Chasing Ostriches

By Vicky · Published Mar. 1st, 2021 · Updated Sep. 5th, 2022

My adventure travel book, Chasing Ostriches, is available to buy on Amazon*. I write about my two-month road trip around South Africa during the coronavirus pandemic.

Interested in a road trip around Botswana instead? See my other book – No Footprints in the Night.

Desert elephants in Namibia with Victoria Stevens
The author observing desert elephants in Namibia.

A Two-Month Road Trip through South Africa

Ever since I learnt that people drive around Africa in 4x4s, sleeping in rooftop tents for months at a time, I dreamed of joining them. I became obsessed with Land Rover Defenders, the perfect car for a road trip. I started secretly taking photos of them wherever I went, to the embarrassment of my friends. I wanted to go on a road trip through South Africa and beyond.

The obsession became reality in January 2020, when together with my boyfriend I bought a 20-year-old dark blue Defender. She’s called Nyala. After a few test weekends to check out the car and sort out the camping gear we were still missing, we were ready to go.

Coronavirus struck. Borders closed, hard lockdown began. Our plans to spend six months overlanding through eight southern African countries were put on hold.

Fast-forward six months, and we were back in South Africa. To satisfy entry requirements, we’d just spent 10 days sightseeing in Namibia. Now we could collect Nyala, and set off into the wilds of one of the most exciting countries on this planet.

Chasing Ostriches chronicles this journey of exploration through South Africa. We roamed the backroads and national parks in our trusty (and not so trusty at times) Defender. We climbed misty mountains, camped in empty deserts, sunbathed on tropical beaches, and saw wildlife galore under the hot African sky.

I came back with dirty clothes, an even dirtier car, and memories to last a lifetime. I hope my book will help you do the same. While on our adventure, I wrote travel journal updates to send back to friends and family, stuck in European lockdowns. This formed the basis of my book. Now available to buy on Amazon*.

Photo Gallery

South Africa road trip with a defender
Northern Cape, South Africa

Interested in a road trip around Botswana instead? See my other book – No Footprints in the Night.

About the Author

Victoria Stevens grew up in Ilkley near the wild moors of Yorkshire in northern England. After studying Natural Sciences at Jesus College Cambridge and obtaining a PhD in geology at Caltech in Los Angeles, she caught the travel bug and spent the following year in Nepal working with a local NGO on earthquake hazard. After a short stint in London she headed for South Africa to research earthquakes at the University of Cape Town and she’s lived there ever since. She spends her free time hiking, running, reading and exploring the world.


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