Overlanding in a Land Rover!? Would you do it again?

On this overland adventure, we drove 34.126 km through Europe and Africa in a relatively new Land Rover Defender 110.

Albania, July 2015

Albania, August 2015

Greece, September 2015

Sudan, November 2015

 

Egypt, October 2015

 

Would we do it again in a Land Rover? This question we have been asked by quite a few overlanders-to-be who contacted us during the last few weeks ...

Land Rovers are unreliable, right?

Well, ours definitely is NOT! We didn't have one "real" Land Rover issue AT ALL! The only Land Rover thing that broke was the central locking of the right passenger door ... That's it! Quite unreliable, right?! But we have to admit that we invested a lot of time in maintenance (i.e. checking bolts weekly and after rought tracks) and serviced the Landy every six to eight thousand kilometres ... just to "repair" things before they break!

 

Tanzania, January 2016 ... rough tracks around Ol Doinyo Lengai

 

Everything that really "broke" on the trip was of aftermarket origin, such as the keep of the double shockers (due to a really bad track we took and maybe a loose bolt that I had not discovered early enough) and the front prop-shaft (which still worked but made funny noises, so I took it out and had it repaired in Namibia). The other thing that happened was too few fuel in the Diesel (actually 50% of it was water) ... I guess any engine would have ceased to continue working then - even a Mercedes G Wagen! The funny thing is that the chip that everybody "demonizes" when it comes to overlanding vehicles, most probably saved the engine and thus prevented us from any real damage. So, we "only" had to drain the fuel system and clean the tanks.

The EGR valve we exchanged in Greece when it started making different noises ... before anything broke actually! At the moment the engine sounds a bit more like a "tractor ", but we will give the Landy a good service once we are back home.

Then to the "performance" of the car ... the Landy with a weight of more than 3 tons actually did very well on all kinds of terrain and in all kinds of situations, be it in the sandy desert, the mountains of Ethiopia, on rough tracks and the good tar roads in Namibia or South Africa.

 

"Bridge" in the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana

 

Even though people consider the td4 engine (2.4l) as not strong enough, we think everything is absolutely OK with that engine. The fuel consumption was 12,8l on average, which also is not too bad. Actually on rough tracks and in sand the fuel consumption even dropped considerably!

 
 

The most important thing with the Land Rover actually is that everybody, really EVERYBODY likes Land Rovers (including our two daughters who consider the car to be a "family member" called "Nyati", (water) buffalo)!

 

After Mischa handed over the Land Rover to Duncan from "African Overlanders" for the shipping, Anouk was desperate because she couldn't even say "Goodbye" to the Landy ... only Landy books helped in that situation!

 

Also, we experienced the "Land Rover brotherhood" (and "sisterhood") as some kind of "second insurance" and also as a great opportunity to meet new people. With what other brand would a manager of a garage take you home with him to stay for the night because your car broke down?

The Landy broke down about two kilometers away from the Land Rover garage in Arusha

... and Ian, the manager, took us home with him.

We have been invited by so many Land Rover people and the Land Rover groups on Facebook or in Forums have always been a great help whenever we needed it.

Land Rover friends Erato and Konstantinos in Greece

... Sam in Cairo ...

... Lars in Nairobi ...

... the "Bundu Rovers" in Nairobi ...

 

... Elisabeth and Augustine with their children in Arusha ...

 

... Hugo from Denmark in Rundu ...

... Nyati and Hugo and Marguerite's Landy in Windhoek ...

... the van der Merwes on the farm "Eisgaubib" south of Windhoek ...

... and with Kathy and Ross at Cape Point.

It is really great to be members of this international "tribe" and we are happy to help any other Land Rover owner just as we have experienced it since we bought this car in 2011.

 

A Land Rover collection ... why not!?

 

In some of the following blog entries, we will go through our Land Rover's conversion again in more detail and share experiences, what was good or bad and what we plan to have changed when we are back in Germany.

...

So, going back to the intitial question: Yes, we would definitely go again in a Land Rover and we will do so in overland trips for many years to come hopefully! This being said, we are not fundamentalist in any way on our choice of car, as there are definitely other cars on the market which are also great for overlanding! It is only that the Land Rover suits and fits us best ... maybe its edgy-shape goes along well with our characters!

 

A "lonesome Landy" at "African Overlanders" near Cape Town ... waiting for being shipped.

 

11 thoughts on “Overlanding in a Land Rover!? Would you do it again?

  1. Rikki

    Good one guys, you are true ambassadors for the spirit of Land Rover, going above and beyond in your trips! Glad to have had a chance to interact with your family.

    Reply
    1. Juliane und Mischa Post author

      Dear Rikki, family and Bundu Rovers, thank you so much for this comment. You guys and the wonderful evenings we had together were a great and important part of our trip. We will carry these memories with us forever and hope to see you guys again some time on this wonderful planet which is so much more full of nice people and love than the media want to to make us believe. Please give our greetings and hugs to everybody around! Your 4-wheel-nomads

      Reply
  2. Annette Theron

    Dear Mischa, Juliane, Anouk and Soley
    Africa will be poorer after your departure.., However, I trust that the richness of Africa will live in your hearts into the future, as much as Africa will remember you in her past..
    Safe travels, it was a privilege to get to know you..
    Love, Annette
    PS… coming from the design world, I just find a Landy ever so sexy…….. Good enough reason to acquire (at least) one……!

    Reply
    1. Juliane und Mischa Post author

      Dear Annette, we will HAVE to meet again soon … all our love, your 4 nomads

      Reply
  3. Kevin

    We are planning a trip from SA through Africa and Europe to Scotland in our TD5 Defender 110. How long did your trip take and would love to stay in contact for some advice closer to us leaving.

    Reply
    1. Juliane und Mischa Post author

      Hi Kevin, the trip took us about 11,5 months (so far), but could be done faster but also much longer … Africa has so much to experience, you could stay here for ages … Contacting is easy via the contact form on this blog (see above) or via Facebook … Hope to hear from you soon, Mischa

      Reply
  4. Eva & David

    Hi,
    we did nearly the same amount of kilometers last year Overlanding with our Defender TD4 2.4 and couldn`t agree more to your thoughts about it.

    Are you coming back to Germany?

    Eva & David

    Reply
    1. Juliane und Mischa Post author

      Hi Eva & David, yes, we will come back to Germany at the end of July … loads of new plans though! All the best, Mischa

      Reply
    1. Juliane und Mischa Post author

      Hi Peter, i regularly went under the car and checked every bolt I could find … The same I did with the engine compartment and elsewhere around (incl. Foxwing fittings, roof rack, spare wheel carrier et cetera) … Actually due to the corrugations on the tracks a lot came loose … I definitely always concentrated on suspension, drivetrain, axles and wheels …

      Reply

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