After weeks of looking, we finally caught up with the strange European last week around Simmers Restaurant where his mysterious caravan rests.
“I am from Munich, Germany and I travelled all the way in this van. I have travelled to many countries in the last four and-a-half years,” the man, who refused to tell us his name, told us at the Simmers Restaurant where we found him sipping a soda.
“In Africa I have been to 11 countries namely: Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia.”
His strange odyssey, he claims, started in Munich four years ago and took him from Windhoek through Cairo at a cost of €100,000 Euros (Sh11.77 million). So far he has spent more than €70,000 (Sh8.24 million) on his journey to nowhere.
“I left my home because I wanted to start a new life in Africa. I will not go back. There is nothing to go back to there,” explained the unkempt mzungu whose thick accent made our conversation a tough task.
“I have sisters, but they are sick. I also have a house in Munich but I have ensured they have disconnected electricity and water, so there is no bill.”
The strange foreigner claims to have been a building contractor in Germany with rental houses. From the conversation, it gradually emerges that he might have sold this property to foot his expensive adventure.
When pushed to tell what he currently does for a living or what his days entail, the Caucasian wanderer proves a hard nut to squeeze.
“That’s private. Why do you want to know? Don’t write a story,” he protests harshly after I make an attempt to take notes. “If you do that, bad people will know me and come for my things,” he says.
I decide to memorise the interview since I was not ready to lose him after such a long hunt. I had to pick facts from his incoherent and thickly accented rumbling.
I ask him about life in his cabin whose interior is forever concealed behind a thick layer of cardboard. He says:
“I can take a shower from the car. I have four jerrycans of water and there is a drainage pipe. I also cook since there is a kitchen sink. There is also a toilet that I rarely use these days because I can access hotels,” the foreigner who claims to have a valid visa narrated.
“The sleeping place can accommodate two adults and the roof can also be converted into a bed for children if there is a family. You can go on holiday in this car anywhere and not incur hotel expenses.”
The white man says he has travelled to several towns in Kenya including Eldoret, Busia and Nakuru but he mostly shuttles between Nairobi and Mombasa. His gearbox and engine parts have a problem but he cannot find any spare parts here.
“Last time I went to Mombasa, someone poisoned me. I was rushed to hospital and put on a drip. So, I don’t like Mombasa,” he says. “I like camping around the central business area because it’s much safer than the outskirts since there are many people even at night.”
He used to camp at Karen and Amboseli area but got robbed four times, he says. The last time thugs specifically took his data equipment and a memory card with a film of his journey from Munich to Windhoek.