The Future of Safari – Londolozi’s Electric Land Rover

Almost five years ago Londolozi unveiled its first prototype electric Land Rover. We have recently received prototype number five, the ALL TERRAIN ELECTRIC RESEARCH VEHICLE, from Land Rover South Africa. I, therefore, thought that this would be an opportune time to share an update on what an incredible journey it has been.

Electric landrover
One of the privileges of being a family at Londolozi is the endless variety of opportunities available to children who are home schooled in the bush. On this occasion, on a drive with my family, my wife and I presented a lesson on sustainability and the current problems the world is facing with regard to carbon emissions. In the above image we are seen testing Prototype 2.

Londolozi has had a relationship with Land Rover for over 60 years. Their vehicles have been paramount in creating the Londolozi experience throughout the decades and have most certainly contributed to our success today.

In addition to the relationship we have with the land and animals, Londolozi has had one of its longest and most successful relationships with Land Rover. We have always believed that the natural world, ancient wisdom and modern technology will be our guiding force and that nature and technology will increasingly, over time, work as one.

It has been an incredible journey thinking back to how we started five years ago with Prototype 1 (which included 28 batteries!), followed by Prototype 2 (which we managed to set on fire!), not to mention the vision of the shareholders to allow us to continue with the project after these setbacks.

It was at this time that I visited my brother in San Diego and he took me for a test drive in a Tesla sports car. It was truly inspirational to see what fellow South African, Elon Musk, had produced and what he continues to achieve in the reusable energy space. Musk believes that he can bring affordable electric powered vehicles to the American public within the next couple of years. It is because of his incredible vision and an untiring mind for research that Londolozi will have a far more advanced electric Land Rover (the batteries will continue to get smaller and more powerful, the solar panels to offer better efficiency, etc).

I was astounded by the performance of Prototype 5 as it cruised through areas where the traditional Land Rover would normally struggle. The diesel engine has been replaced by a 70kw, 330Nm electric motor and a 300-volt lithium iron battery that provides a range reaching just below 100 km. As our vehicles are required to drive at low speeds and only cover approx 20-30 km per drive, this means that we would have more than enough power to conduct our daily game drives.

Electric landrover 2
Prototype 5 being tested at Londolozi

At Londolozi it is our vision to lead the industry in achieving a zero emissions safari vehicle and, in the very near future, converting our entire fleet to electric vehicles. This initiative will go a long way in contributing towards Londolozi’s broader goal of dramatically reducing our impact on the natural space which we rely on as well as delivering a far richer and deeper interpretive wildlife experience.

Stoff KB with solar charging
Although the electric Land Rover is currently charged using the national power supply, our intention has always been to move to solar charging in order to be completely carbon free (see this image of our prototype solar golf carts and tractor).

Written by Chris-Kane Berman Video by: Rich Laburn

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