Our Suzuki Jimny is actually a Durban boy as we purchased him in Umhlanga after a failed and rather silly attempt at touring the Transkei in Gary’s old Alfa Romeo 145 which resulted in a cracked sump. Stranded in Umtata, we were assured by a car mechanic, much to his amusement, that the only way that we were going to be able to fix the vehicle would be to fly in an Italian. Having bid farewell to Alfie who we sold off to a willing purchaser, we made our way up to Durbs to spend Christmas with the family and begin the search of finding suitable transportation to get us home to the Cape.
We had our eye on the Jimny as an economical vehicle that could accommodate our adventurous lifestyle and walking into the Umhlanga Suzuki dealership, it was love at first sight. After a brief negotiation which ended with the Indian sales agent laying his head down on his desk and mumbling something about “slowly killing him” and “how unhappy his wife was going to be with this commission”, we were packed up and heading back down the coast. A much loved member of the family, Jimny is a part of so many happy memories. From weekends spent exploring the wine lands to mountain bike stage races. Jimny was present at the edge of the Fish River Canyon when we got engaged in Namibia and drove us to the chapel when we eloped on a wine farm in Tulbagh.
When we decided to plan an overland trip through Southern and East Africa, we knew that there was no better vehicle to make the journey in than our Suzuki Jimny. Whether venturing through the deep sands of the Okavango Delta, the beaches of Mozambique, the mountainous climbs of Malawi and Uganda or the lava rock tracks of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya, Jimny handled everything like an absolute champion. His fuel efficiency, 4×4 capability and short-wheel base are characteristics that lend themselves to the making of an exceptional overland vehicle.
Arriving back in South Africa we took Jimny in for his scheduled service in nervous anticipation. We had come across many stories of overlanders (not driving a Jimny by the way) who had received large bills for damages resulting from their trip that were not covered by their vehicle warranty. Well suffice it to say that the only thing needing to be replaced was the battery in our key to remotely enable central locking. Ever ready to hit the road, he’s the greatest adventurer of us all.