Historical Overland Films


First Overland

These are two versions of the film made by the ‘1955 Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition’. This trip is often called the ‘First Overland’. Six university students drove from London to Singapore and back in two Series 1 Land Rovers.

Icon BBC Timeshift The Lost Road - Overland to Singapore BBC Timeshift The Lost Road – Overland to Singapore Icon Oxford & Cambridge Land Rover Expedition to Singapore Oxford & Cambridge Land Rover Expedition to Singapore
A 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 First Overland DVD


Icon Through Africa by Motor-Cycle Through 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 Destination Cape Town 1952 Destination Cape Town (1952)
a record-breaking dash from London to Cape Town in a Humber Super Snipe
Icon Rallye Méditerranée - Le Cap 1959

Rallye Méditerranée – Le Cap (1959)

Icon Capetown to Cairo (1959) - Wally Byam Caravan Club Capetown 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.
Icon Crossing Africa by Truck (1959)
Icon Last Across Africa 1959
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:
Crossing Africa by Truck (1959) – a slide show narrated by Antony Fleming.
Last 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
The Secret Safari

A safari company called ‘Africa Hinterland’ was set up in the early 1980s by the African National Congress in South Africa during the time of apartheid.  The company was really a cover to smuggle arms into South Africa.  It operated legitimate safaris from Nairobi to Johannesburg but in Lusaka in 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 The Secret Safari The Secret Safari A DVD of this film is available from Ronin Films. Icon Secret Safari DVD

South America

Icon A Tramp in the Darien A 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.  Although Jonathan Maslow was the host and narrator of the film, Allardes Hoiting, a former Encounter Overland staff member, was the Field Assistant for this production and was hired because of his experience crossing the Darien Gap – he had made the Darien Gap trek eight times previously.