Filed Under (General) by Rob on 13-06-2009

No, not us, the VEHICLE!!!

We don’t leave for another six weeks, but we’re giving the car a head start so that – all being well – it may even arrive in Bamako before we do! It’s a 2003 Mitsubishi Montero, 2.5 litre turbo diesel, 7-seater with tinted rear windows and NO sunroofs
(= better for Africa). In most parts of the world, it’s called a Pajero, but as that’s a rude word in Spanish, it is usually known as a Montero in the USA/Europe and as a Shogun in the UK. Montero means Mountain Warrior, so let’s hope this one holds out in Mali’s more high-altitude areas!


“Why not another Land Rover, Rob?” I hear you all cry. Well, (i) parts are cheaper and easier to get for a Mitsubishi (and there’s even a dealer in Bamako),
(ii) these vehicles are known for being reliable and durable (iii) it was the only vehicle we saw that was exactly what we were looking for and (iv) when it comes to sell it, Japanese cars are much more popular in francophone Africa. Also, remember the problems we had with the old Landy in Benin. Click here, here, here and here for just a few stories

On TUESDAY evening, friends from church came round to view the Montero before its departure for sunnier climes, and also prayed for the vehicle’s safe transit and reliability on the field (see top photo).

Then on WEDNEDSAY, Lois and I loaded the vehicle with belongings. As it will be travelling in a container, that’s fine and everything should be safe (we hope!) Meanwhile, Micah has to survive his last few weeks here without his drum kit, but at least will get three years’ use out of it in Mali.


Then on Thursday, we drove over to Essex in convoy and dropped the vehicle off ready for shipping. It should go some time next week. Here it it waiting to go (NB ours is the one in the middle, not the Land Rover to the left!!)


Once it gets to Dakar, it will then make the 777 mile journey from there to Bamako by train. Should be interesting; here‘s an interesting article about this rail journey, from someone who was in it when it broke down (and also mentions Mali’s road conditions too!)

So, if you are able to say a quick prayer for the safe travel of our car – both by sea and rail – then please do. And watch this space for news of its arrival in the coming weeks! Thanks for reading.

1 Comment posted on "Imminent departure for Mali!"
Ben Griffin on June 22nd, 2009 at 11:44 pm #

I’ll be praying! That’s a pretty epic journey ol’ Monty is making all by his lonesome. I’d kind of like to be along for the ride!