Monthly Archives: September 2018

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Volcanoes National Park


Otherworldly. The landscape beyond 4000m above sea level is a surreal and inhospitable place, with whiteout light and bizarre plants making for Tim Burtonesque backdrops to the world you left behind way down below. Giant lobelia and contorted cenessio trees loom from the mist, laden with moss and gossamer epiphytes. These botanical dinosaurs ghost up [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2019 – Preparing for the volcanoes


Short post as we prepare for our 2-day ascent of #Bisoke and #Karisimbi in Volcanos NP, #rwanda. Today has been a whirlwind affair on the MTB from Kibuye to Gisenyi, with too many beautiful encounters along the way to even begin to mention … self-made wooden bikes, men transporting 200kg of cement or 3m bushels of sugar cane on their [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Living LaVida on Lake Kivu


The American Great Lakes? Pah! Or maybe the English Lake District? Keep ‘Em, I say. If you want jaw-dropper views and colourful traditions, you won’t easily beat the deep-water lakes of the African Rift Valley. The rider on most of these water bodies is that they often come with a modicum of danger if you [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Day 4


Overload. Only four days into our #BeyondTheRiftValley Expedition through remarkable #rwanda, and my head is absolutely spinning. Over the past few days, we’ve experienced everything from the spotlessly clean capital #Kigali, to #hiking east Africa’s highest canopy walkway, trekking primal forests brimming with giant blue touraco – and finally, this morning – experiencing one of the best #primate wildlife sightings one could dream [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Kigali, Rwanda


Spotless. Colourful. Creative. Progressive. Friendly. Vibey. Safe. These are adjectives not often used when describing an African capital, but every single one of them holds true for #Kigali. And as far as technological advances go, this city is light years ahead of RSA, with hyperspeed fibre, traffic lights that count down, boulevards sans plastic bags or [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Tanzania Road Tripping

BTRV Tanz2

Mayhem. Nothing quite describes the utter chaos of road-tripping through Tanzania’s northeastern provinces, especially the back roads careening out from Kigoma. Potholed tarmac strips splice together endless gravel war zones, where juggernaut trucks broadside into view around blind corners, with no escape route but a 3m ditch 15cm away from your wheels. There is but [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Tanzania leg


Insane. We snuck across the #mbala border post into Tanz late yesterday arvie, and did a sneaky dogleg off the main dirt drag to camp wild in a small miombo woodland copse. A serenade of unidentified frogs and night jars soundtracked our night as we cracked open a few beers, and had an inaugural boerie braai on [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Zambia leg


Zambia is pretty huge, and that goes for the capital, #Lusaka, as well. Pistol Peter Kirk and I caught up with the Dunlop Tyres SA #BeyondTheRiftValleyExpedition and spent most of the day battling proper African traffic in and around the city. We had an incredible welcome from the local Lusaka #Dunlop crew, with a cold #MosiLager or two thrown in for good measure. And [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – The beginning

BTRV begin

At 4am this morning, the Dunlop Tyres SA #BeyondTheRiftValley Expedition rolled out of Fish Hoek. The Isuzu South Africa #Xrider vehicles – with Derek Devine, Bertus Louw and Igor Potgieter at the wheel – are en route to Jozi as they take on the first leg of the massive #CapeTownToKigali route. It’s all systems go with Front Runner South Africa and @HiTec_SA, and stops up north will see the guys [...]

Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Ready to Roll


Jacques Marais is with Peter Kirk and Peter Van Kets. September 12 at 8:56 AM · Rubber on and ready to roll! The tough-as-anything Dunlop Tyres SA#GrandTrek tyres has been fitted onto our Isuzu South Africa #Xriders. We are SO amped to take on #Africa with these off-road puppies, all fitted out with Front Runner South Africa kit (not to mention the Hi-Tec South-Africaapparel, SPOT Africa trackers and @dripdrop #ORS). Follow us [...]