Partners


Partners

My work and my expedition would be impossible without the support of some very supportive organisations and people. My sponsors help me cover the significant expenses of travelling on the road for a year at a time (especially with the fuel price in South Africa climbing faster than a leopard being chased up a tree by a lion). Thank you to all of them.

Ford Motor Company South Africa

Ford

In my first Year in the Wild, my Ford Everest 4×4 (manual gearbox) guided me safely through South Africa’s toughest terrain. I’ve travelled over 100 000 kilometres on tar, gravel, sand, mud and rock. I’ve become attached to my Ford and it’s clearly been an indispensable part of Year in the Wild. Now, in Year in the Wild 2013-14, I’ll be driving into many new areas that present different challenges, but I’m confident my new Everest (an automatic version) won’t let me down. The Everest is highly adaptable. It drives like a car on tar, yet when I need to engage 4×4, it’s remarkably capable off-road. I’m looking forward to spending another year in my Ford Everest, which has been fitted with a long-range fuel tank, rear ladder and special shocks by RMA. Many thanks to Dale Reid, Gavin Golightly, Burger Genis, Andrew Fuller and Rella Bernardes for their continued support. Thanks also to Wanda Marais from Ford in the town of Springbok for helping me sort out one or two things when I was last there on my way to Richtersveld National Park.

Goodyear Tyres

Goodyear

A superb 4×4 is nothing without appropriate tyres, and Goodyear have supplied me with Wrangler All-Terrains which have stood the test. After two years of driving through wilderness areas, I’ve had just two punctures. (They have Kevlar sidewalling, which helps to prevent sharp rocks cutting into them). These tyres are a good compromise between road tyres and mud-terrain tyres, and are suitable for most surfaces, whether it’s tar, gravel, rock or sand. Correct tyre pressure and driving technique is obviously important too, but the Wranglers seem to be perfectly suited to my needs. (I deflate to about 2 bar on gravel roads, and to about 1,4 bar on sand). The team at Goodyear has been superb, and very responsive: thank you to William Harris, Myles Dent and Lize Hayward. Thanks also to Peter Alterskye and Ursula Fredericks at Hi-Q in Cape Town, and Chris Buys from Hi-Q in Empangeni, who fitted my tyres. The service from these good folk has been exemplary.

Cape Union Mart and K-Way

Cape Union Mart & K-Way

The team at Cape Union Mart and K-Way supply me with clothing and gear to help me do my work. I often find myself alone, taking photographs in some very wild places, so I can’t afford to take chances by being unprepared. This year I’ll be hiking in the snow of uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountains, exploring the Kgalagadi desert in the height of summer, and wandering in the Knysna forests during the Cape winter, so I’m definitely going to need my specialist clothing from K-Way. Items in my wardrobe include an Uvongo Shirt (perfect for sun protection and staying cool) Klaus Moisture Manager (great for hiking), Ussuri Fleece (great for keeping warm) and my Thermashift down sleeping bag (so I don’t freeze solid overnight in the ‘Berg winter where I’ll be sleeping at high altitude in a K-Way Nerolite tent). Other gear includes an Axel Beanie, Innsbruck Gloves, Venture 70 litre backpack and Verona floppy hat. Thanks to Nick Bennett, Evan Torrance, Penny Parker, Tramaine Hartzenberg and Rushanda Michaels at head office, and Adeeb and Donald at Adventure Centre in Canal Walk.

Sponsors 

Globecomm

Globecomm South Africa

Harry Tayler from Globecomm was the first person to support my concept of Year in the Wild. I am using a BGAN Explorer 500 satellite unit, which allows me to communicate with the outside world when I’m far from anywhere, and when cell phone reception is wonderfully non-existent. I can use my BGAN to upload blogs and photos to the web, and even make telephone calls when I’m sitting in the middle of the Kalahari desert or the deep thick bush of Gonarezhou. The technology is remarkable – my BGAN communicates with a satellite 36 000 kilometres high in the sky, beyond the atmosphere, and it beams the signal back down to earth. I have no idea how it works, but it works very well. (The connection and speed is often better than my Telkom broadband line at home!) Thanks also to Stephen Light and Dickon Webb for the excellent service.

Vodacom

Vodacom

When I’m in areas with cell phone reception, I’ll be using my Vodacom call contract and 3G data package to make calls and update my website and Facebook page. Suraya Hamdulay and Busisiwe Nyoni from the Corporate Citizenship department at the mammoth organization of Vodacom have been most helpful, and without them I wouldn’t be able to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram my journey. Reece Jacobsen from Cerebra will be pushing my content online to the Vodacom Facebook page, so check it out here! (Thanks Reece!)

Front Runner Vehicle Outfitters

Frontrunner

My Ford Everest has been kitted out with a Frontrunner roofrack, fridge slider and drawer system, all of which makes my vehicle instantly more useful for a long expedition through Southern Africa. The Cheetah roofrack holds my EeziAwn rooftop tent, while the fridge slider helps me access my National Luna fridge. The drawer system effectively doubles my packing space in the Everest, so I can fit in all the extra equipment that I may need. Thanks to Renee Cary and Monique Chauvet for their willing support.

EeziAwn

EeziAwn

One fantastic thing about my work is that I get to interact with kindred spirits, and Jess Stuhler and his dad Jack at EeziAwn fit this bill. They have travelled all over Africa, and are explorers in their own right. I am using one of their rooftop tents; I often sleep better in it than on my own bed at home. Perhaps it’s the combination of starry skies and the sounds of the wild, but I’m certain I sleep so well because the tent and mattress is comfortable. With windows and mosquito netting on all sides, and a thick, firm matress, I’m cool during warm nights, and snug during the cold spells. One day I’m going to put my EeziAwn tent in my room at home so I can sleep in it all the time. I’m also using a Bat, a new ingenious awning that provides 270 degrees of shade around my vehicle. I haven’t used it before, but I am going to be testing it during the heat of a Kalahari summer!

National Luna

National Luna

Peter Slemmert is the best man to talk to if you want a cold beer on a hot day in the African bush. His National Luna fridges are made locally, and they are strong, reliable and efficient. I’m using a stainless steel 90 litre double compartment fridge, so each area can be set as either a freezer or fridge. The National Luna portable power pack, with a deep-cycle battery, can power the fridge for about a day in intense heat, before the battery needs to be charged by driving the car again. In colder climates, the fridge can run for three days without charging the battery. Like my EeziAwn tent, the National Luna fridge is an indispensable piece of equipment, and a great morale booster at the end of a long day taking photographs in the African heat.

Safari Centre Cape Town

Safari Centre Cape Town

Johan and Horst Kellerman are my Cape Town source of trustworthy and reliable advice on all things 4×4 and African overlanding. Both Johan and Horst are always on hand to offer their thoughts on what equipment to buy, and which kit is the best value. The service is very efficient, and I’m always impressed by the quality of their work in their fitment centre. Always a pleasure dealing with you guys, thanks!

Tracks 4 Africa

Tracks 4 Africa

There really is only one mapping tool to use in Africa, and that is Tracks 4 Africa. I’ve been using their GPS software for many years now, and the good folks there have been sending me the digital maps to help me find my way through southern Africa’s wilderness areas. CEO Johann Groenewald has been very helpful, and is almost as mad about the region’s protected areas as I am. Their software is critical for my journey, because it helps me find my way through areas that are simply not mapped by anyone else. And it also helps me map my own journey and keep tabs on where I’ve been.

Outdoor Photo

Outdoor Photo

As a professional photographer, I rely on the best advice for purchasing equipment. Hedrus van der Merwe from Outdoor Photo is always full of knowledge and assistance, while his store in Pretoria is extremely dangerous for a photographer to visit, because it’s tempting in the extreme! I look forward to doing more work with Hedrus, and contributing content to his website and digital magazine. Check it out because there is some amazing photography from other pro photographers.

Hetzner

Hetzner

Without my website, Year in the Wild couldn’t exist. It’s the foundation of everything I do, and so a huge thanks to Athena Turner and Julia Quickfall for all the space on the big world wide web. It’s a crowded place, for sure, and I’m stoked to be so ably supported. I’m definitely not a techie, so thanks Hetzner for taking care of the geek stuff!

Wade and Whitelaw and Superlative

Wade & Whitelaw / Superlative

Julia Durrant from Wade and Whitelaw and Murray Mitchell from Superlative designed and built my website, which I’m very proud of, and which is my main publishing platform. I love the way it looks, and the things it can do…thanks Jules and Murray for your efforts (and patience with those coders!).

Conservation Organisations

I’m fortunate to be able to work for most of the year in some of the most special protected areas in Southern Africa, and the following organisations and people have made it all possible.

South African National Parks

South African National Parks

A very big debt of gratitude to Glenn Phillips, Bheki Zwane, Sylvia Flavell, Rina Groenewald, Rey Thakuli, Hein Grobler and Nedret Saidova for their assistance in helping me realize my dream of Year in the Wild. SANParks are the biggest of the country’s conservation organisations, and I’m very proud to work with them and help them achieve their goals. With 19 national parks across the country, they have an invaluable role to play in the protection of South Africa’s wild places. Areas like Kruger and Table Mountain National Park support financially many of the more remote parks, and if it wasn’t for the extensive tourism offering at SANParks, most of our country’s wild areas would probably have been lost to other forms of land use already. Thanks too to Megan Taplin, Victor Mokoena, Sithembile Mhlope, Nico van der Walt, Johan Taljaard, Joep Stevens, Brian van der Westhuizen, Dupel Erasmus, Steven Smith, Nick de Goede, Bernard van Lente, Lucy Nhlapo, William Mabasa, Nhlanhla Themba, Tineke Kraaij, Chris Patton, Norman Johnson, Clementine Mbatani, Andre Riley, Lizette Moolman, Laura Mukwevho, Lerato Khoza, Ben van Eeden, Peter Dlamini, Fhumulani Mikosi, Stephen Nel, Tess White, Pierre Nel, Mpho Mudau. Paddy Gordon, Irving Knight.

CapeNature

CapeNature

The nature reserves of the Western Cape are managed by CapeNature; their team of Sheraaz Ismail, Marietjie Engelbrecht and Lucinda Witten have been very supportive. It’s always a pleasure to work with them, and to promote travel to their beautiful wild places. CapeNature are custodians of some of the most naturally diverse areas on Earth, and their accommodation in places like Kogelberg and Rocherpan are quickly becoming iconic destinations in their own right. I can’t wait to explore more CapeNature reserves around the province. Thanks also to Tom Barry, Marius Brand, Patrick Lane and Patrick Hanekom.

Ezemvelo

Ezemvelo KZN-Wildlife

The reserves of KwaZulu-Natal are – to me – some of the best in Africa. Places like Tembe Elephant Park, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi and uKhahlamba-Drakensberg are each unique, but all are wild and fascinating to visit. Because of the higher rainfall and more fertile soils, the reserves of northern KZN in particular support a higher density of wildlife than elsewhere, and a greater range of habitats. I always enjoy visiting them and can’t wait to go back. Thanks also to Thabiso Dube, Dennis Wood, Siphelele Luthuli, Musa Mntambo, Cedric Coetsee, Jed Bird, Catharine Hanekom, Oscar Mthimkhulu, John Crowson, Patrick Sibeko, Dr. Dave Cooper, Matt Jackson and Ncami Khumalo.

EasternCape

Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency

The Eastern Cape parks may not be as well known to foreigners (or even locals) as Kruger or Kgalagadi, but there is so much to discover! I fell in love with the mountains of Baviaanskloof, the beaches and waterfalls of Mkhambathi and the intense spekboom forests of Great Fish Nature Reserve. All are very special and different. This year I’ll be travelling to them again, as well as several more on the spectacular Wild Coast. Thanks to Lavinia Subboo for her help, as well as Wayne Erlank and Vuyani Mapiya for their advice and support, as well as Emma Canniford and Vuyokazi Vutula in the call centre.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

This is Africa’s most diverse protected area, with more species of animal than any other. A World Heritage Site, it is managed independently, and I’ve always been impressed by the organization’s commitment to its continued conservation and sustainable development. Thanks to Lindy Duffield for her ever-present guidance and help, and to Andrew Zaloumis, Debbie Cooper and Thandi

Namibia Wildlife Resorts

Namibia Wildlife Resorts


Thanks very much to Pauline Lindeque, the marketing manager, for opening the doors to the beautiful wilderness areas of Namibia for me. I’ll be exploring |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier National Park in the south of the country during Year in the Wild 2013-14. Thanks very much too to Francois Snyders who manages the park. I can’t wait to spend more time in Namibia’s national parks and community conservancies, but I’ll have to wait a bit before I see more of this superlatively photogenic land.

Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks

Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks


I look forward to exploring the Botswana side of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, as well as the Tuli Block. Thanks to Tshipiso Mphele from Botswana Tourism, and Mr Mokara from Kgalagadi. For Tuli Block, huge thanks to Zelda George from Eco-Training for giving me access to the best part of the area.

Zimbabwe Department of National Parks

Zimbabwe Department of National Parks


My grandfather was born in Zimbabwe, and I’ve been there several times recently to explore its iconic wild places. I’ll be heading to Gonarezhou National Park in the south-east, and for this I must thank Hugo van der Westhuizen from Frankfurt Zoological Society and private guide Anthony Kaschula. Also big thanks to Lindarose Ntuli from Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

Parque Nacional do Limpopo & Gorongosa National Park

Mozambique National Parks


I’ll be visiting Parque Nacional do Limpopo, adjacent to Kruger National Park, and driving through Banhine and Zinave National Parks too. From there I’ll pop into Gorongosa National Park (which isn’t part of the transfrontier park, but is too tempting too miss). Thanks to Marc Stalsman and James Byrne from Gorongosa for their alacrity.

Bird Life South Africa

Birdlife South Africa

I’m hardly an expert birder, but I am a very keen novice, and with more than 800 bird species in South Africa, I always need help. Fortunately Dale Wright and Daniel Marnewick from Birdlife South Africa have assisted me with information on birds in the protected areas. I’m looking forward to working with them more closely in the future, and also helping them a little to achieve their marketing goals.

Media

Besides my own website, you can check out my magazine and website articles with photos on the following media platforms. For an archive of my articles, go to the Press section of my website.

Leisure Wheels

Leisure Wheels


I’ll be writing a monthly column for Leisure Wheels Magazine, as well as a regular blog for LeisureWheels.com. Thanks to Jannie Herbst and Anzet du Plessis.

Cape Times

Cape Times Newspaper


Editor Tony Weaver is one of my favourite writers on all things African, and he has carried my content in the Cape Times since the start of my projet. I’ll be writing a monthly column for them. Thanks also to Jane Mayne and Terri Dunbar-Curran.

News 24 Travel

News24.com Travel


Selene Brophy and Nadia Krige at News24.com Travel will be publishing a twice-monthly column of mine with a photo gallery, so check it out here.

Getaway Magazine

Getaway


The original bible of Southern African travel, Getaway will be carrying my content regularly this year. Thanks to Cameron Ewart-Smith for his enthusiasm and support, and Emma Odendaal, Jacqui MacGregor and Claire Reddie for keeping me in check.

British Airways High Life Magazine

British Airways Highlife Magazine


Lin Murray from British Airways Highlife is simply awesome to work with, and I love the design of the magazine. It’s always fun to write for this magazine, and looking forward to a long association with them.

Wild Magazine

Wild Magazine

The team at Wild seem to turn my content into art, and that’s a very nice thing for a regular photojournalist like myself. More than that, they’re awesome people to work with, and I read this magazine cover to cover, because it’s about everything I enjoy: national parks and nature reserves! Sending my gratitude to Magriet Kruger, Riaan Vermeulen, Kate Collins and Romi Boom.

Intrepid Explorer

Intrepid Explorer Magazine


The official, new magazine of my sponsor Cape Union Mart, Intrepid Explorer is all about adventure in Africa, and it’s great to contribute content to Robbie Stammers who has been enthusiastic from the start about what I do. Lekker to work with you, Robbie.

Africa Geographic

Africa Geographic.com


The website of this famous African magazine will be posting some of my blogs, so thanks to Donna Stokes for making this happen. Check them out here.

Acknowledgements

Thanks also to my family, friends and other acquaintances who have done way too many favours for me, and my self-appointed, unofficial, inspirational mentors – some of who are long gone, exploring the wilderness areas of another world.

Alan and Thea Ramsay, Craig and Rochelle Fowlds, Grant and Samantha Fowlds, Elize and Vic Beltrame, Marie and Peter Venn, Murray and Mandy McCallum, Edward Symons, Keri Wachter, Paul Durrant, Cornelis Ouwehand, Brandon de Kock, Caroline Sturgeon, Roger and Pat de la Harpe, Jenny Hishin, Harriet Nimmo, Heinrich van der Berg, Roger Horrocks, Jean Tresfon, Steve Benjamin, Lauren de Vos, Alta de Vos, Tali Hoffmann, Gregg Hughes, Colin Bell, David Bristow, Don Pinnock, Claudia dos Santos, Dominique le Roux, Stephen Lamb, Megan Emmett, Rob Moffett, Alex and Marianne Palmer of Cranemere Farm, Phakamani Xaba, Dick and Sally Pitman, Chris and David Scott, Mario and Dolly Gomes, Yolan Friedmann, Dr. Gus Mills, Cheryl-Samantha Owen, Hanli Prinsloo, Simson Uri-Khob, Chris Roche, Sue Snyman, Jeremy Bolton, Roger Fussell, Fritz Schenck, Saskia Taylor, Simon Gear, Samantha Reinders, Bridgette and Russel from Mtentu River Lodge, Brett MacDonald, Quinto Martins from Cape Leopard Trust, Megan Murgatroyd, And to Dr. Ian Player, Ian McCallum, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Walt Whitman, Mary Oliver and Laurens van der Post for their inspiration.


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