Thanks and acknowledgements
Gisela Seidel & Christian Figenschou

It has been quite an experience for us to do a trans-African safari, especially in a vintage Volkswagen bus, painted like a Zebra and with big-name brands stuck all over it!

A lot of people asked us about the purpose of our journey. "What is your focus?" Besides this trip being a lifelong dream for Christian, making this journey has been about meeting people, experiencing different countries, with their unique cultures, and connecting with people on a personal level. This trip has confirmed a very important fact of life for both of us: What you give is what you get. When you smile, people smile back at you. Because we have made a point of being friendly and open to everyone we've met along the way, we experienced that same friendliness from people everywhwere we went.

So, in addition to our corporate sponsors, we have been supported by friends, family, and "angels" who have opened their homes and their hearts to us all along our route. We would like to thank and acknowledge the following angels, who have fed us, housed us, given us moral and material support, and kept us safe on our journey:

  • Christian's mother, Frances Henlen, for constant moral support and for loaning us money to continue our journey.

  • Christian's father, Thor Figenschou, who saved us in Egypt with a large cash gift that ensures we can reach our end point of London.

  • Gisela's parents, Willie and Annette Seidel, who put us up in their home in Welkom for four days, and fed us huge feasts every day to fatten us up for the hard times ahead. And for moral support on the road.

  • Shaun's parents, Ronnie and Susan Woolf, for edible treats and moral support.

  • Gina's parents, Andrea and Relma Meneghelli, for the GPS and for putting us up in a fabulous B&B in Upington, and for treating us all to dinner at one of Upington's best restaurants.

  • Shaun and Gina, for all the support in preparing for the journey, and for sharing part of this great adventure with us.

  • Bruce Reinders, MD of NEC Packard Bell South Africa, for giving us a great deal on a new laptop computer when my previous computer was stolen the week before we left home.

  • Kath Shapshak, for designing our website. Very many of our readers have commented on what a great site it is.

  • Our dear friend David Shapshak, for constant moral support, and for kitting us out with a very fine hammock. No safari should be without one!

  • Buster and Wendy Sefor, for showing us that the only thing keeping us from getting what we want in life is ourselves, and for showing us that the only time to live your dreams is NOW!

  • Our friend Debby Boumeester, who is looking after Gisela's car for the duration of the journey.

  • Our friend Derek Harrison, for moral support.

  • Gisela's friend Debbie, who hosted us in Scarborough, Cape Town.

  • Our friend River, who looked after us in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Amidst a lot of tension in the group at the time, she brought a lot of love and peace and calmed us down and brought us closer together.

  • Joan and Duncan and their adorable daughter Laska, who opened up their home and their hearts to us and tolerated our invasion of their space for more than a week in Cape Town.

  • Sarah and Doug, old friends of Christian and our hosts in Windhoek, Namibia. Five days of fun, fun, fun! The first time we relaxed and had fun on the trip. And thanks to Doug for good times in London!

  • Dave and Helena Sandenbergh and the rest of the tribe on Jungle Junction, for a week of fun and escape from the world after September 11.

  • Angela and Bryan, our hosts in Lusaka, Zambia. Angela, an old friend of Christian, was aware we were coming to Lusaka, but did not know when. We walked, unannounced, through their open front door late one night and were welcomed with open arms.

  • Glenn and Nahoko Campbell, for looking after us and protecting us in Malawi. We had been given Glenn's name in Zambia, and were told to look him up in Cape Maclear on Lake Malawi. We had no intention of going to Cape Maclear so we promptly forgot about him. But he found us instead, and he and his wife Nahoko opened their hearts and their home to us, giving us the fabulous experience of diving in Lake Malawi, and sharing their first holiday together in two years with us.

  • Mama Stella Marealle, in Marangu village, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Mama Stella opened her heart and her home to us, three strangers who arrived on her doorstep one day. We will never forget her!

  • Christian's cousin Daphne, who hosted us in Nairobi, Kenya. Not only did Daphne open her heart and home to us, but she supported us through a period of turmoil and emotional breakdown in the ZebraSafari.

  • Anetenahe Mulatu, aka Tony, our guide in southern Ethiopia. Tony was a true angel and gave us an experience of Ethiopia we would never have had on our own.

  • Tony's uncle and aunt in Addis Ababa, Mulu and Seble, and their sons Jappi and Miki. Mulu and Seble opened their hearts and their home to us, and supported us through another tough emotional time.

  • Gabriel, a driver for Sudanese Customs, who opened his home to us in Al Gederif, Sudan.

  • Isak, the owner of the camping ground in Khartoum, Sudan, for support, humour and local moonshine distilled from dates.

  • Megzoub, a young man in Abri, northern Sudan, who opened his home to us. And to all the many other nameless Sudanese people who gave us gifts and invited us into their homes.

  • Kamal Hassan Osman, a clerk for Sudanese Customs in Wadi Halfa, who opened his home to us and assisted us through the bureaucratic process involved in shipping our car from Wadi Halfa to Aswan.

  • Abdallah Elshazley, a tourist guide in Aswan, Egypt. Abdallah opened his home and his heart to us, and ensured we were not ripped off in the unbelievably complex bureaucratic process involved in bringing a car into Egypt.

  • Ahmed and Mohamed Eltiar, for good times in Luxor, Egypt.

  • Sabry, for support and good times in Luxor, Egypt.

  • Ahmed Said, a young Egyptian in Cairo, for support and assistance offered without expectation of reward.

  • Abdul Gafoor Dangor, commercial attaché at the South African embassy in Cairo, who opened his home to us and made it possible to update our website. And for all the moral support while we waited for our Libyan visas.

  • Ghulam Asmal and Penny Ehlers at the South African embassy in Cairo, and Annalien Vorster at the SA embassy in Tripoli, for their fabulous support in trying to get Libyan visas.

  • Mehmet Yapar and family for their support and kindness when the ZebraBus broke down in the south of Turkey.

  • Ilbas Kivci for opening his heart and his home to us when we were down and out in Edirne, Turkey.

  • Ayse and Fahri, of the tourist information office in Edirne, for support and assistance beyond the call of duty.

  • Edgar and Anni Rischer, for opening their home and their hearts to us in Vienna.

  • Edgar, Anni, Etienne, "Dirty" Harald, Christoph, Martina, Gunther and all the other members of the Bulli Club in Vienna.

  • Michael, Christa, Samba and the whole Steinke family, for their kindness and generosity at the end of the ZebraSafari.

  • Thomas Gahl, for buying Zebi and ensuring she will enjoy a gracious retirement.

  • Benjamin Dard and Elise Rathar, for great times in Sudan and Paris.

  • Leslie Dann, for kindness and support on our first day in London.

  • Christian's brother Olaf and his wife Lesley, for hosting us in London.

The ZebraSafari team.