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Destination & Trails

Fire-lighting is one of the most essential skills in any camping, wilderness, or survival situation. And, depending on the type of tinder you use, there are many ways in which a fire can be lit. But first let’s get one thing straight; you CAN get a fire going by rubbing two sticks together (fire by friction), but it takes a LOT of practice and elbow grease, and it is time consuming. So, let’s look at the various options available to you if your lighter has run out of fuel and the matches are wet. Lighter Just because the lighter has…

Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe’s most popular parks, and it is easy to see why it falls into this profile. Join SA4x4 and Ultimate Adventures for a spectacular journey. BASICS Date:             1-11 July 2018 Venue:          Mana Pools National Park & Lake Kariba Cost:              R11 500 per person sharing Includes:      Camping & Park fees, Dinner & 2 breakfasts Excludes:      Fuel, Lunch, Drinks, VHF radio hire TOUR DETAILS This unique park is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE, based on its wildness and beauty, together with the wide range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife. The name “Mana” means…

In the dark days of apartheid, banned daily Despatch editor Donald Woods made for the Tele Bridge border post on New Year’s Eve in 1977. Disguised as an Irish Catholic priest, Woods, with the help of an Australian diplomat and an ex-security-policeman, managed to cross the border successfully; and when his family joined him later, they all flew to London. THE TIFFINDELL SUMMER EXPERIENCE Although the resort appears to be run by a skeleton staff in summer, and a number of its facilities are closed during this time, guests will still be well looked after in centrally-heated and serviced accommodation. …

If I could skip one country while traversing the West Coast of Africa, it would be Nigeria. Overlanders speak of Nigeria only in whispers, and they rarely have encouraging things to say. Big, fast, loud and more than a little unpredictable, Nigeria is not on many bucket lists. I have recently heard a few reports of attacks on the roads involving fake police roadblocks and spike strips. Speaking of police roadblocks, Nigeria is famous for theirs. In their number, their unfriendliness and in bribery, Nigeria apparently holds the record. Skirting Nigeria by land is currently impossible, as it means driving…

There is a world of seat time on the Gauteng to Cape run before you reach any sort of 4×4 destination. Best to plan a few stopovers to break the journey… All good adventures begin long before the journey. Their origins are frequently found in a pub over a few drinks. Then comes the planning: poring over maps, gathering magazine articles and travel books, spending hours on Google searches, measuring distances and planning fuel stops. Each trip has its own flavour, and a unique set of challenges. “Oftentimes, the real magic is in the spaces in between, in the pause…

Such a small word, and yet one which has had significant impact on scientific discoveries through the ages. Indeed, just such a question led to the discovery of the planet Neptune, before it was ever observed!  As bizarre as this may sound, it was unexpected changes in the orbit of Uranus that led astronomer Alexis Bouvard to ask why these fluctuations were occurring.  He hypothesised that they were due to the gravitational effects of an “as yet unknown planet”. In 1846, Urbain Le Verrier, (another astronomer) used mathematics rather than empirical observation to prove that the perturbations in Uranus’ orbit…

Join Ultimate Adventures for an epic tour through the Mabuasehube Game Reserve, spanning a week among the red dunes and parched landscape of the Kalahari Desert. SA4X4 & ULTIMATE ADVENTURES SELF-DRIVE TOURS 2018 Mabuasehube Game Reserve  BASICS  Date:             19-26 May 2018 Venue:          Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana Cost:              R7900 per person sharing Includes:      Camping & park fees, Guide fees, Dinner daily Excludes:      Fuel, Lunch, Drinks, VHF radio hire, Border charges  TOUR DETAILS The Mabuasehube Game Reserve is located in the Kalahari Desert covering an area of almost 2000 square kilometres. The unforgiving desert terrain is characterised by high red dunes and scattered…

Since humans as we know them first roamed the earth, fire has been made by rubbing two sticks together in one of a number of ways. What is interesting is that where these methods (with a few minor differences) are found to be used throughout the world by indigenous people, the techniques are the same. The three techniques I will discuss here are the hand drill, the fire bow, and the fire plough. Just before we start, a brief note on the type of wood to use. Choosing the right wood is the key to fire by friction. The hearth…

In this second series of the Transfrontier Parks programme, which aims to bridge the conservation and 4×4 tourism gap between South Africa and its neighbours, Stuart Reichardt heads to the Maputo Special Reserve in Mozambique and back to the Tembe Elephant Park in SA along that green link between the two areas – the Futi Corridor. There are certain things that can cut a trip to Mozambique short. Taking photographs of three camo-clad border guards relaxing in the shade while discussing matters of urgency such as the vagaries of crypto currencies and overly-demanding girlfriends, is one of them. I had…

Part of the allure of the Karoo National Park is its expansive network of 4×4 trails which take capable visitors out to the far-flung corners of the reserve. There, in the most remote places, remarkable sightings are often made. The park does quite a bit to market the refurbished Klipspringer Pass, a sedan-friendly climb to a plateau that serves as the final exit point from the rest camp area. Yes, it’s a beautiful drive, but it won’t get your blood pumping. TRAIL INFO Price: R280 per vehicle Terrain: Gravel with large rocks and hard clay, changing to shale and rock…

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