Botswana adventure Bots Bakkies and Bok!

South Africans are seemingly crazy about many things that start with the letter ‘B’… Botswana, bakkies, braai, biltong and Bok van Blerk. To bring these B’s together, the Adventure Afrika team put together a readers’ tour to the OppiPanne music festival on the Makgadikgadi pans. One of our readers, ESTER VAN ZYL, shares her experience.

For months we looked forward to the Botswana expedition with Adventure Afrika. The ‘group tour’ thing isn’t really something we generally do… but for some reason, the ad for this adventure kept popping up on my Facebook feed and – as I believe that all things happen for a reason – I bit the bullet and sent a query about the itinerary to publisher, Anton Willemse. After he assured me that it would be a very relaxed affair and that we would travel all the way to the pans – through the Tuli Block, Hunters Road and one of our old favourites, Elephant Sands – I secured our booking there and then.

On the day of departure – a week before the music festival, which took place over the Women’s Day long weekend – we met at the Petroport on the N1, curious to get to know the people we ‘met’ on a WhatsApp group a week or so before. Soon 4x4s of all shapes and sizes started arriving, with the Willemses (Anton and Mary and their girls, Loré and Marli) arriving first in a shiny new and very fancy Hilux Raider X.

After a friendly greeting, they introduced the rest of the group – mostly strangers – to each other. There were Deidi and Hans with their Land Cruiser 300 and off-road caravan, Riaan and Lollie with a shiny new Ford Everest and caravan in tow, Reinhardt and Bridgette with a fully loaded Suzuki Jimny, Roger with his Land Cruiser 100 with the Willemse girls’ ‘home on wheels’ (a fancy little BunduTrail) in tow, Fanie and Liezl and their two children (Layla and Andreas) in their Land Cruiser and finally me and hubby, Tinus, with our Volkswagen Amarok and AHA rooftop tent. In Alldays, Nico and Angelique joined us with their Land Rover because – as Nico jokingly pointed out – every convoy needs a problem child! Luckily, there were quite a number of Toyota’s to come to their rescue when needed…

Trying to remember the group’s names already broke my brain – and this was not even the entire group yet! The rest would meet us just beyond the Platjan border post, which we easily cleared. Having spent hours on end at some of the busier Botswana border posts, the professionalism at Platjan was a pleasant surprise. A few kilometres beyond the border, Gerhard and Liefie with their Fortuner and Tuff Cat trailer, Johan and Emil with their Prado and Conqueror caravan, Gerrie and Annamarie with their Fortuner and Pieter and Lea with their Ford Ranger joined us. We were ready to get this adventure going!

On our way to our campsite along the Limpopo River in the Tuli Block, we passed a few rather skittish elephants and zebras. The Tuli Block is an 800 000ha strip of land on the eastern border of Botswana, between Zimbabwe in the north and east and South Africa in the south. It covers approximately 350km and consists mainly of privately owned land earmarked for safari tourism. All fences have been removed to create a conservation area for the precious wildlife, including a large variety of plains game and most of the Big Five.

Now this is lekker(poet)!

Upon our arrival at Lekkerpoet – Roger’s family farm, where we would spend the first two nights – the camp site was set up in a jiffy. For some of us, it was so much fun that we set up a second time since ‘certain people’ forgot that a solar panel should actually face the sun!

Soon, the campfire was burning, and we were surprisedwith another addition to the group when Stuart from Happy Bush Overlanding (and one of Roger’s friends) joined our growing circle. We spent the night getting to know each other and eagerly sharing stories from our favourite adventures.

The next day was – as Anton promised – quite chilled and was spent with the group getting to know each other better while admiring each other’s camping setups. Some of the fitter (read younger) people in the group headed into the koppies to admire the sunset from up high, while others enjoyed some of the short hikes around camp, admiring the pristine natural beauty. Despite Roger’s warnings about crocodiles in the river, Fanie went for a quick swim in the river… only to learn that a massive croc had been stalking us all day from the opposite bank! At sunset – with a few baboons coming down for a drink of water and the call of the African Fish eagle in our ears – we settled around the campfire again, enjoying each other’s company.

On our last day in the Tuli Block, the group decided to do some exploring. We encountered very few vehicles, but at one point a kombi drove past us from the front. About 5km further on, we had to stop for a toilet break, and that is when Tinus noticed leopard tracks on top of the kombi’s recent tracks. Needless to say, the loo break was quickly cut short! Later we experienced an extraordinary morning in a dry riverbed along the Shashe River. This river starts northwest of Francistown and flows into the Limpopo, where Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa border each other.

We prepared breakfast under giant rock figs, nestled in the crevices of a hill, while a herd of elephants, antelope, zebras, baboons and four warthogs popped in to say hi. This basalt hill is known as Soloman’s Wall and is approximately 30m high and 10m wide. It formed against a natural dam in the Motloutse River, and the area is rich in semi-precious stones such as agate and quartz. Later, a giraffe also curiously peeked around the side of the hill and stared at us, quite puzzled by this group of adventurers in his space…

Unfortunately, our time on Lekkerpoet came to an end far too soon. Visiting this piece of paradise was truly an incredible privilege, as Roger’s family does not often welcome campers here. So, it was wild camping at its best, with no facilities or fences… just the way we like it!

However, there were still many adventures – which would eventually culminate in the tour’s highlight, the OppiPanne music festival – waiting for us. By 08:00 the following day, everyone was ready to hit the road to Elephant Sands via Francistown – where we planned to stock up on supplies before embarking on the rest of the journey… well, almost everyone! ‘Vinnige Fanie’ was still breaking down his massive family tent!

We drove on the winding gravel road between stone hills and bushes for the last time, with a few dassies watching as we passed. Red-billed Buffalo Weavers were building their nests on the west side of the baobab trees. A herd of elephants was surprised by our appearance and quickly disappeared into the bushes. The impalas were much friendlier, and the herd stopped as we drove past.

Suddenly, Anton and Mary’s trailer dislodged from their Hilux, and we had to stop to make a plan. Luckily, there were quite a few ‘Bush MacGyvers in the group, and before we knew it, the problem was solved and we were on our way again. In Bobonong, we refuelled the vehicles and went in search of some padkos at the local café.

Arriving in Francistown, it was teeming with 4×4 vehicles – each and every one rigged for the bush (or is it the pans?). After a marathon shopping spree in the local Spar, we hit the road for the short distance to Elephant Sands. This unique lodge is located on a 16 000ha farm in North-East Botswana. It offers a variety of accommodation options that include relatively luxurious tented camps, as well as basic camping. The camp is not fenced so that animals can roam freely.

We arrived at a crowded Elephant Sands just before 17:00. Although every available patch of sand was occupied by a camper, it was still calm and relaxing. No one was making a racket or partying, and the trumpeting of elephants could be heard in the distance. We ended the evening on a high with a delicious candlelit buffet dinner while the elephants were competing for the best sip of water, a mere 10m from us. Occasionally, one of the older elephants would teach the young guns some manners, under loud protest! After this action, these gentle giants walked noiselessly between our tents and disappeared into the bushes. What could be more special than this…?

Hunters Road calling

Once again, our time here felt too short, but the Hunters Road was calling. Most of our group had never driven this well-known route before, and when we gathered for a quick caucus before heading out, Anton emphasised that he was not a tour guide. “We will find the way together, get stuck together and get lost together!”

Hunters Road is on the border between Zimbabwe and Botswana. Signs along the road mark the boundary. If you are on the other side of the gate, you are an illegal immigrant in Zimbabwe. The road got its name at the end of the nineteenth century when wagons were used to transport goods from South Africa to the banks of the Zambezi in Kazangula.

Even before the tyres were deflated, we saw a herd of buffaloes, two elephants and quite a few kudus. There was an unpleasant smell in the air, and upon closer inspection, we came across an elephant carcass. The trunk was cut off, but it looked like the tusks were still in place… a sad sight. Barely 1km further was another elephant carcass at a water hole. A large flock of White-backed Vultures were enjoying the feast, but when we stopped and disturbed them, they circled in the sky above us to signal their displeasure.

We stopped at the cutline to have lunch. Less than 500m further, we hit the deep sand. Anton and Mary’s Hilux got through easily, but the second vehicle – with a heavy trailer in tow – got stuck. The other vehicles took a different line to get in front of the stranded vehicle to help, but soon the third vehicle with its trailer was also stranded.

Anton and Mary quickly noticed that the rest of the group were not following them. Because they first had to dislodge the trailer to be able to turn around, they sent the drone to come and see what was going on… very resourceful! Not long after, the Hilux Raider X arrived to help. This rather intensive recovery took three hours, and everyone – from the Ford to the Land Rover – tried to get the vehicles out. Finally, Anton did a snatch recovery with the Hilux, while we used a winch for the other vehicle. That Raider X with its 2.4-litre engine is truly impressive, but the ladies in the group also lent a hand and pushed with all their might, sand flying everywhere – on Women’s Day nogals!

Since the recovery slowed us down, we couldn’t drive to where Anton wanted to camp, and we spent the night ‘somewhere’ on the side of the road. It turned out to be a lovely evening, with a ‘street braai’ right there, under the stars, on the Hunters Road! The events of the day were relived repeatedly, with the phrase ‘we should have’ popping up occasionally. Tired and dirty but happy, we headed to bed for a good night’s rest. What a day!

The following day, we could sleep in a bit and only hit the road after a lovely brunch. The two-lane road became narrower as we slugged along, and the branches were hard because there had recently been a fire in the area. None of the vehicles got through without a few good scratches… some went almost unnoticed, but others scratched deep into your soul. But this is overlanding – every sport has its injuries, I guess!

On the way, we saw signs of elephants’ mud baths during the rainy season, but this being dry season there was no water in sight. A small practical problem of the burnt field is the fact that you have to walk quite a distance to find a sheltered bush, should nature call (note to self: don’t wear red if you want to blend in with the bush!).

Our camping spot for the night was under a giant Baobab. This ‘upside down’ tree – so called because it looks like the roots are on top – is found in 32 African countries and can be older than 3 000 years. It can store a large amount of fresh water in the trunk and during droughts elephants will eat it to quench their thirst. In this special place – in the middle of nowhere – the strangers from six days ago kuiered liked old friends around the campfire, with the intermittent ‘whoop-whoop’ of nearby hyenas reminding us how privileged we were to experience nature in this way. Our time in the bundu was now ending. The next day we would leave Hunters Road and head for the OppiPanne music festival. At Pandamatenga, the vehicles’ tyres were inflated again, and we refuelled. A few of us apparently did not quite stop at the stop street and incurred fines of P1 000 (in Botswana, you have to pay your fines right there and then!).

OppiPanne is an environmentally friendly music festival which takes place on the world’s largest salt pan, the Makgadigadi pans. The Water for Elephants Trust is the beneficiary of the festival, and a percentage of the income from ticket sales is donated to this organisation. Since its inaugural year in 2022, the festival has grown by almost a thousand people. According to the organisers, 1 900 of the 2 500 people who attend are from South Africa, bringing much-needed tourism to the country.

On the way to the usually deserted pans, it was almost impossible to see the vehicle in front of you and – on a wing and a prayer – we simply soldiered on through the cloud of dust in front of us. Literally hundreds of campers set up camp near the festival grounds. The dust was thick around us, but the atmosphere was festive. A helicopter with festivalgoers who wanted to view the proceedings from above occasionally circled over our heads.

As the sun was setting, children ran around with all kinds of light toys while a crowd of people gathered around the temporary stage to enjoy the music of, among others, Pedro Barbosa and Spoegwolf. The party continued well into the wee hours of the morning, and as we headed to bed, I predicted a few headaches the next morning! This was indeed the case, and the next morning it was rather quiet in our camp.

Everyone kept themselves busy… some went back to visit the elephants at Elephant Sands, while others had to repair their rides. The rest lazily hung out at each other’s tents or caravans… because why not! As dusk set in, we grabbed our camp chairs and headed to the festival grounds to enjoy an evening of music from Herman Kleinhans, Riaan Benade, Ricus Nel and Bok van Blerk. The atmosphere reminded me of a test match between the Boks and the All Blacks, and my heart swelled with pride and nostalgia.

In thick dust we reluctantly started packing up to begin our journey home to South Africa via Lekkerpoet, where we intended to spend our last evening in Bots. A prankster had changed the ‘T’ on Lekkerpoet’s turn-off sign to a ‘F’… so we turned to Lekkerpoef to spend the night on a pan on the farm. Roger told us that one of the male lions in the area had charged at them on this very pan on a previous occasion, so we were all on guard! But alas… except for a curious elephant who visited, we had a relatively calm evening.

None of us wanted to go to bed, savouring our last few hours together in the bush. The cries of a jackal and hyena and trumpeting elephants kept us around the crackling fire until well after midnight… How could nine days fly by so quickly? We said goodbye at the Platjan border post the next day. When we first met at the Petroport, we greeted each other with a handshake… now we were bidding each other farewell with a hug and a tear in the eye! New friends were made, and we will cherish the memories of this adventure for a long time…

Our steed HILUX RAIDER X

For a long time, I have thought that my next bakkie would be the Toyota Hilux Legend 2.8 GD-6. I used to own a Hilux Legend 45, powered by a 3.0 D-4D engine which only pushed out 120kW compared to the 150kW-plus of the 2.8 GD-6. That extra power would have come in very handy when towing the heavy overlanding camper trailers and caravans we tested from time to time. However, after spending 10 days and over 3 500km behind the wheel of the new limited edition Hilux Raider X, I have to admit that I have changed my mind.

But first, let me tell you about my Legend 45, nicknamed the Red Devil – it was my pride and joy. Sure, it only delivered 120kW and 380Nm of peak torque, but that was more than adequate for what we used it for. It was happy to tow two-tonne caravans, chug through mud and safely get us through countless water crossings. It had all the modifications I needed, and it could take me into the bush and back with no hassles and no worries. It was a tank and when we parted ways a few years ago it was like losing a family member!

What’s new?

Using the Raider 2.4 GD-6 4×4 as the donor, the Raider X basically replaces the aforementioned model, but for a limited period only. This new addition to the Hilux family is distinguished by an exterior package consisting of some really cool kit. This includes new 17-inch alloy wheels, chunky matt black overfenders with distinctive red insert detailing, a chrome grille inset bar, a matt black styling bar and integrated tonneau cover and the unique Raider X badging.

In my book, the Raider X is basically my beloved Legend 45 in disguise, minus all the goodies such as a bull bar and an upgraded suspension. Although it pushes out slightly less power than the D-4D at 110kW, it does offer a bit more torque at 400Nm and is rated to tow 3.5 tonnes. And when it comes to practicality, the Hilux Raider X goes the extra mile with a fully rubberised cargo bed to soften the blows of extreme loading, not to mention the spring-loaded Tailgate Assist function, which makes light work of opening and closing the tailgate.

With the upgraded instrument cluster, the Raider X feels a bit more like the Legend. It would have been nice if it had a leather interior, but a decent set of seat covers would do the job – or, if you want to splurge, a leather interior could be installed through the dealership… they all know a guy! Other interior comforts include niceties such as cruise control, a large-screen display audio with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth functionality and a reverse camera.

We drove around 3 500km through Botswana, over some crappy gravel roads through sand and the worst corrugations I have seen for a while – and the bakkie did brilliantly. Despite towing a large camper trailer weighing over 1.2 tonnes it took everything in its stride. The cherry on top was the fact that it only consumed 12 litres/100km – mostly in 4H and 4L – through the thick Botswana sand. We even had to rescue a Prado towing a huge Conqueror trailer that got stuck in the sand. We succeeded on the first try, even with a full load on the back and four people in the cabin.

There are two gearboxes available for the Raider X – a sixspeed manual and a six-speed auto. I prefer the manual, but that is just personal preference. The auto is just as good and is well paired to the 2.4-litre engine.

Obviously, there are some things I would prefer to have different. For one thing, the tyres are more suited to driving on tar. Although we didn’t get a single puncture, we had to keep tyres inflated a bit harder on some of the roads to ensure we don’t get into trouble. On the sand the tyres were brilliant, thanks to their softer sidewalls, but a decent set of all-terrain tyres with a proper LT construction would be better for what we do.

Then there is the suspension. Even with the bakkie loaded it worked well and the ride was never bumpy. However, if you are going to load it up with camping gear and tow a large camper orcaravan, I would suggest an upgrade.

Our verdict

For overlanders, the new Hilux Raider X ticks all the most important boxes. It proves that you don’t need the 150kW of the 2.8 GD-6 (offered in Raider and Legend trim) to get the job done, it tows like a champ, and it is fuel efficient to boot. Best of all, it handles brilliantly off-road. What more could you need? So, if you’re in the market for a double cab, this is definitely an option worthy of serious consideration. And with the number of aftermarket products available for the Hilux you can kit it out just the way you like it!

Model line-up & pricing

• Hilux 2.4 GD-6 4×4 Raider X M/T: R674 800

• Hilux 2.4 GD-6 4×4 Raider X A/T: R704 300

*All models are covered by a 3-year/100 000km warranty and a 9-services/90 000km service plan. Service intervals are set at 10 000km and customers can purchase a variety of service plan and warranty extensions from any of Toyota’s 220 dealers

BunduTec for Bundu

I am not the biggest fan of towing huge caravans through the bush as the extra weight and length tend to make getting around slightly tricky at times. However, when BunduTec asked whether we wanted to take the BunduTrail on our Botswana adventure, we jumped at the opportunity.

We have previously tested the BunduTop and BunduAwn and I was most impressed by the convenience both products offered. The push-button operation of the BunduTop is really convenient and within a minute you are either ready to go to bed or get in the vehicle and get going. As an added bonus, you can sit and enjoy your G&T while your fellow campers are still struggling to set up their gear!

The BunduTrail offers that convenience and so much more! With a full load pushing its weight to just under one tonne this is really a brilliant little trailer. Standard on the BunduTrail is a 105A deep-cycle battery connected to a 1 000W inverter. A huge 350W solar panel keeps your battery fully charged when parked and even while driving.

The 70-litre water tank provides ample water for a few days. The installed water pump has loads of pressure to give you a relaxing shower in the bush, with warm water courtesy of the gas heater (just give it a bit of test drive before you leave on your first adventure to make sure you understand how it works – that is if you don’t want an angry wife on the first night!).

When it comes to packing space, this trailer truly shines! In the rear, behind the spare wheel fitted on a swing arm, is a drawer with space that will be the envy of any camper and overlander. It provides just under 1 000 litres of packing space, divided in various compartments and a snug space for the camping table.

On the left side of the trailer there are another two big drawers for groceries or clothing. We were in the bush for ten days and didn’t use all the packing space, which meant that my wife was convinced that we’d forgotten something at home!

The fully kitted kitchen of the BunduTrail is cleverly fitted on a drawer. Once you slide it out, it reveals a two-burner gas camping stove from Cadac. The BunduAwn provides shade over the working space around the kitchen (and is also quite easy to set up). The BunduTrail is fitted with a large dual-zone fridge, and with the solar panel connected, your food and drink will be kept ice cold during your trip.

The nose cone offers even more packing space, and it is here that you will find the electrical set-up and the switch to raise the roof of the sleeping space in typical BunduTec fashion. The bed is big enough for two adults and the best part is that you can close the top with the bedding inside. The BunduSuite privacy cubicle is easy to set up and pack away and offers ample space for getting dressed. As the name suggests, it offers privacy and as such it can also be used as a shower cubicle.

So, the BunduTrail has all the bells and whistles to make your camp an absolute pleasure – but how does it tow? Well, in short: like a dream! With the axle located off-centre to the rear, the stability is amazing. In addition, the location of the drawers means that there is very little to no effect on the towing characteristic. The big tyres fitted on 16-inch rims ensure that the trailer is able to tackle almost any terrain. The BunduTrail was also low enough that you are able to see behind you in the rear-view mirror.

Priced at below R250 000, the BunduTrail is a brilliant buy. So, if you’re in the market for a compact, stable, and very spacious camper trailer, pop over to BunduTec and check it out!

It’s not inside it’s on top!

Completing our set-up for our family of four was the BunduTop rooftop tent, which left my daughters

utterly impressed.

This convenient-to-use rooftop tent makes camping effortless, thanks to the push-button operation which sees the tent unfolding and expanding to provide you with a cozy shelter in the matter of seconds. Additionally, the tent boasts entry form any side, giving you 360-degree access and views.

The roof of the BunduTop is a raw aluminium sheet to ensure maximum heat reflection and is the main reason you can sleep comfortably cool inside, even when parked in direct sunlight. The frame built into the bottom of the tent provides additional strength and makes it versatile to mount. It can be bolted directly to your load bars or roof rack. Weight-wise this is a winner with the standard tent weighing in at 73kg, with a 7kg ladder to bring your total weight to a mere 80kg.

Specifications

• Standard: 2.1m x 1.35m

• King: 2.1m x 1.6m

• Super King: 3m x 1.6m

• Custom sizes: up to 3m long and 1.6m wide

*Included in the price (from R38 900), is solar wiring, a 12V outlet and LED light inside; as well as 100mm high density foam mattress.

BunduTrail at a glance

Key features:

• Electrically operated tent

• 360 BunduAwn

• 2 x LED lights fitted to awning arms

• 1 x Added room roof

• 1 x BunduSuite privacy cubicle

• 1 x LED in BunduSuite privacy cubicle

• 1 x Bed 2 000mm x 1 250mm)

• 1 x Dual-zone fridge/freezer.

• 3 x 16-inch wheels

• 2 x LED lights,

• 4 x Fans

• 1 x 70-litre water tank (70L)

• Solar panel

Fully equipped kitchen:

• 6 x Coffee mugsv

• 6 x Wine glasses

• 6 x Milkshake glasses

• 24-piece Cutlery set (knives, forks, tablespoons and teaspoons)

• 4 x Steak knives

• 6 x Dinner plates

• 6 x Cereal bowls

• 1 x Kettle

• 4x Clear containers for coffee, tea and sugar

• 1 x Frying pan

• 2 x Pots

• 2 x Mixing bowls

• 4 x Oil/sauce bottles

• 1 x Grater

• 1 x two-plate gas stove

• 1 x Braai tongs

• Serving utensils

Electronics (included):

• 1 x Deep-cycle battery (105AH)

• 1 x 1 Time DC/DC 25A charger

• 1 x 220V modified sine wave inverter

• 1 x External 220V plug

• 1 x 12.5 litres/min water pump

• 1 x External 220V input plug socket & 10m extension

• 1 x 220 – 12V Battery charger

• 3 x USB ports (two in nose cone & one inside the tent)

• 4 x Hella point accessible from outside

Gas apppliances (included):

• 2 x 3kg gas bottles

• 1 x Regulator

• 1 x Gas geyser

Four times the fun

he Invader Quattro is a big and spacious camper trailer, with space for four people to sleep comfortably. With a GVM of 1 500kg it’s certainly not light, but it doesn’t feel heavy behind your vehicle. The wheels are situated to the rear, making it very stable and easy to manoeuvre through the bush.

Setting up camp took us about 10 minutes in the beginning but after about three setups we managed to get it down to less than five minutes. The inside is spacious and there are ample storage cupboards for clothes and groceries. There is also a basin and a porta-potty installed, which comes in very handy at night when the wildlife might be a bit too close to wander outside.

Bedding is located in the split lid of the Quattro and as you open it up it flips to the front and rear of the camper where it rests on supporting struts to ensure you have a comfortable sleep. The canvas covering the camper is durable and even kept the dust out while we were camping on the pans.

On the outside, to the right of the entrance, is a nifty kitchen and working area. Two fold-down hatches open up to a bult-in microwave oven and also gives access to your cutlery and crocker. To the right, the hatch folds down to expose a small grocery cupboard, along with a tap and space for two washing basins.

The caravan rests on a solid axle that is 1 800kg-rated and supported by a 10-blade leaf spring system. The auto reverse coupler is supported by a 2 000kg-rated run-in brake. A 100-litre water tank is mounted on the chassis. The Quattro is a fantastic off-road camper. It is incredibly easy to set up, comfortable, spacious, and beautiful inside and outside. It is an all-inclusive trailer tent, and you need very little extra after the purchase has been made.

KEY FEATURES

Body:

• Seamless and flexible construction from colour impregnated laminated fibre glass.

• Large nose box with side doors, fridge slider (fits fridge that is 75cm high)

• 2 x jerry can brackets

• 1 x3kg gas bottle and bracket

• 15-inch -sixstud rims with 245xR15 all-terrain tyres

• Full-sized spare wheel

• Marine quality locks on all doors and exterior cupboards

Chassis:

• Hot-dipped galvanized ladder type chassis

• Auto reverse coupler with 2 000kg rated run-in brake capacity

• 10-blade leaf spring system

• 1 800kg rated solid axle

• 250mm removable heavy-duty jockey wheel

• Removable front lifting leg

• 2 x Quick release rear support struts

• 100-litre chassis-mounted water tank

• 2 x Pole boxes with complete pole set

Tent:

• Canvas tent with mosquito netting and all-weather, clear PVC window covers

• Reflective flysheet

• Large patio with reflective coating

• Rally awning

• Rear awning

• Sparewheel cover

Electrical:

• 15A Victron charging system (Bluetooth enabled)

• 1 x 105A deep-cycle battery

• Solar charging regulator (solar ready)

• 220V socket

• 220V AC three-point all-weather multi-plug (exterior)

• 220V AC three-point plug with two-point Euro socket (interior)

• 5 x 12V DC sockets (three outside and two inside)

Optional extras:

• Complete sidewall set to enclose patio

• Travel blanket

• Trailer cover

• Fridge

• Safari braai in bag that fits in jerry can bracket

• Shower cubicle

*For more information: www.invader.co.za/quattro

Dressed for the bush

When it comes to conquering the great outdoors, having reliable and high-performance footwear is essential. Hi-Tec’s game-changing boots, the Altitude V Ultra, have emerged as a force to be reckoned with, offering outdoor enthusiasts an unbeatable combination of comfort, durability, and functionality. Whether you’re tackling rugged mountains, dense forests, or challenging terrains, these boots are designed to help you dominate the bush and crush every step along the way.

The Altitude V boasts newly added features that will have your exploring with more confidence than ever before. These boots are constructed for the ultimate adventurer, with design features that include a waterproof leather upper that provides durability and comfort and the Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane to keep your feet dry. Additionally, Hi-Tec’s innovative i-Shield repels water and dirt and is resistant to stains. Finally, the MDT rubber outsole improves grip and provides durability throughout your adventures.

While Hi-Tec has always been your foot’s best friend, the brand now also offers a great range of purpose-built technical apparel for the outdoor adventurer. The even-more-unpredictable- than-usual August weather in Botswana gave me the opportunity to test out the Hi-Tec Trail Zip-off Pants and the Men’s Utility Shorts. Both were extremely comfortable to wear (don’t you just love a slightly elasticated waist?) but also sleek and slender enough to not look like hiking kit.

In the cool mornings the trail pants with the bottoms zipped on kept my legs warm and by midday I could detach the bottoms to transform them into comfortable shorts.

So, if you are looking for comfortable and durable clothing and shoes for the bush, look no further than Hi-Tec’s range! It definitely gets the Adventure Afrika stamp of approval!

*For more information: www.hi-tec.co.za

Stay on course

If, like us, the heart of an adventurer beats in year chest, then the Garmin Overlander On/Off-Road Navigator is one of the best gadgets you will ever own. It is designed and made specificallyfor the social and recreational 4×4 enthusiast.

What I really like about the Garmin is its easy-to-handle size and the rugged and shock-proof casing. I was able to load my Gaia GPS app onto the Garmin Overlander and this gives me multiple maps to use. We currently also have the most recent Tracks4Africa on it, along with the preloaded maps from Garmin. The magnetic mount makes it easy to remove from the vehicle or to take it into your lap for detailed map work. Not only will it help you plan and follow routes and safely traverse rough territory, but it will also even find a place to camp at the end of the day!

Like most Garmin navigators, the Overlander offers turn-byturn road directions on its 7-inch colour touchscreen. When you venture off the beaten track, it provides topographical maps for off-grid guidance, including public land boundaries and 4×4 roads. Integrated pitch and roll sensors tell you if the angle of the terrain is safe for your vehicle and complement the built-in compass, altimeter, and barometer. You can even input your vehicle’s height, length, and weight to help pick a route that’s appropriate.

Additional features include:

• Suction cup mount and AMPS plate RAM ball adapter

• Garmin Real Directions landmark guidance

• Route shaping through preferred cities/streets

• Voice-activated navigation

• Bluetooth calling

• Speed limit indicator

• Driver alerts for sharp curves, school zones, red lights and speed camera warnings

• Wi-Fi map and software updates

• RV routing, parks and services directory

• Road elevations

• Sunrise and sunset times

*For more information: www.garmin.com

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