After a wonderful week spent in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, it’s time to head back home. I’m cutting it fine. It’s Friday morning and I’ve promised an old friend that I would be at his farewell lunch in Cape Town on Saturday. He’s moving to the Netherlands and I want to say goodbye properly. But that leaves me with just one day to drive 1127km from Twee Rivieren.
It’s a job that gets done one way, and one way only: Wind up the window and drive. The automatic Mahindra shifts gears and I can feel the bakkie accelerating. It’s a good feeling, after the past few days of slow sand driving on the Nossob 4x4 Eco Trail.
I notice a couple of men working with livestock in a kraal and I lift a hand to wave. A little further, the narrow tar road sweeps through a beautiful patch of camel thorn trees. In the crown of one tree I notice two white-backed vultures: They’re getting their nest ready for the coming breeding season.
Close to Molopo Kalahari Lodge, I spot something so unusual that I almost drive off the road. This is Khomani San country, and a couple of Bushmen are plying their trade to passing tourists. Noticing my out-of-province number plates, one guy jumps up and starts a dance to draw my attention. But that’s not what floors me: Save for a pair of underpants, the only item of clothing he’s wearing is a bright blue face mask!
If ever there was a sign of the times…
Covid cases have been rising in the Northern Cape, so I suppose it’s not that surprising. But I don’t have time to stop, have a lekker chat and so on. I have to drive.
From Askham, the R360 pulls itself straight as an arrow and I set cruise control to 120km/h. I’m listening to a lecture series about the pre-history of mankind, playing off my phone, so part of my brain is in ancient Crete with the Minoan civilization, while another part pays attention to avoiding sociable weavers flashing across the road.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Take A Hike
Forest-bathing in the Karkloof
The Other Blouberg
Blouberg sails on the bushveld like a solitary ship, rising above the Limpopo landscape near the town of Vivo. Set your course for adventure because vultures and views await…
From Kamiesberg To The Coast
The annual explosion of orange daisies around Skilpad rest camp in Namaqua National Park is stunning, but drive deeper into the park and you’ll see even more wildflowers, all the way to the windswept waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
With My Own Eyes
The tortoise and the mongoose
The Walkers Of The Waterberg
Author and artist Clive Walker has been a well-known name in South African conservation circles since he founded the Endangered Wildlife Trust in 1973. He and his wife Conita live near Vaalwater in the Waterberg, where their son Anton and his wife René run the Waterberg Living Museum.
Where Will You Sleep Tonight?
On a long drive from the Kalahari to Cape Town, Toast Coetzer counts his blessings.
Ain't No Mountain High Enough
An excellent way to determine if a blinged-up SUV like the Ford Everest Sport can face up to South African gravel roads is to take it on a 4000km cross-country expedition. So that’s what we did.
Fill Your Cup At The Source
The untarred R332 runs through the Baviaans and Kouga mountains. It’s about 200km long, but what no map will tell you is that it will probably take you days to drive. Here’s why.
HOUTEMA RIVER CABINS, KOGELBERG
In the previous issue, you found me scratching mosquito bites and staring desperately into the canopy of a Mozambican forest.