Cars.co.za, in association with Opel, recently embarked on a Journey to the Karoo in search of adventure and fine food. Watch the video!
In this latest iteration of The Journey, we went 'Crosslanding' into the heart of the Karoo behind the wheel of the recently introduced diesel-powered Opel Crossland X 1.6TD Enjoy. Our 2 stylish Opel Crossland X's were kitted out with very useful accessories from Thule (locally distributed by Sport & Cargo), including a large roof box which helped transport gear and luggage as well as a dual bike carrier for our mountain bikes.
We visited the quaint Karoo town of Prince Albert and tackled the well-known and spectacularly beautiful Swartberg Pass to get to the remote Karoo village of Die Hel or ‘The Hell’ where we took part in a unique potjie cooking competition. More so, this was the first time that we travelled to such a remote location (and on such treacherous terrain) in front-wheel-drive vehicles, proving that you don’t always need a 4x4 to reach remote destinations.
Special guest appearances were made by talented Karoo chef, Hendry 'Kokkedoor' Olivier, whom you will recognise from the Kokkedoor TV series on kykNET, as well as Fashionista and TV presenter, Danine Naidoo, and captivating model and actress, The Little Harlequin (Bianka Hartenstein). Our guests were hosted by Journey veterans, Cars.co.za Co-Founder, Ross McIlroy and our very own motoring journalist and photographer, Gero Lilleike.
As for the Opel Crossland X diesel, it performed admirably on this Journey, proving that you don't need necessarily need a 4x4 to explore more remote regions of South Africa. Opel claims a fuel consumption figure of 4.4 L/100km but we saw real-world returns of 6.2 L/100km, which is good.
The Swartberg Pass is roughly 24 km long and was the last major pass constructed by renowned South African road engineer and pioneer, Thomas Bain, in 1884 and was completed in 1887. It's considered to be the crown jewel in Bain’s historically significant roadbuilding career and was constructed using convict labour.
The remote cultural heritage site of Gamkaskloof, also known as ‘Die Hel’, forms part of the Swartberg Nature Reserve, a World Heritage Site. The valley was first occupied by the San Bushmen and the first Boer farmers inhabited the valley in the 1830s and lived there in isolation for over 100 years. The only road into the village was constructed in 1962 and the first car was ironically brought into the valley with great difficulty in 1958 and is on display at Fonteinplaas.
Pieter and Marinette Joubert: Fonteinplaas Die Hel - www.diehel.com
Sudden Comfort B&B Prince Albert - www.suddencomfort.co.za
Thule (Sport & Cargo) - www.sportandcargo.co.za