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Browsing: Adventures

In this two part series, Andrew Middleton documents his journey from Cape Town to Malawi and back in a brand-new Hilux 2.8 GD-6 auto. This month-long, five-country expedition follows southern Africa’s most prominent inland waterways. In Part 1, the expedition tracks new worlds of watery bliss in Malawi and Mozambique, and exposes Africa’s darker (and often funnier) sides including bribery and fear of attack. Does it all go according to plan? Of course not…. The plan, or at least that’s what I called it, was to follow a rough route from Kosi Bay border where we camped, into Moz, then…

An article in SA4x4 of February 2016, titled ‘Shoebox on wheels – Zim, Zambia and Bots in a VW Syncro’ brought back so many memories of our own attempt to drive through Botswana’s Moremi and Chobe game reserves in my dad’s VW Syncro. That was back in October 2009, when we were in our late twenties, and my husband and I and two friends (one being three months’ pregnant at the time) decided after months of research and preparation that we had done enough to tackle Botswana. We’d even had a custom roof rack, the length of the Kombi, made…

I was sitting around a fire with my Dad one Sunday in March, when our general discussion moved to Botswana, a country that has crept into my heart over the last couple of years. We were talking about the Zebra migration every September and October, when the game starts massing in its thousands in the Nxai and Makgadikgadi pans, and then, as if by some group signal, heads to Xhumaga (also known as Khumaga) on the banks of the Boteti River in search of greener grass. We decided this was the year that we should take a trip to see…

Just inland of the Tsitsikamma lies a narrow, mystical valley, shielded from the elements by two monstrous mountain ranges. Where the Kouga Mountains clash with the Baviaanskloof, you’ll find an oasis of lush greenery along the otherwise arid outskirts of the Karoo, feeding off rainwater that fell far afield of the fertile valley. The Baviaanskloof is so peculiar, in fact, that it forms part of the Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site. In all, the area is home to an incredible seven of the eight major biomes of South Africa: ranging from fynbos on one side all the way to…

You need a range of skills to take part in the Mystery Rally, not the least of them being able to punch co-ordinates into a GPS and turn out a tasty braai meal for the judges… The Mystery Rally has now become my weekend 4×4 highlight of the year, as I was invited as a tag-along photographer to last year’s event and, for some reason, again to the 2018 rendition. Run by the Western Cape 4×4 and Diff Lock Club over the last (long) weekend in September, the Mystery Rally doubled in size to around 50 vehicles this year. This…

Few people are aware that the mighty Namib Desert extends into southern Angola. This seldom-visited region lies in the very remote south-western corner of Angola, straddling the border with Namibia. My paper maps and GPS show virtually no roads, and not a single town for many hundreds of kilometres.  I intend to take a route through some of the most remote, and least inhabited, terrain on the entire African continent. To increase my maximum petrol capacity, I strap a 20-litre container to the spare wheel. Together with the stock tank and my Titan Transfer Tank, I now carry a touch…

As one of the least densely populated countries on the continent and one with a stunning array of wildlife and natural beauty, Botswana is high on the must-see list for any visitor to Africa, and a country I have been looking forward to for a very long time. It has extremely strict conservation laws, and in the more than 17% of the land mass dedicated to National Parks, animals roam freely and are a fixture of everyday life. National Parks are well organised and affordable, and thousands of kilometres of remote tracks lie waiting to be explored. In many regions,…

Night challenges are not new in the world of 4×4 adventuring, and the Superwinch 4×4 Night Challenge (which took place on Saturday, 1 September 2018, at Rust de Winter) was right up there for calling on the endurance reserves of all the participants − competitors and organisers alike. With over 400km of trails to choose from at Rust de Winter, the participants were in for a night to remember. Because of the degree of difficulty, the number of participants was limited to 12 vehicles. All types of vehicles were present: from stock standard, to those which had been heavily modified…

Having been involved in several severe 4×4 challenges of late, it came as a welcome relief to tackle the Nossob Eco Trail, which runs through the remote Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Here was a chance to enjoy open wilderness without any stress about vehicle damage. Starting at the Twee Rivieren post right on the border of Botswana in the Northern Cape’s most northerly point, the five-day, four-night trail begins at the point where the Aoub and Nossob river intersect – hence ‘Twee Rivieren’. These rivers flow only once every century, but, even so, are lined with massive camelthorns and populated heavily…

Most people head up to Namaqualand during the annual spring flower season, but for those who prefer peace and quiet, rather travel during the secret ‘Green Season’… Intrepid travellers who venture along the lesser gravel roads high along the western reaches of the Northern Cape, where arid desert land tumbles towards the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, will be lucky enough to discover ‘Eenkantland’. This ‘Land on the Side’ is also known as Namaqualand, and the region’s Namaqua Coastal Route traverses the north-western parts of the area. It is a place of stark, jaw-dropping beauty, where a semi-desert inland escarpment transitions into…

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