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Browsing: Western Cape

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

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

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

Regular contributor Des Featherstone and her partner have been camping at Theewaterskloof Dam for the past 20 year, and have never seen it so empty. The terrible drought in the Western Cape has left Theewaterskloof Dam looking like a desert wilderness. The dry, cracking mud and dwindling pools of water are shocking to see. But in the midst of this devastation is a wonderful, unique opportunity for 4×4 drivers. The receding waters have exposed a landscape last seen before it was opened in 1980. The old farms, with vineyards still in neat rows and irrigation pipes exposed, are very interesting

Wildlife vets are the unsung heroes of modern conservation. What seemed impossible years ago has now become common practice in the game-capture industry. Half a century ago, it would have been unheard of to move whole families of elephants thousands of kilometres by road or to fly rhino halfway around the world in cargo planes. Veterinarians play a pivotal role in game capture, wildlife research and disease control The advancement of modern tranquilisers has meant that wildlife vets can keep animals under sedation for extended periods of time. State veterinarians also play a very important part in controlling the spread

At some point, almost every South African with a car will make the trip from Joburg to Cape Town, and, in general, it’s far from enchanting. Just over 1500km of arrow-straight tar in the company of far too many kamikaze 22-wheeler drivers. Enough to numb the spirit of travel. So, I was less than inspired when given the news that I would be doing just this trip with the brand-new, facelifted Mazda BT-50. Luckily, part of the brief was to find an inspiring, gravel-oriented back-road route. What should I do, then? Take a massive detour to the Northern Cape and

Words & Images Anton Willemse As as far back as I can remember, I’ve been hearing the horror stories of my parents’ sand-driving experiences on their regular cross-border trips. Ever since then, my perception of sand has always been that of a big old monster, waiting around for your tyres to dip into it, so that it can grab hold of you and never let you go. So, with a potential trip to Botswana over Easter looming eerily over my shoulder, I decided to pluck up the courage to face the sand monster. I decided the best place to start

Words and images Des Featherstone I don’t like my 4×4 just because I can play with it by driving up dunes and over rocks. I like it for the remote and wild places it can take me. Die Hel is one of those places. We left Cape Town on a Friday afternoon, fighting our way through heavy suburban traffic as the rat-race headed home for the weekend. Intending to spend the night in Oudtshoorn, we made our way to Route 62 − with Lady Antebellum my road-trip music of choice. Leaving the city is always, as Lou Reed would have

Located within the greater Attaquas Kloof conservancy, this 1 650-ha natural fynbos farm is set amid the spectacular Outeniqua Mountains. The Bonniedale Holiday Farm is a delightful stopover within easy reach of the Garden Route where one can simply unwind, or explore 35km of trail against a scenic mountain backdrop. One of the highlights is taking a plunge in the secluded rock pool at the end of the drive, with Bonniedale’s charming 1890 farmhouse beckoning once you’ve explored the farm. This is a back-to-nature experience blending historic and scenic 4×4 adventure with relaxing walks and refreshing swims in rock pools.

Words and images by Pieter Oosthuizen Forget the N1. Ignore the tar. Driving gravel roads and tracks from Joburg to Cape Town uncovers a world where the sky expands and time seems to last much longer. When Oom Jochemus van Tonder slowly lit another cigarette, having pulled his packet yet again from a breast pocket labelled “Landbou Wepener”, I picked up my notebook, assured that his story about the bridges of Jammerdrif was not going to go up in smoke. We were having tea in his house, and in this part of the world, the pace of life is a

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