Life in the seat of a 4 x 4 ...
Today, exactly a year ago, Peter, our CMO and his friend Johan, started a tough 2400 km journey cycling from Cape Town, V&A Waterfront to Ponts drift Border post, Limpopo. This was to raise funds for Local Surf Lounge Academy.
On their third night, they met Zulch Conradie, who offered them a complimentary stay at his guest farm “Jurgensfontein” which is located between Ceres and Sutherland. Zulch is an ex ranger in Sabi Sands and a seasoned 4×4 camper and covered many miles around Southern Africa. To celebrate Tourism Month, we spoke to Zulch about his career as a ranger, his first overland camping trip and tips for keen campers that want to explore Africa.
Here is what Zulch had to say ….
What is your first overland/ camping travel memory. How long ago was it and where did you go, what was the highlight on the trip?
Which African destination in your opinion is the most magical/ your favorite to travel to and why?
If you go on your next trip and you are only allowed to pack 5 things, what are the 5 most important things that you will pack on your trip?
Traveling in my bakkie kitted with fridge and tent.
- First aid kit (Mine is quite extensive)
- Binoculars and reference books
- Tyre repair kit and a shovel
- Couple of beers and some meat
Can you give any tips to keen adventurers, who are planning to go on their first African camping trip?
For first time self drive campers, which destination and route will you recommend?
I have spoked to a lot of campers that said that they camped for many years in campsites, but the day that they discovered Wilderness camping for the first time, they never wanted to return to paid campsites - DO you also feel this way about Wilderness Camping?
Yes. I love the freedom. However I do believe it is not possible all the time. In some places in SA it is just not safe to wildcamp these days.
Wild camping is becoming a trend. My fear is that not everyone respects private land and/or nature the way we should. Take only pictures and leave only footprints.
What’s your craziest travel story?
Doing Van Zyl’s pass alone. (Don’t try this at home) Then Namib also alone. This was a life changing experience. You have to face yourself and deal with all the lies etc.
What would you change, if you could change anything?
I would love to be able to travel more. The southern part of Africa has so much to offer ; such diversity; not only in nature, but also in people and culture