capetown to Cairo and I am looking for a co-driver or navigator. I'll drive with my Mercedes 280s this 7 weeks trip.
We have to manage 13.000 km throuhg complete Africa.... If someone is interessted plesae contact me...

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Taking off to some unidentified place in the heart of Africa – somewhere with no electricity, no running water and at least one week’s journey from anything resembling a city has been a long time dream of mine.

My name is John Bradley and in May 2009, I left my job in Chicago, sold my car, moved everything else I owned into my grandma’s basement and flew to Africa. I plan to take roughly one year to overland on a budget from Cape Town to Cairo. I do not have an itinerary; I have no idea where I will be five days from now. My path is guided by the attempt to balance the urge to see and experience as much as I can with the desire to travel slowly and close to the ground.

This is where I will post my stories, photos, and videos as I move along on my journey. Feel free to post comments or send me an email with any thoughts or suggestions.

Current location: Coffee Bay, South Africa

Distance traveled: 42,790 km

Days on the road: 366

(last updated 5/16/10)

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