Electric Game-Viewer for the Safari Industry

Electric vehicle technology is ideally suited to the Safari Industry

Quiet, with no diesel emissions – perfect for hearing the sounds of bush.

Twice daily drives of 3 – 4 hours equates to 70km/day and reduced battery load.

5-hour break between morning and afternoon drives supports solar charging in the heat of the day.

Vehicles can be serviced at the Lodge by travelling maintenance teams.

Running Cost of less than 50c per km versus R3.50 in an ICE game-viewer

The Market

32 000 game-viewers in use in South Africa

Assuming a 10-year life, this equates to 3000 replacement opportunities per year

Current “go-to” is the Landcruiser 79 4.2 D with a customized top hat

New price for a cruiser with top hat is R950 000

70 % of fleet is focused around Hoedspruit and Nelspruit and could be supported via dealerships located in these two towns.

The Competition

Competition is currently almost entirely ICE based

Toyota Landcruiser is the benchmark, but several other brands are also in use

A variety of well-established manufacturers offer the top hat conversion

The only electric option currently available is the conversion of an ICE vehicle, (remove the engine and replace with an electric motor and battery pack)

This is used at a handful of lodges such as Cheetah Plains in the Sabi Sands

Key Design Specifications

Rugged, (7 hours /day, every day with regular off-roading)
Right hand drive
Average speed of 15 – 20kph, max speed 80kph
All wheel drive (differential with lockers; differentials with excellent traction control or multi motor)
Simple, no need for driver-assist tech that is standard in most EV’s
Payload of 10 passengers and no luggage
Wading depth of 500mm
Road legal, built by licensed MIB manufacturer
Retail target price to be comparable with a converted Landcruiser (approximately R1m)

A Development Conundrum

The Key Question: How to cost effectively produce an electric game viewer for the modest South African market?


BUILD an electric vehicle in South Africa from scratch

This is challenging, particularly if we assume that global OE’s will soon be offering single cab electric 4 x 4’s that are suitable for conversion to game viewers

Over time it is probably naïve to think the development budget available (and justifiable) for this small market segment can produce a product that can compete with the billions of dollars being invested by serious OE’s in this segment
No local homologation facilities exist and the absence of any homologation for a completely new design will present challenges
Cost per unit for the volumes will create significant challenges
Tooling amortization too high for a traditional manufacturing approach
It will be a challenge to get a home-grown vehicle designed, produced and sold in numbers before the big OE’s will be offering better products.


IMPORT a homologated skateboard and add the body and top hat

This is PLAUSIBLE but:

Initial research suggests that there are limited offroad homologated skateboards available
What is available is still too expensive (Zerolabs, Dembo etc)
Tooling and production facilities just for the requisite steel bodywork is commercially challenging.



Use a Landcruiser or Landrover chassis (in reasonable condition) and electrify.

Alternatively, use an alternative but suitable new, homologated single cab 4 x 4chassis with brakes, power steering, wheels, and bodywork thatcan be acquired for < R300k

Collaborate with global leaders in conversion technology to develop a RELIABLE, AFFODABLE electric conversion

These conversions need to be priced at a similar price point to a new Landcruiser game viewer, (R1million) –see Annexure 2.

BUT…. Within 18 – 24months, we anticipate that there will be affordable, single-cab, 4WD EV’s available from the top OE’s that will start to gain market share in this sector. Until then, the converted Landcruisers and Landrovers will remain the preferred choice.

Conclusion: Rather than focusing on the development and manufacture of a NEW electric game-viewer in South Africa, we will strive to reduce the cost of quality conversions, support the introduction of all options, and position ourselves as the go-to supplier of game viewer solutions across Africa.

Electric Game-Viewer Initiative

Support and fund the development of converted, existing ICE vehicles. This will be done in conjunction with leading global converters of ICE vehicles.

Build relationships directly with OE’s or with SA-based agents to ensure the most cost-effective assembly, (minimizing tax and ad valorem), as well as game-viewer conversion.

Establish sales outlets and maintenance support centers in key game areas of southern Africa.

Provide lease funding and swop out arrangements to facilitate risk-free transition for lodge owners.

Provide solar and charging knowledge and installations.

The Team

Given the redefined nature of this initiative, we have established a team that includes the top South Africans with the requisite skills. These include business management, automotive, EV’s, leasing and solar and charging infrastructure.

Key members of the team include:
James Whitehouse – Chairman of Ebor Automotive and High Street Capital
Wesley Strydom – CEO of Ebor Automotive

Key People

James Whitehouse

James is a 59-year-old chemical engineer who owns a private equity company called High Street Capital.

He has a successful track record in delivering big projects across a number of different sectors and with varied stakeholder interests.

He is Chairman of Ebor Automotive Systems which he co-founded in 2014.

He is passionate about the bush and has dedicated the last 4 years to finding opportunities to contribute to conservation in South Africa.

Wesley Strydom

Wesley is 45 years old with 25 years’ experience in the automotive industry. He is currently the CEO of the Ebor Automotive Systems group which is a key supplier of plastic injection mouldings for the VW Polo and Mercedes C Class.

He specializes in Industrial Engineering and project management of large-scale automotive projects including greenfield site developments.

This, together with his involvement in several wildlife initiatives, provide Wesley the perfect background to play a leading role in the development of a new electric game viewing vehicle.

Anthony Abbot

Anthony Abbot is a Phd in Mechanical engineering with extensive automotive and EV experience.

After spending more than a decade with a leading F1 team, he founded Halley Abbot in 2019.

For the last 5 years, Anthony has focussed on the development of electric conversions for classic cars.

He has an extensive network of contacts across the global EV conversion space and has recently completed the conversion of a Landrover Defender.

Potential Global Partners

Contact: James Whitehouse |  james@highstreetcapital.co.za | +27 83 441 5980