Africa Clockwise: A truly African adventure

Posted by Imogen Searra on 31 July 2019

In July 2013, the Sampson family departed from South Africa with the aim of driving clockwise around the entire African continent in a vehicle powered entirely by alternative fuel. The mission: to investigate how Africa can show the world how to cope with climate change. The family of four, who hail from Cape Town, embarked on an adventure of a lifetime for an important environmental cause.

Mark Sampson, Sam Pearce and their two children Zola and Ruby have been traversing the continent for six years. Their trusty Big Green Truck is an epic ode to eco-conscious travel, being fueled by solar energy and recycled vegetable oil waste only. The Sampson family wanted to inspire others to ‘travel Africa, think green and seize the day.’

The trip, which the family thought would only take two years, ended up taking six. The Sampsons only just returned to South Africa two days ago, arriving at the Kosibay border post.


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And exhale…

A post shared by Africa Clockwise (@africaclockwise) on

According to a statement made on the Africa Clockwise website, ‘The journey in the Big Green Truck is ‘clockwise’ – both as a direction, and as an awareness: time now is crucial and we all need to wake up and take proactive steps to prepare for an environmentally compromised future.’

At the beginning, the Sampson parents wanted to see if their children could live without WiFi or running water, much like the majority of African children.

They called the journey ‘a quest to investigate whether a future without fossil-fueled luxuries may not be such a bad thing, helping us to focus on quality of life experiences, not quantity of possessions.’

The family also attempted to break a Guinness World Record for the longest journey made on alternative fuel. In total, the adventure took the Sampsons to 37 different countries, covering 45,000 km of African terrain.

The family is currently making their way home to Cape Town.


Image source: Facebook/ Africa Clockwise

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