Travelling the world by wheelchair

Kareen and Louis Broodryk are on a mission to seek adventure, people and places.

Travel enthusiasts, husband and wife Louis and Kareen Broodryk, have been travelling together for the past 15 years.

Louis fell through a ceiling while assisting friends in a renovation project while he was studying at the University of Stellenbosch and ended up in a wheelchair.

This did not stop him from embracing his love for travel dnd exploring, but the disability does present him and Kareen
with unique challenges while travelling.

The two have always faced the challenge of getting accommodation that is wheelchair friendly and the unfamiliarity of a person travelling in a wheelchair always calls for a different approach, especially when having to persuade people that Louis can take part in activities like scuba diving, horseback riding and driving quad bikes.

After getting married in 2003, Louis and Kareen started backpacking around the world, exploring countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Japan, Thailand, Australia and Vietnam to name a few. While travelling, they would also scuba dive where they could.

Their honeymoon was in Mozambique, which nurtured their love for the African continent. That was followed by trips to Botswana and Namibia – all done in a little Renault Kangoo delivery van. They exchanged the Kangoo for a VW Caddy and travelled through Botswana, Zambia and Malawi in 2014 to explore Africa further north. It was on this trip that the idea of Fearless on Four Wheels was born.

Kareen and Louis decided to create a blog on their Zambia/ Malawi trip with Louis documenting the trip and Kareen taking the photos. While on this holiday they de-
cided to work towards getting out of the rat-race, and to make overlanding a permanent lifestyle.

The couple traded their Volkswagen Caddy in for a 2010 Toyota Hilux D4D and named her Ufudu (which means tortoise in Zulu). They fitted the vehicle with an aluminium pop-up camper on the back.

During the course of the last 18 months they have added several features to Ufudu, for example, an extra fuel tank, installing a solar panel and battery system, which need to generate sufficient electricity for their fridges and electrical equipment and a solid packing system. A further hand control driving system was installed for Louis, and handles around the vehicle and a box on the driver’s side to put his wheelchair in. This enables him to drive the vehicle and get in and out of the vehicle without assistance.

Kareen is the photographer and Louis does the videos. Through their stories and videos they want to share, not only their love for travelling, but show people who are physically challenged that it is possible to travel independently. The pair plans to embark on their next adventure on July 1 and overland through Africa for a year with no end destination in mind.

During the first three months they plan to explore Namibia and Botswana visiting the Okavango Delta, Skeleton Coast and Van Zyl Pass and then Angola,
but in general there is no set agenda. The idea is to travel slowly through Africa, stop anywhere, and experience all the people and cultures.

While travelling the couple plans to also give back to the communities they visit, by making a practical difference in people’s lives as they travel. They are busy with fund-raising for the distribution of a hundred sets of reusable sanitary pads for schoolgirls through the company Subz Pads, which was created in response to a request for donation of washable sanitary pads and panties for underprivileged girls.

They also want to show educational movies on recycling and reuse with a mobile projector to show how trash can be turned into an income. And lastly, to print
pictures of families that do not have family pictures with a small printer.

People can get more information on these projects on the Fearless on Four wheels team charity initiative under Back a Buddy at the following link: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/fearless-on-four-wheels and http://www.
projectdignity.org.za/ and http://www.subzpads.co.za)

You can also subscribe to the couple’s YouTube channel and journey along on their adventure as they go and seek adventure, people and places.