Life on an Overland Truck

Thought I’d introduce you all to life on the truck – all 15 tons of it!!
Most of the tour companies here in Africa travel in overland trucks. The trucks house everything – tents, sleeping mats, cooking gear, etc.

The first two countries we travelled through, we had a truck where you could roll up the windows to get fresh air, but after Zanzibar we moved to another truck that has sliding windows. Someone mentioned we needed the sliding windows for South Africa.

The trucks fits 28 people, and we have 24 right now until Victoria Falls, and then we’ll have 13 to Cape Town. There’s a fridge on board plus small lockers for valuables and a safe for our passports.

It’s nice to have space on the long journeys to stand up and move around a bit. There’s no bathroom, but we have a button that alerts our driver and guide, and we just pull over on the side of the road. Good ‘ole bush toilets!
To keep the costs down, we camp everywhere and cook breakfast and dinners at camp. We have a little gas stove, toast bread over a fire, etc.

Everyone on the truck is on a “team” – there are 4 teams as there are 4 essential duties we do everyday. We have a schedule and rotate the duties everyday, so each person is helping out. Definitely helps everything flow much better and speeds up the process. The four duties are:

  • Cooks: they cook breakfast and dinner on their day. We go to the grocery store every few days so they need to think of what they want and completely plan it out. Usually for breakfast we have fresh fruit, toast, cereal and if we have time, bacon and eggs. Dinner is always great! We’ve had spaghetti bolognese, fresh salads, tacos, curries, etc. We have 24 people on our trip, so it’s quite a big number to cook for!
  •  Cleaners: they clean all the dishes from breakfast and dinner, but we all clean our own individual silverware and plates. We have 3 buckets that we use for cleaning and we’ll boil water to use.
  • Truckies: they sweep out and clean the truck every night. With the windows down during the day and going in and out so often, the trucks get pretty dirty!
  • Security: they make sure the truck is completely locked up before we go to bed and at all the stops. We have lots of compartments so it’s a pretty important job! They also help pack up all the bags, cooking stuff, chairs and more.

Overall, truck life is great! There have definitely been long days but the truck stops often and we can move around pretty easily. 

We actually got stuck the other day -the truck literally sunk into the ground! Thankfully we were arriving at a campsite for a few days but it was quite an ordeal to get it out!

 Definitely seems like the best way to see the countries. We’re also sitting up pretty high, so it makes for great photos!

Just about 3.5 weeks left on the truck!


2 thoughts on “Life on an Overland Truck

  1. I’ve been wanting to see what the truck looked like. What a beast! That is a monster truck!
    Are most of the roads you’ve traveled on paved or are a lot of the roads unpaved ? I can’t believe you were even able to get the truck out of that soft soil it was stuck in!

    Sounds like everything is very organized with the 4 teams that share all the responsibilities. All in all, looks like a very practical way to transport all those people around Africa. Hard to believe you’ve only got 3 1/2 weeks left on the truck.
    Love you!


  2. How nice to finally see the truck you’ve been traveling in. It’s huge!! It must be nice to be able to get up and move around.
    Your schedules sound very organized. A great way to keep costs down. Plus you must really feel like you’re part of a team.
    What an ordeal that must have been to drag that truck out of the sand!!!
    Thanks for posting such an informative blog. Enjoy yourself at Victoria Falls. I was looking at some photos online today. The falls look so incredible and it’s a great time of year to be there. Love you!


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