Mahindra Thar



I started getting into landscape photograph­y in 2017. Owning the Thar has really helped to grow this hobby. It has enough space to pack all my luggage, camping gear, photograph­y kit and tools. The fuel consumptio­n is also very reasonable at about 9 ℓ/100 km on a normal weekend trip, such as a 250 km round trip through the Cederberg.

The Thar is a feel-good vehicle: Every time I get into the driver’s seat and hear the engine roar, I feel as if I can go anywhere. Long-distance drives are comfortabl­e enough, although there is wind noise at higher speeds. My 2017 model originally had a soft-top roof; I’ve since added a hard-top canopy, which is much better.

Nothing beats a five-million-star hotel, so camping is always my first choice of accommodat­ion. Down the line, I would like to get the Thar a drawer system, a fridge and an awning, which will help on my longer trips.

I also use my Thar as a day-to-day runaround (it’s my only car) and because it’s so small, it parallel parks like a dream, even in Cape Town’s narrow streets.

The longest trip I’ve been on was a

3 700 km return journey in December 2020 from Cape Town to Mpumalanga and Limpopo. I drove to the top of Mariepskop (1 945m) and went to see the nearby Klaserie Waterfall. It was a misty and rainy day when I drove to the waterfall and I really got to test the Thar’s 4x4 capabiliti­es: Parts of the road were very steep (gradients from 1:14 to 1:5); having low-range was a blessing.

In July 2021, I went on a solo mission to Verneukpan (pictured above) and back (1270km). En route I visited Gannabos near Nieuwoudtv­ille to photograph the Milky Way as it rose over the quiver trees. Wild camping at Verneukpan – with no one there but me and my Thar – was a real highlight. I had never seen the sky so clear. It was thanks to my Thar that I got to experience it.

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