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Nick Sims

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Nick always had a love for nature. Growing up in Johannesburg, the annual family trip to the bush (particularly the Kruger Lowveld region of South Africa) became an escape from city life. When he and his brother weren't physically in the bush, they ...

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14 Comments

on Londolozi’s Love Affair With the Land Rover Defender

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Nick I love this blog. Thank you for writing about Land Rovers. What a lovely although scary story to tell about Jess getting sruck in the river. There are hundreds of stories over the years since people first took a Land Rover into the bush. We are Land Rover people (we have each got one) and we won’t swap it for any other vechile. We do get ragged by owners off those “other” off road vechile, but we just laugh it off as we know it will take us anywhere.I grew up with Land Rover Defenders and it was just a natural choice to aquire a Land Rover for our trips into the bush.

Ian Hall
Digital Tracker

Fantastic vehicles and best found in the African Bush . Hopefully Land Rover will get their act together and issue a replacement . One of the greatest game drives I ever had was at Londolozi following Wild Dogs on a hunt , we went through scrub and river in the ensuing chaos.

Though with the British Army now using Land Cruisers and Hi Lux, you wonder if Land Rover are going to concentrate on their “Chelsea Tractors” in future.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Ian,

Word on the street is that there is a petrol replacement due in 2020, although I’ll need to confirm that…

Peggy Fox
Explorer

Thank you Nick, good article! As the fleet of Landie’s wears out, Will Londolozi eventually replace them with another vehicle, or is the plan to keep fingers crossed and repair as long as possible? Given its popularity, you would think that replacement parts would be made available by Land Rover. So sad they have been made obsolete!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Thank you so much for profiling the tool that makes any safari memorable. Without the LRD, and a private game Reserve, none of us would experience the adventures that greet us daily on game drives.
I’ve only experienced a couple of instances of being stuck: one a flat tire 50 metres from a sizable lion pride near sundown ( none offered help and lazily watched us change the tire) and whilst trying to find a leopardess taking refuge in a tree, we reversed into a grass-filled ditch a meter and a half deep. There was no way we could extract ourselves and so a call was made to the rescue team. An hour later we were on our way back to camp, no leopardess sighting and a ranger feeling the pressure of the Pink Pouch………..

Wendy Macnicol
Senior Digital Ranger

Hi Nick
I couldn’t count the number of times we have been on Landrovers in the Bush. Also the number of times the Landy has been stuck and had to be hauled out of a hole or mud. One time our rear wheel got stuck in a hole and even though we all got off, and the driver battled with us all pushing, it WOULD NOT come out of the hole. Another Landrover arrived to help and it, too, got stuck in another hole. Eventually we had to e dragged out, both lots of us, by a third Landy! We had our aunt from England with us who took it all very well indeed. She was fascinated with the whole affair. She was in her eighties and swam, smoked and played cards until 3 in the morning and partied heartily with us all. I wasn’t popular at all. At 05h00 I had them all going off drooping like daisies with hang-overs – on horse-back! I stayed with our aunt and she and I had a good laugh at them over a cup of coffee! Wendy M

Judith Guffey
Senior Digital Ranger

We rode in those in the 80s…..today’s vehicles are ‘somewhat’ more comfortable.

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Digital Tracker

Nick, you told your story so well that I could feel the water rising myself! The unsung hero has always been the Land Rover. Deserved recognition!

Gawie Jordaan
Senior Digital Ranger

‘n werklike staat maker Nic!

Dries Marais
Explorer

There is this saying that 80% of all Landrovers ever built are still on the road.

The other 20% have reached their destinations. 🙂

Jeff Rodgers
Senior Digital Ranger

While I love the Land Rovers, I have begun to read more and more about the beginnings of Electric vehicles being used on game drives. Is that something Londolozi is considering?

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Jeff,
Absolutely! We’re looking to slowly convert the whole fleet to electric vehicles. Not sure of the exact timeline just yet, but it’s in the pipeline…

Karl Kornwolf
Guest contributor

Dear Jeff, just in case …. check out the Londolozi projects with regard to sustainability – you’ll find the coolest e-Vehicle project I know —- the Londolozi team got things done which even the manufacturer was not really able to do or deliver – already in 2013! They are real prioneers. My best, Karl

Karl Kornwolf
Guest contributor

Dear Nick, it is a great story about the Land Rover. And, although a Diesel, I would see it as a very sustainable concept since it does not break quickly. Nonetheless, there is this remarkable eRover you guys from Londolozi came up with when I was around the first time. I always hope that one day that concept start to spread …..

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