In the previous article we explored where you can drive off road in Europe. Now our attention turns to further afield and we look globally!
Beyond Europe, there are destinations where greenlaning isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of life – because in some poorer countries, roads aren’t surfaced with Tarmac.
In effect they are rough tracks very similar to byways you find in most parts of Wales (except it doesn’t rain as much! 😉 )
Let’s take a look at our global off roading opportunities.
Part 4: Worldwide
Photo: Flickr – whiteafrican
Let’s start with Africa as its the nearest neighbouring continent to the UK – and certainly the easiest to get to.
To take your Land Rover overland in Morocco, you can drive though France and Spain and get on the ferry across the straits of Gibraltar. To get to Tunisia, you drive to Marseille in France, or Genoa in Italy and do the same!
Morocco is one of the most dramatic countries in the world. You get to drive through cedar forests, the High Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert in a matter of days, with exciting new views opening up in front of you at every turn.
Tunisia is sandier than Morocco, but perhaps not quite as dramatic. There is still plenty to interest the adventurous Land Rover owner including the film sets where Star Wars was shot.
For the more adventurous, you can press on beyond northern Africa to explore the rest of this amazing continent. However, it is not a case of jumping in your Land Rover and heading south!
There are war zones to avoid and countries where westerners are, at best, not welcome!
Photo: Flickr – Coda
Always plan and research any overland trip very carefully, and check with the foreign office for the latest information on the countries you may be driving through.
In reality though, very few Land Rover owners embark on such long overland trips. Most opt for fly-drives to places like Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
Here you get to turn up and drive a fully equipped Defender 110 which will be your home for the next week or two as you explore the countryside. You get to sleep securely in your roof tent at night with lions and elephants as your nearest neighbours!
In Asia, there are again plenty of places where unsurfaced roads give the 4×4 driver plenty of scope for exploration.
South-east Asia in particular is a destination where you can combine driving in tropical rainforests with a sophisticated beach holiday, but it is not always easy to hire a Land Rover in countries like Malaysia where Japanese marques like Toyota are the dominant 4×4 brands. The same applies to Australia.
However, by searching around you can usually find companies that hire Land Rovers, and once you are out of the cities and in the Outback, you’re guaranteed a unique experience. The deserts in the centre of this vast country are some of the loneliest places on the planet.
Take your own Landy
Photo: Flickr – Pakec
The ideal way of getting to drive off road in far flung places is to drive your own Land Rover of course. And while an overland trek to south-east Asia is possible, it will probably take you a year to get there, and obviously few people can afford to do that.
The answer is to have your vehicle shipped to your destination and you join it by flying there.
Be aware though that it is a complicated affair in most countries. In some your literally have to “import” and “export” your own vehicle every time you cross the borders, and the smaller the country, the most bureaucratic this process seems to become.
Be prepared for lots of red tape, and to be without your beloved Landy for a long time. It can take six weeks to ship your vehicle to Australia.
There are shipping companies that will do it for you though, and you have the choice of sending it as deck cargo or in a container. The latter is more expensive, but is probably the kindest for your vehicle.
If you are planning a trip to south America where Land Rovers are thin on the ground, then shipping your vehicle over is probably the only option!