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Browsing: Travel

Destination & Trails

Words and pictures by Patrick Cruywagen THE RETURN DASH, PART 2 Our Bush Editor, riding high in one of Kingsley Holgate’s Defender 130s, completes the second half of his not-so-touristy trip through deepest Africa, and comes away with a dusty pocketful of stories to tell. We’d arrived in Chad’s capital city of N’Djamena in the dark and so had no idea of what to expect at sunrise, but what we could see were a large number of soldiers. Land Cruiser pick-ups seem to be the ride of choice for the military as well as rebels, which makes for even fights……

Words and pictures by Patrick Cruywagen It was a dream drive and an adventure of epic proportions: a hell-for-leather dash in one of Kingsley Holgate’s Defender 130s, journeying from the Congo Basin’s heart of darkness to the fringes of the massive Sahara Desert, and on to the Gulf of Guinea. It’s proving much more difficult to get out of the Central African Republic (CAR) than it’d been to get in. Roadblock after roadblock, some barely a kilometre apart, manned by soldiers arrogant in the knowledge that our Defender isn’t packing the armaments which are customary to just about every other…

Words by Patrick Cruywagen Pictures by Patrick Cruywagen and Wayne Reiche Why do we go to the bush? To get away from it all? To see something we haven’t seen before? To drink cold beer? Right now I’m doing all three. I’ve been comfortably plonked on my camping chair on the edge of Jack’s Pan for the last hour or two. Somewhere between my second and third beer, the sun fell off the edge of the pan. Between the steady stream of springbok and oryx which have been strolling past us, I didn’t notice the sunset. Suddenly, I notice an…

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander SHINGWEDZI 4X4 ECO-TRAIL While the Kruger National Park appeals to many holidaymakers, to some, the reserve fails to offer the very thing that many off-road adventurers seek: an escape. We visit Kruger’s unruly neighbour for a chance to drive a little-known trail lost in solitude. I hate the Kruger National Park. Okay, maybe “hate” is a bit strong, but I can’t help but feel grumpy about the unnaturalness of it all. Firstly: the roads. Nothing takes the bush out of a bush experience quite like a tarred road. Secondly: traffic jams. A wilderness holiday…

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander GREAT EXPECTATIONS Volkswagen’s new Amarok is stirring the double-cab pot, re-writing the sector’s value propositions while introducing technology never seen before in a bakkie. But has this much-anticipated double-cab made the most of its late arrival? When the Amarok was first unveiled in SA I heard lots of folk predict the Hilux’s demise. I was doubtful, convinced that the mighty Toyota could weather any storm. When I finally drove the Amarok I was forced to question the Hilux’s top-dog status, not because the VW was a superior vehicle, but because several Hilux owners had…

Words by Patrick Cruywagen Pictures by Patrick Cruywagen and variousGORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK, MOZAMBIQUE International news reports about Africa usually focus on subjects like war, famine, disease, corruption, poverty and Robert Mugabe. When visiting Gorongosa we stumbled onto a story with a positive spin, and a park that might well turn into the Serengeti of the South. IT’S BEEN A PERFECT SUNDAY IN THE BUSH, SO far. We enjoyed a great game drive in the morning, followed by a late brunch on the banks of the Msicadzi River. Rob Janisch (my host and the owner of Explore Gorongosa, the only private…

Words and pictures by Stuart Williams The folk at Arctic Trucks in Reykjavik, Iceland have a simple solution to any off-road problem – just increase the surface area. That’s why they convert Hilux and Cruisers to run on tyres as big as 44”! Stuart Williams was lucky enough to hitch a ride to Iceland to drive these beasts across a glacier. IN ORDER TO MAKE TRAVEL easier on sand or ice, you need to deflate your tyres to increase your surface area. Of course not all of us have the luxury of an 18.5 bar swing in pressure. That’s right,…

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander EXPLORING NAMIBIA’S SKELETON COAST The Kunene River mouth is one of the most inaccessible places on earth. Guarded by a deadly coastline and a merciless desert, this most north-western point of Namibia has for many years remained a no-go zone for 4×4 adventurers. However as Grant Spolander recently discovered, there’s change afoot. Sun-bleached bones litter this coastline like KFC packets on the Durban beachfront after Boxing Day; if the Seychelles is paradise found then Namibia’s northern coastline is Auschwitz reincarnate. To travel this region alone is like donning a KKK outfit and joining a…

Words by Patrick Cruywagen Pictures by Patrick Cruywagen and Alison Dunn Kariba to Binga – tracking Kariba’s southern shores If you want to know what it’s like to drive for days without seeing another traveller, then you need to take the track from Kariba to Binga. As our Bush Editor discovered, this route offers a stiff off-road challenge and demands lots of patience. While at Mana Pools some locals warned me that the people in the town of Kariba were a little… well, let’s just say ‘different’. Kariba is a lakeside town where there isn’t much to do except head…

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander A SEARCH FOR SOLITUDE ON MOZ’S SOUTHERN SHORES Grant Spolander, feeling a tad ill-equipped, explores one of Mozambique’s most popular coastal getaways in search of budget deals and tranquil offerings. Despite his inhibitions, he still manages to stumble upon some great deals and humble retreats. “Where have you been?” The question is rhetorical more than anything else, so we keep our mouths shut. “You have no stamps on this form and you’re missing another form that must look like this!” The Mozambican border official holds up an immigration form filled with stamps. My stomach…

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