Dedicated 4×4 off-roaders love nothing more than going completely off the beaten track. It’s great to bash through the bush and ignore the road ahead (because there isn’t one) and not use the rear view mirror.
The biggest nightmare possible would be going over a blind rise to find a fully-loaded taxi going the other way…
Ouch, perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky that we haven’t yet seen any Torsus Terrastorm minibuses driven by an adventurous taxi driver taking creative shortcuts across the bush.
I am happy to negotiate roads that are crowded with pavement-hopping, lane-blocking taxis in my Pajero. Weaving between them and occasionally popping two tyres onto the pavement to get around an obstacle is all the practice I need for my excursions into the wilds of Mozambique.
Terrastorm: ‘Serious off-roading’
Torsus, the makers of the aptly named Terrastorm, seem to be bent on changing the isolation of the bush. They have recently announced that this minibus will take 21 people into places that “can’t be reached by road”.
Their offering is a 4×4 Volkswagen-based minibus for “serious off-roading” made by the Czech company is based on the chassis of a VW Crafter. Later, they promise a van for the lineup.
The Praetorian: The nightmare gets ‘bigger’
Just when I was getting used to the idea of a rogue minibus, I was alerted to the news that Torsus has announced something even scarier.
Even the name, it’s called the Praetorian, sends shudders down my spine.
For those who haven’t had a classical education, the Praetorian Guard was an elite unit of soldiers (singular: “praetor”) who guarded the Roman emperor — probably the ancient equivalent of Navy Seals.
It’s a heavy-duty off-road bus that can carry 37 people, wade through water up to 900mm deep and, as Torsus proudly trumpet — is a vehicle that “nothing will stop from getting to its destination”.
At least you will know when it is coming. The boom of a 6.9-litre engine in the bush is bound to give some warning.
Watch: Make way for the Praetorian…
Mind you; there is something worse. A few years ago, the local taxi industry wanted to start a budget airline. I believe the idea was shelved when the aspirant long-distance drivers were told that trailers and roof racks were out of the question.
The vehicles aren’t available in Africa yet, but are reported to be doing great things for isolated communities in other parts of the world.
Personally, if I had the choice, I’d instead go for the exotically-named converted Sprinter called the LM-EXTV from Mercedes-Benz now being offered in Europe. It’s an extreme terrain camper that allows you to park-off peacefully anywhere — until a Terrastorm minibus shows up, that is.