Did you know that April 30th is World Land Rover Day? Cars come and go - Land Rover stays forever.
Each year, 30 April marks 'World Land Rover Day' - a celebration of the day in 1948 when the first Land Rover was revealed to the world. 2023 is the 75th anniversary of this legendary classic, and we find out why the famed British off-road brand is such a big part of our world at Morukuru Family Madikwe.
Owner of Morukuru Family, Ed Zeeman, introduced the Land Rover brand to Morukuru Family Madikwe because he admires the rugged good looks of the vehicle as well as its’ comfort and swift suspension. Although his fleet can be heavy on maintenance, it makes up for that by ensuring the most pleasant safari driving experience. When Ed is out in the bush, he says that driving a Land Rover is one of the highlights of his time in the bush.
Shane Kloeck, Conservation & Sustainability Manager, is on the ground at Morukuru Family Madikwe and shared his Landy journey with us.
What was your 1st Land Rover experience? My first experience was many years ago when I was still a child going out on Safari in an open safari vehicle. I thought it was incredibly awesome and was amazed at what the vehicle could do.
Land Rover is an essential part of the Morukuru Family experience. What vehicles are in the fleet? Here at Morukuru Family Madikwe, we have five vehicles in our game viewer fleet. We have three 130 Defenders and two 110 Defenders with models ranging between 2011 and 2015.
Experts describe Land Rover as “practical and reliable.” What do you think? They are practical and can go anywhere. I would say reliable. I’m sure people have heard Land Rover jokes. Driving one means having some knowledge of the odd repair.
Tell us why Land Rover has a reputation for extraordinary capability.It is a competent vehicle. Being relatively light, it has assisted me numerous times with following animals offroad over extremely rocky terrain. It also has more than enough power to get over obstacles and even more power when you engage Low-range and even better if the Diff lock is engaged.
Land Rover can practically go anywhere. How hard have you pushed your vehicle?Looking after the vehicle comes first - so no crazy moves for me! I need my vehicle to be fully operational. One of my biggest considerations is the tyres - it’s essential to be careful when taking the vehicle through its paces. But I have occasionally pushed the vehicle into very rocky terrain where most other vehicles would get stuck. I’ve had many guests comment on how they can't believe what the vehicle can do.
At Morukuru Family, guests' comfort and safety come first. Explain how Land Rover gives you peace of mind when out on safari. Landrover is not the most spacious option, but it makes up for that with its comfort levels. This is important, considering one could spend 7-10 hours daily on Safari. Our guests have more than enough space for cameras, binoculars, jackets and other safari paraphernalia.
The Land Rover is one of the oldest and best off-road vehicles around and is designed for minimum impact on the terrain. How important is this when considering the environment and how careful you are when driving in the bush - in terms of not destroying the environment? It is one of the most important factors to consider. I always look at the vegetation and species of plants that will be affected when I drive off-road. As a rule, if there are rare or protected species, we avoid off-roading in that area and areas affected by excessive rain. One could leave ruts, which accelerates the process of soil erosion. Landrovers are permanent 4x4, which means the wheels don’t spin as easily, which prevents the ground/ vegetation from becoming damaged. Another aspect is our Landrovers have thin profile tyres which decrease their contact points on the ground lessening the surface area which gets damaged by the tyres if driving carefully.
Your vehicles must be in tip-top condition - what does your fleet's maintenance and servicing regime look like? We follow the recommended general services protocols and constantly check any nuts and bolts that might loosen on the rough terrain. We pay particular attention to our suspension components to ensure our vehicles stay as comfortable as possible. A rule of thumb here at Morukuru Family is that if you hear or feel anything which doesn’t seem right, have a look immediately to prevent further issues down the road. As the saying goes - prevention is better than cure.
If you could take your Land Rover anywhere in the world - where are you exploring?I would head for any open wilderness.
We couldn’t leave out these lovely reminiscences from our General Manager Armand Steyn, who finds the nostalgia surrounding Land Rover completely compelling. For me, Land Rover is something like Kit Kat. It is a brand that has always been part of my life in one way or another. When I was a child, my dad bought a second-hand Land Rover, and we spent our time together re-building it. This vehicle and that phase of my childhood take me back to those epic boyhood moments spent with my dad. It’s true what they say about boys and their toys!
Now that I also now own a Land Rover shows what an impression this brand has made on me. And I think I have bragging rights, at Morukuru Family, for the “best Land Rover moment” - because I was privileged enough to meet Kingsley Holgate, who is a famous South African explorer and has the reputation of being "the most travelled man in Africa". He is a Land Rover fanatic himself, and he autographed my Land Rover for me. This is my top Land Rover moment - oh, and all those times this beast of a vehicle got me out of sticky situations in the bush.