African Overland Trip 2011

James Hawkins 'Jimbo'


As one of the four engineers on the crew Jim found it necessary to stop sitting in an office and do something a little different for a while. Working for the man is great - comes with many benefits including job security, regular hours and the guarantee of a comfortable bed, hot shower and good food.

Life on the road has none of these things but for some reason it appeared to be the most appealing option. It's time to make life difficult for ourselves, get gastro-enteritis and see some of the world! 

Jim's most important role in the team is inevitably going to be keeping the ever-magical and illustrious/revered Range Rover ticking over smoothly. Sharing this car with Rob, navigation is going to be sorted and they will both be sitting pretty on luxurious leather seats with Solihull's finest ploughing through the miles. Most notable is that this is the only car with working air conditioning. Don't worry ladies - plenty of space on the back seat! Other highlights for the trip are going to be seeing some fantastic landscape and indulging in some local culture. And of course towing the Toyotas. You know it's going to happen Douet!

Jenni Horan 'JFTB'

Back in 2004 Jenni spent nine months travelling around the world (through Southern Asia, Australisa & North America) and she hasn’t stopped since. With trips to Argentina, Brazil, Iceland & Japan under her belt as well as heading back to Australia and California to meet old friends, it is fair to say that Jenni has been bitten by the TravelBug! Having never touched foot on the African continent, when Pete asked if she wanted to join the team, there was never any other answer.  

When Jenni isn’t planning her next trip, she works as a Personal Assistant in London where she’s coveted roles in; Sales & Marketing, Policy & External Affairs, Corporate Finance, Tax & Legal, all leading to a fairly rounded view of today's world.

With an ability to navigate around not only the many Embassies, Jenni has managed to organise the full logistical ensemblement for the trip. 

Pete Douet 'The Captain'


Pete was first inspired to attempt an African overland trip after driving a friends African overland prepared ex-army Land Rover on some serious off road tracks on the farm aged 14. Since then Pete has travelled as often as possible and worked in Australia and New Zealand. Pete learned some useful engineering skills studying Mechanical Engineering at University and then as a design engineer working in the oil and gas industry, skills which will no doubt be required on this trip (Range Rover repair)! 

Bitten by the flying bug in his early twenties, Pete has flown for a reconnaissance firm on various maritime pollution control contracts, and worked as a commercial pilot flight instructor. His ultimate aviation aspiration is to display fly in a Spitfire.

During his spare time on this trip Pete hopes to while away the time enjoying card games, banter and beers around the campfire, tinkering with the trucks, having a bash at celestial navigation and will finally get to see the mighty Zambezi river.

Peter Hawkins 'Professor Pete' 


Pete has been dreaming of an African overland trip ever since he spent a year driving the perimiter of Austrailia in 2004.
Having grown up in deepest Devon, he learned of his local village's involvement in setting up the Charity "Friends of Nzega"; focused on helping a small village in Tanzania.
The charity has benefitted from community projects such financing the training of nurses for the local hospital and shipping over a Land Rover, converted for use as an Ambulance.
Wanting to do get involved with some charitable work en-route, Friends of Nzega has been chosen as the official charity and the team will be helping with associated community projects in the village.   
Aside from travelling, Pete has a real passion for sport (in particular cycling), and has travelled all over the world competing in endurance triathlon events at an international level. However he is looking forward to a year off competition to once again go exploring!
Having said that he will of course be taking the compulsory bicycle with him to maintain fitness, and provide a useful back-up mode of transport for the Range Rover team! 

The weapon of choice is a Toyota Land Cruiser which apart from it's bomb poof construction, has a healthy apetite for Diesel! 


Rachel Sanders  'The Colonel'


"Having grown up abroad I love travelling and have explored parts of Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand as well as living in two African countries albeit for a short time only! Driving from the UK to South Africa has been a goal for sometime and I am so excited about the things to come from stunning landscapes, camping in literally the middle of nowhere, (hopefully) seeing the live volcanoes in the Danakil Depression to getting stuck in the mud, again and again!  I love meeting locals, haggling in markets and I am sure I will benefit from the lessons in patience we are bound to receive from the various officials! I am definitely privileged to be embarking in this trip with such fine folk - I know we will have bountiful laughs and will be able to get through the tough times together!"

Rob Willis 'Nobbie'


Rob’s inspiration for the trip stems from his time flying for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sudan. As they say, ‘Africa gets in your blood.’ So this is a great opportunity to revisit and explore more of the best the continent has to offer.

Rob plans on spending his African nights learning the guitar with James’ help, reading some classic books and learning to speak a new language… and of course helping fix the Toyotas!



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