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our story

Family of four overlanding the world with our Land Rover Defender camper, 65 Countries, 5 Continents, and 8 years of Continuous travel.

We are the Bell family – ordinary people who enjoy the extraordinary. Luisa and I inherited a particularly strong strain of wanderlust from our ancestors. We grew up moving around South Africa and both loved the outdoors and camping. As adults we were initially happy with the odd camping trip in one of our Land Rovers (we had three old oil leakers at one stage) but once returning to “normal” life after a six-month drive from Cape Town to the Serengeti, Tanzania in our Defender 130, we became restless and insatiable. We realised that the overlander addiction was too strong to ignore and eventually decided to take the leap into long-term overlanding. There were also other motivating factors. Having grown up in isolated Apartheid South Africa, we both wanted to explore the planet and learn more about this world we inhabit. The opportunity to spend every day with our children, to watch them grow and to be their primary educators was irresistible. We were not satisfied with the level of education the children were receiving back home and were determined not only to learn invaluable life lessons but to also share those life changing experiences with our wonderful kids.

Graeme Bell aka GMan

Graeme Bell is a full time overlander and author. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa but considers Cape Town home. He is currently travelling the planet with his wife Luisa and two children, Keelan and Jessica, in a Land Rover Defender 130 affectionately know as Mafuta.

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Luisa Bell aka GingerNinja

Luisa is the high powered crazy glue that keeps the unit tight. She inspired Metallicas Enter Sandman, don’t believe me? Make her angry. When not drawing lists, she makes lists of the lists she’s made and should make and lists how she could improve her lists and listing skills. She charts our path and gets us lost, only to claim the glory when we are eventually found. Fond of great food and red wine, she can be found where those are available, in bulk, on special.

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In The Last Decade:
250,000+ KM Travelled.
67 Countries
5 Continents
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Keelan Bell aka Todd Schmidt

Keelan is the young warrior, the large little bull fighting for domination in the kraal. He has long flowing golden locks and is the apple of his mothers eye and the desire of every Latin American schoolgirl, their Moms and Aunts. Women have been known to inhale sharply and exclaim Dios Mio! when first meeting the young Adonis. To his credit he is a gentleman and pretends not to notice. When not envying his fathers beard he asks questions about space and time travel and designs zombie proof fortresses.

Jessica Bell aka Jessicat

Jessica is sweet, gentle, caring, generous, loving and has the power to hypnotize and enchant any animal she meets. With one stroke of her hand any beast will fall to the ground and present its belly for scratching. She has perfected passive aggression and we pity the boy who falls under her spell for he will be yet another beast on its back. She will have to wait another 20 years to find out.

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Chewbacca a.k.a Chewy

My name is Chewbacca but my new family calls me Chewy. I can’t remember how old I am but my people think I am probably just over a year old. I had a difficult life on the streets near the sea, I was out there on my own for so long that my hair became long and matted and I was very skinny when the wonderful people from the SPCA found me. I sat in a cage for two weeks and one day these big, beautiful people came to visit me. I was so excited I peed on the curtains! They cleaned me up and gave me a bunch of stuff to keep me healthy and now I live with the big, beautiful people and I see amazing things and I eat like a king and I am loved and scratched and walked and played with every day. I am now going to see the world. Life is good.

If you would like to contribute towards the excellent work done by the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) please follow this link and make a donation. Chewy and his furry friends thank you!

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