Searching for the Maputo Elephants By Eric Mc Millan
During a conversation I happened to say “what about Moz” , “I am keen” replied Gabby in a flash and when are we going?
Here I was committing myself without even trying.
I had heard that the Maputo Elephant had been seen several times and that the herd had grown to about fifty elephant and thought this would be a good opportunity to go and have a look for myself. As we are rapidly running out of long weekends it was decided to make a long weekend by taking the Friday off, which would give us 4 days to get to Southern Mozambique and back.
I was keen to try my PDA/GPS moving map setup out so this would be an excellent opportunity to get some practice and to find out if it works.
The border at Kosi Bay only opens at eight so there was no point in traveling up there at night and last time we went up there Jimmy rode into a cow which damaged his Landy and put a end to his trip. With Dave in his Disco and my son Dave and me in the 90 we left Durban at 3am Thursday morning. We met Gabby and Lesley at the Umtunzini toll Plaza. At Hluhulwe we turned towards the coast and picked up the new road to Mbazwana and Manguzi. I did not understand the logic of building such magnificent pavements and pedestrian paths through some of the villages and the traffic circles in the middle of nowhere. This is a lovely road and is a big improvement on the road through Josini. We arrived at the border and found a huge queue waiting. It took us an hour to get through. These days you don’t need a visa but the vehicle tax at the border post is R170. During the wait we met some Zulu guys from Durban who were in a two-wheel drive bakkie and were going to Boane. I offered to look out for them on the way up.
The conditions are very dry and the sand soft and deep, some mechies in a fancy vehicle even got stuck at the border post. We decide to give it a go without deflating tires but it wasn’t long before we had to drop pressures, the going was much easier after that. Just before Situndu we come across our Zulu friends stuck up to the axels and between Gabby and myself we towed them out and advised them to bypass Zitundu and take the better road.
The fees to the elephant park are R35pppd, once off R70 pp entrance and once off R70 for the vehicle. It is advisable to have the right amount, as there is not a cash register around. We met James the game guard, whom we had met at Dobela some years ago and he recognized me. As he speaks Zulu we had a long chat and he tells me that Dobela camp has been burnt down and that a couple of campers have been taken by a nasty flat dog that lurks down there.
The road to Milli has deep sand and full of ruts. The section where you have to drive through the bush has not been improved so if you go through there be prepared for some scratches also avoid a high load on the roof rack and put the fishing rods in the middle. There were plenty of campsites available and we selected one far from the ablutions and dive compressors. There are flush toilets but cistern part has long ceased working and one has to flush them by pouring and bucket of water into the bowl. There are two toilets, which are enclosed and separated by platted saplings so it is possible to have a conversation with your neighbor while you are busy. Towards the end of the weekend the septic tank must have been getting full because my son Dave was in there when his neighbor flushed his loo and my son got it full in the cheeks, luckily the beach is close and he is able to run and wash off. The toilets were avoided after that.
On Friday we loafed around, took long walks, fished and lazed in the sun. The only fish caught are pompano and bonefish these are released. My son put out a couple of live bates but these do not attract the kingfish.
On Saturday we drove north hoping to spot the big ones, we saw dung, hippo tracks, and a couple of buck, lots of birds but no elephants. We carried on North out of the park onto Santa Maria and eventually close to Cabo. Inhaca Island lies across the bay and is much bigger than I thought with some large mountains on it. We are unable to get to Cabo, as concession holders own it and we do not have the time to walk there. Santa Maria is disappointing and run down even the old paint is disappearing from the buildings. The scenery along the drive is magnificent and it is a worthwhile trip.
Sharon Scafturis Kloof
1984 Series 111S pup diesel
Bob and Diane Lemon Durban North Range Rover 3 door V8
Remember it’s your club and you will get out of it what you want to. You have purchased THE BEST 4 x 4 x FAR and now its time to use it. See you at the next club event.
|When||What, where||More Info.||
|July||Lesotho snow trip||
Very little snow above Sani at present. Still waiting and hoping that the snow comes soon.
3 / 4
|22 – 24 July||Shu Shu Hot Springs.||
Shu Shu is in the Tugela valley below Kranskop. Very rustic and one need to take everything. Give Henry a call for more info.
1 / 2
|6 – 9 August||Hells Gate, Lake St Lucia||
Due to popular demand another trip to Hells Gate is being organized. Give Don a call if interested.
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|28 August||Cars in the Park, Toti||
Bring your old or new Land Rover and join other club members at “Toti Cars In The Park”. A byo braai for lunch. Give Henry a call for more info.
|10 September||Watervale Lodge Inchanga||
A recovery demo followed by a braai and Land Rover video’s. Come along and see how to recovery the Landy when stuck. How to use the Hi Lift jack, snatch straps, winch etc etc. The braai is on the club SO PLEASE CONTACT GEORGE BEFORE 2 SEPTEMBER if you will be there. No reservation NO braai.
|October||Venue to be announced||
An event along the same lines as the Broadleaze event we ran last year. It’s a fun event suitable for the whole family. More info to follow.
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|8 October||Watervale Lodge Inchanga.||
2nd annual Watervale Lodge Land Rover vs Toyota Challenge. WANTED Land Rovers to take part in the challenge. Both standard and modified required. Give George a call for more info.
4 / 5
|November||Venue to be announced||
A Club Gates event . More info to follow.
3 / 4
|25 – 27 November||Hidden Valley, Mooi River||
As an end of year away trip Hidden Valley has it all. Fishing, tubing, 4x4 track etc. Give George or Henry a call for more info.
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|27 – 31 December||Lesotho Ongeluksnek||
Up Ongeluksnek pass, down Maphooaneng pass, follow the Quthing river and onto Seforong Gorge, Senque valley and then back via Mphaki and down Ongeluksnel Pass. Give George a call if interested.
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NON LROC ORGANISED EVENTS but worth supporting. Give George a call if more info is required.
|23-25 Sep||Hidden Valley Mooi River||
Southern Cross festival. More info to follow.
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TRAIL GRADING All our events from now on will have a Trail Grading according to the 5 grades below.
Complete novice soft dirt road trail, no low range required. Suitable for all Land Rovers including the Freelander.
Limited low range required but suitable for the novice driver. Suitable for all Land Rovers with certain trails not suitable for the Freelander.
Low range and limited off road knowledge required. Suitable for all Land Rovers except the Freelander.
A low range technical trail suitable for the experienced. The inexperienced will be able to do the trail, as assistance will be available from the more experienced members. Suitable for all Land Rovers except the Freelander.
Extremely technical, suitable for the experienced only with the possibility of vehicle damage. Only suitable for "Series" Land Rovers. Ha Ha
When you change your email or postal address PLEASE notify the LROC of your change of address. Of late we have a few members change email and postal address and then complain that they are not receiving a newsletter. Its not the job of the committee to track you down. If your email address fails or your post gets returned then you will fall off our mailing list until you update your info with the committee.
From earlier... Searching for the Maputo Elephants
My son convinces me to take a different route home and just inland from Milli we turn towards Lake Piti , the road is not well defined and heavily bushed. Out come the pangas and axes and we hack our way through. We saw fresh elephant dung and tracks but the big guys have wandered off, probably to the shade offered by the dense bush. The drive is tremendous along the shores of the lake and the bird life abundant. I saw a goliath heron for the first time and several sacred ibis. A fish eagle swoops by giving his “out of Africa” call. There are no humans near the lake and we have the place to ourselves. Without a moving map setup the trip would be difficult as there are many little sidetracks leading off and you would lose a lot of time by exploring them as they often lead to dead ends. On the way out we support the cantina at Zitundu, always an interesting experience. It is just after three in the afternoon when we get to the border and still a long way home.
Southern Moz is a lovely place and I will go back next year. One has to be completely self sufficient and it is definitely not for the grassed campsite and tiled ablution block fraternity.
New Legislation that may affect us all
There has been a lot of publicity in the press lately with the only objective to put the 4x4 owner in a bad light. Fighting this has been one of the AAWDC's main objectives for this year. Please find attached an article which we kindly request you to publish in your club magazine. We do not have all the contact details of club magazine editors and, therefore request you to pass it on as soon as possible. To ensure that we have a united voice, please comment on the article before the target date. This is an extremely important issue, one which may have an even greater effect on us than the beach ban. Please read the article before continuing.
The AAWDC supports the national off-road workshop (NOW) and will represent the clubs at the workshop by presenting the view of the clubs on the road ahead. However, at an EXCO meeting of the AAWDC committee, we decided that the AAWDC will not entirely rely on the success of the NOW only. We have decided to carry on meeting with conservation and government officials to ensure that we are fully prepared to present solutions to the current problems. Once we have received comments from the clubs, we will hold our own workshop in September where the club representatives and, if possible, conservation representatives will be present. We will make use of a professional facilitator and compile all our comments from the clubs and researched information into a document and a presentation that should be acceptable to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), with or without the NOW. The AAWDC is probably the only body in the NOW who has no financial gain by our participation. We will ensure that no body or organisation enriches themselves or claims fame for the process.
ADRESSING THE THREATS FACING OFF-ROADING IN SOUTH AFRICA
Over the past 12 to 18 months there has been a remarkable increase in negative publicity of the 4x4 industry in South Africa and the rest of the world. This negative publicity did not only stem from environmentalists, activists and sensation seekers, but threats to react to this negative perception also came from the South African Government. The following are only a few of statements made by these people :
“When we banned them from the beaches, some of them simply moved inland, and they are destroying sensitive mountainous environments.”
“The 4x4 vehicle owners whose destruction of the country's beaches was stopped in its tracks but who are now doing the same in the mountains, will be taken to task soon, said Riaan Aucamp, spokesperson for Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk”
“However, regulations still will be required, and if there are not concrete proposals forthcoming from the industry within the next six months, the government will have to issue these unilaterally - although this would not be our first choice,” (Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk)
Conservation expert Gerhard Verdoorn said on Friday that 4x4 owners had no right to South Africa's beaches and mountains. “They have only a privilege, and that can be taken away from them at any time.”
Aucamp said 4x4 owners who had taken their beach driving to Mozambique would be stopped there, too. “Mozambicans are highly irritated by South Africans gallivanting on their beaches with 4x4s.” Van Schalkwyk had discussions recently with his Mozambican counterparts and legislation is in place there to get 4x4 drivers off their beaches.
“Drivers of 4x4s, SUVs (sport utility vehicles) and off-road vehicles caught flouting the country's environmental laws could land up in jail or face stiff fines, as government threatens to get tough on people damaging the ecosystem.”
“He added that during his travels in Africa, he had found that many South African 4x4 owners were irresponsible and that they left a trail of destruction”
Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, said 4x4 owners were “complete idiots”, while another Briton labelled them “Satan's little runabouts”.
“They couldn't or wouldn't regulate themselves on the beaches, and continue to show a reckless disregard for others and the environment, especially across our borders, where there is less control.”
The 4x4 owner has become a soft target and a scapegoat for environmentalists to blame for environmental destruction. The government listens to environmentalists because they are perceived to be learned scientists and all say the same thing whereas the 4x4 industry is very fragmented without a united voice, self discipline or a system to police themselves.
Consider the following:
There are estimated to be in excess of 600,000 4x4 vehicles on our roads. About 15,000 new vehicles are added to this figure annually. Although a large number of these vehicles belong to the government and other organisations for non recreational use, a large percentage are being used for recreational purposes. Of these only about 5,000 users belong to 4x4 clubs, the majority of which belong to the AAWDC SA (Association Of All Wheel Drive Clubs Of Southern Africa).
The AAWDC believes that club members are generally well behaved. However, there is still a very large group of 4x4 owners out there who do not subscribe to a code of conduct, who do not have access to affordable driver training, who do not attend club talks on the environment, who do not read club magazines that promotes environmental sensitivity etc.
Unfortunately the bad perception among the general public and the government that the drivers of 4x4s are obnoxious drunks who drives dangerously, with large fuel guzzling “tanks” which are destructive and are destroying ecologically sensitive areas are not always unfounded –
South African groups have been acting badly in neighbouring countries and we are indeed becoming the ugly South Africans; washed away vehicles have been left in the surf or in ephemeral rivers; some safari leaders have been depicted as openly driving on beaches; hundreds of hired, SA registered 4x4 vehicles are driving in neighbouring countries, mostly with foreign drivers behind the wheel who have no clue what they are doing. The locals only see an SA registered vehicle;
advertising firms have been known to advertise insensitive ads on the use of 4x4 vehicles creating the impression that all Off-Roaders are cowboys with no care for the environment; and map makers are depicting areas for use that is ecological sensitive.
There is no doubt that unless the 4x4 fraternity can come up with concrete proposals to regulate its activities, the pressure on the off-road industry is going to increase with government vigorously enforcing existing laws and promulgating new restrictive laws.
It is not only the 4x4 owner that will be affected, but the whole of the off-road industry which will carry the consequences in some way. This is a stifling economic concept preventing upliftment, sustainable use, economic growth and human development, especially in rural areas.
During 2004, the AAWDC chairman requested a meeting with the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to discuss the road ahead. The Minister was however not prepared to meet with us. During January of 2005, the AAWDC was invited by Mr Jan Joubert, (off-roader, conservationist and author) together with a few individuals in leading roles in the industry, to again contact the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to request a meeting with the Minister and to request his support for a national workshop with the aim to discuss our problems and ways to address them.
Due to work pressure, the Minister could unfortunately not see us, but he gave the order to the Director for Environmental Influence Management, Mr. Wynand Fourie, to act as liaison, which happened during the last week of February. After explaining the situation fully to Mr. Fourie, he reacted positively and gave the assurance that he will convey the situation to the Minister. Dr Sean Vorster, special advisor to the Minister, also contacted Mr Jan Joubert and we now have a letter of support from Adv. Helen Venter as Chief of the Ministry.
This workshop has now reached an advanced stage of organisation and is commonly know as the National Off-road Workshop (NOW). The workshop will take place from 18 to 20 October 2005. The objectives of the workshop can be defined as follows:
To enhance cooperation in the off-road industry and to create a representative body, which must be decided upon, which will represent the industry. The purpose of this body is to unify, guard and promote the interests of the 4x4 industry, but at the same time enforce self-discipline in the industry.
To promote effective laws that is practical and that can be applied.
To encourage the different sections or interest groups in the off-road industry (of which the AAWDC is one), to organise themselves into unified bodies with a unified opinion. The different sections will have to sell their points of view and vision to the rest of the industry at the NOW and will have to reach synergism beforehand, on representation to the NOW.
The final objective is to produce a White Paper that holds the unified opinion of the off-road industry for submission to the Minister and the government.
The NOW was given a kick start when the first meeting took place in Cape Town on 7 May 2005. The AAWDC played a leading role in making the inaugural meeting happen. Various bodies were represented including NAAMSA (motor manufacturers), MIA (motor retailers), AMID (motorcycle/quad importers) and SAVRALA (vehicle rental associations). Directly as a result of the NOW two new bodies were established and present at the meeting to represent the trail owners (SAROOF) and the safari trail guides (4 Wheel Drive Guides Association).
At the meeting various decisions were made; Mr Jan Joubert was elected as convenor, a Steering Committee was established, a vision and mission was formulated, the road ahead was paved, and the representing bodies were requested to prepare their unified opinion that will be presented at the NOW. Since that meeting various other bodies have contacted the convenor to throw their weight behind the NOW. The NOW has the support of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT). The DEAT will also be represented at the NOW.
At the previous AAWDC Executive Committee Meeting it was decided to support the NOW and the AAWDC will be represented with a unified opinion. This is where we now need to consult you, our members, for your opinion to ensure that we truly have a unified opinion to present. The following is the opinion of the AAWDC committee which must be ratified by you or commented on by no later than 31 August 2005. Your comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We support and propose – the establishment of a non-governmental body to act as watchdog over the off-roading industry, which can set standards and have enough teeth to enforce laws governing it; reasonable legislation that will see the establishment of a standardised trail rating system, the registration of off-road trails with the abovementioned body and the conducting of affordable and reasonable environmental impact studies; the development of unit standards in off-road driver training and the registration of training schools with the above mentioned body; a special endorsement on one’s driver’s license for off-road driving after having completed a driver training course (provision shall be made for current experienced drivers) without which the trail owners shall not allow drivers on their trails;
We believe that the above is essential to show the DEAT that the off-roading industry can regulate itself and can act responsibly. If our attempts fail, off-roading could mean climbing up pavements to see the big five, North Gate, East Gate, South Gate, West Gate and Sandton City.
Environmentally, South Africa is an incredibly unique and rich country. The World Wide Fund for Nature: South Africa estimates that South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world. The country has a well-maintained network of protected areas and is globally renowned for its conservation practices. However, despite this excellent record in conservation, South Africa is also one of the environmental “hot spots” in the world with 2,000 plant species on the endangered list.
By responsibly practising our hobby, we can, and are to large extent already, contributing towards the preservation of the environment.
We did not inherit the Earth from our parents, We are borrowing it from our children - Indian Proverb
4X4 SELF-DRIVE EXPEDITIONS INTO AFRICA
TRAILS IN THE MYSTIFYING
SOUTPANSBERG (LIMPOPO, RSA)
1-day trails possible but minimum of 3-day trail recommended
Indigenous forest; Angels’ Steps; panoramic views; Botha’s Pass; … and much more…
Bring your 4x4 Club and/or your business associates for an unforgettable breakaway…
WINTER SCHOOL HOLIDAY OPTIONS!!!
BERG AND BEACH EXPEDITION (SOUTPANSBERG/MOZAMBIQUE)
- 12 days – 02 to 13 July 2005
Also 06 to 17 August 2005
Experience the Soutpansberg Forest Trail before venturing into Mozambique over the great Limpopo River. 7 days on the beaches of Mozambique - Vilankulos, Inhambane and Xai-Xai.
OKAVANGO EXPEDITION (BOTSWANA/CAPRIVI
STRIP) - 12 days – 04 to 15 July 2005
Also 08 to 19 August 2005
Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Leroo-la-Tau on the Boteti River, mokorro and sunset cruises at Sepupa, Tsodillo Hills, Popa Falls, Horseshoe Bend in the heart of the Caprivi Strip, Kasane, Victoria Falls.
VILANKULOS EXPEDITION (MOZAMBIQUE) -
8 days – 25 Sep to 02 Oct 2005
Over the great Limpopo River. 6 days on Mozambique beaches - Vilankulos, Inhambane and Xai-Xai.
CHRISTMAS SERENGETI EXPEDITION
(TANZANIA) - 24 days – 14 Dec 2005 to 05 Jan 2006
Let Tanzania and a truly memorable expedition take you and your family into the 2006 New Year...
Start at Kasane (Botswana), runs through Zambia to Tanzania. Christmas Day at the Ngorongoro Crater and/or Serengeti NP. Return via Malawi and Zambia - Old Year’s Eve at Lake Malawi. Other highlights: Lake Waka-Waka, Kapishya Hot Springs (Shiwa Ngandu), Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, etc.
Visit us on the Internet at
www.masazane.co.za E-mail us on
Or phone us directly for information 082 829 5421 JACQUI and 082 772 6682 DAVE
I have cleared with the saltmine, and one of our weighbridges (massbridges?) can be made available, probably on a Sunday morning to weigh (massmeasure) vehicles. Idea is to pitch with your normal running or overland kit on board.
This could be followed with a ceremonial braaing of meat, with the heaviest (or should that be the lightest) providing the first round :-). Location is Bellair, Durban. Timing towards end of August, maybe end July.
If there is any interest, please contact me Peter Tiedt OR contact Mike Lauterbach
ESTON GATES June 05
13 Vehicles started the Gates event but only 9 completed all 10 gates. In ( ) is the number of gates attempted.
( 10 ) Dirk Konyn Series 1 swb
480 ( 10 ) Jan Viljoen Series 111S pup
440 ( 10 ) Mike Lauterbach Defender 110 tdi
440 ( 10 ) George Goswell Series 111S
410 ( 10 ) Ryan Goswell Series 111S HT
410 ( 10 ) Ron Scafturis Series 111S pup
380 ( 10 ) Dave King Disco tdi
350 ( 10 ) Bob Lemon Range Rover V8
340 ( 10 ) Zane van Rensburgh Disco V8
200 ( 7 ) Eugene Le Roux Range Rover V8
40 ( 3 ) Andrew Mason Series 11A pup
60 ( 2 ) C Du Toit Series 11A lwb
0 ( 2 ) Paul Chantler Defender 110 V8
Overall Dirk Konyn
Pole Wrecker Zane Van Rensburgh
Grave Digger Bob Lemon
Gates Deserter Paul Chantler
Lloyd Wing is the person to contact for an edited DVD of the Eston Gates event. R50.00 is the cost. Cell 0836552778
|I have a 1966 Series 2A 109" hardtop with a badly rusted chassis. The vehicle is in exceptionally original condition, all body panels intact and straight. The vehicle was a runner when I parked it off about 10 years ago. I have a second hand chassis in excellent nick onto which I had intended to rebuild the vehicle. Sadly I now realise that I would have to live to be about 147 to have any chance of achieving that ambition! Make me a realistic offer. Contact Peter Bassett (031) 785 1190 (o) or (033) 347 1303 (h)||Six cylinder sidevalve motor (turns but non runner) R500.00. Plasma rope on special (8mm) only while stocks last! Contact Tom Geldart on 0829209134 (Hillcrest) or e-mail email@example.com|
|Front Runner Roof rack for Disco 11. What offers. Contact Johan Juselius 0833031278.||Series 111S R6 s/wagon. Rebuilt in 1999. What offers. Contact Larry 0825550912.|
|Land Rover 110 County Stationwagon 1988 V8 285000km R60000 neg. inc. Roadworthy Certificate and new Tyres. Extras include a Bush bar with Winch mounting, Dual Batteries, two complete sets of wheels, Reardoor Frontrunner Sparewheel Carrier and additional petrol tanks. Phone Gerd 072 182 6972 or 012 803 0142 (a/h).||Series 3 LWB hardtop good condtion R26000 phone Bruce 0724238879|
trailduster 15inch rims with tyres (yokahama super diggers ( used ) one
rim has a brand new firestone A.T.F with brand new rim price 2000.00 for the
90 with ~233,000km includes:
* Dog guard * Bullbar * Spots * Front loader CD player * Alu trimmings * Snorkel * 1/2 size roof rack * Little Black Box * 29Mhz and VHF antennas (Radios extra) It is in good condition, and the only thing that needs attention that I can recall is the diesel pump (which leaks diesel at the seal when cold). Engine is in excellant condition. It has a new cambelt and alternator.
Asking R97,500. Contact Gregg Howard 082 808 5704
|Series S/W bin R 500 onco good condition .Forward control Chassis good condition ,haven't a clue what they go for .Forward control cab panels etc salvageable make an offer .One 2.6 side valve motor going for recycling unless some one is looking for a part of it. Contact Julian Budd firstname.lastname@example.org||
high rise fibreglass canopy for LWB series 3 bakkie land rover ,R2500.00
PH: Leonard 031 7823375 or cell 0833385976
Last Modified : 07/02/2006 13:45