Many hands make road work
Repairing erosion damage at Anysberg If you’re a keen 4x4er you’ve no doubt come across situations where you’ve needed to hop out and perform some quick reconstructive surgery to the road to ease your passage over the trickiest bits. This story takes that one step further and details some rather serious road building that was required after heavy rains in the Anysberg Nature Reserve. Words by Johan Snyman. Pictures by various. Ed: I recently read a newspaper article that was titled something along the lines of “Drunk 4x4 driver kills 2”. A somewhat unusual story. The use of the term “4x4” in the headline had absolutely nothing to do with the story whatsoever – the driver didn’t mow down two people because he was driving a 4x4, he mowed them down because he was driving a vehicle while he was drunk and lost control. Portraying 4x4s (and their owners) in a negative light for no justifiable reason whatsoever isn’t unusual at all, which is – dare I say it – pretty unusual. With the exception of Al Qaeda, the Department of Home Affairs, and people who beat
Labrador puppies with sticks, can you think of any group of people that are so regularly, so universally and (in our instance) so unjustifiably vilified? It’s absolutely bizarre. And the crazy thing about it is that we’ve become
accustomed to this vehicular racism. We don’t object to it, we don’t defend ourselves, we don’t write a letter to the newspaper and say, “What the hell has driving a 4x4 got to do with it?”.
Submit your story to SA4x4 and score! If you submit a story to us and it’s published, you’ll get an amazing Ironman Ultralight. Due to unfavourable exchange rates these tough rechargeable LED lamps aren’t for sale in SA, but we have a couple of them to give away. Send your story contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org Ultralight features: weather and shock resistant housing, shatter resistant lens, NiMH internal batteries, 240 / 12 V rechargeable, swivel foldaway hook, 30 LEDs, 10 hours continuous light, charge indicator, and a soft-touch grip.
Anysberg route guide Anysberg Nature Reserve The reserve’s offices are at Vrede, which lies more or less in the centre of the reserve, and are manned on a temporary basis. You can contact them on (023) 551 1922. For further enquiries or information, email the reserve manager, Collette van Deventer, on anysberg@mweb. co.za. Reservations can also be done via the Cape Nature offices on (021) 659 3500 or via email at email@example.com. To download the reserve brochure, go to www.capenature.co.za.
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o the average Joe out there who doesn’t drive a 4x4 or know anyone who does, has a pretty lousy impression of most of us. For no good reason other than that we’ve become an easy target for anyone with an axe to grind about just about anything. This is why stories like this one are so welcomed at this magazine. You see, it’s not enough to show that we’re a normal bunch of people; we actually have to show that we’re a cut above the average. My heartfelt thanks to each and every person who participated in this altruistic exercise. The call went out in late April this year. The heavy rains that had fallen at the end of 2007 had caused severe damage to a section of a trail in the Anysberg Reserve, and the nature conservation authorities in the region asked us whether we could help with the rebuilding process. Responding to the call, some members of Kumnandi Getaways and the Isuzu Offroad Club stepped up to the plate to offer their assistance. The full party of volunteering road workers consisted of Gerhard and Wilma Besselsen in an Isuzu; Jacques Basson in a Hilux; Japie and Marietjie Ackerman in a Hilux; Malcolm, Margaret, Colin and Samantha Jackson in a Defender; Mario
Fourie and Peter Besselsen in Mario’s Isuzu; Thys Kuhn in a Land Cruiser and myself and Adri Snyman in a Defender. Some of us drove through to Montagu on the Friday afternoon where we camped at one of the local caravan parks, while the rest of the group arrived on Saturday morning. It was bitterly cold with a light drizzle when we all arrived at Anysberg, but the work was tackled with gusto and completed on schedule. This was an amazing group of people, and even although some had only met each other for the first time on this outing, it would have seemed apparent to any onlooker that this group had done this type of work many times before, as everybody just seemed to know what to do. Gerhard supplied the electric concrete mixer, Mario transported it and Japie supplied the generator. We took along an assortment of tools and each participant donated a bag of cement. Sand, stone, water and some more cement was supplied by the nature conservation authorities. Even though we were cold and wet, we still had a great time making a positive contribution to an area that offers its visitors so much pleasure. It was a weekend that we’ll remember for a long time to come.
Accommodation There are five cottages to hire, which sleep a total of 20 people. They have hot water, cooking utensils and facilities, gas lights and candles. Some of the cottages have bedding. Not far from the cottages is a lovely cement dam with a deck, which is very popular with the kids during the hot summer months. For those wanting to rough it, the lawn at the office complex is for camping and it too has basic ablutions and braai facilities. If driving the rocky Mountain Trail it is possible to camp on top of the mountain, but here one must be totally self-sufficient as there are no facilities at all. For those driving the Horse Trail there are rustic stables converted for basic accommodation, with mattresses and a lekker big braai area for those wanting to overnight in the bush. Please note that overnighting on the Horse and Mountain Trails must be pre-arranged with management. Activities As well as the two 4x4 routes, one can also hike, mountain bike or do a two-day guided horse trail in the reserve. These are ideal ways to get really close to nature and see the game.