LANDROVING IN KZN

October 2007

Hi All 

As the year winds to a close, well it is October already, the events start to taper off and end of year trips get closer. Unfortunately, most of us will be far too busy at work to contemplate such breaks right now but in a few months the holiday period will be upon us. Usually then, the last minute rush begins as we ensure we all the correct gear and essential items we need for our holidays be they local or further a field.  

This month’s newsletter has two stories from reliable members who are past newsletter contributors, thank you both and hopefully these will whet some appetites and persuade some to use their vehicles to do some exploring (and hopefully put their trips in writing).  

I also included a new section entitled Tech Tips where members can share advice, tips and solutions to Landy problems (Landies? Problems? This last one will probably never be utilised...) 

Ed  


INTERNATIONAL NEWS: (well sort off….Botswana?)

 Little Beast vat die Langpad.      By Eric Mc Millan 

I was having a bad attack of cabin fever when Pat Wilson said, “do you want to go to Botswana?” I said “when”.  That was it, committed and raring to go. We had no fixed ideas of where to go so the plan was fairly flexible. As far as Udith and I are concerned Bots is OK wherever you go. Eventually a rough plan was worked out and it was decided to play it by ear and not book, as this ties you down and forces you to keep to a schedule. 

Pat and Carol had not been to Kubu Island so we decided that would make that our first place to visit. We entered Bots at the Martins Drift border post and we were lucky there were not too many cargo-carrying trucks waiting to go through. On our way to Kubu we changed plan and popped into the Khama Rhino Sanctuary near Serowe to have a look. This turned out to be so good we ended spending two days there. 

Kubu Island is a magic place and has a beauty of its own. A GPS is very handy to navigate your way there, as you cannot see to Island from the edge of Sowa pan. There were a few campers there but we found a quite spot and were alone with the beautiful sunsets and the brilliant night sky. These days there are some long drop loos but no water so you have to take your own. The Baobabs are some of the biggest around and must be ancient and have some stories to tell.

The road from Kubu to Gweta is mostly across the pans and conditions are pretty rough and dusty, the dust is like cement powder and sticks to everything. In some places it is 200mm thick and driving through it looks as if an explosion has taken place. As we are no rush we decide to spend the night at Planet Baobab campsite to have a hot shower and an ice-cold beer at the very cosy pub. Udith was also able to catch up with the laundry. A laundry trick we learnt from Les Rayson is to soak your dirty clothes in a tub or bucket with a lid that seals, add soap powder and water and after a days travelling all you have to do when you arrive at your destination is to rinse the washing and hang it out to dry. A shaking Landy is a good washing machine!

We always wanted to visit Baines’ Baobabs so decided to call in at Nxai pan. The reserve has a lot of game and an abundance of bird life. The road is very bumpy with deep sand; these roads were later called bad temper roads as you ended up in a foul mood after being bumped around for a 100Ks. The road also had a vehicle trap which is a large hole filled with very soft sand. It is on a stretch of hard road and you suddenly drop into it. Changing down through all the gears you eventually run out of power in first gear and stall. At this point you are bottomed out and stopped. Changing down into low ratio digs you in further. Out comes the spade and you start digging, lowering the tyre pressure to 1 bar helps and the Landy is able to extract itself. The mood is worse at this time. A shower and cold frosty soon makes you forget. The plan was to visit Baines on the way out but when we got to the turn off we discovered you had to have a permit so we laughed it off. Maybe next time!

We need timeout and have to replenish our supplies so take a day off and spend it at Maun Rest Camp, which belongs to Simon and Joyce. They operate a safari company and at this time of the year are very busy. Round about this time vast quantities of water arrive at the Delta after the 1200k trek from the mountains in Angola. The normally dry rivers start flowing and low-level land is covered with water. It is an occasion in Maun when this happens and the town folk turn out to see this event. The animals follow and there was a hippo grunting in the river next to campsite near the centre of Maun.

Our next destination was the area north of the Kwai River, which is on the edge of Moremi. There is an abundance of game and the views are spectacular. The big advantage is that you don’t have to pay park fees. Accommodation is available at local community camps and there are more and more of these being set up. Bush camping and driving off tracks in this area is frowned upon and heavy fines are imposed. We stuck to the little used tracks away from the European self-drive tourists and the GPS was invaluable as you soon lose your sense of direction amongst the shrub and bush. The saying that all roads lead to Rome is true but if you are pushing your fuel and supplies range you can have a spot of bother if you take wrong turns. This is not the kind of territory where you would want to walk out for help.

Unfortunately the area from Moremi North gate to the east of the Delta is concession area and we cannot go along there so we spend two nights in Moremi. The park is booked out but there is plenty of space. It appears that people book well in advance but then don’t pitch and also don’t cancel the booking. The water from the Delta has also reached there; one has to take a few detours to avoid deep-water crossings. I have a fear of getting stuck and then having to wade in the water that could have crocks, hippos and other nasties swimming around. The evenings in Moremi are pleasant but one has to be on the look out for hyena that lurk in the shadows. An occasion sweep with a bright torch easily detects them as you get these green eyes staring back at you. I am glad we have a roof top tent.

After returning to Maun again and restocking the supplies we took off to the Kalagadi Park, entering from Bots through the Kaa gate at the northern entrance. It takes us one and a half days to get there the last 60ks takes 5 hours, heavy sand and up and down surface. It is magnificent and very remote countryside, we never saw anyone else for two days. The best time to visit there would be in March/April when they have had some rain. When you cross the Nossub River, which is dry at this time of the year, you are in the RSA and you start to see more animals. Windmills pump water into the waterholes and there are herds of springbok, wildebeest and gemsbok.

The road to Nossub stars getting worse the further south we travel and we start seeing people, dam. This is a real bad mood road and we really appreciate the shower and frosties at the campsite. The camp fees are reasonable and we will return, maybe next year. We only spent two and a half days in the Kalagadi and I think a week would have been just about right. There is fuel and a shop at Nossub so you don’t have to take much with you.

From Nossub onto Upington, another bad mood road until you hit the tar. At this point we part company with Pat and Carol as they want to go to the flowers. We overnight at Upington and Bethlehem before we reach home.

We ended doing over 6000ks so you can see fuel is the biggest cost when you do these trips. You can use your credit card to buy fuel in Bots so you don’t have to have that many Pula with you and there are Spar shops in most the towns so you do not have to take large quantities of food with you. Prices are a bit more than here.

I have been back at work for a couple of days and can feel a bout of fever coming again.

 

                  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

         A very good reason to have a GPS receiver!                                                   Baines’ Baobabs          


                                         

 Future Events for your Diary. The trips listed below are provisional and can change at short notice.

When

What, where

More Info.

Grade

4 Nov

4th Gates Event

Eston

4th and final gates event for 2007. Eston is the venue and the start time is 09h00. Braai fires will be provided and it’s a BYO braai for lunch. Give George a call for more info.

3 - 4

Nov 18

Landy vs Toyota  High Stakes

Cato Ridge

The 2007 round of the Land Rover vs Toyota challenge. The venue will be High Stakes, Cato Ridge. Standard and modified Land Rovers are required. Last year we had a good turn out and Land Rover took top honours. Support the event as both a spectator and driver and lets again show Toyota the support that Land Rover has. Give George a call for more info.

3 - 5

14 – 21 Dec

Transkei

First day Durban to Mpande and then we will follow the coast to Kei River mouth. The final route and over night stops will be dealt with in a meeting to be called soon for all interested. The number of vehicles will be limited, so give Gary a call for more info.

3 - 4

27 – 31 Dec

Lesotho

The route to be confirmed later but will be as scenic as the past trips. We will enter Lesotho via the Ongeluksnek Border post. Give George a call if interested.

3 - 4

17- 19 Jan 2008

Duzi Canoe

Umgeni valley

Wanted Land Rover to assist with the marshalling along the Duzi canoe route.  Your meals and drinks are provided along with a contribution towards your fuel. Secure campsites are set up for the 2 nights and a large tent is provided for the Land Rover Club members.  If you are able to help for all 3 days or just some  of the days give Henry a call.

2

Feb 2008

19th AGm

19th AGM of the Land Rover Owners Club KZN. Venue and date to follow.

1 - 3

 Please remember that the day-events above are great for meeting and socialising with fellow club members and friends. Bring a picnic and enjoy the fresh air and activities from your deckchair.

 TRAIL GRADING: All our events from now on will have a Trail Grading according to the 5 grades below.
 

1.        Complete novice soft dirt road trail, no low range required. Suitable for all Land Rovers including the Freelander.

2.       Limited low range required but suitable for the novice driver. Suitable for all Land Rovers with certain trails not suitable for the Freelander.

3.       Low range and limited off road knowledge required. Suitable for all Land Rovers except the Freelander.

4.       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.

5.       Extremely technical, suitable for the experienced only with the possibility of vehicle damage. Only suitable for "Series" Land Rovers and maybe a few others.


New Ed’s comment, "The newsletter is published regularly on an irregular basis every month, printed as and when it seems fit and delivered when it suits. It will be late on your time, but on time, on my time.”


MEMBER’S MEMORABLE MOMENTS:

 

Tembe and Mozambique, by Don Erwin

Mon 6 Aug 09h00: We set off on our trip North, LATE!! due to the mislaying of the petrol feed pipe to my rubber duck. 13h30 arrived at our first destination, Hellsgate, which is an old Special Forces training camp and prior to that a Missile Base. The army is withdrawing and handing it over to KZN Wildlife who have stocked it with all sorts of game including four of the big five, no lions yet! I'm o.k. with this and I'm accustomed to walking and cycling where I please although the Ellies are from Kruger and had a dysfunctional upbringing are thus delinquent and apparently killed a Zulu woman recently! Impaled her right thru the front of the truck!! Didn’t see any Ellies although there was plenty of telltale signs, gulp, we did see a baby Giraffe who had just recently been born.  Hilton (my mate) tried to get closer on foot but the mother who was very nervous called it and off it went on very shaky legs. We also saw Wildebeest, Buffalo, lots of antelope, Zebra and had a wonderful two days. The only thing is we had to rough it in a four-b/room army house, ha ha. 

Wed 8 Aug: Set off for Tembe and I decided to take a shortcut via the back roads, which resulted in us getting lost as usual. It was interesting as the road became a track and got worse and worse until it became like a rough trail, thru streams, up steep banks, I quite enjoyed it and eventually we found our way to the main road. 

Arrived Tembe approx. 14h00 and it wasn't long before we saw the first Ellie of the trip at the first hide near the main gate. After a leisurely drive during which we saw lots of antelope we booked in at the camp. The next we went on drives but didn't see much besides Antelope, warthog etc.

Thurs 9Aug: Woke latish, had a leisurely b/fast then drove down to the nearest hide to see if there were any lions as some members said they had heard the lions and some said they had seen them outside our camp! I personally didn't see or hear them as I must have been fast asleep. Didn't see them at the hide either.

After lunch we went for a long drive but didn't see anything spectacular, just antelope and birds.  

Fri 10 Aug: Drove to the treehide, walked the last bit then climbed up to the hide, 5m!!

Saw loads of Ellies, Hippo, Crocs and various other animals. When the time came to leave, we couldn't as the Ellies were browsing at the bottom of our treehide!! The ranger had a look and said the one cow looked at him with hate in her eyes so we stayed up there for approx. 2hrs!! All ended well and as we drove back we saw more Ellies! They don’t call it an elephant park for nothing.

That night we had Nyala Potjiekos and pap for supper laid on by the Rangers.  That’s one of my favourite foods and it was well cooked so I was very happy. 

Sat 11Aug:Had a lovely breakfast with my friends and then we set off for the border. Very interesting, they have a mini museum there, housed in the old jail cell, homemade firearms, snares etc and memories of Rangers who were killed in the course of duty. After a lunch of Impala wors rolls we headed for the market in Mozambique along a track in no mans land between the border fences. The first thing we saw on arrival at the market was unappetising dried fish hanging on the fence. Lots of bootleg liquor was on sale. It looked as though you could use it as paint remover too! My friend, Hylton was very chuffed as he bought two cartons of Moz cigarettes at R5 a packet. I bought a broom made from a palm, which left more dust than it swept! 

Sun12 Aug: Most members starting packing early for the journey home but we took our time as we were going on to Moz. When packed we moseyed on to one or two waterholes before leaving Tembe for the border trying to avoid the potholes. Border post at 14h00 after filling up diesel @R6=90 better than Moz @ R9 odd per litre! Border crossing was uneventful except it was frightening to witness the rush of outgoing Gauties with their Quads, Jetskis, generators etc.

Arrived Ponta Molangane at 15h30 only to hear they were still charging peak prices, R120 ea to camp!! So we camped further down at a new camp, slightly cheaper but we had to make our own fire for hot water! 

Mon 13 Aug: Headed past P/Molangane en route to Manuel Rodrigues’ place, my friend, ex elephant hunter turned conservationist, his life story is a book on its own! We came to a fork in track and I forked to the left along the edge of the swamp as I remembered it from my last visit but it had rained since then and two of my wheels were in the water! It got worse and Hylton was getting nervous so I turned back and on the way back I saw a low branch and turned slightly into the swamp to avoid snagging the roof rack gear. Suddenly the L/R fell off a steep bank unseen because of the dirty swamp water. Boy!! I thought the L/R was going to fall on its r/side into the swamp!! Water was pouring in thru the window which I hurriedly shut, but it didn't help and I landed up sitting in stinking swamp water up to my waist! The wheels just spun and just caused the Landy to tilt more!! The engine stalled as the exhaust filled with water, I baled out of the pass/side window after locating the winch control under water (lesson 1, keep all rec. gear easily available). We managed to get the winch operating in spite of lacking a suitable anchor but it wouldn't budge.

I decided to go walkabout leaving Hilton with the car. I had no sooner said a prayer for help when a Cutty Sark Whisky Td5 appeared like mirage, in the middle of nowhere!!! Using both winches and the Td5 pulling in reverse we managed to extricate my TDi! What a Relief! I don't drink but I was more than willing to buy a case of whisky! After battling for a while I got my Tdi to start, spraying copious amounts of dirty water out of the exhaust.

We at last arrived at Manuel's place; he still holds the Moz record for Ellie Hunting but has now turned from hunting to conservation. Once again we landed in the butter as he let us stay in the farmers camp, a huge 4-b/room tent for 2 + once again hot showers!

We didn't do much fishing as the wind was strong but we did help launch Manuel’s ski boat in the rough seas and the caught some nice fish, a 15kg Scavenger being the biggest. We went with Manuel on his beach patrol and discovered 3 reedbuck carcases as well as a Marshal eagle all poisoned!! The poison must be lake Rattex as the poisoned animals make for any water.  Poison is the latest poaching method as Manuel destroys any snares he finds. 

Thurs 16 Aug: After two days at Manuel’s, headed for Mille Bangalalla, saw crocs and hippo but no ellie, thank God! Moz ellies are a different kettle of fish, they have been hunted and harried so much they are very aggro and have been known to destroy cars and even kill people! We saw sign of them but no live ones. Two days at Mille, lovely empty white beaches, wonderful sunny days enjoying the solitude and skinny-dipping to my hearts content! 

Sun 19 Aug: Heading for Santa Maria, a beautiful morning, more fresh signs of elephant, gulp, in the middle of nowhere, two Moz soldiers, only place for them was on the roof, so up they went, they were glad of the lift and I was glad of their AK 47's in case of ellie attack! Arrived S/Maria, what a lovely place, like Mauritius but better. Went to see Philemon who owns a shop built of reeds right on the shore and owns an old L/Rover still with Hluhluwe plates, no one bothers licences etc. in S/Maria! We could only stay one day as our timings were out but we gathered a lot of info for future visits and had a great walk along the bay and rested about 25m from Inhaca Island. 

Mon 20Aug: Left for the border and home Jerome, gave a guy a lift on my roof racks ladder, he landed up hanging on my ladder for 90k's over the worst tracks in Africa and never once complained, every time I asked if he was o.k. at smoke breaks I got the thumbs up and a wide grin. It was a win win situation he got a ride and every time I took a wrong turning I got a banging on the roof.

Overall it took 5hrs to the border (90km) with stops to help people who were stuck. A Belgian Paratrooper in a hired Land Cruiser hit My L/Rover! Not much damage but time elapsed. We also stopped in Zitundu for refreshments (Coca Cola Nationale) an interesting  

village, lots of abandoned Portuguese buildings and two old L/rovers one on top of the other? No lack of space! Eventually we arrived at the border where we departed from our ladder passenger and where I was asked what had happened to my Passport (dunked in the swamp) From there on it was tar roads and civilisation as we struggled home with a faulty turbo charger.


Loss of Power on the 300TDI, by Eric Mc Millan

Near the start of my “Little Beast vat die langpad” trip the landy seemed to lack power and by the time I got to Jo’Burg I had to change down to fourth gear for the slightest hill.

This is when you start getting worried and suspect turbo problems air hoses, off or leaking, blown gaskets and a host of other things. A quick roadside stop revealed nothing so it was decided to persevere to the next fuel stop. As the bypass roads round Jo Burg are busy and everyone driving at a hell of a pace it was a bit of a nightmare trying to overtake the large trucks other trucks passed me..

At the fuel stop we parked under a shade awning and after some lunch and after things cooled down I started to have a good look under the bonnet. After pulling and prodding around I could not see anything amiss so we almost decided to spend a couple of days in Jo Burg to get it fixed.

For some unknown reason I decided to have a look at the throttle opening on the injector pump. I got Udith to push the accelerator pedal flat to the floor and checked the throttle lever on the pump. This was the problem; I was only getting a third throttle opening. It turned out that the knurled nut on the accelerator cable had unwound itself leaving excessive slack in the cable. Adjusting the nut and after road tests it felt as if the landy had received a turbo boost and went like the clappers. What a relief!

I don’t know why this nut unwound itself after 10 years but there is something wrong as it unwound itself again after a few hundred Ks. Locking it with a cable tie stopped this nonsense but the proper fix is to replace the cable which is what I still have to do.

It would probably be a good idea to make this check as part of your preventive maintenance plan or before you send your landy in for a tune up.

FOR SALE 
The donated NAC Spares are available from now until the next gates event.  If you feel there may be something of use to you, contact George Goswell 083 6581324 for a viewing.  Last chance will be the gates event next month and then REMAINDER WILL BE DUMPED. 1996 Defender 3 door Hard Top TDi. 257k km FSH and daily runner.  R65 000.00 onco.       Phone 0834077241
1998 Defender 90 2.8i CSW - R80 000 250,000km lots of work done on it but needs attention Craig Vallis 0836011382 craigvallis@gmail.com

1966 mechanically sound “two & a quarter” Land Rover short wheelbase for sale. This car has had one owner, my deceased father. I am not desperate to sell but I have no use for it. Barry Hirst Tel: +27 31 332 3106 Fax: +27 31 332 3795 E-mail: barry@multiship.co.za

 LAND ROVER 300TDi Motor Complete: Still in vehicle, just been serviced, new cam belt. R.25 000 (Somerset West.) Tel.
Brian    083-6763601
Land Rover S3 2.25L Pick-up: With canopy. For rebuild/spares. As is. R4 000.    082-7046868
LAND-ROVER owner's workshop manual Autobook 895 for models 2,2A, 3; 2 1/4 Litre Petrol, Diesel 2.6 Litre Petrol 1059 - 1975. R 80 Phone Ditar, mornings or evenings.    083-9501064  Snorkel: for Land Rover Defender 300Tdi or Td5. Brand new & unused. Fitment included in price.  R1 500   082-5522178
BULL BAR: Range Rover 1995/99 model new price R3 500.selling. R.500 (Paarl) Tel. Luan    084-5502127 Easy Awn Roof Top Tent: Wood platform needs attention otherwise very good condition, R2 500 Krugersdorp, 0825617991
A set of brand new Series IIa SWB springs - I reckon they're worth R1 000.00 and a steel safari roof rack for a Series IIa SWB  - R500.00? Brian Hayes, Greytown KZN and my cell number is 0825781349. Aluminium roof carrier, which fits the Defender and the Discovery for sale. A new one would be about     R4 500 or more. I would be happy if I could get R1 900.00 for it. Carl Hammersen 031-2621356 / 083 6113772
LT95 4spd Range Rover gearbox, with new clutch R7 500 Jan Viljoen cell: 0828243030

Tropical 80 litre 12 volt / 220 Deepfreeze R3 000.00, DISCOVERY SERIES 2. FACTORY FITTED NUDGE/BULLBAR          R3 200.00, 1988 RANGE ROVER - 5 DOOR, .R40 000.00 o.n.co.   ROB - cell   087790997.

 

1999 Defender 2.8i County Station Wagon.  231 000 km. Serviced every 10 000 km at "The Centre" Land Rover & Jaguar specialists. Excellent condition. EXTRAS: Husky Superwinch winch & integrated bumper, Hannibal aluminium roof rack & rear ladder, split charging system with dual batteries (105 & 75A/hr Deltec batteries)
Side runner bars, underbody protection plates, 45 l Frontrunner fender fuel tank, New Cooper Discoverer 265/75 R16 S/T tyres. R120 000.00 Pete Ramsay ramsay@marinegeosolutions.com cell: 0837807012

Defender 110 County for sale. The list of extra's includes:
- Long Range fuel tank
- Bull Bar
- IFP spotlights
- On board air compressor
- Built in water tank
- Spare wheel carrier
- Duel battery system with take off points for fridges and other equipment.
- Upgraded sound system, 6 speakers including bass boxes and amplifier
- Snorkel
- Front bash plate
My asking price is R240 000. The vehicle has only 55 000km,s on the clock and is a 2004 model. Craig 036 4881888.

1995 V8i Disco. Man. 180,000 KM   Colour white, front bull bar, tow bar, Land Rover Mag rims, excellent condition.             R45 000. Jeremy   Cell 084 6000 102 Land Rover Defender 110, 3 door hard top, TD5, 2000 model, colour white 160 000km, FSH, work done to the vehicle was the head, transfer box and rear drive shafts. Extras include bush bar, roof rack, water tanks, dual battery system and gas shocks. Price: R98 000,contact Shaun on cell - 0723649800
1998 Defender 110 Tdi, full-length roof rack, stainless steel water header tank, engine monitoring system and tread plate fender protection.  230 000km. Price R105 000 neg. Contact John 082 496 6623/ 033 390311 a/h. Tent for sale – Contact Gary Clinton 083 336 9059
Land Rover Series 1, 86" in need of a bit of repair. Contact Ryan 0834395973  
WANTED
   

 

                                         

Been somewhere interesting? Tell us about it!                           This bush jacket is available from Jimmy       

                                                                                                          0823279033 until the 18th October for only R120           

                                                                                                          including an embroidered oval club badge.