Words by Simeon Gready - November 2014

For many people, Africa is place of great mystery. In the traditionally overexposed Western world, it is a largely unknown quantity, a relentless and complex collection of cultures and peoples and places and landscapes. Where one might speak of its beauty, they also speak of its poverty. Where one might speak of its hopes, they also speak of its corruption. Where one might speak of its spirit, they also speak of its wars.

For me, a self-proclaimed South African with British roots, Africa is a place where there is a great deal to learn. There is a chance to connect with people of vastly differing backgrounds, experiences, traditions andbeliefs. It is a great place to think and to grow and to be.

As of 4th November 2014, Benny Buckle and I will be embarking on a 7-week overland Cape Town-Cairo public transport trip. We will leave bustling Cape Town at 10am on a bus to Windhoek in Namibia, before swiftly rattling along to the friendly faces of Livingstone in Zambia. We will pass through Lusaka before a week on the serene waters of Lake Malawi, after which we'll catch the heralded TAZARA train from Mbeya to Dar-es Salaam in Tanzania. Our journey will continue up through Moshi and then across the Kenyan border, approaching the soulful beats of Nairobi via Mombasa. We will then head up the bumpy road to Moyale, where we will cross into colourful Ethiopia; after some time in Addis Ababa, we will pass through Lalibela on the way to Gondar, before sliding (untroubled) into Sudan. After experiencing Khartoum, and a night at the Nubian Pyramids of Meroe, we will proceed up to Wadi Halfa and catch a ferry up the Nile into Aswan in Egypt. Finally, a train will steer us through the vast terrains of Egypt towards the hustle of Cairo.

Throughout this journey, I will be telling the stories of my travels through the conversations I have on the way. By taking public transport, we will have the unique opportunity to talk to people on the move with time to tell their stories. I hope I can do their stories justice. These stories will also be intertwined and complemented by posts on my own reflections and observations that I develop along the way.

I will look to connect with people, places, cultures and myself in an effort to learn, grow and teach. It is an incredibly exciting opportunity and a journey of huge personal significance.

Benny will photograph the journey:

We are also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and will be updating throughout the trip: