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Browsing: Adventures

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…

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,…

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