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SA4x4 February 2020

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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.

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South Africa
Caravan Publications PTY LTD
R 210
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
ed’s letter

A few weeks ago I was parked off on a large 10-metre square raft being dragged very, very slowly across the 8km stretch of sea that separates the ghost town on the Isle dos Tigres and the dunes of Angola’s portion of the Namib Desert. The two 50hp outboards on the rubber duck were struggling to make headway against the weight of the raft, fully loaded with a brand-new Namib Edition 79 Series double cab. Precious cargo. This was a high point of an incredible action-packed few days in which we explored south-western Angola in new Land Cruisers, drove the Doodsakker twice in a single day, and even got to experience the Serra da Leba Pass near Lubango. But the best thing about that boat ride, which took the most part…

9 min.

ACTION-PACKED COUNT Wow, wow, wow. I can think of a better way to explain our game count experience in Hwange Game Park, in October. It started in May when I received an invitation from WEZ (Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe) to assist with their 50th annual game census in Hwange, something we had always wanted to experience. I immediately phoned our long-time travelling partners Johan and Ronel, they said they were in and ready to start planning for the October event. We had been to Mana Pools and Gonarezhou in 2018, and Hwange had always been on our bucket list. The afternoon before the game count, we were all sitting around waiting to we had been allocated. Listening to other people’s stories of previous counts, we could only hope that we got an exciting waterhole…

1 min.
overlander’s code

In response to a growing number of complaints about how we conduct ourselves in the wilderness, we decided to draw up and promote a code of conduct for overlanders. We’d like to include your input, comments and debate, so please send your suggestions to editor@sa4x4.co.za. FIREWOOD Take your firewood in with you; don’t chop down trees or gather dead wood within parks or wilderness areas. KEEP QUIET We go to the bush to appreciate the sights and sounds of the bush. No music, and nothing louder than a spoken conversation. RESPECT LOCALS – LAWS AND PEOPLE Obey the rules of the place you’re travelling through. Respect locals and their traditions; if they don’t like having their photos taken, don’t take photos. SUPPORT LOCAL TRADE Your spending money at the local shops and lodges will…

4 min.
the sugar-kick carnivores

Despite a high diversity of small carnivores in Africa, little is known about their ecology and their role as primary and secondary consumers. This is partly due to our general focus on what I like to call the ‘hairies and scaries’ – those large and charismatic animals that possess features such as tusks, horns, or very large teeth! We often overlook the smaller, and often nocturnal, predators which also play a crucial rule in ecosystem functioning. In this article, I would like to focus on one group of these small carnivores, in particular, the genets. Members of the genus Genetta (Cuvier, 1816), genets are small, spotted carnivores with wide faces and bushy tails belonging to the family Viverridae. Within southern Africa, there are three species: the South African Large-spotted genet (Genetta…

5 min.
breaking in an engine: gently does it…

When you’ve just purchased your new pride and joy, the first thought after unwrapping the ribbon in the dealership could well be along the lines of, “What’s the best way to run-in the engine and transmission to ensure optimum performance and the longest possible service life?” Older mechanics will probably give detailed schedules of maximum rpm and periods of cooling off for both a new and rebuilt engine. Some of what they say might be true, but this remains a contentious topic with many opinions and no single ‘right way’ to do it. Manufacturers these days make things simple and usually provide a few guidelines – these should be the first thing to check in the User’s Manual. Put simply, the break-in period is the time a new or rebuilt engine takes…

1 min.
dos & don’ts of running-in

• Do not – Idle the engine for extended periods during the first few hours of operation as it can cause ‘glazing’ of the cylinder walls, preventing a good seal between it and the piston rings. • Do not – Over-rev or run the engine at more than 70-80% of power capacity for the first 1 000km as this could cause premature wear. Instead, keep the engine at its peak torque RPM, and NOT the invariably much higher peak power RPM. • Do not – Labour the engine by using large throttle openings at very low revs. This puts immense pressure on the crankshaft and causes intense vibrations, which may reduce the life of crank bearings. • Do – Operate the vehicle at peak torque RPMs but not full throttle. The pressure and…