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4x4 in Mpumalanga

Highlights

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

Three Provinces 4x4 Trail

Valda 5:55pm 27 Jun

Words and pics Deon van der Walt

Take just about any 4×4 trail. Add a few days of continuous rain and you get a whole lot of tough in with the deal. Even the most basic off-road obstacles can transform into an unpredictable and impassable slush of clay, mascarading as mud. This is exactly what happened when we went to visit the Three Provinces 4×4 trail.

The ‘road’ was more like a wet and slippery Scandinavian rally track, snaking through forests. Just driving briefly in a straight line was an achievement. Yes, the Three Provinces 4×4 trail, where Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and...

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Lone Rangers

Valda 5:55am 6 Nov

Words & pics Dianne Tipping-Woods and Joël Roerig 

Looking for a private way to explore Kruger National Park? Then get off the park’s main roads at Pretoriuskop and Satara to explore the Mananga and Madlabantu adventure trails.

The first few buffalo are mere moving shadows in the monochrome savannah of the early morning as we sit and sip from steaming mugs of coffee. Slowly, the light seeps through the veld, giving it colour and form. A...

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Lion on the Mananga Trail

Nightjar Travel 8:54am 22 Feb

I love the expression on this young male lion’s face. He had just woken up from what appeared to be a long and lazy nap under a magic guarri bush (euclea divinorum). I spotted him and his equally scruffy but content looking brother, at the turn-off to the Mananga 4x4 Trail, about 11km north of the Satara Rest camp in the Kruger national park. The best thing about this trail is that you have the road virtually to yourself, as only 6 vehicles are allowed on it each day. It passes through an area that has a reputation as big cat country. It’s well-deserved in...

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Extreme Kruger, the Lebombo 4x4 Eco Trail

George 3:00am 20 Dec

By Romi Boom

We were lured by what lies beyond the no entry signs. We wanted to roam where few have travelled before us. So we signed up for the 500 km journey along the park’s eastern boundary, from south to north, Crocodile Bridge to Crook’s Corner. A guided route, with four nights of wilderness camping. The anticipation was an escapade in itself. Meticulous planning and careful packing to ensure we would be completely self-sufficient.

...

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