The story of Neil & Kayla-Lynn
“You’re taking your wife on a two-week overlanding trip, for your honeymoon?! You must be crazy!” Nothing strange to Neil and Kayla-Lynn Crause to rather choose the Karoo, Namaqua, Orange River, and other desert parts of South Africa over a holiday along the coast at a fancy resort. Both have sand, it’s just another type of ‘island’ experience. Take the road less traveled they say. From the most southern tip of the country, to the most western - The Crause Crew has almost seen it all, together.
It was almost exactly a year ago; summer was waving its last goodbye. Trees shook off their greenage for a jacket of burnt orange and yellow. Just for a little while, we replaced our hot South African sun with an icy winter breeze. It was also that time of year, that Neil and Kayla-Lynn celebrated the start of their togetherness. Wild and free, that is who they are. Adventurous, daring, and bold. Not a single doubt to try out something new, explore and just be. Right there, in the moment, wherever they are. Whether it’s making jaffles from left-over braai meat for padkos for the next day, camping in the middle of nowhere, or embracing the open road. That is, now, the Crause Crew.
And so, their adventure began as a married couple, 16 days on the open road ahead. To be prepared for a trip like this, you need the right equipment to live off the grid without power or running water. Adding a few easy-to-use cooking tools will make your life much easier like our 260 Round Pan for breakfast on the fire or our Large Cooker Top that you can connect to our 3Kg or 5Kg Gas Cylinders. Instant heat!
They started out at the Arniston Hotel, a sentimental place after their visit in 2017. Also, the most Southern tip of Africa in Cape Agulhas. The official divide between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. From there all the way through to the Buffelsfontein campsite, Langebaan and to Kagga Kamma.
Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is right in the middle of the Cedarberg Mountain range, a field of lego-like rocks scattered as far as the eye can see. Arriving at reception, the staff warned them that the route to get to Tierkloof camp is only 14km, but it would take them two hours to drive. Disguised as a scavenger hunt, the route was numbered with rocks as directions to their destination.
The Karoo is known for extreme weather. A semi-desert, it can be scorching hot in the day with icy winds blowing at night. On their third night at Bobbejanskrans camp, they found a spot hidden between the rocks. Big rock formations protecting them from the cold. To stay warm, they made a fire, braaied marshmallows on Skewers and watched the stars.
There in the middle of the desert, without a light in sight, the stars are brighter than you’ve ever seen, especially to us city folk. A clear, cloudless sky with billions of flickering stars. Their next destination was Klein Pella. North-west of Pofadder in the Northern Cape - en route to the Namaqua 4x4 Eco-trail. One of the longest dirt roads that stretch through the Tankwa Karoo National Park, with nothing but stray desert plants for kilometers on end. And birds’ nests on the telephone poles, the size of a big suitcase! After which seemed like days of driving, they finally reached their destination, just for two nights before they hit the road again. They thought that road had nothing to see, on the way to Ramansdrif, there was truly nothing.
In the valleys of nothingness, a hot, dry breeze surrounded their Patrol on this single tyre track gravel road. Kayla-Lynn was mesmerized by the big rock formations, some even with old big trees in them. Little white rocks glistening in the sun, like day fireflies. As she looked up, a herd of wild horses ran next to them. Almost as if it was a desert race – 4x4 versus wild horses. They setup camp, ready for the next day of long travels again to the Richtersveld Wilderness Camp.
They’ve made their way from the most southern tip of Africa, through the desert in the Karoo, all the way to the border of Namibia. They spent their last few days fishing on the Orange River. Kayla-Lynn loved fishing so much with their matching blue rods, that she wanted to stay on the edge of the river and keep fishing as the sun was setting. Neil started the fire for dinner, getting the braai ready, and had to make a few back-and-forth trips to help her reel in the fish, take the hook out, and let it free. Beginners luck for the win! Sleeping with the crashing sounds of the rapids right outside their rooftop tent, a few peaceful nights with Namibia just across the river. The perfect addition to this setting would’ve been our Megamaster Active 1 Burner Portable Gas Braai, especially right next to the river. Easy to use and can be setup anywhere!
They made their way to the Augrabies Falls, and then back to Gauteng. 16 days on the open road, celebrating the start of their new life together. There is just something about exploring our country, the safety and warmth of lighting a fire at each new destination. Although unfamiliar terrain, the flames are nostalgic. Dancing in the breeze of the open outdoors. The smell of the air, slightly smoky of your meat braaiing.
For more information and detail on their trip, check out their YouTube channel they created specifically for reviewing and documenting their Overlanding adventures. Follow the rest of their journey on Instagram @thecrausecrew