11th December, Hugh has reached Malaga on the South Coast of Spain after some wild storms delayed his leaving Kilkenny. From here he will be crossing to Morocco and the sparsely populated, disputed territory of Western Sahara; through the largely desert country of Mauritania; to the first destination - the “forbidden city” of Timbuktu in Mali, a country of ancient empires going back to the fourth century. The second stage is south through Dogon territory, across the 'Sahel' of Burkina Faso and Niger, two of the poorest and most drought prone countries in the world; into the Muslim north of Africa's most populous country Nigeria; then into Central Africa and the Cameroon, "Africa in miniature" with its geographical and climatic diversity; to prosperous Gabon noted for efforts to preserve the natural environment with what may be the largest area of protected national parks in the world. The final stage south is through the lush equatorial rain-forest (and 'challenging' infrastructure) of the Congo (Brazzaville) and Democratic Republic of Congo; Angola, recovering from its recent long running civil war; the massive sand dunes and empty spaces of Namibia; and finally to Cape Town in South Africa. This latter stage is still a somewhat volatile region and as with all the planned route, is based on the latest information about political situations on the way.

click here for Self Help's Secure Online Donation page.
All KilkennyTo CapeTown donations acknowledged and receipted.