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Africa Safari Vehicles: What To Expect On Your Trip

Once you've flown to your African destination, you'll be switching from aeroplanes to safari vehicles whether it's for a complete tour, road transfer or game drive. Primarily designed for game viewing thanks to large windows or pop-up roofs, vehicles used for an African safari nevertheless vary in purpose and appearance; exactly which type you'll be sitting down in depends on the country you're in and the kind of safari you've booked.

If you are in any doubt which vehicle a specific tour uses, simply contact your Go2Africa Safari Expert and they will be able to give you all the information you need.

Safari Vehicles - flying into a reserve means you go straight from plane into safari vehicle
Flying into a reserve means you go straight from plane into safari vehicle
Safari Vehicles - many vehicles are completely open to allow for unobstructed game viewing
Open-sided safari vehicle
Safari Vehicles - 4x4 vehicles need to be ready for all types of terrain
4x4 all-terrain vehicles


Airport transfers, scheduled safaris and day tours in Namibia and South Africa usually use standard minibuses or SUVs while our scheduled Kenya tours are conducted in modified safari minibuses, complete with driver/guide.

Although equipped with nine seats these safari vehicles only accommodate seven people to ensure a window seat for all. Moreover, with a large pop-up roof as standard, you'll always enjoy great game viewing and photographic opportunities.


Safaris in more demanding countries such as TanzaniaUgandaBotswanaZambia and Zimbabwe require sturdier 4X4 vehicles. These either have pop-up roofs or open sides, often boast raised suspension, and visibility for game viewing is excellent.

Our mobile expeditions and camping safaris make use of these vehicles: seating up to eight or nine people, they have space for luggage - either on the roof or in a trailer - and their ruggedness means you can access wild and off-the-beaten-path destinations with relative ease.

Safari Vehicles - mobile safari vehicles have plenty of space for luggage
Mobile safari vehicles have plenty of storage space - on the roof or in a trailer
Safari Vehicles - scheduled Kenya tours often use minibusses with pop-up roofs
Pop-up safari minivan
Safari Vehicles - overland trucks can seat up to 24 passengers at a time
Large-scale overland truck


On fly-in or self-drive safaris to lodges or camps, you'll enjoy game drives in specially-adapted vehicles. Rugged and tough, these 4X4s are usually open-roofed and sided and often completely open to the elements - wrap up well on your winter morning game drives! Generally catering for up to eight guests, tiered bench seating means great views for all but if you don't like it too bumpy, stay off the back row.

Game drive vehicles in South Africa may have a bucket seat mounted on the front of the car for the tracker (don't make the mistake of settling into this chair!) while radio contact between lodge vehicles means good sightings can be easily and quickly shared between guides.


Packing half a dozen countries and thousands of kilometres into several weeks on the road means overland safari trucks need to be big, solid and roomy. Seating up to 24 passengers, you'll get an individual seat and great views out of the large sliding windows and/or pop-up roof hatches while lockers and built-in safes provide security.

Overlanding in Africa usually means camping so these African safari trucks feature built-in kitchens with fridges and freezers, water tanks and big packing compartments full of tents, chairs and tables.

Written by Dominic Chadbon. Connect with him on Google+.

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