Words & Pictures by Andrew Middleton
When your average whooping tourist imagines an African scene, they may come up with a variety of brochure-type imagery: things like open grass plains, deep-red sunsets, elephants roaming, lions roaring and an icy-cold blizzard. Well… okay, that last one may cause a little confusion; so, to break free of the African cliché, we joined 4×4 MegaWorld in the Maluti Mountains to get stuck in snow. To be fair, winching a 4X4 up an icy rock face in a sub-zero blizzard wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. The intent here was rather to test a variety of 4×4 MegaWorld products in an ‘unusual’ African climate.
With 27 dealers nationwide, 4X4 MegaWorld is one of the largest distributors of 4X4 accessories in SA. But, even so, they don’t have a dealer at 2 500-metres up the Maluti Mountains, where we put their products to the test. Unbeknownst to us − prior to our departure from JHB – the main road to Afriski would be the first trial for man and machine. Under skies of piercing ice and cold, we slewed our way up some of the steepest tarred roads I’ve ever seen. First gear, two metres of visibility, and suicidal truck drivers made the journey interesting, to say the least.
Following our safe arrival and a good night’s rest, we were off into the Maluti Mountains. Just five minutes away from Afriski resort, there’s a wide range of 4X4 tracks to explore. We were allowed to cross the new road-construction project to get a better understanding of our position.