Sunday, 17 February 2013


Dear Friends,

I got back safely from South Africa and a trip in which I was tested almost to the limit.  It was a tough trip and I think probably the toughest Ive done.  I believe I was lucky to escape, I could so easily have been trapped if my passport and all my money had been stolen in Kokstad.  The robbers left me with enough resources which they did not find to enable me to make my way to Cape Town, 1000 miles away. 

There were one or two good points:

1.  Reaching Befole primary school after a persistent hunt.
2.  Crossing of Lesotho
3.  Visit to Rorke's Drift battle site
4.  Visiting the spot where WS Churchill was captured in the Boer War
5.  Hitching hiking with the help various farmers and such.
6.  Improved understanding of geography and culture in South Africa

Stolen items in robbery:

Travel cheques
Credit and Debit card
Drivers Licence
European Health Insurance card
BMC Membership card
Short wave radio
Machete and Masai scabbard
Spare clothes

Important items left to me:

Bus ticket Kokstad to Port Elizabeth - Thanks to the bus conductor I was able to travel thro to Cape Town with only this ticket.
Small stash of sterling and euros - I found one bank in Kokstad which did currency exchange on a Saturday.
Lonely Planet
Key to bicycle lock - If the key had gone my bike would have been useless.

Since getting home I have been trying to reinstate the stolen items back into my kit.  Also reassessing and evaluating objectives.  Hopefully I can take away some lessons for the future.

Best Wishes



  1. Dougal Wilson-Croome23 February 2013 at 20:51

    Andrew, I am very sorry to hear about your unfortunate episode in South Africa. Although it might still seem very raw, I think a positive way to look at it is that you were actually remarkably lucky! In South Africa it is commonplace for murder to accompany any act of resistance, and indeed common for murder to occur either before theft, or simply to avoid positive identification. In fact you escaping with your life is the exception rather than the rule in such circumstances. Life can be extremely cheap over there. The whole experience must have been absolutely terrifying, and perhaps better you hear the above now rather than before your trip! Having lived and worked in South Africa for several years, I can only repeat, you were extremely lucky! My best wishes to you, and keep smiling! I wonder where your next adventure will take you?

  2. Dear Dougal,
    Thankyou for your wise words. I cant see myself venturing to SA again. I do take away a good regard for the white farmers and the rural folk who helped me with lifts and acts of kindness.
    I have enroled on the International Mountain Leader programme. It is a long term project to tinker with. With this in mind I will go to the Polish Tatra mountains in June to get some log-book days in.
    Kind Regards