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4x4 in Limpopo


4x4 in South Africa

High mountain passes, steep slopes, rocky deserts, deep mud, river crossings, sand dunes and game-filled plains. With its varied terrain and remote wilderness areas South Africa is a wonderful playground for those who love to grind their gears and rev their engines.

There are a myriad 4x4 trails from easy to gnarly throughout the country. There are also dedicated 4x4 parks in the major cities where new owners and inexperienced drivers can learn the ropes. Whether you drive a soft-roader or a hard-core beast you’re sure to find a trail to suit you.

Having a 4x4 is not just about how the vehicle performs on the obstacle courses or organised routes of the urban fringe. It’s about exploring inaccessible parts that others may never see. It’s about escaping to the remote corners of the country, sleeping out under the stars, venturing deep into the wilderness to watch game, throwing a line or simply soaking up the magnificence of Africa.

Popular 4x4 destinations include the rugged Baviaanskloof and Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, the Maluti Mountains in the south-east Free State, the Kruger National Park in Limpopo/Mpumalanga, the sand forests of Maputaland in northern KwaZulu-Natal, the |Ai-|Ais/ Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape, and the Cederberg Wilderness area in the Western Cape.

If you’re of a more cultural bent there are numerous multi-day routes, like the Ivory Route in Limpopo, which provide fascinating insights into human and natural history.

Various companies and clubs offer advice and logistical support for experienced drivers. There are guided or tag-along trips for the less experienced or for those who want to go off-road to enjoy specialist activities such as wilderness photography or birdwatching.

There aren’t many places on the planet where you can so easily go for days without seeing another human being or vehicle.

If that thought makes your heart beat faster, get behind the wheel and head out on one of these trails.

Articles & Blogs

Slip Slidin’ Away

Valda 4:11pm 31 Oct

Words Marion Whitehead, pics Marion Whitehead, gallo/gettyimages

Pack rocks!’ As the call goes out and we spring into action, I wonder how many people can say that they’ve carried rocks in a remote corner of the veld in Kruger National Park to do a vehicle recovery. Getting stuck in big-game country is not everyone’s cup of tea, though for our company of ‘Wild Women’, it is the highlight of the Mafunyane 4×4 Eco-Trail in the remote north-west of the park. We’ve enjoyed two days of camping and picnicking deep in the bushveld, as the normal rules of staying in your vehicle are relaxed...

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Mafunyane 4x4 Adventure

Valda 7:19pm 20 Jun

Words and pics Magriet Kruger

The mopane woodlands between Phalaborwa and Punda Maria deliver good elephant sightings. Ellies favour the fresh green mopane leaves, which are rich in protein. The tree is remarkably resilient and will sprout new leaves on broken branches.

When I pulled up to the clearing in the late afternoon, the last of the sunlight filtering through the branches of a tall apple-leaf, my heart sang. The spot had all the elements of a perfect campsite: flat and shaded, on a slight rise above a waterhole. What it didn’t have was equally...

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From Korea. . . with sport!

Valda 8:50pm 28 Jun

Words Danie Botha, Pics Deon van der Walt

The original Hyundai Tucson earned a rock-solid reputation since it’s introduction here in 2004. It was replaced with the ix35 in 2010, and this compact SUV continued the ‘solid’ legacy. Now the Tucson is, well, it’s back – and although it’s still as dependable as its predecessors, it’s taken the brand to a much higher tier of refinement, quality and, dare we say it, performance. We took it on a 1 200km adventure.

The Magoebaskloof Mountain Pass, on the R71 between Polokwane and Tzaneen, snakes through the mystic, picturesque...

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Kampersrus, a Canyon and a Captiva

Valda 4:45am 13 Dec

Words & pics by Anzet du Plessis


We’ve covered the Limpopo province extensively in this series, discovering that it’s a diverse province full of surprises. When looking at a map of the province, however, there was a spot we hadn’t visited.Just east of the Blyde River Canyon, between this big attraction and the Kruger National Park, lie small towns like Kampersrus and Hoedspruit. We wondered...

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