Books on Overland Adventures


Sure, we have our own adventures but at times it’s great to be inspired by other overlanders and read a good overlanding book – e.g. to get a feel what it is to traverse Africa, or to drive down the Pan-American. Is Europe that interesting as an overland destination? And traveling solo across Australia on a motorbike, is that even possible?

Some of these adventures are today, others took place in the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s – the ‘good’ old days without digital navigation systems and social media to distract you from your journey.

So here are my picks to get inspired, to enjoy – whether on the road yourself or as a armchair traveler.

Overlanding Books on Africa

Going Home to Africa: The Adventure of a Lifetime, by Dot Bekker

After decades in the UK, Dot Bekker returns to her home country Zimbabwe, taking the hard overland route via West-Africa

Mud, Malaria, Guns & Miracles, by Graeme & Luisa Bell

Looking for the tough road for an overland adventure? Get inspired by the Bell’s family journey in a Land Rover through West-Africa (book 4). Their other books: Book 1 – South America, book 2 – the Americas, book 3 – Europe.

My African Conquest: Cape to Cairo at 80, by Julia Albu

You feel that you’re too old to travel? Think again and read this admirable journey by Julia Albu across South Africa at the age of 80.

The Road Chose Me Volume 2: Three years and 54,000 miles around Africa, by Dan Grec

Grec’s 3-year solo overland journey around Africa (book 2). Here’s book 1 – the Americas.

Red Tape and White Knuckles, by Lois Pryce

Lois solo motorcycle adventure in Africa (book 2). Here are book 1 – the Americas, and book 3 – Iran.

The Overlanders – an African Journey , by Michael Leytonstone

A book I found while writing this blog post and so yet have to read about this overland journey through Africa. The sequel is Africa Overland – the Journey Home.

Overlanding Books on Asia

The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939, by Ella K. Maillart

An incredible road trip to Iran and Afghanistan in the 1930s by Ella K. Maillart and Annemarie Schwarzenbach.

First Overland: London-Singapore by Land Rover, by Tim Slessor

When a bunch of students in the UK decide to see if it is possible to drive to Singapore from the UK, and do so – in the 1950s.

The Last Overland: Singapore to Londen, by Alex Bescoby

More than sixty years later, the ‘Oxford’ Land Rover from the above-mentioned ‘First Overland’ journey was found and its author contacted. Alex drove Oxford back to Londen.

Revolutionary Ride: On the Road in Search of the Real Iran, by Lois Pryce

Lois’ solo overland journey by motorcycle across Iran (book 3). Here are book 1 – the Americas, and book 2 – Africa.

Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains, by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

A fascinating journey and a detailed narrative of Antonia’s exploration of the Northeastern states in India.

Overlanding Books on Europe

927 Days of Summer: Around the World in a VW Van, by Brad & Sheena van Orden

Book 2 of Brad and Sheena’s overland journey around the world – Asia / Europe. Here’s book 1 – the Americas.

Overlanding Europe – Seeking the Unique, by Graeme & Luisa Bell

The Bell family continue their adventures in Europe and Turkey (book 3). Their other books: Book 1 – South America, book 2 – the Americas, book 4 – West Africa.

Overlanding Books on World Trips

One More Day Everywhere: Crossing 50 Borders on the Road to Global Understanding, by Glen Heggstad

A solo trip around the world by motorcycle.

Left Beyond the Horizon – A Land Rover Odyssey: 8 years – 100 countries – 1,667 breakdowns, by Christopher Many

100 countries, 3,000 days, 200,000 kilometers, 1 Land Rover, 1 guy – more than enough to fill a book with all kinds of adventures.

Who Needs a Road, by Harold Stephens & Albert Podell

A classic, a 3-year round-the-world trip in the 1960s.

I Can I Will – Women overlanding the World, by Sunny Eaton, Laurie Holloway, Karin Balsley

50 Women, 50 stories about their world-wide overland adventures.

Overlanding Books on the Americas – with kids

Monkeys on the Road: One family’s vanlife adventure from the USA to South America in search of a simpler life, by Mary Hollendoner

Need convincing you can do a long overland trip with your family? Here you go!

The Year We Ruined Our Lives: A Family Road Trip Through Mexico and Central America, by Paul Carlino & Mila Villasana

Another inspiration for those who are interested in hitting the road with their kids.

We Will be Free, by Graeme & Luisa Bell

The Bell family’s (2 kids) journey in South America in their Land Rover (book 1). Their other books: book 2 – the Americas, book 3 – Europe, book 4 – West Africa.

Overlanding the Americas – La Lucha, by Graeme Bell

The Bell family’s (2 kids) journey across the Americas in their Land Rover (book 2). Their other books: book 1 – South America, book 3 – Europe, book 4 – West Africa.

Overlanding Books on the Americas – solo / couples

Drive Nacho Drive: A Journey from the American Dream to the End of the World, by Brad & Sheena van Orden

Book 1 of Brad and Sheena’s overland journey around the world – North, Central & South America. Here’s book 2 – Asia & Europe.

The Road Chose Me Volume 1: Two years and 40,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina, by Dan Grec

Grec’s first solo overland journey, across the Pan-American Highway. Here’s book 2 – Africa.

Lois on the Loose, by Lois Pryce

Lois’ first solo long-distance journey on her motorcycle, across the Americas (book 1). Here are book 2 – Africa, and book 3 – Iran.

Nowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life, by Brianna Madia

A couple overlanding in the US with their two dogs.

Overlanding Books – Other

She’ll be right!: Tales and thoughts of a woman’s motorcycle adventure Down Under, by Chantal Simons

Solo motorcycle journey across Australia.

Oh, Did You Know?

Boeken: Van het pad af, Omwegen, en Over bruggen (©Coen Wubbels)

That we published books ourselves? Three of them are in Dutch – find ‘Van het pad af‘, ‘Omwegen’ and ‘Over bruggen’ here.

Forever Off Track, Detours, Bridging the Gaps - books on overlanding

Our first book in English is about to be launched (Jan ’24): Forever Off Track! To be sure to get hold of a color-photo and signed limited edition (and other news about our books in English) sign up for the book-newsletter here.

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