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JAN AND LEONÉ VORSTER, the LROC and TRAVEL.

 

LROC

In March 1964 Jan’s father, David Vorster (LROC chairman 1980), bought a 1962 long wheelbase Series 2A Land Rover Station Wagon and joined the Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa (LROC). Jan then also became a ‘family member’. They then equipped it to be “Safari ready” and in July 1964 they set off for the Okavango Delta in Bechuanaland.

Getting from Nata to Maun was all 4wd and mostly low range due to deep sand. (Now all asphalt).

The Moremi Game Reserve had just been proclaimed, thanks to the efforts of June and Robert Kay. There were no roads whatsoever and one could drive and camp where you wanted. The only cost involved was a nominal fee for a compulsory guide.

 

         Jan Vorster, Okavango, 1964

 
 

Makhadikhadi 1964

 

Sani Pass 1965                                                           Botswana 1968

 
  
In 1968 Jan acquired a partly stripped 1958 Landrover Series 1 short wheelbase Station Wagon and completely rebuilt it. Initially it was their holiday vehicle but since 1980 it has only been used (without top) to participate in LROC events. Jan and Leoné have driven in rallies (now called trials) for 4 decades.                 

1977                                                                                1979

  

 

1993                                                                                    2011

 Spot the same trophy in all 4 photos!     (It is for the best lady swb driver of the year)     .

2011 (Still the same 2 Land Rovers as in the 1960’s)

 

 TRAVEL
  From age 5 Jan & parents went traveling all over South Africa (mainly to game reserves) and when he was in high school this expanded to include the other Southern African countries.
Everything South of the Etosha – Kafue – Gorongosa line.

 Gorongosa by Studebaker in 1961

 
 
In 1968 Leoné and a girl friend hitch hiked from Johannesburg via Kariba Dam (Rhodesia), Lusaka (Zambia), and Tete (Mozambique) to Lake Malawi. It was during the height of the independence war in Mozambique, so when they returned Jan thought she was a girl worthy of being friends with!

 

 

  

  But she still had to prove that she really was a ‘tough cookie’, so in February 1969 they packed their rucksacks, flew to Europe, bought a little Citroen 2CV car in Paris and proceeded to travel around Europe and America for three years.
The first of over 700 camps
     (near Dijon, France)

 

 
 
After nearly 2 years of rough camping, Leoné had passed the test and they were married in Canada in 1970; then proceeded to drive from Ottawa to Buenos Aires.

 

Maya city of Palenque, Mexico                                   Atacama Desert, Peru (Dec.1971)

     
 
Then followed some years of settling, earning a living and starting a family. By 1980 their 2 daughters, Liesl and Ingrid, were 6 and 4 years old, therefore ‘travel ready’ so Jan built his first 4wd camper based on a Land Rover Forward Control and shipped it to Uruguay.

Into the ship                                                                  Out of the ship                  

 
After a month in Montevideo, sorting out the insurance, Jan went to Porto Alegre in Brazil to buy a camper, made under license from Carmann Gia, and optimistically called ‘Safari’.
 
   
      

After much digging & towing by large 4wd Mercedes trucks they ended up as cargo for about 500km to reach Porto Velho in Amazonas.

 
       Finally back on their own wheels again, it was northward, deep into the Amazon jungle on the newly constructed ‘Trans-Amazonica’ road toward Manaus, Brazil.

 

One night, straddling hemispheres on the equator, they noticed a large plaque on the back of the Equator monument, listing the names of all the workers and soldiers, killed by hostile Indians during road construction 2 years earlier! Jan was told to drive from one military stockade to the next, without stopping for any reason.

 
 

After many more adventures during the year-long journey, they returned to South Africa, and for the next 13 years, were limited to journeys which would fit into school holidays. Jan again built a camper based on a Landrover Forward Control.

 



Namutoni Fort, Etosha, SWA, 1984                           Tsodilo Hills, NW Botswana, 1985

 

 
 
Lesotho, 1987                                                                Kubu Island, Botswana, 1988

 

   

 

For another 10 years they traveled to all corners of Southern Africa; and made a number of visits to European & American motor home shows, since Jan had started small scale production of ‘Overlander’ motor homes. Finally in June 1998 they set off on the ‘driving around the world’ journey. Read all about it on this site.
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