Historical Overland Films


In 1955, six university students drove from London to Singapore and back in two Series 1 Land Rovers. This trip is usually referred to as the ‘1955 Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition‘, but is often called the ‘First Overland‘ after a book written by Tim Slessor.

Below are two versions of the film made on the expedition by Antony Barrington Brown.

Icon BBC Timeshift The Lost Road - Overland to SingaporeBBC Timeshift The Lost Road – Overland to Singapore
Icon Oxford & Cambridge Land Rover Expedition to SingaporeOxford & Cambridge Land Rover Expedition to Singapore
Icon First Overland DVDA DVD of the original film (shown above), remastered and including interviews with the then surviving members of the team, is available for purchase from Teeafit Sound and Vision. It is an interesting film. The book ‘First Overland’ by Tim Slessor is also available.


Icon Through Africa by Motor-CycleThrough Africa by Motor-Cycle (1934-1935) (no sound)
Theresa Wallach (30 April 1909 – 30 April 1999) was an adventure motorcyclist, engineer, mechanic and author. In 1935 with another experienced motorcyclist named Florence Blenkiron, she rode a 600 cc single-cylinder Panther motorcycle complete with sidecar and trailer, from London to Cape Town, South Africa, crossing the Sahara desert, reportedly without a compass. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresa_Wallach)
Icon Wheels Across Africa - Armand DenisWheels Across Africa – Armand Denis (1936)
Icon Destination Cape Town 1952Destination Cape Town (1952)
a record-breaking dash from London to Cape Town in a Humber Super Snipe
Icon Rallye Méditerranée - Le Cap 1959Rallye Méditerranée – Le Cap (1959)
Icon Capetown to Cairo (1959) - Wally Byam Caravan ClubCape Town to Cairo (1959) – Wally Byam Caravan Club
The original documentary film of the Wally Byam Caravan Club’s 1959 trip from South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. (Wally Byam designed and built Airstream caravans.)
The film was found in a dusty box in a warehouse at Airstream’s headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio and converted to digital. Wally Byam towed a gold anodised airstream caravan.
Between 1959 and 1961 Collyn Rivers and Antony Fleming drove a 1940 Bedford QLR off-road truck from the United Kingdom to Rhodesia and back, studying road surface conditions. For part of the journey, they were joined by Rex Yates. Africa, back then, was in political turmoil. Here are two accounts of the journey.
Icon Crossing Africa by Truck (1959)Crossing Africa and the Sahara by Truck (1959) – a slide show narrated by Antony Fleming.
Icon Last Across Africa 1959Last Across Africa (1959) – a narrative written by Collyn Rivers.
Despite being shot in 1959/60 the photos are of high quality. The negatives for the photos were surgically cleaned and scanned at 3500 dpi! The originals for these two items can be found at Collyn Rivers website Solar Books or via the link at his other website RV Books.
Early 1980s
Icon The Secret SafariThe Secret Safari

In the early 1980s, during the time of apartheid in South Africa, a safari company called ‘Africa Hinterland’ was set up by the African National Congress. The company was really a cover to smuggle arms into South Africa. Africa Hinterland operated legitimate safaris from Nairobi to Johannesburg; but in Lusaka, Zambia, weapons were loaded into secret compartments on the truck. Africa Hinterland used Bedford M-types, the same model truck used by Encounter Overland and several other British overland companies. Africa Hinterland’s operations were never discovered.

Icon Secret Safari DVD

A DVD of this film is available from Ronin Films.

South America

Icon A Tramp in the DarienA Tramp in the Darien (1989)
In 1989, the BBC produced a film of a trek across the Darien Gap from Panama to Colombia along a route similar to that used by Encounter Overland.  The host and narrator is  Jonathan Maslow. Allardes Hoiting, a former Encounter Overland staff member, was the Field Assistant for this production.  Allardes was hired because of his experience crossing the Darien Gap – he had made the Darien Gap trek eight times.