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Sturdy Suzuki Jimny takes adventure couple more than 20,000 kilometres across Africa

Sturdy Suzuki Jimny takes adventure couple more than 20,000 kilometres across Africa

Husband and wife adventurers, Tarryn and Shane Quinell had the surprise of their lives in the past two weeks when unexpected thunder showers almost brought an end to their epic cross-country trip through a dozen African countries.

“Namibia surprised us with two major rainstorms in two weeks, after only seeing a little bit of rain three times in the past six months,” said Shane adding that after many months travelling through Africa covering more than 19,000 kilometres, the two found themselves in the worst of rainstorms in none other than Namibia.

Styling themselves as Team Tane, after Tarryn and Shane, the two entered Namibia from Zambia. Earlier in their travels, the team had a major breakdown in the Serengeti which also gave them the opportunity to relax in Zanzibar for a few days. They are travelling in a 2001 Suzuki Jimny, which they fondly call Badger, to demonstrate the concept of what they define as “light” exploration. Namibia is their last country before returning to Johannesburg during the next week.

Not only did Team Tane find themselves knee deep in mud in their Jimny in the northern parts of Namibia, but the heavy storms nearly ended their six-month long adventure when lightning brought down a large tree right next to their tent during one of the storms.

Shane and his wife Tarryn have been documenting the environmental marvels, friendly faces and fascinating cultures of inhabitants of various African countries on their #SuzukiAfricaSkyHigh adventure as they travelled to Africa’s five highest mountains and back. The two of them scaled each of the five highest mountains, starting with Mt Baker in Uganda and ending with Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Following their mechanical problems in Tanzania which was sorted out in part by one of their main sponsors, Suzuki Auto South Africa, the company’s Marketing Manager, Charl Grobler said “We are not just helping you because of the sponsorship, we would do the same for any of our clients.”

So impressed are they with the performance of their Jimny that the only drawback they experienced were the frequent interruptions by tourguides and other offroaders who could not believe how capable the diminutive 4×4 is.

“We hoped to stop over in Angola before heading to Namibia, but the visa process proved very difficult. In Zambia, we stayed with the Ria family in Lusaka, who welcomed us back like family after our first stay when we were heading North. That’s but one of the amazing parts of an adventure like this, all the amazing people you meet and the hospitality they offer,” said Tarryn.

“The road from Livingstone to Katima and ultimately to the border proved to be another tough test for the Jimny. The tar looked like scabs falling off an old wound and the border crossing into Namibia was a gruelling three-hour affair in the hot African sun” the two stated.

Namibia has been a treat for the touring couple. They visited some San and Himba communities and documented a little bit of their culture and lifestyle on their website and on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.



About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.