East Africa overland: trucks or minivans?

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East Africa overland: trucks or minivans?

Postby ed » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:26 pm

The southern african overland trips indicate their tranport vehicles are 'overland trucks', but the east african trips say they use 'safari vans'. Has anyone been on the east african trips? Is this the case? I don't want to stand on a seat and stick my head out the top of a van to see animals.
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East Africa

Postby monty » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:26 pm

Hi Ed,

The East Africa trips do use the Safari Vans. This is generally considered a more comforable way to travel. They have better air conditioning and a smoother ride on most roads. They still have side windows as well, though they are not quite as big as the windows in the overland vehicles.

We try and pick a vehicle most suited to the land scape and the vehicle that is most appropriate for the trip in general which is why we are using safari vans in East Africa.


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Re: East Africa overland: trucks or minivans?

Postby thorlitzer » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:49 am

I just got back from the discovery Safari that only visits Tanzania. I asked our guide about this and he said that in Tanzania you find almost all are Jeeps (4 or 6 guests) and Kenya you find almost all are vans. Both have pop up tops so you can stand and look out while remaining in the car. While on safari, i'd say I saw the vast majority in Tanzania were indeed Jeeps (like 95+%) and when we were close to the border with Kenya we could look across the Mara river and indeed all the vehicles i saw were indeed vans. Hope that helps.
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Re: East Africa overland: trucks or minivans?

Postby IncaTrail50 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:56 am

You don't have to stand on the seats to see. The vans do have big enough windows, although as Monty says they are not as large as the overland trucks. I just got back from the Kenya/Tanzania Wildlife trip and we were in vans in Kenya and jeeps in Tanzania. There are a couple of advantages to this type of safari viewing, number one being that everyone gets a window seat. Another advantage being that since there are so few in the vehicle, and you can stand if you want, you can easily see around the one person who might be between you and the wildlife on the other side of the vehicle. Also, the vans and jeeps are smaller so they can get to places the overland trucks can't, especially in rainy conditions, which we encountered at Lake Nakuru. Even if you choose the overland truck trip you may find that although you are primarily in the overland vehicle, in some parks you'll transfer to a smaller vehicle anyway. I don't think overland trucks can navigate the narrow road into Ngorongoro Crater for example. Also, since there are so few in the smaller vehicles (we had five in Kenya and seven in Tanzania) we found we were able to stop at anything we wanted! We didn't have to shuffle for picture position at each stop so the stops took less time even though we may have made more of them. Someone from an overland trip might want to comment on how easy it is to get them to stop on everyone's whims, could be the same?
Just my opinion but I liked the smaller vehicles. :D
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Re: East Africa overland: trucks or minivans?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:36 am

I rode in an overland truck from Nairobi to Jo'burg but we were in safari jeeps (Land Rovers or Land Cruisers, actually) in the Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater portion. Frankly, the viewing is MUCH better from the safari jeep than the overland truck. I wasn't too impressed by our attempt to safari in the overland truck in Pilanesberg NP -- sure, the windows are bigger but you are more frequently blocked by the fuselage or someone else's head. You should have nearly 360 degrees visibility when you poke your head out of the roof in a jeep or van plus no glass to interfere with your picture.
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Re: East Africa overland: trucks or minivans?

Postby Zuleika » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:06 pm

I have been in several different types of truck as well as several different types of safari jeep, having done 4 or 5 safari's now - all are much of a muchness. Basically you manage perfectly well with not too many issues whatever you are in - once you spot that lion - everything else goes out the window!!!! Its brilliant!
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