Thursday, October 8, 2009

Overlanding with Kids

During our BigSky Adventures trip in 2005 I often wondered what it would be like travelling with a kid.  Our Land Rover Defender catered for the two of us - two front seats only, and a double bed rooftent.  Limited space meant that there was no onboard shower, toilet or even a heater.

As I pondered the idea, I began to research how many people complete a full Trans-Africa journey,or overland journey with children.  A friend of mine told me his story how he and his wife drove from South Africa to Germany in a Land Rover Forward Control.  His son adapted perfectly and helped ease the border process as officials recognised them as a family, and not as travelers.

The current list of travelers with kids are:

My thoughts are beginning to evolve, especially now that I have become a dad.  Our daughter is still a little young to go off on a Trans-Africa trip however, I do think that it might be possible when she is four or five years old.

Vehicle Choice: Small 4x4 - Land Rover or Toyota
A Land Rover Defender will seat three people up front, however, the cramped driving conditions will be difficult over a longer driving period.  If I think back to the bad roads in Angola, having a child sitting next to me would be hazardous due to the constant jolting of the Land Rover.

4x4 Truck
This would be my ideal choice.  The front cab area is large enough for three people, plus the rear load area is sufficient for beds, washing facilities and seating area.

The UK second hand market, mainly ex military, offers ex Daf, Bedford and the odd Iveco.  A few trips with trucks are listed on The Africa Overland Network.

Back to travelling with kids... I don't have much more to add as I need to research a little more.

More later...