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Browsing: Travel

Destination & Trails

Chile is a very long country. From the border with Peru in the north, to the southernmost point of the Americas at Cape Horn, it extends 4270km along the Pacific Ocean – yet averages only 177km east to west. After spending many weeks in the Atacama Desert in the north, our next destination was legendary Patagonia. At the office of Transportes Austral in Puerto Montt, we bought tickets for the ferry from Hornopirén to Caleta Gonzalo. The road from Puerto Montt to La Arena is a short drive of about an hour, followed by a 40-minute ferry crossing to Pulche

I stare intently at the petrol gauge while trying to drive with the least possible amount of throttle. I’m in sixth gear, moving at 50km/h, and trying to keep the revs as low as possible to stretch every possible kilometre from what little petrol remains. After 30km, I’m not really surprised to find the dusty town does not have a petrol station – rural Zambia is not a densely-populated place, after all. With little choice, I roll on, towards almost-certain failure. A handful of kilometres later, the engine dies. There is no coughing or spluttering, no indication that anything is

You’ve heard the stories about Baboon’s Pass in Lesotho: it’s a car breaker; it’s impossible in the wet; it’s about endurance, not skill. Anton Willemse returned from completing this tough 4×4 trail a little battered, but wiser. When I was given a chance to drive Baboon’s Pass in Lesotho as part of a group tour organised by Riaan Jooste of Complete 4×4, I was extremely interested. I had heard it was tough, and at times Grade-5 tough, but definitely something to tick off one’s bucket list. So, I had a look at some videos on YouTube − and particularly one

The unique Mana Pools National Park is a World Heritage Site, based on its wildness and beauty, together with the fact the area plays host to a wide range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and plentiful aquatic wildlife. Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe’s most popular parks, and it is easy to see why it falls into this profile. The name “Mana” means “four” in the local Shona language. This applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. These pools are the remnant ox-bow lakes that the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago

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

Sani Pass is located in the western end of the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, on the road between Underberg and Mokhotlong, Lesotho. It is a route that connects Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho, and a notoriously dangerous road, which requires the use of a 4×4 vehicle. This pass lies between the border controls of both countries and is approximately 9km in length and requires experienced driving skills. It has occasional remains of vehicles that did not succeed in navigating its steep gradients and poor traction surfaces, and has a catalogue of frightening stories of failed attempts at ascending the path over

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

The Makgadikgadi Pans of Botswana are one of the harshest environments on earth and a 4×4 adventurer’s paradise. Come and join us as we explore some of the untouched gems these enormous salt pans have to offer as we venture off the beaten track and head into the heart of the pans. We will be visiting places that are rarely encountered by other travellers so this is a totally unique pans experience. We will however include a night at the mystical Kubu Island as no trip to the pans is complete without visiting this magical destination. Some of the other

Back in Johannesburg, it feels odd to look out from the window over a bustling carport of busy people with fancy cars. There’s a selection of sushi revolving in front of me, yet my boots are still freshly covered with the dust from Mana Pools. Just two days ago, we were observing one of many herds of elephants wandering curiously around our campsite at Mana Pools, and later sitting around the hypnotising campfire listening to the hysterical ‘whoop’ calls of hyena in the background. And then, there was the long, dreadful and often-infuriating drive back to Joburg, during which an

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