The five off-road destinations that we have listed here are far more than dusty roads; these are for 4x4 enthusiasts who like to scale impossible climbs and really put their vehicles to the test.
1. Bass Lake Adventures
We’ve been here, South of Johannesburg, and as its name suggests there is an opportunity to fish however, in-between this we’d recommend taking some of the serious off-road obstacles at the 4x4 course. We managed to complete some serious three-wheeled, cross-axle stuff in a Suzuki Jimny and would recommend this place to any enthusiast. There are expert instructors who will take you through the course and have you mastering the basics before you know it.
2. Riverwild 4x4
This 4x4 zone called Riverwild 4x4 Off-road Recreation Experience is located in Mpumalanga and features off-road nine routes with a range of challenging obstacles. This self-drive track is aimed at intermediate to advanced drivers – but beginners can still get stuck in at the Weltevreden Valley trails that run adjacent to the main trails. The routes vary in length and level of difficulty, but you can get started at the Monkey-See-Monkey-Do trail, following in the tyre treads of the person before you. There are also emergency exit routes if at any point you feel uncomfortable and need to get out.
3. Tugam 4x4 trails
Situated on the slopes of the Magudu Hills in KwaZulu-Natal are the Tugam 4x4 trails, a more than 75-kilometre network with four trails, recommended for very specific times in the day if you hope to catch a rare glimpse of wildlife in the area. Along with 4x4 trails, nature lovers can strap on a pair of hiking boots and explore the countryside, or go mountain biking through Tugam’s marked routes and gravel roads. The game farm offers both camping and self-catering accommodation options for those who would prefer to take in the sights for at least a few nights.
4. Brakkeduine 4x4 sand trail
The Brakkeduine sand dunes are located in the Eastern Cape outside Humansdorp toward Oyster Bay and feature a circular trail of around 14 kilometres. Hardcore drivers will be glad to hear that the trail offers off-road grading of three to five. It’s recommended that a guide accompany you on the trail, as the soft sand can be a little tricky to navigate. Bookings require a five-vehicle minimum to secure your spot so bring some friends.
5. Gecko Rock
The Gecko Rock 4x4 trail in Karoo is a technical, obstacle-laden trail that took 18 months to build and is geared for maximum off-road fun. There are two routes for the more daring off-roader, known as the ‘Seattle’ and ‘Boyz-to-Men’ routes, which are slightly more challenging than the 4x2 or ‘soft-roader’ options available. Gecko Rock also offers driver-training for those hoping to gain a little more experience in off-road driving before breaking new ground. You can also take the scenic routes less travelled by day, and go star-gazing by night.