4x4 trails in South Africa
For many adventurers, all they need is their four-wheel drive vehicle and some snacks for the road. If you’re travelling around South Africa, there are plenty of 4x4 trails for you to explore and take on… if you’re up to the challenge.
And the best part about 4x4 trails in South Africa is that, as you travel to the various provinces, you’ll be exposed to different terrains, different climates, different environments and different people. Below you’ll find a list of towns from different provinces that offer 4x4 experiences. These are only but a handful of places where you can find your 4x4 adventure.
Pofadder – Northern Cape
Pofadder is a little stopover town in the Northern Cape, when travelling towards Namibia. But despite its size, it’s still able to offer you adventure with hiking and 4x4 trails. The best time to visit this little town in the Namakwa region is during August when the Namaqualand daisies are in bloom and showing off just for your visual pleasure.
Other than the 4x4 trails you came to play around in, there is also the Augrabies Falls and mountain bike trails in the Goegap Nature Reserve. Do yourself the favour and book into one of the Pofadder accommodation places available.
Two 4x4 trails you will find in Pofadder are:
- Namaqua 4x4 Eco-Trail: This is a 600km self-drive 4x4 route. With a grading between two and three, this trail can take up to 72 hours to complete. It starts near Pofadder, moves along the Orange River and ends in Alexander Bay.
- Dinkys Dunes: For 25km of winding through the red sandy dunes, the Dinkys Dunes trail is where you need to be. These trails can take between two and five hours (depending on how many vehicles) and in winter, your landscape transforms into a beautifully floral kingdom.
Pretoria – Gauteng
As one of South Africa’s capital cities, you’d expect that Pretoria has more than city-life to offer its locals and tourists alike. And lucky for you, they do.
- Groenkloof: The Groenkloof 4x4 trail is a short 14km and roughly two-hour trial to do. You can expect to experience mud, water, rocky and steep climbs in your self-drive adventure. There is never a “better” time to do this trail as it is open all year round. And if you’re looking for more than just a driving experience, make it a stopover and enjoy mountain biking, hiking and horse riding as well.
- McCarthy Rhino Park: The McCarthy Rhino Park is about a 35-minute drive from Pretoria itself, but is definitely one worth mentioning. It has a formal grading of three, is 12km long and takes about three hours. There are some extremely technical parts to this trail and you’ll, therefore, be accompanied by a guide. It will all be worth it when you get to say that you completed one of the most challenging 4x4 trails the country has to offer.
Citrusdal – Western Cape
You can’t come to the Western Cape to experience its 4x4 trails without making a turn to the Cederberg Mountains area. Which is why we look at the Marcuskraal trail in Citrusdal.
- Marcuskraal: This 24km circular route can take you up to six hours to do and will take you away from the city and wine farm views you associate with the Western Cape. Rock, sand and ravines are what you’ll find along your route as well as the serenity of being in the mountain area.
Phalaborwa – Limpopo
Bordering the Kruger National Park, Phalaborwa is not a town to be missed in the Limpopo province. And when you’re looking for more excitement than a regular game drive in the Kruger, there are some 4x4 trails you can explore as well.
- Luvuvhu: This offers you the thrill of 4x4 and the wonders of the Kruger Park by taking you along a guided drive on the park’s Western border for 250km and about 100 hours.
- Malopeni Eco-Trail: For a shorter time in the car and park, the Malopeni trial is only 71km and only takes about two days to do. It’s another guided 4x4 tour in the Kruger with mud, sand, rocks and stream crossings along the way.
Clarens – Free State
Heading over to the Free State we have the town of Clarens where you will find high-grade trails ready and waiting for you.
- Rebellie: The Rebellie 4x4 Trail offers two different routes: the circular Kloof Trail with escape routes and the return Mountain Trail route with no escape points. Their grading is between three and five, is 32km long and can take up to six hours to complete.
- Bergwoning: 6km, four hours and an all-year-round route with different challenges for each season.
Mbombela (Nelspruit) – Mpumalanga
In the capital of Mpumalanga, there are a variety of 4x4 trails for you to do. It’s another town situated near the Kruger National Park, so the option to hop over province borders and do the game drives there, is available.
- Riverwild: This 4x4 trail has nine different routes to choose from with formal grading between two and four for drivers of all expertise levels. Your landscape consists of the woods of the Weltevreden Valley.
- Alkmaar: A 7km beginners route of sorts in the Lowveld that will take you about three hours to complete. Alkmaar is an easy trail to do and offers beautiful viewpoints along the way.
South Africa is more than capable of satisfying your need for a 4x4 adventure. Make the necessary arrangements and get down here already!