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Across Africa in Trabants

a Trabant 601 Estate
a Trabant 601 Estate

A team of five Czechs has an intention to cross African continent in two East German oldtimers - Trabants 601 combi – without any modern technical equipment. Those guys are determined to pursue the route of two compatriots Frantisek Vladimir Fojta and Jiri Baum who were the first Czechs to cross the Black continent by car in 1931.

The team of adventurers is to start its expedition on September 9, 2009 in Prague and head to the ending point of the journey - Cape Town, South Africa. On the way they will have to cross 11 African countries: Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and finally South African Republic. In total they will have to manage a distance of some 20,000 km.

Dan Přibáň, one of the adventurers, explained their choice of vehicle to a Czech Radio correspondent: “It was a very simple car. It wasn’t a Volga or Škoda – it was just a simple small car from the 1950s. At that time, it was a great car, but in the 1990s, when its production ended, it was really bad. But we would like to pay tribute to two Czech travellers from the 1930s who had a simple car with a small engine, and Trabant is very much the same car. We could take vintage cars but it’s really expensive, and it would be a pity to take a car like this, so we took Trabants...”

This Trans-African journey is not the first serious adventure for the guys. Some two years ago they participated in the Trans National Trabant expedition that covered more than 15,000 km along the ancient Silk Road. The African trip will likely take about a couple of months. According to the brave globetrotters the main problems that they can face during the expedition will be most likely not those caused by nature but having bureaucratic or political origin.

Photo: a Trabant 601 Estate, by Charles01 (wikimedia.org)

Date: 28/08/2009

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