The river crossings have come down and the Peninsula Development Road has probably been freshly scraped, ready for you to take on the trip you’ve either done before and can’t wait to recreate – or have wanted to do since long before you had the time. Now that you’ve gotten around to it, you’ve requested to take some annual leave, serviced your rig and packed it full of the essentials.
2020 saw closures throughout local country all over The Cape. Remaining closed for the season, this was a great opportunity for local authorities to take a look at environmental concerns such as revegetation and turtle nest monitoring along the Western Cape. Passing the Jardine River required proof of being a resident of The Cape itself.
Most of these areas were reopened by the end of 2020 – and there’s no real threat of them being closed for the season we’re currently in for 2021. There were concerns raised towards the volume of travellers planning to head north and how some of those travellers disrespect the land by littering and vandalising. These are valid points and we need to take notice. Aim to leave your campsite cleaner than you found it.
With some inhouse experience at BAW – we do have a few tips for the trip.
Rinyirru (Lakefield) national park is a particularly unique landscape. You can immerse yourself in this national park on your way to The Tip by heading in from Laura and returning to the PDR at the Musgrave Roadhouse. It’ll take an extra 60km of fuel from your tank, but it will fill you up with more than those litres are worth.
So you’ve got a huge amount of fuel onboard and your fridge is packed with all the food you’ll need. We suggest saving all of that for the in between. These roadhouses go the entire wet season without any traffic and depend on the short period we’re all up there, to make sure they can reopen the following year. At the end of the day, if we’re not supporting them – they can’t support us or the communities surrounding them. You’re going to need them if you get into strife.
Lets not always assumed the people coming up behind you in the dust when you’re doing 70km/hour are maniacs or lunatics. Maybe you’re towing a caravan and they’re not – or they’re locals who know the road and do it more often than you ever will. Leave space for them to overtake and remove your foot from the accelerator when they go for it. Sitting in your dust isn’t the safer option for your fellow travellers. LEAVE YOUR LIGHTS ON – not just your running lights. You want to be seen, just as much as you’d like to see others coming towards you. Breakdowns aren’t going to be anything like they are where you’re from. We can’t tell you to stop and help everyone, but you’re going to have to do your best to judge each situation and be much more mindful than you usually are when you see Janette with a flat on the Motorway – she’s got someone coming within an hour. When you pull off the road for a rest stop – PULL OFF THE ROAD, far off, and give plenty of notice by indicating for much longer than you usually would. Always assume there’s someone in that dust behind you.
To sum it up – be mindful out there and make the most of it. There’s a lot of people who never get to immerse themselves in the atmosphere and culture The Cape has to offer. It might not be something we’re able to do forever, so respect the land, the animals who need it and the people who take care of it.