In the Spring we decided to organize an expedition in true “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” Jeep-style, intending to demonstrate how this adagio still holds in our modern society and to show that there are still places on this earth where you need a true 4×4 to get to. Special care is taken to do this with a lot of respect for nature and local people, and the Ecospedition reflected this.
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The goal of the expedition was the Akakus mountain range in Libya, a country of which we mostly know rather dark stories of it’s political leaders and is only slowly coming out of its international isolation. Our reconmissions, however, had shown us that the Libyans are very hospitable and that the landscapes are breathtaking.
The expedition was organized by Gerrit Seys, President of Jeepclub Belgium, who is an experienced chief-instructor of the Jeep Academy school and an experienced world traveler. It was composed of ten Jeep Wranglers, two Unimog 4×4 trucks, and one organization MAN expedition truck. Six JKs were manned with Jeep Academy instructors and were driven overland to Sheba, Libya for a plane-group of winners of a Chrysler sales incentive and contest called “Jeep Eco Challenge.”
The Group took the ferry in Genova, Italy after a 1.100 kilometer drive from Belgium. Unfortunately, the ferry had a twenty hour delay because of bad weather so it was off to a hotel and a real Italian pizza. On Sunday, we boarded the ship and after a calm crossing, we reached Tunis, Tunisia, where we easily crossed the checks at the border patrol. A quick lunch and a diesel fill-up, and it was off to Gabes in the south. The next day brought us closer to Libya, through Ben Guerdane and Ras el Jir. The more we reached the south, the more the skies got dark and by the time we reached Ben Guerdane, the streets and border crossings were flooded by heavy rains. We decided to organize a camp on the beach of Zuara.
The next day, on our route to Nalut, we stopped to visit a few Gorfa’s. These are ancient fortified food storage compounds of the Touareg, which were guarded by the elder warriors of the group while the younger ones herded the flocks in the region.