What equipment to take on an overland trip to Africa

This is not a definitive list of equipment and it will vary depending on the length of the trip and your own personal preferences. This is what we took and felt that we needed. As the trip progressed we got rid of stuff that we just hadn’t used or that we felt were not worth lugging around. To be honest we could have taken a lot less but we were never in a situation where we didn’t have what we needed. This is the list of things we definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be without.

Land Rover equipment

  • Front Runner roof rack.
  • Hannibal Roof Tent (we opted for the largest one we could find).
  • Room for underneath the roof tent (hardly used)
  • Hannibal side awning.
  • Split charging system for the batteries. (We had 2 leisure batteries).
  • Solar panel.
  • Fridge / Freezer. The freezer was essential and made all the difference to our diet. (We even had ice for our drinks)
  • Gas Hob and oven (the oven is not essential)
  • High lift jack.
  • Two spare wheels.
  • Tyre pressure monitor.
  • Spot lights on the front and one rear spotlight.
  • Two different types of gas bottle ( this requirement became apparent when we tried to get our original SA one refilled in Tanzania!) with metal holders for attaching to the outside of the vehicle.
  • Water tank.
  • Life Saver Jerry Can
  • 3 Jerry cans for fuel, 2 on the roof in holders and 1 in the rear.
  • sand ladders, stored under the fridge.
  • Hand winch.
  • Lockable centre cubby box.
  • Hidden safe.
  • Snorkel.
  • Air bag suspension.
  • 12v and USB sockets.
  • Electric hook up for campsites with power.
  • Cab sound proofing.
  • Wax oiled.

Spare Parts for the Land Rover.

  • Water pumps x 2
  • Lift pump
  • Head gasket
  • Front (short) prop shaft
  • accelerator cable
  • CV joints (2 kits)
  • Clutch master cylinder
  • Clutch slave cylinder
  • Front calibre rebuild kit
  • Rear calibre rebuild kit
  • Wheel bearings x 4
  • Wind screen wipers x 2
  • RTV silicon, 2 tubes
  • Injectors x 2 spares (second-hand)
  • Gasket paper
  • Tubeless tyre plugs
  • 3 full service kits (Air/ oil/ water filters) (would now recommend a washable air filter
  • 10 litres engine oil
  • 2 litres brake fluid
  • 500ml power steering fluid
  • 1 litre gear box oil
  • 2 litres diff/transfer box oil
  • 2 tubes lithium grease
  • 1 can Easy Start
  • Replacement swivel joints
  • 4 spare wheel nuts
  • Expansion tank cap
  • Fuel cap
  • Alternator voltage regulator

 

Landy undergoing a full service.
Landy undergoing a full service.

Food preparation and general equipment.

  • Good head torches and a powerful hand held torch.
  • Tin, rather than plastic cups and  beakers.
  • Saucepans and frying pan.
  • Collapsible utensils where available. (we had the kettle, colander, washing up bowl, set of three bowls and a bucket.
  • Tin bowl (preserving pan is ideal)
  • Plastic containers (as many as you can fit in, in different sizes).
  • Proper cutlery and basic utensils.
  • Duvet, cotton sheets and duvet covers.
  • Bradt Guides for every country (or Rough Guides if not available).
  • Table and two comfortable chairs.

 

Personal equipment

  • Good, sturdy walking boots. These are not just for walking but for everyday around the camp, keeps mozzies away from your ankles and less worry about snakes, spiders and scorpions.
  • Good quality shorts, trousers, shirts, t-shirts, fleeces and a couple of outfits for going out somewhere nice!
  • Waterproof coat and wellies (we did use them!)
  • Personal toiletries – for the ladies, don’t scrimp on this – you will appreciate a pamper every now and then if you stay in a B&B for a night or two.
  • Good quality hat (we used Tilley Hats and they were great).
  • Good quality flip flops. Julie bought one good pair (crocs), Keith bought countless cheap pairs and they always broke or were uncomfortable.
  • Hammock – we had a lovely parachute silk one that packed away into    a really small bag and even if we could only find one  tree, the other rope could easily be attached to a corner of Landy’s roof rack.
  • Tablet with as much memory as you can get. (We took an iPad)
  • Laptop and external hard drive for backups.
  • Good camera and lens.
  • Kindle with as many books as you can.
  • MP3 Player with connection to the Land Rover and as many songs on it as you can.
  • Mobile phone (make sure it is unlocked). Buy a SIM card in every country and convert to a data plan. Its much cheaper than the UK.
  • Very extensive medical kit including a surgical kit and also several courses of antibiotics. (we did use the antibiotics)
  • Lots of sun tan lotion, insect repellent (Peaceful Sleep is the best we found) and cans of insect killer (Doom!)

 

Nice to have

  • Proper glasses for wine – wrap them up well.
  • Foldaway head rest for reading in the tent at night (not essential but nice)
  • Dog Food (we are suckers for skinny waifs and strays around the camp site)

 

Further reading:

Its worth getting the Bradt Guide, Africa Overland as not only does it have a comprehensive list of equipment to take, it has a useful country by country guide. http://www.bradtguides.com