First time driving in Africa...Help!

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  1. #1
    mantagirl Guest

    Default First time driving in Africa...Help!

    Coming to drive from Cape Town to Mt. Kilimanjaro, plan to dive, climb and explore national parks for 10 weeks (June-Aug). What do you suggest for a vehicle? Is it safe to have a "camping" type or Land Rover with top tent? My first time in Africa, don't want to overdo it but want to have what I need.

    May possibly continue the drive to Cairo after if I can get a vehicle sponsor (lots of sand roads?). This is the first leg of a multi-year trip to drive the world, climb the 7 summits and dive the "big 7".

    Also, how do I "hire" something like this or is it best to purchase and re-sell? Over R700/day will crush my budget for this length of time? Thoughts? Thanks....I know you guys are the experts!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Thanked: 4


    Hi manta , welcome .

    I'm not sure how much research you have done at this stage , so I'll just start off small . I havent done this trip as a whole , but have visited most of the countries on your planned route to East Africa , recently and as a youngster .

    Mike Copeland's book Cape to Cairo would be a good start

    It covers the basics , and is a good read . Remember , always try and get up to date info when possible , things change daily here , incl rules , regulations , prices and fee's .

    A lonely planet / Bradt guide would also be a necessity .

    Hiring an overland vehicle is expensive , R2000.00 a day would be a minimum .
    Buying and reselling is easy if you return to the country of purchase . If you think of buying , the members here would gladly assist with advice , and im sure would view the vehicle for you before you commit .

    IMO i would look for a Toyota Hilux Double Cab 4x4 Diesel . Theyre comfortable and reliable , with a good resale . A trip to Tanzania does not require a vehicle any larger than this for one person . Dont go wild with the accesories , they dont have resale value .
    Air con
    All terrain tires
    Lockable steel canopy
    Alarm system

    The trip up to Tanzania/Kili/Serengeti will be relatively easy if you stick to the main routes . I could leave home right now , passport , money and a suitcase and drive to Kili in 5 days in total comfort . Diesel and lodging all en route . However , anything north of Kenya is a " challenge " . Involving all sorts of logistics .

    There are a few members here who have traveled your intended route and they will be more than willing to assist , im sure . If you've got any questions , give us as many details as you can , and we can keep the answers as specific as possible . Cheers .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Thanked: 3


    Some good points by PGJ.

    I don't agree with 5 days from CT to Killi though...

    You timing is a little funny as South Africa is hosting the Football (Soccer) world cup and everything in this country will be much more expensive in that time! Accommodation will be a nightmare to get!

    Man you have so much research and planning to do! For a start, your vehicle needs to be bought, kitted out and checked out before you leave. You also need a Carnet de Passage to take the vehicle into Tanzania

    I'd definitely recommend buying a vehicle. In fact, I'd probably looking at buying one there, getting a carnet for it and shipping it over. Used 4x4's in the USA are a lot less expensive than over here!

    Mike Copeland's book Cape to Cairo is very good, but his budgets are way off! You can work on around $70 a day.

    One of the best sites for current info is there is also a for sale section where you can buy vehicles already kitted out. Also try I have seen a few nice vehicles for sale there recently. is my own site and we're leaving on a trans Asfrica trip in April.

    I'm updating as I go, so perhaps you'll be able to get some infor off that. we're also diving our way up and climbing Killi, so perhaps we'll bump into you.

    Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Cape Town
    Thanked: 2611


    Hi Mantagirl,

    It would help if you could be a bit more specific - you can drive from Cape Town to Moshi (Kilimanjaro) in any sedan car if you stick to the main routes, but if you want to be adventurous and actually have fun, a 4WD is essential.
    Let us have more of an idea of what national parks you want to see, which dive sites you want to visit (a number of the really good dive sites in Mozambique and Tanzania, for example, are best reached with a 4X4).
    Also, what kind of budget are you looking at? That will have a big influence on the vehicle and kit.
    So send us some more details, and we will happily advise.

    Tony Weaver

    1991 Land Rover 110 Hi-Line S/W 3.5l V8 carburettor
    Cooper Discoverer STT tyres, four sleeper Echo rooftop tent
    2012 Mitsubishi Outlander.

    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

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