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A Quick Break Away From The City…

Living in Johannesburg is essential for the work that we do as the majority of our clients are based here, however, the hustle and bustle of city life does take its toll on your well-being, therefore, getting out into nature as often as possible is vital for one’s serenity.

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

We’ve owned our Suzuki Jimny now for coming up 2 years and during this time, we’ve accessorised it to fit in with the adventure lifestyle that we enjoy in this magnificent country of ours. Some of the lifestyle additions that we’ve made to our Jimny are; Alu-Cab’s roof-top tent, Thule bicycle rack, General Grabber AT3’s and Takla seat covers.

Having our Jimny set up in this way, allows us to very easily get out of the big smoke and enjoy the outdoors, anytime, anywhere and in such an uncomplicated way…

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

And so it was on Friday 12th April, we decided that we needed a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, so we packed the Jimny first thing and headed up to Red Barn at Irene in Pretoria for a quick morning trail ride.

Our plan for that night was to camp at Somabula Nature Reserve in Cullinan, so our Jimny was set up for the adventure that lay ahead.

Arriving at Red Barn, I parked in a lovely wooded area and popped up the rooftop tent so that my partner Celia could hang back and relax whilst I hit the trail.

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

This is what’s so amazing about Alu-Cab’s LT-50 roof-top tent, it opens and closes literally in seconds, making for a fantastic day bed for wherever the adventure may take you.

After a quick blast in the park, we packed up and set off for our afternoon/evening entertainment at Somabula Nature Reserve.

Somabula Nature Reserve is only an hour’s drive out of Johannesburg and is situated very close to Cullinan. Nestled peacefully in a valley surrounded by pristine bush, Somabula Nature Reserve offers the perfect environment in which to unwind. The reserve boasts a wide variety of antelope as well as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and an abundance of birdlife.

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

The campsites are stunning! They are widely spaced, unfenced, and grassed. Each site has its ‘own’ braai facilities, water on tap and access to ablution areas. The site we stayed at had its own private lock-up ablution block with toilet, shower and wash-up facilities, which are powered by solar lighting and gas-heated water (there is no electricity on any of the sites). What impressed us, was how pristine everything was, the ablutions were exceptionally clean.

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

Arriving at our campsite in the late afternoon, we quickly set up camp, collected some firewood, and then settled down for the evening as the sun started to set, the temperature dropped quite a lot. Getting a fire going is always such a magical experience, we then sat for hours under the stars and enjoyed a simple freeze-dried meal whilst listening to the ambient sounds of nature—it was a very blissful evening!

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

We are not experienced campers, so going on a break for us means a break from our already complicated lives, therefore, the idea of setting up a ground tent just seems like too much of a mission, hence why we’ve tended to stay in accommodation in years gone by. The problem with this way of travel is that the cost of a weekend trip is high because of the accommodation costs. This is what drew us to the roof-top tent idea in the first place, we just like the idea of being able to simply get out of the city and into nature anytime we feel like we need to recharge our batteries.

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

It gives us peace of mind knowing that our bed is on the roof of our Jimny and that it’s set up the way we like it, with everything we need for a good night’s sleep. Sleeping two people in the tent is very cosy and comfortable, we just added some cheap fairy lights at the entrance to give us ambient light. From our experience with the tent, I would say it is more of a glamping than camping experience—it’s very lekker!

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

The next day, we woke up to the melodic sounds of birds singing, with the tent zippers almost fully closed, we got to lay in a bit, and when we finally rose, we opened up the tent to what was an already glorious day.

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

Our morning routine started with boiling some water on a hiking gas stove, to make our coffees, which we enjoyed with a Woolworths Muesli Rusk. To which I can honestly say went down like a homesick mole!

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

We then headed out for a hike around the reserve, which was a spectacular experience. Even though you are only an hour’s drive out of Jo’burg, you feel like you could be anywhere out in the bush—you wouldn’t say you were just next to Cullinan.

After our hike, we showered, packed up camp (literally in 10 minutes) then took a drive on the 4×4 route around the reserve, what a gem Somabula Nature Reserve is, we will ‘definitely’ be making this a regular spot to go and unwind away from the city.

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

Feeling recharged and rejuvenated, we headed back home to the big smoke, ready to tackle the daily grind all over again.

The bottom line is, yes there is an initial set-up cost to get yourself a lifestyle vehicle that is kitted out for adventure, but once you’re all set up, the cost savings of doing regular, convenient, simple trips that connect you with nature and your inner self, makes it all well worth it.

Photo credit: ZA Lifestyle

As South Africans, we are so blessed to have such beautiful nature right on our doorsteps, as the famous bumper sticker tells us…

“One Life To Live. So Live It!”.

Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Compiled by the ZA Lifestyle team.
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