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The History of Cederberg4x4
An interview with Coenie Moll, founder of Cederberg4x4
My first introduction to 4x4 vehicles took place in 1972 when I worked for the Cape Town City Council as a trainee land surveyor. Our main project at the time was the levelling of the sand dunes in the Strandfontein area for the proposed building of Mitchellsplain housing development. We were sent into this wild barren countryside to set out levels for the big earth moving machinery to flatten the dunes.
Here I was fortunate enough to be given a Landcruiser 4x4 pick-up to do my days work.
In those days no official 4x4 training seemed necessary. It was a matter of being thrown into the deep end and having to swim. These processes of learn as you go meant getting stuck more often than not. Recovering a stuck vehicle became part of a days work. Looking back, this was the best teaching school any one can wish for. I now realize this is where the seeds were planted for greater things much later in my life.
In 1975 I purchased my first 4x4 vehicle. It was a 1948 Willys Jeep. It came complete with the original side-valve motor, canvas top and doors. It very soon got the nickname "Sonbesie", because it was painted canary yellow and stood out like a sore thumb.
This is where all the exploration of the surrounding areas began. Areas like the West coast, Namakwaland, the Cederberg and Western Cape were only some of the places we frequented on a regular basis.
Now bear in mind these were the days before the R27 (West coast road) or the Koeberg power station was built. It was one fantastic experience after another, with seemingly no end. Getting away to all those remote areas felt like driving to the end of the world. You very seldom saw other people, as in those days far less people owned 4x4 vehicles.
Much later the Willys was replaced with a Izusu Trooper station wagon, which made place for the Hilux 4x4. In the early nineties I started visiting various places with a few regular friends who also owned 4x4 vehicles. These excursions became more popular, to a point where the friends would phone and want to know where and when we would be going next, before I had even planned a next excursion. As friends told friends of what we do, our group grew every month. We eventually landed up with 48 vehicles at the old Lambert's Bay Desert Trail, now known as The Dunes. This excursion was a turning point in my life. I realized that word of mouth got 48 vehicles onto this excursion and returned home with an exciting idea, to start my own 4x4 trail.
Many options were considered before finally deciding on the Cederberg and the Cederberg 4x4 Trail was born.
I was still employed full time and were doing excursions every two weeks to the Cederberg 4x4 trail. After about four years, many of our regular visitors asked why I don't consider doing what I did many years ago, namely, visiting a different trail each month.
Many hours of thought were put into these suggestions and that brought me to where I am today. A decision to leave my full time employer and put all my energy into Cederberg 4x4 was not done without many hours of careful thought
and planning. Once the final decision was made, there was no turning back.
At present we visit in excess of 100 different destinations per annum throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho. These excursions vary from day and weekend outings to two week tours, accommodating the requests and needs of all participants.
For more information, see the Year Planner section of this website.
All Cederberg 4x4 trips/tours/safaris/adventure trip are offered as guided family orientated excursions aimed to satisfy the needs of the whole family. A limited number of vehicles are allowed per excursion ensuring interaction amongst participants where lasting relationships are formed en-route or around the communal camp fires.
Advantages of guided excursions are that correct driving techniques as well as many hints and tips are shared with participants prior to and during the excursion. Information regarding environmental friendly habits, getting to know your vehicle better with the peace of mind that there will be an expert on hand guiding you in the right direction, ensuring maximum safety at all times. Another advantage is that you will have access to areas not normally accessible to the public.
Peace of Mind
We are all aware that our vehicles and equipment we use to enjoy our 4x4 outdoor activities come with a fairly big price tag. We at Cederberg4x4 will endeavour, while planning any 4x4 trip/tour/safari, that a guide of Cederberg 4x4 would have visited our planned trip/route/safari, giving feedback ensuring maximum safety for passengers and vehicles through the information we receive.
It is also important to know what impact the seasons have on certain trails and when to use them or when to avoid them.
New Trails and Venues
We are constantly searching and visiting new trail and venues that can be used on our excursions. This is very time consuming and costly, but definitely worthwhile, as this places us in a position to continuously offer new trails to our participants. If you have information regarding new trails or venues we have not visited, please forward this information to us at the following e-mail address: email@example.com. Feel free to forward information regarding any 4x4 activities to us via e-mail, irrespective of whether you feel we might already have such information or not.
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founder of Cederberg 4x4
The Face behind the Voice