Browsing: 4×4 Trails

There’s just never enough time to fit it all in. A cliché that’s been beaten to death, sure; but one that always seems to ring true when I’m on an off-road-travel writing assignment. CARACAL 4X4 TRACK: NAMAQUA NATIONAL PARK, NORTHERN CAPEBy Nick Yell On our way to the Namaqua National Park in our trusty loaner, the camp-ready Mazda BT-50, I was hoping to start our 4×4 sortie earlier by accessing the park’s southern gate via Brand se Baai – the Groenriviersmond coastal track. But, after picking up my co-pilot and fellow adventurer, David Lowe, later than expected from Bloubergstrand, I…

I have always been mildly obsessed by rocks of all kinds. Apart from the purported ‘New Age’ healing qualities of some of them (particularly quartz crystals), I just love the way they look and feel in my hands. But they also contain detailed stories of how the landscape in which they were found was formed. TRAIL REVIEW DABERAS GUEST FARM, AUGRABIES, NORTHERN CAPE By Nick Yell A man who knows this better than most is Kobus Van Coppenhagen, our host at Daberas Guest Farm − a conservation area and veritable treasure chest of geomorphic wonders on the western border of…

View Trail Gallery & Information Below One of the greatest advantages of experiencing new 4×4 tracks is the taking of roads less travelled to get there. And the back roads from Bot River to the Karoo National Park, via Sutherland, certainly made a worthwhile detour. On our first day, my travelling partner, Lionel ‘Tau’ Williams (his Setswana nickname, meaning Lion, will be explained later) and I got off the N2 as quickly as possible and made for Swellendam on the Klipfontein dirt track. From there to Sutherland, we chose dirt tracks wherever we could, losing ourselves in the world behind…

View Trail Gallery & Information Below “Jeez, boet, where does the road go? It looks like it might drop right off the edge of that mountain over there,” commented my longstanding co-pilot, Lionel Williams. We’d been in the car just over an hour, following our host’s map showing tracks marked in green (Grades 1-2) and blue (Grades 2-3). We were fast approaching the only red route (Grades 3-4) on our chosen 50km perimeter trail – the aptly named “Banggat” section, when the track suddenly fell away steeply before us. Travelling in our borrowed Isuzu KB300 4×4 LX Extended Cab, we’d…

Words and pictures by Angus Boswell When thinking about 4×4 challenges in the Eastern Cape, the Baviaanskloof first comes to mind. Everyone makes this a bucket list tick, but if you are in this part of the Karoo for longer, what else is there? Having headed inland after an Eastern Cape coastal escape, we decided on a detour toWillowmore where one of the attractions is called Finchley Farm: a working sheep farm with two historic guest cottages and a rustic campsite nestled amongst the acacias, just below a spectacular dam. It’s a basic and unpretentious sort of campsite. Electricity is…

Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton. Pictures by Max Breitensteiner. View Trail Gallery & Information Below After getting the shivers again from too much city time, the Cederberg began calling my name this month. A spot of webtrawling and phoning-about soon offered up a solution to the blues: just two-and-a-bit hours from Cape town is Koningskop, which would match my needs – a good campsite and a trail that wouldn’t damage a shiny new test car. While camping, I usually avoid human contact like one should avoid cheap Indian food, but on this particular long weekend the site was packed.…

Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton. Pictures by Jessie & Jenni Roberts and Siska van der Westhuizen. View Trail Gallery & Information Below I’m sorely embarrassed to say that, since having bought my new-to-me ’96 Disco last month, I hadn’t aimed it at any serious off-road obstacles. As cool as I thought I was when driving over kerbs at the mall, I needed to drive through some scratchy bushes in an attempt to scrape away some of the British Racing Green paint-job. Having thoroughly explored most of the Cederberg’s 4×4 trails, I thought we’d covered the area, but Boegoeberg had…

images/trails/bucklands General Description Bucklands is about 47 km from the pleasant Karoo town of Steytlerville. If you are looking for “a road less travelled” this is it! Early pioneers and hunters who came up from the Cape in their wagons frequented this historical region, which forms the southern reaches of the Plains of Camdeboo. They came in search of a new life and “white gold” – ivory. They established farms in the valley flanked by the Baviaans and Grootrivier Hoogte that you can visit today. The climate is typically Karoo – dry and healthy with hot days and cold nights.…

Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton At some point, almost every South African with a car will make the trip from Joburg to Cape Town, and, in general, it’s far from enchanting. Just over 1500km of arrow-straight tar in the company of far too many kamikaze 22-wheeler drivers. Enough to numb the spirit of travel. So, I was less than inspired when given the news that I would be doing just this trip with the brand-new, facelifted Mazda BT-50. Luckily, part of the brief was to find an inspiring, gravel-oriented back-road route. What should I do, then? Take a massive…

Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton My first article about an overland trip was supposed to be about the bush, the animals and the family around a campfire. Although all of this was amazing and memorable, I learnt a couple of lessons on my recent trip to the Okavango Delta in Botswana that could help future overlanders. It was very early that Saturday morning when we took to the roads on our way to Botswana. For me, this was a dream come true − for years my folks would return from their bush trips and share their adventures with us,…

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