There’s nothing quite like taking to the open road in your off road vehicle and experiencing nature as it was intended – wild and raw.
Whether you are looking to truly rough it with camping under the African skies or enjoy an off-road adventure with a bit more of the comforts of home, South Africa has off road trails to suit every need. Here are the best off road trails in South Africa.
1. Karoo National Park: Nuweveld Eco Trail
Branching from the Potlekkertjie Loop, off roaders will get to experience the Karoo at its best on the Nuweveld Eco Trail. Besides overnight accommodation at the fully-equipped Embizweni Cottage which can accommodate up to 6 guests, there are no additional costs associated with travelling the 90km trail. As a Grade 1 route, you’ll get to experience steep, rocky sections and sandy river crossings, but nothing a novice off roader can’t handle.
2. Addo Elephant National Park: Bedrogfontein
Known for both its rich history and spectacular views, the Bedrogfontein trail connects the abundant Kabouga and barren Darlington sections of the Addo Elephant National Park. Famous for its fierce battles during the Anglo Boer War, the area is still pockmarked with the trails of old wagon wheels. The Bedrogfontein trail is 45km in length and is rated as a Group 2-3 trail and offers both simple camping and formal accommodation at Kabouga.
3. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: Nossob Eco 4×4 Trail
Situated between Twee Rivieren and Nossob in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – far from the lands of sports betting NZ – you’ll get to experience the rust-red dunes far away from the crowds on the Nossob Eco Trail. Totalling a distance of 214km, you and your off road party will have to set aside 4 days to complete the trail and take absolutely everything you require with you as the as this is camping at its most basic. The Nossob Eco Trail is guided and requires at least 2 vehicles, but no more than 5.
4. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: Gharagab 4×4 Trail
A good option for those who don’t want to rough it entirely by having to set up a campsite, the Gharagab 4×4 Trail offers fully-equipped overnight accommodation with 2 single beds, a gas refrigerator, hot water, and solar lights. Starting at Union’s End in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the Gharagab trail is 61km in total on a one-way route and the first leg is 32km to the overnight accommodation site.
5. Kruger National Park: Mafunyane 4×4 Eco Trail
Running between the Olifants and Luvuvhu Rivers in the north-western section of the Kruger National Park, the Mafunyane 4×4 Eco Trail is a 270km, four-day, self-catering, and guided trail.
The trail only operates in the dry season between March and November and departure takes place every Thursday from the Phalaborwa gate of the Kruger National Park.
No more than 4 vehicles are permitted to take the trail at once and overnight camping spots offer fireplaces, environmental toilets and showers, but the water will need to be heated over a fire first.