andre_4x4
Andre 4x4
André presents the popular kykNET television series Safari 4x4 Roetes

André presents the popular kykNET

television series Safari 4x4 Roetes

Going on Safari

Thoughts when going on Safari

Preparation:

  • Obtain a map of the area you
  • wish to explore and determine
  • which areas are open for use;
  • Contact the land manager for
  • area restrictions and if crossing
  • private property, be sure to ask
  • permission from the land owner;
  • Check the weather forecast.

Safety on road or trail:

  • Travel with a group of two or more vehicles;
  • Buckle up for safety;
  • Drinking and driving don’t mix.

Rules and common courtesy:

  • Be considerate of others on the road or trail;
  • Drive only where permitted;
  • Leave gates as you find them;
  • Yield the right of way to bikes, horses and hikers;
  • Pack in what you pack out.

The Tread Lightly rules are simple, logical, and easy to follow:

  • Travel only on designated routes. Never blaze your own trail.
  • Respect the rights of others to enjoy their activities undisturbed.
  • Educate yourself. Use maps, stay in contact with the local-governing agencies, and comply with signs and barriers. Obtain landowner’s permission to cross private property.
  • Avoid wildlife and fragile environments such as streambeds, lakeshores, meadows, muddy roads, and trails or steep hillsides.
  • Drive responsibly to protect the environment and preserve the opportunity to enjoy the use of public lands.

General 4x4 thoughts and tips:

  • Make sure all equipment inside and outside the vehicle is secured. You don’t want something hitting you on the head while driving.
  • Always wear your safety belt – except of course when driving in deep water.
  • Open windows to above the eye level – branches that are pushed away by your windscreen and mirror might whip back through the windows taking your eye out.
  • Don’t hook your thumb through the spikes of the steering wheel while driving.
  • Choose the correct gear ratio before you enter an obstacle, and stick to it until the obstacle is cleared.
  • Ensure that your tyre pressure is correct for the terrain you are driving through. Deflating tyres not only widens the footprint but also makes the footprint longer.
  • Be responsible.
  • Know your vehicle.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is not overloaded or incorrectly loaded. This changes the characteristics of the vehicle and normal driving can become dangerous.
  • If you use a roof rack – know what the maximum load weight of your vehicle is. If you place too much on the roof you change your vehicles point of gravity and the vehicle can overturn.
  • Pack in such a way that all tools and recovery equipment are easy to reach. You often see people next to the road unpacking the entire car to fix a flat.
  • Competitive situations: Don’t allow yourself to be encouraged into doing something you are not confident with.
  • Disable alarm and immobilize systems when taking on difficult terrain, to avoid unexpected behavior.
  •  Every 4x4 should be fitted with:
    • recovery points – front & rear
    • fire extinguisher (mount where reachable from outside the vehicle)
    • basic recovery kit including:
      • winch bag
      • gloves          
      • rated bow shackle
      • snatch strap
      • tyre gauge
      • duct tape
      • seed protector net
      • tyre repair kit
      • hi-lift jack or air bag
      • tow strap
      • good quality tyre pump
  • Deflated tyres. Typically two thirds of normal pressure, 50% at most. Tyres with tubes can go as low as 0,8 kpa.

Obstacles Basics:

  • As slow as possible, as fast as necessary.
  • Always walk the obstacle first, evaluate the entrance and exit.
  • If it’s a difficult obstacle, let the passengers get out of the vehicle and stand aside.
  • Make sure you have selected the correct gear and diff-lock before entering the obstacle.
  • If you have more than one vehicle, make sure that the vehicle negotiating the obstacle is well clear from it before committing yourself to the obstacle.
  • Once you clear an obstacle, always leave enough space for the vehicles that will follow to clear the obstacle, before parking.
  • Never try and change gears in obstacles.

Environmental Conservation / Code of Conduct

No man has the right to enjoy and use what nature has to offer unless he is prepared to take up the responsibility of protecting and conserving his natural heritage.

Choose your route, your equipment and your destination with the welfare of the wilderness in mind.

Travel and camp by the rules of “Tread Lightly”, the wrong way is any other way.

Take only photographs and leave only footprints are the philosophy to follow.

Leave items of interest (e.g. plants, animals and mineral specimens) where you find them, so that others too may enjoy them. Cutting or painting messages or names on tree trunks and rocks is not leaving things in their natural state.

Removing anything is removing a link in the ecological web. Removing enough will cause the web to collapse.

Disturb animals and birds as little as possible, particularly those with young or in the nest.

Leave any seemingly lost animal well alone. Their parents have probably hidden them in purpose in order to return and fetch them later.

In addition to contravening the nature conservation ordinance, feeding wild animals can be dangerous to you and the animal.

Noise pollution not only scares wild animals, it is objectionable to others seeking solitude.

When going off-road avoid driving or walking along acetones. These areas usually have the most fragile vegetation and can take up to 25 years to recover after user trampling.

If you smoke, take care – when finished crush out your smoke as a veldt is a devastating force – don’t give one chance a start. Place the dead butt in your refuse bag. This is especially important if you smoke filter tipped cigarettes. Filters are made of synthetic materials and do not decompose.

Campsites have been developed to reduce impact on the environment. Use them and their facilities. There is usually a set place to make a fire. A toilet is usually provided. If not use the “cat method” for disposing human waste. Dig a hole no deeper than 15 to 20 centimeters. After use, fill the hole with loose soil, replace the soil and tramp firmly, nature will do the rest in a few days. Burn all toilet paper or make sure it’s buried.

Do not brake off branches from trees, shrubs or bushes. An area with discolored and broken stubs and “pruned” trees loses its natural appeal and appearance.

At developed campsites, use only the wood provided for your fire. There are often limits to the amount that can be brought in, and it should not be wasted on large bonfires.

Before you leave camp, make sure your fire is out, take all your litter with you and leave the camp site clean, so that others may enjoy using it after you.

If the water supply is a stream, do not use soaps and detergents in it, not even if they are blodegradable. Someone may possibly be using the water soon after you have left and the chances are that the soap may not have been broken down yet. Use blodegradable soap and wash in a bowl at least 20 meters away from the water and afterwards, pour the soapy water on the ground. This will allow the soil to filter out the soap.

Consider others that may be camping near you. They may be camping to get away from noise of people.  Allow them to hear the sound of the bush at night. 

When setting up camp in areas where there are no developed campsites, select a site at least 60 meters from any water or beauty spot. Make sure your campsite is level – not only for your comfort but for ecological reasons as well. Do as little camp “improvements” as possible. If you pitch a tent, dig drainage channels only if necessary.

If you have to do any cleaning at your campsite, scatter the cleared stones and branches back over the area when you leave. Try to leave no trace of you having occupied the area.

We at Safari Centre hope that these thoughts will help you when planning and going on Safari.

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