4 Feb, 2023 @ 13:30
1 min read

How British expat turned land rover into luxury home ahead of ‘mammoth’ road trip through Africa

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A British expat has converted a Land Rover into a mobile home with a double bed and an indoor shower.

It’s all in preparation for a mammoth road trip through Africa, with the 4×4, dubbed ‘the beast’, set to be her home for at least eight months when she departs in February.

Katrina Smith, 55, spent about 50,000 pounds modifying the ‘landie’ and claims it is the only vehicle of its kind with built-in hot and cold running water. 

It also has a kitchen area with a gas hob, a fridge and a freezer.

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A pop-up tent was installed onto the roof of the land rover.

The Alhaurin el Grande resident installed a pop-up tent on the roof, which provides a double bed on one end, while there is a second double bed inside, and a hammock positioned horizontally across the front seats.

The retired mechanic even went to the trouble of fitting a removable steering wheel, so she had more space to stretch out in the hammock. 

Smith will be travelling with her friend Nicole Taylor and will start their journey into Africa from the port of Algeciras on February 5.

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There is a fully fitted kitchen inside the vehicle.

From there, they will board a ferry to Morocco and make their way south towards South Africa, driving about 20,000 kilometres a day through 16 countries. 

Along the way Smith and Taylor will volunteer at an orphanage in Uganda, Little Angels. 

The pair are hosting a fundraising event before they set off, with the proceeds going to the organisation. 

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Refitting the land rover cost Katrina Smith about 50,000 pounds.

However, Smith said she knows it won’t be easy, and is preparing for a rough ride at times. 

“I know what’s ahead of me and it won’t be all fun and glory,” she told the Olive Press.

Her biggest fear however, is a ‘normal’ life of working the 9am-5pm, going out to restaurants and doing grocery shopping.

“I have done epic trips like these in the past and they have put a different view on my life,” she said. 

The duo will have to contend with political tensions in some countries, particularly Nigeria, as the country’s general elections loom.

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Smith says she will drive about 20,000 kms a day in Africa.

While the threat of Malaria is constant, prompting Smith to have eight months of Malaria pills beside her at all times. 

“Some of these countries will make Morocco look like Buckingham Palace,” she said. 

“But I know what I’m signing up for and wouldn’t want it any other way.”

The charity event will take place at Molly’s Roadhouse in Coin on Saturday, February 4 at 12pm.


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