Words by Martin Pretorius, images by LMC
The internet is littered with videos of trail-ride challenges gone wrong: here a double-cab rolling down a hill, there a Jeep tipping backwards onto its spare wheel. No matter how competent your daily-driver off-roader is, there’s always a risk of damage under extreme conditions – usually with your insurance company taking the traditional hands-off approach. It’s partly why many of us hang back a bit when it comes to climbing some legendary rock or fording a genuine river.
Until now, the cautious, the financially over-committed, and those with shiny new 4x4s (and sometimes a combination of all three) had no outlet for their pent-up thirst for thrills. That problem has been addressed. It’s why we’re heading to Moegatle, which is about 20km from Brits, and the home base of a new adventure off-roading enterprise called 4×4 Adventures.
This is how it works: You arrive, you register, you listen to the driver’s briefing (delivered in understandable layman’s terms), and you are then issued with a custom-built space-frame machine. You are then urged to spend the day climbing over mountains and getting dirty and dusty in the ditches. But these are no ordinary machines. For starters, you’re open to the elements: there is no windscreen, so 40km/h on the section of dirt road between the base camp and the trail feels like the speed of sound. Solid side doors are absent, too, having been replaced by welded steel frames clad with netting to keep errant limbs out of the way in the event of a roll-over.
Let’s just say that creature comforts take a back seat (although there isn’t one of those either) to single-minded ‘built-for-purpose’. There are some storage boxes in the rear, though, which house a cooler box and a recovery kit.