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Browsing: South Africa

A few weekends ago we had the pleasure of once again travelling to the Tankwa Karoo. The Tankwa is a very special place for us. It’s where my fiancé Simon and I had one of our first Rolbos Overland adventures, which led to me penning our first blog and the two of us becoming full-time explorers. This time around we decided to try something new and travel along the Old Postal Road. Our final destination was a campsite called “Die Mond” situated on the banks of the Groot River. We left promptly at 06:00 on a Friday morning, taking the

By now a well-established event on the South African 4×4 calendar, the Spirit of Africa is a chance for two-person teams from southern Africa to test their precision off-road driving skills to the limit at a game farm outside Mbombela (Nelspruit), and gain a chance to participate in the prestigious international finals. Over 25 elimination rounds, starting in April, more than 400 teams are whittled down to just 20 of the best-scoring teams. These then go on to compete for top honours at the International Spirit of Amarok Trophy which takes place in August, against teams from countries as diverse

How blessed we are to live in a place like South Africa! Our wild spaces are as diverse as they are plentiful, and are largely protected from the destructive forces of the modern world. Take the Karoo, for example. Nowhere else in the world will you find such immense biodiversity in such an arid place. It’s the Amazon Jungle of deserts – teeming with life and desperate to be explored. It was with this in mind that I steered a brand-new Mercedes Benz X-Class 250d in the direction of the R62, in search of something new and something special. CapeNature

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

Night challenges are not new in the world of 4×4 adventuring, and the Superwinch 4×4 Night Challenge (which took place on Saturday, 1 September 2018, at Rust de Winter) was right up there for calling on the endurance reserves of all the participants − competitors and organisers alike. With over 400km of trails to choose from at Rust de Winter, the participants were in for a night to remember. Because of the degree of difficulty, the number of participants was limited to 12 vehicles. All types of vehicles were present: from stock standard, to those which had been heavily modified

Most people head up to Namaqualand during the annual spring flower season, but for those who prefer peace and quiet, rather travel during the secret ‘Green Season’… Intrepid travellers who venture along the lesser gravel roads high along the western reaches of the Northern Cape, where arid desert land tumbles towards the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, will be lucky enough to discover ‘Eenkantland’. This ‘Land on the Side’ is also known as Namaqualand, and the region’s Namaqua Coastal Route traverses the north-western parts of the area. It is a place of stark, jaw-dropping beauty, where a semi-desert inland escarpment transitions into

South Africa’s secondary roads are full of possibilities and 4×4 potential, as Nick Yell proves on two Eastern Cape loops – an alternative to the Baviaanskloof, and a history-inspired meander through the Amatola region inland of East London. Baviaans-lite. This is how I had imagined the first of the two routes that my fiancée, Annette and I, were to go on: a 270km dirt track that was to take us off the tarred N9 outside Uniondale and eventually deposit us on the R334 to Uitenhage. Although we planned to detour off this route to wrestle with the Gonjah 4×4 trail

With access to private 4×4 tracks, mountain ranges and secret figures from the past, we cover one of SA’s roughest 4×4 tours with Unlimited 4×4 Adventure, right on our doorstep. Having worked at SA4x4 for over four years and explored local trails in countless ‘trail reviews’ and travel stories using production test cars, it’s safe to say I’ve been around the block. The Cederberg and Tankwa have long been special places for me to escape hasty Cape Town and its ills. The offer of a camping trip through our own little ‘outback’ comes like a welcome wink from my favourite

There is a world of seat time on the Gauteng to Cape run before you reach any sort of 4×4 destination. Best to plan a few stopovers to break the journey… All good adventures begin long before the journey. Their origins are frequently found in a pub over a few drinks. Then comes the planning: poring over maps, gathering magazine articles and travel books, spending hours on Google searches, measuring distances and planning fuel stops. Each trip has its own flavour, and a unique set of challenges. “Oftentimes, the real magic is in the spaces in between, in the pause

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