1. Trent ‘Barefoot’ Seiler
I was born in Springs (South Africa) then moved to Maun (Botswana) for two years, it was here that the bush bug bit. Maun at this point (1995) was a tiny town south of the Okavango Delta. My best friends, were a hippo, and half bushman girl who had been adopted after being found alone sitting by a fire smoking her pipe at the tender age of three. I moved back to Springs two years later, I progressed until grade 9 and then was moved to Pretoria where I completed my schooling career.
I attended the University of Pretoria gaining a degree in Philosophy and Archaeology. I proceeded to get my Masters Degree in Archaeology. My project focused on proving that bushmen were not the iconic ‘primitive people’ incapable of change, rather that they were intelligent and diverse in their interaction and integrated into the Iron Age farming communities leading up to Mapungubwe. Contributing fundamentally to this great prehistoric empire in northern South Africa.
I have a passion for African plant life and wildlife and have traveled southern Africa extensively, exploring remote destinations, surveying and fishing in pristine wilderness. I intend on finding all the most beautiful nooks and cranny’s Africa has to offer. I also have an incurable addiction to African music, having been exposed to the 70’s psychedelic freedom rock from Zambia (Zam Rock) among other north African and Nigerian shredding kings.
My goals on this trip are to expose the public to the beauty of African archaeology, wildlife, music and fishing destinations. I also intend to gauge the state of Africa’s wildlife, giving educational talks informing them on the damages of illegal animal trade focusing on Elephant and Rhino populations as well as heritage preservation . Thus, assisting to prove that this is not just a dark continent rife with peril, turmoil and corruption as the media portray it but ready for change, awaiting you to explore it.
I have assembled a diverse team rich in passion, drive and action!
2. Istene (the chef) Rousseau
I’m Istene Rousseau, Aspiring Adventurer, Avid beard enthusiast and lover of a good cup of tea. My life’s mission is to share my love for the world with every human I meet and eat good food along the way.
I was born in Pretoria where I grew up next to a small airport, this is where all the trouble started! I fell in love with flying and decided to take on the endeavor to become a Commercial Pilot. I obtained my commercial pilot license and quickly thereafter progressed to become a flight instructor. I eventually started working at an airliner at OR Tambo where I had many opportunities to excel in the industry. However, the corporate aviation world has never been where I saw myself “excelling” and I was a bit ambivalent about the entire situation, thus, I decided to do the most logical thing a 25 year old should do… quit my job and join teams with the three most brutish men to explore Africa.
My passions are cooking, followed directly by the consumption of great food, flying, music, people, adventure and excitement. I am an avid rock climber and hiker and I’m constantly seeking new peaks to conquer. I’ve rowed the Orange River and hiked the fish river canyon, but overlanding in South-Africa’s bordering counters is where I fell in love with the people and the cultures and I want to experience more!
I want to explore the tastes of Africa, learn how to cook all the weird and wonderful things this continent has to offer, outdoors over a fire (showing these men how to actually braai)! I want to experiment the different herbs and spices found in Africa’s land and study their culinary, medicinal and other uses. I want to touch the lives of people we meet along the way while learning as much as I can, leaving them with a speck of a memory that will last a million lifetimes.
3. Tom Ulysses Da Silva
Hey everybody! Well as it says above, my name is Tom and I am an amateur photographer, a wannabe writer with too many ideas in my head and not enough time. A pyro fire twirler, a tasty fruit picker and a vine wrapper. I’ve been a Field Guide in South Africa and started my life in a lush forest on the NSW coast of Australia. Im a vagabond and a skater and one of those bloody dreaded travellers. An overland explorer and a pirate without a ship. I want to fly to the Moon and around the Sun and Stars, and fill peoples hearts with laughter, fun and happiness.
My mission is to experience and understand as much as I can in this Life, and to help those that I can, in whatever which way and to put a smile and joy in the lives, of even those that I cannot.
I’m from Australia but believe I’m from this Earth, and will not be stopped by borders and misconceptions between this Earths’s Peoples or it Places.
Be it the racial divisions, or the incisions of fear that come from the misunderstandings of another’s religion. The difference’s of ones features and of the vast and different landscapes and countries, we all hail from. The way we talk and the way we behave. If we were all the same, wouldn’t we be a boring lot? We are all different, but we are all One and just distant cousins really. And in the end if not.. screw it, who cares? Why does it matter that someone is different? Why do we create these borders to separate ourselves? Grow up and open your eyes.
I want this motorbike adventure with Trent, Istene and mike, my fellow Nitty Gritty Nomads, through Southern Africa, to be many things;
I want to feel and live firsthand how many on this Earth do. To try and understand another’s culture and see their point of view.
I want to implement the beginning phases of The Silva Sun Foundation and improve the lives of people in impoverished and remote areas. To help were we can and do what we can do, to make even a small positive difference and change in the world.
Be it cleaning the streets and bush of rubbish, to teaching sex education and wildlife conservation at schools. Improving literacy and donating books to those who wish to read and to nourish imagination and creativity in the unknown artists soul.
I want to raise further awareness and help fight the poaching of the lives of fast disappearing species of animals such as Rhinos and Elephants for their horns or their tusks. To stop the deforestation and the habitat destruction of the forests and homes of creatures like the Silverback Mountain Gorilla.
I want to climb rising escarpments and jagged mountains and look down upon epic views. To swing through the jungles and trees, butt naked if we please. To paddle across the watery oasis, that is the Okavango Delta, when all around is dead and dry, and cross over vast plains and shifting desert dunes.
I want to hunt for our own food with sling and stone and pick edible berries from between the leaves and return to our cave home.To swim between the crashing waves chasing fish and pluck oysters from the rock just to survive.
I want to look for clues and puzzle pieces of the past in a land full of history. To delve into the mystery of the Sangomas and the raw and powerful magic that is Majestic Africa. And learn what there is to learn and then some.
I want to run with the stampede and sleep in the dust. To stand amongst the first rains and bask in the suns rays. To roll in the mud and not give a fuck!
I want to sing and dance around the fire under the stars with you and howl at the silver Full Moon.
I want to stare Death in the face and laugh.
I want to Live.
4. Mike ‘The Mechanic’ Watson
I was born and bred in Limpopo. Went to school at Capricorn High School and Merensky (Tzaneen). It was at Merensky where I met most of my crazy friends who stayed in the small mountain village of Haenertsburg. I fell in love with the mountains and did a lot of exploring in the indigenous forests, on foot, bike and with 4×4.
After school I started working at an engineering company in Polokwane and qualified as a Fitter & Turner. I’m also a very competent welder. I’m a practical kind of guy and will be the ‘Mr Fixit’ on this trip. 2015 I bought my first bike – a Triumph and that’s when the biking bug bit.
My real love for Africa began in 2011 when I successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro. Since then I have also been up close and personal with the Gorillas in Uganda, done white water rafting at the source of the Nile, fished in Botswana and lay on the white beaches of Mozambique.
Then I heard about the Nitty Gritty Nomads and I knew biking through Africa was going to be my next adventure. This trip, for me, will be about meeting new people, experiencing and understanding different cultures, facing new challenges and growing in myself.
Africa is in my heart and soul and as they say – ‘You’re Only Young Once!’ – make the most of opportunities which come your way!