GPSs and computers can be stolen or breakdown.
As a minimum take hard copies of Michelin maps 742, 745 & 746.
They’re not too bulky, can be plastic coated and cover most of Africa in reasonable detail.
Route Planning / GPS:
A UK ‘City’ standard GPS (Garmin Nuvi, etc) will get you around for the basic navigation tasks once you have the relevant data card inserted.
However, it’s not going to help you find campsites, landmarks, waypoints etc when you’re off the tar. You will need a more comprehensive package for that.
Nothing can really compare with the Tracks4Africa GPS maps. These are available as a download or on an SD card that is put into a GPS system.
We have relied upon Tracks 4 Africa extensively. We use both the Garmin SD Card version and the iPhone App and thoroughly recommend them both.
You can find out more about their GPS Maps here… T4A
I guess they work best when travelling in more remote areas. Unfortunately, since they are populated with information uploaded from travellers themselves, the maps can be a little cluttered when planning routes in well-travelled areas. Maybe everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame and think the best way to achieve it is to upload every landmark, speed bump, photo viewpoint and tree behind which they’ve pee’d?
Happily, our T4A data-card is a couple of years old and therefore is not too overwhelmed with waypoints showing the locations of everyone’s favourite lavatory, or where they spotted a particularly large lion.
For full functionality (and to be able to selectively filter the information on the GPS displays) we find that by far the best and most rugged GPS unit is the Garmin Montana. This will also allow you to set the detail levels you require, so that superfluous icons and data don’t clutter your view of the most important information on Tracks 4 Africa.
The final things you will need are… patience and a good navigator. I’m just the monkey that drives the car. If you can’t find someone as good as Helene to navigate you around Africa, get in touch with me. For the right fee, who knows, I may be prepared to hire her skills out for a couple of months.