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Browsing: 4×4 Routes

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander If you travel to Uganda you’ll either be threatened with an AK47 or you’ll get a panga to the head. If neither of these situations transpires, you’ll definitely fall victim to one of the many diseases, parasites or viruses that plague this country. Or so I used to believe. When you hear the phrase “deepest, darkest Africa” it most commonly refers to the equatorial parts of our continent, an overgrown strip of muddy roads, impenetrable forests and a history of war-torn countries, coups and corruption. For many folk, the prospect of visiting this region

Words and pictures by Patrick Cruywagen DRIVING THE TRAILS OF RIEMVASMAAK Riemvasmaak was the first piece of land to be returned to it’s original owners in 1994. But returning residents haven’t had it easy here, relying on ill-fated government projects, hand-outs and foreign donor money just to get by. Our Bush editor drives the three Rienvasmaak 4×4 trails to see whether this is a destination worth visiting. My research had indicated that this wasn’t a tough trail – a three on the 4×4 Richter scale at worst. But what we were facing now was anything but a three – this

Words by Neil Harrison Pictures by Neil Harrison and various After scoring an invite to spend a week in Bilene – a Mozambican coastal destination he’d visited once before – our editor thought he had a pretty good idea of what lay in store. As it turned out, he was in for a surprise or three. I’ve heard it said that you can divide the world into three groups: mountain people, plains people and sea people. Well, I’m a sea person. This doesn’t mean that I spend my free hours on the beach or in a boat – far from

These days I can do live video chats with my mate Colin while he sits in the remote Australian Bungle Bungle National Park, many thousands of kilometres away. Imagine if early explorers like Jan van Riebeeck had this kind of communication capability? When the first non-indigenous people started settling and farming in the interior of South Africa, if you wanted to chat to a neighbouring farmer, who might only be 20 kilometres away, you got on your horse and took a gentle canter over to his place. Or you could write a letter. Back then, many weeks and often months

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander EXPLORING THE AFRICAN IVORY ROUTE There aren’t many things worse than an intermittent engine noise or vibration which disappears before you can track its location or cause. While less random, our vehicle’s symptoms were rather more severe – every time we descended a steep slope in our ’48 Willys Jeep Station Wagon the cabin would fill with lung-burning smoke. Our tour of the African Ivory Route had only just begun and we’d already lost a headlight cover (it fell off after the first pothole), a clutch pedal pin (second pothole) and two exhaust rubbers

Words by Grant Spolander Pictures by Grant Spolander, Craig Fox and Ben Moller THE KWATALE WILDLIFE ADVENTURE TOUR Botswana’s hunting concessions are scattered across the country, and are prime territories. These areas were the sole preserve of hunters until recently, when a well-known concession near Moremi opened its doors to overland travellers too. Grant Spolander grabs the wheel of a new Ford Ranger to investigate this private offering. Have you watched the movie Armageddon? There’s a scene in it where a crew of oil rig workers need to drill a hole in a meteorite. The giant asteroid is on a

Words by Patrick Cruywagen Pictures by Patrick Cruywagen and Ali Cole THE MABUASEHUBE WILDERNESS TRAIL This trip hasn’t had the best of starts. Trying to get hold of Botswana Parks is an exercise in futility. When they eventually do answer their phone it’s only to tell you that they don’t do bookings by phone. So you send a fax, which they don’t bother to reply to. As a last resort you send an email which promptly bounces back because their inbox is full. How can a country with such a strong tourism industry have such a shambolic booking system for

Words by Patrick Cruywagen Pictures by Patrick Cruywagen and Alison Cole EXPLORING EASTERN ZIMBABWE Mention Zimbabwe to most travellers and their first thoughts will be of Victoria Falls, houseboats on Lake Kariba or watching elephants stroll by at Mana Pools. Our Bush Editor goes east to Zimbabwe’s Highlands, a place to 4×4, hike, climb and maybe even hook the odd trout. “Over the eastern edge of Southern Africa sprawls a magnificent tumble of mountains, referred to loosely as the Drakensberg. The head of this vast, imaginary dragon looks towards the south, and it is not unreasonable to think that such

Words and Pictures by Patrick Cruywagen The young lad perched on the stone wall looks a perfect picture as our 4×4 purrs past.He doesn’t move, so we stop. I hop out and take a snap, and within minutes I’m surrounded by dozens of the blighters. An elderly lady approaches me to have a chat. “You see, these kids are all orphans; they don’t have parents and we look after them,” she explains. The kids laugh with joy when I show them their images on my camera’s LCD display. Not many tourists or vehicles come along this track. The atmosphere is

Words and Pictures by Patrick Cruywagen LUVUVHU 4X4 WILDERNESS TRAIL The Kruger National Park’s Lebombo 4×4 trail is well-known, and the Shingwedzi trail on the other side of the border is an up-and-coming attraction. But now there’s a new kid in town, a multi-day trail on the western edge of KNP. SA4x4 was lucky enough to be the first magazine to drive it! There’s something both primal and scary about having just your tent’s outer shell between you and the wild. From the warmth of your down sleeping bag it sounds as though you’re a guest at nature’s night club

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