End of the volunteer mapping adventure….

Posted on July 19th, 2011 in General,MAPA expeditions by Administrator

Many of you will know that MAPA started with a volunteer programme, sending teams out with Garmin GPS units to map parks and reserves across Africa. Having driven through southern, east, west and bits of central Africa over the last two and half years, we have finally closed the programme.

We really struggled in west Africa this year with weather and politics making our routing almost impossible to get right and sadly we had to cancel some volunteer trips. We got the data but it wasn’t easy and there wasn’t as much to map as we had hoped. To cap it all, by the time the last two cars in the field had reached northern Senegal, north Africa was too unstable to go any further. We will tackle it again at some stage.

The important thing is that everyone got home safely and the maps of African conservation areas keep getting better. I am enormously grateful to everyone who went out for us – none of the trips was easy and some where downright tricky.

So, this is a big thank you to everyone who took part. It has been very exciting – lots of laughs and a few tears. One marriage in Vic Falls, a brush with disaster in Malawi, lots of malaria, a little snake bite, plenty of beer and tons of photos. I have been hunting through for pics of all of you and I am sure that I am missing some – if you aren’t in here somewhere please send me a mugshot or two and I will add them!

MAPA has been using two Land Cruisers for the last year and they recently arrived home at Cape Town harbour, a month after leaving Dakar, Senegal – very battered but still running. They are both in hospital at the moment – JB’s Autos for normal mechanical work and Burnco for engineering. They should live to fight another day.

As you can see from our other posts, MAPA does much more than mapping on the ground but this was how we started and hopefully the maps will help plenty of other people travel overland to new destinations. All the data we collected has been added to the excellent GPS and paper maps produce by Tracks4Africa.

So, who has any idea how we can get the north African data any time soon……?!


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