South Africa has some of the most impressive 4x4 trails in the world. Whether you’re just looking to find your feet or really test your mettle, the following 4x4 trails offer something for beginners and experienced drivers alike.
1) Hennops 4x4 Trail, Gauteng
Situated just 40 kilometres from Pretoria, Hennops 4x4 Trail runs along the Hennops River and is one of the more popular trails in South Africa, with something for every experience level. Hennops offers two different self-drive 4x4 trails. The first is designed for advanced drivers only and takes approximately one hour to complete. The second takes an estimated four hours and is beginner-friendly. There are some truly challenging obstacles along the Hennops Trails, including mudholes, water crossings and real axel twisters. There are also bypass routes for difficult sections if you’re not feeling up to the challenge.
Tel: 082 825 9205 / 082 572 9005
2) Riverwild 4x4, Mpumalanga
The Riverwild 4x4 Trail is a self-drive course located in Nelspruit on the beautiful Mpumalanga escarpment. The trail is divided into different sections with varying levels of difficulty. For inexperienced drivers, Riverwild 4x4 provides experienced marshalls as guides. The trail is marked by challenging natural obstacles including hairy ascents and descents, mudholes, water crossings and rocky areas. Like Hennops, detour paths are available for tricky sections. Riverwild 4x4 also provides Level 1-3 training courses that cover the environment, vehicle information, offroad techniques, recovery and obstacle driving.
Tel: 081 438 5511
3) Grootwater 4x4 Trail, Limpopo
The Grootwater 4x4 Trail is located 250km from Pretoria in the Waterberg region of Limpopo. It is divided into a series of short trails, each designed for drivers of varying experience levels. Located high on the Limpopo escarpment, the trail is essentially a rocky course, so be prepared for sharp ascents, descents and axel twisters. A vehicle with good clearance is also essential. This course is not for sissies, but if you want even more of a challenge, the rainy season adds wetness and mudholes to the path. If you need a break from all the adrenaline and fancy a bit of game viewing, you can spot kudu, impala, bushbuck, wildebeest and hyena in the area
Tel: 083 280 9772 / 082 338 3115
4) Glen Oake 4x4 Trail, Western Cape
Glen Oake 4x4 Trail is located on a farm about 90 minutes from Cape Town. The trail is 7km long and runs through riverine areas and rocky mountain passes, taking approximately five hours to complete. The course itself is a challenge and recommended for experienced drivers, although there are alternative options available for beginners. Natural obstacles include mud, sand, gullies, ascents and descents. Recovery gear is essential when tackling difficult obstacles.
Tel: 028 212 2710
5) Visierkerf 4x4 Eco Trails, Free State
The Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve in the eastern Free State offers not one but three 4x4 eco trails of varying degrees of difficulty, whch all take an estimated three hours to complete. The trails traverse the farms Moolmanshoek, Waterkloof and Langesnek (for the brave) and are 10km, 8km route and 7km respectively. Obstacles on the trails include rock plates, ascents, descents and wetland driving. The trail also affords breathtaking views of the unique Free State landscape with its rugged mountains, sandstone cliffs and diverse vegetation. The reserve is home to many buck and bird species, with excellent game-viewing opportunities.
Tel: 051 933 2220 / 051 933 3729
So if the thought of 4x4ing gets your adrenaline pumping, why not grab your gear, prep your vehicle and test out one of these awesome courses South Africa has to offer? You certainly won’t be disappointed!