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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Patuel

Things you should know before buying a Defender

We love our Land Rover Defender, the Kalahari Ferrari but it did take us a while to get used to our car and really get comfortable driving the Defender full time.

1.     Air Conditioning

They do have air conditioning, or as people like to call it 'knee-con' because it blows down at your knees. Honestly, it works better than we expected, and we use it only on those really hot "get me out of Africa" for added fuel effeciency.

2.     Rattling noises

When we first bought the car, there were a ton of rattling noises. We highly recommend spending time getting to know your car and securing everything! Buy some extra insulation tape to make sure items have a little extra cushion because if you’re anything like us, the rattling will drive you crazy!

3.     They are loud

The engines are loud, and you’ll either love it or hate it, but you’ll know it pretty much from the moment you drive the car that it sounds like a tractor.


We did some soundproofing to the top bonnet, adding insulation to help with the noise, which helped drastically. This allows us to hold conversations in the car.

4.     The car does not insulate 100%

The car does not insulate 100%, whether it’s the doors, the windows, or the boot. I like to tell people we have a Lego car; everything is adjustable and easily fixed, but what we’ve noticed is dust always gets in one way or another.


5.     'Workhorse of Africa'

The Landy is known as the 'Workhorse of Africa'; the car is a machine and is great for overland trips! We opted for an older 300 TDI engine, which meant no electronics. This was very important for us as we had little to no mechanical knowledge and needed to rely on our handy manual and the knowledge of bush mechanics, which has gotten us this far!


6.     No issues getting parts in Southern Africa

We’ve also had no issues getting parts (so far). We had an issue with our front passenger door not opening and closing and were able to get a new door mechanism in Blantyre, Malawi, without any issues!


7.     There is a ton of space

There is a ton of space, and you can set them up in a way that makes sense to you when you travel!

8.     Fuel-Efficient

Our car has been surprisingly fuel-efficient, averaging 10 liters per 100 kilometers.

9.     They are slow

Maxing out at 100-115 kilometers on the highway, but honestly, what’s the rush?

Plus, outside of places like South Africa, we haven’t really been able to drive any faster than 100 kilometers anyway!

10.  Comfortability

We love our car and have found it perfect for our trip, so I'm not sure what people mean when they ask me if the car is 'comfortable'. Traveling in Africa can be very unconfortable at time but our car has been very reliable and it's been perfect for the amount of offraoding we've done!

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