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Browsing: Kwazulu Natal

SA4x4 joins some of South Africa’s leading herpetologists on a mission in KZN’s Maputaland region to find rare species and teach the local rural residents how to react to snakes. With Opposite Lock on board, we’re all set to drive the region’s challenging-at-times gravel tracks… I was damn glad that tonight we were looking for frogs and aquatic stuff in a croaking and groaning swamp, rather than rare snakes! I knew my companions would go ape if they found a deadly twig snake or mamba, but for now, I was happy the hunt was on for other goggas. I had

“This is why I’ve been coming to EG for the last ten years!” Andy James screamed out of the darkness. “For this fish!” It was just after sunset and the two of us had been throwing ‘last casts’ for the past 40 minutes, all in the hope of hooking one of the trophy trout for which this area, and this farm in particular, is legendary. When I wanted to take the new Nissan Navara on a trip to see what all the fuss was about (it was awarded the International Pickup Award in 2016) I phoned a mate whom I

Eight interlinked ecosystems: tick. Big Seven game viewing: tick. Turtle hikes and jaw-dropping marine adventures: tick. Superb camping and accommodation options in an unmatched World Heritage Site: tick. Yup, iSimangaliso certainly ticks all the boxes! Hanging back from the rest of the group, I perched on an undulating grassland dune, waiting to grab a few photos. Looking down, I watched as iSimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis followed the game track, together with his wife Tracey and Lindy Duffield, the marketing manager at this ‘Place of Miracles and Wonder’. They skirted a thicket of Umdoni trees atop the 30 000-year-old dunes, and

Words Jeff Gaisford Sodwana Bay in 1974 was a pretty remote outpost of the old Natal Parks Board operations. I began my service as a ranger there, straight from the campus of the Natal University. I was a city boy, although I had grown up in Irene, a small village near Pretoria, and had spent time prowling around the veld there. Sodwana Bay at that time had no telephones, and the only direct communication links with the outside world were a daily radio call-up at 7AM on the big SSB radio set which was powerful enough to link us to

Words Brian Jefferies Pumba Adventures 4×4 trail was designed by Alf Middleton, an experienced 4×4 driver-training instructor and tour guide at Shelly Beach on the south coast of KZN. The tour started back in March 2014, and has since seen many an excited tourist traverse its tracks. The tour caters for a minimum of four vehicles at a time and is suitable for any type of driver – from novice to expert and anything in between. Similar to most 4×4 trails, Pumba Adventures can get really tricky in wet conditions, but Alf is always nearby to guide drivers out of

I’d better get this out of the way from the start. You see, I am totally, irrevocably in love with the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KZN. I have been for a long time. And I love Nissan Patrols − finish and klaar! So, forgive me if I seem completely biased in the tale which follows, which is mainly about swanning around the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in a Nissan Patrol GL. I head up to Lake Sibaya on 4×4 tracks, and throw in a couple of sideshows – like the Ndumo Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Park for good measure.

‘‘No, it’s quite impossible to drive up the old gun track to the summit of Swartkop Mountain,” said Mike, owner of the Rolling M ranch near Winterton. The Land Cruiser Club of Southern Africa was on a tour of the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields and Mike’s farm is close to the site of the Anglo-Boer War battle of Vaalkrans. Tour participants were in Mike’s pub, looking at a photograph of a huge gun being manhandled up an impossibly steep hill called Swartkop. The words ‘impossible to drive up the old track’ lingered like a whiff of gunpowder in the air; but people

Call it two parts of a perfect storm: the death of the Defender and the imminent tarring of Sani Pass. So, with the storm clouds gathering ever darker, we have joined a fulsome rattle of ancient Land Rovers as they make a final ascent up Sani Pass before it is graded and asphalted. Like the Land Rover brand, the pass is rich in history, so this oily gathering is the perfect send-off to a magnificent stretch of mountain track. Our expedition leader, Kingsley Holgate, has a long-standing relationship with Land Rover (who support his humanitarian efforts) so it was par

2016 sees the end of Land Rover Defender production. The Land Rover Defender is the last of a line of very successful vehicles first produced in 1948. Although the Defender is much admired, early model Series Land Rovers, and especially Series 1s, are now much sought after. Compared with the comfort, speed and ease of operation offered by the Defender, Series 1s are carts: uncomfortable, slow, noisy, and sometimes full of trouble… but this is part of their appeal. They are simple, basic machines and can be kept going with limited tools and skill, and Sir Tinley is just such

It first became clear that Camp Jeep would be a different kind of off-road get together when I was about 350km from Johannesburg. By this time, my backside was turning numb after the long drive, and my ears were begging for a reprieve from the constant droning of the all terrain tyres on tar and the screaming of wind over the un-insulated hardtop. A Wrangler, it transpires, even in fullhouse Unlimited Rubicon spec, isn’t really the most forgiving long distance cruiser.Words and Images Martin Pretorius Then the Ladysmith turn-off beckoned, and I left the N3 with its speed traps and

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