Gambia has cars

By car to Africa

Over a distance of over 7000 kilometers, the Wattwil doctor Rainer Schregel and Sven Rauhut cross seven countries and travel to Gambia in Africa. The adventure trip is for a good cause.

WATTWIL. Petrol cans and spare tires are tied tightly to the car roof, the camp beds are stowed away, Rainer Schregel and Sven Rauhut are ready to go. There are 7200 kilometers ahead of them. The two men take part in the Dresden-Dakar-Banjul Challenge. 41 teams started this rally on Saturday, which starts in Dresden and ends in Gambia in Africa. Rainer Schregels journey begins in Wattwil because he lives here. His colleague Sven Rauhut lives near Dresden, so he has already completed the first stage of the rally. The 41 cars will be auctioned in Gambia and the proceeds will be invested in hospitals and training centers for nursing staff, for example. The Dresden-Banjul Organization organizes the rally twice a year. “Last time we raised around 50,000 euros. With the non-profit organization, I can be sure that the money will go where it is needed, ”says Rainer Schregel.

Escort in the desert

The route takes them from Switzerland to France and then to Spain. “The other drivers started in Dresden on Saturday, so we have a head start. We use this to make a short detour to Gibraltar in Spain, ”says the 50-year-old. The first mandatory meeting point is in the ferry port of Algeciras. Then the journey continues through Morocco. The second mandatory meeting point is at the border crossing to Mauritania, all teams cross the border together. "We have escort from the Mauritanian military for the journey through Mauritania." The journey then continues through Senegal to Gambia. The vehicles will be auctioned there on March 23rd. “The Gambia is a relatively wealthy country by African standards. There are some rich people who can afford a car, ”says the Wattwil doctor. It has always been a dream for him to take part in such a rally one day. "It's an affordable adventure, an option I'd otherwise never have."

Sleep under the stars

Originally he wanted to take part in the Allgäu-Orient-Rallye, which ends in Jordan, but he didn't have the time. The shorter Dresden-Banjul rally was ideal for him. He knew his team partner for this adventure, Sven Rauhut, from a motorcycle challenge in which they covered 1,700 kilometers in 24 hours. The two are not afraid at all. They have escorts where it could be dangerous. Nevertheless, they have a tracking device with them, from which they can send an SOS signal in an emergency at the push of a button. The two are looking forward to the adventure, to spending the night in the open air in the Sahara. "We probably won't see a more beautiful starry sky anywhere else." Most of all, they look forward to the warmth and the many impressions that they will bring with them from their trip.