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Discovering the wonders of the Namakwa Eco Trail: A bucket list experience


After itching to do the Namakwa Eco Trail for years, RAW 4×4 eventually managed to set a date, book and go! A bit of planning and coordinating and they were set.

The journey of five vehicles left earlyish on 16 December 2022 and travelled through the very wet and muddy R355. After a stopover in Loeriesfontein, they moved North along a 200km rough and corrugated dirt road to Pofadder. Tyres deflated, the RAW 4×4 suspension kits installed on the Toyota Land Cruiser 78 Series, Toyota Hilux Vigo and Nissan Navara D23 working well, they all made it in one piece.

The R355 connecting the R46 near Ceres with Springbok via Calvinia

With the tanks full, RAW 4×4 started the awesome trail! They travelled along the track to Pella, and then took a 4×4 route to Klein Pella. It took a little longer than expected, with some tricky negotiations through the rocky terrain, again the RAW 4×4 suspension working effortlessly. The Navara towing the camper trailer for the first time did superbly well, especially considering it was surrounded by Toyotas! They arrived at Klein Pella, opened a cold one and set up camp where they would base themselves for two days while exploring the trail and Charlie’s pass.

Calvin’s Troopy negotiating the rocky terrain

Shaun in his Hilux Vigo maneuvering on through some technical parts of the trail

The Navara towing the trailer needed some skilled spotting to get through the rocky sections

Camping at Pella

The following few days were spent wild camping along the very high flowing Orange River, the border between South Africa and Namibia! The swims in the river and adventures of the drive made it so special. The evenings spent with friends around the campfire, sharing stories and memories and star gazing made for something unforgettable. It wasn’t all plain sailing, lots of bush cutting, some technical driving and soft sand made it quite exciting. The riverbed drive down to Kamgab was definitely a highlight, but nothing too serious that a normal 4×4 with low range wouldn’t be able to achieve.

Camping on the banks of the Orange River. The river provided some much-needed cooling off during the extremely hot Northern Cape days

RAW 4×4 then spent three days at a Growcery camp in Vioolsdrif to unwind, charge the batteries, chill and swim. From there, they travelled onwards through the Richtersveld, unfortunately not finding gold in the gold mine, but finding solitude and absolute bliss at Bakkrans cave.

Cave camping at Bakkrans

They took a few days to get home, driving through the Namaqua Coastal region, bulldozing their way through some soft sand and carrying on South along the West Coast 4×4 route, camping at a beautiful beach spot at Waterval. From there, they went to the beautiful campsite, Highlanders in Klawer, to unwind, remanence of the past two weeks and enjoy the few leftovers they had in the fridge.

All the vehicles did superbly, not 1 puncture or mechanical failure. The Navara, Hilux and Troopy were all sporting new RAW 4×4 suspension kits, and what a way to really test them out and see for ourselves how they handle. The real advantage was on gravel corrugations, the RAW 4×4 suspension is so forgiving and comfortable. There is no ‘wallowing’ or bottoming out over big washouts or bumps. The added ground clearance even with the vehicles loaded also instills real confidence when the going gets tough. A very good investment made on their 4×4’s.

The vehicles that took part in this trip that were fitted with complete RAW 4×4 suspension solutions upgrades were a Toyota Land Cruiser 78 Series Troopy, Toyota Hilux Vigo and Nissan Navara D23.

For more information, pricing, availability or any other enquiries, kindly fill in the enquiry form below and a trusted staff member of RAW 4×4 will get back to you!

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