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Travel: Around Joburg and Pretoria

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Words & Images Richard Van Ryneveld

The more I travel, the more places I find that I want to visit. The list is one that I have been compiling for years, and it comes in handy when the job at hand is more than just hitching up and cruising through our beautiful country.

I was heading to Gauteng to take a look at some new and modified caravans, campers, and trailers that had hit the market. On my previous trips to Johannesburg and Pretoria, I had discovered a host of places to camp which were literally an hour’s drive from the city.

One was Dinokeng Game Reserve, which I’d had my eye on for a while. And, even though I would get to explore it for only a couple of days and nights, I was a happy camper.

I was even happier when I found out what vehicle I would be driving: a Pajero Legend II limited edition. With a tow vehicle like that, I knew I was sorted.

Maximi & Koedoesrus

Before I could head to the bush, I had to pick up the caravan – a Maximi, which is a luxury off-roader that’s brand-new on the market.

Like all parents of a beautiful newborn, Frik Oosthuizen gave me a detailed introduction to his Maximi. I’d met him at his factory, where there were three caravans under construction in the high roofed building. The first thing that struck me was the obvious construction-strength of the caravan. I could see that the whole body frame was made from steel, and bolted to the hot-dipped galvanized chassis. What lay under the ‘skin’ was obviously very strong.

Frik, an engineer by profession, has hand-crafted a caravan that he says is ‘extremely tough and robust, with great styling’. Camping and towing the Maximi for 5 days would help me to decide whether it lived up to Frik’s claims.

Exiting the factory – into the jumble of trucks and taxis of the crazily busy industrial Lavender Road in Wonderboom Pretoria – had me muttering and gritting my teeth. It was only when I finally hit the highway that I realised, ‘Man, you’re towing a caravan!’ I hadn’t even been aware that the Maximi was breezing along quietly behind me!

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