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WhyAfrica Road Trip 2022: Southern Africa is alive and kicking!

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The WhyAfrica Southern Africa Overland Road Trip took us through five countries in 42 days. We covered almost 9000km on good roads, bad roads, dirt roads and tarred roads, and visited 32 project sites in the mining, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, tourism, conservation, and development sectors. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

WhyAfrica Road Trip 2022: Southern Africa is alive and kicking!

After spending the last 42 days travelling almost 9000km overland between five Southern African countries, and visiting 32 project sites in the process, all indications are that business in Southern Africa is not only alive and kicking, but, on the ground, the region is making great strides in rebuilding after the devastation of a global pandemic.

By Leon Louw, owner and editor of WhyAfrica

I spent the last few days of WhyAfrica’s Southern Africa Overland Road Trip exploring the Central Kalahari of Botswana, before the trip finished on a high note in Johannesburg, South Africa, earlier this week.

My journey started on Monday 20 June 2022 in Johannesburg and finished 42 days later in an overcast and cold South Africa. The route took me through the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.

As promised, WhyAfrica visited 32 project sites in the mining, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, water, tourism, plant and equipment, quarrying, cement, and conservation sectors, while at the same time  noting ESG issues and considering the political and economic climate within these countries.

Furthermore, I conducted close to 40 official interviews with leading players in these sectors to determine how they do business in Africa. During the tour, I took almost 4000 photographs and shot about 20 short videos (some of these can be viewed for free on the WhyAfrica website, on Instagram and on WhyAfrica’s You Tube channel).

All WhyAfrica’s images and videos are unplugged, not edited and without filters. What we see is exactly what you get: no pretence, no PR spin. And remember, its Africa through our eyes. You might see it differently.

During my travels, I didn’t only interview CEOs, operational managers, political figures, project managers or general managers. I also had insightful conversations with young entrepreneurs, small scale farmers, vendors, mine workers, labourers, NGOs, and civil society leaders.

I listened, I learned, and noted the trends and all the important information to consider when doing business in Southern Africa, wrote up about 20 short articles which was published on the WhyAfrica website, and posted summaries of daily activities on WhyAfrica’s social media platforms.

With the reliable Toyota Landcruiser, sponsored by Remote Exploration Services (RES), I traversed five countries and gathered enough business intelligence and information to ensure that WhyAfrica publishes original, on the ground and first-hand information about Southern Africa on our website, in our bi-weekly newsletters, and in WhyAfrica’s exclusive magazines, exactly as we promise our followers, readers, advertisers, sponsors and partners. We don’t copy and paste, duplicate or regurgitate.

Original, on the ground business intelligence

There’s enough information, unique stories and news about Southern Africa and business in the region in our library to keep our readers and followers busy for the next year, until WhyAfrica takes to the road again – this time on an even longer trip.

This does not mean, however, that we will focus only on Southern Africa and our Road Trip for the rest of the year. We will continue probing, studying, and researching all aspects of the African continent, with the end goal of providing our readers, sponsors, partners, advertisers, and clients with a bag full of useful information when they venture into any of Africa’s 54 jurisdictions.

It will be hard to find the information that we gather during the WhyAfrica Road Trips anywhere else unless you read our daily website articles, social media posts, subscribe to our free bi-weekly newsletters, sign up for our exclusive WhyAfrica magazines (published 4 times a year) or, alternatively, join us on our next road trip. All you have to do is to continue following WhyAfrica to get updates and more information, or send us an e-mail or Whats App.

You’ll get a taste of what the 2022 WhyAfrica Southern Africa Road trip was all about in the October/September and November/December issues of the WhyAfrica magazine (which will also be available digitally and will be distributed on all social media platforms).

However, if you want the real meat, the insight, the research, the opportunities, and the challenges, you will have to purchase our WhyAfrica Road Trip Research Reports, which will be available in our online shop towards the end of the year or sign up to become a sponsor or partner. Our sponsors and partners receive these reports and information as part of their package. Also keep an eye out for WhyAfrica’s book on Southern Africa which will hopefully be in print early next year.

The book will feature some of the best and most successful projects in Southern Africa and will focus on why Southern Africa continues attracting more and more investors, despite the general public’s perceptions.

WhyAfrica’s Southern/East Africa overland trip 2023

While I continue contemplating the complexities of a fascinating region in Africa, we have already started planning next year’s WhyAfrica Southern and East Africa Road Trip through Zimbabwe, Zambia (including the Copperbelt), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya. If you do business in these countries, or if you are thinking about it, and you want to sponsor us, advertise, or become our partner, book now.

There are huge benefits for Road Trip sponsors, and the sooner you contact us the sooner we can give you all the details. Remember, there are limited sponsorship opportunities, and we only take 10 partners on board. We’ve had inquiries long before we finished this trip, so don’t wait until October, it will be too late.

This project would not have been successful without the companies, facilities, organisations, investors, and stakeholders that allowed me to visit their projects and operational sites, and often under challenging conditions, went out of their way to accommodate me doing interviews, taking pictures, and shooting videos.

By doing this, all these far-sighted businesspeople have not only promoted their own world-class endeavours, but also the Southern African region and ultimately Africa, the continent we are all so passionate about.

It is encouraging that I had a 98% strike rate, and that only two companies on my initial list refused us entry to site. In all other cases we were welcomed with open arms and given information that is not always in the public sphere.

A sincere thanks to the following companies, projects and the people who make these machines tick. You are the reason why Africa will continue growing into a global giant and you have become part of the Africa story.

  • OMV Ruabex Stilfontein, South Africa
  • Orion Minerals’ in Prieska, Northern Cape, South Africa
  • Scatec solar PV plant close to Upington, Northern Cape, South Africa
  • Vedanta Zinc International’s Black Mountain and Gamsberg projects, Aggeneys, Northern Cape South Africa
  • Diamond boats and diamond divers in Port Nolloth, Northern Cape, South Africa
  • Knight Piésold and the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry that allowed me to visit the Neckartal Dam, Keetmanshoop, Namibia
  • The local authorities and private sector in Lüderitz that allowed me to visit restricted areas, rail infrastructure and port facilities in Lüderitz, Namibia
  • Spergebiet Diamond Mining’s Elizabeth Bay project close to Lüderitz, Namibia
  • Lagoon Aquaculture’s oyster farm in the Bay of Lüderitz, Namibia
  • Chamber of Mines of Namibia in Windhoek, Namibia
  • Lodestone’s iron ore project close to Dordabis in Namibia
  • Osino Resources’ Twin Hills gold project close to Karibib, Namibia
  • Namibia Wildlife Resorts and the Namibian authorities at Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei
  • Port of Walvis Bay and salt mines close to Walvis Bay, Namibia
  • E-Tech Resources’ Rare Earths project close to Karibib, Namibia
  • Antler Gold’s gold exploration project close to Karibib, Namibia
  • AfriTin’s tin and lithium project close to Uis, Namibia
  • B2Gold’s Otjikoto mine between Otavi and Otjiwarongo, Namibia
  • Trigon Metals’ Kombat copper project close to Grootfontein, Nambia
  • Ohorongo Cement near Otavi, Namibia
  • Namibia Wildlife Resorts in Etosha National Park, Namibia
  • ReconAfrica’s oil and gas drilling project close to Rundu in the Caprivi Strip of Namibia
  • Small scale agricultural farmers in Divundu in the Caprivi Strip of Namibia
  • Zambian and Botswana authorities at the Kazangula bridge between the two countries.
  • Tourism facilities in Livingstone, Zambia and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Safari Par Excellence’s Zambezi Waterfront in Livingstone, Zambia
  • Conservation authorities in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
  • Pandamatenga’s Agricultural Economic Zone in Botswana
  • Bird Sanctuary at Sua Pan close to Nata in Botswana
  • Khoemacau Copper Mining close to Maun in Botswana
  • Remote Exploration Services (RES) in Maun, Botswana.

In addition to the project owners and companies mentioned above, it would have been impossible for me to complete this unique expedition that I’ve been plotting and planning since 2019, without the incredible support, and exceptional input and advise, from my sponsors, partners, and advertisers, who believed in, what was three years ago, only a dream. You are now part of the WhyAfrica story. A good friend of mine once said that the real adventure only starts when the bitumen stops. With such support, I cannot wait to take on more and even longer trips with more challenging dirt roads.

WhyAfrica Road Trip 2022: Southern Africa is alive and kicking!

The WhyAfrica Southern Africa Overland Road Trip took us through five countries in 42 days. We covered almost 9000km on good roads, bad roads, dirt roads and tarred roads, and visited 32 project sites in the mining, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, tourism, conservation, and development sectors.

The trip was made possible by:


WhyAfrica Road Trip 2022: Southern Africa is alive and kicking!

Leon Louw is the founder and editor of WhyAfrica. He specialises in natural resources and African affairs.        

WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. WhyAfrica specialises in African affairs and natural resources. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica launched its first ever digital magazine in November 2021. The company will undertake a road trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya in 2023. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.  

The 2022 Southern Africa Road trip issue of WhyAfrica’s magazine is now available in print. The magazine was distributed in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana during WhyAfrica’s Southern Africa Overland Road Trip, the company’s new and innovative platform. WhyAfrica has expanded its product range and now offers its readers, followers, advertisers, subscribers and partners the following:

  • Daily 24/7 online articles on WhyAfrica’s website (FREE)
  • Daily updates on WhyAfrica’s social media platforms (FREE)
  • Newsletters delivered to a handpicked audience every two weeks (FREE)
  • Two printed magazine per year distributed at large events and during our road trips across Africa featuring original, in-depth articles (FREE) with great, on-site photographs by the WhyAfrica team (FOR SALE UPON REQUEST)
  • Three digital magazines per year (FREE)
  • Live updates, video clips, articles, and podcasts during and after WhyAfrica’s annual road trips (Southern Africa in 2022, East Africa in 2023 and West Africa in 2024) (FREE)
  • Sponsorship and advertising opportunities for the annual WhyAfrica Overland Road Trips (PAID FOR)
  • A library where companies doing business in Africa can display scientific or research papers (PAID FOR)
  • A product section where companies doing business in Africa can display new offerings or services (PAID FOR)
  • Media partnerships with, and a presence at, most of the major conferences and exhibitions in the African mining, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, water management, ESG, environmental management, tourism, development, and conservation sectors (FREE)
  • WhyAfrica connects potential investors with new ventures in Africa and suppliers and service providers with existing companies in Africa (PAID FOR)
  • WhyAfrica assists companies in generating content focused on the wider African business community (PAID FOR)
  • Partnerships with companies doing business in Africa (PAID FOR)
  • Partnerships with companies thinking about expanding into Africa (PAID FOR)
  • In 2023 subscribers will have access to our in-depth articles about the African political economy, research, and country reports about the countries we visit on our road trips, and trends in the sectors that we cover (PAID FOR)
  • A WhyAfrica book is in the pipeline and if all goes according to plan, should be published towards the end of 2023 (PAID FOR)
  • The WhyAfrica consultancy arm assists and advises companies doing business in Africa through utilising our extensive global business network (PAID FOR)

Become part of the WhyAfrica community. Tell us your story. Expand your footprint across Africa and partner with us to make the most of your African experience.    

WhyAfrica Road Trip 2022: Southern Africa is alive and kicking!       

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management