The Amarok Experience
A picture is worth a thousand words but only going on the Amarok Experience can truly tell the full story.
At 8am I arrived at Lindsay Saker Midrand to find a nice “cuppa” and snacks available not just for me and the others in the Amarok Experience group but enough to feed the rest of the Lindsay Saker Midrand staff. After the short rules and regulations brief we were ready for the adventure to begin. Climbing into the Amarok 2.0 TDI 4motion Double Cab Highline is an experience on its own. It looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside.
A little tap on the indicator, sunglasses in the sunglass case, cruise control set, and it’s time to enjoy the drive and let the experience begin.
After some beautiful scenery and a very comfortable drive we stopped for lunch in the Strydpoort Mountains which are part of the Drakensberg mountain range. Can’t beat a fresh cheese and ham roll overlooking a beautiful view.
After the quick lunch we headed through the Mafefe village and onto the dirt roads. Here is where the fun began. The sand roads are no match for the Amarok. What I was really impressed with, considering the amount of dust that is produced by six powerful Amarok’s, was that no dust filters into the Amarok. That was really great. Then it gets really exciting! Once you hit the Wolkberg Mountain route we had to switch into lower gear. The terrain here becomes really rough and for the next couple hours we put the Amarok through its paces. There was nowhere this vehicle wouldn’t go. A feature that I found great (being an inexperienced 4×4 driver) is the automatic braking. In really rough terrain you put the Amarok in Neutral and it will automatically brake for you which is great in terms of safety and confidence.
After an exhilarating four hour drive we reached our log cabin which had rainforest like surroundings with little streams running next to the cabins. We arrived just before sunset. The view was priceless and it was time for us all to get to know a little more about each other and the experience so far. It didn’t take more than two drinks by the fire and it was like we had all been friends for ages, so by the end of Friday night we considered ourselves the 1st Amarok Experience family.
The next morning we were up and out by 9am. We started off with an incredibly stunning drive up and over the mountains, where we stopped for a well earned picnic about halfway up. From there we drove through a little ghost town called Leydsdorp (1891 – 1991) which showed me a little of how life was back before my day. Then it was back offroad along the Kruger National Park fence (Western Boundary) along the Klein Letaba River. Once again terrain was rough but nothing is too tough for this Amarok, we did however get a tiny chip on the windscreen from flying stones made by the powerful Amarok in front of us. The Amarok Experience crew were really good and knew as much about nature as they did about the Amarok which was great because although we didn’t see all of the big five there are many interesting birds and plants that many of us would not know about, this also kept the three hour drive very entertaining. At around 4:30pm we arrived at our second night`s accommodation inside the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park – this is big five territory. The surrounds and accommodation were even more tranquil than the previous night. Makes you think that heaven could be on earth if we look in the right places and this was one of those places. It was tented accommodation but couldn’t have been nicer. It was clean and very well looked after with everything you need. Electricity was a no go but with gas and very simple but effective kitchens and bathrooms it was as if we weren’t missing a thing.
Time to finish what we started on the Friday night. The second night always has better stories and way more laughs. With the stars above you, earth below you and Mother Nature all around, I was at complete ease and felt liberated from Johannesburg’s constant hustle and bustle. Lindsay Saker Midrand sponsored Saturday night’s awesome Pap ‘n Vleis buffet. After a couple helpings and countless laughs it was time to enjoy a night with nature.
My peaceful sleep was woken by the Lindsay Saker Amarok Experience crew with a full English breakfast with a bowl of fruit and yogurt. After the tummy was full it was time to head back to Lindsay Saker Midrand, but not before a nice cup of tea and apple pie at a great place in Dullstroom. I’m a city slicker but after this incredible experience, I would like to do this more often, especially if it’s in a 2.0 TDI Amarok 4motion.