Experience Africa your way

Bushtrackers shows us why a self-drive safari is a good way to explore.

Bushtrackers, a rental company hiring out fully equipped camping vehicles for travel to Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, started in 2016. The motto of “Experience Africa Your Way” underpins the idea of being able to do what you like when you like, enabling you to truly tailor-make your own self-drive safari. We caught up with the crew… 

Why Toyota vehicles? 

Southern Africa is Toyota country and the rental vehicle of choice is Toyota — bush-ready, reliable and robust.

How do you modify the vehicles? 

Their vehicles are specifically modified to endure the challenges of the Southern African terrain and equipped to disappear off the grid for as long as you like, making use of: 

  • Long-range fuel tanks so you can travel in areas where there is no fuel. 
  • Raised suspension so vehicles don’t drag in the sand. 
  • Lightweight Bushtech canopies to keep the weight down. 
  • All-terrain tyres for reliable on- and off-road capability. 
  • Eezi Awn Rooftop tents that are sturdy and easy to erect.

Why is a self-drive safari a good way to explore? 

Southern Africa is easily self-driven and an adventure to experience. It gives you flexibility — you are not stuck in a group and can drive where you want to when you need to escape the crowds and noise. You can enjoy the company of an elephant herd for as long as you want or hang around indefinitely if you’re enjoying a particular spot.

Scenic African wilderness on a self-drive expedition

What tips can you share for overlanding? 

  • Never drive at dawn or dusk due to wildlife being on the move then. 
  • Arrive at your campsite early, especially on the first day as setting up camp in the dark can be a marriage breaker. 
  • Ensure your campsite has a level spot for your tent as you don’t want to sleep at an angle. 
  • Less is more; you don’t need the kitchen sink. Everything has to be taken out and repacked every time camp is set up and broken down as one is on the move every day. 
  • Drive over your large items of rubbish like water containers to flatten them as this makes for easier storage of garbage in the vehicle. 
  • Use paper plates on top of your plates then burn them in the fire as this ensures less washing up and water usage.
  • Ensure you have a good map or T4A. Some parks have tracks heading in all directions and it’s easy to get lost on game drives. You don’t want to spend the night lost in the bush. We do offer GPS units to hire.

What lessons have you learned along the way? 

  • Expect the unexpected.  
  • Camping is a working holiday setting up camp and taking it down again, but so worth the fun and adventure.   
  • The wide open spaces are good for the soul and take all the stress away. We have seen stressed clients return different people and they come back for more as the self-drive overland adventure in Southern Africa cannot be experienced elsewhere.  
  • Drive carefully. Don’t take chances and you will emerge at the other end safe and sound.

Fully equipped Bushtrackers vehicle on African safari

What are your favourite destinations? 

Makgadigadi pans in Botswana: The feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, and the flat and vast landscape is so impressive. It’s the best drive and the solitude is so good for the soul.   

Mogotho Campsite, Botswana. This garden of Eden is a visual feast for any wildlife enthusiast. Game abounds and one can just sit quietly and take it all in. 

Spitzkoppe Campsite, Namibia: It is other-worldly and it’s as though one connects with the huge rocks (yes, who would have thought!) when sitting quietly in the campsite. The rocks turn lovely colours with the sunset.  

Tiger fishing at Guma Lagoon: Being out on the water fishing and having this huge lagoon to yourself is soothing to say the least.  The delta is beautiful; the lilies and birds are lovely to watch and hooking a tiger is always very exciting.

 Bushtrackers is a rental company hiring out fully equipped camping vehicles for travel to Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

What are some of the crazier experiences you have had along the way? 

The baboons are fearless when it comes to stealing food and have even stolen meat that was being cooked on a hot braai while the group was sitting right there. We had clients exit an ablution block to find a pride of lions happily sleeping in the sand outside. They had a long wait in the bathroom… We also had clients viewing a pride of lions along the Chobe River when they noticed that one of their tyres was flat right down to the rim. The lions were reluctant to wake up or move despite hooting and knocking on doors and it was getting dark. They related that F1 pit crews changing tyres had nothing on them as they definitely broke their record! 

Bushtrackers is managed by Hambanathi Vehicle Rental, part of the Halfway Toyota Group. If you’re ready for your adventure contact email info@bushtrackers.com


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