SA4x4 April 2018

SA4x4 magazine is written for anyone who loves to travel to wild places in their 4x4s. Covering beautiful routes in southern Africa and beyond, this title also deals with gear selection, vehicle reviews, and trail driving. This magazine contains everything you need to know about self-contained, vehicular travel in wilderness areas.

South Africa
Caravan Publications PTY LTD
1,20 €(IVA inc.)
12,52 €(IVA inc.)
12 Números

en aquest número

2 min.
ed’s letter

When we planned our visit to the Karoo National Park, nearby Beaufort West was in the grip of a crippling drought that threatened to close down the town. Natural wonders being what they are, a huge thunderstorm and sheets of rain swept through the region on the day we arrived. Rivers came down in flood, roads were impassable. But it was all clear the next morning, freeing us to drive the region’s trails, explore its diversity and take in sweeping vistas from our mountain-top cottage. That gamble paid off, as did Dan Grec’s in his account of a rain-soaked few weeks in Guinea during one of the world’s wettest wet seasons. His off-track travel throws up a host of great hikes and dodgy officials, and exposes some of the hardships that…

18 min.
our sprinter experience

We tremendously enjoyed Richard van Ryneveld’s article in the March edition, on his trip to Botswana in a Mercedes Sprinter 4x4. Since we know all these places and campsites quite well from many trips, I would like to comment a little on the Mercedes Sprinter’s 4x4 performance from our own experience. Our first overland trip, from Germany to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and all the way to Nepal, was in 1973 with a Volkswagen named “Bully”. Since then, we have been in a number of SUVs and 4x4s over the years in different parts of the world. From our home of 17 years in Knysna, we usually travel through Africa for two to three months every year with our trusty Toyota “Troopy”, which was customised by Alu-Cab in Cape Town. On our…

3 min.
from our website

SUZUKI JIMNY: WADING DEPTH? WYNAND ROOS: I would love some candid feedback on the current situation of my brand-new Suzuki Jimny. The Jimny has been around for 40 years, with very few upgrades to its simplistic design. This is part of its winning strategy: don’t fix something that is not broken. According to the official marketing collateral, the Suzuki is built to “Go Anywhere at Any Time”, “It will bend over front and backwards for you in any given situation” and, “Jimny’s simply don’t crack!” I know what you are thinking: this sounds flipping amazing, so how could this be a mistake? Well, it turns out that even though the Suzuki is marketed as a go-anywhere 4x4, as soon as you drive through water, your warranty won’t cover any defects - as per…

4 min.
the wild guide

“Hip bone connected to the back bone; Back bone connected to the shoulder bone; Shoulder bone connected to the neck bone; Neck bone connected to the head bone…”From Dem Dry Bones by James Weldon Johnson This month, I would like to take you on a journey ranging from several hundred million years ago to the present day. Although this may seem like a strangely ambitious and long safari, I promise it is one worth taking. Our safari begins in what is now the Karoo, but 265 million years ago when rivers were depositing sediment into a shrinking inland sea. As these rivers filled the basin with sediment, eventually giving rise to a group of rocks known as the Beaufort Group, they entombed the remains of the animals that lived around them.…

4 min.
rock crawling

Although not always ideal if you want to avoid vehicle damage, rock crawling is sometimes a necessity. South Africa, in particular, is a very rocky place - and if you’re going to drive off-road, you’ll come across rocky terrain sooner rather than later. The word ‘crawling’ in ‘rock crawling’ explains everything, and means that you’ll be going extremely slowly in first-gear low-range and climbing over large, often loose boulders which may be a challenge... especially in a standard 4x4. PREPARING YOUR VEHICLE Depending on the terrain, it’s often necessary to deflate your tyres. In rock, whether it is loose or firm, you’ll need to deflate the tyres for extra traction. A rough guide of pressure is that 30% lower than standard road pressure is advised, although you will be able to drop your…

1 min.
shop talk

Changing the diameter of a vehicle’s tyres can dramatically affect the performance of the vehicle - from acceleration, to braking, to fuel economy.By changing to a larger diameter tyre, a 4x4 vehicle can reduce its fuel consumption by as much as 15%. However it also impacts on the engine’s torque curve as well as the vehicle’s weight, aerodynamics, suspension and gearing. A more aggressive tread also has an influence. A larger diameter tyre covers more ground per revolution so overall gearing is reduced, causing the engine to run at lower RPM. If you have too large a tyre (which is also heavier), the engine operate below optimum, requiring more fuel to stay at the same RPM. It is therefore advisable not to exceed a 5% increase over the OEM tyre diameter. Wider…