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.

Go! Camp & Drive - - Contents - Text and pho­tos Cyril Klop­per

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. >

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