24th Jul 2012 9:12am | By Editor
A German man who embarked on an 18-month tour of Africa trip in 1989, has covered 800,000 km so far, and in the same car which has not suffered any major breakdowns yet.
Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine, set out on the journey more than twenty years ago, which then morphed into much more than a single continent excursion it began as.
He has now clocked up enough miles to take him round the planet 20 times, and he has done so without the need of a replacement car or, as photographer David Lemke discovered when he joined Gunther, any sponsorship or big business support either.
“This is a man that has to be one of human history’s greatest individual travellers,” David Lemke says in a narration over a slideshow of some of their photographs of the trip at the BBC website.
“He has done his journey completely under the radar – no blog, no phone, no Facebook. He just did it with his wife, and he is not looking for any accolades.”
Accolades were an option for Gunther, as he himself explains on the slideshow: “Sponsorship was offered, but sponsorship is
never free of charge. The sponsor wants something in return and this would be to plaster the car like a formula one vehicle which I don’t like for security reasons.
“The main cost for a traveller is restaurant and hotel – and we skip both of them, sleeping in the car and we do our own food, we buy ingredients in local markets.”
Gunther and Chrstine filled their Mercedes Benz G Wagon with everything they needed, and set off, their trip taking them to places as far afield as Paris, Rio, Shanghai. North Korea and Southampton.
According to Lemke, Gunther drives his car “like and old granny,” so perhaps it has been this careful motoring that has seen him and Otto make it so far.