Wednesday, 4 December 2013



We are selling our professionally converted ex British Army Leyland DAF truck built to high spec. with every conceivable extra - hot/cold water, shower, toilet, aircon, full kitchen, generator etc etc.
Total costs of vehicle, conversion and equipment was in excess of £60,000.  Now looking for offers around £40,000.
The base vehicle was purchased and conversion undertaken in the UK in 2010/2011. The vehicle was then shipped from the UK to South Africa. This vehicle, plus a Landrover and trailer, were to be the home of three generations - grandparents, parents and children, the youngest aged only one at the time - for an overland journey across Africa. Thus the need for a safe and comfortable travel environment and so high specifications.
Unfortunately, due to  the political situation in Egypt and Syria, we had to change plans in northern Kenya. Since then we have enjoyed several holidays traversing Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia and have now brought the truck back to Cape Town.  
Back in Cape Town the truck and interior have been fully serviced.  Fully equipped with bedding,  kitchen equipment, crockery etc , tools and some spares including 2 spare tyres. Ready to go for your luxury trip into Africa. We can deliver to another location if required or even arrange shipping out of South Africa.

The chassis is an ex British Army Leyland DAF dating from 1991. However, when we purchased it in 2010, there were only about 4000km on the clock. Distance traveled now is about 25000 km. The net result is that all the mechanical components are in excellent condition making it very reliable. The complete injection system and shock absorbers have been replaced. After a few initial hiccups  the truck has given no problems whatsoever.
It  is an ideal truck for Africa,  rugged, very simple to maintain (no electronics), has enormous ground clearance and a reliable and efficient Cummins 6 litre diesel engine. Cummins engines are used all over Africa, usually as stationary engines powering generators etc, so spares are easily available and again it is very simple to repair and maintain.
The truck is fitted with oversize wheels and tyres, this was done to improve traction in soft sand and mud and also to slightly increase road speed, it will cruise at around 80 kph quite happily.
The cab is fitted with sprung driver and passenger seats and 2 smaller seats suitable for children. These 2 could easily be removed and replaced with more storage. The roof of the cab has a hatch which is ideal for game viewing


There is a spare wheel mounted on the back of the body with a winch. On the roof is a large roof rack with a further spare tyre and 6 Jerry cans.


The living part of the body was professionally built in the UK. It comprises a steel framed box mounted on 4 flexible mounts to reduce stresses on the box itself and to allow the chassis to twist on uneven terrain. The body is clad in aluminium and fully insulated. The body is equipped with -
-Wind out awning
-Windows and two roof lights all of which have mosquito nets and black out blinds.
-Curtains at windows
-2 double beds (front and rear) which convert to tables with sitting space.
-Kitchen area with long worktop, sink and drainer
-Underneath storage space for food, pans etc and 4 drawers.
-4 ring gas hob,
-24v/240v fridge freezer
-Gas oven and grill.
-Above is a row of storage lockers.
-Hatch to provide access to cab 


-Small shower room with cassette toilet, hand basin and shower

-High level storage lockers at each end above the beds plus a small wardrobe alongside the shower room.
-Large storage under the rear beds also a hidden safe.
-Pumped hot and cold water supply, storage tank under the front seats and grey water storage tank for waste. Water is heated from the engine when travelling.
-Eberspacher diesel heater supplies hot water when stationary and blown hot air to heat the interior.
-240v airconditioner mounted on the roof.
-Electrical power supplied by either 4 leisure batteries or a 240v hook up. The leisure batteries are completely separate so the truck batteries cannot be run down overnight.
-5 lockers suspended under the body for tools, batteries, gas cylinders etc.
-Large locker under the rear bed accessible from the outside for further storage.
-Fold down steps
-Honda generator, stored in the rear locker, will run all the truck electrics plus the air conditioner for about 3 hours on one tank of petrol.

Leyland DAF 4 wheel drive chassis
Leaf springs with shock absorbers,
5 speed and reverse gearbox
Transfer box with high and low ratios, central differential lock, permanent 4 wheel drive
Standard commercial air braking system with air take off point.
14.0xR20 military spec tyres
Rear mounted spare wheel with winch
Spare tyre on roof
Cummins 6 litre 6 cylinder diesel engine
2 fuel filters
300 litre fuel tank plus 4 x 20 litre Jerry cans on roof
Tilting cab
Standard 24v electrics with 12v supply in cab for sat nav etc
Roof rack on cab
Fitted CB radio with aerial (spare set available to fit in a second vehicle)
Tow hitch with 24v electrics (24v to 12v converter available)
Front mounted 24v. electric Winch

Sterling Pro Digital Alternator to Battery charger
Sterling Pro Combi Combined Inverter Charger
Sterling Power Management Panel
4 x 89ah Leisure Batteries.
Honda EU30i 240 volt generator
Domestic Appliances
Thetford Built in 4 ring hob
Spinflo Mk3 Midi Prima oven and grill
Waeco CR140 fridge with freezer compartment.
Dometic B2200 Air Conditioner
Thetford C200 Cassette toilet
47cm TV with built in DVD player
Wing Omnidirectional TV aerial
Nature Pure Ultrafine Drinking Water Purifier (with spare filter cartridges)
240litre water tank
70litre waste water tank
Domestic Inventory
Kitchen Equipment for 8 persons
Plastic plates large and small, bowls
Misc kitchen tools
Coffee Mugs
Glasses - wine and others
Pans  inc frying pan
Tray and chopping board
Baking Trays and dishes
Storage canisters
6 Pillows
Duvets Double x 2
Quilted mattress protector
Towels/ Sheets/Pillowcases/Blankets/T Towels available if required.
Large floor mat
BBQ Grid
2 Chairs

If you are interested in this amazing vehicle please contact Pete Cooper by email at or telephone +2721876 3088 or Skype petemandy

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Back to the real world?

It was very sad to end the journey so suddenly but the others needed to get a move on and it was just too depressing to sit around not continuing so 2 days later we took a flight to South Africa.
What a shock - no one carrying large guns, everywhere clean and organised. A week later we are just about acclimatised to a non travelling way of life again but we do have the prospect of a further few months next year when we return to Uganda to collect the vehicle.
At least it will give us the opportunity to return to some of the organisations we visited now.
Peter and Mandy

Parting of the Ways

A couple of days without driving gave us time to reflect on what next. Very reluctantly we decided that not all of us could continue. Mandy had suffered quite badly from altitude problems whilst in the Ugandan Highlands. Going on into Ethiopia would exacerbate the problem. We had been only 60 hours at about 2400m and going into Ethiopia would mean coping with even higher altitudes for a much longer period. Decided a heart attack or whatever was just not worth it. Imagine the consequences. The film where grandmother dies and spends the rest of the journey across the states in a chair on top of the car came to mind!

After much agonising we decided to part. Sarah and Chris and the children to continue north and we would leave the truck in Uganda and fly to Franschhoek for a couple of weeks then home to UK for Christmas. We would then return next year to rescue said vehicle, turn around and drive south.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Back to Kampala

Leaving Bwindi Impenetrable Forest we made slow progress towards Kampala. First obstacle was the most appalling roads you can imagine. After crawling at snails pace for hours we changed route and headed towards Ishasha, home of tree climbing lions. Someone had told us this was a good road! After a night in the park guarded by 2 fully armed Ugandan soldiers(we are on the border with Congo) we set off to look for the lions. This time no luck so we continued on towards Kampala.

Better road? A most definite NO! After a few hours we came across road works building a new bridge across the river. Three lorries were stuck on the opposite bank. Great despair as not getting across meant back tracking 2 days on the appalling roads. However, luck was on our side and it was decided that we would be allowed to try getting across. Main work stopped whilst everyone threw large stones onto the bank to try to shore it up. Pete Eventually managed to drive across with a host of workers all shouting different directions - go left, straight on, go right etc. With about an inch to spare he managed to get across. Huge relief!
After this we had a few uneventful hours until the final disaster of the day when Peter misjudged the height of an entrance gate and and managed to end up with an additional roof on the lorry!

Not one of our most successful days!

Anyway Kampala was reached the next day and the awaited shock absorbers delivered. Whoopee.

Friday, 25 November 2011

And Rattie came too

Having more or less recovered from our stomach bugs Mandy and I set off for a few peaceful days travelling through Uganda. As everyone says an amazing place very unlike most of Africa, beautiful scenery and everything so lush. We camped at the side of 2 different lakes and then set off for Bwindi to meet up with Sarah and Chris. Against the advice of the guys at the camp we took the scenic route. They turned out to be right - the road was very narrow but I only once hit a rock cliff and once lost a back wheel off the edge of the road.
Back in Kampala we had realised that we had a fellow traveller (droppings, half eaten bananas etc) and after various attempts with mouse traps and sticky stuff we thought we had got rid of him. However when we got back to Kampala after Bwindi we started to get a dreadful smell. Sarah eventually found him underneath our mattress,we must have been sleeping on him for days. Ugh!!! The story of the princess and the pea comes to mind. Mandy is most obviously NOT a princess!
It took several days of washing bedding, cleaning cushions etc etc. Even now the smell still lingers slightly. Moral be careful you do not camp in rat infested camp sites.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Charity Update - Sanyu Babies Home, Kampala

We spent a few days at Sanyu Babies Home helping to look after the children. There are currently 49 babies resident in the home varying in age from 1 day old to 4 years old. When we arrived the children were playing outside and ran to see us with big smiling faces. Our first impression was that the children were happy, clean and cared for. We had a chat with Barbara the administrator who gave us a background to the home and the present children. She gave us our shopping list of things they required - nappies, toilet tissue, washing powder, baby milk, cooking oil, margarine and Milton. Not an extravagant list just essentials. Following this she said we were very welcome to have a look around, stay and help etc. Florence, Tilly, Nia and myself stayed and arranged to be picked up later. Barbara had said evening meal was always busy and as many volunteers were needed as possible. We spent an hour holding various babies, playing with them and calming them. Florence walked around with various babies whilst Nia rocked them in their only pushchair and Tilly played with those in their cots.
Dinner time came around and we were told to take the babies through to the dining area. I have never seen so many high chairs, low chairs and benches in one place! The staff knew exactly where the children sat and we were instructed where to put each baby dependent upon age. The older age group sat on low high chairs and were given their meal of potato and g nut to eat by hand. The younger ones were then placed in higher benches after which we were given a bowl of potato and g nut and a spoon and told to feed 4 babies each. Florence and I set to work feeding four babies each giving a spoonful to one at a time. Once this was finished bottles of milk came and again we were given two bottles to feed 2 babies and then start on another two etc.
After evening meal those that could walked into the changing room, took off their clothes and then went into the bathroom and sat on a potty. It was quite a sight! The younger babies we were given to strip, clean with wet wipes and then dress for bed. We used disposable nappies on some and others had just a piece of cloth which we tied at the front and then some waterprof pants over the top. Big piles of clothes were brought out for us to dress the babies. Nia Florence and I set to work stripping , cleaning and dressing the babies. Once dressed we had to ask the name of the baby and then locate the cot and place them in pull over their mosquito net and start again. Once we had finished with the smaller babies we then had those who were on the potties to deal with. They had a shower then came running in wet ready to be dried and dressed. The older of these children stayed up a little longer.
In the middle of all this Thomas and Chris came to collect us but we were still knee deep in babies and toddlers all needing dressing etc. Consequently both Thomas and Chris set to work.
I was really conscious of wanting to interact with each child and treat treat them like a part on a conveyor belt. They were all really happy, wanted cuddles and very responsive which was lovely to see, just heart breaking listening to their horror stories, and not being able to give them all attention when they wanted it.
We eventually left the home when all were either in bed or ready for bed with our own children desperate to go back to help at breakfast the next morning which of course we did.
Breakfast ran very similarly to evening meal after which the potty / bath / dress scenario was repeated. Instead of going to bed at this point we started the trips to the 3 classrooms at the back of the building. It took quite a few trips to deliver all the children! Whilst I walked back and forth Thomas and Florence stayed in the youngest classroom to play with the children.
The home relies heavily on volunteers, in the evening there were only 4 or so of their staff to feed bath etc 49 babies.
We helped for another meal or two and delivered their wish list of nappies, milk, oil etc. in two parts for which Barbara and the staff were incredibly appreciative and grateful. We have been given a card of thanks for all those who have donated money. The reasons for the children ending up in this home are truly awful but the home does provide a safe and happy community for them. Hope all well? Just to let you know spent very wet night up in mountains, actually second wet night in a row! They try to reunite the babies with their families if at all possible but otherwise are managing to find adoptive or foster homes for the others both nationally and internationally. the home is run in a very organised manner where all the children are looked after. It is just very sad that these little babies don't get the attention they need in terms of affection and personal interaction. The home provides as much as it can but relies on volunteers to help out and to donate goods and clothes, all of which we did thank you very much to all of you who so generously donated before we left UK.
Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Visit to Aquinoe Learning Centre

Aquinoe Learning Centre in Kigale, Northern Kenya, has been established for several years and has  support from the Aquinoe Trust in UK. There are about 220 pupils from 3 years to about 19 years within which there are about 40 children with disabilities.  The philosophy of the school is that handicapped children are to be integrated within a normal school environment – a seeming rarity in Africa where the view is still very much that any handicap is to be hidden away.
From memory there were about 100 boarders including all the children with a disability.  Of the 100 a number were orphans and so lived at the school permanently. 
Aquinoe had recently provided the school with a new building for the special needs children including a physiotherapy room. The only equipment though was a large “roll on” ball and a small bed.
Many of the children with disabilities had mobility problems and moving around in the thick mud was a challenge for even able bodied.
We had been asked to donate some food – maize and beans. The cost of living in Kenya has increased dramatically in the last year and so the school was finding it difficult to feed the children.  Only the boarders ate at lunchtime. Children who lived nearby went home but others just had to do without as there was no money to pay for their lunch.
When we arrived the school had been disconnected from electricity because of non payment of bills so we agreed to donate an amount to get this reconnected as well as a sum towards the water account.
In all, on behalf of all our contributors, we passed on the following:
20 bags maize
5 bags beans
Ksh 37,000 towards water and electricity accounts
Footballs, skipping ropes, hoops
Assorted small “noise” toys for the younger children with a disability
Two trikes that could be used for leg strengthening excercise
Misc educational items, toilet rolls
We also personally sponsored 2 of the children. A 14 year old and a 19 year old. The older girl was an orphan with no other home than the school. She has severe problems and apparently came into the school following rape and being left for dead.

Dormitory - not all the children have their own bed 

Admiring the Library

The  kitchen

Struggling in the mud

Happy faces