Stephen Vorster and Patrizia Gramlich took their new Conqueror Courage trailer to Botswana for its maiden journey. Thanks to all the rain at the time, it turned into a more exciting adventure than they had expected.
In July 2013, we decided to upgrade our old camp trailer and went to visit Conqueror Connection, Gauteng, where we received excellent service in choosing the correct trailer for our requirements.
We wanted a small, lightweight trailer with ample packing space as well as a good, comfortable inside living area. The answer was the Conqueror Courage.
One of the big benefits of the Courage was the set-up time, which is between 10 and 15 minutes.
On taking delivery of the trailer, we had a CTek 250 dual battery system installed. This improves the charging from your vehicle to the trailer and ultimately proved a real advantage.
We also purchased the 90-litre National Luna fridge/freezer, which was an absolute necessity, as we intended to visit areas that had no electricity for days.
To put the Courage to the test, we headed off to Botswana on a 5000km trip to some of the country’s most stunning spots. If only we had known what was in store for us!
We entered Botswana at Pont Drift, only to find that the bridge had been washed away. This forced us to enter the country via the riverbed. Our new trailer would be tested sooner than we’d expected! Thankfully, the handling of the Courage was excellent, and the braking system also proved its worth, keeping the trailer stable at all times.
On the other side of the border, the Tuli Block had been inundated with rain. After seven years of drought it was now absolutely drenched, and we were faced with loads of mud and clay.
After spending a night at Molema Bush Camp, we travelled up to Chobe Game Reserve, famous for its elephants and other wildlife. This was where the real off-roading would begin.
The road from Kasani to Linyanti is a soft sand track and because of all the rain it now featured very deep trenches. But this was not a problem for the Courage. With its high ground clearance and excellent departure angle, it went through the trenches without a hassle.
After spending a few days at Linyanti Bush Camp, we travelled to Savuti. There are two roads to Savuti — the “top road” and the “bottom road”. We ended up on the bottom road. This was quite a challenge because there were no real vehicle tracks to speak of. The “road” was more like a series of deep animal tracks, and they seriously tested the suspension on both our Pajero and the new trailer.
Unfortunately, we damaged the jockey wheel on the Courage because of the deep tracks, and also ended up getting stuck in a section of very thick sand. As mentioned, the trailer’s ground clearance is excellent, but the sand was just too thick.
It took us eight hours to drive the 60km between Linyanti and Savuti, but we eventually made it. We ended up spending Christmas Day at Savuti Bush Camp. This turned out to be a fantastic experience. A hyena came into the camp on the first night and the following evening a male lion relaxed just outside the camp. We felt safe and comfy in our roof-top tent, with its large bed.
From Savuti we travelled down to Maun and took the most unbelievable flight over the Okavango Delta. It is an experience everyone should try!
From Maun, we made our way back to Johannesburg and stayed at a lovely bush camp called Moretti in Orapa. The people who run the camp were amazingly helpful and accommodating, and took us out to the Mkgadagadi Pans for a day trip. There the trailer’s off-road abilities were tested again as the entire area had turned into sticky clay. It was challenging, but it was also a lot of fun!
After our outing to the pan, it was time to head for home. It had been a taxing trip. The roads were challenging and we travelled a lot, which meant we had to set up and strike camp every couple of days. But the Courage made it as pleasant and hassle-free as possible. It really is a fantastic overland companion.