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Destination & Trails

Ten Years Ten Reasons To Charge! Sarah Davies #1 THIS YEAR IS NUMERO TEN – one of the most epic, audacious and thrill-seeking events going, the Elephant Charge in Zambia is a 4×4 motorsport challenge and has reached its tenth anniversary. You do NOT want to miss this year’s show! The 2017 Fuchs Elephant Charge will take place at a secret location in the Zambian bush on Saturday 14 October 2017. Are you rrrrrrready?! #2 EC PUTS THE FUN INTO FUNDRAISING – since 2008, the Elephant Charge teams have supported 17 wildlife conservation projects with grants totaling $647,991. This year…

SA4x4 and a few friends explore the new four-day Berg-to-Bush guided 4×4 tour over the last ridge of the Drakensberg and into the dusty plains of the Lowveld Not everyone can find the time necessary for a three-week overland trip, yet we all share the same lust for adventure. The new four-day Berg-to-Bush Transfrontier Wilderness Trail, billed as a 4×4 eco-trail by its organisers (the Transfrontier Parks Destinations or TFPD), may just be the perfect escape for Joburgers needing a long weekend break. By Andrew Middleton The route takes us along old Voortrekker tracks previously used by ox carts, to…

You know you’re on the road less travelled when the sign directing you to the Namibian border says “Suid-Wes Afrika”. The gravel road to the Onseepkans border felt a bit like a journey in time travel, back to 1990, just before Namibia became independent. The border post is small and friendly. We were the only car there and the staff were sitting outside soaking up the morning sun when we arrived. By Des Featherstone Long roads, open landscape and many surprises. Southern Namibia never fails as an accessible overlanding destination After crossing the narrow bridge across the Orange River and…

SA4x4 staffer Anton Willemse and his son ticked one of their bucket-list events earlier this year. Thousands of kays in a 4×4, many days’ fishing… The result? We’re not saying a word. Words & pictures Anton Willemse Senior & Junior When Darrell van Zeil from Opposite Lock invited me to join the team at the annual Okavango Bream Classic, I was over the moon. This annual fishing competition in the Okavango Panhandle had been on my bucket list for ages. It combines one of my favourite places (Botswana and the Delta) with one of my favourite hobbies (fishing). However, just…

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…

Water is the most abundant substance on earth, and essential to all forms of life. If you run out of water, and cannot locate a source, in some situations the consequences can become dire very quickly. Fortunately, wildlife can give us a few pointers on how to find it. By Paul Donovan Animals can be categorised into three groups, based on their water reliance: ‘non-dependent’, ‘less-dependent’ and ‘dependent’. Although it is impossible to cover the dependency needs of every animal species, this overview points out a few which are reliable, and a few which are not. Some animals may not…

Legend, tradition and folklore abound in Africa, and are often viewed with some scepticism in this, the post-modern era. However, it would seem that much received wisdom still has the potential to reveal startling information about the natural world in which we live; elephants, bees and the marriage tree being no exception… “In many traditional cultures, it is believed that marriages held under the Marula tree are divinely blessed”Legend has it that Hare acted kindly towards Elephant during a year of drought by helping him to find water, and was rewarded with a tusk. This he planted in his garden…

Basics Dates: 27 December 2017- 11 January 2018 Destination: Lake Malawi Cost: R12 500 per person Includes: Camping, Park Fees & Dinner Excludes: Fuel, Border Costs, Drinks Tour details If you still haven’t made plans for the December Holidays, then why not come and join us on this great recce trip to Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system, located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. It is the ninth largest lake in the world and the…

A log crumbles. Sparks fly, drifting up in the breeze and disappearing into the sunset. The sun continues its descent into darkness, gently sliding behind the horizon; its colours reflect off the river, with the burnt-oranges merging with the campfire. A pearl-spotted owlet has already started to call, a ‘Tu-tu-tu-tutu. Tu-tu-tseeutseeu- tseeu-tseeu.’ My mate Greg pauses from his fire-stoking. “What’s that? I know it.” He repeats the call and the owl responds. Pretty soon it’s closer, calling frenetically. “It’s a pearl-spotted owl,” he says. Then he tells me a story about why he remembers that particular call. And that strikes…

This was a journey of hope and expectation. I had the privilege of tagging onto an elephantand- lion research team on its inaugural expedition, which was ostensibly to discover how many elephants and lions exist in Banhine National Park. Th is is one of three national parks in Mozambique that make up the Mozambican side of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA). Th e team also wanted to find out whether the animals migrated within the greater TFCA zone, and specifi cally between the Limpopo National Park and Gonarezhou in neighbouring Zimbabwe. A scientific field trip to Mozambique’s Banhine…

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