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Browsing: Travel

Destination & Trails

A few weekends ago we had the pleasure of once again travelling to the Tankwa Karoo. The Tankwa is a very special place for us. It’s where my fiancé Simon and I had one of our first Rolbos Overland adventures, which led to me penning our first blog and the two of us becoming full-time explorers. This time around we decided to try something new and travel along the Old Postal Road. Our final destination was a campsite called “Die Mond” situated on the banks of the Groot River. We left promptly at 06:00 on a Friday morning, taking the

When BMW South Africa drops you a line asking you to join them for some dune driving in an X3, you might be a bit reluctant at first. The 4×4 community views BMW’s off-road capable offerings with healthy scepticism, and you won’t find an X3 or X5 off the beaten track that often. Historically, there have been a few simple explanations for that: minimal ground clearance, lack of off-road tires, poor underbody protection, and an off-road system more geared towards icy European roads than rocky African adventures. BMWs have, thus, always been relegated to the bench when it comes to

By now a well-established event on the South African 4×4 calendar, the Spirit of Africa is a chance for two-person teams from southern Africa to test their precision off-road driving skills to the limit at a game farm outside Mbombela (Nelspruit), and gain a chance to participate in the prestigious international finals. Over 25 elimination rounds, starting in April, more than 400 teams are whittled down to just 20 of the best-scoring teams. These then go on to compete for top honours at the International Spirit of Amarok Trophy which takes place in August, against teams from countries as diverse

Each year, Zambia plays host to two of the best-kept secrets in the natural world. That these wildlife spectacles are only ever witnessed by the avid adventurer is due to the remoteness of the areas in which they occur. Liuwa Plain National Park is situated in the Upper Zambezi flood plains of Western Zambia. The park covers an area of 3 600 square kilometres of vast grasslands and wooded islands, and the plain from which the park takes its name is 70km long and 30km wide. The park plays a vital role in the Zambezi’s catchment, and is flooded from late

Chile is a very long country. From the border with Peru in the north, to the southernmost point of the Americas at Cape Horn, it extends 4270km along the Pacific Ocean – yet averages only 177km east to west. After spending many weeks in the Atacama Desert in the north, our next destination was legendary Patagonia. At the office of Transportes Austral in Puerto Montt, we bought tickets for the ferry from Hornopirén to Caleta Gonzalo. The road from Puerto Montt to La Arena is a short drive of about an hour, followed by a 40-minute ferry crossing to Pulche

I stare intently at the petrol gauge while trying to drive with the least possible amount of throttle. I’m in sixth gear, moving at 50km/h, and trying to keep the revs as low as possible to stretch every possible kilometre from what little petrol remains. After 30km, I’m not really surprised to find the dusty town does not have a petrol station – rural Zambia is not a densely-populated place, after all. With little choice, I roll on, towards almost-certain failure. A handful of kilometres later, the engine dies. There is no coughing or spluttering, no indication that anything is

You’ve heard the stories about Baboon’s Pass in Lesotho: it’s a car breaker; it’s impossible in the wet; it’s about endurance, not skill. Anton Willemse returned from completing this tough 4×4 trail a little battered, but wiser. When I was given a chance to drive Baboon’s Pass in Lesotho as part of a group tour organised by Riaan Jooste of Complete 4×4, I was extremely interested. I had heard it was tough, and at times Grade-5 tough, but definitely something to tick off one’s bucket list. So, I had a look at some videos on YouTube − and particularly one

The unique Mana Pools National Park is a World Heritage Site, based on its wildness and beauty, together with the fact the area plays host to a wide range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and plentiful aquatic wildlife. Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe’s most popular parks, and it is easy to see why it falls into this profile. The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language. This applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. These pools are the remnant ox-bow lakes that the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago

It always happens at the most awkward moment – when the sun is setting on a bad road in the middle of nowhere. We had driven our Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 from Arica, a coastal town in the north of Chile, towards the border of Bolivia. It takes only a few hours for the road to climb from sea level up to 4850m above that in the Andean mountains. It was already late afternoon, but we wanted to use the best light to take pictures of Lake Chigará with the snow-covered Nevado Sajama (at 6542m, one of the highest volcanoes in

Who could say no to an invitation from Isuzu to come and drive their newly-launched mu-X SUV in Mozambique? I certainly couldn’t! After a short redeye flight from Cape Town to King Shaka airport in Durban, we were met by the Isuzu team of Gishma, Ami and Azima, and by Grant, Chris, and “Boats” from Driving Dynamics, who would be our hosts and chaperones for the Isuzu mu-X Mozambique Adventure. Holding up the rear was Fanie, the paramedic, who somehow managed to forget his ambulance in Kosi Bay on the way home. Luckily, this was the only emergency of the

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