But seeing that I upgraded to a Patrol and plan to do our next Angolan trip with this beast, I might as well share the story.........
Anyone interested in our latest 8000Km trip through Angola and Namibia can read more about it on my Blog at:
Road to Hell – Doodsakker – Van Zyls Pass
Three big 4×4 trails in one go!
July 2014 I started a 4×4 forum topic named “Road to Hell – Reloaded” to regroup and get the “manne” psyched up about another adventures trip to Namakwaland. As we failed to complete the dangerous mountain pass called Road to Hell during our 2013 attempt we had to go back and conquer the beast. The topic took off like a rocket and many enthusiastic 4×4 owners added their names to the list.
As this trip was being planned months ahead there was ample time for planning and discussions, but little did I know back then that this would only be the start of an awesome adventure taking us all the way up to Angola.
As an expat working most of the year in foreign countries I unwillingly put allots of pressure on my lovely wife Bianca and as I was long overdue (14 years) to take her on a honeymoon I could have expected a "Fantasy Island" dream holiday request sooner or later, and so it happened. Bianca was tired of home and dealing with all the responsibilities by herself so she needed a break. I spend 250 days offshore during 2014 and needed it too, so we started looking for good fishing holiday destinations from east to west, and that’s when it struck me. Why spend a small fortune on a 7 day fishing trip to Madagascar if you can do a month trip for the same amount of money and enjoy the unspoiled treats Angola has to offer. It all made sense, if we’re going to Road to Hell right next to the Namibian border, why not keep on going, combining these trips and make one hell of a 4×4 touring and fishing adventure of it.
In a blink of an eye it all fell in place.
I’ve been planning and dreaming about a 4×4 trip to Angola for the past two years, not knowing when I’d actually be able to do it. There are so many things to think about, affordability, vehicle capability, visas, fuel stops, fresh drinking water and food, the list goes on and on, but I had most of it put together already, all I had left to do was to combine the dates and apply for leave. Planning the dates was the most crucial as one of my “Bucket List” 4×4 challenges was to drive the 4×4 eating demon called “Doodsakker”.
I started reading as many reports about the Doodsakker as I could get my hands on, form bike trip reports to 4×4 trip reports, all the failures, and reports on vehicles that were lost to the ocean, you name it, I read it. As lady luck planned it for us there was a perfect full moon early morning spring low tide close to the completion date of our already planned Road to Hell trip so our dates were cast in stone, no turning back, we were consciously planning a trip knowing the chances are good that we might lose our beloved Toyota Hilux. Awesome, feels like living on the edge.
As two of the most important aspects of planning the Doodsakker trip is getting your timing right and then being prepared for recovery situations, I started searching for all kinds of methods to do self recovery when bogged down in swampy areas, or elevating as high up a dune as possible with very little run in distance should King Neptune decide to claim my ride. Yes you got it right, I wanted to conquer the Doodsakker by myself. Well that was the initial plan but it didn’t turn out that way as my old forum friend Mark Schubert aka “0000MS” was just as eager to ride the Doodsakker and joined in. Shortly after Mark another forum friend Fans Eksteen aka “Hou da nou da” joined us as well.
Reservations were made with Flamingo Lodge and co-owner Theresa Sakko did a superb job assisting with LOI and Visa applications, thanks Theresa, you’re a star, we’re already planning our next trip to Flamingo Lodge so be sure to hear from us again.
So, that was that, we received our Visas in no time and the only thing we were waiting for was to get those 4×4 tekkies rolling..........................................