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Climate Zones and Travel Period


The Travel Routes


Selection of Vehicles






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Of course, the choice of vehicles depends primarily on where you want to drive and secondly on for how many people and luggage you want to transport.

Selection criterion
- savety against
the risk of injury


Almost everything is feasible for only two people in one vehicle - including the the luggage transport in various compact car models... - however: If the budget is tight, the question arises: Where do you make the cuts while planning? When choosing a vehicle, think about your own safety and never forget, the risk of injury in an accident is much lower in a solid vehicle than with a small car.

Selection criterion
- space requirements


Until a few years ago, most SUV vehicles were built in such a way that there was enough space for four people and their luggage, even for longer tours. Now things look different: Even with the new Nissan X-Trail, you get problems with that. In the meantime, the luggage compartment has become the big problem of almost all so-called SUVs.

Because of the aerodynamics and to save fuel - most SUV vehicles are designed in a way you can no longer accommodate the luggage for four people.

Yes, possibly: you save some fuel. This might be correct if there were four of you on the way in just one vehicle. So now you need two cars, or you take the category "minibus".

For example: VW combi, Hyundai H1, Mercedes Vito, Toyota Quantum, .... etc. - or a big off-road vehicle such as the Toyota Landcruiser.

Selection criterion
- travel route


In South Africa you can do almost evrerything with front or rear wheel drive. However, it is a great advantage if your vehicle has sufficient ground clearance. This makes you more mobile and independent - especially in the national parks.

In remote areas, however, things look different and you definitely need a four-wheel drive vehicle on certain routes. Smaller vehicles - such as the Renault Duster 4x4 - are enough for two people. However, if you are really into the wilderness, you need from the Toyota HiLux / Nissan Hardbody 4x4 up to the Toyota Landcruiser with safari equipment. a Toyota Quantum in the Etosha Pan...

...might be... - but... - better not.... a 4x4 Volvo XC90 at the Zebra River.... a Toyota Quantum in the Etosha Pan...

...might be... - but... - better not.... a 4x4 Volvo XC90 at the Zebra River....


Sport Utility Vehicle / SUV“ ? - it all depends on your travel route...


A short word about the vehicle category of the so-called SUVs: Within South Africa and on the busy routes in Namibia and also Botswana or Zimbabwe - no problem. Even in many remote areas, with an adequate ground clearance, and also because you don't really need four-wheel drive there, you can easily get to your destination with any SUV. But there is a big problem and these are the tires, or rather the wheel sizes, which are unusual in remote areas!

In remote areas, you could get problems if one or two tires burst. SUVs are usually - like cars - equipped with only one spare wheel. Or worse: The car has not even a spare wheel anymore!

Stay away from such vehicles if you are driving on remote routes! This is especially true if they have a road surface made of sharp, hard gravel.
The problem: SUVs are usually equipped with special wheel sizes that do not correspond to the dimensions of the usual off-road tires or the common car tires. Of course there are petrol stations and workshops in remote areas that have new and used tires in stock. Big tires for real off-road vehicles - no problem. Tires for normal cars? Neither a problem.
Tires for SUV vehicles, which are sometimes even designed as low section tires - you can only get that in bigger towns. Nobody drives an SUV in remote areas - so why should the workshop keep such tire sizes in stock?


Renault Duster 4x4 in the Kalahari

on the way towards Sandwich Harbour

on the way to Sossusvlei

Renault Duster 4x4 in the Kalahari

on the way towards Sandwich Harbour

on the way to Sossusvlei


The "Bakkies“ - the kings of all-purpose vehicles!


The following regarding "single / double cab" vehicles - in America "pick ups" and in southern Africa called "bakkies":

I personally do not advise the "
single cabs" - even if you are only traveling in pairs, because there is practically no space behind your seats. On the other hand, in the "double cabin", you can place everything within easy reach on the rear seats, from drinks to binoculars and the camera equipment.

Even with the "double cabins", the car rental companies usually only have the standard versions in their range - not the vehicles with an extended wheelbase. You should now look closely - because: With four very tall people, you could get problems, because at the back seats they have only little freedom of leg movement. On short trips this may still work - but on long tours it's unpleasant.


Vehicles with- or without
camping equipment


Even with off-road vehicles, the route you have planned is the most decisive factor for the equipment you need to take on board.
- camping equipment?
- long distance tank?
- additional water- and fuel jerrycans?
- a second, complete spare wheel?
- tow belts?
- compressor and large tool kit? ...etc.


Land Rover - safari / roof tent

Land Ceuiser - safari roof tent

Land Rover - safari with roof tent

Toyota HiLux 4x4 with two roof tents

Toyota Landcruiser with roof tent

Toyota single cab with roof tent


Safari vehicles


Every thing all.right? Four wheel drive, diff lock, enough space for equipment and - if necessary - an off-road trailer. Whether you take a Toyota HiLux double cab, a Ford Ranger, or the Toyota Landcruiser, it only matters in terms of space requirements - because these vehicles are all well suited. Regarding the equipment, it depends on the route.
- hi-lift jack?
- winch?
- air induction from above for deep river crossings?
- water- and / or fuel jerrycans?
- sand ladders?
- compressors and tools for repairing tires?

One more thing: There are remote routes that you should only tackle with at least TWO vehicles, at least one of which should also be equipped with a cable winch and sand plates.
Just one example: the
Savuti - Nogatsaa route between Savuti Camp and Kasane in Botswana.