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Thick sand, water crossings, salts pans, rough roads – a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter takes it all in its stride on a Botswana tour from Moremi in the north to the Makgadikgadi pans down south. For more information on this and other Protea 4×4 Adventures, fill out the form at the end of this article. Our radio crackled to life. “Guys, make absolutely sure you have engaged four-wheel drive.” Jannie Rykaart then repeated the message for good measure, and I glanced sideways at my mate Kobus – aka Kabous. We both wore a hint of smirk. For the last hour, we had…

Self-drive safaris through Botswana’s wilder regions have become more difficult because of the limiting effects of veterinary fences combined with the growing number of concessions in previously “open” areas. But there are still plenty of places where you can explore on your own. Under the disapproving frown of a leaden-faced sky, our hesitant reconnaissance of the world’s saltiest cemetery was like the final act of a slow gunslinger. Knowing the outcome, we ran away. (In reality, we prayed for gripping wheels, all the way on our retreat from the lonely island to a man at a gate who could not…

As travel journalists we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to adventure, but every once in a while, a trip comes up that really excites the senses; something so special you know for sure that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The 15-day African Migrations Expedition was just that; plus I was in for a few surprises. The adventure heads deep into the open Savannah grasslands of Africa, chasing two of the world’s most spectacular migrations from one end of Zambia to the other. My journey, like most others, kind of snuck up on me, in that it had been planned months…

Self-drive safaris through the wilder regions of Botswana have become more difficult because of the limiting effects of veterinary fences combined with the growing number of concessions in previously “open” areas. But it is still possible to explore on your own, and get to some intriguing destinations. “You have to be brave to do this,” said Refilwe, as she stepped confidently across the chaotic surface that is the muddy, knee-twisting, temporary shoreline of an ever-transforming lake which centuries ago drew explorers to its capricious existence. Past the dead tree stumps and mud pockmarked by the desperate struggle of cattle, lies…

There are three vital things to consider when on a lowrange trip through Lesotho, confides Stuart Reichardt, after joining the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier VW Amarok 4×4 Expedition. Don’t ever be lulled into thinking that a 4×4 trip is going to be easy, particularly one to Lesotho, even if the organisers pepper the itinerary with enticing words such as guesthouse stays, lodge accommodation and community-home stays. These hooks are merely there to elicit your agreement, and as soon as you’ve made your participation official, it’s all uphill – and downhill – from there, with endless kilometres of rocky undulations that will…

Of all the countries in the world blacklisted by the USA, Sudan has made it onto the top five rogue states. Travel and tourism there is apparently very limited and the security situation less than stable. The intrepid traveller has to try not to be kidnapped, shot at, robbed or imprisoned. Are you crazy? There is a say way to experience this amazing land of deserts, temples and black pharaohs.A military regime ruling with tight islamic ‘Sharia’ laws holds the country firmly in its grip, Christians are persecuted, and parts of the country bombed out. That‘s the official media story…

Driving a Jeep Wrangler 65000 kilometres from Alaska to Argentina taught me more than I ever could have imagined. It taught me a lot about exploring and living out of a vehicle, what I want in a future vehicle, and where I want to explore next. It taught me the exhilaration of exploration in a foreign country, learning a new language and meeting all kinds of different people. In fact, before that adventure, I had never heard of “overlanding” and had no idea that there were hundreds, maybe even thousands of people driving and riding around the world right now,…

Kaokoland is one of the last remaining wilderness areas in southern Africa. It is a world of incredible mountain scenery, a refuge for the rare desert-dwelling elephant, black rhino and giraffe and the home of the Himba people. The topography in the south of the area is characterised by rugged mountains which are dissected by numerous watercourses, but north of the Hoarusib River the scenery is dominated by tabletop koppies. Still further north, the Otjihipa Mountains rise abruptly above the Namib floor to form the eastern boundary of the Marienfluss, while the west of the valley is defined by the…

Most tourists follow the eastern reaches of the Orange River’s border with Namibia, yet for surreal calm, its relatively untouched western bank has no equal. On a balmy, moonless night in late spring, a tiny stretch of the rugged 560km-long river border between South Africa and Namibia was turned into a paradigm of sublimity. It was a symphony of light; a perfectly silent, natural phenomenon that called to the senses to form words like “surreal” or “magic”. Actually, this was simply one of nature’s most beautiful gifts to man. The last time my eyes listened to insects performing their own…

Expect a huge variety of 4×4 terrain and a few rich lessons in history, fauna and flora on this nine-day tour of the Soutpansberg and Waterberg. We were standing around the braai fire waiting for the rugby to start. I was talking about a new addition to our Rugby Manne group. He’d just moved into our dorp.  He was a big oke, forceful and opinionated. He also owned a top-of-the-range 4×4. “Alastair… he’s a sales rep, isn’t he?” I asked my mate, somewhat puzzled. “Ja, but he’s also an Eye Specialist,’ replied Al. “How the hell can he be an…

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