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The 5 Best Overland Cars for Road Trips and Wildlife Safaris



Have you ever been on a road trip and you cannot help but wonder, ‘when is this nightmare going to be over?’

That is unacceptable!

Depending on your destination and the type of Safari you want, the vehicle you choose will certainly make your whole experience that much fun or frustrating.


When choosing a vehicle for your road trip or wildlife experience, hire, buy, or import  a car that your family and friends will enjoy.


For a safari, the heat and bumpy ride are an added ‘bonus,’ so don’t fight too much to eliminate them entirely.


You want something comfortable, but the car should also allow you to enjoy the sounds of the animals and the beautiful scenery of the wild.


The ideal size for a Safari vehicle has a capacity of 6 to 10 people. However, there are other exceptions like Safari micro-buses and shuttles are specially adapted to take on more people.


To ease the experience, we have outlined various types of Safari vehicles that cover the distance while delivering maximum comfort for you and your family.


  1. Land Cruiser

Where Safaris are concerned, the four to the six-capacity vehicle exceeds comfort and efficiency expectations and checks all ‘must have’ boxes.

It has a forward seating configuration and is a 4X4 machine that can bulldoze through rough terrain.

Whether you are with family or friends, you can get one that has attributes that complement your needs, like tinted windows, a sunroof, or pop-up windows and roofs.

The models range from ‘bare bones’ (no added mod cons) to customized models outfitted with soft suspension, MP3 players, GPS tracking, sliding windows, fire extinguishers, and First Aid kits.

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Aside from its off-road capabilities, it also has impressive cargo and cabin space.

Different tour companies allow the option of self-drive, but it is best to have guides and drivers who have more experience with the terrain.

  1. Overland Truck

Overland trucks are the most suitable choice for longer overland tours and road trips ( like across the country).

Most  have a capacity of 12 to 40 people and are specially designed to deal with rough roads, potholes, deep pockets, and river crossings.

The scope selection is broad because the trucks differ in their seat formation and size. Some have all forward seats, while others have back or side-to-side seats.

The high-inch terrain tires improve the landscape views (especially in grassy areas) and tremendously aid the wheels in navigating through rocky and hilly terrain.

The trucks have large vertical or horizontal windows and a pop-up roof that allows for a 360-degree view which is exactly what you need to get those hunting shots.

All the trucks are well spaced with storage spaces everywhere you look; under the seat, back of the truck, overhead compartments, and detachable trailers- all of which are uniquely instituted to accommodate equipment (camera) and luggage.

For safety purposes, all trucks are fitted with seat belts, a communication radio, extra fuel and water tanks, spare tires, and a fully stocked First Aid kit. The drivers and tour guides are also well trained and knowledgeable to deal with any situation.

The modern trucks come fully equipped with iPod/MP3 points, WIFI (which may occasionally disconnect due to network issues), and onboard charging facilities for cameras and phones.

  1. Micro/Mini Busses

Vans are suited for shorter tours and relatively small safari groups.

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The forward seated safari carriers can fit from six to eight passengers. The most commonly used safari vans in the Kenyan tourism industry include the Nissan Caravan, Mazda bongo, and the toyota Hiace (Box).

Like other road trip cars, they are equipped with willfully designed features that guarantee comfort and relief from the rough terrain and weather conditions so as to maximize your experience.

GPS tracking, air conditioner, drink cooler, fire extinguishers, sliding windows, pop-up roofs for safety, and first Aid kits are just a few features that further enhance your driving experience.

It has spacious seats with enough legroom, an open roof, and expansive windows, all of which offer a maximized viewing advantage, so you do not miss that lion shot you have to wait for all morning.

If you are looking for an affordable, cozy, and intimate experience, look no further; the minivan is the perfect fit because it has a softer suspension which makes it slightly more comfortable than other vehicles, and maneuvers through EASY to navigate terrains.

  1. Open Game-Viewing Vehicle

Open game-viewing vehicles are particularly fashioned for park and game drives because they give you the unique opportunity to enjoy the breeze and have an up-close and personal experience with the wild.

Some vehicles have tiered seats which ensures that nobody’s view is blocked by the person sitting in front of them.

With the apparent need for protection from the elements, the vehicle has canvas/plastic canopies that can be closed if you encounter unexpected weather.

The adjustable air suspension makes the bumpy terrain feel so smooth that you hardly notice where you are and just enjoy your excursion.

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Most open game view vehicles are 4×4 cruisers that are air-conditioned, comfortable, fitted with charging ports, WIFI, cooler, and a music system.

Picture this, enjoying a cold drink in the wild while listening to soft music in an air-conditioned vehicle.

  1. Jeep Wrangler

The jeep is one of only two safari vehicles (the Ford Bronco) with removable doors and a roof. It can be classified as a closed-off-roader or open game vehicle, depending on your preference.

A jeep’s tenacity is undisputed and precisely what you need for an off-road experience.

It has a perfect ground clearance of 9.7 to 10.8 inches off the ground. That means that it is really high above the ground, which gives you an excellent viewing advantage even when you are seated.

It is the ultimate travel companion with its numerous modifications that are sure to improve your traveling experience.

Its physical features make wading across pools of water and scaling on rough terrain easy. With its powerful engine and exceptional halting capabilities, you are bound to have an incredible trip.

Its rugged good looks and open-air experience are a welcome bonus and desirable for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts.

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