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Road trip destination: Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is the largest and least populated province in South Africa. With relatively small towns and huge expanses of land, you can be sure to find a road-tripping adventure in the Northern Cape’s bounteous landscape. One can travel the length and breadth with views of sand dunes to the North, fields of spring flowers to the west, salt pans in the interior and mountains to the south. All of this within our own borders so book a car with Drive Africa’s unlimited mileage deals and travel till you’ve seen it all.

Namaqualand

Namaqualand

Travelling to Namaqualand between July and September is one of South Africa’s hidden gems as thousands of flowers bloom in the usually drab panorama. Scent and colour burst forth creating a truly breath-taking landscape. The flowers are not the only thing to see with Namakwa being the most diverse arid hotspot in the world with more than 6000 plant species, 250 birds, 78 mammals and 132 reptiles and amphibians. The world’s largest forest of quiver trees lie outside Loeriesfontein and the climes of Nuweveld Mountain are the only place to find star-trees.

Nuweveld-Mountain   Doorn-River-Waterfall

Sutherland and the sky

Sutherland and the sky

Sutherland’s remote location and arid climate make for some of the clearest stargazing skies. Whether you want a little hideaway to cosy up for a few days or the best camping skies this side of the equator, Sutherland is the place to be. If you fancy a closer look try the SAAO, this observatory is home to the most powerful telescope in the southern hemisphere. Guided day and night tours are available for your viewing.

Sutherland Backyard   clearest-stargazing-skies

Kimberley

Kimberley

For the history buffs there really is nowhere better than Kimberley. Home to The Big Hole and Kimberley Mine, there is a wealth of history embedded in the buildings and surroundings of this old town. One can find historical homes, tours and other experiences to educate and enjoy. A night or two in one of the many B & B’s is also a great way to rest weary legs and minds.

kimberley-city-hall   World_War_I_memorial_in_Kimberley

With unlimited mileage and specials for under 23’s, an African adventure is on your doorstep so book today and live life to its fullest.

 

 

Image Sources:
http://www.openafrica.org/upload/Blog/Daisies.jpg
http://www.findtripinfo.com/assets/Africa/south_africa/northern-cape/namakwa-spring-flowers.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Doorn_River_Waterfall,_Northern_Cape.jpg
http://www.saao.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/milkyway.jpg
http://trekkingtripod.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2011-07-23-9460-Sutherland-Backyard_900px.jpg
http://www.safarinow.com/db/id/429730/g173756.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Open_pit_mine.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/World_War_I_memorial_in_Kimberley.jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4063/4527230653_c056b07fca_z.jpg

Road trip destination: Namibia

Namibia is a harsh land dominated by deserts and dunes but this is no reason to shy away from a visit. Instead it’s the impetus, with unparalleled game to the east, huge expanses of gold to the west and majestic Fish River Canyon in between, you are guaranteed a truly enlightening Namibian adventure. For the young or the young at heart, Drive Africa’s car rentals are the ideal way to experience this incredible country.

Shipwreck Skeleton Coast

Starting from the west, the adventurer is met by the hauntingly beautiful Skeleton Coast. Sounding like a scene from a Pirates of the Caribbean movie; the Skeleton Coast is home to surf, sand and shipwrecks. The powerful waves, rolling fog and mighty storms have tested even the strongest of ships and many have fallen to the Atlantic’s icy limbs. The Skeleton Coast Game Reserve is a must as well as any guided tours along the treacherous sands. Live a little and experience Mother Nature’s wrath in all its beauty and power.

Shipwreck Skeleton Coast Namibia
Courtesy: 8thingstodo

For the spooky enthusiast the ghost town of Kolmanskop is a must. A few kilometres from Luderitz; Kolmanskop has its history deeply embedded in the diamond mining industry. Founded in 1908 and abandoned in 1954 the short life of this town is an excellent example of the price of early mining expeditions. Several buildings still stand including a hospital, school, casino, ballroom and a tram. All have since been reclaimed by the desert and stand empty, filled knee-deep in sand. Kolmanskop is also great for making some memories with the forgotten buildings an incredible setting for the budding photographer.

Courtesy: National Geographic
Interior Kolmanskop
Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon is the second biggest canyon in the world. The main ravine drops 550m, is 27km wide and runs for 160km. These figures are staggering and don’t do the majesty or scale of the canyon any justice. Hiking and camping are popular with many a traveler finding themselves in the quiet, rocky landscape. Whether you wish to experience it first hand or take a few pics from the top the Fish River Canyon is a definite Namibian landmark.

Fish River Canyon Hiking
Courtesy: safaribookings.com
Caprivi Elephant Crossing

The Caprivi Strip is a narrow piece of land bordering Botswana, Angola and Zambia. It is one of a kind in Namibia with a high annual rainfall promoting a wildlife hotspot. Elephants abound as they migrate between the bordering countries and four protected reserves ensure game, fowl and fauna are protected. For a look at the wild side and a few shots try the Caprivi Strip.

Courtesy: Sun Safaris
Caprivi Strip
Swakopmund Pier View

Namibia is not all empty space with several hubs making the country a lively place to meet people and enjoy yourself. Swakopmund is a beach town with a punch, great surfing conditions and nearby dunes promises hours of fun surfing, sand-boarding, quad biking and swimming. Swakopmund is the best way to end your Namibian adventure as you unwind from days of discovery with local bars and hotels to help you get back in touch with the real world.

Courtesy: Wikipedia
Swakopmund

Book a car with Drive Africa’s unlimited kilometre car hire and you’ll never look back! An African adventure awaits so grab it with both hands today.

Swakopmund Dunes

 

 

Road trip destination: Botswana

Botswana is home to some of Africa’s most precious treasures- gems and otherwise. With a burgeoning economy, one of the most stable democracies on the continent and an intrinsic understanding the tourist industry; Botswana is one of the best road trip destinations around. Your twenties are made for adventure so book a car now and you can see all this and more with a long term car rental.

Okavango Delta sunset

The Okavango Delta is a must on any visit to Botswana. This biome is as diverse as it is beautiful with big game, wondrous bird and incredible fauna all residing within the Delta’s boundaries. Elephants, hippos and crocodiles abound, and a quiet ride in one of the famous canoes is an intimate way to enjoy this majestic backdrop.

Tsodile Hills
Courtesy: timeslive

Tsodilo Hills is the highest point in Botswana at over 1400m above sea level. The stark beauty of the rocky formations and Savannah fauna make it an incredibly powerful place. Several myths and legends abound about Tsodilo Hills. Visited by the Bushmen for over a 1000 years the tradition and history of the hills is truly incredible. Discover the love triangle so potent in its feeling it created these stark monuments to love and its pursuit.

 

African Elephant herd
Courtesy: safari.co.uk

 

Elephants are a certainty with the highest number of elephants in the world living in Botswana. These majestic beasts are peaceful, intelligent and breath-taking. Whether you want to snap a few photos or a ride one across some forgotten land, the elephants are ready to accommodate you. Who could resist these little guys?

Makgadikgadi Pans
Courtesy: African Travel Resource

The Makgadikgadi Pans are the remains of an ancient lake. The salty bed covers 16,000 km and are home to incredible migrations. Flamingos, zebra and wildebeest all traverse the stark landscape and with yourself, your thoughts and the ancient Baobabs you are transported to another planet. Drink in the majesty and add this to your road trip bucket list.

Baobabs in Botswana
Courtesy: safaribookings.com

Finally the people are a major draw for a visit. With hospitality and kindness in abundance a good night on the town is never too far away. From great beer, St Louis, to the bar atmosphere you and your crew are in for a wild night. Don’t hesitate, Drive Africa’s car rentals are on hand to get you onto your Botswana experience. For now, this little guy can keep you entertained.

 

 

Drive Africa: An adventure journal

I started keeping a journal of our journey with Drive Africa

 Part I- South Africa, 14th March 2014

Our long term car trip through Southern Africa

Our trip started almost a month ago in Johannesburg on the 26th of February. We rented a car here. It was hard to book online for us as we are young and through contact we made with Drive Africa we were lucky to find Alex who sorted things out for us and gave us some options. Alex was also able to organise my brother to be able to drive without an extra expensive surcharge. Anyway, we rented a long term car rental for three months we are now on our way.

Courtesy: Wikipedia
Johannesburg by night.

From Johannesburg we travelled to Clarens and Champagne’s Castle in the mighty Drakensberg mountains. Here we explored the Drakensburg by hiking on the many trails that are offered.

Courtesy: mountain-forecast.com
Champagne Castle

 

From there we went to the Ithala game reserve, this is where we first saw the wildlife of South Africa, it was amazing especially the elephants and rhinos. We left Ithala for St Lucia, but because of the rain we did only the wetland park here (hippos, crocodiles etc.) and moved on to Cape Town.

Courtesy: media-cdn.tripadvisor.com
Rhinos at Ithala

We had really nice stops in Southbroom, Coffee bay, Cintsa, Hogsback and now Addo. We’ll continue our ride to Cape Town tomorrow and visit Namibia and Botswana afterwards. So far it looks like our VW polo vivo is taking us anywhere, thanks to Drive Africa & first car rental!

Courtesy: yesbabydaily.com
Coffee Bay

Theo and Lars.

 

Part II – Namibia, 8 April 2014

 

With our VW polo, which we rented through Drive Africa, we left Cape Town for Namibia on this really long distance. Our first stop was the Fish River Canyon, the world’s second largest canyon in the world! The views were amazing! At the Fish River Canyon campsite we met two Dutch guys and from there we have travelled all the way together.

Courtesy: Wikipedia
Fish River Canyon

 

From the Fish River we drove up to Luderitz a German city that stands still in time. From Luderitz we drove up to Sossusvlei where we watched the sun rising and did a hike on the largest dune of Namibia. From Sossusvlei we drove onto Swakopmund. Swakopmund is a much nicer city then Luderitz, there is just more to do.

Courtesy: Wikipedia
Dune 45 at Sossusvlei

We did some quad biking in the dunes there and it was awesome! We travelled from Swakop to Brandberg where we did a guided tour to the white lady bushman paintings which date back 5000 years. Today we are in Outjo, our stop before we head to Etosha National Park.

Courtesy: Wikipedia
Dust cloud in Etosha
Courtesy: Wikipedia
Lioness at Etosha National Park

We will take some time looking at all the animals in Etosha before moving on to Botswana/Kasane. Amazing trip so far and sure glad we found a company that does long term car rental at an affordable price!

Theo

 

 

 

The allure of April: Six events you don’t want to miss

Iron Man South Africa

The 2014 Iron Man South Africa will start off at Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth and push participants to their limits with a 3.8 km swim, 180.2 km bicycle ride and 42.2 km run. The first participants will begin their swim at 06h30 on 6 April, and the official cut-off for the last team is at midnight. If you are a keen sportsman or simply inspired by seeing others push their bodies to its ultimate potential, this is one event you will not want to miss.

Date: Sunday, 6 April 2014
Venue: Hobie Beach, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

AfrikaBurn

AfrikaBurn allows you to become a resident in Tankwa Town, a community built on the imaginations of those who seek a world where freedom of expression is a given and dreamers are praised for believing they can achieve anything. Bring the wildest facets of your imagination and help build the perfect town with creative decorations and unique costumes. If you are roadtripping to AfrikaBurn, you may want to hire a camper van to add your bit of flair to Tankwa Town.

Date: 28 April – 4 May 2014
Venue: Tankwa Karoo, Northern Cape

Afrika Burn festival

South Yeasters Summer Festival

The annual South Yeasters festival is the magical place where all craft and micro brewing folk gather to taste each other’s beer. With more than 40 brewers showcasing over a thousand beers, this is easily any beer enthusiast’s dream festival.

Date: 6 April 2014
Venue: SAB Newlands Oval, 3 Main Road, Cape Town

Colour Festival

Durban is hosting its own Colour Festival at the Harlequins Sports Club this year and promises to bring an electronic dance music party that supersedes all others. Incorporating the brightest colours and celebrating our rainbow nation, Durban plans to make this a truly memorable event.

Date: 5 April 2014
Venue: Harlequins Sports Club

Colour festival Durban event

Botrivier Barrels & Beards

This is the one wine festival that celebrates the hard labour that goes into making wine. Each year over the harvesting period, winemakers work their fingers to the bone making wines that we as a nation can be proud of. As tradition stands, winemakers do not shave for the duration of the harvest and come together to celebrate their wines together with their post-harvest beards at the Botrivier Barrels and Beards event. If you hire a 4×4, you can tackle the Overberg terrain for an extra bit of adventure over the weekend.

Date: 5 April 2014
Venue: Anysbos Farm, Swartrivier Road, Botrivier

Botrivier barrels and beards event

Ependymoma Day

Ependymoma Day raises awareness of this rare disease that plagues children and adults worldwide. At Lappies Park, hundreds of beautiful butterflies will be simultaneously released to honour those who have suffered or are suffering from the disease. Be a part of this special day and do your part by purchasing a couple of butterflies and releasing them into the Johannesburg skies.

Date: 18 April 2014
Venue: Lappies Park, Concourse Crescent, Lonehill, Johannesburg

butterflies for Ependymoma day

Image credit:
www.triworldjapan.files.wordpress.com
www.afrikaburn.com
www.capetown.olx.co.za
www.capetownmagazine.com
www.crossfitcda.com

KKNK – It’s that time of year again!

The end of March marks the 20th annual Klein Karoo National Arts Festival and 2014 is not about to slack on the quality of music, drama and discussion that makes this one of the best cultural festivals South Africa has ever seen. Returning to the rumbling grounds of Oudtshoorn from 29 March to 5 April 2014, this year’s line-up is nothing short of spectacular.

Music

South Africans are true lovers of music and its local variety has a way of bringing everyone together. The KKNK is no exception. Brilliant artists including the Afrikaans rock phenomenon Karen Zoid, the legendary Laurika Rauch, Steve Hofmeyr and Chris Chameleon, as well as the favourites, Kurt Darren, Jack Parow and Emo Adams, are all set to entertain the crowds at this year’s festival.

Karen Zoid singer

Shows

A number of stages will host various shows including comedies, dramas and other performing arts pieces. A number of debut shows will grace the stage this year and a special cabaret show is set to entertain attendees at Highgate Ostrich Farm.

Oudtshoorn Attractions

A great way to make your way to Oudtshoorn is to hire a car and take in the beautiful surrounds of the Klein Karoo. One of Oudtshoorn’s major attractions is its abundant ostrich population. Believe it or not, you can take one for a ride. Just hold on to its wings and it will take you for a crazy run on its back.

Ostrich ride Oudtshoorn

The Cango Caves is also quite a sight to see and is proudly recognised as one of South Africa’s greatest natural wonders. This underground marvel with its limestone formations can be explored in a standard tour or an adventure tour, the latter of which takes you through the tight corners of the cave on a crawling escapade. With all these sights to explore and a myriad of culturally rich entertainment to enjoy, this year’s KKNK will undoubtedly be one for the books.

Cango Caves Oudtshoorn

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www.48hours.co.za
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www.static.panoramio.com

Across Borders: South Africa to Namibia

After months of planning, saving and researching, you and your mates are ready to embark on a ride of a lifetime: an epic road trip to Namibia. Everything is arranged from acquiring the much needed GPS, to organising accommodation and stocking up on the usual road trip essentials. Since your mom isn’t keen on letting you borrow her car you’ve even managed to arrange a cross border rental which is rather amazing as renting a car by under 21s  is not the easiest thing to do in the world. All that’s left to do now is pack the car and hit the wide open road. There are a few important things to remember when crossing the border from one country to another in Africa. Here’s an easy check-list you can follow as well as some useful information Namibia and road tripping in general.

Passport

South African passport

Whenever you enter a different country, you need to present a valid passport to the border authorities. The same is true when you enter Namibia from South Africa. Luckily South African passport holders do not require a visa (unless you are visiting Namibia on business) but you need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the exact date you leave South Africa.

Driver’s Licence

You need a valid driver’s licence to drive anywhere as well as to rent a car so this is a given when you road trip from South Africa to Namibia. Usually an international driver’s licence is needed if you plan on driving in a foreign country but luckily again, South African driver’s licences are accepted in Namibia.

Vehicle’s Papers

Proof of ownership of your vehicle will have to be produced so if you’re in a rented car you will also need a letter of authorisation from the car rental company giving you permission to leave the country in their car. A certified letter from the bank stating that you are allowed to take the car across borders is also required.

Road User’s Fee

A normal car will cost R220 but with a trailer it will be an additional R140. Camper vans also incur the extra fee. There are credit card facilities available but have some cash on you in case the machines are offline.

Vaccinations

vaccinations for travel

Should you be entering Namibia from an affected Yellow Fever area, then you require a compulsory Yellow Fever vaccination. This does not apply to those entering from South Africa. Recommended vaccinations are Hepatitis A and B, polio, typhoid and tetanus. Malaria is prevalent in the northern part of Namibia so if you’re planning on visiting that area, you should ensure you take the relevant preventative medication before your departure. Tap water is safe to drink in most areas unless otherwise stated but be aware that bilharzia occurs in the East.

The drive from South Africa to Namibia is relatively comfortable as the roads are well maintained. Ensure that you have suitable motor insurance and that everything in the car is in working order. Remember to keep an eye on how much petrol you have – knowing where your filling up options along the way can be very useful and help you plot out your journey more economically. The last thing you want is to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with an empty tank. Having a spare tyre as well tyre changing equipment and jumper cables are a must. A small first aid kit also wouldn’t hurt. The last thing is to drive responsibly. Drivers should always stay awake and alert and should fatigue set in, pulling over (if possible) is essential.

Road tripping from South Africa to Namibia is sure to be great fun and there are fantastic attractions that await you at your destination.  Spot some wildlife in the Etosha National Park, go sand-boarding in Sossusvlei or explore the seaside town of Swakopmund, but wherever you end up, enjoy it as well as the ride that got you there.

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Howwerollfitness.wordpress.com
www.issafrica.org
www.thelibertybeacon.com

March Magic in the Mother City

The month of March is truly a magical month in the beautiful city of Cape Town. The weather is still warm, energy levels are still high and tourists are still flocking to our shores. The spotlight, however, will fall on three of the Mother City’s most exciting annual events: The Design Indaba Expo, Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. If you’re not lucky enough to call Cape Town home then March is definitely the month to come and visit. Pack your bags, find somewhere to stay, arrange that all important Cape Town car hire and you’ll be ready to go. Take a closer look at what’s in store.

The Design Indaba Expo

Since its inception in 2004, the Design Indaba Expo has provided a space where creative minds can come together. Held annually at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the expo showcases the best in homegrown talent across many spheres, from jewellery and fashion, to décor, advertising, décor and graphic design. It is the perfect opportunity for designers and creative businesses to show their products and wares to the public, very often giving those lesser known some much needed exposure.

The Design Indaba Expo has evolved into a very popular yearly event welcoming up to 35 000 people through its doors. It is the biggest curated design event in the Southern Hemisphere which is a truly excellent feat. There is something for everyone to enjoy at the expo and whether you’re exhibiting or just browsing, you’re guaranteed an enjoyable time.

This year’s Design Indaba was a huge success, as always, seeing some of the industry’s most creative people coming together and delivering exciting and innovative stuff to the public. The energy was palpable at the CTICC over the weekend but if you didn’t manage to pop by this year, there’s always 2015.

Dates: Friday 28 February – Sunday 2 March 2014

Venue: CTICC.

Visit: http://www.designindaba.com/events/design-indaba-expo-2014

Design Indaba Cape Town
www.designindaba.com

Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour

One of the most well-known and well attended sporting events in South Africa, the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour sees upwards of 30 000 cyclists coming together in a race around the gorgeous Cape Peninsula. In 2014, competitors will cover a distance of 109km beginning in the city centre and ending near the Green Point Stadium.

Both local and international cyclists of varying levels compete each year, and the tour has drawn the likes of cycling legends Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich. Taking part in the race is a challenge many choose to take on but others prefer to stand on the sidelines cheering on the riders, and perhaps even their own friends and family. Road closures on race day can prove to be rather frustrating for locals but it’s expected on the second Sunday of March every year, and after all, it’s in the name of sport and fun.

Date: Sunday 9 March 2014

Visit: http://www.cycletour.co.za/

Cape Argus Cycle Tour
sa-yes.com

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

This year the Cape Town International Jazz Festival celebrates its 15th birthday and is sure to deliver quality live jazz performances as has come to be expected. The festival has grown hugely since its birth in 2000, growing from 14 000 in attendance to 34 000 and it has earned the title of being the most prestigious event on the African continent.

More than 40 international and local artists will grace five stages at the CTICC bringing world class music to fans from all over the world. It is truly a phenomenal experience and one that thrills jazz lovers year after year. This year is sure to be no different so get your tickets now.

Date: Friday 28 March and Saturday 29 March 2014

Venue: CTICC. R490 for a day pass (other tickets initially available are now sold out)

Visit: http://www.capetownjazzfest.com/

Cape Town International Jazz Festival
flightsitetravelblog.wordpress.com

March is as good a time as any to plan a visit to the mother of all cities and if you live here already, you should start planning your month while there’s still time. March madness is upon us.

Featured Image credit: www.travelstart.co.za

Five amazing drives through Africa

It’s not only the lonesome American interstates that provide the unique experience of freedom on the open road. Africa and more specifically the gem at its southern tip is a veritable treasure trove of beautiful African roads and scenic drives. Find out why you should traverse Morocco’s desert valleys or cruise down the coastal rides when making your way along the Garden Route.

The Panorama Route

As the name suggests, this truly is a feast for the eyes. Located in the north-eastern province of Mpumalanga, South Africa, Making its way through the Klein Drakensburg’s 25 000 hectare reserve, the road is known for its sweeping vistas of the Blyde River Canyon. This canyon is sure to make an impression being the third-largest canyon in the world. Spots such as ‘God’s Window’ help provide the visitor with a sense of magic as they disembark and explore the often cloud-shrouded passes. The canyon is also home to a rich and diverse range of animals and birdlife.

The Garden Route

Perhaps the most well-known drive in South Africa, the Garden Route winds up the east coast of South Africa, starting in Cape Town and ending off in the Eastern Cape. This journey offers a great tour of the country’s wide range of flora and fauna as it clocks up its 595 km. Starting off in the beautiful surrounds of the Mother City, the route makes its way through a wide array of landscapes ranging from lush farmlands to mountain paths as well as hugging the coastline.

Chapman’s Peak

Chapman’s Peak is the dream coastal route for any photographer or adventurer visiting South Africa. Set above the churning Atlantic Ocean, the sheer cliffs rise up above the driver as he takes on these 9 km of scenic pleasure. ‘Chappies’, as it is locally known, has numerous places amongst its 114 twists and turns where one can stop off to take pictures or simply sit back and admire the view. As you make your way from Hout Bay to Camps Bay, you’ll be sure to be blown away by the appearance of the Twelve Apostles who sit up against the clear blue skyline.

Chapman's Peak road

Sani Pass

For our final entry, we’re back in South Africa. This pass is definitely for only the most hardcore adventurers. Using a 4×4 is mandatory when taking on this challenging road. Situated on the Drakensburg Mountain Range, it’s the route taken to get from KwaZulu-Natal into Mokhotlong in Eastern Lesotho. It holds a rich history, being used as a packtrail for those bringing supplies like wool and mohair down to the towns in exchange for blankets, clothes and maize. This is an extremely rough trail, being the only vehicle route over the Drakensburg. These mountains are truly awe-inspiring with Thabana Nthenyana being the highest point in Southern Africa.

Sani Pass road

So forget Highway 66

There is no doubting the awe-inspiring power of Africa when it comes to visual beauty. South Africa especially will hold a special place in the heart of anyone who has the pleasure of experiencing its scenic drives. These are truly wonders of the natural world which will forever inspire the boundless imagination of those seeking the rush of adventure and discovery.

The elevated highway of the Serengeti

Unlimited mileage on a rental car can get you a long way. It is the perfect fit for a long trek across the continent. In Africa, there is talk of a highway that may become the most spectacular piece of road ever created. The Serengeti, home to the world’s most famous wildlife migration of wildebeest and zebra that sees thousands of these creatures storm across the plains, may soon play host to a controversial elevated highway that could solve a number of problems facing the two countries that hold this wonder of nature conservation.

buffalo

Reasons for its construction

The commute from the western Lake Victoria area to the ports of Tanzania in the east has caused truckers and drivers alike to pull around for kilometres in order to get around the national parks. The stretch of road attempts to connect the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania with Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Serengeti is a very clear barrier to trade and commerce for residents and the 50km road will see some of these issues addressed.

truck on road

The obvious problem

There was outrage across the world upon the proposal of a highway through wildlife’s most prized display of natural beauty and power. The destruction of this wondrous natural habitat will see the home of 10% of the world’s lions disrupted. The proposal to build a ground-level highway through the reserve has been met with clear hostility but there are others who are motivated by innovation that have taken different approaches to the problem.

A possible solution

Kenyan scientist and conservationist Richard Leakey claims that a raised highway could alleviate concerns over disrupting this beautiful and important phenomenon. The chance of road-kill would be eliminated while he says the constant vigilance and presence of people on the highway could pave the way for innovative techniques at catching poachers. Famous for burning 12 tonnes of elephant tusks in an effort to curb ivory poaching, his methods worked as the value of ivory decreased significantly. By building the highway and cutting the number of poachers down, Leakey feels that there will be a definite decrease in poverty and unemployment. It is the latter which encourages people to take up poaching.

Richard Leakey

Where to from here?

There is no easy way out of the situation. People are rightly outraged by the possible ruin of one of the earth’s most precious remaining wildlife preserves. But it is a credit to those few like Leakey who are inspired to think outside the box in order to come up with new solutions. They could pave the way for a new era of prosperity with the Serengeti highway being introduced to a new generation of young drivers. There is no doubting that poaching and poverty rack both Tanzania and Kenya. By thinking outside the box, authorities can work together with the public in order to clamp down on problems without condemning its treasured wildlife.