Trabant Across Africa (2010)

“Because they told us it wasn’t possible. We couldn’t stand listening to it anymore. A continent that has been written off, in a car that has been written off. We had to prove that there is always hope.”

A quiet dispute bubbles away in the buried corners of certain forums and chat rooms: Is it OK to traverse the poorest communities on earth in a fancy modern ‘overland’ 4×4 bedecked with expensive accessories and accoutrements? We won’t tackle this knotty issue on this page but we can safely say that if your vehicles are a brace of clunky communist-era fibreglass front wheel drive Trabants then you are probably not going to be accused of flaunting your western wealth!

Add to the Trabant’s utter lack of flamboyance, an arguably, completely useless 600cc two-stroke engine, a risible 6 inches of clearance and a resolute lack of 4WD and you’ve got the makings of a credible Prague to Cape Town travel adventure. Now add a treacly dollop of cloying Egyptian bureaucracy, a hot-box interior devoid of aircon and the ubiquitous undercurrent of quotidian life in Africa and yes, this brilliant film becomes ‘best in show’. If you think you’re not really cut out for all that paddling, pedalling and pushing but still fancy a trans-continental odyssey then this film scientifically proves that you already own an adventure vehicle; it’s in your front yard right now.

Colour video 90 mins