Lonely Planet Writer

This couple spent a year and a half travelling Africa in a ten tonne ex-military truck

An adventurous couple from South Africa completed a truly epic 19-month journey that saw them circumnavigating Africa in a refurbished army truck.

The epic journey saw the couple circumnavigating Africa over a 19-month period.
The epic journey saw the couple circumnavigating Africa over a 19-month period. Image by OverAfrica
Steve Lorimer and Roxy Harvey left their jobs in London to go on the great adventure across their home continent.
Steve Lorimer and Roxy Harvey left their jobs in London to go on the great adventure across their home continent. Image by OverAfrica

Having always wanted to explore his home continent, Steve Lorimer decided to quit his job in London and set about planning a trip that would see himself and his girlfriend Roxy Harvey travelling over 25,000 km over land through remote, beautiful regions of Africa. The journey was the culmination of six years of working and saving towards the trip.

The couple saw many incredible sights and got an insight into different cultures during the trip, including meeting the colourful Turcana Tribe pictured.
The couple saw many incredible sights and got an insight into different cultures during the trip, including meeting the colourful Turcana Tribe pictured. Image by OverAfrica
A wildebeast migration in Kenya seen crossing the Maasai Mara river.
A wildebeast migration in Kenya seen crossing the Maasai Mara river. Image by OverAfrica

“The planning stage took 18 months alone from the point at which I decided we could do it through to buying a suitable vehicle, kitting it out, doing courses in wilderness first aid course, 4×4 driving, mechanics and of course getting my truck driving licence. There was also route planning, visa research, and disease information to put together,” Steve said.

One of the adventures was shark diving off Aliwal Shoal in South Africa.
One of the adventures was shark diving off Aliwal Shoal in South Africa. Image by OverAfrica
A lion photographed at Tarangire National Park.
A lion photographed at Tarangire National Park. Image by OverAfrica

The couple bought a 10 tonne ex-military truck that was converted into an off road campervan complete with kitchen, bathroom, living and seating space and some home comforts designed to keep them happy during over a year of travel. The truck came with a flatbed on the back which was removed to make way for frame box to house the living area. A fresh water tank was added as well as a gas stove, oven and fridge.

A newly added metal box on the ex-army truck.
A newly added metal box on the ex-army truck. Image by OverAfrica
Steve doing some work on the truck.
Steve doing some work on the truck. Image by OverAfrica

The trip was documented on Steve and Roxy’s blog, OverAfrica, which charts their adventures as they passed through countries like Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania. Their initial map that was drawn up during the planning process had to be tweaked in some places throughout the journey.

The truck broke through the boggy clay marshland near Senegal and was dug out by members of the Amsterdam Dakar Rally.
The truck broke through the boggy clay marshland near Senegal and was dug out by members of the Amsterdam Dakar Rally. Image by OverAfrica
The travellers made many friends during their trip, including Gwilli who shared a beer with Steve at a game farm during sunset.
The travellers made many friends during their trip, including Gwilli who shared a beer with Steve at a game farm during sunset. Image by OverAfrica

Having safely completed the journey, the couple are now happily has since gotten married, saying that the trip taught them a lot. “It was an incredible adventure that was at times difficult, stressful, scary, awe-inspiring, and beautiful, filled with amazing experiences exploring new cultures, meeting amazing people and visiting beautiful places. Our characters grew so much as we were forced to face adversity, think outside of the box to get through unforeseen problems, and experience such a life-changing event,” Steve said.

Roxy at the Sudanese Pyramids.
Roxy at the Sudanese Pyramids. Image by OverAfrica
The 10-tonne van looks dwarfed by the giant sand dunes in Namibia.
The 10-tonne van looks dwarfed by the giant sand dunes in Namibia. Image by OverAfrica

You can read in depth diary entries on each destination at Steve and Roxy’s website.