DESERT DRIVES

Road Trip - - CONTENTS - Ferd i [email protected]­trip­mag.co.za

I am writ­ing this while over­look­ing the luke-warm rim pool in front of my chalet in the Ras al Khamaih Re­sort in the Al Wadi Desert in Dubai.tough life, I know.

I am briefly spend­ing time in this very up­mar­ket desert haven to learn more about the up­dates for next year’s Maserati Levante; less than two weeks af­ter com­plet­ing an­other epic desert trip – to the Namib Desert in a diminu­tive Fiat Panda Cross.

Now, apart from four-wheel drive, the only thing the lux­u­ri­ous Levante and the small Fiat share is the fact that both are man­u­fac­tured by the same Ital­ian auto group. Oth­er­wise, they are as far re­moved from each other as the sand dunes of the Namib and the Al Wadi.

There is some­thing spe­cial about the desert though; the in­fini­tude of the arid, harsh land­scape, the rock-strewn hills and des­o­late plains that seem­ingly stretches into per­pe­tu­ity makes one feel small and in­signif­i­cant. But the seren­ity of its soli­tude and its splen­did deso­la­tion is also strangely in­vig­o­rat­ing. That is the magic of a desert road trip.

How­ever, never un­der­es­ti­mate the hos­til­ity of this bar­ren en­vi­ron­ment, as we ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing our Namibia ex­pe­di­tion with the plucky lit­tle Panda. In keep­ing with the desert theme, we also vis­ited the lux­u­ri­ous Kgala­gadi Lodge in the Kala­hari.

In stark con­trast to this, con­trib­u­tor Ryan Scott trav­elled to Gs­taad in Switzer­land to par­take in the ex­treme Snow Bike Fes­ti­val. We also found our­selves in that part of the world with a tour from Aus­tria to Bo­hemia in the Czech Repub­lic on a KTM 1290 Su­per Ad­ven­ture R. Not to men­tion that our con­trib­u­tor, Di­eter Losskarn, trav­elled to the small Swabian town of Bib­er­ach to ex­pe­ri­ence an el­e­vated, tough-look­ing Mercedes-benz sta­tion wagon called the E-class All-ter­rain 4x4². Back in South Africa, we set off in the lat­est 3008-model from Peu­geot, syn­ony­mous with the Lion of Belfort, to find some Pan­thera Leo in the prov­ince least known for them.

Also in this edi­tion, we tell you more about Jamie Oliver’s dream mo­bile kitchen, a unique Dis­cov­ery built for him by Jaguar Land Rover Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle Op­er­a­tions for a three-part­series on his Food Tube chan­nel, and give you the low-down on the new BMW X3, ready for lo­cal re­lease this month.

If you still do not have that wan­der­lust feel­ing af­ter pag­ing through all that, we share with you all the coun­tries you can visit with a South African pass­port – the third most pow­er­ful pass­port in Africa – visa-free.

So, get out there (with or with­out visa) and ex­pe­ri­ence South­ern Africa – whether on a dark desert high­way or via a sub-tropic jun­gle track.

Safe Trav­els

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