Beyond Bagamoyo: A Journey from Cape to Cairo
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“Past the waterhole at Musmar my spirits started fighting each other again. There were turmoils of the unknown, beautyversus the hideous, and the passion of going beyond. I closed my eyes and walked fifty paces. There was still nothing on the endless horizon. Then I sat down in the sand and drew a map of Africa – pushing my finger into Cape Town and slowly drawing it along the sand up all Eastern Africa, Ethiopia and in to the Sudan. Then, I thought I saw him, the old Sangoma, there in the Zulu hills holding his puffadder. I moved my finger northward towards Cairo. The sand was hot, but I am sure I could see his smile.”
Obie Oberholzer began this, his fourth major photographic odyssey, in Cape Town, on the 1st of April 1994. He meandered his way north, across plateaus and plains, through valleys and over mountains up along Africa’s eastern side. There were jungles to come and vast deserts and roads that were no longer roads. He traveled the byways through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritria and Sudan to Egypt (via Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel). In the parking lot near the Great Pyramids of Giza, he wiped the dust from his dashboard. The distance read 40,000 kilometers and the time said 9 months and twenty days. This is his story.