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Browsing: 4×4 Trails

I have always been mildly obsessed by rocks of all kinds. Apart from the purported ‘New Age’ healing qualities of some of them (particularly quartz crystals), I just love the way they look and feel in my hands. But they also contain detailed stories of how the landscape in which they were found was formed. TRAIL REVIEW DABERAS GUEST FARM, AUGRABIES, NORTHERN CAPE A man who knows this better than most is Kobus Van Coppenhagen, our host at Daberas Guest Farm − a conservation area and veritable treasure chest of geomorphic wonders on the western border of the Augrabies National

One of the greatest advantages of experiencing new 4×4 tracks is the taking of roads less travelled to get there. And the back roads from Bot River to the Karoo National Park, via Sutherland, certainly made a worthwhile detour. On our first day, my travelling partner, Lionel ‘Tau’ Williams (his Setswana nickname, meaning Lion, will be explained later) and I got off the N2 as quickly as possible and made for Swellendam on the Klipfontein dirt track. From there to Sutherland, we chose dirt tracks wherever we could, losing ourselves in the world behind the scenes − passing through towns

“Jeez, boet, where does the road go? It looks like it might drop right off the edge of that mountain over there,” commented my longstanding co-pilot, Lionel Williams. We’d been in the car just over an hour, following our host’s map showing tracks marked in green (Grades 1-2) and blue (Grades 2-3). We were fast approaching the only red route (Grades 3-4) on our chosen 50km perimeter trail – the aptly named “Banggat” section, when the track suddenly fell away steeply before us. Travelling in our borrowed Isuzu KB300 4×4 LX Extended Cab, we’d ambled along the predominantly green route

When thinking about 4×4 challenges in the Eastern Cape, the Baviaanskloof first comes to mind. Everyone makes this a bucket list tick, but if you are in this part of the Karoo for longer, what else is there? Having headed inland after an Eastern Cape coastal escape, we decided on a detour toWillowmore where one of the attractions is called Finchley Farm: a working sheep farm with two historic guest cottages and a rustic campsite nestled amongst the acacias, just below a spectacular dam. It’s a basic and unpretentious sort of campsite. Electricity is only on demand, the sites are

After getting the shivers again from too much city time, the Cederberg began calling my name this month. A spot of webtrawling and phoning-about soon offered up a solution to the blues: just two-and-a-bit hours from Cape town is Koningskop, which would match my needs – a good campsite and a trail that wouldn’t damage a shiny new test car. While camping, I usually avoid human contact like one should avoid cheap Indian food, but on this particular long weekend the site was packed. There are 50 grassy, mostly shaded sites, though, so it wasn’t a problem… and the little

I’m sorely embarrassed to say that, since having bought my new-to-me ’96 Disco last month, I hadn’t aimed it at any serious off-road obstacles. As cool as I thought I was when driving over kerbs at the mall, I needed to drive through some scratchy bushes in an attempt to scrape away some of the British Racing Green paint-job. Having thoroughly explored most of the Cederberg’s 4×4 trails, I thought we’d covered the area, but Boegoeberg had somehow escaped my radar. The 4×4 Trails Situated on the upper eastern side of the Cederberg, or ‘Engelsman se Berg’, the working farm

Bucklands is about 47 km from the pleasant Karoo town of Steytlerville. If you are looking for “a road less travelled” this is it! Early pioneers and hunters who came up from the Cape in their wagons frequented this historical region, which forms the southern reaches of the Plains of Camdeboo. They came in search of a new life and “white gold” – ivory. They established farms in the valley flanked by the Baviaans and Grootrivier Hoogte that you can visit today. The climate is typically Karoo – dry and healthy with hot days and cold nights. Bucklands is a

Located just outside the picturesque little farming town of Bot River, the Honingklip trail is a paradise for any nature lover, and especially for one driving a 4×4. As it traverses part of the majestic Kogelberg mountain complex, the picturesque trail offers everything from brutal axletwisting mayhem to leisurely exploration. Set in and around the Ruwami Nature Reserve, the trail offers eagle-eye views of the lush valley and ocean far below. The main trail stretches over about 28km of intersecting tracks, and explores the top of the mountain’s large plateau at its furthest reaches. It’s generally a leisurely drive with

Like Sani Pass in Lesotho, or the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park further west, Baviaanskloof is somewhat of a rite of passage for any South African 4×4 enthusiast. The protected nature reserve is home to one of South Africa’s most diverse biomes of flora and fauna, thanks to rivers that flow year-round, and large altitude changes. But if – like us and many more overlanding locals – you’ve been through the Baviaans main drag and are in search of a new adventure in this spectacular part of the hidden country, then there is an alternative. Enter Doringkloof 4×4. Words & Pictures by

Back in 2012, while on a quest to drive the eight passes of the Eastern Cape, SA4x4 was warned off trying to tackle the Baster Voetpad which links the Barkly Pass to Ugie. Locals felt that the BMW X6 we were driving at the time would not make the arduous, 35km-long mountainous route. As we don’t like to leave loose ends, it has been our goal to return and complete what was started; and General Motors recently stepped up to the plate and offered the spanking new Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 4×4 AT for the trip. Sporting a new face, upgraded

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