Mzansi Cross-Country Part 1: ‘’Hit the road, Jack”

Mzansi Cross-Country Part 1: "Hit the road, Jack"

Gqeberha

December 12, 2023

article_image
HomeNewsroom

South Africa certainly rates as one of the best countries in the world to live in if you’re a photographer. Diverse landscapes, fabulous light, friendly people and a range of intoxicating local cultures await around every corner, with incredible adventures to be had.

BOLD Traveling in the ISUZU D-MAX across six provinces

South Africa certainly rates as one of the best countries in the world to live in if you're a photographer. Diverse landscapes, fabulous light, friendly people and a range of intoxicating local cultures await around every corner, with incredible adventures to be had.

In this four-part blog series, award-winning photographer, Jacques Marais and his BOLD EXPEDITIONS team will share their experience in this expedition as they explore the wonders of Mzansi in the ISUZU D-MAX, where they had to fit all of their 'adventure toys', including mountain bikes, trail running and trekking gear, as well as provisions for the 4000km journey.

Words & images by Jacques Marais

The Dream

I have been part of the ISUZU family for more than a decade and have navigated countless back roads crisscrossing 23 African countries at last count. As the driving force behind these annual explorations through South Africa (and often further into the most remote corners of 'Mother Continent', too), I am at my happiest when I am behind the wheel of one of these trustworthy ISUZU workhorses.

I have ticked off eSwatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique, Angola and the DRC over the past five years. Yet, every time I travel into the Mzansi heartland, I again realise I've only experienced a small fraction of the natural splendour and diverse cultures on offer in our nine provinces. When people refer to South Africa as 'a world in one country', they have no idea how true this is!

The Team

I am often joined on these BOLD adventures by fellow outdoor enthusiasts, Simone Sharpe and Densen Magaisa. Another faithful team member is our ISUZU D-MAX, which is often what enables us to reach those remote and off-grid corners in Africa few people ever get to see.

Photography (or videography) is an art and - like any other creative process - you will find that every individual has a different way of capturing any scene. This really adds to how we collaborate on visual collateral as a team. Densen brings a youthful energy to the visual process which often challenges my old-school ideas, and he also has an amazing way of engaging with people across culture and age gaps.

Densen Magaisa grew up in Cape Town and has been mentored by Jacques as a budding photographer since his early teens. "The Cape Peninsula has given me many opportunities to hone my visual skills, especially in street photography, which I often combine with art. I'm also really fortunate to have completed an in-depth course in Video Production at the ORMS Photographic School last year", Densen explains.

Simone Sharpe brings a powerful female energy to the BOLD EXPEDITIONS Team, with a skill set that adds huge value to every one of our journeys. Sharpe is a childhood cancer survivor, endurance athlete, word wizard, social media expert and a true warrior woman at heart, and her ability to connect with individuals and tell their stories knows no bounds.

"The 'School of Life' has been my university, and I see every day as an opportunity to add to my skills and abilities. And while I learn about life, I also learn about myself", says Simone. "I am blessed to be able to join on these ISUZU journeys, because I get to explore and enjoy this amazing land and its people through the windscreen of the D-MAX".

The Land of the Rising Sun

We started our BOLD EXPEDITIONS journey from Cape Town, navigating the N1 northwards through the Karoo. More than 1200km unfolded along the highway across the minimalist scrubland plains via the Western Cape and Northern Cape, and onwards into the Free State grasslands upon the inland plateau beyond Bloemfontein. The D-MAX handled the high-speed journey like a champion and maintained outstanding fuel consumption despite the adventure racks loaded with mountain bikes and packing crates.

On Day 2 we departed into an amber dawn, cruising from Bloem and into Gauteng, where we bypassed the chaotic Jozi morning traffic rush along the ring roads. The natural landscapes here are truly epic, brimming with wide-sky spaces which is very different from the cityscapes of Cape Town. We even saw loads of snow upon the lofty Drakensburg peaks!

It was also here that we passed through a massive hailstorm - and despite it being early November, the temperature outside dropped to below zero degrees. "Fortunately, driving the D-MAX with its exceptional road-holding made us feel as if we were in a spaceship cruising the sleet-covered tarmac roads, with the efficient in-car temperature control of the ISUZU enhancing our comfort levels despite the freezing weather," says Densen.

Join Jacques and his expedition team as they traverse across six provinces in an ISUZU D-MAX to explore the beauty Mzansi has to offer. Jacques, an award-winning photographer and author of 14 books and guides, champions the ISUZU brand and its values.

PreviousNext

suggested reads

article_image
Blog

Embarking on epic adventures with ISUZU: A journey with Ruan Pretorius

Read more
article_image
Blog

ISUZU Trucks Secures 11 Years as South Africa’s Top Selling Cab-Over-Chassis brand

Read more
article_image
Blog

Mzansi Cross-Country Part 2: Magic in Mankele

Read more
article_image
Blog

Mzansi Cross-Country Part 1: "Hit the road, Jack"

Read more
article_image
Blog

The Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer provides ISUZU with an opportunity to be a vehicle of hope to many

Read more
article_image
Blog

Embarking on epic adventures with ISUZU: A journey with Ruan Pretorius

Read more
article_image
Blog

ISUZU Trucks Secures 11 Years as South Africa’s Top Selling Cab-Over-Chassis brand

Read more
article_image
Blog

Mzansi Cross-Country Part 2: Magic in Mankele

Read more