I’ll admit it: that first steep-ish ascent on an off-road course on sand dunes looked pretty easy. I’ve done plenty of off-road drives in the UK, so how can driving up a sandy hill be any harder?
But as I slid back down the slope for the third time, I knew the dunes were presenting a different challenge. The alarm bells should have been ringing in the car park when we were told to let down the air in each tyre for a full 60 seconds, after which we were told it wasn’t enough and another 15 seconds' worth of air needed to come out. This was not going to be your normal off-road drive.
And so to driving on sand. We’ve all seen the videos on YouTube of people conquering the Big Red Dune in the United Arab Emirates; it looks spectacular, but how hard can it be? We were in Namibia and driving the new Toyota Hilux across a whole series of large dunes for our experience to find out.