Not everyone gets to see Africa

About our trip

The trip will start from Manchester in January 2014 and finish in Cape Town, South Africa in May. Nick is the Chief Executive of Henshaws Society for Blind People, from where he is taking an unpaid sabbatical from his post and Claire is an author, journalist and magazine editor. The journey will take four months and will be narrated as we travel by Claire, creating an audio, as well as a written blog. Our aim is to not only update people on the progress of the trip, but also give those that have a visual impairment a taste of what can be seen in Africa. We have been trained by staff at Henshaws to describe what we see in a way that will include those that have never had any sight at all.

Our sixteen-year-old Toyota Landcruiser has been specially prepared for the challenges ahead, including the fitting of a safari roof tent, cooker and fridge that means that we will be able to travel independently and sleep on the roof of the vehicle. We are lucky to have travelled extensively around the world and have shared our passion for travel with our two boys. They are both at university but will join us for part of the trip in central Africa.

Our travels will start in Egypt. Following the Nile south, we will move through the deserts of Sudan into the highlands of Ethiopia. In Kenya and Tanzania we will travel through a number of big game reserves before moving into Malawi and Zambia. Revisiting one of our favourite places Botswana, we will then head west through the Namibian desert to the Skeleton Coast and finally head south to Cape Town in South Africa.

By using this website and an audio blog we aim to open up our journey to the blind and VI communities across the world and include them in our exploration of the African continent.

Henshaws provides expert support advice and training to blind and VI individuals, with the aim to increase confidence, improve communication skills and encourage independence. They use a variety of modern technology, including iPhones and iPads. Communicating these opportunities to others will in turn open the doors to many other types of exploration.

We will cover all expedition costs personally and all funds raised will go directly to delivering the work of Henshaws.

If you would like to support the work of Henshaws please donate now.

10 Responses to “About our trip”

  1. Hi Guys,
    Have just read your article in the Times and wanted to wish you luck on your trip. My husband and I have just completed our overland journey from Sydney to London via East Africa,so if you need any information or have any questions just let us know! Our website is

  2. Nusrat Rahim says:

    Good luck guys. Africa has always been close to my heart as I was born in Tanzania. I see from your route that you will be crossing Tanzania but will miss the town I grew up in, Mbeya. I look forward to reading about your adventures. Happy Safari!

  3. John and Barbara says:

    Wow, fab, good luck, we are so envious, I spent my early years in East Africa. A few years ago we planned to do similar but my Father was so worried we abandoned plans but have been to Africa several times. Will follow your journey.

  4. Jacquie says:

    Very excited to read about your journey in the ST’s.
    Good luck, I’m unashamedly an arm chair supporter, I could not dream of doing such a challenge.
    But we too love S Africa, but as a predictable tourist….. and flying to Cape Town!
    However I shall follow you all the way and hopefully learn more about this wonderful continent.
    We shall wish you bon voyage, and the very best wishes.

  5. Ian Chris Hamish Camilla Harvey says:

    Well done very envious. We did it in 3 old L/cruisers in 2007; fortuitous time as we could drive all the way via Europe, Turkey, Syria (where they could not have been more helpful) Jordon, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya (where Ian & Chris live). Subsequently we did the Southern trip too in 2008 TZ, Malawi, Zim, Botswana, Namibia (skeleton coast per your plans), Capetown and back via Botswana, Zambia, TZ to Kenya. Similarly we converted these wonderful old cars to take fridges, extra water, roof-tents et al. It was purely a hedonistic trip but you are doing it for a good cause – well done! I don’t know if we (Ian/Chris – my brother/wife live in UK) can be of any help when you pass through Kenya – but please contact us if we can. Mob +254711228858. Best of luck with the trip ICHC.

  6. michael hodson says:

    Dear Nick and Claire,

    I’ve waited until you are well into the first stages of your expedition before contacting you. I admire and envy you and I can’t wait to see the latest photographs. It is wonderful that you have been able to weave your own thirst for travel and adventure into furthering the terrific work Henshaws does.

    What caught my breath was your description of the caravan passing by. ‘Away, for we are ready to a man! Our camels sniff the evening and are glad. Lead on, Oh Master of the Caravan; lead on the Merchant-Princes of Bagdad..’ (James Elroy Flecker’s, The Golden Journey to Samarkand.)

    The western desert and the Simian mountains of Ethiopia draw me.

    Take care of yourselves. It is good to hear of those you travel amongst taking care of you as well. There is so much simple daily goodness in the all peoples of the world which is lost in the tumult of national and religious conflict.

    Perhaps it is that the traveller draws out of us the admiration for the adventurer, the desire for news from abroad and the natural love in us to protect and nurture those who move through the landscape. Perhaps travellers are talismen of our need for movement and progress.

    With my love, and that of Jo, Carl, Rosie, Frankie, Andrew, Isaac,and Jonah.

    Yours Aye,


  7. Samuel Okello says:

    Hello Family,
    I saw your entourage this evening of 6th march 2014 in Nakawa center, Kampala, Uganda and was intrigued about the adventure.. am a true fan of road trips and it was great to havinh seen you.. i just had to blog immediately to know more about the group… Journey well and regards from Uganda..

    • Hi Samuel, thanks for getting in touch. It’s great that you took the time to look us up. We’ve loved Uganda and Kampala and have been made really welcome here. Heading off to Kisoro and the mountains today and we’re now really looking forward to it.

      Thanks for your support and keep in touch.

      Nick and Claire

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