14 SUVs conquer Botswana

Every year, the Leisure Wheels team undertakes one bog overlanding trip with members of the motor manufacturing industry. From the product planners who deal with the finer elements of the vehicles to be sold on South African roads to the marketing teams who love their vehicles, we get the industry’s main guys together to get some grit under their fingernails and sand in their tyres.

This year, a convoy of 14 mid- to large-SUVs headed to Botswana – a first for our annual trip. The logistics for planning this trip were, as anyone may imagine, quite the challenge. But the trip itself was a great success. Contributing editor Danie Botha, publishing editor Jannie Herbst and road test editor GG van Rooyen played host to the convoy of both new and experienced – but all keen – off-roaders at Magotho camp, Chobe National Park, and the Mowana Safari Resort. Some nights were spent at the beautiful lodge, while others saw camp set up in the wild with no structures in sight.

The vehicles saw deep sand roads, muddy tracks and extremely rocky surfaces, and included a Chevrolet Trailblazer, GWM H5, Land Rover Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL500, Mitsubishi Pajero and Pajero Sport, a Nissan Patrol and Pathfinder, Porsche’s Cayenne, a Toyota FJ Cruiser and Volkswagen Touareg. TheĀ Leisure Wheels team piloted a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, SsangYong’s new Rexton W and Francois Rossouw his Toyota Fortuner.