PRETORIA, South Africa, July 2017 – South Africa has some of the most desirable summer holiday destinations in the world, but the arrival of cold weather heralds the start of a great period for some exciting winter getaways. The only question is where to go and how to get there.
The Ford EcoSport is the ideal road trip vehicle. With a host of driving, safety, and comfort features, as well as a heavy dose of practicality, the EcoSport crossover is capable of tackling the long journey with ease.
As for the where to go, here are some great South African winter getaways you can take with the Ford EcoSport:
• Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is something of a national treasure, best visited in winter when the grass is low and the leaves have fallen from the trees. Game viewing is easier at this time, particularly as the dry weather means fewer waterholes attracting greater numbers of wildlife. The 1-litre Ford EcoSport is the perfect vehicle for the bushveld. With its powerful 92kW EcoBoost petrol engine, 200mm ground clearance, and 550mm water wading capability, the EcoSport can handle any kind of rough roads encountered in the wild.
Shark cage diving at Gansbaai is best experienced during the winter months because visibility is clearer and Great Whites in their numbers move closer to the coast to hunt seals. Preparing for the adventure is easy with the EcoSport’s side-opening boot door and up to 705L of space in the back with the rear seats folded down, just load up your oxygen-tanks and go. If you require any more space, the EcoSport has 20 storage compartments and comes with roof racks.
• The Wild Coast Region
The Wild Coast offers some of the mildest winter temperatures in South Africa. Visitors to the area can enjoy great winter hikes, horse-riding, mountain biking, and fly-fishing. The historic region is also rich in cultural heritage, with many museums and environmental reserves along the way. If you are spending a lot of time on the road exploring the region, the EcoSport’s SYNC® infotainment system* will keep the family entertained between stops. Load up your device and use Bluetooth to listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts.
• Cederberg Mountain Range
Located some 300km north of Cape Town, the Cederberg mountains and nature reserve is a haven for rock climbers and hikers and famous for rock formations and San rock art. Heavy rain during summer often makes the area inaccessible for outdoor activity, making it the perfect place to visit in winter. If you find yourself in the mountains, the EcoSport Titanium models have a combination of traction control and electronic stability control (ESC) that will help keep you grounded and in control on any twisty roads or mountain passes. The EcoSport PowerShift Titanium model also has you covered with Hill Launch Assist, which holds the brake for a few seconds after you take your foot off to give you time to accelerate without rolling or losing control.
The Magaliesberg is sunny with blue skies during winter days, and there is lots to do. You can take on many outdoor activities around the Hartebeespoort Dam, visit the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and the Sterkfontein Caves, or view game at one of the many nature reserves in the area. Wherever you go, the Ford EcoSport will keep you safe with all-round airbag protection, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, and boron steel reinforced doors, which is four times stronger than normal high-strength steel.
Checklist for Your Road Trip
Because getting there is half the fun, here are some handy tips from Ford to help you prepare for a winter road trip:
• Check your car
Prepare your vehicle for the trip ahead by checking the brakes, lights, oil, windscreen wipers, and battery. Everything needs to be in perfect working condition. Pay special attention to your tyres, including your spare, as cold weather reduces tyre pressure. Test your heater before you leave as well to make sure you are toasty warm on the drive.
• Pack Correctly
Pack a winter survival kit that includes a first aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, a shovel (particularly if you are taking your vehicle off the tarmac following rain), booster cables, towrope, and an ice scraper to clean your windshield for those early morning starts.
• Plan your route
Almost everyone has a GPS, whether in their car or on their phone. However, it is a good idea to map out your journey beforehand. Also, make sure to check the road conditions before you set off, and remember to make provision for changing weather conditions.
• Pack enough food
Biltong, dried fruit, trail-mix, sandwiches, and juices are great, but make sure to pack fresh fruit and vegetables as well, for that extra bit of energy. Other great snacks include hard cheeses as they keep longer in the warm car, and hard-boiled eggs are full of protein and easy to eat. Stop along the way for big meals and a break – ask a local where the best food is found.
• Pack a First Aid Kit
If you are spending a lot of time on the road and in unfamiliar places, having a good first aid kit on hand could be a life-saver. Pack a kit stocked with plasters, bandages, gauze, tape, scissors, tweezers, antiseptic cream, painkillers, motion sickness tablets and antihistamines.
Wherever you drive to for your winter holiday, you need the right car. The Ford EcoSport is the ideal road trip vehicle as it is big enough for your family or friends and all the luggage you need, comfortable and not too daunting to drive, and has all the capabilities and features you need for hitting the road this winter – the options for fun and adventure are endless.
*Available on Trend and Titanium models