Safaris don't need to be expensive, grab your own truck and go!
The Avis Safari Rentals offer several vehicles built for your custom safari. Each vehicle generally has a personal refrigerator, freezer, water tank, rooftop tent, backup battery and solar panels. These vehicles can be rented in just about any major city in the Southern countries of Africa including Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique. To see a full up to date list, check the Avis website.
The Running Wild Media team picked up a Ford Ranger from Avis Safari Rental in Windhoek for the four week trek across Africa's greatest wilderness. This ranger was equipped with a two person rooftop tent that "popped" up for easy set up and break down. Another tent attached to the side of the vehicle and is easily removed for ground set up. This tent holds two more people and two cots, which are provided with the rental. The roof top rig come with an awning that is super convenient for blocking out the hot African sun while having lunch or keeping the rain off when setting up for dinner. In terms of dinning, the vehicle includes a folding table, fold out chairs that match the number of people in the party, a side table that attaches to the vehicle (perfect for preparing food) a 90 liter twin refrigerator and freezer and a burner that is connected to the tailgate with it's own propane tank, conveniently hanging on the back of the truck.
When we got ahold of the vehicle, the first thing we did was drive it to the supermarket and load up on beer and ice cream... and maybe some real food, but the freezer was plenty cold enough to keep our ice cream from melting and the fridge was cool enough to keep the milk from spoiling, even in the Namib Desert. The main objective of having the vehicle was to give us the freedom and mobility to film wildlife. We needed to drive great distances between the National Parks and with the big fuel tank included, we could get 800 km's or so between fill ups. In order to get the animal shots we needed, we rigged up a platform on the door of the vehicle and mounted a tripod head, lens, camera and HD monitor to see the shots that we were collecting. While out in the parks, the vehicle handled itself beautifully. We only got it stuck twice, the first time being our fault by not releasing enough air out the tires before tackling the deep sand of the Namib Desert. The other time was when we tried taking on a giant puddle of water that had feet of mud around the water. This one was easy to get out by rocking the car back and forth till the front tire caught some ground and pulled us right out.