101 Great Escapes


DO28_WR10_101_great_ideas_for_2009_14

We asked 17 seasoned outdoors enthusiasts for ideas to make this year your most memorable year yet. Here are their 101 suggestions about the best destinations, routes and activities.

  • If you only have a weekend
  • If you only have a week
  • If you have won the Lotto and time is no problem
  • A reserve “nobody knows about”
  • Have you been to this national park?
  • A great winter route or destination
  • A great summer route or destination
  • Want to get away from it all?
  • Have you been on this 4×4 trail?
  • The Toughest-of-the-Tough 4×4 trail
  • A great gravel road
  • An interesting historical route
  • A destination that offers great value for money
  • A great campsite
Pg 2: Only have a weekend

If you only have a weekend

Western Cape

01. Cederberg lite: Hike from the Algeria forestry station up to the waterfall. Drive to one of the numerous farms with campsites and pitch a tent. Swim in a river or visit the Stadsaal Caves and its San rock art. Do the enjoyable hike to the Maltese Cross or Wolfberg Crags the next morning before heading home. (www.cederberg.co.za/; also see Drive Out #24) – Sophia van Taak

02. Cederberg unplugged: Drive from Clanwilliam to Wuppertal and south through the Cederberg to Op-the-Berg via Eselbank – the route embodies the exploratory and adventurous spirit of off-road travel. The rock art, flora and the spectacular vistas are legendary – and there are great 4×4 trails in the area too. (www.clanwilliam.info/; www.clanwilliam.org.za/; www.wupperthal.co.za/; www.cederberg.co.za/; also see Drive Out #24) – Philip Sackville-Scott

03. The Little Karoo: Visit the Anysberg Nature Reserve, drive the Buffelspoort Adventure Trail and return home via the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and Montagu. (www.capenature.co.za/reserves.htm; www.sanbona.com/properties/default.asp; www.montagu.org.za/; see Drive Out #22 for Buffelspoort) – Philip Sackville-Scott

04. Excelsior Farm, Piketberg: Lots of space for the kids, numerous outdoor farm activities, hiking, beautiful surroundings and … quiet. (www.tiscover.co.za/excelsior-farm) – Francois Visagie

Limpopo

05. Marakele National Park close to Thabazimbi in the Waterberge: home to probably the largest breeding colony of Cape vultures − all of 800 pairs − in the world. (www.sanparks.org/parks/marakele/) – Johan Badenhorst

Free State

06. Moolmanshoek: Beautiful, varied 4×4 trails in a nature reserve only 3.5 hours from Gauteng. Other activities include hiking, mountain biking and horse riding. (www.moolmanshoek.co.za/) – Mark Johnston

North West

07. Borakalalo National Park: This park 60 km north of Brits is stocked with plenty of game and its Klipvoor Dam is renowned for good fishing. And don’t forget about the 350 bird species. (www.borakalalo.co.za/) – Geoff Levey

Anywhere

08. Do a 4×4 trail: Pack a picnic basket, hop into your 4×4 and visit a 4×4 trail near your home and enjoy the outdoors. (See trails index on p 92) – Andre de Villiers

Pg 3: Only have a week

If you only have a week

09. The Richtersveld: One of the most beautiful places in Southern Africa. You have to sweat a little to experience it properly. Its charm lies in the magnificent landscapes and in the detail of its hidden flora. (www.sanparks.org/parks/richtersveld/; also see Drive Out #23) – Johan Badenhorst

10. The Lebombo Eco Trail in the Kruger National Park is a special family experience because you camp out in the park, shower in the open (providing you pack a gas shower) and cook breakfast in the open. (www.san¬parks.org/parks/kruger/tourism/activities/lebom¬botrail.php) – Glynn Demmer

11. Baviaanskloof in the Eastern Cape: You can drive through in much less time, but to experience it properly you’ll want a week. (www.baviaanskloof.net/; www.baviaans.co.za/; www.baviaanskloof.com/; also see Drive Out #26) – Mark Johnston

12. Northern Mozambique (Pemba and the Qui¬rim¬bas): Unspoilt beaches, wonderful people, Ibo Island with all its history, and if you want to really splash out, some luxurious lodges and private islands. – Fiona McIntosh

13. Mango Beach Lodge (Inhambane, Mozambique): Good, affordable accommodation, especially if you are in the mood for something simple right on the beach. (www.mangobeach.co.za/) – Gerda Grobler

14. Mpumalanga’s best:
Do the exciting 4×4 trails at Riverwild and enjoy the excellent accommodation (www.riverwild.co.za; or see p 90). Visit the Sudwala Caves on the way out before hitting the road to Barberton. Stay at OppiKoppi Lodge and do guided trails through wilderness areas. (www.barbertontourism.com; see Drive Out #25) – Geoff Levey

15. The Namaqua Eco Trail along the Orange River from Pella to Vioolsdrif: It’s a wonderful trip, particularly for the sense of tranquillity it brings to your soul. (See Drive Out # 26) – Philip Sackville-Scott

16. Ox Wagon Trail in the Southern Cape, from Heidelberg over the Plattekloof Pass, via the Attakwas Kloof, through the Knysna forests and ending at Burchell’s 4×4 near De Vlugt. Return home via Route 62. (www.burchell4x4.co.za; www.route62.co.za) – Philip Sackville-Scott

If you have won the Lotto and time is no problem

17. Cape to Cairo (every South African 4×4
enthusiast’s dream); circumnavigate Madagascar; disappear into Africa for at least three years; drive the dunes of Dubai or some of the highest mountain passes in Europe. – Coenie Moll

18. Do a grand tour of Southern Africa, starting in Cape Town: Head up through Namibia, into the Caprivi, down into Botswana via the panhandle, across to Maun and up to Moremi, Chobe, Vic Falls, up past Lake Kariba to Mana Pools, back into Zambia (take in South Luangwa), head across to Malawi, down to northern Mozambique and back into South Africa. – Andrea Weiss

19. Circumnavigate South Africa, doing as much as possible on gravel. Starting in Cape Town, travel up the West Coast via Groenriviermond, Hondeklip Bay, Port Nolloth to Alexander Bay. Then head east through the Richtersveld National Park, hugging the Orange River. Cross into the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and again eastwards along the Botswana border up to Madikwe Game Reserve. Continue north to the Tuli Block and Musina, enter the Kruger National Park via the Pafuri Gate and travel south to Komatipoort. Then a quick skirt around Swaziland and to the coast at Kosi Bay. Continue along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, the Transkei, Eastern Cape and the Garden Route. It would take plenty of planning, but what a trip that would be! – Philip Sackville-Scott

20. Drive up the Mozambican coast, through Selous (see p 28) and Ruaha in Tanzania, over to Zanzibar and the Mafia Islands, back through the Arusha National Park and to Kilimanjaro, through Kenya to Uganda (the Ruwenzori Mountains are among my favourites) to Rwanda and back to South Africa via Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia. – Fiona McIntosh

21. Head off to Zambia and visit the Luiwa Plains
, the stage for the second largest wildebeest migration. Continue travelling east to the Kafue National Park. Head south and visit Lake Kariba, organise a boat cruise and spend a day on the lake. Drive on to Livingstone, Zambia, stay in a luxury lodge and visit the Victoria Falls. – Geoff Levey

Pg 4: A reserve “nobody …

A reserve “nobody knows about”

22. Molopo Nature Reserve on the border with Botswana near Vorstershoop. (www.parksnorthwest.co.za/) – Coenie Moll

23. Anysberg Nature Reserve in the Little Karoo between Ladismith, Laingsburg and Montagu: There is a 4×4 trail in the mountains, while mountain biking, hiking, bird watching and even horseback safaris are offered in the valley below. (www.capenature.co.za/reserves.htm) – Philip Sackville-Scott / Johan Snyman

24. Witsand Nature Reserve in the Northern Cape: It has lovely chalets, a swimming pool, game, walks and a hide. The only things you have to watch out for are the large scorpions that crawl out after sunset. The dunes are special with the brulsand that growls at you. Great photo opportunities abound. (www.witsandkalahari.co.za/) – Glynn Demmer

25. Aussenkehr Nature Reserve in Southern Namibia. (www.norotshamaresort.com/naturepark.htm) – Andre de Villiers

26. Vwasa Marsh Wildlife Reserve in Northern Malawi: A cluster of chalets and a campsite overlook a big pan where you’ll see elephant, hippo, croc and herds of buck including my faves, kudu with their heraldic horns. Fabulously photogenic sausage fruits hang from the trees and the birdlife is brilliant. – Fiona McIntosh

27. Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve, 10 km south of Nieuwoudtville in the Northern Cape: It has a knockout view over the Knersvlakte and a couple of hiking trails with overnight huts. (www.nieuwoudtville.co.za/information23.html) – Gerda Grobler

28. Kgaswane Mountain Reserve above Rustenburg: Its 5 300 ha contains various quartzite mountain peaks, over 320 bird species and plains game.
The lovely campsite has very neat ablutions.  (www.tourismnorthwest.co.za/kgaswane/) – Geoff Levey

Pg 5: Have you been …

Have you been to this national park?

29. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: If you drive around for a week here, you are bound to see lion, cheetah and even leopard. The pace in desert areas slows down so radically that life takes on new meaning. That is when you see the true beauty. (www.sanparks.org/parks/kgalagadi/) – Philip Sackville-Scott

30. Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park: Just getting there is such an experience, and there is so much to see, do and explore in the park. (www.sanparks.org/parks/richtersveld/; also see Drive Out #23) – Glynn Demmer

31. Kruger National Park: It is not that far off and one usually has good sightings of predators. The establishment of bush camps will give you the real “bush feeling”. (www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/) – Geoff Levey

32. Karoo National Park: I’m in love with the Karoo landscape; I go there to do nothing except soak up the space and the silence. (www.sanparks.org/parks/karoo/) – Mark Johnston

33. Bergkwagga National Park near Cradock: It’s green and there are a variety of animals. The road there runs among the most beautiful farms and hills and the thunderstorms are so beautiful, you will pull off to watch the lightning strike. (www.sanparks.org/parks/mountain_zebra/) – Sophia van Taak

34. Tankwa Karoo National Park: You can hike, drive, watch birds and go mountain biking or just laze about. Bush camping is the way to go at numerous places in the park. The camps have no facilities, which is why I like it. Some of the camps are on open plains and others in deep ravines. Visit the park in August or September when the flowers are fantastic. (www.sanparks.org/parks/tankwa/) – Johann Groenewald

35. West Coast National Park: It’s only an hour from Cape Town but you really are miles from it all up there. There isn’t much in the way of big game – look out for tortoise and a few buck – but magnificent granite rocks, the translucent blue of the Langebaan Lagoon and spectacular wild flowers are a knockout. During August and September you can hike the two-day Postberg Flower Trail and camp out on the beach. Fabulous! (www.sanparks.org/parks/west_coast/) – Fiona McIntosh

A great winter route or destination

36. Hogsback in the Eastern Cape: Enjoy a white Christmas in June. (www.hogsback.co.za/) – Coenie Moll

37. Matroosberg or Sutherland: If you’re going away in
winter, you may as well capitalise on the below-zero temperatures and try for some snow. Log fires, ski cabins, glühwein … You’ll have so many clothes on, you won’t do anything else anyway, so just chill, eat, drink and be merry. (www.matroosberg.com/; www.sutherlandinfo.co.za/home.htm) – Philip Sackville-Scott

38. Lesotho: From Himeville, up Sani Pass (before it is tarred) over Mokhotlong, to Oxbow and Fouriesburg. On this route one hopes to find snow, but the snow can also trap you. It’s a super holiday. – Johan Badenhorst

39. Clarens: It’s lovely in winter and you can explore many trails. (www.clarens.co.za/; www.clarenstourism.co.za/; www.infoclarens.com/) – Glynn Demmer

40. The wine route between Paarl and Stellenbosch: Crackling fireplaces, good food and friends. If I have more time, I prefer the Kalahari up to Botswana. (www.wineroute.co.za/) – Johann Groenewald

41. Mashatu Game Reserve in the Tuli Bloc, Botswana: Ride along elephant tracks on a three-day guided mountain-bike tour and sleep out in luxury bush camps. – Fiona McIntosh

42. Diepkloof River Lodge, Heidelberg: Isolated, quiet, beautiful, quaint, cosy, romantic! (www.sa-venues.com/visit/diepkloofriverlodge/) – Francois Visagie

Pg 6: A great summer route …

A great summer route or destination

43. The West Coast: All along the West Coast from Hondeklipbaai to Strandfontein. Have a fish braai before heading for Elands Bay and have a brandy at the Elands Bay Hotel (it’s one of those places where you tend to get stuck, so beware). (https://hondeklip.co.za/; www.strandfontein.co.za/) – Johann Groenewald

44. Explore Karoo passes, Knysna: Stay over in Prince Albert and do the Swartberg Pass, then go to Knysna and explore the surrounding areas, returning via the Prince Alfred’s Pass. Explore activities and scenery without planning too much. (www.patourism.co.za/; www.knysna.co.za/) – Glynn Demmer

45. Camp in the Baviaanskloof: With all that water for swimming or canoeing, this is it. It’s close to J-Bay where you can spend a great few days to end your trip. (www.baviaanskloof.net/; www.baviaans.co.za/; www.baviaanskloof.com/; aslo see Drive Out #26) – Philip Sackville-Scott

46. Mozambique: From Kosi Bay to Ponta do Oura and Ponto Malongane, further north up along the Mozambican coast to the Maputo Elephant Reserve, on the Catembe Ferry to Maputo, and then back to South Africa via Komatipoort. This is a cool holiday, but you can get trapped in the rain on the route. – Johan Badenhorst

47. Drakensberg: It’s green and lush, and if it gets hot you can hike up to the plateau or cool off in a mountain stream. Just watch out for those electrical storms – it rains most afternoons but the storms are exciting if you’re in a safe place. (www.drakensberg.kzn.org.za/; www.drakensberg-tourism.com/) – Fiona McIntosh

48. Kromrivier 4×4, Cederberg: A stunningly beautiful and challenging 4×4 trail, lots of hiking and swimming and all the other Cederberg activities. (www.cederberg.co.za/accommodation/ced_krom.htm) – Francois Visagie

49. Gauteng to Cape Town, on the least tar as possible. It took us eight days to get to the Mother City this way a few years ago. The farmers in the far-away places were very hospitable. – Geoff Levey

Pg 7: Want to get away …

Want to get away from it all?

50. Southern Namibia: Turn left immediately after the Vioolsdrif border post to Namibia, on the way to Rosh Pinah. Then turn right in the Gamchab riverbed at S28.27420 E17.36842 and follow it in the direction of Ai-Ais. You can camp out in the riverbed (just watch out for floods) and after a couple of kilometres, you hit picturesque open spaces. – Jaco Kirsten

51. Botswana: The remote community campsites in the Hukuntsi district in Western Botswana. – Coenie Moll

52. Tankwa Karoo National Park: It has a big sky, open spaces and hardly anyone else. The park is stunning especially in the flower season. (www.sanparks.org/parks/tankwa/) – Johan Snyman / Mark Johnston / Philip Sackville-Scott

53. Mabibi, north of Sodwana: There are only a handfull of campsites and no electricity (there are hot showers though). Despite theft being an intermittent problem, it remains a favourite destination among many. (www.elephantcoastbookings.co.za/mabibi.php) – Johan Badenhorst

54. Stoneyridge in KwaZulu-Natal is very much out of the way, yet not totally remote. With numerous spots to “play” at, water to swim in, picnic spots all around and friendly accommodating hosts, it’s a great place to go. There’s a lovely riverside campsite and even campers can enjoy prepared meals. (www.stoneyridge.co.za) – Glynn Demmer

55. The bottom of The Road to Hell in the Northern Cape. (See Drive Out #22) – Francois Visagie

56. Gamkaskloof (Die Hel) in the Swartberg: Whether you want to camp out or stay overnight in one of the many restored pioneers’ homes, you will leave revived. You’ll only realise afterwards there is no electricity, TV or even radio reception. The history and the natural beauty surpass everything else. (www.diehel.com/; www.patourism.co.za/gamkaskloof.htm) – Johann Grobler

57. Loteni Nature Reserve: On the border with Lesotho, the campsite offers incredible views over the mountains. The stands are large enough for parking a bus in. (www.midlandsreservations.co.za/loteni.html; www.drakensberg-tourist-map.com/loteni.html) – Leon Kriel

Have you been on this 4×4 trail?

58. Voorhoede near Caledon: It caters for the widest range of interests and tastes, including those who just want to lie in the tent and read all day. (www.voorhoede.com/) – Francois Visagie

59. Boegoeberg 4×4 in the Western Cape.  – Coenie Moll

60. Kodas Peak, Richtersveld: You need nerves of steel and Job’s patience to reach the top, your tyres’ sidewalls might get cut from driving too close to the mountain because you are scared of the abyss on the other side and it will feel as if the wind will blow you off the mountain. However, standing on top of Kodas Peak provides an unparalleled
feeling and view. (www.sanparks.org/parks/richtersveld/) – Johan Badenhorst

61. Burchell’s 4×4: It is owned by the great character Katot Meyer who lends his specific style to everything from the informational signs to his pioneers camp with its open air showers and loos. The trail and camp are geared to preserve history and natural heritage. Although by no means a vehicle breaker, the 4×4 trail is technically challenging and you have to concentrate on your line and gearing to get through tight twists and steep obstacles. (www.burchell4x4.co.za) – Philip Sackville-Scott

62. Klein Tafelberg: The campsite has good facilities, there is a sand trail and a rocky mountain trail. The hiking trail around a koppie near the campsite offers stunning views and in the flower season you can see pretty blooms. (www.cederberg4x4.co.za/trails) – Johan Snyman

63. Moolmanshoek in the Eastern Free State. The four trails at this venue have every¬thing going for them. Apart from the hospitality of the Nel family, the luxurious accommodation and campsites make for an enjoyable experience. You definitely need to make this one of the trails you must do in your lifetime. (www.moolmanshoek.co.za/index.html) – Geoff Levey

64. If you have a passion for 4×4 eco trails, visit www.4x4ineden.co.za (the website of the Southern Cape Route Owners Forum). The 13 eco trails featured on the website are covered in detail and also include trails in the nature reserves of Cape Nature. – Johann Grobler

65. The one you do with good friends – Jaco Kirsten

Pg 8: The Toughest-of-…

The Toughest-of-the-tough 4×4 trail

66. Wagon Wheel 4×4 near Montagu: It is technical, and requires good ground clearance with at least a rear diff lock. The Ratel trail has a difficulty grading of five. (www.karooadventures.co.za) – Coenie Moll, Andre de Villiers

67. Sesfontein to Puros via the Hoarisib- and Hoanib riverbeds. There is just a little water on the surface, but if you don’t cross the “dry” river with the right tyre pressure and right speed, you can struggle for a long time. Watch out for flashfloods in summer. – Johan Badenhorst

68. Boegoeberg 4×4 near Clanwilliam is quite technical and offers a variety of obstacles. (Also see p 20 for Boegoeberg.) – Andre de Villiers

69. A two- to three-week-long trip through the Kaokoland and/or Northern Damaraland. It requires intense preparation and because the days on the bad roads are long, it takes endurance from the participants and your equipment is tested to the extreme. The terrain varies from swamps, thick sand in dry riverbeds, steep uphills (at one place in Van Zyl’s Pass you descend 86 m while driving 94 m with a heavily laden vehicle) on very rocky roads. – Johan Snyman

70. Buffelspoort Adventure Trail, west of Ladismith: You don’t tacke this trail without a second or even a third vehicle in your group. The trail follows the path of the destruction of the 1981 Laingsburg flood. You drive in the bed of the Buffels River through the Klein Swartberge. (See Drive Out #22.) – Johann Grobler

71. Hex River 4×4’s Route 3 (See Drive Out #27.) – Francois Visagie

A great gravel road

72. The R356 between Sutherland and Ceres: It’s long, wide, open, warm and dusty, which means no one else is travelling it! (www.sutherlandinfo.co.za/home.htm; www.ceres.org.za/) – Francois Visagie

73. The R355 between Ceres and Calvinia takes you through lunar landscapes where it appears as if nothing grows. It is off this road where you will find the Kat¬bakkies Pass, the Peer¬booms¬kloof Pass, the Gannaga Pass, various 4×4 trails and nature reserves. It may be long and straight but this stretch of road is not boring. (www.ceres.org.za/; www.northerncape.org.za/getting_around/towns/Calvinia/) – Philip Sackville-Scott

74. The D707 in Namibië: If you drive north from Aus on the C13 in the direction of Helmeringhausen and Maltahöhe, after some 55 km you turn left in a westerly direction on the D707. The D707 runs in a curve all along the Namib Naukluft Park and eventually turns east, before joining the C27 125 km later, not far from the well-known Duwisib Castle. – Jaco Kirsten

75. Sani Pass: Because if you don’t do it soon you never will. – Fiona McIntosh

76. Clanwilliam to Middelpos: The gravel road from Clanwilliam over the Pakhuis Pass, Botterkloof Pass, through the Tankwa Karoo, up the Gannaga Pass to Middelpos. If your timing is right, the flower viewing will be superb. (www.clanwilliam.info/; www.clanwilliam.org.za/) – Coenie Moll

77. Philippolis to Koffiefontein: The gravel roads between these two Free State towns run through real big-sky country. The landscape is wide open and very scenic. (www.philippolis.org.za/; www.places.co.za/html/koffiefontein.html) – Glynn Demmer

78. The R357 between Brandvlei and Loeriesfontein, but not after it has rained, because then the drifts are filled with water. (www.northerncape.org.za/getting_around/towns/Brandvlei/; www.northerncape.org.za/getting_around/towns/Loeriesfontein/) – Johann Groenewald

79. Clanwilliam to Op-die-Berg: The dirt road which runs from the R364 (Clanwilliam to Calvinia) over Hoek se Berg Pass, through the Biedouw Valley, Wuppertal, Eselbank, Matjies River, and Blinkberg Pass to the R303 (near Op-die-Berg). The road offers beautiful views because one drives through numerous valleys, with interesting rock formations and plants. There are a few steep hills and in some places the road is just wide enough for one vehicle. (www.clanwilliam.info/; www.clanwilliam.org.za/; www.wupperthal.co.za/) – Johan Snyman

80. The Otto du Plessis Pass. It is about 50 km from the turnoff from the R328 on top of the Swartberg Pass to the information centre in Die Hel. There are hundreds of hairpin bends and something special lies waiting around every one of them. (www.diehel.com/; www.patourism.co.za/gamkaskloof.htm) – Johann Grobler

81. The R381 to Loxton: From just outside Beaufort West take the R381 to Loxton.
It’s a beautiful piece of gravel travel that passes through the Karoo National Park and goes up the Molteno Pass, across the Sak River (several times) and over the Nuweveld Mountains into the Upper Karoo. The most scenic road in that region. (www.northerncape.org.za/getting_around/towns/Loxton/) – Andrea Weiss

82. The Rante AP2259 (The Posroete) between Fraserburg and Sutherland. Take this turnoff just outside Fraserburg and 2 gates, 12 cattle grids and 10 causeways later one arrives at Kromkolk, where you see a sign that reads “South African National Heritage Site (80)”. It is a little triangular garden with various plants and it’s a heritage site because of the rare star tree (Cliffortia arborea) that is only found in this area. The views and mountain passes make it a pleasant alternative to travelling on the R356 to Sutherland. When you arrive in Sutherland, you would have gone through 2 gates, 22 cattle grids and 12 causeways. (www.places.co.za/html/fraserburg.html; www.sutherlandinfo.co.za/home.htm) – Geoff Levey

Pg 9: An interesting …

An interesting historical route

83. Magersfontein and Paardeberg in the Kimberley area. At Magersfontein you can experience how the Boers thrashed the British forces, while at Paardeberg you can learn how British troops forced Gen Cronjé’s 4 000 Boer soldiers to surrender. (www.openafrica.org/participant/magersfontein-battlefield-museum) – Johan Badenhorst

84. The KwaZulu-Natal battlefield areas are steeped in history, as are the Mount Sheba Mine and Eureka Village trails in and around Barberton. For those interested in the Anglo-Boer War the challenging terrain around Okiep offers sightings of old forts and visits to the site of some of the last battles of the conflict. (www.battlefields.kzn.org.za/; www.barbertontourism.co; www.okiep.co.za/) – Glynn Demmer

85. Burchell’s 4×4 near Oudtshoorn. Follow in the wagon tracks of this famous botanist and spend time with the legendary Katot Meyer. (www.burchell4x4.co.za)  – Mark Johnston

86. The Cederberg Heritage Route. Clanwilliam, where this community-run trail starts and ends, is a fascinating place settled in 1725. There’s all sorts of evidence of the Anglo-Boer War – the Englishman’s Grave near the old Rhenish mission village of Wuppertal and a British blockhouse built in 1901 standing sentinel over the Dwars River that you pass near the end of one of the hikes. (www.cedheroute.co.za) – Fiona McIntosh

87. The Thirstland Trek Route which stretches over a distance of ±900 km from Gobabis, through Bushmanland and the Khaudum, to Andara (near Divundu). It follows the route which the Thirstland Trekkers followed in the late 1800s/early 1900s, past their historical gathering places such as giant boabab trees and pans. The trail is mostly in very thick sand and the branches of the trees which grow right up to the road will scratch your vehicle’s paint a lot. – Johan Snyman

88. The historical Oxwagon trail from Heidelberg over the Gysmanshoek Pass, Bonniedale, the Outeniqua Mountains, past Volmoed, Zebra (south of Oudtshoorn), Louvain and the old Voortrekker Pass. Drive along the Seven Passes road to Knysna, and then you can take the Prince Alfred Pass to Avontuur in the Langkloof. (www.burchell4x4.co.za; www.bonniedale.com) – Johann Grobler

A destination that offers great value for money

89. Transkei: A well-planned holiday to this destination will give you excellent value for your money. The emphasis is on well-planned. – Coenie Moll

90. Namibia: Prices have gone up, but it’s still affordable compared to Botswana. The scenery is mind-blowing (think Namib Desert, Fish River Canyon, Spitzkoppe), and you can pay for everything with rands. – Mark Johnston

91. Mozambique coast: Lots of new, great-value lodges and campsites springing up – I like the coast around Inhambane as there are lots of choices for self-catering, great fresh seafood and plenty of free fun on the beach. – Fiona McIntosh

Pg 10: A great campsite

A great campsite

92. Purros in Damaraland and Kaziikini in Botswana win hands down: they are extremely rustic yet comfortable, affordable, very friendly and unobtrusive staff − it is pure bliss … – Francois Visagie

93. At Spitzkoppe in Namibia. Basic facilities, but the views and space more than make up for it. – Mark Johnston



94. Next to a giant baobab at Kubu Island
in the Makgadikgadi Pan at full moon. The moon on the pan (in winter, when it is dry) creates a surrealistic impression of a lunar landscape. It is a strange, special experience. – Johan Badenhorst

95. The campsite at Duwisib Castle in Namibia between the beautiful camel-thorn trees. At the shop of Jochen and his family you can eat scrumptious apfelstrüdel and savour a cold Tafel lager … – Jaco Kirsten

96. Mana Pools. No fences and big game everywhere. A rooftop tent is definitely the way to go. – Fiona McIntosh

97. Boegoeberg 4×4 and Klein Tafelberg 4×4: Both these trails have great facilities like lapas, swimming pools, five-star ablution facilities, power points at each campsite (Boegoeberg 4×4), grassed campsites (Boegoeberg 4×4), sufficient shade and enough space. (www.cederberg4x4.co.za/trails; also see p 20.) – Coenie Moll

98. Algeria in the Cederberg. I camped there the first time in 1975 and have easily been there 100 times since. The campsite is situated in an incredible environment and there are a host of hiking trails on which you can explore the surroundings. (www.cederberg.co.za) – Johan Snyman

99. Waterval near Porterville – it’s comfortable and still unknown. Even though you get the feeling at Loteni Nature Reserve that you are in the bundu, Nottingham Road and Howick are just around the corner – what’s more, it’s in the Drakensberg. Buccaneers at Chintsa might be a backpackers, but it’s on the sea and next to the river. They also have numerous activities for visitors. (www.22watervalle.co.za/; www.midlandsreservations.co.za/loteni.html; www.drakensberg-tourist-map.com/loteni.html; www.cintsa.com/) – Leon Kriel

100. On the Orange River, where the Xai¬manap River runs into it opposite an exquisite rock formation know as Hamerkop. The s
ite is remote and peaceful, the water is wide and slow flowing − for safe swimming and good fishing − and beautiful, especially when the sun rises over the water. – Philip Sackville-Scott

101. The Fraserburg municipal campsite on the outskirts of Fraserburg in the Northern Cape. The stands, all under huge blue gums, have power points and the ablutions are clean. Not many go there and the daily tariff is very reasonable – we paid R20 for two. – Geoff Levey

The boffins

  • Andre de Villiers, managing director of Safari Centre, and presenter of the TV programme Safari 4×4 Roetes
  • Andrea Weiss, editor of go!
  • Coenie Moll, owner of Cederberg 4×4 and training instructor at Off-road Tactix Western Cape
  • Fiona McIntosh, editor of Out There
  • Francois Visagie, engineer, outdoor enthusiast and regular contributor
  • Geoff Levey, professional 4×4 overland and tourist guide, honorary game ranger for North West Parks, and regular contributor
  • Gerda Grobler, WegRy text editor
  • Glynn Demmer, portfolio member of the Association of All-Wheel-Drive Clubs of SA, Naamsa representative on the National Off-Road workgroup and senior events and sponsorship manager at Nissan
  • Jaco Kirsten, editor of TopBike
  • Johan Badenhorst, producer and presenter of the TV series Voetspore
  • Johan Snyman, engineer and veteran of more than 40 visits to Namibia
  • Johann Grobler, owner and co-ordinator of Scrof (the Southern Cape Region’s Route Owners Forum) and Tracks4Africa custodian for the Southern Cape.
  • Johann Groenewald, director of Tracks4Africa
  • Leon Kriel, Drive Out/WegRy layout artist
  • Mark Johnston, Drive Out/WegRy gear guy
  • Phillip Sackville-Scott, secretary of the Four-wheel Drive Guide Association
  • Sophia van Taak, WegSleep journalist
DO_101 Things 2009.pdf 1.4 MB