Four Zetros trucks see the "Big Five".

An Overland expedition takes Zetros owners to southern Africa.

The sun is burning. A deep blue sky stretches across the plain. A mother elephant crosses the track with its baby tagging along behind her. The Zetros easily crosses to the other side and drives carefully around the two animals.

One of many unforgettable moments for participants of the Overland Big Five Expedition: for a whole month, they experience pure adventure in the untouched heart of Africa's south in their own vehicles – and if they are lucky see the "Big Five" animals: not only elephants but also buffalo, lions, leopards and black rhinos are among the inhabitants of the plains that can often be seen.

Specialised in Special Trucks with Bliss Mobil bodies.

It begins directly after Namibia's Walvis Bay: the Namib, the world's oldest desert. Huge sand dunes fascinate with an impressive pallet of colours. It's no wonder that at the end of July four teams of enthusiastic Zetros owners go wild here – this coastal desert is the perfect start and finish for their tour.

Zetros in the test off the highway

What they have in common besides a love of adventure: all four of the Zetros trucks have been converted into more powerful, extremely robust expedition campers by Bliss Mobil, bodybuilder partner of Mercedes-Benz. With these trucks nothing can hold back adventurers travelling beyond paved roads. Because this is exactly what Overland, the Dutch tour organiser, specialises in: cross-country trips in the literal sense of the word – perfectly tailored to the "Bliss Mobiles"; completely customised and pure freedom.

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Boredom? No chance of that!

Nature, culture and the wilderness in abundance – even for Special Trucks with extreme off-road capability, the trip is a real challenge. In 34 days participants cover a distance of almost 6000 km. And there is more than enough variety: after a section along the rough Skeleton Coast of Namibia – past shipwrecks and seal colonies – the journey continues on through the demanding dune landscape of the Namib and across the Etosha national park to the spectacular Victoria Falls, a UNESCO world heritage site. Mosi-o-tunya – "The smoke that thunders" is the appropriate name given by the Kololo tribe that lives in the region to the Zambezi river which plunges loudly into the deep at this point.

In Zimbabwe the Zetros trucks follow the river which, at times, is as wide as 5 kilometres as it makes its way to the Indian Ocean – with a bit of luck, it is possible to see hippos dozing here at night. Wherever possible the participants in the expedition sleep below the stars with their motorhomes. In the west of Zimbabwe, the Matobo national park presents majestic rock formations, before the circular route goes on into Botswana's scrubland. And here at the very latest is where the hearts of all off-road enthusiasts start to beat faster: from the impressive salt pans of Makgadikgadi to the unique swamplands of the Okavango delta and the sub-tropical savannah of the Kalahari the vehicles must overcome very different types of terrain.

Tips from the rally expert.

No matter whether they are out individually or in convoy: each team decides for itself when and how it is on the road. That way there is nothing standing in the way of ultimate freedom and maximum fun with the vehicle features. " On particularly difficult terrain, you’ll have to buckle up and work ‘hard’ behind the wheel every once in a while," says Kevin Kooijman, the owner of Overland Travel and the group's travel guide. Thanks to his professional rally background, he is the perfect travel companion for the adventurers.

Independence from the group coupled with help where it's needed – that is Kooijman's recipe for the ultimate off-road experience. "On request I'm happy to give participants a few tips and tricks as to how they can unleash the off-road driver in them and still get their money's worth during the expedition."

On particularly difficult terrain, you’ll have to buckle up and work ‘hard’ behind the wheel every once in a while.

Kevin Kooijman, owner of Overland Travel

Every day the participants are instructed about the next section of the route: things worth knowing about the route, time management, the culture, driving recommendations and border crossings – that way, anyone who wants to, can rely solely on themselves, the Zetros and the roadbook on that particular section.

For team members and individualists.

The advantage of this exceptional group trip: participants can travel to places that they would hardly be able to reach on their own – for example, every year the Namib desert is crossed by fewer adventurers than climb Mount Everest in the same time period. This is because, in parts the terrain is so challenging that drivers must accompany or tow each other – real teamwork is the order of the day here. In the evenings, around the camp-fire, the adventurers can then tell of their experience with the landscape, culture and of course their off-road vehicles.

Unforgettable moments and highlights to take home are guaranteed. So that participants can focus completely on enjoying the trip, Overland organises the transport of the Special Trucks to the starting point. And anyone who still hasn't had enough at the end of the trip can leave their vehicle parked there and continue the adventure on their own at a later date.

Around the World Tour: for Zetros and Unimog "Bliss Mobiles".

The Big Five Expedition is part of the "Bliss around the World" concept: a journey around the world, comprising several separate expeditions. The goal: to travel through all of the seasons, time zones and continents. No matter whether they are on the ice roads of Canada or following the path of the Silk Road – drivers of an Unimog or Zetros "Bliss Mobile" get their money's worth of all extremes.

Furthermore, Overland Travel also offers short and long-term expeditions of various degrees of difficulty – beginners and pros are equally welcome. In order to make sure that travellers are optimally prepared for their tour, the company has developed their own training expedition. The goal: in the Moroccan landscape so full of contrast, participants learn how to handle the expedition vehicle with confidence, to help others and themselves in challenging situations – and are optimally prepared for any other future Overland challenges.

Overland training expedition to Morocco

Find out more about Overland Travel and Bliss Mobil Expeditions:

bliss.overland.travel

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