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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

Towering volcanoes, deep-water lakes, mountain-top calderas, verdant jungles, highland coffee plantations… There is so much more to Rwanda than its iconic silverback gorillas. Jacques Marais explores this tiny East-African country by bike, boat and Isuzu, as part of the “Beyond the Rift Valley” expedition. Peter van Kets and I first came up with the route for the ‘Beyond the Rift Valley’ expedition early in 2018, thinking this would be a pretty ambitious foray into the heart of the Mother continent, and a chance at last to get to see Rwanda’s gorillas up close and personal. That was the starting point

I have no idea what to expect from the mountain nation of Lesotho. Although tiny compared to South Africa, I have been repeatedly told that the mountain scenery is second to none, and that the locals are extremely friendly. Always on the lookout for new mountains to explore, I know this is a must-visit country. Into Lesotho At a small and quiet border in the North, we are quickly stamped out of South Africa and into Lesotho with a minimum of fuss. The six-month Temporary Import Permit for the Jeep is also valid in Lesotho, so I don’t even talk

Journalist Carolyn Dempster joins an Ultimate Adventures tour through Zambia to witness the extraordinary annual bat migration at Kasanka National Park, and finds that the bonhomie of a diverse tour group has some key advantages Let’s be clear. This is not a bland travel tale. The kind where you skim over a script stuffed with adjectives, flick through photos, linger as long as your attention-deficit-disorder will allow, and move swiftly on to the next picture fantasy. No, this is next-level stuff. Stay with me… This story starts before the break of dawn, with the swelling sound of millions of jubilant

Last month, Andrew Middleton wrote about his journey up north from Mozambique to the top of Malawi, exploring dams, lakes and national parks. It was a tough ride, but the trip back down threw up a few challenges too… This month, he heads from Malawi into Zambia, explores Lake Kariba, and moves into Zimbabwe to the incredible Victoria Falls. Then it’s back into South Africa for the return-leg of an epic journey of 12 500km, through five countries, and all in less than a month. We woke up to a blissful campsite on the Nyika Plateau in northern Malawi, knowing

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,

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

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