Upon arriving at a few minutes before 9am at the beautiful Simonsig Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, we were quickly rallied up and taken out of the 7◦ icy-cold air, and lead into one of the intimate conference rooms.
Once seated, with hot coffee and a muffin in-hand, we were introduced to Wynand who took us through the technical aspects of how their vehicles’ ABS, Traction Control and Hill Decent Control systems, among others, and the differences between each vehicles terrain controls.
We were also giving tips on how to best handle the situations we could expect to come up in our following trail rides; departure angles, how to handle the vehicle in deep tracks, ruts, water crossings and on hills.
We were all keen to get going and, once the debriefing was over, we headed over to the lot where we were handed the keys to our respective cars, and off we went to tackle the muddy 4×4 course, with Wynand leading the pack.
Our first obstacle was a small water-crossing at the bottom of a hill, which everybody took head-on with great enthusiasm! The obstacles which followed were uneven whoops, the rocky road, and a section with a small axle-twister that tested each and every participant.
After making it through the deep ditch on the left-hand side of the track, tipping a few vehicles such as the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Freelanders, precariously forward, leaving it’s back right wheel in the air, we moved on to a 45◦ angle hill where we tested our skill and recently acquired knowledge in keeping the car driving along in a straight line without allowing it to slide or pull the steering the wrong way.
Our last obstacle was the crazy axle-twister made up of 4 off-centre ditches dug in to the ground, challenging the drivers to line their vehicles up carefully, negotiate slowly and come out of it successfully.
Even though the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Freelanders weren’t able to do this obstacle with their very low ground-clearances, the Defender, Discovery 4 and Range Rover Sport made it through with ease.
This was a great test for everybody and there were huge smiles when those participating made it through without a hitch!
Making our way back, we finally needed to come back down the hill we originally went up in the beginning and were taught and shown how the Hill Decent works on each vehicle. This one was good fun as we came down and splashed through the mud puddle at the bottom, resulting in a lot of muddy water flying everywhere.
Upon returning back to the main venue, we were taken to the beautifully eclectic Cuvee Restaurant, where we were served options of the delicious Kingklip or Serlion dishes accompanied with baked potato and the dishes respective wines.
Dessert was a very tasty Crème Brûlé.
On the whole, our day with Land Rover Experience Cape Town was one of absolute fun and we were all imparted with invaluable information for future reference. We recommend this to anybody who is looking to build some knowledge up in how to best handle your very own vehicle on various terrains – go and book your day of Land Rover fun with Wilma at Land Rover Experience today!
*Article by Kirsten de Vries