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-   -   Best Car for a west afrika Travel.. (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/4wd-overland-tech/best-car-west-afrika-travel-29012)

McTravel 27 Aug 2007 15:07

Best Car for a west afrika Travel..
Hello travelers,
I am looking for a good car to make my way trough west afrika.
I just came back from the Gambia and now I would like to drive there.. and further to different countries myself.
I’ve been looking at the Toyota hilux, mitsubitsi l200 for 4x4 pickup;s (maybe with a tent on the back) and 4x4s the Toyota landcruiser, mitsubitsi pajero and the landrover defender.
I want to do this on a budget.. I’ll graduate in a few months and I want to go away for 3-4 months.
So the car’s have to be 7-15 years of age and I have to be able to sell them when I’m done traveling and catch a plane back.

so what do you guys think?

Sam Rutherford 27 Aug 2007 15:10

any car in good condition...
...is all you need.

Toyota spares are arguably easier to find.

Buy the car, not the accessories (ie don't be blinded by winches, snorkels etc.).


McTravel 27 Aug 2007 15:21

toyota 4x4
a lot of people were driving 4x4 but the people who were driving us around had a Peugeot 405 station.. I wouldn't want to try that car :)
so I thought a 4x4 would be a good choice.
so you would go for a toyota .. and what do you think about the sleeping possibilities of the 2 4x4 toyota's?

I live on the main land (Netherlands)..
what do you guys think about the durability and available parts?

noel di pietro 27 Aug 2007 15:42

car for west africa
Depending where you are based, UK or main land!

If you are on the main land try the Landcruiser HJ61, BJ75 (3.5 ltr 4cyl and big enough to sleep in and not so expensive) or HZJ75 (same as BJ75 but with 6 cylinder engine and quite expensive).

If you'r based in the UK there are no 75 models but the HJ61 is available in the UK and does not have to be to expensive. All landcruisers are easily sold in West Africa after you'v finished the trip but the HJ61 is especially popular over there. You can probably even make a good profit.

With the HJ61 you will probably need a roof tent or be cramped up in the car.

And of course there are the Defenders/Series LR and if your from the UK, that is probably what you will end up with. The Brits seem to have an incurable sentimental preference for the LR. ;)



manfredschweda 27 Aug 2007 17:08

Mercedes 207, 307 etc
25-30 year old, very robust, they use them for bush taxis in Africa, very cheap in Europe, the last one I bought for 600 Euros, fully equipped camper van.
I have nothing against 4x4s, own a Defender myself waiting for me in Bamako.
But unless you plan going into the dunes or the dead end corners of Guinea and the Casamance. Maybe this is for you. A lot is sealed roads these days.
Rgds Manfred, in Casablanca

gilghana1 27 Aug 2007 22:08

So many choices! If it was me I would try and get a old 60 series Landcruiser or an old Hilux - and maybe sell it in Mali. Don't pay extra for extras as when you sell it on locals will pay a 'premium' for the toyota badge, but nothing extra for snorkels, roof racks, etc. I was once offered about $5,000 for my defender and my mate $10,000 for his 80 series L/C on the basis of no real inspection and a really fast sale... Prices were set by the badge and nothing else!!! The Defender was arguably worth more than the L/C but the guy was not really interested. Mind you as has been said it don't have to be a 4x4. Corolla/Peugot/almost anything really is also a very marketable wagon! Tercel 4x4 station wagon is also popular, cheap in EU and while it is no camel trophy wagon it is 4x4.

"The Brits seem to have an incurable sentimental preference for the LR."

There is a cure... it is called a Toyota:(

McTravel 28 Aug 2007 00:00

9 seats
I’ve been thinking and I am starting to feel that it might not have to be a 4x4.
Maybe a 9 seat car will bring me more space and in my week in the Gambia I heard a lot of people talk about buying a car like a VW transporter for 9 people.
What do you guys think about a T4 transporter?
Would this make for a good investment and I know it’s a good place to sleep.

I think it’s a great tip that you guys are telling me to go for the car and not the extra’s because they won’t mind them.

noel di pietro 28 Aug 2007 08:15

4x4 or not
hi Mc T,

Its true, you don't need the 4x4 but with the choice of your car you will make the choice of what kinda trip you will be going on!! Think about that when decide. The 4x4 will give you a lot of options, like doing Plage Blanche in Morocco, Erg Chebbi, the beach highway in Mauritania, maybe the railroad track from Nouadibou to Atar, maybe Atar Tidjikja, etc etc.

With the 2x4 you will be stuck to the main roads and that will make all the difference! You will be meeting plenty of 4x4's going everywhere where you can't follow. You will be lining up with the pensionados in their big shiny white campervans who can now reach the Malian border without leaving the tarmac.

Most of us won't be doing these sort of things a lot in our lives so when you do it, better do it right! And if you don't have the money yet for 4x4, I would postpone 6 months and work and save a bit and do it the RIGHT WAY! This is m.h.o. but it comes from experience because I have been there too!

It is a very fundamental choice. If you just want to drive to Ghana quickly, sell the car and go home, all in a couple of weeks then the 2x4 van is the best choice. If you want a true adventure then go for the 4x4.


McTravel 31 Aug 2007 13:14

What about the Mitsubishi Pajero
what do you guys think about this car.. in Germany it's cheaper then the toyota landcruiser and it looks pretty big as well..
I'm pretty tall (6 foot 6) so do you guys know anything about the room inside and does it match up to the landcruiser in durability and available parts?

for example:
Mitsubishi Pajero 2800 TD GLX
Gebrauchtfahrzeug, 124.300 km,
92 kW (125 PS), Diesel, Schaltgetriebe, Erstzulassung: 02/96, grün-metallic, 4/5 Türen
4500 euro (asking price)

(don't know if I can post a link but here it goes:)
mobile.de - der Automarkt für Gebrauchtwagen und Neufahrzeuge - Finden oder Verkaufen Sie einfach und schnell ihr Auto - Mitsubishi*Pajero 2800 TD GLX,*Pkw,*&

noel di pietro 1 Sep 2007 15:12

choise of car
I would not choose a mitsubishi. They have independant front wheel suspension. This is a weak design for off road. The drive shafts and shrouds often break. Have you looked at Nissan Patrols, they have the rigid front axel. The 6 cyl GR type are pretty good! The long body is huge and technically they are strong.


McTravel 4 Sep 2007 13:25

Landrover Discovery
what do you guys think about a landrover discovery.
I hadn't thought about it because of the bad name.. reliability wise.
but it's cheaper then a landcruiser or patrol.
if you can buy a landcruiser from 1990 or a disco from 1998 for the same price and mileage .. what would you guys do (if they both have a full service history).
and what do you guys think about the resale value in west Africa.. and which country would be the best to sell it again (in west Afrika).

Roman 4 Sep 2007 21:33


This thread contains lots of useful advice what to go for but you are always welcome to experiment. Those 'budget' discos are no longer 'budget' once you consider how much you need to spend to get things right. Who knows, you might even be able to sell a disco in Africa (provided it gets there in one piece). Last year I saw a Porche Cayenne in Kiffa - the guys out there are getting a taste for bling!

noel di pietro 5 Sep 2007 09:19


I agree with your opinion on the Disco's but what is it when I click your web site link I get to this very LR orientated and particularly Disco promoting site??

Puzzles me since you are obviously a TLC fan!


JulianVoelcker 5 Sep 2007 10:14


Originally Posted by noel di pietro (Post 149500)
I agree with your opinion on the Disco's but what is it when I click your web site link I get to this very LR orientated and particularly Disco promoting site??

After years of fighting it, Roman eventually saw the light and upgraded to a LC.

Now he can relax and enjjoy his trips instead of worrying if he is going to get there or not ;-)

Roman 5 Sep 2007 10:39


Originally Posted by noel di pietro (Post 149500)
I click your web site link I get to this very LR orientated and particularly Disco promoting ]


Julian has beat me to a reply - thanks Julian!
Well, I don't know why I have never got round to creating a website for the LC. Maybe because I am getting old an lazy, maybe because stating the obvious has little appeal.

Anyway, in the early days of my overlanding life, living in the UK I had little advice from guys like you, so I thought a disco would be great. My website actually shows I was wrong - look at the amount of work it took me to keep it on the road, not to mention using it off-road. After a trip to Libya which ended in near disaster (blown turbo), the disco was flogged, but the website is still there.

I hope that explains.

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