Truck Stuck in the Serengeti

6

Sunday 01 March, 2015 by Uncle Spike

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

.

Adventure travel is rightly famous for its ‘adventure’, and none more so than overland travelling in a converted large truck. One such trip we experienced was a three week overland adventure across East Africa, traversing Kenya and Tanzania.

There were a number of notable events, but one unlikely to be forgotten overnight was the coming across of a swollen riven and damaged roadway deep in the Serengeti, with darkness just a couple of hours away.

.

IMG_0431_blog

.

Normally, such an incident would not have posed a great problem, but our large converted Mercedes truck wasn’t as agile as a small 4×4, and therefore needed more road space. Even though the truck had large rough-road tyres, jacked up reinforced suspension, it was also a number of tonnes over the weight of a small jeep, and as a result, presented further challenges when faced with ‘missing’ chunks of roadway, surrounded by deep slippery oozing mud!

.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

.

As the Serengeti is an enormous area of 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq miles), and with no hope of turning back that late in the day (we were miles from the entrance gate by that point), there was no other choice but to press on. The first challenge was to try and rebuild the road, where the river had washed away a large section of the dirt road.

The cook and third member of the team kept a careful watch on us as we worked; and rightly so, as the river had its fair share of resident crocodiles and hippos, and the surrounding woods and grasslands home to elephants and big cats, all roaming wild and potentially up for a late afternoon snack. 

We weren’t particularly worried as we’d been camping wild for a time by that point, but with darkness approaching, the sense of urgency was real – normally we’d have the truck parked up, camp fire burning and all tents set up in a circle long before the approach of dusk.

Slowly, a large pile of heavy rocks piled up by the road, ready to be put to good use – we’d earned our dinner at least.

.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

.

It was work for all hands, with a couple of tonnes of rocks recovered from the riverside, passing them along to the driver and his mate to build up the missing section in a way that would support the weight of the fully-laden truck.

.

Snapshot 3 (01-03-2015 13-54)_blog

.

The roadway muddy as hell too, which made for some interesting truck manoeuvring just to get it in place to cross the river. With a couple of shovels, a lot of grunt, and well-placed large steel track-boards, the issue of the mud was overcome as the sun was starting to head off for the day. 

.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

.

After a couple of nervous false starts where the rocks started to shift, forcing some quick repacking and holding of our collective breath, the truck inched forwards towards the flooded bridge itself. We just stood there like lemons at this point, just hoping our efforts hadn’t been in vain. After all, that truck held all the food, camping gear and all our possessions, as well as representing our ‘security and sanctuary’, so a lot was riding on those few tense minutes! 

.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

.

And that was it… almost two hours behind schedule and the light fading, the truck safely crossed the river. Of course, only one driver was on board to minimise the risk, having taking the presumption that the bridge hadn’t been weakened by the flood, and could take the extra weight. The rest of us had to wade across – but with the wreckage of a jeep to be seen further down the river, we agreed it was worth the discomfort of wet feet!

.

Snapshot 1 (01-03-2015 13-53)_blog

.

With camp set up after dark that night, it was all hands back to work once again to rustle up an evening meal as the camp was made as secure as possible, all set to the sounds of the Serengeti at night. Had a great night’s sleep after all the excitement, even if one ear/eye refused to cooperate, as is the way when camping wild.

.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Truck Stuck in the Serengeti

  1. joannesisco says:

    Great story Spike. I’ve been in similar situations but none quite as tense as this one!!

    Like

  2. In the Philippines, there are many rural roads as muddy (or even muddier) than these. Traversing them requires motorcycles! Hehehe!

    Great photos as always!

    Liked by 1 person

...waiting to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Page Views

  • 541,080 and counting...

Join 2,859 other followers

Posts by Category

Member of The Internet Defense League

Copyright

© Uncle Spike, Uncle Spike's Adventures, 2013-2017

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Uncle Spike and Uncle Spike's Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Reblogs, pingbacks and other such links in order to use Uncle Spike's material are of course welcomed.

%d bloggers like this: