80-year-old grandma sets off on inspiring African adventure

An 80-year-old grandma looking for the adventure of a lifetime took the plunge and made her dreams a reality with a trip that is inspiring for all of us.

Julia Albu set off on the day of her 80th birthday and has had all sorts of wonderful experiences along the way including meeting the Masai people, witnessing the source of the Nile and having breakfast with a Giraffe – all the while travelling in her trusty Toyota Conquest called Tracy!

She embarked on the adventure planning to sleep in a tent, but such was the generosity of the people who she met on the way that she only ended up pitching it twice.

It is the people of Africa who she credits as the highlight of the trip so far.

“You will not believe how much kind and generous help I have had along the way, from my totally supportive family to total strangers. It was the people I had known for perhaps five minutes who astonished me.

“Invitations to come and stay, often in magical bush camps and beautiful private homes. The tent was only put up twice and has come back to Cape Town in disgrace,” she joked.

Julia’s trip is also motivated by a charitable purpose: she will be using her trip to raise awareness about the work done by Cape Town charity Shine Literacy, which is trying to get more young people in South Africa reading through their literacy programme.

The bucket-list adventure was also in honour of the 20th birthday of her Toyota Tracy!

“When I realised that my trusty Toyota Conquest would be 20 years old this year and I would be 80, there couldn’t be a better time to fulfil my dream and together with 100 years of life’s experiences, together we hope to set off on the adventure of a lifetime,” she said.