Anselm Pahnke had vowed not to buy a single litre of water. “I wanted to sense the rule of nature“, said the 31 year-old geophysicist at the virtual We Love Travel! event in Berlin, describing his journey by bicycle from the south to the north of Africa with as little equipment as possible. A few months turned into three years, and Africa was followed by Asia and then Australia over a total of 40,000 kilometres.
Warnings were cast aside, “they just drain you of inspiration.“ His preparations were scant, true to the motto that “the world speaks not to the knowledgeable but to those who are curious.“ Although he said he enjoyed being on his own “with only his camera to talk to“, he struck up conversations with many people on his travels. Almost everyone was welcoming, gave him directions, helped him overcome bouts of malaria and typhoid. His candidness, accounts and images not only contradict many stereotypes about the continent, but also impressively show how the journey influenced him. His story concludes with touching portrayals of laughing, friendly people, and although it had not been originally planned, his travel impressions spawned a book and film entitled “Elsewhere. Alone in Africa.“ But not only about Africa. Because when he was in the Middle East he “took a right turn“ and put Asia and Australia under his belt too. “Without a camera, because I no longer needed it for conversation.“