Whether you are taking a safari to the wilds of Kenya’s Maasai Mara from India as a couple, planning a family trip, or planning group travel, having a dependable safari vehicle is critical.
It has to be a car that can easily navigate the harsh bush terrain without compromising comfort or fuel-efficiency.
Ideally, purpose-built safari cars with big sliding windows and pop-up roof hatches are the best for superb game viewing. The best thing about them is that you can utilize them for game drives and park transfers.
So whether you are a first-time visitor going on a guided tour or a seasoned veteran who prefers self-driven safaris, these vehicles will serve you well.
Most professional tour operators have these types of vehicles available on request. Toyota safari vehicles tend to dominate the list. Below are five of the best safari cars for you to pick from for your next excursion.
1. Toyota Land Cruiser
Land Cruisers are deployed on many safari expeditions due to their sheer tenacity off-road. These may range from the “bare-bones” models or those without any additional modifications to highly specialized cars that might include air conditioning, MP3 players, and slightly tinted windows for sun protection.
Some of the more recent models also feature pop-up roofs, which increase viewing opportunities, particularly while on a Land cruiser safari in Kenya.
These automobiles can typically accommodate four to six (extended version) passengers who are all looking forward. Before making a reservation, ask your tour operator about the seating arrangement.
The expanded cars can transport more passengers but can be trickier to drive. Nonetheless, since most Land Cruisers are 4X4s, they can navigate Africa’s notoriously rugged terrain.
Out of all the Toyota safari vehicles, the Land cruiser is the most formidable. Besides their off-road tenacity, most Land Cruisers have every safety feature imaginable, including airbags, first aid kits, seat belts, and fire extinguishers.
Also, they have specifically crafted fuel tanks that enable the efficient use of diesel during long journeys and snorkels for river travel.
To keep the vehicle’s interior roomy and for your comfort, luggage is typically taken either in a trailer or stacked on the roof. Therefore, it helps to keep your luggage light.
A Land Cruiser safari in Kenya can be whatever you want, from a trip down to the coast or an excursion into the Masai Mara savannah. In most cases, land cruisers are used for game drives while small cars such as Nissan note, Mazda Axela, Toyota Probox, Toyota Filder are used for city transfers.
2. Jeep Wrangler
Of course, the Wrangler remains impressive off-road, and safari Jeeps are an absolute marvel.
The three-door Rubicon stands out with its ladder frame, locking differentials, knobby tires, specialized articulating axles, underbody bracing, and exceptional approach and departure angle figures.
More helpful and capable than ever before are the most modern Jeep Wranglers. Now that the engines are smaller and more efficient, the car can boast better handling on the road.
The cabin has grown and has a less flimsy, shoddy construction. Safari Jeeps are ideal for self-driven safaris as the car can handle even the most remote parts of Africa.
3. Land Rover
Land Rover now provides four-, six-, and eight-cylinder engines for the car. For a safari vehicle, the D300 diesel is the most suitable option out of all of them because it combines plenty of torque with good fuel economy, drivability, and refinement.
Also, it is not as expensive as some of the other car versions. However, the range-topping V8 version does have performance and presence to spare.
Both the three-door “90” and the five-door “110” body styles of the Defender are available, as well as a “Hardtop” model.
Whatever body type you choose, the Defender is a broad, tall, and heavy vehicle that isn’t best suited to the smallest of tracks.
Despite this, the 4×4’s capabilities are still unquestionable, and the way it approaches its work off-road gives the impression that it was designed for those who don’t even enjoy off-roading.
4. Toyota Prado
It’s easy to see why the Toyota Prado is the vehicle of choice in far-off places like the African savanna. When trudging through muddy fields or navigating rocky side roads, the Toyota Prado remains a steadfast companion.
Beyond its wide range of capabilities, the Prado’s brutal simplicity and ease of maintenance give drivers even more confidence that it can traverse challenging terrain while maintaining low service and running costs.
You can select between the distinctive two-door and the more popular four-door version.
The car’s minimal specification is highlighted by its silver 17-inch steel wheels, manually-adjustable fabric seats, a fundamental radio, and the absence of running boards or automated climate control.
5. Nissan Patrol
An 8.0-inch multimedia display with sat-nav, Bluetooth for hands-free phone use, power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats, side steps, and 18-inch alloy wheels are just a few of the Patrol’s standard features.
The glove box, cup holders, bottle holders in the doors, and other standard storage areas are plentiful for the driver and front passenger. There are also a few hidden compartments (with pop-up lids) for your keys, phone, and other small items.
The suspension of the Patrol is mainly in good shape; in fact, it is pretty firm.
In addition to the Patrol’s Hydraulic Body, the Motion Control system is a network of hydraulic cylinders cross-linked between wheels that functions like a swaybar/swaybar disconnect.
That includes independent suspension with double wishbones and coil springs at each corner. It allows the vehicle to automatically tighten up on the road, making the Patrol more controlled on more demanding terrain.
When you are in 4WD, it will automatically loosen up, allowing for greater flex in the suspension.
Additionally, there is minimal outside noise, except for a low background hum.
The Patrol is very comfortable and has excellent levels of performance and refinement.