The Challenges of Africa and a Giveaway

For years Africa has been calling me. I have the beauty of its people and cultures, the rawness of its lands and wildlife and most of all I have craved the challenge.  It is the challenge that I crave the most, but it is also something I’ve had to gauge and prepare for.  Heading to somewhere like Chad, the Central African Republic or even my next stop which is the Adrar region of Mauritania doesn’t only come with challenges, but dangers.  Just a couple years ago the Dakar rally was cancelled through Mauritania because of threats from Al-Qaeda, and civil conflicts still simmer in a number of counties.

I don’t seek out dangerous places as a game, but I do feel drawn to places that most skip.  I feel a draw to the excitement that anything could happen at any given moment.  That is the excitement I feel I need in my life.

What about this Giveaway?

As you know, I seek out sponsorships from time to time to help fund my travels. I certainly couldn’t do it alone. Knowing that I will surely encounter some challenges I wanted to make sure that I was well insured.  I wanted a type of protection that covered more than just the usual basic medical, but also gave me emergency response assistance. So I was really excited to hear that EA+ has decided to give me a year of their services. What’s more, they’ve also offered to give you a year of their services as well!

What’s EA+?

Emergency Assistance Plus is an international medical and travel assistance program. They are not a travel insurance per say, rather they provide assistance that is over and above what the usual travel insurance covers. Basically, they provide medical evacuations, medical assistance and travel assistance. So that if something serious happens to me when I’m travelling I’m covered. Essentially, travel insurance will cover the hospital bills, but quite often they don’t cover extreme costs such as helicopter evacuations and other related expenses. Moreover, you’ll have their assistance 24-hours a day 365 days a year so that if you feel threatened by social or political unrest, extreme weather or any type of disaster you have an exit strategy.

Find out more about their program here.

How can I win?

I thought that I should have a simple contest rather than a complicated one and I came up with this. In the comment box below tell me why you should win. Tell me a story about a disastrous situation you were in, or tell me about the places you’re planning on travelling and why this might come in handy. The best story or reason why you need it will be won and chosen by me.

We Want to Hear more about Africa!

I know, I know. The truth is that for the most part my content always runs a month or so behind on this website. However, if you follow me on twitter or facebook you’ll see that I always post up-to-date photos and blurbs about where I’m at. If you’re on twitter you can also follow the hashtag #BrendansAfrica which is the keyword I’ll be hashing out with my most important daily tweet.

Anyways, add a comment below to win the travel assistance from EA+


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: Brendan van Son is a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. He has visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than he has the desire to count. Check out his profile on . for a little bit more about him.

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6 Comments

  1. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for someone with as much wanderlust and adventure as Brendan to really show the world what they’ve got.

    As someone who has made travel their life – and also as someone prone to travel close to danger and take some seriously questionable risks – having this kind of reassurance behind me would definitely help propel me on to bigger and better things.

    As my writing begins to develop and my blogs reach wider audiences, I’m confident that having something like the EA+ behind me would allow me to continue to push boundaries, bring audiences great content and inspire the world to never stop exploring.

    No doubt by awarding me the EA+ package you won’t only be making one man’s travel dreams come true but you’ll also be helping to show the world what’s out there and what’s worth dedicating your life for.

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  2. I be going to Africa in like 7 days. I will be climbing hella mountains like Killimanjaro straight up dominating the climb. Unless of course, I don’t because I am too fat and out of shape and I come close to dying in which case Emergency medical assistance will be required to get my fat ass off the mountain.

    Also I be going on a safari where there will be all sorts of animals potentially trying to eat me. What the f am I going to do when a Rhino gores me in my gut? Probably bleed out unless some one can take me to hospital to stitch my punk ass up.

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  3. We should win because we’re too cheap to buy travel insurance for ourselves. And, it we win, we will advertise it on our blog. You win, we win, and so does Emergency Assistance Plus.

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  4. I would be so happy and feel the luckest man alive to win the EA+ Evac-package because at xmas later this year my little brother and I have stupidly entered the plymouth to timbuktu challenge. It involves driving a clapped out banger nearly 4500 miles through France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal and Mali.
    I have never done anything like this before. In fact, I have only been to africa once, The Gambia in 2010 for just a week, at 4* hotel. My poor old father is absolutely beside himself with worry, he only said yesterday that I need some sort of super breakdown rescue insurance as the timbuktu challenge is totally unsupported and my little brother and I have to cover all the costs of buying the car which will be donated to the Edan medical project to pay for a hospital in mali when and if we arrive there !. My brother and I have saved £4000 so far towards cost of the car, food, accommodation, ferries, flights, petrol, breakdowns, bribes , fines and any other unforeseen problems . So This package would be AMAZING and would certain help rescue us if we crashed in the desert or were chased by Al-Qaeda !!! I know my old dad would be able to sleep easy knowing his 2 boys
    Had EA+ on their side.
    I will also be backpacking from spain through to morocco next week for a while so it would help with that as I’m doing it solo, like you Brendan.

    You have to go to go there, to come back. Exploration helps me feel alive. I am dedicating the rest of my life to discovery, and the road less travelled.

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  5. Ferdinand, I hope that rally does indeed go off, but right now Timbuktu is not so accessible. And I’m not talking flimsy travel warnings. Ansar al Din and AQIM are essentially administering the city right now. Hopefully, it is resolved before December, but as of right now, those groups are becoming more entrenched.

    My submission for the giveaway actually involves Timbuktu in 2010. I had just spent time staying at a friend’s family in Niafunke, which is just south of Timbuktu via the Niger or sand track. It was in Niafunke that I drank lukewarm tea that had been brewed with water from the river. Some days later, I fell ill in Timbuktu. What I thought was a typical case of traveler’s diarrhea turned into a horror story when I started shitting blood. You know that feeling after you’ve been sitting on a toilet emptying vital fluids from your body? That feeling that you have just shat out your life force? Take that and compound it with the terrifying sight of blood in the toilet bowl. I tried self-treating with cipro, which kills most everything, but it does not, I learned, kill amoebas. It was not until I was in Sevare, after a brutal trip in a dilapidated shared 4×4 over sand track followed by 5 hours in a minibus from douentza, that I sought medical attention. Nauseous and dry heaving, it was one of the more difficult trips on public transport I have taken. The Sevare clinic had an outdoor pit toilet and it was there that I shat into what was more or less a plastic shot glass on wobbly, tired legs. Stool sample. I was diagnosed with amoebic dysentery and prescribed metronidazole, a medication that gave me vertigo and made my mouth taste like metal. That said, it cured me and I learned yet another lesson about drinking water.

    The real reason I would want this service, though, is not because of things like amoebic dysentery. It’s because I continue to spend most of my time in West Africa and road safety is always a big concern of mine. This is, I think, the biggest threat to travelers in Africa.

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  6. Yes, this is an incredible chance for anyone who desire to travel and adventure in Africa. This opportunity will definitely help people to get taste of wildlife and African culture as well.

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