Family Sampson Christmas 2011

Africa Clockwise is the name of the epic journey around the circumference of the continent stand-up comedian Mark Sampson, writer Sam Pearce and their children Ruby and Zola completed at the end of 2019 in their Big Green Truck, fuelled by recycled waste vegetable oil and solar power.

We set out in July 2013 to inspire others to:
– Travel Africa
– Think Green
– Seize the Day

Family Sampson and their Big Green Truck

Family Sampson and their Big Green Truck before leaving South Africa in July 2013

We originally thought it would take us two years – the plan was one year up the west coast, one year down the east, and back before our daughter started high school. Six and a half years, 47000km, 38 countries and 27 breakdowns later, she wrote Matric!

Family Sampson in Liberia at Christmas 2015

Family Sampson in Liberia at Christmas 2015

Africa Clockwise was a quest to discover whether it was possible for our kids to live happily without wifi or water on tap – like the majority of the continent’s children. A quest to investigate whether a future without fossil-fuelled luxuries may not be such a bad thing, helping us to focus on quality of life experiences, not quantity of possessions.

Family Sampson in Europe July 2017

The journey in the Big Green Truck was ‘clockwise’ – both as a direction, and as a wake up call: time now is crucial and we urgently need to take proactive steps to prepare for an environmentally compromised future. Our ecological clock is ticking increasingly loudly and alarm bells are ringing…

Since we left, ‘global warming’ has become ‘global heating’, with ‘global scorching’ on the horizon. In 2013 we thought we were going to be teaching our kids how to cope with extreme weather and less water so they could pass lessons on to their kids – we didn’t think we would be dealing with climate emergency in our lifetime.

Family Sampson in Tanzania at Christmas 2018

However, we are confident that the lessons travelling Africa has taught us about resilience and positivity have prepared them well for what is upon us and what is coming. If you need cheering up about climate change, book comedian Mark Sampson for a post-pandemic motivational presentation or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Follow the blog to witness Sam Pearce complete the story of their mammoth trek and transform it into a book about the lessons of longhaul travel with longhaul illness.

56 Responses to Home

  1. dave knight says:

    mark you and your family are an inspiration boet…will be following you…enjoy the waves!

  2. Alan Schnider says:

    epic trip , gonna follow you. Look forward to doing something similar soon, before it’s tooo late.

  3. Hennie Kotze says:

    If we want to sponsor you with free GPS tracking and equipment, how do I contact you? The public will be able to follow your progress on our website, as well as on your own by making use of our API. See locat.co.za (we are already doing the same for the Cape Town 2 Dublin Red Cross Childrens’ Hospital Scooter drive)

  4. Thanks a million for this awesome offer Hennie! We would love to be getting the same tracking treatment as Chris Venter and his Scooter Addicts – email mark@africaclockwise.co.za.

    • Lulu says:

      Very inspirational Mark. Just watched you on this TV programme on the 23 April 2018 during your visit in Ethiopia. I really got motivated with what you and your family is doing.

  5. orele says:

    hi.i am orele the congolese girl.we meet to hippocampe.i love you

  6. Deva says:

    Like, the Tsitsikamma to Tataouine Expedition (http://www.t2tafrica.com/) that another team of South Africans is undertaking, I hope these journeys shift the global perception of Africa. Godspeed all!

  7. Hi Mrs. Sampson,
    I want to really appreciate your time and hospitality shown me and my friends today when we visited you and your family in your truck by the Drill Ranch in Calabar. I wish you God’s protection and God’s speed as you travel round Africa.
    Akonde A. Ebenezer
    Ledge Services Ltd

  8. Hi,
    i wil like to help you as a tour guide am in calabar cross river state nigeria.
    I saw you today at the national museum when you were about to go out of the museum.
    I was born and i grow up here in calabar cross river state. Am 20 years old of age, i like adventure tour like yours.
    This is my mobile phone number 2348066092199
    Hoping to hear/get a reply from you

  9. Ubi Obono says:

    Hi this is ubi The medical student you met during carnival calabar in Nigeria. I love you all will be following you

  10. Stéphane says:

    Hey guys !! Tractafric Gabon is not far…folowing your trip! Hope the best !! Stéphane / Mercedes dealer in Gabon

  11. archecotech says:

    Hello Mark,
    I love what you are doing and the reasons behind it. I’ve not been to Africa but suspect that I’ll learn a lot from following your blog. Getting right to the point I hope you don’t mind that I’ve done a pingback to your blog for my readers to find you and read about your journey.
    My journey has been a different one, I moved to Russia over 2 years ago to be with my new wife here. I started a blog to share about life in Russia. Then while blogging I started a section called mirror reflections, it’s a way for others to see that Russia isn’t the big bad wolf so to speak. It has become the center of my blog connecting cultures together allowing the to see the similarities we all share.
    If you are interested come take a look a hague6185.wordpress.com

  12. INCI says:

    Such a rewarding experience for the family and very interesting reading for us all.
    I hope you and the children had a super time in the UK celebrating your parents anniversary. Inci (travelled together to the UK from Casablanca).

  13. Gareth (Gaz) Faulkner says:

    Hi Mark

    Nice to meet you yesterday and share a few cold waves/close outs in the Bay (Newquay) ha ha ha, you was surfing with style and panache ; )

    Wow! what an amazing story and adventure, highlighting a global matter.
    Envious and humbled, I will stay tuned and wish you guys all the best.

    Gaz in Plymouth

  14. Pingback: Fotobeeld: Musiek, visuele kuns en poësie verklaar oorlog teen korrupsie | LitNet

  15. mariam adams says:

    What w worthwhile ‘adventure’ which I will be following with great interest. Am very piques to know how u manage without ‘water on tap’ something us urbanites take for granted.
    But I’m interested how , NOT having a tv. Will influence the children especially. I’m sure they will become even more aware of their surroundings and become more perceptive human beings.

  16. mike Jankelowitz says:

    Hello Mark and family, I trust you are all well! have loved keeping up with your movements!
    Been a most wonderful thing what you have achieved! No doubt it will continue!
    Take Care a safe travels
    Warm Regards
    Mike Jankelowitz

  17. Doria says:

    Very interesting and adventurous! Must have been a great learning experience for the kids too!

  18. Ruby says:

    Mum, this website is truly amazing, and your writing leaves everyone, me included (although I was there!!) spellbound. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog, I will remember the great adventures we had and are having in full colour because of you, thank you.

  19. Si and Hills says:

    Following with interest. In the process of building a body for our Merc 1222.. The draw of Africa is something you can’t shake.. We’ll get back there one day! Safe travels guys and we are now following! Si and Hills (currently in The Barossa South Australia!) 🙂

  20. Pingback: Around Africa Clockwise with a NanoKleen | Nanokleen.co.za

  21. Mark Ashraf says:

    Hey Mark it was really awesome meeting u today in EGYPT , really i would like to spend alot of time as i can with u , u have my contacts , just contact me , u r awesome and even from about spending 1 hours or less with u , i was so happy eager to learn and talk more , contact me ASAP before u leave Egypt ,

    With love

  22. Melinda says:

    Thank you for your entertaining and inspirational visit to ICS Addis Ababa. Will be following the rest of your journey here.

  23. Daniel Tesfaye / says:

    Nice to meet you in Addis Ababa Ethiopia at Sheraton Addis , Have a great journey for the rest of your trip.

  24. Sister Tibebwa says:

    Greetings of love and light, I pray this finds you all well…I am a friend of Jo and family here in.Addis Ababa and she has just told me about you and your incredible journey ….I have tried unsuccessfully for many, many years to find anyone in Ethiopia to help me convert my Toyota Pick-up Diesel to run on vegetable oil..?
    I would love to have a link with you, to have some advice on how best.to make the conversion ….please can you contact me when you have a chance…give much thanks…praying for more love, joy and peace in this world…Sister Tibebwa

  25. Guyo Kanu Jillo says:

    Great ,what a lovely moments, I meet at our area Sololo while relaxing near Damballa fachana.
    Save journey.

  26. Conan Ask says:

    Long way from the Riviera 72 Beach Club

  27. Mbuvi says:

    This is great work guys..encountered along mombasa malindi near bamburi beach

  28. Jared Were says:

    Thanks you so much for the sacrifice to make the world a better place to live in. I spotted your truck in My home town (Mombasa) on Sunday 15/7/2018.
    May God bless you

  29. Saada Michaelo says:

    Amazing and one of my dreams
    Have brought up my kids with no electronics and I have loved this with all challenges theybhave had to go thru die to pressure from other kids who have and live thru with electronic world.

    Amazing keep it up and wow inspiring
    Am only eager to learn how u managed basic needs and money issues… If not working and making money for basic needs….
    Would love to learn more

    • Thanks so much for your enthusiasm Saada! We do not have a cash sponsor so we survive on what’s left of the rent of our house in Cape Town after paying our daughter’s boarding school fees. Visas and breakdowns are our main expense; we buy very little else apart from rice, veg and eggs. We couldn’t have made it this far without the generosity of Michelin, Tractafric, Treetops Renewables and Victron Energy giving us tyres, truck servicing and solar systems respectively, as well as all donations from those on our sponsor page.

  30. Marcia says:

    Hello Smiling Sampsons!

    Splendidly liberating read.
    Admirable under adversity.
    Your gift of sharing ME history & traveling experience is encouraging – I understand the fight, as I am battling in my own ME World

    I Like your vintage Green Truck!

    Pre-ME I visited Kenya. Your photos remind me of the beauty.

    Good luck with Mombasa Doctors.

    Blessings to all your family.

    The sun shines through from your spurted writing.

    Keep on trucking!

  31. Pauline Levinah says:

    It’s me from the sauna. LOL..

  32. john madasyo ambani says:

    interesting indeed,it was really touching

  33. Richard Gwaro says:

    Your visit to our TOTAL LPG plant here in Mombasa really amazed us. Your green vehicle was so interesting,
    leave alone your mission and vision. keep it up.

  34. Abdelhamid Ahmed says:

    Awesome . I miss you so much

  35. Daud Gordon says:

    I understand and am the one very interested

  36. Hallo Sampson Family, The Green-Diesel team eagerly await your family’s arrival in Cape Town to fill up your Big Green Merc Truck on our Biodiesel, the only biodiesel in South Africa to be approved by Scania, Sweden – dont worry it works in Mercedes engines as well 🙂 Drive safely the rest of the way.

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  38. Barry Thomas says:

    Well done the Sampsons ! I would love to swap stories with you. I drove from the UK to cape town in 1972 in a Volksie bus !

    • Respect! When Mark next does a show near you, let us know and we’ll send you tickets so you can come and share – the changed perspective from 40 years before would be fascinating 🙂

  39. Laura Markus says:

    Blessings Sampson Family
    We have just seen your story on Carte Blanche ~ what an amazing adventure.
    The story ended off with each of your personal future ideas.
    Zola is going to study at a Maritime Center ~ would you possibly be able to tell us which Center he’ll be studying at? My son is 13 and extremely interested in anything to do with Marine. So we are trying to accumulate as much information and possibilities as possible before he leaves school.
    Thank you in advance

    Many blessings
    The Markus Family

  40. Zola started in January at the Lawhill Maritime Centre, attached to Simonstown School. They have a phenomenal relationship with the maritime industry, offering Nautical Science, Maritime Economics and Marine Science as Matric subjects from G10-12. Scholarship recipients come from all over the country and southern Africa to study marine subjects and learn to sail and row. They also have opportunities to train with the NSRI and travel overseas for work experience in Spain and China. The staff are passionate and caring and we can thoroughly recommend LWC!

  41. rhahare says:

    Wow Sampson family! Congratulations guys! What an achievement! I was scrolling through you tube and spotted your cart blanch story. I can’t explain how excited I got when I realized it was you! When you guys can through point noire in Republic of Congo I met you and managed to help organize some old oil from our ship. I honestly thought your expedition had failed and am so impressed with you guys. Will definitely be keeping an eye open for your book.
    Wow wow wow!

  42. Helene Vandenberghe says:

    Hello, are you still on the road? I would like to do a big cross (from SA to Egypt) end of May with my dog and car…starting from Cape Town…

    • We’re back in Cape Town, currently parked at the Soetwater Environmental Education Centre. I’m behind in the blog due to energy limitations of my chronic illness ME, but working hard to complete the story. Good luck with your trip!

  43. Patrick Crook says:

    Just saw you guys drive through Muizenberg 🙂

  44. Fru Toh Scott Freddy says:

    Good morning! Wishing to write to you personally! Am a student and I wish to know more about the Akum fondom! Am writing a mémoire about that locality and any information I could get from you will be really helpful! Waiting a favourable answer. Thanks

  45. LaDonna says:

    Hi all!

    This is LaDonna who you met in Calabar, Nigeria at Drill Ranch. I’ve been thinking a lot about you all especially with what’s going on in the world. Sending positive vibes as always!

    • Hello honey! How lovely to hear from you 🙂 How’s Chicago? A bit chillier than Calabar I bet! Are you still working with animals? Hope so, that was your happy place. Yes, we were so lucky to make it home to SA before the pandemic kicked off. Loads of love to you xxx

  46. Fred Cook says:

    G’day! Was roaming my photo library, looking at pictures of outings to Mile Six Beach near Victoria, now Limbe, Cameroon. Googling Mile Six turned up your blog.

    Sad to see how Mile Six has gone down. On the other hand, I have lots of photos of old MB trucks like yours, le elephant de la piste!

    All the best!

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