We are planning our 1st safari to East Africa and want everything to go right. We have a budget to work within and donít want to spend money on non-essential as we would rather increase our days for safari in East Africa. With this should we pay more for 4wd Land cruiser instead of using a safari minibus?


The type of the vehicle you will use for your East African safari will one item but not the overall item that will influence the out come of your safari. There are two main types of safari vehicles: 4WD Land cruisers / Land Rovers (otherwise known as safari jeeps) or safari minibus - common makes are Toyota or Nissan.

If we start from the common base that both of the safari vehicles are mechanically sound and each have a experienced driver / guide, is there any advantage of choosing either the 4 WD safari jeep or the minibus?

The 4wd cost nearly double the amount for the safari minibus, but on performance on the common East Africa safari circuits the minibuses perform as well as the 4wd safari jeeps.

It is also good to note that there are some safari minibuses come with the 4wd option and will perform in muddy situations just as good as the 4wd safari jeeps.

What is important is that the safari vehicle is spacious, is not overloaded, at least each passenger has a window seat and it has a pop-roof for wildlife viewing and photography.

While the 4wd safari jeeps have the "real safari look", a lot of safaris in East Africa are done by minibuses and clients are happy with it.

If your priority is a long safari, then use your budget to get extra days instead of a more expensive safari vehicle. The fact is if you choose your safari itinerary well you can have successful safari by a minibus.

Anne Huysman
Ontdek Kenya Safaris