Electric Vehicles on Safari

Electric safari vehicles are a bit of a no-brainer really. Not only does the pristine bush wilderness and wildlife cry out for a low-to-zero carbon footprint, but silent electric safari vehicles are perfect for sneaking up on, and observing, animals in the wild.

Makanyi Lodge in South Africa’s Timbavati Nature Reserve is now operating the first of its kind electric conversion safari vehicle.

The conversion is done by Electric Safari Vehicles, who took the normal diesel engine out of one of Makanyi’s Landrover safari vehicles and replaced it with a connector for the drive train, an electric motor, batteries and software. They can do the same for Africa’s other native safari vehicle, the Toyota Landcruiser.

The converted vehicles can be fully recharged from solar panels and are both water and dust proof with the capacity to run 4-wheel drive in all types of terrain with more power and torque compared to the normal diesel game viewers. And there are no ‘range anxiety’ issues. One average 6 hour charge can see a vehicle run for anything between 150 and 200km depending on terrain – far more than is needed for most game drives, which are between 30 and 40km.

“The silence is tremendous,” says Makanyi’s Head Ranger, Sean, “and has totally transformed the safari experience, we can communicate more easily with our guests and the tracker without shouting over the sound of the engine and we can better follow more sensitive or elusive game – leopards, bull elephants in musth or mothers and babies for whom the sound of the engine can spark a negative reaction. All this whilst knowing we are protecting the environment we care so passionately about.”

The difference is demonstrated here…

And there’s another benefit. Anti-poaching units can track and catch poachers without being detected by engine noise!


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