Kim Musau, the Kenyan PhD Student, who decided to set the record of driving across the African continent all the way to Europe in a Landrover 110 Defender, has successfully reached the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
His car is the 1998 model of the all-terrain British Jeep.
Musau drove from Nairobi in January 2023 making a round trip in Africa.
For his mission, Musau intends to cover more than 40 countries.
After France, Kim will be driving the British Land Rover to the vehicle’s place of birth, the United Kingdom.
Musau started his long trip in January to travel to the UK through Tanzania, heading to South Africa; using the tip of the continent as a starting point then from there he started the long drive to Central, West and North Africa.
He took a break in March, flying back to Kenya for a short stint of time.
His adventure is known as ‘From Nairobi to Paris by Road: What Kenyan PhD student aims to achieve.’
Driving from Kenya to Europe might sound impossible to many but one Kim Musau, who is a PhD student at the University of Nairobi has managed to do it in style and alone in the cabin of his trusty, rugged Land Rover SUV.
Musau has covered close to 30,000 kilometres and gone through a total of 37 countries with the journey taking him through mostly West African countries.
From Kenya to Tanzania then Zambia all the way to the far end of Africa where the West African coastline journey started.
It was ignited in Namibia moving up to Angola and then to Gabon as he made it up the continent and all the way to Morocco before crossing the Mediterranean sea using a ferry and into Spain then to Portugal.
This is not the first Musau is pulling such a stand as he has done road trips to South Africa and to Egypt previously.
The motivation behind such long and draining drives he says is all about exploration, to learn and appreciate the rest of the world.
“I have so far travelled with the vehicle to Cairo, Cape Town and Casablanca and now I am in Europe. This is a journey to learn and appreciate what the rest of the world has to offer,” he thinks it is nothing too serious!
“We can do better as a continent, especially within ourselves. I am a PhD candidate at the University of Nairobi and my area of focus is Intra-African trade, cross-border mobility, and related cross-cutting issues around trade and movement in Africa.”
Musau wonders why intra-Africa trade is so low at a measly 15 percent compared to trade with other continents reaching 60 percent.
“What can we learn from the European Union or elsewhere?” Musau told the Kenyan Media.
“The aim is to cover a large part of Africa (which is now done) and a larger part of Europe.”
But the journey has not been easy for Musau who faced challenges and conquered them in the process.
“The initial challenge was a whole team of travellers who had indicated they were going for this trip but pulled out at the last minute. This wasn’t new though, as the same happened during my expedition between Cape Town and Cairo. That meant I had to do it alone which is challenging in many ways.
“Another biggest challenge is visas for Africa especially in West Africa, both logistically and cost wise.”
It is easier to get a foreign continent visa than getting one for most African countries.
Border crossings are not easy anywhere in Africa, starting with some of our immediate neighbouring countries (Tanzania comes to mind).
“The challenges can be many, from unfriendly officers, bad weather, bad roads or no roads at all and language barriers,” he notes.
The former Machakos County Investment Authority Chief Executive Officer who now runs a family business says he is single-handedly funding his expedition but it’s so draining and he would welcome partners to support him as it’s so expensive.
“I would say it is as costly as anyone would want to make it. The budget can be very diverse depending on one’s lifestyle while travelling. The only constant cost would probably be on fuel. I am appealing for partners. I will be happy to discuss possible ways of collaboration. Any support towards these cost drivers as listed above would go a long way in documenting this journey.”
“We made it through Africa. And now Europe is here, finally! This has been a great journey, while there are some bad things or challenges, it is always better to look at the brighter side of things.
“West Africa has some of the best foods. You get to wonder what kind of foods we have in Kenya. I would go back to most West African countries for the food. The Equatorial rainforest we learned about in school is real, rainy, and dense forest cover across countries. Good for the climate,” says Musau.
According to Musau, there are also bad things he can point out and he compares the experience in Africa and Europe: “Logging is the biggest business in these countries, it is sad to watch thousands of trailers loaded with what seems to be logs from 100-year old indigenous trees.
“Lessons from Europe in comparison with Africa will be very interesting. For starters, I have been driving through Spain and Portugal – it’s borderless of course, not a single police stop since I entered Europe, fantastic roads, no experience of corruption or logistical barriers.
At the moment, Musau is in Paris about 12,537 kilometres from Nairobi and he will be making his next move as he continues with the adventure. He says he doesn’t drive every day and stays at places he wants to explore.