Mpumalanga 4×4 Trails

4x4 Africa - Mpumalanga 4x4 Trails

Mpumalanga 4×4 Trails

3 Provinces 4x4 Three Provinces 4×4 Adventure

Closest Town/s: Volksrust, 13 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 4

Type of Terrain: Steep inclines, Rocky, Water

Distance: 5 Trails of 34 km, 8 km, 5 km, 4 km, 70 – 90 km

Driving Time (estimated): 4 – 6 hours, 2.5 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour & 5-9 hours

Contact: Herman & Ronel Geldenhuys

Telephone: 082 785 8002 / 017 735 5287



Alkmaar Trail Alkmaar Trail

Closest Town/s: Nelspruit, 16 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: Nature Trail, Obstacle course, Land Rover Experience Training.

Distance: 7 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 – 3 hours

Contact: Johann Sippel

Telephone: 013 733 3029 / 083 449 8701 / 083 305 2472

Email: /


Black Eagle Eco Route

Black Eagle Eco Route

Closest Town/s: Wakkerstroom, 15 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: Grass, Wetlands

Distance: 30 km

Driving Time (estimated): various

Contact: Receptionist

Telephone: 083 450 3064

Email: n/a

Website: n/a

Buffalo Gorge Buffalo Gorge

Closest Town/s: Middelburg, 18 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: River Crossing, Rocky Climbs, Mud

Distance: 18 km

Driving Time (estimated): 4 – 6 hours

Contact: Ryk Diepraam

Telephone: 083 528 9586



Bushlane RouteBushlane 4×4 Trail

Closest Town/s: Nelspruit, 23 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 4

Type of Terrain: River Crossing, Rocky Climbs, Steep Gradients

Distance: 14 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 – 4 hours

Contact: Reception

Telephone: 012 460 9109 / 083 600 6606

Email: n/a

Website: bushlane 4×4 trail

Ebutsini TrailEbutsini Trail

Closest Town/s: Badplaas, 50 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: Mountainous, Scenic/Historic Drive

Distance: 100 km

Driving Time (estimated): 1 Day

Contact: Gideon Stapelberg

Telephone: 017 884 0352 / 082 579 2081


Website: www.facebook/Ebutsini_4x4_route

Eureka City BarbertonEureka City Barberton

Closest Town/s: Barberton, 10 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: Mountainous Scenery, Steep Gradients, Grassy, Scenic/Historic Drive

Distance: 25 km

Driving Time (estimated): 4 – 5 Hours

Contact: Reception

Telephone: 082 748 6703



Jobedi Game Reserve Jobedi Game Reserve

Closest Town/s: Pretoria, 100 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 4

Type of Terrain: Rocky Climb, Scenery

Distance: 40 km

Driving Time (estimated): 6 – 8 hours

Contact: Lauren Perry

Telephone: 083 626 7644



Landmans Vallei Route Landman’s Vallei Route

Closest Town/s: Roossenekal, 14 km

Grade (1 – 5): 1 – 2

Type of Terrain: Scenic Route

Distance: 30 km

Driving Time (estimated): 4 – 6 hours

Contact: Pierre/ Tony

Telephone: 082 553 1259



Lebombo Overland Eco TrailLebombo Overland Eco Trail

Closest Town/s: Kruger National Park, 0 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: Wildlife, Nature, Some Mud, Some in and declines.

Distance: 525 km

Driving Time (estimated): 5 Days

Contact: Hester van der Berg

Telephone: 012 426 5117 / 012 436 5000



Lekoa LodgeLekoa Lodge

Closest Town/s: Villiers, 25 km

Grade (1 – 5): 1 – 2

Type of Terrain: Obstacle Course, 4×4 Track, Side-routes, Scenic drive

Distance: Various

Driving Time (estimated): Various

Contact: Reception

Telephone: 087 802 0822



Loskop ValleiLoskop Vallei

Closest Town/s:

Grade (1 – 5): 4

Type of Terrain: River Crossings, Muddy, Steep gradients, Rocky surfaces, Dongas

Distance: n/a

Driving Time (estimated): n/a

Contact: Zelna

Telephone: 072 329 9798



Luphisi 4x4 Route Luphisi Route

Closest Town/s: Nelspruit, 40 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3

Type of Terrain:  Rocky, Sand, River Crossings

Distance: 50 km

Driving Time (estimated): 6 – 8 hours

Contact: Jean Mantsengwane

Telephone: 076 894 7069

Email: n/a


Mac Mac Summit Route Mac Mac Summit Route

Closest Town/s: Graskop, 15 km

Grade (1 – 5): 1 – 2

Type of Terrain: Nature Drive

Distance: 1 – 5 days; 100 km per day

Driving Time (estimated): 6 – 7 hours per day

Contact: Sonya & Sharon

Telephone: 013 764 2376 / 013 764 1018


Website: mac_mac_summit_route

Madlabantu Adventure trailMadlabantu Adventure Trail

Closest Town/s: Pretoriouskop – 42 km

Grade (1 – 5): 1 – 2

Type of Terrain: Game Drive, Scenic Drive

Distance: 42 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 – 6 Hours

Contact: Kruger Receptionist

Telephone: 013 735 6306

Email: n/a


ManangaMananga Wilderness Trail

Closest Town/s: Satara, 11 km

Grade (1 – 5): 1 – 3

Type of Terrain: Game Drive, Scenic drive,

Distance: 48 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 – 5 Hours

Contact:  Kruger Receptionist

Telephone: 013 735 6306

Email: n/a


RibbokkloofRibbokkloof Trail

Closest Town/s: Middleburg, 45 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 4

Type of Terrain: Bushveld, River Crossing, Steep Gradients, Scenic drive, Game drive

Distance: 30 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 – 3 Hours

Contact: Riekie Pretorius

Telephone:  082 388 3247



Riverwild 4x4 Riverwild 4×4

Closest Town/s: Nelspruit, 40 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3

Type of Terrain: Rocky, River Crossings

Distance: 8 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 – 3 hours

Contact: Gideon Stapelberg

Telephone: 081 438 5511



Rooi IvoorRooi-Ivoor

Closest Town/s: Steelpoort, 14 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 4

Type of Terrain: Rocky, Hill Climbs

Distance: 62 km

Driving Time (estimated): various

Contact: Vivian or Ansie

Telephone: 012 662 1140

Email: n/a

Website: Rooi-Ivoor

Rust de Winter Bundu Trail Rust De Winter Bundu Trail

Closest Town/s: Hammanskraal, 55 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 4

Type of Terrain: Rocky, Steep Gradients, Off-Camber

Distance: 70 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 days

Contact: Peter Claasen

Telephone: 082 558 6184

Email: n/a


Thaba Nkwe Game Lodge Thaba’Nkwe Game Lodge

Closest Town/s: Groblersdal (30 km)

Grade (1 – 5): 3 to 5

Type of Terrain:

Distance: 5 – 40 km

Driving Time (estimated): various

Contact: Willie Roux

Telephone: 082 829 7701



The Grassland GanderWakkerstroom – The Grassland Gander

Closest Town/s: Wakkerstroom (0 km)

Grade (1 – 5): various

Type of Terrain: Scenic, Grasslands

Distance: 150 km

Driving Time (estimated): half/full day per trail

Contact: Mark DeVeeney

Telephone: 017 730 0115

Email: n/a

Website: n/a

Four-Wheel driving in Mpumalanga

In spite of the mountainous terrain for which Mpumalanga has become world famous, the province has relatively few official off-road trails, and the trails it does have, are all concentrated in the northeast, and eastern parts. However, what Mpumalanga lacks in numbers of off-road trails, it amply makes up for in the exquisite scenic beauty of its trails. With the exception of one grade four 4×4 trail, the off-road trails in Mpumalanga are generally aimed at the leisure market, as opposed to the segment of the off-road fraternity that is forever on the lookout for the ultimate off-road trail- of which sadly, there are none in Mpumalanga.

Songimvelo Nature Reserve

While not actually located in the reserve, but rather between the reserve and the Swaziland border, the Ebutsini Trail, which is about 100 kms long, inclusive of a clearly marked scenic section, only takes around 4-5 hours to complete, but a guide is required. There are no serious obstacles and most luxury SUV’s would be able to cope, even in the worst possible conditions. There is however, a separate obstacle course for proper 4×4’s that are fitted with winches and recovery point, but the main attraction of this trail lays in its unsurpassed scenic beauty, and it is recommended for this aspect alone.

Nelspruit (Mbombela)

This area offers an off-road trail that is suitable even for rank novice off-road drivers. The 7 km-long trail consists mostly of loose gravel, but there are some steep-ish rock climbs leading to lookout points, as well as a few shallow water crossings with rocky bottoms, and a few stepped rock slabs. There is no mud except during rainfalls, and depending on the amount of rain, the mud can vary from tricky, to distinctly difficult and challenging.

In addition, in the Nelspruit area, at Bushlane, is a complex of three off-road trails that require proper 4×4 vehicles with low range and above average ground clearance, but in return, they offer driving conditions that are suitable for all skill levels. This trail has a grade 4 rating, and at 14 kms long, can take anything up to a full day to complete, with sand, mud, rocks, water crossings, and several rocky obstacles that require some degree of technical driving. This trail is best attempted over weekends with a guide, who will throw in some informal training as part of the admission fee.

Kruger National Park

The trail starting at Satara Rest Camp winds through some of the best game viewing spots in the entire Park, and at 48 kms long, has a grading of between 1 and 3, depending mostly on weather conditions. The trail consists mostly of gravel management roads, but includes stretches of dry, sandy riverbed, deep dongas, short stretches of thick sand, and a few areas with scattered rocks, and takes around six hours to complete. Only six vehicles are allowed on the trail at any one time, and bookings can only be made on the day- no advance bookings are accepted.


This area hosts an 80 km-long guided off-road trail through some of the most exquisitely beautiful mountain and forest scenery in all of Southern Africa. Although this trail does not have obstacles of any kind – it even includes some tarred sections-, its main attraction lies in the scenery that defies description. There is no time limit on this trail; it can be done in a day, but up to five days is the better option since it takes a lot of time to absorb the sheer amount of scenic wonders of this route, which is widely acknowledged as the most scenic route in all of Southern Africa.


This area hosts only one off-road trail through the scenic Barberton Mountainlands, and being in a mountainous area, this guided only 25km-long trail has plenty of ridiculously steep ascents/descents, many rocks, and as many tight twists and corners as it has rocks. Despite the fact that this trail does not have any water crossings, or other challenging obstacles, it enjoys an official grade 3-4 rating, and takes around 4-5 hours to complete in any vehicle that has above average ground clearance and wheel articulation, although it is not recommended to attempt this trail in softroaders.

It is a curious fact that while Mpumalanga is one of the main tourist destinations of South Africa, it has only 4094 kms of paved roads, against a staggering total of 14 918 kms of unpaved gravel roads, and while this may not appeal to the international tourist, it is good news for the off-road traveller in Mpumalanga. While none of the official tourism agencies seems to give Mpumalanga off-road tourism a second thought, the enterprising off-road traveller in the Paradise Province can get to see the scenic wonders of the province from an angle that is not accessible to the average on road tourist who has to deal with heavy traffic volumes, potholed paved roads, and crowded tourist attractions, for which he has to pay a fee to see up close.

Although many, if not most, gravel roads have good surfaces, even in Mpumalanga, there are many that resemble obstacle courses, which is what often makes driving on gravel roads as rewarding – and often as demanding, as any off-road trail, but with the added advantage that using them is generally free.

However, with as many dirt roads and routes, as there are new places to see, using the roads less travelled can be a challenge because they are usually badly signposted, and often do not appear on maps and GPS devices. Back roads are frequently closed without warning and for no apparent reason, which could well cause you to be stuck, or lost a long way from any form of help. A sensible way to tackle back road touring is to employ a route planner, who will work out the driving distance of each leg, provide GPS waypoints, make bookings for accommodation, check on and confirm road conditions and closures, while keeping to your intended itinerary and budget as far as is possible. More on Mpumalanga tourism for the off-road traveler >>

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