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Browsing: 4×4 skills

Imagine this: You’re out driving by yourself, checking out the new campsite that you plan to stay at in a couple of weeks. There is a dry river bed and you are driving through it, and the next moment you are stuck. RULES FOR SAFE WINCHING 1. Always use as few connections as possible – avoid steel shackle connectors, and use soft shackles instead. 2. Always winch off a live tree – dead trees can be hollow and have rotten roots. 3. Never wrap winch rope back onto itself. Use a tree-trunk protector on the anchor. 4. Keep the strap…

Words by Andrew Middleton As humans, we’ve spent a very long time making our homes as comfortable as possible; and mastering the modern city is a long way from living in a cave. However, when we camp, we reject household convenience for an experience altogether more primitive but yet, somehow, very satisfying. Last month, we featured an article which was titled Bare-Bones Overlanding, in which we focused on vehicle preparation. But overlanding is nothing without camping, and if you go camping when ill-prepared, your trip will be a disaster. There are many facets to camping: some go in a luxury…

Words by Andrew Middleton Wikipedia eloquently describes overlanding as “…self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.” Whereas overlanding is often performed on the cheap by intrepid adventurers on bicycles or old motorbikes, or by leathery tramps on foot, 4×4 overlanders often get carried away and spend exorbitantly to equip themselves for travel. Do you ram heavy objects with your huge steel bull bar? How often is a snorkel really necessary? And, most importantly, if you didn’t have this kit, would 4×4 overlanding still be possible? In this guide, we consult industry experts, and draw…

Story and image by Ronald Hairbottle Washed Away Part 1: The Flood The weather was beautiful when we left Polokwane at 06:30 on Saturday. Entering the river at the normal place just after the bridge wasn’t possible, as it was completely overgrown, so we entered further upstream. The river was flowing just enough and it looked like the trip would be easy. Johnny’s Hilux Truggy was working well, and the trip was proving uneventful, until we entered the gullies. Here the Hilux got a nasty sidewall slash on a front tyre from a small protrusion on a big rock. Luckily…

Words & Pictures by Bryan Havemann The Battle- ready Bush Brigade The Lowland Mountain Gorilla is the animal most people associate with Rwanda in Central Africa. These lovable primates were brought to the world’s attention by the eccentric researcher, Dr Dianne Fossey, who did pioneering work on the gorillas in the Virunga Mountain complex in the northern part of the country. The Akagera National Park lies on the border of Tanzania in the east, and is managed by African Parks on behalf of the Rwandan Government through a partnership with the Rwandan Development Board. This savannah park is very different…

Words by Bryan Havemann. Photographs by Chris Galliers After spending three decades in the bush, I find that certain experiences hang from my wall of memories like priceless masterpieces. One such experience took place when I was leading a wilderness trail in the far northern region of the Kruger National Park. It was early in the morning, and I was leading my group on the northern bank of the Levubu River, close to the Mutale River confluence. It was one of those postcard days where the sun was shining through the large Nyala, Jackal- Berry and Matumi trees, creating golden…

Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton Excuse the corny quote, but the night was, indeed, dark and stormy. In fact, we could barely see a thing as our open-top Series 3 desperately slewed around in black-cotton soil. The Tuli Block’s rough tweespoor tracks had turned into rivers under a ferocious storm. Paths forged by elephant became our new tracks and a hungry leopard peered down on us from a treetop. Without wanting to sound too melodramatic, I have to say that our Landy’s headlights could’ve got us killed: they shone with the same luminosity of ten glowworms sealed in a…

Words by Bryan Havemann. Although the hippo is said to be the mammal that kills the most people, the Nile crocodile has the reputation of killing more people in Africa than any other animal, full stop. Crocodiles have remained unchanged since the dinosaur times and are considered to be perfect killing machines. The Nile crocodile is a top predator that reigns supreme in all water bodies in Africa, whether they be large rivers, lakes, wetlands, or even shrinking pans. On the fear barometer, most humans would rank the Nile crocodile right up there with the great white shark. The golden…

Words by Bryan Havemann The Spotted Hyena is one of those African animals that brings a level of revulsion to any conversation when it’s discussed by well-meaning know-it-alls. The whooping call echoing across the dark veld might send shivers down your spine, but it’s a sound synonymous with wild Africa. The cackling laugh grows to a crescendo when hyenas excitedly feed on a carcass, and often this cacophony is enough to intimidate lions and other pinnacle predators off their kill. Known as opportunistic scavengers, hyenas often get a bad rap, much like vultures do in the birding world. Their cowardly…

Words & photography by Bryan Havemann When a mammal has the reputation of killing more people in Africa than any other animal, it really should get our undivided attention, and our respect. Things gets even more interesting when you learn that such an animal is a herbivore! Of course, I’m referring to the hippopotamus, an extremely dangerous beast that was only excluded from the Big 5 list because it’s relatively easy to hunt. During the day, hippos stay in or near water, usually only venturing from their watery haven at night to go in search of food. It’s usually during…

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