If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it. This famous saying came to mind when I visited Jos Joubert, the creator of the Abba Safari Camper.
The last time I spoke to Jos was just over a year ago, when we took his camper out to the Somabula Nature Reserve. While there have been small tweaks and changes to the camper, the basic concept has remained the same. And that’s not just since I saw it in 2015; I’m talking about all the way back to 2010, when the prototype was built. To me, that is one of the unique selling points of this luxurious camper: Quality-design and quality-build, right from the beginning.
The Abba Safari Camper is designed to fit onto the back of any bakkie, single cab or double cab. The unit can be installed or removed from the load bed in roughly 30 minutes, which means that your bakkie is still a “full-time” workhorse, but can be transformed into a luxury safari camper for any weekend or holiday. Once on the load bed, the camper can be set up in about five minutes!
Jos described his design philosophy as “Keep it simple, don’t compromise, don’t cut corners, keep it lightweight, secure – and compact yet agile.” And, of course… live indoors or outdoors. I think that Jos’s lifetime of camping has assured him of a well-built, luxury camper.
The entire body of the camper is made of fibreglass, with aluminium reinforcing where necessary. This camper is a real looker, thanks to the gel coating that gives it a smooth, glossy finish. Jos and his wife Elsabé are both avid campers, and the design of the camper shows it: you can see that they love to be in nature, and that their focus is on living outside.
On the passenger side, you’ll find plenty of packing space in the form of a storage compartment with three shelves (not in the double-cab model), as well as a folddown hatch that creates a work surface with the two-plate gas stove. Behind the stove there is a generous amount of shelf space for cups, plates, glasses, kettle, condiments, and more. All the exterior cupboards are lockable.
On the back, there’s a dustproof flap behind which you’ll find a connection point for a hose (supplied) for cold or hot water.
There’s even more packing space on the driver’s side, in the form of another fold-down hatch. The hatch has fibreglass shelves, and is typically used to store tools and equipment. Another hatch just behind the driver’s cab contains a geyser and shower hose. The shower cubicle can be set up around this area.
The roof has a two-piece clamshell design, with the front piece opening above the double bed (which extends over the carrier vehicle). The pop-up is quick and easy to open thanks to six gas-lift shocks, and the mosquito-proofed canvas windows ensure peaceful sleep in a spacious interior with plenty of headroom.
To enter the Abba camper, you climb a sturdy aluminium ladder up the back – the ladder is hinged below the access door, and flips up when driving. In the door, you’ll find a small liquor cabinet… easily accessible from inside and out, just the way campers like it!
The first thing you notice upon entering the camper is the hand-basin (with running water) on your left, and the next is the fridge/freezer on the right. The rest of the interior is lined with cupboards and drawers − more than enough for all your gear, and made really strong with polyurethane-type hinges. All the cupboards are made of fibreglass, so there’s no risk of wood rot or water damage.
Straight ahead, in the front, is the double bed − which is accessed via a small plastic step. But wait, what’s this below my step? It’s a compartment with a portable loo, neatly hidden away!
Abba Safari Camper Images