With the re-opening of many more tourism destinations and adventurers hitting the roads under Level 1 of the national lockdown, two intrepid travellers recently set out on a journey to show South Africans places unknown.
Their challenge? To go where Google Street View hasn’t been. Think dirt roads of tar and gravel far off the beaten track, to the seriously rough stuff only the most adventurous would even consider tackling – but all of the destinations revealing the beauty of South Africa in all her glory.
Most importantly, the BEYOND EXPEDITIONS duo of Peter van Kets & Jacques Marais felt they had to find ways to help those who have been hardest hit by the lockdown – ordinary South Africans in the local tourism, travel and hospitality industry. They also wanted to symbolise that there will be an eventual end to all the mental dissonance and financial hardship around the hard lockdown.
The pair are well known for their annual outdoor missions that highlight a range of African eco-systems under environmental threat. While their original intention for this year was a four-country journey with a focus on desert rhino conservation on the subcontinent, the COVID-19 outbreak led to a reworked expedition which had to happen within the borders of South Africa because of the travel restrictions. They embarked on their 9000km Grandtrek Uncharted expedition, supported by Dunlop and its Grandtrek tyre range, traversing all nine provinces of SA and kickstarting the country’s most unique community adventure projects.
The expedition took them on a rugged route through the Gariep, Kalahari, West Coast, Groot Marico, iSimangaliso and the Wild Coast, with nine remote destinations now added onto the Google Street View platform for the first time with the aid of a special 360-degree camera.
View each of the destinations, with footage, at www.grandtrek.co.za.