South Africa is a water-poor country and dry river courses are an unfortunate yet common sight. For 4x4 enthusiasts, however, these long stretches of sand are a playground where their tracks get washed away every summer during the rainy season.
In a dry river course in the Mopani District, deep in the north of the Limpopo province, 14 Nissan Patrols are idling quietly. The men eagerly shake hands while the women greet each other with hugs. “Jeez my friend, long time no see! How are you doing?” the amiability echoes against the banks of the river. While the grown-ups are reminiscing, a few young boys appear from various vehicles with spades and begin constructing castles and paths in the river sand. Does 14 vehicles sound like a lot? It’s not even half of the group of adventurers that turned up for this year’s Nissan Patrol Forum River Trip. The others are already playing around in their vehicles somewhere along the river course. This is an annual event, and the excitement has been building up for weeks. Soon all the vehicles’ tyre pressure have been lowered to 1 bar and the last of the convoy members are ready to roll down the river. >