Camping in Style in a Jungle Yacht

The International Harvester 'Jungle Yacht'

Good afternoon everyone.

The picture above is of a vehicle known as a ‘jungle yacht’, and was used by the Italian explorer Attilio Gatti in his 10th and 11th African expeditions. The expedition used two streamlined trailers designed by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky and using 1937 International Harvester D-35 chassis, and were 44 feet long and weighed 9 tons. The vehicles were built by the International Harvester company, who was evidently one of the sponsors of the expedition.

The trailers were pretty luxurious accommodations for camping out in the boonies of British East Africa. They were joined together in camp as a deluxe 5-room apartment on wheels,  and served as headquarters while the expedition’s personnel sought out the secrets of the dim heart of Africa.

One of the vehicles in transit from the IH factory to New York

The camps were equipped with electricity and air conditioning and had a workshop, a photographic lab, and a ham radio station (Gatti was an enthusiastic ham radio operator). Electricity was supplied by a 110 volt generator mounted behind the cabs of the trucks. Each night a single wire 4500 volt electric fence was put up to dissuade the large specimens of the local wildlife from approaching the camp.

Cocktails in the deepest heart of Africa.

It might well have been nice to camp in the trailers when they stopped for the day, but as big as they were, they must have been a real bastard to maneuver through the jungles.


Wisconsin Historical Society

Goodbye forever to Africa


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