Our New Caravan

Story and photos by Rob Starke

How did you come to buy this caravan?
We’ve been avid caravaners and off-road travellers for many years. In 2012 we sold our ‘07 Jurgens Xplorer after nearly 50 000 km in a 5-year period of wonderful ‘xploring’ holidays to Namibia and Botswana, as well as around SA. One of our most memorable holidays with that ‘van was to Moremi and Botswana.

When we’d been without a caravan for nearly 15 months, my wife and I decided that a holiday was not a holiday without a caravan, and especially wanted one designed for the off-road destinations. We looked at all the options available, from off-road trailers to smaller off-road camper units, right down to the many tenting options now available.

And in December last year we made our choice, staying with the Jurgens Safari series, but going for the Xcell this time: a 2013 model from Tygerberg Caravans. As it’s basically my wife and I these days, the Xcell made the perfect choice – and we’re over the moon with it.

To go and test her out, we went to the Karoo National Park in the first week of January 2014. She was tested to the maximum, as it rained so hard that some campers had their sites flooded when the river behind the campsite broke its banks. We were very pleased to be in our Xcell, which proved 100% waterproof.

We were off to the Kgalagadi shortly afterwards, where this off-road caravan proved itself to be in a different category. We’d had it kitted out with solar panels,so staying at campsites like Polentswa and Rooiputs is a doddle – the battery gets recharged during the day and we always have ice for those all-important sundowners.

What has been your most memorable off-road caravanning experience?
We took our previous Xplorer Caravan to Moremi in Botswana and stayed at 3rd Bridge, Kwai River and Xakanaxa. One morning, we followed a herd of about 200 buffalo from 4th Bridge almost to 3rd Bridge. Why? Well, we saw that there was a pride of 12 lions following the buffalo. We ended up being caught in the middle of a buffalo stampede when the lions attacked. The lions brought down three buffalo right in front of us! This was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had.

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