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LandRoving Edition 126 - June 2018

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Published by Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa, 2018-06-21 23:44:09

LandRoving 126

LandRoving Edition 126 - June 2018

Keywords: landrover,4x4


Overlanding To



The official magazine of the Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa

NAMIBIA Not your common or
garden variety tour
Tough Trails in a Discovery 4

42 Roaming The Northern Terrotory
50 Maputaland At Last
58 Tembe Fundraiser & Work Week



Overlanding to 8 Namibia - Tough
26Trail in a Discovery
Botswana - Not
32your common or
42Roaming the
garden variety tour
Northern Territory
50Maputaland at Last
58Tembe - Fundrais-

ing & Work Week

Regulars To Advertise

5 From the Editor Please contact the Club Administrator.
6 From the Chairman’s Desk Special deals are available for first time
24 Techtorque - Getting Traction advertisers
38 Trail Review - Leeuwenskloof
49 Boskos - Braai Pie Distribution
57 Kiddies Corner
62 Bush Notes - Snake Infographic Posted to LROC members, supplied free
of charge to advertising Land Rover deal-
Visit our website for more information on becoming a erships, Parts & Accessory suppliers and
member or for the latest news and events Workshops.

The opinions expressed in LANDROVING do not necessarily reflect those of the Land Rover
Owners Club of Southern Africa, it’s Committee or members. No responsibility is accepted for any damages or injuries which

may arise therefrom or from Advertisers adverts.


Executive Committee

Chairman Vice Chairman
071 343 2958 082 655 4717
[email protected] [email protected]

Secretary Treasurer
082 339 9126 083 376 6815
[email protected] [email protected]

PRO Quartermaster
072 749 1287 084 500 8984
[email protected] [email protected]

Trophy Secretary Membership Secretary
082 928 0470 078 457 6015
[email protected] [email protected]

Clerk of Events Driver Trainer
082 855 6248 082 448 4298
[email protected] [email protected]

Radio Officer Editor
072 665 4198 078 126 2997
[email protected] [email protected]

LROC Chapter in your Area

Border Chapter Eden Chapter
Athol Cocks - [email protected] Alta Naude - [email protected]

Lowveld Chapter Port Elizabeth Chapter
Lorraine Dicker - [email protected] Paul Foster - [email protected]


From the Editor


Adventure is all about taking from Sweden. Boy, did they perform
each experience, regardless if each morning on who will be in the
you know the outcome or not Landy! The Germans would say “Ve
and facing it head on. It is are going on safari, ja?” They opened
about seeing the world from a our eyes to what adventure was like for
different perspective, even if them. Seeing the world through the
you’ve seen it a million times window of a Defender just showed us
before. It is choosing to see the how we miss the simple things in life
beauty from the ordinary and that are experienced as adventures for
finding ways on how to do it the others. We take many things for
differently. granted. It is all about perspective. The
angle from your seat. The ride you take
According to Oxford Dictionary adven- and the company you take along. It
ture is defined as: seems that we could take them to any
place, as long as it was in the Defender!
An unusual and exciting or daring
experience. I am proud to present the new face-lift-
ed magazine, designed by our very own
Each vehicle has its own vibe, its own PRO. The magazine is loaded with
character. When I get into my Landy adventure! We travel from Sahara to
I smell dust. We know how well the Malawi, making peace with neighbours
dust proofing is on Defenders! But this in Botswana, and then turning onto Ma-
makes me remember where the dust putaland, pulling some sweat in Tembe,
comes from, what was the last adven- and dropping in at Leeuwenkloof from
ture I had and where will the next one where we turn north towards Namibia.
be. Adventure always waits for us.
You are in the left-front seat. Enjoy the
A few years ago we hosted internation- trip!
al guests as part of the Round Table
“Numbers Tour” in South Africa. Our |LANDROVING 5
Landy was one of the “Tour vehicles”
– the ONLY true safari vehicle, I might
add. The group consisted of 2 German
couples, 2 British couples and a dude

From the Chairman’s Desk


It is a privilege to take over as Discovery “this is one of the best Land
Chairman of the Land Rov- Rovers ever built”.
er Owners Club of Southern
Africa in such an iconic time, Land Rover is now producing a whole
Happy Birthday, Land Rover! luxury brand admired the world over.
The persistent 4x4 brand cele-
brated its platinum anniversa- But it’s not all about the Land Rover
ry in April this year, after the brand, it’s the people who drive/love
first-ever Series I Land Rover and live Land Rover... Especially the
was unveiled at the 1948 Am- Land Rover Owners Club.
sterdam motor show.
The Land Rover Owners Club was
Over the course of 70 years, Land Rov- started 58 years ago, 22 years after the
er has grown from just a manufacturer introduction of the first Land Rover
of basic, rough-and-ready 4x4s to an en- and has being going strong ever since.
tire brand which has seen huge success. The first ever club meeting was held
From the Series 1 in 1948 to the one on 26 July 1960. The next committee
millionth Land Rover built in 1976, to meeting was held on 16 August 1960, at
the latest Limited Edition Range Rover which the committee was expanded to
SV Coupé which made its debut at the 6 members. In September 1960 the first
Geneva Motor Show this year, keeps eleven members put their money on the
going from strength to strength.. Even table. The entrance fee was 5 shillings
Kingsley Holgate, who has driven every (R0.50) and the annual subscription
make of Land Rover there is, was noted was 1 Guinea (R2.10). The Land Rover
to say, after his latest trip in the new Owners Club of Southern Africa was
officially formed.
The LROC committee have started
planning for our Diamond Jubilee in 2
years’ time and would love to get some
input from the club members. We are
planning a special event and look for-
ward to seeing you all there.


|LANDROVING 8 Overlanding to


Dana Cloete

Approximately 8 years ago,
my best friend, Willie Louw
packed up, left South Africa
and moved to Malawi where
he started up an overlander
lodge in northern Malawi close
to a little village town called

The lodge, that has since been named
Hakuna Matata camp site, borders Lake
Malawi and it was always on my mind
to visit the place someday but, due to
variety of personal circumstances, I nev-
er managed to make my way to Willie’s.
Towards the end of December 2017,
my partner, Vivienne Marais and I
discussed the possibility of taking the
trip to Malawi and after some red wine
and looking at the maps of Southern and
Central Africa, we realised that it is well
within our reach to make the, just over
5000km, overlanding trip to Lake Mala-
wi. We decided that in order to make the
trip a reality, we had to fix and commit
to a date and we could find no sooner
or better time than during the school
holidays in March/April 2018.
Planning for the trip started in all
earnest at the beginning of 2018. Our

Landy needed some repairs and a good er, never required by any official during
service, I had to apply for a new pass- any of my previous travels through
port, my driver’s license was about to Africa or abroad, but something prompt-
expire and needed to be renewed and ed me to get the Yellow Fever certificate
lastly we needed additional gear to make regardless. So on Thursday afternoon,
our trip as comfortable as possible. just before our planned departure on the
We worked through our to-do list and coming Saturday, I made my way to the
managed to get everything in place by travel clinic and got the Yellow Fever
mid-march. In this respect, the LROC vaccination and the associated certifi-
training module relating to overlanding cate.
was a great help. The only painful thing Although my bank card was activated
was renewing my passport as this meant for Africa, I acquired some US dollars
a very frustrating day of queuing at in cash as it is a widely accepted cur-
Home Affairs for hours, just to be told rency in Africa. I made sure to get small
to return the next day. Collecting the denominations as Africa is notorious for
passport, once again, meant standing in not having change.
the queue for a few more hours. So, at 04:00 on Saturday 24 March
At last the final week before our de- 2018, our time of departure arrived and
parture date (Saturday 24 March 2018) we made our way to Grobler’s Bridge
arrived and while going over our list of Border post to Botswana. Our planned
stuff needed such as passports, vehicle route was to enter Botswana and to
papers, gear and supplies, I realised drive up the east of the country to the
that the one thing I never prioritised border town of Kasane. From Kasane
was getting a Yellow Fever vaccination we will enter Zambia and make our
certificate. This certificate was, howev- way to the eastern border with Malawi


and then heading to the north of Lake realised that I was getting terrible side
Malawi. On our return, we planned to effects from the Yellow Fever vaccina-
drive down Lake Malawi to Cape Ma- tion.
clear and from there returning to South The closer we got to Kasane the sicker
Africa via Mozambique and Zimbabwe I felt and I was worried that this may
through Beitbridge Border Post. ruin our entire trip. I knew that the only
We entered Botswana and experienced a solution was to take antibiotics but the
relatively painless border crossing. question was how we would find it in
Travelling through Africa is often not this rural part of Dark Africa.
about the distance in mileage but rather At about 200 kilometers before Kasane
about the time duration in which you I got Vivienne to take over driving as I
reach your destination. felt my concentration declining due to
In this regard, the speed limit, most of the symptoms that were getting worse
the time, is 80km/h and to maintain the by the hour. Not too long after Vivienne
speed is dependent on the road condi- took over the wheel, she was stopped
tions such as potholes, livestock and by traffic police for speeding. Again
villages. the same argument ensued as she also
Up to Francistown the roads were in maintained the GPS speed of 80k/h.
good condition and we travelled well We realised that the radar used by the
while maintaining the speed limit. How- Botswana traffic police must probably
ever, just before Francistown we were not be calibrated correctly but you don’t
stopped by Botswana traffic officers want to start that kind of argument in a
who claimed that we were exceeding foreign country and we humbly apolo-
the speed limit by travelling at 96km/h. gised for our “mistake”.
My explanation that we were main- Luckily, this time with a little back and
taining a speed of 80km/h as indicated forth conversation we got off without
on our GPS fell on deaf ears as they a fine and we promised to stay under
claimed that according to their radar, 80km/h for the rest of our journey.
I was travelling at 96km/h and I was At approximately 19:00 we arrived in
issued with a spot fine of P420 which Kasane, which is a small border town
amount to about R525.00. and found a guesthouse as I just did not
Not being a happy traveller, I had to pay feel up to setting up camp while feeling
the fine on the spot and we continued so ill. We were greeted friendly by the
our trek to Francistown. In Francistown owner, Anicia and before even asking if
we were able to get a well-deserved she had accommodation available I told
cappuccino at the Wimpy before leaving Anicia that I fell sick and was urgently
for Kasane. in need of antibiotics.
At this time I started to feel sick and I did not have high expectations of her
being able to resolve my problem in

Kasane on a Saturday at 19:00 in the the next day (Sunday) and a strong pos-
evening but to my surprise, Anicia, still sibility exist that, even in Livingstone, I
maintaining a very friendly and pro- would not get any antibiotics.
fessional attitude, said that this is not
a problem and that she has a doctor on We made our way, with the receptionist
call. as our guide, to Kasane provincial hos-
After making several calls, Anicia was pital which in itself was an interesting
unable to find the doctor on call and drive as elephants and buffalo crossed
suggested going to the Kasane provin- the road freely in the town and we felt
cial hospital. Knowing the poor level of as if we really reached Africa.
service one can expect in the provincial
hospitals in South Africa my hopes To my surprise, our visit to Kasane
dropped on the floor but Anicia offered provincial hospital was pleasant and
that her receptionist will accompany fruitful. Within 20 minutes I was exam-
us to the hospital and provide help if ined by the nurses and they dispensed
needed. a good course of antibiotics and other
At this time I was feeling really sick and medicine to relieve the symptoms, all
I decided to give it a chance as I knew free of charge.
that the next opportunity to get antibi-
otics would be in Livingstone, Zambia We got back to the guesthouse and
which we planned to arrive to only on I took the medicine and had a good
night’s rest and felt much stronger after
a shower and a hearty breakfast the next


morning. Although there is a bridge under
What a pleasant stay with these folk construction, the only way to cross the
who really made us feel welcome and Kazungula border is by ferry on which
cared for in a little town somewhere a guy cools down the engine by splash-
near nowhere in Africa. ing water over it with his hands from a
At around 07:30 on 25 March 2018, we bucket and wiping down the leaking oil
made our way to the Zambian border. from various valves with an old dirty
My research about this border post was rag. 
that it was notoriously difficult to cross Not far from the Kazungula border,
the border post with the bureaucracy about 75 kilometers lies the quant little
at the Zambian side of the Kazungula town Livingstone. We planned to stop
border post. over in Livingstone to visit the Victoria
However, apart from being slightly ha- Falls and other points of interest such
rassed by some “fixers” who are selling as the Livingstone museum and the
their services to help with administra- railway bridge between Zambia and
tion and third party insurance we made Zimbabwe.
it over in about 20 minutes which is We found camping accommodation at
fairly quick for any drive through a Jollyboys Backpackers Lodge. I was
border post. really impressed as I came into Jolly-
Botswana and Zambia share the world’s boys with loads of place to sit or lay
shortest border crossing (depending on and to relax. Their rates for camping
who you ask) – just 750 meters in the were reasonable at USD8 per person per
Zambezi river. It is in this spot where night and we set up camp in the parking
the corners of four countries meet – Na- lot because we made use of a rooftop
mibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimba- tent and the Landy was unable to enter
bwe. So, of course, what overland trip the campsite.
would be complete without crossing this Jollyboys also has an inviting pool
epic border? which was welcoming in the Zambian
heat and they offered good meals at rea-


sonable prices. On arrival we opted for lar sight of awe-inspiring beauty and
the local beer (Mosi) which went down grandeur on the Zambezi river, forming
well after the long drive the previous the border between Zambia and Zim-
day from South Africa. babwe. It was described by the Kololo
Jolliboys is situated within walking tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as
distance from Livingstone town and ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that
attractions such as the Livingstone Thunders’. It was also now that we
Museum. During the afternoon we took understood where the name for the beer
a stroll around Livingstone and visited came from.
the museum. While it is neither the highest nor the
Later in the evening we watched a mov- widest waterfall in the world, Victoria
ie at Jollyboys and enjoyed the free pop- Falls is classified as the largest, based
corn and, of course, some more Mosi’s. on its combined width of 1,708 me-
We had a good rest and the antibiotics ters and height of 108 meters, resulting
were really kicking in and early the next in the greatest curtain of falling water in
morning we visited the Victory Falls. the world.
Victoria Falls presents a spectacu- One special vantage point is across the
Knifes-Edge Bridge, where we had the
finest view of the Eastern Cataract and


the Main Falls and we got soaking wet
from the dense spray created by the
water falling into the Zambezi.
Visiting the falls was truly one of the
highlights of the trip and photographs
cannot even begin to express the sight
of the Victory Falls nor can words begin
to describe the emotions one experi-
enced when seeing this wonder, while
feeling the thunder of the water stirring
the inside of your soul.
In the words of Dr Livingstone, the first
European who set eyes on this magnif-
icent world wander:  “Scenes so lovely
must have been gazed upon by angels in
their flight.”
After visiting the Victoria Falls we de-
parted for our next stop, Lusaka.
The roads in Zambia are in worse condi-
tion than what we found in Botswana
and the many trucks on the road made
travelling a challenge yet pleasurable,
particularly because we are travelling in
a Defender. I can’t really put my finger
on the exact reason, but something
about travelling in Africa with a Land
Rover Defender just sounds and feels
On our way to Lusaka, disaster struck!
At one of the many police check points
at a village named Pemba, the car fol-
lowing the vehicle behind us failed to
stop and crashed into the car behind us
causing a chain crash into our Landy.
I got out all shaken and semi angry
but I needed to remain calm and figure
out what to do in a situation like this.
Our back lights on the left side were


smashed out and we had a proper dent I was very impressed with the speed
on the rear steel bumper and right wheel that the Zambian Police worked in
arch. conducting an investigation and provid-
Luckily, the high-lift jack mounted on ing feedback within an hour and a half.
the steel bumper also protected us from Nevertheless, it still did not solve all my
more damage as both other vehicles worries.
involved in the accident were complete The police asked me to hang around and
wrecks. I found out that if you have been found
To my surprise the Zambia Police “to blame” for an accident in Zambia,
arrived at the scene within about 20 you are required to pay for the damages
minutes after the crash and they were or face being locked up.
very professional as they took over the We waited for a while after which the
scene to assess what happened. police officer called me into the office
After some time, the police asked if the and introduced me to a “relative” of the
Landy could still drive and if I could lady who has been declared “to blame”.
meet them at the police station. During talks the relative conveyed his
Racing through my mind, was how to sincere apologies and wanted to know
fix this, what it was going to cost and how much the damage is. Of course, I
how am I was going to cross borders did not have a clue and I took him to
with a damaged vehicle. Needless to the Landy and together we assessed the
say, stress was building up. It was also damage.
apparent that the person who caused the When I pointed out the replacement of
accident does not have lots of money the Landy’s rear bumper, the relative
and claiming damages from her would almost fainted and I explained that one
be nearly impossible. would need specialised tools and skills
At the police station, statements and to even attempt fixing the crumbled up
details were taken from the drivers and bumper. In addition there was the matter
during all this time I experienced the of my rear lights that were smashed.
Zambian Police as very professional, The relative explained that there was a
something that I haven’t seen in South person in the next town, Monze, who
Africa in recent years. After about an would be able to fix the damage and he
hour and a half we were called into an offered to take us there and to pay for
office were the policer officer solemn- repairs.
ly announced that they have finalised In my previous travels around Africa,
their investigation and concluded that I learned that sometimes a situation
the lady driver who failed to stop at the may seem very bad but that Africa can
police check was “to blame” for the surprise you and pull the rabbit from
accident. the hat and so I decided that I must take


the chance and see if the damage to the watched the process closely. Shadrack
Landy, or at least some of it, can be used a tree to pull the bumper straight.
repaired in order for us to continue our With an angle grinder he cut the dam-
journey. aged piece of bumper off in several bits
We arrived in Monze just before dark and pieces. He was joined by a welder
and was greeted by Shadrack, the expert who started working on the damaged
repairer who was working on a number pieces of bumper while Shadrack and
of wrecks under a tree. I was glad to see another man concentrated on the body
an old series 3 Landy and hopes were damage.
creeping up that Shadrack might know At noon, Shadrack’s mother in law
something about fixing our Landy. made lunch on an outdoor stove and
Shadrack inspected the damage careful- invited us for lunch. We had a tradition-
ly and after a while said “No problem, al Zambian lunch consisting of Nzima
I can fix it. Come tomorrow morning (almost like pap), kasawa (almost like
six o clock”. Well, I wasn’t sure if that spinach), ocra (not sure what it is but
was good news, but we decided to give yummy), a mushroom in peanut butter
it a go and began making plans to find a dish, and various pickles. I really en-
campsite nearby. joyed the hospitality and conversations
I am grateful to have invested in the with Shadrack and once again I was
Tracks4Africa maps and we used reminded of the old saying, don’t judge
the app to find a campsite not too far a book by its cover.
from Shadrack. We could also plot Shadrack is a happy man who works
Shadrack’s place of work as we would hard, finds joy in the simple things in
have never been able to find it other- life and is able to do magic with the few
wise. simple tools he has to work with.
The campsite, The Moorings, was neat After lunch, work on the Landy contin-
and charged USD10 per person. We ued and by 16:30 the job was complet-
were the only campers but we had our ed, with the dent in the back wheel arch
guard and a local Jack Russel who kept straightened, the bumper welded back
a watchful eye over us and kept us com- on and painted black. A new flicker unit
pany. We decided that there is not much was fitted to the Landy and we were
else to do but to have a few of those good to go. The only thing they were
Mosi’s and to wait and see what tomor- unable to get was a lens for the reverse
row would bring. light but Shadrack explained where I
On Tuesday morning, 27 March 2018 at could find it in Lusaka.
06:00 we arrived at Shadrack’s place of Shadrack assured me that the “to
work. Shadrack greeted us friendly and blame” party will settle his bill. I asked
immediately started to work. Vivienne Shadrack what he is charging for the
and I took out our camping chairs and work and he told me 700 Zambian Kwa-
cha (about R800).

Again, as we greeted and drove off, I Texas, and he has been travelling for 17
could not help but to feel admiration for months and planning on making his way
Shadrack who earned R800 for a days up in Africa.
work between 3 qualified people using Chipata is about 550km from Lusaka
their own tools and supplying spares and at least a 7 hour drive. We had long
and consumables and doing an outstand- conversations with our passenger who
ing job with the limited tools they have. appeared to be well travelled but typi-
Against my own rules, we drove to cally American, he was very loud and,
Lusaka in the dark under very stressful of course, claimed everything is bigger
driving conditions and reached The and better in Texas.
Wanderers Backpackers who charged us We stayed over in Chipata at Mamaru-
USD5 per person. las, a lodge owned by a former South
We found the reverse lens at Land Rov- African at $10 per person and the next
er Lusaka the next morning and left for morning made our way to the Malawian
Chipata, a border town on the Malawian border.
border. We managed to pick up a back- During our border crossing Mandar,
packer from America who hitched a ride in his typical loud matter drew a lot of
from us at The Wanderers. He intro- attention to him and got into trouble for
duced himself as Mandar from Houston,

|LANDROVING 18 illegally changing money. He was taken
away for questioning and we gave him
his backpack and left him at the border
post. We later learned that he got off
with a warning. It is, however, our view
that he drew a lot of attention to himself
by being loud and sometimes even dis-
respectful towards the border officials.
Crossing the border into Malawi proved
to be very expensive.
We followed the road to Mzuzu, the last
biggish town before reaching Chitimba
and Hakuna Matata. The distance to
Mzuzu is about 450km which is about a
5-6 hour drive.
At around 13:30 on 29 March 2018, we
reached Mzuzu and had lunch at the
Mzuzu Coffee Den. We were surprised
to have received two good meals and
proper coffee for only R90.00.
After lunch we departed for Hakuna
Matata which we reached at about
18:00. The road conditions in Mala-
wi are not much better than what was

found in Zambia and similar to Zambia mercial business in 1877. By 1881 the
we encountered numerous police check mission failed miserably as many died
points which slowed our average speed within the first few months of malaria.
significantly. The mission moved north to Bandawe.
After 8 years, it was a joy to see my This site also proved unhealthy and the
friend Willie. Our birthdays are on the Livingstonia Mission moved once again
same day, being 28 March, but due to to the higher grounds between Lake
the delay with the repairs in Monze, Malawi and Nyika Plateau. This new
we only reached Hakuna Matata on 29 site proved highly successful because
March. Nevertheless, it is Africa, so we Livingstonia is located in the mountains
decided to move our birthday one day and therefore not prone to mosquitoes
on and celebrated with the local beer carrying malaria. The mission station
(Carlsberg) and caught up on time lost gradually developed into a small town.
until the early hours of the morning like The leading missionary for 52 years
we used to do. was Dr Robert Laws. He established in
Willie’s place is a delight. Willie is a Livingstonia the best school in his time
legendary story teller and being well for the whole region, and Livingstonia
travelled and well-read he is keen to graduates became influential in several
chat about everything from history, neighbouring countries, including the
culture, philosophy and travel. southernmost, South Africa.
During our stay we went for a tour to It was our first time hearing about Liv-
Livingstonia about 15km from Hakuna ingstonia but we were surprised about
Matata and a 2 hour drive due to the how many international travels make
steep climbs, short bends and deterio- their way up the road to see the town. In
rating road surface, an ideal road for our addition, the view from the top and the
Defender to feel at home. beauty of the waterfalls is breath taking
Livingstonia was founded in 1894 by and one can see for miles the beauty of
missionaries from the Free Church of the Great Rift Valley and even see the
Scotland, a powerful entity at the time. mountain range of Tanzania.
They were instructed to travel to Nyasa- After a few wonderful days on the san-
land (Malawi) near the Zambezi river to dy shores of Hakuna Matata in Chitim-
follow in the footsteps of Dr David Liv- ba bay, is was time to say goodbye and
ingstone. The missionaries had first es- we started our journey back down Lake
tablished a mission in 1875 at Cape Ma- Malawi.
clear, which they named Livingstonia On 4 April 2018, we headed down south
after David Livingstone, whose death in and discovered another gem towards the
1873 had rekindled British support for centre of the lake named Ngala Lodge.
missions in Eastern Africa. The mission The camping fee at Ngala Lodge was
was linked with the Livingstonia Cen- USD10 per person. We camped on a
tral Africa Company, set up as a com- beautiful lawn on the beach and experi-


enced the best sunset and sunrise ever. A Swahili trade centre before the Por-
The next day we left for Cape Maclear tuguese colonial era, Tete continues to
and I got my hands on one of those dominate the west-central part of the
wooden carved Defenders from Malawi country and region, and is the largest
for R280.00. city on the Zambezi province.
We spent a wonderful day admiring the After a traditional Portuguese prego roll
views and taking in the vibe from Cape and 2M beer we headed for the Nyam-
Maclear and decided that we have to panda border post to enter Zimbabwe.
return to this magnificent place soon. At Nyampanda border crossing all went
On 5 April 2018 we had to wave this well albeit expensive to enter Zimba-
beautiful lake goodbye and took on the bwe.
1000km journey to Harare via Mozam- With our passports stamped, temporary
bique. import permit and insurance in hand
Our fees to enter Mozambique were sur- and our duties paid we made our way to
prisingly low and the border staff were exit the gate into Zimbabwe. However,
friendly and helpful. the guard at the gate told us that we
On this border post we were asked for must first report to the CID (Zimbabwe
our Yellow Fever certificates and with Police).
great joy, I was able to present our I quickly jumped out with our papers
certificates being very pleased that my and thought it should be a quick formal-
suffering in Kasane was not in vain. I ity. I greeted the official friendly and
will, however, recommend to anyone presented our paperwork. To my sur-
who does not have a Yellow Fever prise, the official became very abusive
certificate to rather get one long before and threatened to impound the Landy.
departing on a journey as there is a good I tried to reason and explain but to no
possibility of falling ill as a result of the avail. The official got more and more
vaccination. excited and our conversation started to
The road conditions in Mozambique become a shouting exercise.
were superb and our average speed Later, Vivienne joined us and I realised
increased to over 100km/h. We even that communication between myself
overtook a Hilux on our way to Tete. and the Zimbabwean official had broken
Tete has become a thriving commercial down. At this time, the border post was
and industrial area in Northern Mozam- closing and turning back was no option
bique. The discovery of huge coal de- and risking the Landy being impounded
posits in Tete province, estimated at 6.7 was a daunting prospective.
billion tons, is regarded geologically, as I left the tent which is the official’s
the largest undiscovered coal deposit in office and Vivienne started negotiating
and conversing with the official. By

some miracle Vivienne managed to |LANDROVING 21
persuade the official to clear us and let
us pass through the border and we were
on our way to Harare.
The road conditions on the Zimbabwe-
an roads were also good and we were
able to maintain a good average speed.
We managed to reach Harare at about
22:00 and with great difficulty found
overnight accommodation.
It is not news that the Zimbabwean
economy is in shambles and the trade
currency is the US dollar. We found a
take-away open that is the Zimbabwean
equivalent of the well-known KFC but
much more expensive.
It is clear during our short pass through
Zimbabwe that the ordinary Zimbabwe-
an is struggling to survive as commod-
ities are very expensive comparing to
the rest of the African countries we
visited and Government officials are
abusive towards other people (some-
thing we experienced first-hand at
We spent the night in Harare and, on
our way to Beitbridge we made a stop
at Lake Kyle and the Zimbabwe ruins.
Although, the Zimbabwe ruins are in
my opinion a worthwhile site to visit,
I do not think Zimbabwe is ready for
tourism yet as accommodation and
commodities are expensive. We left
Zimbabwe via Beitbridge which was
the only country out of 5 countries we
visited to charge an exit fee of USD50,
which we found bizarre.
Asking what the USD50 was for, the

official explained that it is toll fee. We for being an excellent companion. We
found this even stranger as we were enjoyed hours of conversation, encoun-
charged USD2 at the four tollgates we tered many difficulties along the way,
had to pass. Nevertheless, we were glad experienced the magnificence of the
to be leaving Zimbabwe and luckily our African natural beauty together and we
exit out of Zimbabwe was quick and are already planning our next tour, who
without any further hassles. knows… perhaps the Serengeti next
I think we had an epic trip and I wish to time?
thank my travel mate Vivienne Marais


Botswana Zambia Malawi Mozambique Zimbabwe
P50.00 -
P50.00 - MK10,000.00 R50.00 USD10.00

- -
- - USD20.00 - USD10.00
R206.00 R650.00
ZK162.00 MK32,000.00 R280.00


ZK30.00 - -


USD20.00 - -


ZK200.00 - -


R902.00 R927.00 R330.00





LABNDYRDOEVINNGD|YK24 Locking diffs can be classed While engaged the vehicles

as a proactive mechanism turning circle is dramatically

GETTING TRACTION of gaining traction, rather reduced which means the

than waiting to loose traction driver may need to disengage

before engaging, it can be the locker in an obstacle with

engaged before taking on an a sharp turn midway.




An LSD has the advantage LSD is a reactive system

of being able allow more which needs to first determine

for more or less slip, this is if there is some slip before it

achieved electronically by us- “locks“ up the diff. However

ing sensors measuring wheel some modern systems are

speed. The system is often proactive to some extent.

faster acting than TC. VS



The most common system Being reactive, traction
on modern 4x4s. Traction control may only engage
control acts independent- when you have already got
ly per wheel. It works by into a bad situation, how-
using the braking system to ever using an even throttle
lock the wheel which has allows the system to kick
little or no traction. register and kick-in.



Tough Trails in a Discovery 4

Chris Watcham

My LR Discovery SE 4 com- 28th June and 29th June 2017 -
pletes another really tough trip
in Namibia. We crossed amaz- Border monies for road tax and 3rd party
ing Damaraland, and Kaoka- cover
land, travelled up the Ugab, We started off through the Border Post
Abba Huab, the Huab, Huanib, at Botswana and head out towards
and the Hoarusib Rivers, and Kang, a distance of approx. 650km’s.
up the Coast to the Kunene My cousin owns the Kang Accommoda-
River Mouth, then on through tion and Petrol Station, which saved us
the challenging Dunes to Hart- from driving at night with many hazards
man’s Valley. – 1st July to 13th on the roads and putting up camp. After
July 2017. a good dinner and some beers we finally
|LANDROVING 26 felt that our holiday has started.
Early the next morning we left for
Namibia for crossing the border at

Buitepos Border Post between Botswana briefing from our tour guide, Jakkals.
and Namibia. Once through the border We filled up with fuel and last essential
we made a stop at Gobabis for meeting items needed for the trip.
some family members and spent the
afternoon catching up. We pushed on Tour Day 2
to Gross Barmen Hot Springs were we
tried out our new “6 seconds to erect After breakfast we had a quick rundown
tent”. Quite an essential item for a on the plan of action for the day. El-
safari like this where frequent stop overs ephant were known to be in the Ugab
need to be effectively managed with River next to the Hotel and we were
quick and easy camping set up. excited to drive out and see if we could
encounter a sighting. After a distance
30th June 2017 of about 33km’s through heavy sand,
we came across the small herd and were
Due to the time adjustments one gains awarded with a close up view while they
an hour in Namibia, so we enjoyed were crossing the river right next to my
a “Lie in” for a while before coffee vehicle. This was a sure highlight for us
and rusks. The hot pool included with as it was one of the main reasons for us
towels in the camping fee was a great to return to Namibia again.
treat. (N$/R 340) Our trip picked up We drove off to Khorixas, passing some
on Highway 82 and passed through beautiful rocky landscapes and arriving
Karibib and Usakos towards Henties at Xaragu Communal Farm, where we
Bay and Spitzkoppe on a gravel road in set up camp.
good condition. Once at Spitzkoppe, we
decided to chill out in our Camp Site 16, Tour Day 3
with a beautiful view of the landscape
and lots of bird life. We also enjoyed a We had some beautiful scenery and
refreshing cold shower in the communal wildlife with our kick off the next
open showers. morning, which provided ample oppor-
tunity for photography of the landscapes
Tour Day 1 and wildlife. It is something one has
to experience in person as the pictures
We took the shortcut through Uis to sometimes does not give justice to the
Brandberg rather than the option to
drive via Henties Bay and found the
roads still to be maintained in good
condition. Always fill up with fuel in
Namibia when you get the opportunity!
Distances were at times quite far apart
and we calculated to maintain enough
fuel to travel 1 000km’s.

The rendezvous point was at Brand-
berg White Lady Lodge where we all
made introductions and also received a


awesomeness of the nature and land- control the meat industry against Foot
scapes. and Mouth Disease in the Twyfelfon-
We entered the Aba Huab River and tein Area. This allows the farmers of
travelled westwards towards the con- the area to maintain their reputation for
fluence with the Huab River. This river disease free meat which are exported to
stretches 350km’s long towards its flow Europe.
into the Atlantic Ocean. The river pro- The name Twyfelfontein (loosely trans-
vides water to 14 500 people for basic lated to “Doubt Fountain”) got its name
needs. In this area we were lucky to from the natural spring which provides
find some desert elephants as well as a water to herders for their cattle and other
number of Purple Pod Terminalia. We livestock. At times there was not water
entered the Huab River and travelled available. This resulted in the herders
North East along springs which created often being doubtful if they make the
pools with green grass and Tamarisk trip just to find that the spring has run
shrubs, reeds and Sedge grass. These dry and there would be no refreshment
pooled areas stood in contrast to the bar- for their livestock.
ren world surrounding it, giving a retreat We continued our travels through a
to birdlife and animals for some cooling hamlet, which was more like a large
in the shade spots and have a drink of kraal for livestock and onto Khowarib
water. This scenery was further en- Schlucht. This area can be described
hanced by the red, rocky mountains on as a narrow gorge, measuring 21 km’s
either side and this was where we settled in length, filled with pockets of springs
for the day to set up camp. where people settled. Through the help
from the Namibian Government, Date
Tour Day 4 Palms were planted in groves to allow
these inhabitants of a means to make
The ablution facilities were equipped a steady income. Unfortunately har-
with gas geysers which was quite vesting this year was challenged by the
enjoyable. Our start for the day kicked ongoing drought.
off through the Kamdescha Veterinary

LGANaDtReO.VINTG h| i28s checkpoint was in place to

We left this beautiful, natural area and Finally, we arrived at Sesfontein where
connected onto the C35 which was a tar our tour guide suggested we break for
road towards Kamanjab. A quick pit lunch in the old fort which is now a
stop in the town allowed some anxious lodge. During our drive through the
travellers to fill their vehicles for the Girribes Vlaktes one of the group partic-
next stretch towards Etosha. Our bush ipants suffered another shredded tyre on
camp for the night was opposite the very his Defender. It was then decided to put
expensive Dolomite Lodge, inside of up camp in the bush as the delays with
Etosha National Park. lunch and the tyre would delay us in
reaching the next stop before dark.
Tour Day 5
Tour Day 6
Day 5’s travelling took us into the heart
of Kaokoveld, following tracks in and We set off early in order to catch up on
between typical Kaokoland rivers. I our schedule. The plan for the day was
was thankful that we crossed the Bees to drive through the gorge by passing
Vlakte during dry season, as this flat through the Hoarusib River, if it is dry
area in which the Damara Cattle farms enough! Our guide confirmed this at
were located was considered a real chal- Purros, where we used the opportunity
lenge to drive in rainy seasons due to to stock up on some cold drinks, Tafel
the extremely clay soil. Deep ruts and Lagers and wine from the Manchester
challenging climbs out of huge dongas United Trading Store.
in the tracks showed us some history The river is close by and we entered the
from vehicles which had to negotiate river bed with much expectation and
their way out of the mud. The Damaras excitement, this being a bucket list item
were busy moving out of the area and for us! The last time we were here, we
back to their homes as the grazing has were stuck in the river bed crossing,
been depleted in the area. The rocky and forced to spend the night with my
outcrops are known for its quartz and Ford F250 and its broken rear axle, on
home to some giraffe, springbuck and a trailer. The tow vehicle from the AA,
birdlife. I send off to get his vehicle fixed up
We entered the Hoanib River bed and properly for towing. A blessing in a way,
pass through the Khowarib Gorge. as finding desert elephant all around us
This gorge has a long stretch of water when we awoke in the morning, was
from the fountains which flows quite some compensation for the hardship. I
strongly. The locals make an alcohol- had always wanted to return to drive up
ic beverage called Umbika from the the river.
nearby Makaleke Palms. Unfortunately We travelled in a South Westerly
the process involves placing a pipe into direction, in the Hoarusib River bed,
the trunk of the palm from which it taps criss-crossing and negotiating our way
the palm sap and results in eventually through mud, rocks and sand, enjoying
killing off the palm tree. the greenery and pools of water, main-


tained by the flowing stream of water
from all the permanent fountains along
the way. Coming out of the stony, bar-
ren landscape, it was incredible to find
this river still maintaining flowing water
and supporting so many birdlife. With
its sheer rock faces, and water from one
side to the other, (as the photos show),
the Purros Gorge is really a spectacular
experience. We stopped for lunch at a
wide part of the river bed where shade
was provided by the trees. We sur-
prised a lioness that took a rest nearby
and saw her darting off to hide under
Continuing further, and after a while we
climbed out of the river bed up a steep
sand bank, and headed South through
the amazing Ganias vlaktes. The land-
scape was stretched with grassed areas
and very realistic moonscape effects
(Pictures?) We had to push a bit harder
onwards to make up for lost time.
One of the biggest challenges on the
trip was the distances to cover from one
campsite to another. This was partic-
ularly difficult due to condition of the
roads, incidents on vehicles like tyre
replacements and then obviously provid-
ing time for photography and enjoying
the scenery.
We had to drive hard while dust lim-
ited our visibility and we had to brace
ourselves for hard stops to avoid ruts
and dongas that suddenly appeared in
the road. The Giribes Vlaktes were
next from where we experienced some
beautiful landscape with encounters
of Giraffe, Gemsbuck Springbuck and
the Rock Corkwood growing amongst

LthANeDRrOoVIcNkG y| 3o0 utcrops were quite a scenic

display. Our guide was leading us at 80 also observed a lone Lappet faced Vul-
- 90 km/h across these plains to make ture among some of the birdlife.
up for lost time. We entered the Hoan- Travelling through this stony area,
ib River again, and travelled east for a known as the Kharokhaob vlakte in
short while. We headed south across Damaraland, we entered the Aub River
the Kharokhaob Vlakte towards Palm- where we took our lunchbreak. We
wag with clear sightings of wildlife and continued carrying on in a southerly
beautiful landscapes. direction from where we had more
Having done a good 132 km’s for the sightings of wildlife like Kudu, Moun-
day, we found a spot in a small river tain Zebra, and Springbuck. We arrived
bed, close to Palmwag, to make a bush at the entrance to the Anabib Conservan-
camp. The desert night sky was in its cy were we made our way to the Com-
splendour with the Milky Way, South- munal Camp Site, which is supported by
ern Cross and was almost spoilt by the locals. The drive was terribly rocky and
full moon rising on the horizon almost we were thankful to reach the campsite
dimming the starry sky. without any incidents. The camp has
very rudimentary facilities, but we all
Tour Day 7 grabbed a pleasant cold shower in the
open shower building. One advantage
Early in the morning I found a Welwit- was the availability of good drinking
chia plant, as well as a Rhino midden water in our camps and which took a lot
containing bits of wood chips. We were of stress off us regarding our own water
hopeful to catch a sighting of Black Rhi- restrictions. It was real pleasant to be
no, but to no avail. We drove to a view able to put up camp early and allow time
point above the Hungkab fountain. It is to enjoy the surroundings and night in
surrounded by very hard rocks which the bush.
‘clinks’ like metal when tapped. Their To be continued...
red and black colour indicates presence
of manganese and iron oxide. The entire
area, for many miles, is covered with
these small broken up rocks, lying close
and dotted with Welwithchia plants. We

Moores Auto Sales Ad_horizontal_2016\p.indd 1 |2016L/0A8N/3D0RO2V:I0N0GPM 31

Not your common or garden variety tour!

Alida Timberlake


If ever I doubted that God has unexpectedly invited us to join them on
a sense of humour, the way this an expedition to Botswana. The original
expedition came about settled party had consisted of three couples;
the matter. The tale that follows good friends who regularly travelled
would make for an excellent together, but they explained that due to
school essay under the Afri- a very unfortunate incident (the un-
kaans title ‘Sonde met die bure’ timely death of one of their intended
(Trouble with the neighbours). party) they needed someone to fill the
Names, but not places, have gap on the tour that had already been
been changed to protect the in- booked and finalised. We were happy to
nocent as well as a few guilty! consider this and asked for the itinerary
which we duly received. It was then that
We moved to Johannesburg 20 years ago Malcolm came to me with a stunned ex-
in April 1998 and bought our beautiful pression on his face: this was surely not
property in Lonehill which borders on possible – what were the chances that
the Lonehill nature reserve and offers a these familiar names of the organisers
view of the Lonehill koppie and amaz- could belong to anyone other than our
ing sunsets from our patio, giving us a long time neighbours!
year round feeling of living in the bush.
Only two things have ever spoiled this We were scheduled to meet as a group
idyllic existence: the constant Dassie at a local coffee shop to finalise details
(Rock rabbit) invasion of our garden for the trip and to say the least, I felt
and the consistent barking of the neigh- somewhat hesitant if not awkwardly
bours’ five or six Beagles (we were embarrassed at the prospect of con-
never entirely sure of the number)! The fronting the people who had been at the
former we’ve learned to cope with by receiving end of so much frustration for
means of a catty constantly at the ready, so long. Don’t get me wrong – in all the
and the irritation caused by the latter years we had never been rude nor had
we dealt with by means of regular sms there been real bad feelings. In fact (in
communication and the odd exasperat- my defence) on one occasion I had even
ed phone call (sometimes in the early made contact to ‘save’ their puppy from
hours of the morning). In twenty years, a Dassie attack of sorts, but I can’t deny
however, we’d never formally met the that there had been some quite severe
neighbours although we were soon on tension at times and I guiltily reflected
polite (fortunately) first name terms as that we really should have made an
we exchanged numerous sms’s. effort to meet face to face somewhere
along the line! However, we were not
Early in 2017 friends of ours who are going to forfeit this amazing opportunity
not LROC members but happen to own and we prepared to man up and face the
a Defender and are keen bush travellers inevitable.

As it turned out, Mr and Mrs Beagle

are an amazing couple (despLAiNteDRtOhVIeNGf|a3c3t

that they drive an inferior vehicle (nudge-
nudge, wink-wink) – the less said the
better because they might get hold of this
magazine!) They are keen birders as we
are and we had a wonderful trip getting to
know each other.

Now, onto the actual trip: Our itinerary
included some areas we had been to
before but also some new places and we
experienced everything we’ve come to
expect of Botswana and had lots of fun
along the way.

We made our own way across the border
and met up with the rest of our party at
Khama Rhino Reserve and from there
travelled to Kubu (Lekhubu) Island where
we secured a great campsite. As we
seasoned campers have come to realise,
the greatest challenge when travelling in a
group is to secure a campsite that allows
enough privacy for the individual or
couples (especially during wild camping
when ablutions are not provided) whilst
also ensuring an opportunity for a great
communal experience around the fire. We
achieved this with some creativity and
despite the island being rather busy that

There are plans afoot to relocate the Kubu
campsite and hopefully this will result
in better toilet facilities (by this I mean
a cubicle with a functioning door latch
not facing the road!). Walking the island,
seeing the colours of the light reflected on
the salt pans and experiencing the amaz-
ing baobabs at sunset remains a wonder-
ful experience. We were fortunate to be
there during the Full Moon which made
for an excellent photographic opportunity.

Speaking of appealing (or not so) camp


sites. We stayed over at Khumaga (Xhu- was once again a reminder not to camp
maga) Camp in Makghadikgadi, Island with a false sense of security.
Safari Lodge in Maun, Dizhana Camp-
site, in Mababe and Kwai Northgate in In my opinion Linyanti was certainly a
Moremi as we finally made our way to highlight of the trip. The road we took
Linyanti, Chobe and each had its quirks was as interesting as it was long and on
and challenges. From a horse with a exit we even spotted lion! But it was
cowbell that kept us awake all night in experience of driving along the Boteti
one, monkeys who took over the camp- river, which has not flowed for decades
site of inexperienced tourists leaving a where we were stunned by the beautiful
disastrous mess (including a plundered colours of the river and which offered
medical kit) in their wake and ground yet another great birding experience. On
squirrels that squirrelled their way into exit we had to cross the Boteti using the
vehicles and supplies at another, to pont.
elephants causing chaos as he explored
the area between our vehicles. This last Our final destination en route home was
happened at Linyanti where an enor- Senyati in Kasane. The boat cruise on
mous elephant bull wandered through the Chobe to experience the traditional
at midday overturning camp chairs, river crossing of the elephants and the
emptying trash bags* stomping on stunning sunset is not to be missed,
jackets, sampling beers and Savannahs although our party agreed that we’d all
and leisurely sniffing inside one vehicle had more rewarding experiences of the
which had been carelessly left standing same on previous visits. The crowd on
open as lunch was being prepared. I held this particular boat was less appreciative
my breath anxiously when he ambled of the experience as most seemed entire-
over to pilfer our selection of Platter ly absorbed with the drinks and snacks
quality wines which were on display and taking selfies! Our fellow travellers
whilst the ‘cellar’ was being reorgan- also availed themselves of an opportu-
ised! Fortunately none were to his taste. nity to go on a couple of the Pangolin
The size and scale of this beast up close Photo Safaris. The underground bird
hide at Senyati was a new addition since


our last visit and was apparently spon- beautifully kept camp sites on the river.
sored by Pangolin and adds a whole new
perspective (pun intended) to the up Who can resist Botswana and for sure,
close and personal elephant experience going with friends – old and new –
at the waterhole. makes it all the more interesting!

At this point we said our goodbyes and PS. Our neighbours have recently
headed home in different directions. moved to their farm up country and,
Malcolm and I revisited Limpopo River ironically, we miss their Beagles who,
Lodge in the Tuli block and, as on our we have since realized, had really done
previous visit, were not disappointed by a fine job of keeping the Dassies at bay!
the excellent service in the way of the

After this incident we renewed our efforts to convert our new travelling
companions to our policy of taking out what you bring in as well as recycling
odourlessly using the heavy duty canvas bags on sale in the LROC regalia.

OLIHULL A6 AD landscape 2014 11/24/14 10:14 AM Page 1







Brendon Lowe

On 20 & 21 January 2018 Hartebeespoort dam in the
the LROC committee hosted Broederstroom area. It forms
their Summer Trial and Driver part of the Cradle of Human-
Training at the Leeuwenkloof kind World Heritage Site and
Environmental Facility. It is a is about 40kms from Pretoria
700Ha privately owned farm CBD (via N4) and 50kms from
situated about 7km south of Sandton/Jhb area via the R512.


What do they offer? Accommodation

What makes Leeuwenkloof unique is Although Land Rover owners generally
that they specialise in offering exclusive like to camp of which there is ample
and private get-togethers for groups space (about 30-40 sites are available in
wanting to get into the bush and away the Bakkrans campsite), there are also
from it all, and all this right on our 12 comfortable safari tents for those not
doorstep. The venue is perfectly suited wanting to ‘rough-it’ too much. Tents
for car and motorbike clubs wanting to are available with and without bedding.
host their get-together weekends, large The neat and clean ablution facility was
families having private functions or a hit with the ladies and has 4 toilets
just a group of friends wanting to spend and 6 showers. Note that warm water
some quality time together at an exclu- is supplied via a ‘donkey’ system, but
sive venue. there was ample hot water for all when
we were there.
The farm has a unique mix of grassy
savannah bushveld, green valleys, in- Facilities
digenous forest, cliffs and rocky moun-
tainous terrain. They have an abundance Although we made use of the huge lapa
of free roaming game and wildlife on for our theoretical training session, there
the farm which can ideally be observed is also an enclosed conference venue
on foot in the early morning or after- built on a large wooden deck which can
noon. accommodate up to 25 seated persons
with tables. The deck overlooks the
Your visit to Leeuwenkloof will be a campsite and beautiful valley below.
real bush experience, that brings you The lapa can also be enclosed for winter
close to nature in a relaxed and safe at- functions and has a bar and basic kitch-
mosphere where the company of family en facilities.
or friends can be enjoyed.
On the Saturday night we all spent some


quality time around the fire in the en- For those wanting to test their skills and
closed Boma – this must surely be one vehicles capabilities even more, there
of the cosiest bomas and with it’s open are some very tough sections on the
air feeling, tugged in under the holkrans, farm including a sand pit where you can
you will think you are a thousand miles get yourself properly stuck and put your
away under the starry African sky. recovery kit and skills to the test. In
past years this has also been the venue
4x4 Trails for the Bridgestone Eco-Challenge so
there are a number of very challenging
Although the facility doesn’t have a obstacles to tackle – just ask the owner
specific hard core 4x4 trail, their main to point them out to you.
focus is more on exposing the beautiful
environmental and historical sites on the On Sunday the 21st the club held our
farm and they do offer a guided eco- first trial event for the year hosted by
trail drive taking you to several places, Hennie Steyn our Clerk of Events. Hen-
including old calcite and slate mines. nie set up and interesting course which
Here the farm owner will share with you proved challenging for the participants.
some interesting facts and stories passed Even the Kiddies trial, which was post-
down from many previous generations poned from the Christmas weekend, was
of farmers living there. The trail is ideal held on the same day and had kids en-
for soft-roaders joying every minute driving dad’s landy
– clearly showing their ability to be the
On the Saturday morning the 20th about upcoming drivers of the year in future!
6 landies joined in convoy to tackle
the trail under the guidance of the farm Other activities for the adventurous in-
owner, Willem. The trail took about 4 clude Mountain Biking, Trail Running,
hours to complete and there was even Hiking and exploring the various caves
time for some bush walking and a light and mines on the farm. There is also a
lunch. He also showed us an old calcite small dam for fishing and plenty of birds
mine where the kids had a fun time and game for the nature lovers to keep
exploring the area. themselves well occupied.

Contact details How to get there

All-in-all we had a great time at Leeuwenkloof Take the N4 West from Pretoria (note there
and were well received by the owner Willem. is a toll gate!) or the alternative route R104.
You can contact Mari Meyer at 076 576 6611 From Johannesburg travel on the R512 past
or [email protected] for enquiries and Lanseria Airport, turn left on the R104 and
bookings. Please visit then left again on the Broederstroom road.
for more details about the venue. GPS: S25.81666 / E27.83256 or S25° 49’ 00”
E27° 49’ 57.2”




After eight months on the road of my around Australia trip, I

had finally crossed the border from South Australia into the

Northern Territory. I didn’t plan it that way, it’s just how the

trip unfolded. October already, the temperatures beginning

to climb. The week prior 40ºC was expected in the Simpson

Desert, forcing me to abort a crossing and continue north-

ward. A solo journey through those temps would have been

too risky, and although disappointed at missing the Simpson,

I was i|n42spired by the wonders ahead.


North along the Stuart highway, turning I was temporarily overcome, my eyes
left at the Erldunda Roadhouse onto darting the surrounds for a quiet place
Lasseter highway, our most well-known to retreat. I chose not to climb, out of
landmark was only a short drive away. respect for the Anangu traditional laws,
Uluru, formerly Ayers Rock is part of yet many tourists braved the heat and
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a sand- scrambled upward morphing into tiny
stone monolith sacred to the Anangu black ants by the peak.
Aboriginal peoples’ of the region.
Rock paintings filled the lower caves,
I got excited when I saw a mountain on the roofs blackened from generations
the horizon, only to soon realise it was of campfires from the Anangu ances-
Mount Connor, locally called Fooluru, tors. The yellow, red, white and black
often mistaken as Uluru by tourists. I pigments of the artwork had sunk deep
wasn’t aware there were any other large into the sandstone, preserving the stories
rocks in the area, something never men- for us to admire. Many areas are sacred
tioned in the brochures. sites where photography is not allowed.

After two nights resting at Curtin I booked a sunrise camel tour for my
Springs, I drove the final hour to Uluru. third day, an early 5 am start. Under
It is massive. Pictures don’t do it justice. spotlights, I was introduced to my cam-
The surface mottled, aged, flaking, with el, and a dozen of us were lazily carried
colours of grey, orange and black. Crev- along arriving just in time to watch the
ices, caves, grooves over its skin and first golden rays strike The Rock.
seasonal waterfalls, formed by millennia
of wind and rain. Large slabs of rock The Olgas, Kata Tjuta, are the second
have cracked off, strewn as boulders group of sandstone structures in the
along its base. Waterholes hidden in park. They offer a greater opportunity
the shaded sections, bringing relief to for solitude away from the hectic noisy
the desert wildlife. The Rock contrasts regime of tour buses at Uluru. I met a
sharply with the surrounding vegetation, lone hiker on the trail and we shared the
mostly low lying shrubs, grasses with rest of the walk together, enjoying the
spindly gnarled trees. silence. Words are not enough to explain
the immensity of The Rock and the
You can choose to walk or drive the beauty of the surrounding area.
perimeter of Uluru, so I began walking
the Mala trail, the beginning of which Leaving Uluru, I head north towards
is where the famous rock climb to the Watarrka national park, home to the
summit starts. The carpark was utter stunning Kings Canyon. After a day of
mayhem, a dozen large coaches and a rest at the campgrounds to let my legs
crowd of one hundred, splintered into recover from hiking The Olgas, I head
a myriad of tour groups, couples and off on the Kings Canyon rim walk. The
lone travellers like me. A multitude of track entrance closes at 9 am on days
languages blending into chaotic noise, of expected high temperatures, so I was
hiking by 6 am. The hardest part other-


wise of the walk is the initial climb up difficult and specifically said NOT to
many rough rock stairs to the rim. The attempt it solo. I thankfully had met a
walk produces awesome views of the couple at Uluru who just completed it
surrounding countryside and the many giving it the “easy as”, so headfirst into
domes and expansive canyons. The
Garden of Eden, a permanent waterhole
at the base of the canyon, provides relief
from the heat.

Further Northward, I had heard of a
unique species of palm endemic to
Finke Gorge national park occurring
nowhere else on Earth. How a palm
ended up in the desert centre of Austra-
lia is still a mystery, its nearest relative

1000km away. I originally planned the pounding gravel road corrugations,
on accessing the park by crossing the my Defender shuddered and rattled.
Boggy Hole track, but after reading my
maps, it sounded like it was extremely The track was easy with deep soft sandy
sections the only obstacle. I rested a
|LANDROVING 44 night at the Boggy Hole campground
by a narrow stretch of deep blue water,
backed by a jagged cliff face of crum-
bling red rock. A wall of tiny white
moths a metre deep, attracted by my
camp lights, made cooking difficult.
Many stir-fried moths that night were

After passing through the Aboriginal

community of Hermannsburg, I reach Gold had been discovered nearby at Arl-
the second section of Finke Gorge, tunga in 1887, so many miners would
walking the 5km loop through Palm have deserted Ruby Gap and headed
Valley, home of the Red Cabbage there after their Ruby folly. Arltunga
palm. This region was exceptional. The was the Northern Territories first official
landscape screams ancient, millions of town founded after gold was discovered
years of erosion in the making. Tuffs of nearby in a dry creek bed. The sudden
yellow spinifex splattered across the red rush of prospectors grew the population
rocks, trees taking anchor wherever they to around 300, with the township lasting
could find. till 1913. The gold in the mountains
never lived up to expectations with the
Ruby Gap Nature Park located 150km best mines getting about 1 ounce/tonne
east of Alice Springs was the next park of ore. A police station was manned un-
I visited. It was the site of a two-year til 1944 long after the town had died.
mining rush, sparked in 1886 when a
passing explorer found what he thought Several of the buildings have been re-
were millions of rubies in the sands of stored offering a glimpse of the town-
the riverbed. News spread and a few ship’s heyday. The surrounding area
hundred prospectors flooded the river- littered with ruins, steam rams, mine
beds seeking fortune, only to walk away shafts and ore spoils. It is insane to think
a few years later when it was finally this town was founded in the middle of
revealed their rubies were worthless nowhere. It would have taken months by
garnets. camel or horse to reach.

The parks only access track was follow- Forever driving northward, a week into
ing along the dry sandy riverbed with November, after many years of dream-
an occasional bypass on land when river ing of exploring Kakadu, I finally reach
rocks blocked the trail. I forged my way it, and it’s not quite as magnificent as
churning the sand till the end of the I expected. In fairness, a wildfire had
track. recently ravaged much of the park, and
it was nearing the end of the dry sea-
I hiked the remainder of the riverbed to son, so the county was dry, sparse and
Glen Annie Gorge, the crunching of the desperate for rain. Despite that, there
sand with each tiresome step. This had was still abundant wildlife to see, birds,
a magnificent cool waterhole shaded by huge Barramundi in the shallows, big
the gorge walls where I could cool off crocodiles and feral pigs. Unfortunate-
from the sweltering heat. Having the ly, I was ten years too late, as the Cane
gorge all to myself was magical as I sat Toad was also present, decimating upon
and read in the shade after a refreshing arrival many of the animal populations
dip. I was not alone. A Goanna spied due to their toxic bodies, which animals
my every move, peeking from behind attempt to eat.
a nearby rock. It was a beautiful quiet
retreat, completely alone for three days. Kambolgie campgrounds were my pri-


ority to recharge after hours of driving. long or I’ll never reach the top before
A waterhole close by attracted birds and the rains break trapping me in the Top
pigs, with an 80cm fish living in the End.
shallows. I passed a Honda Jurassic Park
hire car that had recently rolled. Visions While exploring Sandy Billabong, a
of dinosaurs still roaming free flashed Land Cruiser Troopy waved me down.
through my mind. The occupants must The owner had returned from bird-
have been doing something stupid as watching, and her car would not start.
although the roads were reasonably cor- After playing with my multimeter and
rugated it was easy going. They proba- attempting a jump start without success,
bly had never driven off road before. I suspected a faulty relay on the starter
motor. A few laps in circles attempting a
Maguk is a popular “crocodile free” tow start got it going, and I escorted her
swimming spot, as the rangers trap back to a previous campground closer
and remove all crocs from the water- to the main road before she continued
hole each year before opening it for alone. There was no phone signal out
swimming for tourists. Regular patrols here, and no one knew where she was,
throughout the year are conducted just so lucky I turned up that afternoon. I
in case one walks overland during the returned to Sandy Billabong for some
night. It’s swim at your own risk. The birdwatching, rewarded with a parade of
water was cool and the waterfall refresh- waterbirds, and some fat pigs wallowing
ing, though my eyes open at all times
scanning the depths for a looming dark
mass. Not exactly relaxing, but worth
the risk.

That night in camp a sudden shower
with blasting wind gusts dampened the
heat, an impending sign of the wet sea-
son buildup, and that I must not stay too


on the far side. Guluyambi Kakadu cultural tours offer
boat tours along the East Alligator
Back on the main road, I visit Nourlan- River. The crocodiles were plentiful,
gie to view the rock art. Crisp and clear seeing at least 80 during the ride. Their
depictions of animals and spirits are dark green-grey bodies gliding silent-
the main stars of the show. However, ly along the surface, submerging with
Nourlangie was nothing compared to barely a ripple. Here you are always
the wonders at Ubirr. Intricate paint- being watched. You could not swim the
ings with red, white, black and yellow 30-metre expanse of the river without
covered whole cave walls several meters being eaten. I kept my hands well inside
tall, even recording a picture of an early the boat. Due to the end of the season,
white man with his hands in his pock- there were only three of us on board, re-
ets smoking a pipe; Another depicting ceiving a personalised tour by the guide.
a Thylacine, a marsupial extinct on Bush tucker and old Aboriginal camps
mainland Australia for 5000 years. were pointed out along the riverbank.
Other caves closed to the public are
told to have paintings of extinct mega- There was still much ahead of me,
fauna which died out 20 000 years ago, Litchfield, Darwin, Judburra and Keep
showing the generations of habitation River. I had to push on to beat the wet
of the Kakadu region by the Aboriginal season’s arrival. Another day’s roaming.



BOSKOS Hanneke Bydendyk


Any fillings can be used, it will depend
on space in the camping fridge.

- 2 x Puff Pastry (shop bought)

- Grated cheese

- Button mushrooms

- Tomatoes

- Onion

- Green Peppers

- Garlic


Using a sandwich roster, open and
spray with “Spray & Cook” on both
sides, lay down the puff pastry on the
bottom grid, cut tomatoe, onion, green
pepper and mushrooms slices and add
garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Add
grated cheese all over, than take the
2nd pastry sheet and add it on top,
close the sandwich grid (not too tight)
and braai over a medium fire. Once
the cheese has melted and it’s golden
brown, slice up and serve as a side.

MAPUTALAND AT LAST For several years now, my wife Lyn and I have
had a trip to the northern parts of KZN on our
bucket list. We have been enticed and lured by
stories of warm sunny beaches, idyllic snorkelling
spots, waving palms, fresh fish... We had read
and archived articles that have appeared in go!,
Getaway and Drive Out magazines over several
years and a couple with whom we regularly travel,
Kobus and Riekie Fourie, waxed eloquent about
the charms of this remote part of our beautiful
land whenever we gathered around the ‘bush TV’



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