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Thangami 4×4 Trail


If you love 4x4ing and nature then the Valley of the Kings is your ideal next destination. Set in the scenic Umfolozi valley, Thangami is the epitome of relaxed comfort and light-hearted enjoyment. A balmy climate and soils rich in nutrients ensures a wide variety of plants, birds and animals to surprise you around every corner. The history is rich and powerful and the presence of kings can be traced back to the days prior to the founding of the Zulu nation when the valley was inhabited by the Bhutelezi clan. Later came Dingiswayo, Shaka and Mpande, among others.

The Thangami routes are all set in a stunning game reserve and there are enough of them to keep you busy for at least a weekend. The four trails vary in length. The easiest and shortest trail is 8km long and should take you around two hours to complete. The most difficult trail is 20km long with driving time estimated at about four hours. The trails wind through valley bushveld with muddy marshlands, river crossings, rocky climbs and descents, rough terrain, and savannah bush. As you’re in the middle of a nature and game reserve you can expect to see abundant fauna and flora.

If no one else has attempted the ‘Hard Route’ in the few weeks prior to you doing so, you might want to pack a panga. Things grow mighty quick in the Valley of the Kings and this awesome route gets very overgrown. Sometimes it’s even difficult to see the tracks. The tricky and exceptionally steep section down the hill will have you gripping your steering wheel. Don’t bother looking for a chicken run – there isn’t one. The other three routes will take you over some interesting and rocky river crossings, great muddy sections and mountain climbs. Though they do not present any serious challenges for skilled drivers, it’s recommended not to attempt the trails without low range or good ground clearance. The recovery fee is up R350. Finally, the obstacle course is 100% guaranteed fun.

Thangami offers several accommodation options that can be booked as self-catering or B&B. Two-, four-, five- or ten-sleeper bungalows are available. A camping and caravanning site with hot showers, toilets and electricity closes the deal. A restaurant and pub will allow you to enjoy perfect sundowners and scrumptious African dishes. The spa will get everyone relaxed after a day of active 4x4ing, abseiling, swimming or game viewing. The jacuzzis, hot mineral springs and mudbaths are wonderful.