The Family Overlander
Six nights, drive your own 4x4, $$$ ENQUIRE NOW
This unique adventure is designed for small family groups (participants must be twelve years in age or older to drive off-road). This is the real Africa: Land Rovers, lions and campfires. Up to five groups of two/three share driving their own Land Rover Defender. You conquer the bush off-road, supported by a vehicle with a guide, paramedic and support staff. One day is spent training to handle a 4x4, and three days using those new-found skills on the old Ivory Trail combining the best of the mountains and the bush.
The trail takes you through reserve areas that cannot be reached without an off-road vehicle. We pass over mountains, through valleys and gorges, drive across rivers and witness spectacular riparian forest. We enjoy traditional rondavels and bush lodges, offering comfortable simplicity and rustic facilities for all.
Saving the most wild to last, we spend three days on safari in a luxury lodge in 70,000 exclusive hectares inside the Greater Kruger. Armed rangers will take you deep into Big Five territory, on foot and in open Land Rovers, coming as close to the wild as you will ever be. We look for lion, elephants, rhino and the Animal Planet game. A legendary experience that carves itself into the memory.
Arrive into glorious South Africa via Johannesburg, then onwards to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport on a scheduled domestic flight, where you will be met by our staff to take you to Alkmaar Farm. Here, the real adventure begins.
Your Land Rover Defender is waiting for you. It is you and this vehicle for the next few days. You settle in at the guesthouse on the farm around midday and in the afternoon the first vehicle orientation will start. You are welcomed by our instructors certified by Land Rover Driving Experience, who teaches you how to handle your Defender off the road on a specially developed course. Youíll have some time to settle in and after a delicious dinner, lights go out relatively early.
The Head Instructor on this course is Johann Sippel who, as a young boy got exposed to off road vehicles and safaris by visiting neighbouring countries and remote destinations with his father and family.
In 1992 Johann was appointed the post of chief marshal for the Camel Adventure. After this successful event, he became the chief instructor of the Off Road Experience, doing driver training courses, new vehicle testing, and media launches.
In 1999 Land Rover Experiences was started, and he became the manager of the Mpumalanga facility. In 2001 he trained a local team for the national Land Rover Trek event, which they won, and the team went on to win the international event as well.
Johann became well known for his role as instructor in kykNETís reality TV program on off road driving called Vat, which was popular in 2002 and 2003.
Our home base is at Alkmaar, close to Nelspruit, capital of Mpumalanga, South Africa. Here we have a guesthouse, a bushcamp, a 4x4 trail and obstacle course where driver-training courses are conducted.
Early morning, you leave Alkmaar and the convoy drives into the Drakensberg Escarpment that rises up as a solid 1,000 metre wall in front of you, stopping in the little towns of Graskop and Pilgrims Rest, an old miners town turned into museum.
From there, we stop at Godís Window before moving onto the Three Rondavels for a stunning view over the Blyde River Canyon (the third deepest in the world). This is a beautiful drive along the spectacular Drakensberg mountain range with some of the most breathtaking views in the world. From there, we head through the Strydom tunnel and enter the Lowveld, and drive to Makgokolo private lodge.
After a long first full day in the "saddle", dinner will probably be served around an outdoor fire and the night is spent accommodation at the bottom of the Escarpment.
After breakfast you depart into the Escarpment, driving a very scenic route. You leave the tar road behind and for the next few days you will see very little traffic and lots of dust. There is a good chance that you come across zebra or other plains game in the mountain valleys that we cross today.
A nice shady spot will be found to cook a simple lunch and then we follow the meandering road further into the mountain to a plateau where the night will be spent in a traditional rondavel camp. This is part of the ancient Ivory Trail used by hunters and smugglers to get their goods over the mountains. The evening is spent relaxing over dinner around an open fire. Enjoy the African stars.
Today is not about distance and there will be lots of opportunities to test your 4x4 skills. Today you will slowly descend from the plateau that we climbed yesterday. The trip takes you through the riverine forest of the Makutsi river going down into the gorge. Plenty of river crossings will be waiting for you today. The others and the instructor will assist you should that be required.
In the afternoon you arrive in a traditional rondavels camp where you stay for the night. The evening is spent around a bush fire, swapping experiences with the rest of the group.
After breakfast the trail will head back to tar roads. After a three hour drive you arrive in one of Africaís most stunning game lodges. Say goodbye to your Defender and jump on the open safari Land Rover waiting for you. You are now in the hands of experienced rangers. A game drive will take you close to the world of Animal Planet.
An early morning game drive (after coffee and rusks) may well introduce you to the Africaís big game including elephant,lion and rhino. With a little luck you could even come across leopard. You will be able to step off the vehicle and enjoy some walking in the bush, a unique and unforgettable experience.
Return to camp for brunch, have a siesta and reflect on what you have seen. Time is yours and nothing is a must.
There is then a further afternoon activity (game drive or walk) before settling in for supper around a roaring fire.
After an early morning safari or sleeping in, have breakfast and spend some time by the pool or just enjoying the surroundings before it is time to leave. We head for Hoedspruit airport where you depart around midday for a connecting flight home from Johannesburg.
Alternatively a charter can be arranged for an afternoon pick-up from a nearby bush airstrip to fly the group back to Johannesburg.
The trip is done and the memories will be yours from here.
Please note that this is a sample program. We may deviate from this itinerary in parts, or the order of events and accommodation.
This experience can also be created for fathers and daughters, mother and sons, a group of friends, or otherwise depending on the wishes of the group.