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A culture tour with Mitsubishi

At its heart beats a 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder unit with 77kW and 141Nm. The engine delivers adequate shove under normal driving conditions.

South Africa is home to diverse and interesting cultures. And, every year, on Heritage Day in September, various events are staged throughout the country to commemorate our cultures.

This year mine was slightly different as I set out, courtesy of Mitsubishi South Africa, on a 1 300km Ubuntu Adventure.

The trip down to memory lane began at Maboneng where we savoured the traditional paintings on the walls and before we knew it, we were headed down to KwaZulu-Natal.

What’s a road trip without proper cars, you may ask yourself? The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Xpander models were the hauliers of the entire trip and while we felt like there are points where the brand can improve, both vehicles are extremely capable.

The first leg of our trip, to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick, was in the Xpander.

At its heart beats a 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder unit with 77kW and 141Nm. The engine delivers adequate shove under normal driving conditions.

On the open road, the Xpander continues to cruise nicely but on the up hills it lacks a little.

Despite high revs, the engine is slow to pick up speed which, of course, has a negative effect on fuel consumption.

This puts a question mark on the vehicle’s ability when fully loaded with seven passengers.

Five days away from our homes meant we had to pack suitcases and despite its relatively small boot space with the third row of seats up, the boot space was enough.

The third row of seats is best left for kids because of their cramped legroom.

As a five-seater, the Eclipse Cross boasts a bigger boot and it is blessed with several storage spaces inside.

The Eclipse Cross, however, seems to have addressed the issue with its 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 110kW and 250Nm matched with an eight-step CVT transmission – making it a more ideal companion for road trips than its Xpander counterpart.

We got to see the Howick Falls as well as the world-renowned sculpture before making our way to the KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg.

The museum is one of SA’s five national museums and we got to explore the different cultures, heritage and natural wonders of our country and the rest of the world.

From here we headed to the new CMH Mitsubishi dealership situated in Ballito where we had the opportunity to chat with dealer principal, Nathi Mhlongo.

Nathi Mhlongo.

The dealership showcases a modern car dealership design and incorporates an eatery, nail and beauty salon and a barbershop.
The trip saw us spending our nights at some of the best game reserves in the KZN such as the Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, which is the oldest nature reserve in Africa and is 280km north of Durban.
Ithala Game Reserve is situated about 400km north of Durban and is one of the youngest game parks in Mzansi.

At the end of the day, it was educational to explore and experience the diverse cultures and stunning scenery that our country has to offer.

In the wider context of a nation that belongs to all of its people, the Ubuntu Adventure was an eye-opener and it is because of this intricate and vast diversity that Heritage Day is so necessary for South Africans and should be observed by all its people.

On the other hand, the adventure exposed us, as locals, to different people, cultures, traditions and beliefs – things that we were never exposed to in the past.

Photos: Supplied

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