Saddle Hill March 2008 Trip Report





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  1. #1
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    Default Saddle Hill March 2008 Trip Report

    Trip Report: Saddle Hill, March 2008

    It was 03:00 on the 20 March 2008. The Nissan Patrol and Challenger trailer were packed and ready. After filling up the flask with some coffee, getting the kids out of bed, hooking up the trailer and taking a last look around, we were in the car and set off on our long awaited trip to Namibia.

    I made all the bookings between September and November last year. We all had our passports (mine expired and my new one did not arrive in time, so I had to get an emergency travel certificate). A Namibian radio licence disk was obtained by filling in a Guest licence application, paying N$48 and faxing the deposit slip and application form to them.

    The first day – Cape Town to Norotshama
    Left at 04:00 from Engine 1-Stop on N7. We were 5 cars, 3 Hilux 4l V6's, One Prado 4l V6 and me in The Nissan Patrol 4.8l. We stopped just after 08:30, having passed Klawer, to enjoy some breakfast next to road – Eggs and wors and some fresh coffee.
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ID:	16692In Springbok we had to do a quick stop to buy some forgotten provisions. Then it was on to Vioolsdrift and Noordoewer which we reached at 12:30. The SA side of border was quick. Noordoewer border post was slow with quite a few people waiting already in the 41oC heat. Road tax for car and trailer was N$160. Filled up at BP in Noordoewer and continued to Norotshama River resort just before Ausenkehr. The gravel road there was good. Nortotshama was great and I will go back there any time. Chalets on river, beach pool, bed and breakfast cost R600 per chalet. (4 people sleeping)

    Day two – Norotshama to Luderitz
    The bridge over the Fish River was still out of commission. Click image for larger version. 

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    A new route, north of the Fish river canyon was planned. We drove down to the Gamchab river trail and headed up towards the D316 to Ais-Ais. Click image for larger version. 

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    They are closed until July 2008. Went up to Hobas and went to Fish River canyon look-out point.
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    This is N$60 p/p (kids under 12 don’t pay) Continued up to Seeheim and then took B4 to Luderitz via Aus. We stopped to see desert horses. The normally dry desert was covered with grass (sustained from two years ago) In Luderitz we stayed at Obelix Guest Village. They are very friendly. Breakfast was included for R550 per room. They unfortunately messed up our booking and we had to make do with one less room.

    Day 3 – On the way to Saddle Hill
    We got up at 7’am to get everything packed and ready. We headed down to the local Shoprite to stock up on drinks and snacks. At 09:00 we were parked in front of Coastways Tours.
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    All adults had to sign the indemnity form. It is a final wake-up call to read that should your car break in the dunes, it might not be recoverable and it will cost you an arm and a leg to do so. If you loose an arm or a leg, you are in deep trouble as medical help is far away. Hennie and Maritha in their Fortuner D4D and their children in a Land Cruiser 80 joined us. By 10:00 Ramon, our guide met up with us and after handing out a hand held VHF radio to every family and giving a quick briefing, we were in convoy heading out of Luderitz towards Aus. Ramon in front in his Cruiser bakkie and me at the back, the only non-Toyota in the group. Ramon gave us some background info on the area. After 35km we turned off onto the department of Water’s road, a heavily corrugated road. We dropped tyre pressure and headed on. After another 11km of the road from hell, we turned off onto the gravel plaines leading to the dunes. Gradually the scenery turns from rocky mountainous terrain to sand dunes.
    Most of the driving takes place in the dune street. Later Ramon announced that we will shortly hit the Dune highway.
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    Here we cruised along at 50 – 70km/h. For those of you that get car sick don’t sit in the back seat. The tracks throw the car from side to side. We made a stop along this highway at an old abandoned prospectors mine. Here a Jeep CJ2’s engine stands, slowly rusting away, the cooling fan happily spinning in the desert breeze (after 50years)
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    We had some Brötchen, Schnitzel and salads for lunch, which Ramon magically dished up from his bakkie. Once everyone was full and all the car sickness has worn off, we moved on. Then came the first warning to “Wax hom!” This means you have to turn up the juice as you ascend the dune. We would hear this frequently over the next few hours as we had to cross some dunes towards the sea to get to the next dune street.
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    I was glad we all had suspension upgrades and bumper replacements as some of the approach and departure angles were steep enough to cause some damage. There are no conveniently located escape routes, although Ramon ensured me that he will make a plan should a vehicle really not be able get through the standard route.
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    The views just got better and better and we all enjoyed the sand driving. We hit another dune street for a few kilometres and then Ramon asked whether we want to take the easy or difficult route to camp. What a question! We were here to drive these monster dunes – who wanted to take the easy route. We headed over the dunes straight towards the sea.
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    Standing on one of these large dunes it seems you can see the whole desert right up to the sea.
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    After a few more steep dunes, we got to the final slip face from where we could see the Saddle Hill camp and our accommodation to the next few days. Once everyone got down from the dune, we drove to the camp and we were allocated rooms. The facilities consists of some asbestos dormitories, four doors giving access to three or four rooms, each with two to 4 single beds.
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    There are no ceilings and the internal walls are thus basically room dividers. The ablutions have flush toilets, wash basins and showers (cold if you want to use the tap). A raised wooden walkway leads to the old shed where we socialised and ate.
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    Here are numerous shirts, bumpers, number plates and other objects from previous trips.
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    Next to the shed are a few additional rooms. Outside the shed there is a braai. We all unpacked and settled in. Warm shower water is heated in jerry cans on the fire and poured into bush showers. We had a great dinner, prepared by Festus and his son, Festus jr. and most were in bed by 10pm. There is an electric generator and lighting until the last one goes to bed.

    Day 4 – Spencer bay and ship wrecks
    Sunrise was at 07:02 –although a thick fog hung over the coast. A few of us walked to the beach. We would have fog and overcast cloud for most of the next two days. We found tracks of jackal and Brown hyena (Strand wolf) but that is it – no sign of other people, what a privilege. At 07:30 coffee is ready and from 08:00 breakfast can be enjoyed. A spread of fried eggs, beacon, sausages, fruit, yogurt, muesli, bread and various spreads. No one will go hungry here.
    09:00 and time to go. We travel North, past Sylvia hill to Spencer bay.
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    Again Ramon gives us information on the area and the mining activities. We visit some old mining camps. Everywhere stone markers tell the tale of claims and diamonds. We park at Spencer bay – an island lies in the bay with thousands of birds. Guano used to be shipped from here. We stop on the beach and climb a small hill to have a look at the wreck of the Otavi.
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    This was one of the ships picking up Guano and she got stranded. Attempts to tow her back to sea resulted in the stern breaking of and there she lies. Thousands of seals join her on the protected beach. Some jackals are patrolling between the seals, looking for a quick meal. My son’s foot slipped on the way up and if it were not for Skalla grabbing him in mid-air and a few angels looking over him, he would have certainly fell the 4 of 5 meters down to the rocks below (medical help is very far away). We drove further to the wreck of the Union traded, or what’s left of it. It had 600t of explosives on board and once the ship ran aground, there was just no way of getting the load back to South Africa. It was decided to blow it all up. Anchor chain, hundreds of meters long, line he dunes along with hundreds of pieces of metal.
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    I can just imagine that piece of chain whirling through the air shortly after the explosion which measures 4 on the Richter scale.

    Our route headed back into gravel desert and we stopped at Skull hill. We asked everyone to look and see why is was given this name. Everyone examined the rock koppie very carefully, not seeing the human skull lying on the sand 10 paces away.
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    No-one knows who’s skull this is. We went on to an oasis in the dry desert, but with the recent rain, it looks like a meadow. Normally Gemsbuck will dig for water but for the last two years there has been a constant pool of water.
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    We had a quick “bok drol spoeg” competition
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    and then went to look at the Jensen Bothria plant, a rare plant (only about 60 of them) growing only in this area of about 1ha. It has a grape sized fruit.
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    We left back for camp and lunch. After a nice lunch, we had some time to relax before heading out to do some challenge dunes. Getting from the camp into the big dunes involves attacking the dune up a gully where two slip faces meet, turning to your left and cresting the dune at the end. Too much to the left or right and you might be in for a surprise. Once over this dune, you go down a slip face, hitting the gas at the bottom to get up the next steep dune and everyone parking on and parallel to the crest of the dune.


    Driving off, means making a sharp right turn to go down the slip face – don’t use the clutch or the break here, give power so your front wheels will pull the car straight down the slope. After a few more dunes we get to challenge dune 1. We all park on the gentle slope of the neighbouring dune. Looking at this monster, Ramon gives some final advice:”Go from third to forth low range and wax it when you get to the bottom. Don’t go too much to your right (a huge dune to the right drops down and intersects with the one we are ascending. Hitting this dune with result in a certain roll over) … and then just follow my tracks”. Ramon pulls off, the cruiser hits the dune in forth, and the rev limiter protests to the abuse. He climbs the dune to the top, dropping down and going over another few dunes before going to the left, climbing even higher. A final climb brings you to the highest point and then you find the slip face back to where you started. You have a choice, take the slip face to your left and go down all the way to the bottom. Or go straight and go down a slip face that will take you half way down, make a sharp right turn on a narrow flat area before taking the last slip face down to the bottom. Watch your speed at the bottom of this first slip face! If you don’t make the turn and your car starts sliding onto the next slip face, you are in trouble.

    We all drove the dune, most more than once. We are getting to know our vehicles and ourselves. While the boys are playing with their toys (and me with my Nissan) the real children are taking the sand boards down the slopes.
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    Everyone enjoys the afternoon tremendously.

    It is just before 18:00 when we drive back into camp. The first Jerry can of hot water is just about ready for the shower.
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    The girls hit the shower first. Everyone warned me abouth the soap not foaming, but the shower gell worked just fine. Ramon offered to do a few back scrubs, but none of the women took him up on his offer. After a wonderul dinner and good company we hit the sack.

    Day 5 – Saddle Hill South

    Coffee and breakfast were the same as before and we departed at 9. Traveling south through some dunes. Finally we go down the last slip face onto the beach.
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    It was low tide and I didn’t have to worry about getting trapped by the water. Ramon assured me that they avoid this beach around high tide as the water comes right up to the dunes. We visited the vehicle grave yard where all the mining machinary were left to rust when they abbandoned Saddle Hill.
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    The salt and fog is taking it’s toll and I wonder how long it will be before all of this is gone. After all the photo’s are taken we proceed to the rock pools where we have the opportunity to dive for some cray fish. No-one had a wet suit and only Hennie knew to bring some diving goggles.
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    At first only he braved the cold Atlantic water. After some limited success two more joined in (myself included). The pool was teeming with cray fish, but most was horribly under sized. The bigger ones were sitting deeper in between the rocks. We managed to quickly get about 30 and we kept the 20 biggest ones.
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    It took me at least 2 hours to recover from Hypothermia. We visited the Saddle Hill mining town where sand burried all but a few houses and of these only the roofs were visible. I must admit I was shivering so much, that I don’t remember any of the info Ramon dished out over the radio. Then we drove to Mobi dick, a blow hole where wave action creates a powerfull blow of spray. Then we headed back to camp for a well deserved lunch.

    After lunch, we headed out again to tackle the second challenge dune and this one is a monster. No low range here, no sir, you need to get to 100km/h to scale this one. Ramon goes of to make a track for us to follow. Once over the first dune and out of sight one just hears the roar of the 4.5l engine somewhere in the sea of sand and then… Over the radio: ”One of you will have to come and pull me off this dune, I’m stuck.” I get sent off with Skalla in the navigator seat. We take off in high range, 1st, second, third, revs at 5500rpm, we hit the bottom of the dune. It is not an acute angle, but the speed generates some impressive G’s and you get the feeling of being pushed through the floor of the Patrol. Even with all this speed, I can feel die steep slope and loose sand robbing me of power and momentum. Just as I think now we’re at the top, and gearing down to second, I realize that there is still the last bit to go and I stop a few meters short. Now it is back all the way. I reverse back all the way and then I hit the gas again. This time I don’t watch the rev counter but the spedoometer, As I hit the bottom of the dune I see 105km/h. Again it feels like you are in a space rocket during take-off. All you can see is the long bonnet, sandy run way and blue sky as we scale the dune. I gear down to second when the revs get down to 3000rpm and we go over the last bit of the dune. My heart is racing and my hands are shaking. I select 1st to go down the slip face and up the second dune. I see Ramon stradeling a dune to my left, but the tracks are going straight ahead, over another two dunes before taking a gully to the right. As this opens up, a sharp turn to the left and over anoter dune. Adrenalin is still flowing freely. A small slip face, no higher than my car is infront of me. With all the excitement I hit it a bit fast and sand goes flying of my car. The ARB bumper makes quite a thump, but the big bonnet rises and over we go. We go left and come to a stop behind the Land Cruiser bakkie. Ramon is ready with his tow rope. A gentle pull and back he comes. After he goes over the dune with a bit more momentum, I follow, making sure not to befall the same fate. We go up another slope, making a gentle left and then we come to the highest slip face of the trip. Now it is straight down. What a feeling.
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    To the left are the tracks where went went up. To the right is the fianl slip face.
    Skalla drove this dune 12 times in almost all the cars.
    Here is a short video of the dune

    We were all fired up and asked for a detour through the dunes on the way back. Unfortunately Jaco’s front tyre decided to climb off the rim and forced us to put it back first
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    I knew I did not take the hi-lift jack with for nothing
    After getting it back on the rim, it kept on deflating when the car is lowered and we ended up using the spare. At camp it seems that the tyre also partially climbed off the inside bead and after inflating it to 300kPa, the problem was sorted out.

    After a wonderful dinner of cray fish, garlic mussels and steak we relaxed around the fire recounting the day’s events.
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    Day 6 - Back to Luderitz
    The next morning after breakfast we left camp for the last time.
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    We took the same route that we came in with. The radio trafic was significantly less than the previous three days. There was a slightly depressed mood and no one wanted to go home.

    We had a final stop in the mountainous area for a last bite to eat.
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    After reaching the corrugated gravel road. We inflated our tyred before returning to Luderitz. We all filled up and four of the vehicles decided to try and reach Keetmanshoop by nightfall. Three of us stayed at Hansa Hause guest house (booked by Obelix guest house for us because they were full), heading up to Tsamchab Tented camp and later Swakopmund.

    Total distance drived from Luderitz to Saddle Hill and back: 510km
    Petrol/Diesel used:
    Hilux 4.0l V6 petrol – 110l
    Nissan Patrol 4.8 – 140l
    Toyota Fortuner D4D – 95l
    None of us struggled too much with the sand and mostly got over on first try.

    Cost:
    R3500 per person (Children 6-12 at 50% and children under 6 is free) This includes three wonderfull meals per day, coffee and fruit juice.

    We had to take:
    Clothes, sleeping bags and pillows, snacks, water, Petrol & Beverages.

    Some personal advice:
    I will definitally go again. I will try to book the whole group with people I know. One brainless idiot who do not follow rules, drives without thinking or arrives ill prepared can spoil the trip for everyone. There are many reports of people rolling vehicles because they don’t listen, are not careful or arrive with a fully laden roof rack.
    I would advise a vehicle with an suspension upgrade and some front protection, even just a bash plate. If you drive a Pajero, your rear bumper should be sorted out as it will tear off. If your vehicle’s radiator is low in front (Nissan Pathfinder and Nevara, and Jeep Grand Cherokee), you should try and protect these with bash plates, bumper and suspension upgrades.
    I took too much water, although it was not very hot in the dunes. Next time I will take 30l only for the family.
    Take diving goggles, as snorkel, gloves and wet suit.
    Take warm clothes. Nights and mornings are chilly.
    Unless you want to stick around in Luderitz, I would drive to Aus and stay at Klein Aus Vista rather than back at Obelix.

    Contact Numbers:
    Norotshama River lodge
    Tel: +264 (0) 63 297215
    Fax: +264 (0) 63 297217
    Email: [email protected]
    Obelix Guest Village
    +264 63 203546
    [email protected]
    Coastways Tours - (they are the only outfit with a concesion to go into the desert. Everyone else works through them)
    Tel : 09264 63 202002
    Cell : 09264 81 257 4118
    Fax : 09264 63 202003
    email : [email protected]
    Last edited by Khosaan; 2008/04/16 at 09:41 PM.
    Ettienne Myburgh

    Nissan Patrol 4.8GL OME, ARB, Drawers, 2nd Battery
    Challenger Off-road trailer with Howlin Moon tent

  2. #2
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    Default Well done!!

    Great report.... bly ek het gewag om te sien wat jy alles skryf. Sien uit na die fotos al ken ek hulle.

    Nogmaals dankie vir jou aanhou om ons almal op die trip te kry en vir al die organisasie! Onthou ons moet nog die verblyf finansie finaliseer.
    Bly ons gaan dit eendag weer doen, sal die 2 swaers van Pretoria saam neem.

    Wax hom!!
    Last edited by Skalla; 2008/04/17 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Kosaan did the editing

    Skalla
    Hilux D/C 4L V6.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Awesome trip report. Just the date does not tie in.

    It was 03:00 on the 20 April 2008

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    I have been waiting for this trip report and it was well worth the wait. Definitely sounds like a trip I want to do. It seems like that is petrol country with those high dunes, do you think the diesels will make it?

    Edit: missed the D4D Fortuner , how did it cope?

    Thanks Khosaan, very interesting.
    Last edited by Ashley; 2008/04/16 at 08:56 AM.
    2010 3l D4D Hilux Raider DC, Burnco front bumper, Cooper STT's, Ironman Shocks and Coils, Stofpad Rocksliders and LCSP's
    <O></O>
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    ZS1ASH

  5. #5
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    Default Diesel

    Hi Ashley
    The diesel Fortuner was very impressive, or I should say the driver was.
    Hennie het die trip al gedoen en ook die lang een na Walvis. Jy kan sien hy weet hoe om te ry, genoeg spoed, momentum is wat jy nodig het nie net krag nie. Hy het die heel hoogste Challenge duin gedoen met 'n vinnige afgear van 3de H na 2de HR.
    Its the Idian not the arrow!
    Hein Burnet het vir hom 'n lekker dik skidplate voor onder die nudgebar gesit wat baie gehelp het.
    Cheers
    Doc

    Skalla
    Hilux D/C 4L V6.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley View Post
    I have been waiting for this trip report and it was well worth the wait. Definitely sounds like a trip I want to do. It seems like that is petrol country with those high dunes, do you think the diesels will make it?

    Edit: missed the D4D Fortuner , how did it cope?

    Thanks Khosaan, very interesting.
    It did exceptionally well, but as Skalla commented: "the indian makes all the difference to the arrow" Hennie has been to Saddle Hill before and clearly knows his vehicle very well. I don't think I ever heard the Fortuner's revs below 3000rpm. The 3l TD engine in the Fortuner puts out a lot of power and the manual gear box helps a lot. If one can keep it in it's power band and use the right gear, it will fly like an arrow.

    The bigger petrol enignes is still King of the Dunes (and with the price of diesel...)
    Ettienne Myburgh

    Nissan Patrol 4.8GL OME, ARB, Drawers, 2nd Battery
    Challenger Off-road trailer with Howlin Moon tent

  7. #7
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    I agree about the driver making a big difference but like Gary Player always said " The more you practise , the luckier you get." When we drove past the dunes at Swakop in October last year I was itching to go and try them but the rest of the convoy was in a hurry to get home. Opportunity missed. But your trip sounds so great , I will start saving.

    I also agree about the company you go with, a rotten apple can spoil the trip for everybody.

    Tyre pressures also make a big difference, what were you running on?
    2010 3l D4D Hilux Raider DC, Burnco front bumper, Cooper STT's, Ironman Shocks and Coils, Stofpad Rocksliders and LCSP's
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  8. #8
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    Default Tyre pressure

    We drove at 0.8
    In the cold mornings they went down to 0.6.
    Only one came off, but that was with sharply turned wheels in thick sand after one of the hilux's reversed/slid down into a little gully.

    Skalla
    Hilux D/C 4L V6.

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    Ettiene what a fantastic trip. On my to do list one day . At least they had you the doctor with, so there was no problem there. You wrote an exciting and captivating story. Thankyou. Cheers Ian
    ORA
    -------------------------
    Ian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalla View Post
    Its the Idian not the arrow!
    Great report, brings back lots of memories!

    We once had a young couple with one of those ugly first Freelanders on a Saddle Hill trip. I joked that we would tow them everywhere. I soon had to eat my words. The Freelander was quickly nicknamed the "Motorised Sandboard".
    The indian and Not the arrow!

    On same trip a chappie flew a Pajero over a crest to only land meters down other side of dune. He was quite a sport about it.
    Check visitors book for inscription: "Osama Bin Naidoo: Why drive a LandRover if u can FLY a Pajero."

    Ek ga saam volgende keer, sit links agter!
    Skalla now I know why you want new tyres!
    Last edited by Rampie; 2008/04/16 at 09:38 PM.
    Rampie
    No Land Rover - Soon to change though

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    Ettienne, mooi beskrywende 'trip report'. Weet nie of ek iets gemis het nie, maar hoekom het jy die sleepwa saamgevat en waar het jy hom gelos?
    FJ Cruiser
    Echo Kavango

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    Fantastiese tour wat julle gehad het. Ek gaan ook een van die dae.

    Hoe sal jou band keuse jou ry vermoÍ op die sand beinvloed? Sal 'n gladder band beter doen as 'n growwe band. Ek het bande met so 5mm loopvlak nog op, dit is gewone AT bande. Sal hulle beter doen as byvoorbeeld nuwe Cooper ST's?

    Hoor graag van julle.

    Groete.
    Ben

    RY WAAR JY MAG MET PASSIE

    2009 Toyota Hilux 3.0 D4D DC 4X4

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    Default Bande

    Hi Whisky
    Ek het gewone 255/70/15 duelers met 27 000km op di Hilux gehad en gladnie gesukkel nie. Ramon, ons gids se dat die AT's of self mud terains beter doen maar die groot ding bly steeds momentum!!!! Daardie sand is so dik en sag en glo my as jy reeds 100m teen die duin uit is en jou spoed is te min gaan geen band jou help nie. 'n stel 31/ 10.5/ 15 AT BFG's so my egter baie gehelp het op die modder natgereende paaie in Namibia maar dit sien jy nie so baie nie.
    Hoop dit help
    Groete

    Skalla
    Hilux D/C 4L V6.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffie View Post
    Ettienne, mooi beskrywende 'trip report'. Weet nie of ek iets gemis het nie, maar hoekom het jy die sleepwa saamgevat en waar het jy hom gelos?
    Hoffie
    Ons het nie teruggekom na Saddle Hill nie maar verder Noord gegaan, by Tsamchab geslaap vir twee dae en daarna 4 dae by Swakopmund. Van daar is ons Winhoek, Keetmans (Lafenis) en oor Sendelingsdrift na die Richtersveld vir drie dae. Ek het dus ook gekamp die tweede deel van die toer. Die sleepwa het dit ook maklik gemaak om vinnig langs die pad die kuimbuis en ys/vrieskas te ontplooi en vinnig iets te maak om te eet en lekker vars geperkuleerde koffie te drink. Ek het ook vistokke vir see en rivier, Lifw Jackets, 'n opblaas Tube, roeispane en visgerei saamgevat. Ek het die sleepwa by Obelix gelos toe on Saddle Hill toe was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whisky View Post
    Hoe sal jou band keuse jou ry vermoÍ op die sand beinvloed? Sal 'n gladder band beter doen as 'n growwe band. Ek het bande met so 5mm loopvlak nog op, dit is gewone AT bande. Sal hulle beter doen as byvoorbeeld nuwe Cooper ST's?
    Groete.
    Dit is ook een van die goed wat in die aande om die vuur onder bespreking gekom het. Ramon (die gids) en sy Cruiser het 33" MT's op en hy glo daaraan. Een Hilux het 32" MT's opgehad. Daar was een Hilux bakkie met 31" AT's en een Cruiser 80 met 32" AT's. My Patrol, die Fortuner en een Hilux het H/T's opgehad. Die H/T's het oral geloop (ek was met myne deur die richtersveld ook). Die Hilux met 32" MT's het vreeslik gespin teen die duine op en duidelik dieper in die sand geloop (teen lae banddruk) en was ook die enigste een was van die rim gekom het. Ek dink as jy Slicks op het, hou dit net so. Ek sou nie MT's opsit voor ek Saddle Hill toe gaan nie. 'n AT band is waarskynlik ook goed.
    Ettienne Myburgh

    Nissan Patrol 4.8GL OME, ARB, Drawers, 2nd Battery
    Challenger Off-road trailer with Howlin Moon tent

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    Very nice and detailed report Ettienne. We were there the week before with Ramon. This was my second trip to Saddle Hill.

    About the diesels. The first time I went with my Ranger 22.5TD. Drove all the dunes except the big challenge dunes. Momentum is the name of the game (wax hom!!!).

    This time I went with my LC 4.5 EFi bakkie. What a pleasure!!! You're never worried that you won't make a dune. Incredible!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by impilo View Post
    hi there Ettienne.
    ...tell me do you still see the empty plastic 2litre coke bottles along the route. these sometimes served as guidance along the route,however was not always in your favor especially since the dunes shifted all the time.

    can you remeber what speeds you would clock during some of your climbs,we once registerd travelling at 120 kms an hour and still not reaching the top of the dune,if my memory serves me correct, its the one you had posted on you tube.
    The sticks with coke bottle are still there at the beginning of the trail, but Ramon said they don't realy use them anymore. He does almost all the Saddle hill trips and knows the route very well.

    The max speed I did was 102km/h up challenge dune 2, but the heavier the vehicle the more momentum is retained up the dune and the less speed you need at the bottom. A light vehicle (with less powerful egine) will need a lot more speed to go up that dune. Except for challenge dune 2, I drove low range 3rd of 4th and speeds of max 50-60km/h. All of us on the trip aimed for a speed of just over 100km/h to get up that dune. We all used Hi range but Jaco did Lo Range 5th. I am not happy to put that amount of torque on such a high gear.


    Quote Originally Posted by bolander View Post
    Very nice and detailed report Ettienne. We were there the week before with Ramon. This was my second trip to Saddle Hill.

    About the diesels. The first time I went with my Ranger 22.5TD. Drove all the dunes except the big challenge dunes. Momentum is the name of the game (wax hom!!!).

    This time I went with my LC 4.5 EFi bakkie. What a pleasure!!! You're never worried that you won't make a dune. Incredible!!!
    Petrol is king in the dunes. They did a lot of trips over the easter weekend. There was a group the 4 day before us and the 4 days after us. Heiner also had 2 trip from Ludertiz to Walvis.
    Ettienne Myburgh

    Nissan Patrol 4.8GL OME, ARB, Drawers, 2nd Battery
    Challenger Off-road trailer with Howlin Moon tent

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rampie View Post
    We once had a young couple with one of those ugly first Freelanders on a Saddle Hill trip.
    Can you believe it - 7 years after the event this guy recognises the story and contacts me. Welcome James (lurking there in the background!!) Shees technology really makes the world a lot smaller.
    Rampie
    No Land Rover - Soon to change though

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    Default So gou verby

    Nou net weer na die report gekyk, kan nie glo dit is al so lank terug nie. Hopelik eendag weer.

    Skalla
    Hilux D/C 4L V6.

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    good read, and some good pics.

    what a great trip!

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