Almost five years ago Londolozi unveiled its first prototype electric Land Rover. We have recently received prototype number five, the ALL TERRAIN ELECTRIC RESEARCH VEHICLE, from Land Rover South Africa. I, therefore, thought that this would be an opportune time to share an update on what an incredible journey it has been.

One of the privileges of being a family at Londolozi is the endless variety of opportunities available to children who are home schooled in the bush. On this occasion, on a drive with my family, my wife and I presented a lesson on sustainability and the current problems the world is facing with regard to carbon emissions. In the above image we are seen testing Prototype 2.

One of the privileges of being a family at Londolozi is the endless variety of opportunities available to children who are home schooled in the bush. On this occasion, on a drive with my family, my wife and I presented a lesson on sustainability and the current problems the world is facing with regard to carbon emissions. In the above image we are seen testing Prototype 2.

Londolozi has had a relationship with Land Rover for over 60 years. Their vehicles have been paramount in creating the Londolozi experience throughout the decades and have most certainly contributed to our success today.

In addition to the relationship we have with the land and animals, Londolozi has had one of its longest and most successful relationships with Land Rover. We have always believed that the natural world, ancient wisdom and modern technology will be our guiding force and that nature and technology will increasingly, over time, work as one.

It has been an incredible journey thinking back to how we started five years ago with Prototype 1 (which included 28 batteries!), followed by Prototype 2 (which we managed to set on fire!), not to mention the vision of the shareholders to allow us to continue with the project after these setbacks.

It was at this time that I visited my brother in San Diego and he took me for a test drive in a Tesla sports car. It was truly inspirational to see what fellow South African, Elon Musk, had produced and what he continues to achieve in the reusable energy space. Musk believes that he can bring affordable electric powered vehicles to the American public within the next couple of years. It is because of his incredible vision and an untiring mind for research that Londolozi will have a far more advanced electric Land Rover (the batteries will continue to get smaller and more powerful, the solar panels to offer better efficiency, etc).

I was astounded by the performance of Prototype 5 as it cruised through areas where the traditional Land Rover would normally struggle. The diesel engine has been replaced by a 70kw, 330Nm electric motor and a 300-volt lithium iron battery that provides a range reaching just below 100 km. As our vehicles are required to drive at low speeds and only cover approx 20-30 km per drive, this means that we would have more than enough power to conduct our daily game drives.

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Prototype 5 being tested at Londolozi

At Londolozi it is our vision to lead the industry in achieving a zero emissions safari vehicle and, in the very near future, converting our entire fleet to electric vehicles. This initiative will go a long way in contributing towards Londolozi’s broader goal of dramatically reducing our impact on the natural space which we rely on as well as delivering a far richer and deeper interpretive wildlife experience.

Although the electric Land Rover is currently charged using the national power supply, our intention has always been to move to solar charging in order to be completely carbon free (see this image of our prototype solar golf carts and tractor).

Although the electric Land Rover is currently charged using the national power supply, our intention has always been to move to solar charging in order to be completely carbon free (see this image of our prototype solar golf carts and tractor).

Written by Chris-Kane Berman
Video by: Rich Laburn

14 Comments

on The Future of Safari – Londolozi’s Electric Land Rover

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

TED SWINDON
Guest

HI CHRIS,
THANK YOU AND WELL DONE FOR THE UPDATE ON YOUR NEW VEHICLES. I LOOK FORWARD TO ONE DAY DOING A DRIVE IN ONE OF THESE VEHICLES.
BY THE WAY, LANDROVER ARE STILL BY FAR THE BEST SAFARI VEHICLES ON THE CONTINENT!
SEE YOU ALL SOON.
KIND REGARDS, AND BEST WISHES FOR CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR.
TED.

Chris Kane-Berman
Guest

Hi Ted,
Thanks for your note. I agree, the only thing that will beat the current Land Rover is a silent electric Land Rover.
We look forward to taking you out in one of them one day.
Regards
Chris

Ken Hermer
Guest

I had no doubt that it would be the Londolozi Family who would pioneer this amazing new product – a battery-operated Land Rover. Who would have thought in the 1980’s and this would be the future of safari?! Well done to you all and I would someday love to experience a totally silent safari on one of your revolutionary vehicles. Wishing you all continued good luck and good fortune.
Warm wishes,
Ken

Michael & Terri Klauber
Guest

Chris,
Love the video and the story! We can’t wait to be able to experience one of those vehicles one day soon. Keep up the great work!
Have a happy holiday!
Michael & Terri

Chris Kane-Berman
Guest

Thanks Michael and Terri,
Hopefully we’ll have a test version for your next visit.
Regards
Chris

Jill Grady
Guest

Fantastic news Chris! I hope I will be able to return to Londolozi and try out the electric Land Rovers once you start using them!

Jan Baldwin
Guest

We hope the Land Rover will remain an open vehicle, as this is a superior way to see the animals without viewing through a window or rooftop. Thank you for the excellent article.

Chris Kane-Berman
Guest

Hi Jan,
Land Rovers always arrive as closed vehicles and the lodges then have them converted privately. I agree with you that open Land Rovers are the best way of viewing animals and that is why at Londolozi we will always use open Land Rovers.
Regards
Chris

David Dampier
Guest

Having had the opportunity to drive the car a few times I can honestly say that over and above the environmental benefits, it will in fact be better suited to being a game drive vehicle than the diesel model! The power and torque in low range was astounding.

Wendy Hawkins
Guest

Wow that is fantastic news! Congratulations to you Dave Varty & your amazing team of dedicated Rangers. Well done to you all & to Land Rover for their support.

Chris Kane-Berman
Guest

Hi Wendy,
Thank you for your kind words. We are really enjoying this exciting project.
Regards
Chris

Evette Hartig
Guest

I love the thought of no emissions and noise but would not consider returning year after year if the experience of the open air vehicle was not available. The idea of an enclosed vehicle or even a roof would vastly take away from this experience.

Chris Kane-Berman
Guest

Hi Evette,
The vehicle we tested (as featured in the video) was a research vehicle straight from the UK and that is why it is closed. As mentioned in my reply to Jan, Londolozi will always use open vehicles.
We look forward to your next visit.
Regards
Chris

Ryan James

I can’t wait for zero emissions! Thanks Chris and team – this is remarkable.

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