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South Africa Overland - Hein and Bernadette van de Laarschot


Holland to Cape Town South Africa

Hein and Bernadette live in Holland, generally traveling three to four months a year, otherwise taking regular monthly holiday trips in Europe and Morocco.

In 2005 they traveled for four months to Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia in their Mercedes 4x4 overland truck. In 2008 and 2009 they traveled for one year in the same Mercedes truck through South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenia, Zambia and Namibia. After returning from their trip in 2009, Hein bought a company producing large overland trucks ( www.twigatravelcar.nl ) After five years he then sold the company at the end of 2013 staying on for another two years to assist the new owner.

In 2016, Hein and Bernadette did a three-month trip to Uganda with the intent to retire, however after only three months they bought a Mercedes Atego and began converting that into a luxurious on-road camper for Europe, USA and Canada trips. Hein is expecting to finalize that project mid-2019.

In these two episodes of GHT Overland podcast, Hein tells us that owning a company in the production of overland vehicles, created the opportunity to work on numerous cars and truck’s building the dream of his customers. But in the meantime, it created the opportunity for Bernadette and Hein to create their own overland truck. Returning from their 2008 – 2009 trip they sold their Mercedes 4x4 truck to a Dutch couple and bought a new Iveco daily 4x4, converting it into an overland truck, then sold that truck to a Brazilian / Romanian couple. With a burning passion for overland travel, they then purchased a 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser 80 series, produced in Holland and shipped it to South Africa. Selling that truck in 2014 to a Dutch couple, to then purchase a South African registered Toyota Hilux single cab. Shipping it back to Holland, converting it for overland travel and shipping it back to South Africa for their love of travel in South Africa.

In 2016 they traveled for 3 months in South Africa overland in a Toyota Hilux from South Africa to Uganda ( South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Ruanda, Uganda ).

This year they have a three month trip planned to Namibia and Botswana. 

Podcast Episode Highlights

Guest website: www.365dagenafrika.nl

Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Hilux single cab 4x4 

Water Capacity: 100 liters / 26.4 gallons

Fuel Capacity: 76 liters / 20 gallons

Solar: 2 Panel at 85 watts each

Batteries: 165 Ah AGM 100 watt inverter

Heater: Webasto

Clothes Washing: Handwashing / Local services on the road

Top Two Pieces of Gear

A good truck

Bernadette’s partnership

Extra! A good Corkscrew

Gear Removed (not needed)

Extra clothing

Favorite Recipe

South Africa BRAAI (otherwise known as BBQ) lots of meat and veggies from the fire. Complimented with beer, wine and good friends to enjoy it all. 


Garmin with tracks for Africa and Open Street maps

MAPS.ME http://maps.me


Tips: support local communities as much as possible. Don’t throw away items local people can use. Have a farewell party before you leave, having friends and family members donating money (no gifts) that will be used for supporting Micro Financing efforts. Hire local artist to paint their art on cabinet doors in your vehicle, along with the outside of your vehicle.

Best Tip

Biggest mistake is wanting to do too much. Travel is what you see and who you talk to along your way. Enjoy the experiences, do not be focused on collecting stamps in your passport. The slower you travel the more your budget will stretch. Fuel is your biggest expense.

Overlanding w/ Hein van de Laarschot Part 1 & 2

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Overlanding and Adventure Travel while doing Good along the way