The Book Bus Tiger in Africa

The Book Bus fleet

Quentin Blake at work on an illustration

Our fleet of six Book Buses are the charity's international flagships; fabulously adorned with graphics by Sir Quentin Blake, each one serves as an ambassador for our cause and together they bring joy and delight to thousands of children across the globe.

Every morning schools across the world are welcoming the arrival of our Book Buses with their crews of volunteers and cargo of fun and exciting books. Read more about our Book Bus fleet below.

To see more of his wonderful work please visit Quentin Blake's website
Quentin Blake's web gallery featuring: Tiger | BISEE Book Bus


Tiger, the original Book Bus operating in Zambia

Name: Tiger
Project Base: Tiger retired from his driving duties in 2013 and is now a static library in Acacia School in Livingstone
Make: Leyland
Model: Tiger
Gross Vehicle Weight: 12 tonnes
Seating capacity: 9 including driver
Book Capacity: 5,000 books
Funded by: Tom Maschler, The Book Bus Founder

Tiger is the original Book Bus; she spent her previous life as a coach plying the motorways of the UK. In 2007 her suspension, tyres and cooling system were upgraded to cope with the heat and road conditions in Africa and she was shipped out to begin a new life as a Book Bus in Zambia. Thousands of children throughout Zambia climbed aboard Tiger to experience the joy of reading before she finally retired from the road in 2013 to serve as a fabulous library to the Acacia School in Livingstone.


CC, a Book Bus operating in Zambia and Malawi

Name: Charlie (formerly CC)
Project Base(s): Livingstone, Kitwe and South Luangwa
Make: Mercedes Benz
Model: 1617
Gross Vehicle Weight: 17 tonnes
Seating capacity: 16 including driver
Book Capacity: 5,000 books
Fuel tank capacity: 200 litres
Average range: 600km
Drivers: Edward and Doc
Funded by: Clifford Chance Solicitors, London

Charlie is a rugged safari vehicle with off road capability that enables us to reach remote schools accessible only by dirt roads in poor state of repair. Charlie is equipped with camp kitchen, storage and seats to carry volunteers and books the length and breadth of Zambia and Malawi. In 2014 Charlie will be working with children from schools in Kitwe and Livingstone.


Matilda, one of our Book Buses operating in Malawi

Name: Matilda
Project Base(s): UK till April 2016 then Malawi
Make: Mercedes Benz
Model: 413
Gross Vehicle Weight: 3.5 tonnes
Seating capacity: 9 including driver
Book Capacity: 2,000
Fuel tank capacity: 80 litres
Average range: 600km
Drivers: UK Team
Funded by: Motovun Group

This is our 2nd Book Bus called Matilda after Matilda 1st went into retirement in 2015. Matilda 2 joined the Book Bus fleet in February 2016 generously donated by the international publishing group Motovun. Matilda will spend her first 3 months touring UK schools in London, Yorkshire, Liverpool and Scotland. She will be shipped out to Malawi in late April 2016 to join our local Book Bus team in Mangochi. Matilda will then be part of our new outreach programme which will bring much needed books to the children living along the shores of Lake Malawi.

BISEE Book Bus

BISEE the Book bus in Ecuador

Project Base(s): Quito, Ecuador
Make: Mitsibushi
Model: Canter
Gross Vehicle Weight: 8 tonnes
Seating capacity: 16 including driver
Book Capacity: 1500 books
Fuel tank capacity: 120 litres
Average range: 600km
Drivers: Luis
Funded by: BISEE Books

BISEE Books was founded in remembrance of Beci Logie, Indira Swan, Sarah Howard, Emily Sadler and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Pincock who tragically lost their lives in a road accident in Ecuador in 2008. BISEE Books raised the funds to purchase a Book Bus for Ecuador and the project was launched with the British Ambassador to Ecuador in February 2010. The BISEE Book Bus has visited schools in the Amazon, Andes and Coastal regions of the country. In 2014 The BISEE Book Bus will be supporting reading projects in Quito with the British School and the Ecuadorian children's writers' association Girandula.


George the Book bus in UK

Name: George
Project Base(s): Kitwe and Mfuwe in Zambia
Make: Mercedes Benz
Model: 413
Gross Vehicle Weight: 4.6 tonnes
Seating capacity: 9 including driver
Book Capacity: 1500 books
Fuel tank capacity: 80 litres
Average range: 600km
Drivers: Raj and Douglas
Funded by: Miles Kelly Publishers

Book Bus George joined the fleet in September 2013 and spent the next 6 months visiting schools in the UK as part of the Book Bus Road Show. His first stop was to the offices of our sponsoring publishers Miles Kelly Publishing Ltd. who have generously funded George and who continue to supply fabulous books for the children he works with. George was shipped to Africa in 2014 and worked along the elephants and hippos at our project in South Luangwa. George is now firmly embedded within our project in Kitwe, Zambia where he makes regular visits to schools in the area.


BISEE the Book bus in Ecuador

Name: Alfie
Project Base(s): Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
Make: Cheverolet
Model: Super Carry
Gross Vehicle Weight: 1.6 tonnes
Seating capacity: 6 including driver
Book Capacity: 500 books
Fuel tank capacity: 60 litres
Average range: 500km
Drivers: Arturo Rodriguez
Funded by: Dave Otter

Alfie joined the Book Bus fleet in December 2014. He is sponsored by Book Bus supporter Dave Otter in memory of his wife Andrea who sadly passed away in 2013. Alfie is beautifully decorated with Quentin Blake's livery for South America and has become a local celebrity in the area. Every week Alfie, Project Coordinator Arturo Rodriguez and his volunteer crew bring the magic of books to over 400 children in Puerto Lopez and beyond.

Volunteer on the Book Bus

How Can I Volunteer?
Whether you are a natural born volunteer or just want a holiday with a difference you can join the Book Bus as a volunteer and participate directly in the work that we do. It’s the dedicated work of our volunteers that makes the biggest difference to the children who we work with.
Find out more about Book Bus volunteering here.