The Africanis is a dog indigenous to South Africa with a proven lineage going back thousands of years. It’s also known as the African or Zulu dog and descended from the pariah dogs of ancient Africa. The Africanis is a land race and not a breed. This means that the Africanis is unique in that it was shaped by natural selection and not by human selection. It has evolved to be able to survive in harsh conditions, which entails that they are consistently healthy with a natural resistance to most external and internal parasites.
With regard to built – they generally have a short coat, are well-muscled and stand about 50-60cm tall measuring at the shoulders. They can be any colour, with or without markings, typically has a black/dark tipped snout and occasionally comes with a ridge back…a trait that caused to be used in the breeding of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The face is expressive and it has a slender build, sometimes wrongly attributed to starvation; when in good condition, the animal’s ribs are just visible.
Because the Africanis has roamed freely in and around rural settlements for centuries, it has a need both for space and for human companionship. They are very fit, agile, and supple and can run at great speed.
The Africanis is well disposed without being obtrusive: a friendly and intelligent dog, showing watchful territorial behaviour. The dog displays unspoiled social canine behaviour with a high level of facial expressions and body language. Its nervous constitution is steady, but the dog is always cautious in approaching new situations. “In other words: it displays a high survival instinct.” They are extremely loyal and generally good with children. They are independent, highly trainable and will gladly go the distance with a loving owner. There’s also no need for pampering or special food.
“The beauty of this dog is embodied in the simplicity and functionality of its built.” Gallant.
This is the kind of loyal companion you want with you when exploring Africa. And that’s why I am they happy owner of a three year old Africanis.
In July of this year me and a group of friends rode to Richards Bay for the annual Bikers Church Men’s Camp. This is a trip that I’ve been planning for with my two best (we are known as the Three Musketeers) mates since 2013. So when the 24th of July finally arrived we met up with some other biker brothers 07:00 on that Thursday morning at the Sasol garage just after the Diamond Hill toll plaza on the N4. I was fortunate to do this trip with my dad, my two best mates and six of our biker brothers. My uncle rode ahead two days before to reach the camp site before us so that we may have the best camping spot of all the more than 200 men who attended the camp on their motorcycles. After doing a quick road-side repair to my bike’s exhaust system we took to the road with our first stop being Ermelo. At each of our four stops enroute we stretched legs, rehydrated ourselves, filled the bikes and checked that all our luggage was still properly fastened. From Ermelo we headed to Piet Retief traveling at an average speed of 130km/h. My dad lead the group of nine motorcycles with his BMW K1600GTL and I rode at the rear of the group in the “sweeper” position….that way the group stayed together and it also enabled us to help a brother should something go wrong with his iron horse. Honouring our “no man left behind” moto for the trip. From Piet Retief we rode to Pongola where we had a refreshing break and enjoyed lunch at the Wimpy restaurant located at the Engen garage in Pongola. About 13km from our destination in Richards Bay, one of the boys experienced issues with his motorcycle. After an investigation of a few minutes we discovered that the alternator was not charging the bike’s battery….but never fear when the CMA is near. We speedily made a plan and within in several minutes were we on our way. My two mates riding at the front with me following and towing the “dead”650cc V-Strom Suzuki at a steady 60km/h….and at the rear was Ryno on his BMW K1200GT riding with his hazard lights on. We were met by friendly staff at the Richards Bay Caravan Park. The camp site is well maintained and has more than enough clean ablution facilities. The site does however have a large troop of monkeys that can become a menace of you don’t keep your tent zipped closed. The park is only a few meters from the ocean and clean beach. We enjoyed our three day stay there, which gave us more than enough to explore Richards Bay on our bikes. Three of us decided to be adventurous and left Richards Bay 23:30 on the Saturday evening and took the N3 toll route back to the capital, Pretoria. We experienced dense fog and sub-zero temperatures heading to and from Van Reenen’s pass. All-in-all we had a problem free journey and arrived back home safely.
So in the Jamieson family and extended family there are a few of us who are gun lovers. In particular small arms such as pistols and revolvers. Thus we decided to invite some friends and book a Saturday morning at the SWAT shooting range just outside Centurion close to the Zwartkops Race track. The SWAT shooting range has a variety of outdoor shooting ranges, ranging in distance from 15m – 50m, all with clear instructions on how to safely operate your firearm and ensure good shooting range practice. There is also a “Kill-House” where tactical manoeuvres and house penetration techniques can be safely practiced, and there’s the challenging Obstacle Course that’s designed to test marksmanship and fitness. Entry to the SWAT range is R100pp and can be visited from 06:00 to 18:00. Shooting targets are provided but we suggest that you bring a multitude of your own targets with if you are planning to spend a few hours on the range. There’s also well-equipped braai facilities available, should you feel the desire to pack some meat/food to munch on afterwards with fellow enthusiasts. We also suggest that you dress in your old denims if you are planning to do a variety of shooting exercises as there’s lots of dust in this “bush-veld” environment. We enjoyed a 3 hour session on the range with family and friends with the focus on safety and good shooting practices. We took a few flasks with coffee, some soft drinks and biscuits with to enjoy halfway through our three hour session on the range.
Be sure to book the “Kill-House”, Combat Alley or Obstacle Course far in advance as these three ranges are extremely popular.
Four years ago I got to know a small shop called GPS 4 Africa, via a family member.GPS 4 Africa is a shop that needs to be visited if you are planning to purchase a GPS (Global Positioning System), whether it be for a motorcycle or motor vehicle.They stock a wide variety of Garmin and Tom-Tom GPS’s, mounts, brackets, maps and wiring harnesses.They also do fitment and set-up of said GPS’s and equipment on motorcycles.Whether you are a motorcycle adventurer, commuter or simply someone who is looking to accessorize your motorcycle, then this shop must definitely be on the top of your list.They stock various luggage options, tool-kits, lighting options, and protective equipment and attire.With brands such as Touratech, Arai, Phillips, Globe Scout, SW-Motech, ATG, Wurth and IXS you have more than enough to choose from to make sure that you get the very best of the best.There is a competent sales and fitment team in a first class workshop that’s awaiting your visit.
These days there are a wide variety of products available that gives you the opportunity to film your adventure and most of them are extremely good at doing exactly that. Products by the likes of DRIFT, Garmin and GoPro are some of the most popular action cameras out there. Two years ago I was fortunate enough to receive a DRIFT HD170 action camera as a gift from my dad. I’ve since had plenty opportunity to put the DRIFT to full use. The waterproof camera films in full High Definition 1080P at a wide angle of 180® with x4 digital zoom, slow motion functionality(60 frames per second) and allows you to also record in low light conditions. This camera can also be set to take 5mega pixel photos, and with a 170 degree rotatable lens it will allow you to cover your adventure from all angles. I’ve grown to love the handy wireless remote control supplied with this camera, which I have fastened to my motorcycles handlebar. This remote will allow you to start/stop your recording at will. With its rechargeable battery fully charged and a 16G/32G memory card it will allow you to film non-stop for about five hours.
You will receive the following when purchasing your DRIFT HD170 action camera:
This is excluding multi-tools, like a Leatherman and the famous “Victorinox Swiss army knife” that in its self is some decent piece of kit. But one requires a knife…something that’s purpose built for cutting. One needs a knife with a quality blade that is the right size for concealed carry, easy to operate and will never let you down. And this is where the CRKT M16 range comes into play. It tips the scale at 73.7grams – Folded closed the M16 is 101.6mm in length and when opened measures in at 177.8mm. The Columbian River Knife & Tool (CRKT) Company is a company that’s being making a wide variety of these high quality knives since 1994. CRKT is also a supplier of knives to some militaries and Special Forces around the world. The CRKT M16-14DSFG (the blade of choice for me) has an anodized aluminum robust and rigid frame with a moulded glass filled nylon handle/grip and a titanium nitride coated blade and best of all…it has lifetime warranty. This is probably one of the safest folding knifes with its registered “AUTOLAWKS” mechanism that will ensure the blade stays open when you need it most. I am also pleasantly surprised by the exceedingly safe tactically inspired blade guard which will help to ensure that you don’t cut yourself when using this knife. I have grown fond of my CRKT M16-14DSFG and it is one of the things that you’ll never find me without. It‘s strong, high carbon stainless steel 76.2mm blade can be relied on for extraordinary sharpness. It cuts with exceptional ease through most materials such as rope, meat and whatever else you need to cut. A tool such as this must definitely be in the arsenal of all adventurers and great outdoorsman.
Another CRKT product that I am quite fond of is the Bear Claw 2515. This is probably one of the best small self defence knives you’ll find. I see this piece of equipment as a defensive and not an offensive knife. It’s the ideal knife for especially ladies to carry due to its size and ease of operation. It can be worn either on the belt/waist or around the neck and is extremely suitable for concealed carry. It has a positive locking system that keeps the knife secure in the sheath for comfortable carry, and is designed for a quick draw to get that “bear claw” out and inflict maximum damage with minimum force. The oversized finger hole and moulded glass filled nylon handle means that this “Claw” will stay in your hand and whatever danger you’re a faced with is in for a massive surprise. This system is also ideally suitable to carry on a vehicle seatbelt to be used in case of an emergency. It weights a mere 90.7grams with the blade taking up 60.3mm of the 146mm overall length.
In October (2012) me and the misses went to the Nkwe caravan park with a group of friends. And to keep the fun going, we all went on the “iron horses”. Me on my immensely overloaded BMW R1150GS and the misses on her BMW F800ST. Nkwe is out on Lynwood road in the east of Pretoria. We departed at 17:00 on the Friday afternoon just as a small thunder shower came to an end. After braving peak-hour traffic and a short dirt road (approximately 1km) we finally arrived at our destination just after 18:00. After a 3 man effort to pick up the GS (it was too heavy for the side-stand to keep up on the soaking wet ground)…we proceeded to the far end of the camp terrain next to a small river. There we pitched our tents in darkness and enjoyed a mouth-watering braai. Nkwe gives the feeling that you are hundreds of kilometres from the busy city life and a fantastic one day hiking route that gives you the opportunity to see some wild monkeys and a small variety of
herbivore wildlife. Definitely worth a visit if you crave a weekend get way with a limited budget.