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That’s not technically true, but here’s the first peek at our BEYOND AUKOEREBIS plan … The Marais and Van Kets clans will meet on the Namaqua West Coast on June 18th, in the process ticking of their first arid paradise. A meandering trip up the coast from Koiingnaas will take them to Port Nolloth for a icy surf before they mission into Richtersveld Proper.

This SANparks national park rates as the oldest mountain desert on the planet, and for the next six days, the two families will set off in search of some of the exhilarating adventures on offer in Desert #2. Fly-fishing for giant yellows, scaling the remote Vandersterr Peak, SUPing the ‘Great River’, white-water kayaking, and billion-star MTB rides under the desert night sky are just a few of the activities lined up.
The Namib-Naukluft (Desert #3) is next on the cards as the BEYOND EXPEDITIONS team travels into Namibia for a few days. A quick trip to the Kolmanskop ghost town and quirky Luderitz Bay is on the itinerary, as is the Fish River Canyon, before the convoy rolls up to Mata-Mata and the vast Kgalagadi National Park.

This ‘Place of Great Thirst’ makes up part of the expansive Kalahari Basin, and will be our ‘4th Desert. Our key destination is the incredible !Xaus Lodge, home to a large swathe of land belonging to the Khomani San people. At !Xaus, we will get to interact with these ancient hunter-gatherer people, tracking the dunescapes, finding medicinal plants, and camping wild on vast desert pans.

Desert #5 is Augrabies, again one of the SANparks Arid Parks’ premier destinations, also known as ‘Aukoerebis’ – or the ‘Place of Great Noise’ – in the Khoi language.  One of our key adventures will take place here as we abseil into the granite gorge with FLUID Anvils, and descend the thundering white-water below South Africa’s biggest waterfall.

Both Kim Van Kets and Karyn Marais are adventurers in their own right, as well, and this adds a fantastic dimension to the BEYOND AUKOEREBIS Expedition. “The fact that they – and of course Beth, Hannah, Robert and Grace – will be able to share in this adventure, really is a dream come true for us”, say Van Kets and Marais.


The name is derived from the Nama word as the Khoi people would refer to “Aukoerebis” meaning the “Place of Great Noise.” This refers to the Orange River water thundering its way down the 56 m spectacular main Water Fall.


After their two previous adventures into the heart of Africa, the adventure duo of Peter Van Kets and Jacques Marais has focussed on some local flavour on their third expedition. Their two ISUZU #Xriders will set off to navigate the world’s oldest desert on June 18th, and this time, their families get to join in the fun …

Two inspirational BEYOND EXPEDITIONS adventures in the bag, with three more to go! Following on from their BEYOND THE DESERT EDGE (2017) and BEYOND THE RIFT VALLEY (2018) Expeditions, Peter Van Kets and Jacques Marais have their sights set on something brand new and close to their hearts …
“Every year we set of on incredible journeys into far-flung corners of the Mother Continent and the world, but it isn’t often that we get to share these experiences with those closest to us”, explains Van Kets. The two BEYOND EXPEDITION partners both share close bonds with their families, and on both the previous expeditions, they tried very hard to get their partners and children to join them, but logistics and finances made it difficult.
“This year, we made it our priority, and fortunately it plays right into the marketing focus of our key sponsor, ISUZU (SA)”, says Jacques Marais, taking up the story. “Their vehicles, especially the new m-UX and DMAX models, are specifically created to take you safely and efficiently into the great outdoors, and this is where our families come into their own” …
Our XRIDER bakkies – Treva and Noah – underscores a key ISUZU Tag Line: ‘With You For The Long Run’, and as such we can utterly trust them to get us to our destination after two previous successful trips. These trips include their original mission – conjured up over a few beers around a bush fire – BEYOND THE DESERT EDGE.
This world-first desert crank saw the inspirational Van Kets mountain bike all the way from the Angolan border to Swakopmund in Namibia, with adventure photo-journalist Marais joining him on much of the ride while documenting some of Africa’s most remote places.
Their route crossed the uncharted wilderness between the Cunene River up against Angola and the Namibian coast, and they used both fat-bikes and GIANT mountain bikes on their pedal via the inhospitable Skeleton Coast, Kaokoland and Damaraland regions.
Continued sponsorship from DUNLOP and ISUZU – as well as a range of respected outdoor brands – saw them take on BEYOND THE RIFT VALLEY in 2018. This second expedition – in a five-part series of African adventures aimed at highlighting remote African regions under environmental threat took them on a 16 000km road trip into deepest Africa.


This expedition was the third in a series of five Beyond Expeditions with Jacques Marais. The min concept of this expedition changed because of the lack of sponsorship. Beyond Aukoerebis became a “family adventure” to highlight the need for adventure in all our lives and that can be done as a family. The expedition took us to the Ais-Ais/Richtersveldt Transfrontier Park, Fish River Canyon, Luderitz, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park  and the Augrabies Falls National park.

Support Distance travelled: 5100km

Temperature: -1° – 35°C

Crew Transport: 2 x Isuzu DBL Cab X-Raiders

Tyers: Dunlop AT3G tyres

Mountain Bike: Giant Anthem 29er 2

Kayaks: Fluid

Countries: South Africa, Namibia


Peter Van Kets

Jacques Marais – Photographer

Pete Kirk – Videographer


Dunlop Tyres – South Africa

Isuzu – South Africa

FrontRunner – South Africa



#BeyondAukoerebis / #BTRV



Twitter: @beyondexped

Instagram: @beyondexped



This was a much easier expedition, but managing many people is always a challenge.


Riding with all the offspring the edge of the Fish River Canyon.


Adventure is an essential part of all our souls. That it’s not just the domain of ‘adventurers’.