Offroad Dutchies

From the Netherlands to SA… how (and why) a young Dutch family decided to drive across the continent.

Dutch couple Pim and Anne de Korte (both aged 34) caught our attention on Instagram when we saw images of them overlanding Africa in a Toyota Hilux with a rooftop. We were even more impressed when we saw that their two very small kids — daughters Juliette (4) and Rozemarijn (1) — had joined them on the adventure. Super brave (as many parents will think) and extremely exciting (as all off-road enthusiasts will agree).

Both Pim and Anne previously worked as online marketers but quit their jobs when they decided to embark on this journey. They continue to run their own business, Homes of Africa, a holiday rental company based in Hoedspruit, South Africa, so while they are based in the Netherlands, they do spend a lot of time in SA. 

As with many extraordinary decisions, this one was brought about by the pandemic. “When Covid hit, our youngest daughter had just been born. The pandemic made us realise that we really wanted to experience freedom,” explains Anne.  

The couple had bought a Toyota Hilux 3.0 Legend 45 in Namibia in 2020. When it was time to kick off their Dutch family road trip, they drove it to Cape Town and began their journey there. “It’s a reliable car that can take us anywhere,” says Anne.  

They planned the trip from their home in the Netherlands. “We watched a lot of overlanding YouTube channels to prepare ourselves. Our original plan was to explore only Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, but we changed our whole plan almost every week,” she laughs. 

The change in itinerary was a combination of unexpected events and meeting fellow travellers who convinced them to visit other places. “Our visas for South Africa expired so we had to leave earlier than we had wanted. This led us to Mozambique, where we met a lot of people who were extremely enthusiastic about Malawi. So off we went to Malawi, where we met another travelling family who convinced us to go to Tanzania, and we went to Zanzibar together. The lesson we learnt is that you can never fully plan a trip like this,” she says.  


"...The lesson we learnt is that you can never fully plan a trip like this."

Anne de Korte
Kogel Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Messum Crater, Namibia
Clarence Drive, Cape Town, South Africa
Kagga Kamma, South Africa
Namib Naukluft
Namib Naukluft

Here are the other lessons Pim and Anne learnt about travelling with kids: 

  • Children are flexible and will adapt to any circumstances. Being parents doesn’t mean you cannot travel.  
  • You don’t need fancy stuff or toys. Kids will play with everything nature provides. 
  • Playgrounds are heaven, so try to find a place that has one. 
  • You cannot have it all. Sometimes you must accept that travelling with children means you cannot do everything or go everywhere. Some things are too dangerous or just unsuitable for little ones. 
  • It’s all about patience. Travelling with young kids taught us to be very patient! 

Their travels took them to Kakoaland, Namibia

Toyota Connect’s tips for overlanding Africa 

  • Although you can’t fully plan as the de Korte family shows us, you do need to plan as best as possible in terms of time spent in each country, the best season to visit and awareness of things like public holidays. Also ensure you have good knowledge of border posts’ opening and closing times, as well as any specific visa requirements for each country, and travel insurance. Make copies of everything!  
  • In addition to your GPS, get your hands on a recent map book (or download offline Google Maps) as internet access is unreliable and signage can be poor or non-existent in the wilder areas. Do as much research as possible for the days ahead.   
  • Fill up with fuel at every opportunity and ensure you have jerry cans with back-up fuel.  
  • Familiarise yourself with your vehicle and basic repairs. Make sure you have the necessary tools to extricate yourself from situations, including two spare tyres, a tyre repair kit, an air compressor, jack, shovel, axe, sand ladders, winch and tow ropes. 
  • Always carry extra water. 
  • A fully stocked first aid kit is essential. 
  • While you need to be adventurous if you want to enjoy a trip like this, safety comes first. Keep your distance from wild animals, avoid areas that you have been warned against and make sure you have fuel stops and campsites along your planned routes. It’s also advisable to have agreed check-in dates or times with family or friends. 
  • While the locals are usually friendly and helpful, in most cases it’s best to stick to your own researched directions. Try and refrain from handing out sweets to kids. Rather take a stash of useful things like pens, notebooks, or even caps and socks. 
  • Do like the de Kortes and go online — there are loads of videos and blogs by others who have done overlanding trips. The more advice you get, the better prepared you will be for any curveballs thrown your way.  

A Dutch family toad trip all over Africa

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