Christian Bodegren to cross the Sahara on camel

Posted: Sep 23, 2009 02:20 pm EDT

Africa is a magic place, said Christian who is staying at an oasis in Egypt to find good camels for his east-west expedition across the worlds largest desert, the Sahara. He plans to travel approximately 7000 km on camel back.

Everlasting African impressions

Christian said when he first went abroad in the beginning of the nineties he stopped over in Egypt. The country made an everlasting impression on him.

The memory of the rolling sand cushions in the desert, which I couldn't not forget were printed in my mind forever. The people and smells, mixed with all extraordinary sounds in a large living moved to the absolute silence in the desert.

Later he went back to Africa and worked as a tour guide in Moshi, Tanzania. Something I remember the strongest from that time was the sound of the roaring Lions during the nights, which you could hear through the thin tent cloth when you were camping in the wilderness.

He also remembers climbing Kilimanjaros slopes during the first sunlight in the mornings. A visit to the Kalahari semi-desert in Southern Africa brought back thoughts of the Sahara.

Africa is a magic place, said Christian.

From the idea to reality

Then Christian moved on and took a job on sailboat that took tourists on trips on the Mediterranean Sea. He was responsible for all the woodwork on the boat, as he had worked previously at a sawmill in Sweden.

After working for some time on the boat he was thinking of doing a great adventure and the idea of doing the Sahara was born.

From idea to reality is a very long way sometimes, said Christian. I needed to create something like a life plan to make this to work. One of the biggest challenges for now was to get the money to the expedition.

Christian took a job on an oilrig for a gas and oil company. He worked with heavy scaffolding and as many hours possible overtime to get money to fulfill his Sahara dream. In his free time in Sweden he organized his expedition.

Bahariya Oasis, Egypt

Last week Christian arrived in Egypt to start the preparations that has to be done there. One major part of the preparation is to find good camels.

Christian visited his Egyptian contacts in Cairo and the Bahariya Oasis. He said the Oasis has 30000 inhabitants and it is one of the places that he will visit again on his journey. After Bahariya Oasis its one of the longest stretched without water in Egypt, said Christian.

At this oasis it was recommended that he travelled south to another oasis, Dakhla where there is a bigger selection of camels.

Dakhla Oasis and Al-Qasr

After a five-hour drive in a sweaty, crowed bus Christian arrived at Dakhla Oasis and Al-Qasr. He met with a couple of people, among them a man who promised to help him with the necessary permits I need and have to be obtained in Cairo.

The search for camels is on.

Christian Bodegren (born in 1973) from Sweden plans to cross the largest desert in the world, the Sahara in Africa, from east to west on a camel. According to Christian he will cover a distance of over 7000 km. Christians starting point in the east will be in Egypt at the Red Sea or Gulf of Suez, and he will be heading towards Mauritania's coast at the Atlantic Ocean in west.

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Old family graves near Dakhla Oasis and Al-Qasr in Egypt where Christian plans to find camels (click to enlarge)
Cairo, Egypt, with the pyramids in the background. Above live images over Contact 4.0 courtesy of (click to enlarge)
The low key Swede recently attempted to cross Sahara "the original way" - on camels.
Christians planned route from the Red Sea in the east of Africas Sahara desert to Mauritania in the west. Map courtesy of (click to enlarge)