LRO reader Nick Legg is planning set off from Cape Town in May 2016, and is looking for like-minded folk to accompany him.
So what’s the deal?
‘I'm on the lookout for two companions to join me on a Safari through Southern and Eastern Africa. We'll be travelling in a Land Rover towing a camping trailer. I'll provide and equip the rig. My companions will cover their air fares, 'go Dutch' on everyday expenses - fuel, food, park fees, etc - and share expedition duties. I plan to do a blog of the trip, some kitchen duties and be the mechanic of the group.
‘Our journey will take in many of the classic sights along the way: Table Mountain, the Garden Route, the Karoo, Kimberley and other High Veldt gold rush towns, the Drakensberg, Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, the Zimbabwe Ruins, Mana Pools, the Zambezi, Luwanga National Park, Lake Malawi, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Mt Kilimanjaro. We'll finish in Dar es Salaam, on the Indian Ocean, with a trip to the spice Island of Zanzibar as a finale.
‘I’m traveling to Cape Town in January to buy the 4x4 and off-road camping trailer.
‘My current choice is a 300TdI Land Rover Discovery, pre-1999, the main reason being the relative simplicity of the technology, vis-a-vis servicing and repairs north of the Limpopo, where mechanical workshops and spares availability are usually basic and unreliable.
‘Another consideration is comfort. I'm sixty-four and need a bit more comfort than I'll get in a Defender and I'm guessing my companions will feel the same!
‘Although it would be ideal if the target vehicle has already undergone some of the usual off-road upgrades to engine and suspension, the one I buy will go straight into a specialist workshop with a list of servicing and modifications required for the trip. My checklist includes: underbody protection, gas shocks, uprated springs, all terrain tyres, puncture protection, aluminium roof rack, heavy duty front and rear bumpers, a winch, internal storage drawers, dual battery system and split charger, additional running and work lights, rock sliders etc. Plus mods to the engine: new radiator and intercooler, silicone hoses and bushes, exhaust gas temp gauge, tyre pressure monitoring, snorkel, wading breathers etc.
‘I'm moving away from the idea of the traditional roof top tent. They are so damned heavy and as we will be towing a camping trailer we will already have raised sleeping accommodation for two. Instead, I’m planning to buy a Safari Dome tent which we'll carry in the luggage bay of the Disco, along with spares, tools, a compressor, recovery gear, a fridge freezer, water and additional fuel.
‘The trailer will be one of the excellent off-road camping trailers you find in the market in South Africa. Generally they come equipped with roof top tent, awning, cooking, storage facilities and their own leisure battery and 12v system.
‘After we’ve chosen each other I'll meet up with my companions to fine-tune the specs of the vehicle, the kit to be carried, the route and our start date.
‘I'm 64, based in Torquay and recently retired, having sold my motorhome business. Previously I spent 26 years working in educational publishing around Africa. I guess you could call me an 'Old Africa Hand'… I've driven many, many miles on African roads but never done an expedition by 4x4.
‘If you'd be interested to join me on this expedition please drop me a line by email, with a brief biography and the skills you could bring to the trip.’
Photo: Diana Robinson