You’ve made the big decision, and bought a 4×4 for that off-roading adventure. Now you want to fit it out to suit your needs. Johan Badenhorst of Voetspore fame has some ideas – and words of caution. This where the fun starts. You’ve spent a couple of hundred thousand rand on a vehicle and now you have to make it perfect for your safari. You need to customise it and personalise it — give it some identity.
You’ve spent a couple of hundred thousand rands buying a 4×4. You’ve had it properly equipped at your nearest Megaworld and you’ve made plans for the next safari.
But have you considered probably the most important part of the exercise?
Johan Badenhorst of Voetspore fame explains Four areas, each a little bigger than the palm of your hand.
That is how much contact there is between your vehicle and mother earth. If you don’t get this one right, the rest is all in vain. Tyres are one of the most discussed issues when it comes to 4×4 driving, and rightly so. There are many theories, ranging from the tyre pressure to the speed at which you should drive to avoid punctures and have a comfortable ride. Also, how not to get stuck! One of the most interesting theories I’ve heard is that in Namibia, on its gravel road, you should never drive at exactly 55 km/h.
In the north of Kenya you’ll find the Chalbi and Dida Galgalu deserts. Both are inhospitable places – they are deserts, after all. And on any Cape to Cairo expedition, this is probably the most challenging terrain you will encounter. But even in deserts like these, complacency can set in, so always remain vigilant, says Johan Badenhorst
The Voetspore team crossed both the Chalbi and the Dida Galgalu deserts for the first time during our Kilimanjaro to Cairo journey five years ago. The Chalbi, originally a lake that turned into a desert over thousands of years, presented a physical obstacle – a challenge.
But we managed to overcome it without too much hassle and experienced one of the most fantastic desert drives imaginable. The Dida Galgadu was something different, though. It is a severe test for man and machine, and very few vehicles travel on the road between Marsabit and Moyale without losing a shock absorber or two. But there were other challenges that year as well. Lurking behind the rocks were bandits from Somalia! Five years ago, this was a very serious danger.
The intrepid Voetspore team is currently trekking between SA and Alexandria in Egypt, on an epic 20 000km adventure.
However, the team’s VW Amarok bakkies were stopped in their tracks in the north of Kenya. Like the congenial penguin leader in the movie, Madagascar, the only thing that tour leader Johan Badenhorst could tell his colleagues was, “Just smile and wave, boys! Just smile and wave!” Text: Johan Badenhorst Photographs: Gideon Swart I saw the Amarok for the first time at the Nampo agricultural trade show in 2010. Like all motor and 4×4 enthusiasts, I was curious.
Johan Badenhorst of Voetspore fame is well known for many reasons. He’s an explorer, adventurer, writer, film maker, TV personality, musical producer and an authority on overlanding. Cooking could easily be added to the list. When we visited him in Pretoria, Johan decided to share a taste of Senegal with us.
Text: Leilani Basson
Photography: Jannie Herbst