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On a Scooter around Africa. Take a look at the beautiful photographs and a documentary by Marek Jelinek

This was meant to be another scootering expedition across all of Africa. From Cape Town to Cairo, from penguins to pyramids, a full 12,700 km. But due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the journey of photographer and traveller Marek Jelinek and his girlfriend Dominika Trojanova ended prematurely. But even the “little” was worth it.

Marek Jelínek and the Yedoo Trexx travel scooter
Marek Jelínek and the Yedoo Trexx travel scooter

Marek took many beautiful photographs during his journey through six African countries (from the Republic of South Africa to Uganda) and through his notes and documentary he brings a unique view of this splendid part of the world. Take a look.

Mountain state of Lesotho
Mozambique

Travel notes

Africa as we got to know it is not dangerous

“It gets dark very quickly here, the sun is barely over the horizon before the jungle starts playing its symphony under the baton of the crescent moon and the first stars come out from behind the trees, like an audience.

Marek calls himself an Adventure Trotter and each of his journeys has a charity dimension as well. This time he helped the Wakitaka non-profit organization, which supports a village school of the same name in Uganda. You can find more information at www.dobrobeznik.cz.

As the wind picks up, the murmur of the ocean becomes more and more audible. Instead of drums, there is the stamping of hippos that have just set out on a night walk.

This is all happening in the small town of St. Lucia, almost at the very end of South Africa, where we pitched our tent.

If there is anything that surprised me about this country, it is the beautiful and varied landscape and especially the nice people. Seriously. This country, which is said to be dangerous, is worth a closer examination and the discovery that it is essentially very kind.”

Lesotho

Everyone would like to live in Lesotho

“The Kingdom of Lesotho is a beautiful mountain state, but it is demanding for a scooter. The steep hills give us a solid workout - from 1,300 meters we climbed up to 2,200 to Semonkong, where there is a 192-meter-long waterfall. The green and rugged landscape of southern Africa brought us great surprises.”

Semonkong Waterfall in Lesotho

Laughter

“If I had to characterize this continent in some way, it would definitely be the smiling children running after the scooter and the adults who shake their heads when they find out that the scooter simply has no motor.”

Like a sauna 

“Mozambique is another hidden gem of this continent. And if you open up to people, they will repay you a thousand times here, too, but the ride is a little more challenging – it is 32 degrees Celsius here from 8:30 a.m. and 76 percent humidity, so it's like a sauna.

Makes it really hard to ride the scooter. We need to get up before dawn to cover some distance, and sometimes the road, which the map says is a road but it isn't, complicates things... That’s a classic here, though.”

Malawi 

“On the way to the border with Tanzania, it becomes fully clear how beautiful this country is. The locals were right.

“When I travel, I mainly enjoy taking pictures of different moments, people, landscapes and capturing the atmosphere that is happening in front of my eyes. I’ve been an avid photographer for nearly six years and I honestly can’t imagine leaving my camera at home on any adventure.“

If you want to see beautiful scenery, you have to go north. They just forgot to mention that you need to cross the mountains, first.

And scooters get pushed up to 1400 meters above sea level, from where you can see the beautifully clear Lake Malawi, which looks more like the sea. The landscape changes, and so do the people.

There is a whiff of Tanzania in the air, its hills visible in the distance across the lake.“

Liwonde National Park in Malawi
Lake Malawi
Marek Jelínek and Dominika Trojanová are waiting in a detention centre in Uganda for their return flight to Prague.

It all ends in Uganda

„At the border, an official and a policeman stamp our passports with a smile on their faces, saying Welcome to Uganda, I’m happy!“

Later that evening, when we arrived at the border, I asked if we could spend the night on the lawn by the customs officers. No problem.

In the morning, at six o’clock, we set out to see another new country.

Meanwhile we learn that the border closed at midnight and there is no way back. Tanzania did the same... because of the coronavirus that unexpectedly ended our African journey. After a several difficult days and thanks to the solidarity of our friends, we were able to fly home on a state special."

Before the travellers were stopped by the coronavirus pandemic, they had travelled 6,000 km through the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.

Marek and Dominika completed their African adventure on Yedoo Trexx travel scooters.

Before the travellers were stopped by the coronavirus pandemic, they had travelled 6,000 km through the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.
Marek and Dominika completed their African adventure on Yedoo Trexx travel scooters.

Afrika jak ji neznáte. Dokumentární film

"Před příjezdem sem do Afriky, jsem měl mírné rozpaky, ale zároveň ve mě bujela zvědavost, jak to tady vůbec funguje, jak to tady voní? Jak se lidi k sobě navzájem chovají? Jaké mají sny?

Musím říct, že to, co se tu dozvídám, zatím rozbíjí veškeré mé představy o Africe.

A ano, cestování pro mne znamená hlavně setkávání se s lidmi. Proto jsem moc rád, že to vám mohu zprostředkovat i skrze tento film. I lidé v Africe totiž mají své velké sny. Tak se pojďme na některé z nich podívat.“

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