Two Malaysian women travel on wheels as they zip across Africa in 4WD

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 — Two women embraced their passion for travel by taking on the challenge of driving around the world’s second largest continent, Africa, in a four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle.

Zulaina Ismail, 56, and Ayla Azhari, 47, who are currently living in the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, arrived in South Africa on August 17 in a Toyota Land Cruiser unit sent by sea cargo from Port Klang. The expedition began overland from Cape Town.

The pair embarked on an “Out of Africa” adventure that covered 14 countries in the south and east of the African continent, and have so far covered more than 15,000 kilometers across six countries, including South Africa and Eswatini (formerly known as the country). Swaziland), Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Namibia.

Their trip will end in Kenya in early April next year, before continuing with expeditions to continental Europe and Asia before returning overland to Malaysia.

Zulaina, affectionately known as Nana, told Bernama that she did not set a specific schedule for the expedition, but based on certain aspects such as interesting locations, current weather conditions, distance traveled, and a campsite to spend the night. He said he planned it.

“We are slow travelers, so we don’t have to go out every day. We try to keep our travel time to no more than 300km or 5 hours of driving.

Zuraina Ismail and Ayla Azhari’s passion for travel led them to try their hand at four-wheel drive (4WD) driving in Africa, the world’s second largest continent. — Bernama Photo

“This is because my 4WD is 28 years old. Sometimes I break the rules and drive up to 500-600km,” she says, adding that both costs are set at less than RM10,000 a month. He added that there is. This includes accommodation, meals, fuel, vehicle maintenance, and entrance fees to tourist attractions.

Mr. Nana, a former senior manager of the company, said that one of the main challenges they had to face was having to adapt to the changing weather conditions as different countries have different weather conditions. said.

For example, when I was in Zimbabwe, the temperature was 35 degrees Celsius (°C), in South Africa it dropped to 16 degrees Celsius, and in Namibia, when I was in the desert region, the temperature exceeded 40 degrees Celsius.

“Additionally, driving on land, such as in Namibia, where 80% of the roads are unpaved, introduces dust and dirt into the 4WD, so cleaning it first before going to bed is a routine for us.” ,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ira says one of her fondest memories is the opportunity to drive on safari and get up close to free-roaming wild animals, as depicted in animal documentaries such as National Geographic and Animal Planet. He said that it happened.

Aira Azhari says one of her fondest memories was driving through safaris and getting up close to free-roaming wild animals like those depicted in animal documentaries such as National Geographic and Animal Planet. He said it was time. — Bernama Photo

She said some of the safaris they visited were in Eswatini’s Mirwane Wildlife Reserve and the Hranay Royal National Park. Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe. and Etosha National Park in Namibia.

Safaris in these countries require sightseeing under certain conditions, such as following a set route, not leaving the vehicle, not getting too close to animals, and spending the night only in designated campsites. He said customers are allowed to drive their own cars. Published in official gazette.

“In zoos, wild animals are kept in cages, but on safari the difficulties are different, because it is not easy to find or bump into animals… luck and patience and being there You have to rely on your knowledge of animals.

“So, while driving on safari myself, I got to see animals up close – elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, African animals, etc. – as a ‘National Geographic’ moment. “There were a lot of incidents that could be categorized: buffaloes and various other species of animals in their natural habitat,” she said.

Those interested in the unique story of the duo’s expedition can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and kelanadunia_7667, which is updated regularly. — Bernama

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