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PanGoPod: A Mobile Off-The-Grid Home

With tiny homes taking the globe by storm, PanGoPod offers South Africans off the grid, sustainable, eco-friendly (and mobile) homes.


PanGoPods| House and Leisure

PanGoPod, established by the Biodiversity and Development Institute (BDI), has created off-the-grid, eco-friendly mobile homes providing South Africans with a home for those wanting to reduce their footprint on the planet.

In an statement on their website, PanGoPod explains the inspiration behind the concept:  

'We drew inspiration from the ground pangolins, an animal that can roll up in a defensive ball, protected by keratin scales. Beyond this remarkable defensive ploy, pangolins are also mobile and go just about anywhere. Hence...the pangolin pod, the go-anywhere pod — the PanGoPod.'

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Made out of a trailer loaded with a steel framework, the PanGoPond covers an area of 25 metres squared in total with two mezzanine lofts each measuring just over 4 metre's squared — enough space to fit a king sized matress or two single matresses.

PanGoPods | House and Leisure

The pods are super green and eco friendly. Each of them runs off solar power, utilises water from rainwater harvesting tanks and contains a water-free composting toilet. 

The dry composting toilet, dubbed the 'Eco-throne' uses a funnel that diverts urine out to the grey water, where it is then diluted and later drained into the yard. Cleverly, in the layout of these innovative tiny homes the bathroom is placed seperately from the main living spaces, and holds a shower, the composting toilet, a hand basin as well as a wardrobe.

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Solids and paper go into the bucket located at the bottom of the toilet (which is airvented outside) and users can place cover material over the top. All waste material turns into a dry and fertile compost source over a few months.  

The lower area consists of an open-plan space with a fully kitted kitchen, sleeper couch and dining nook. 

PanGoPods | House and Leisure

Powered by solar energy, the tiny home is equipped with a washing machine and a range of plug points to power laptops, cellphones and more. The pods are designed for two occupants and fitted with LED lights and fans. 

The structures are insulated and weatherproof, built with premium corrugated iron cladding which is coated to be rust resistant. 

Best of all, the PanGoPods can be customised to order, catering to the owner's specific needs, and can be towed with a large 4x4 vehicle. 

Although mobile structures usually do not require permission - depending on the area you are located in it may be necessary to register the PanGoPod with the local town council.


After a few days of rain, today was a cracker out @fynbosestate in the Pod. @the.bdi

A post shared by PanGoPod (@pangopod) on

The cost of the pod is dependent on customisations and will take a minimum of four months construct. Pods are constructed from the trailer upwards and each part of the home is crafted by hand, from the furniture to the copper tap fittings. 

A prototype of the PanGoPod can be viewed on a wine farm and nature reserve located near Malmesbury in the Western Cape. 

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