KwaZulu Natal 4×4 Trails

4x4 Africa - KwaZulu Natal 4x4 Trails

KwaZulu Natal 4×4 Trails:

 Bainage AdventuresBainage Outdoor Adventure

Closest Town/s: Empangeni, 12 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 5

Type of Terrain: River Crossing, Off-Camber, Rocks, Sand, Steep Gradients

Distance: 2 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 – 4 Hours

Contact: Peter Bain

Telephone: 083 942 0168

Email: n/a

GPS: -28.738028, 31.762201

Website: Facebook – Bainage Adventures/Impilo 4×4


Bivane 4×4 Trail (Ithala Game Reserve)

Closest Town/s: Louwsburg, 15 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: River Crossing, Mountainous Scenery, Steep Gradients

Distance: 17 km

Driving Time (estimated): 3 – 4 Hours

Contact: reception

Telephone: 083 942 0168 / 034 983 2540

Email: n/a

GPS: -27.54283398, 31.31583167


Bonani Game Farm  Bonani 4×4 Trail

Closest Town/s: Newcastle, 50 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 5

Type of Terrain: Rocky, Bushy

Distance: 50 km

Driving Time (estimated): 7 hours

Contact: Adee Bosman

Telephone: 083 327 3570



Bundu OutdoorBundu Outdoor Centre 

Closest Town/s: Vryheid

Grade (1 – 5): 1 -5

Type of Terrain: Obstacle Course, Training

Distance (total): Various

Driving Time (estimated): Varies

Contact: Dr. Willie Labuschagn

Telephone: 034 980 1766



Camp Buffalo Camp Buffalo 

Closest Town/s: Elandskraal, 35 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 5

Type of Terrain: River Crossing, Grassy, Rocky, Muddy Surfaces,

Distance: 37 km

Driving Time (estimated): 5 – 8 Hours

Contact: Heinz Dedekind

Telephone: 082 956 2288



Cederberg Guest Farm

Dagga Three Sisters/Cedarberg Guest Farm

Closest Town/s: Cederville, 8 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 5

Type of Terrain: Rocky Gorges, Dongas, Steep Gradients, Muddy Surfaces (Seasonal)

Distance: 80 km

Driving Time (estimated): 6 – 8 Hours

Contact: Gerrie Nel

Telephone: 083 262 5464



Gwahumbe Game & Spa Gwahumbe Game & Spa

Closest Town/s: Pietermaritzburg, 60 Km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 4

Type of Terrain: Grassy, Rocky

Distance: 18 Km

Driving Time (estimated): 3 – 4 hours

Contact: Reception

Telephone: 087 150 3475



4x4 Valley Trail - KZNHidden Valley Trail 

Closest Town/s: Mooiriver, 40 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 5

Type of Terrain: Mountainous Scenery, Rocky, Steep Gradients

Distance: 40 km

Driving Time (estimated): 3 Hours

Contact: David Van Niekerk

Telephone: 063 685 7755 / 082 308 6980


Website: and

Imbabala LodgeImbabala Lodge 

Closest Town/s:

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 4

Type of Terrain: Gravel Rocks, Steep Inclines, Mountainous Scenery, River Crossings, Game Drive

Distance:  50 km

Driving Time (estimated): 4 – 6 Hours

Contact: Stephanie Tweer

Telephone: 083 409 6363



Kelvin Grove Kelvin Grove

Closest Town/s: Winterton, 22 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2

Type of Terrain: Rocky

Distance: Varies

Driving Time (estimated): 3 – 5 hours

Contact: Nick or Candy

Telephone: 036 488 1652

Email: n/a

Website: n/a

Kosi Bay Nature ReserveKosi Bay Nature Reserve

Closest Town/s: Manguzi, 15 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2

Type of Terrain: Beach Sands

Distance: Various distances

Driving Time (estimated): Various times

Contact: Chris

Telephone: 082 678 0264

Email: n/a

Website: n/a

Land Rover Experience Inchanga Land Rover Experience Inchanga

Closest Town/s: Durban, 20 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 4

Type of Terrain: 

Distance: 4 km

Driving Time (estimated): 2 – 3 hours

Contact: Theresa Middleton

Telephone: 031 783 4209



Montello Safari Lodge Montello Safari Lodge 

Closest Town/s: Durban, 120 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: Game Drive

Distance : Various

Driving Time (estimated): Various

Contact: Sean Slatter

Telephone: 033 413 3334


Website: n/a

KwaZulu-Natal 4x4 Trails - Oribi Gorge Guest Farm

Oribi Gorge Guest Farm 

Closest Town/s: Port Shepstone, 35 km

Grade (1 – 5): 1 – 2

Type of Terrain: Scenic Drive, Game Drive, Ravines, Rocky Surfaces

Distance: 24 km

Driving Time (estimated): 1 – 2 Hours

Contact: Paul Langton

Telephone: 039 687 0324



Simunye 4x4Simunye 4×4 Trail

Closest Town/s: Melmoth, 21 km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 4

Type of Terrain: Rivers

Distance: 12 km

Driving Time (estimated): 3 Hours

Contact: Dave Wylie

Telephone: 035 459 3111

Email: n/a

Website: n/a

Stoney Ridge Off-road AcademyStoney Ridge Off-Road Academy

Closest Town/s: Weeneen, 14 km

Grade (1-5): 1 – 5

Type of Terrain: Rivers, Mud, Sand, Rock,

Distance: 5 – 200 km (5 Trails)

Driving Time (estimated): 2-8 Hours

Contact: Jacqui Ikin

Telephone: 036 354 7012 / 082 338 8809



Thangami Safari SpaThangami Safari Spa

Closest Town/s: Vryheid, 74km

Grade (1 – 5): 3 – 4

Type of Terrain: River Crossing, Muddy Surfaces, Steep Gradients

Distance: 8 – 20 km (4 Trails)

Driving Time (estimated): 4 – 8 Hours

Contact: Reception

Telephone: 087 808 6577



Toplodge selfcatering cottagesToplodge (Self-catering Cottages)

Closest Town/s: Bergville (48Km) Harrismith (55Km)

Grade (1-5): 2 – 3 (dry) 3 – 4 (wet)

Access road to Toplodge: Steep sections, slippery when wet, shallow wading, Rocky sections

Driving Time (estimated): 45 minutes

Contact: Gavin Everitt

Telephone: (083) 368 1111



KZN 4x4 Trails - Tugam Game Reserve Tugam Game Reserve 

Closest Town/s: Pongola, 25 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: Rocky, Mountain scenery

Distance: 10 – 60 km (4 Trails)

Driving Time (estimated): 2 Hours Each

Contact: Liesel Lawson

Telephone: 0737488922



Wakkerstroom TrailWakkerstroom Heights 4×4 Trail

Closest Town/s: Dirkiesdorp, 16 km

Grade (1 – 5): 2 – 3

Type of Terrain: Rocky Inclines, Steep Gradients, Muddy Surfaces

Distance: 15 – 45 km (3 Trails)

Driving Time (estimated): 3 – 5 Hours

Contact: Mark Devenney

Telephone: 017 730 0115

Email: n/a

Website: n/a

Four Wheel Driving in KwaZulu Natal KZN

From the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, to the Wilderness areas in the north, to the 800km long coastline and back to the Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal has much to offer the off-road traveller on the lookout for the perfect 4×4 trail, of which there are many in all the geographical areas of the province.

Coastal areas

Although there relatively few mountains on the coast, the area abounds in steep gorges, forests, farm tracks, and more famously, mud; and lots of it. Trails in this vast area number in the hundreds, but in general, they traverse steep, rocky terrain up and down the multitude of river gorges with rocky water crossings, muddy forest trails where technical driving is more often than not required, if not experience in recovery techniques, but sometimes both, as well as some steep and twisting mountain tracks. Although these tracks are often on private land and often do not enjoy recognition as official mountain passes, they possess all the classical elements of a good 4×4 trail/mountain pass.

Some examples of coastal 4×4 trails are in the Umkomaas Valley, only a 90-minute drive from Durban, where the KwaZulu-Natal off-road tourist can experience several 4×4 trails over steep rocky hills, deep mud, some sand, and lots of tight, twisting turns on forest tracks- not to mention the spectacular scenery of a 40 000 ha Wilderness area.


There are no large mountains in the Midlands region, but there are plenty of hills and deep soils, which make for great hill climbs. The single biggest obstacle in this region is mud and slippery grass in the wet season, and sometimes, thick snow during winter. Although there are some isolated rocky areas, such as that around Mooiriver, this area is best known for its muddy trails.

Zululand however, is something else altogether- here is mud, sand, steep gradients, forest tracks, slippery grass, both rocky and muddy water crossings, and mountain tracks, with the several 4×4 trails around Eshowe being prime examples of 4×4 trails that have everything. One particular trail, a so-called “retreat”, where the “retreat” aspect refers solely to the wondrous scenic beauty of the area, winds through the huge and challenging Nkandla Forest, explores the surrounds of Jameson’s Drift, then takes in the Shu-Shu Hotsprings, before traversing the Insuze Gorge. This route is widely regarded as one of the toughest in KwaZulu-Natal, and it will test the capabilies of any off-road tourist- and his 4×4 to the limit.

Drakensberg Region

Almost all 4×4 trails in this region are steep, rocky, and involve rain, snow, and the attendant slippery conditions in some way, with the only real differences being the steepness of the gradients, and the amount of snow and rain one has to deal with in winter conditions.

This area has several rather difficult and challenging 4×4 trails, especially the one that winds through the southern Drakensberg in East Griqualand. Starting at St Bernard’s Peak, this trail is generally regarded as much more difficult and demanding than the Sani Pass, which says a lot.

Slightly lower down on the scale of difficulty are several trails around Cedarville, a village in the foothills of the southern Drakensberg. From here, three spectacular mountain passes lead into Lesotho, while the Katse Dam, the sparkling Maletsunyane waterfall, as well as Maseru are only a short drive away over rough, but ready mountain roads, some of which are gravel with steep gradients, and tight twists and turns.

No article about tourism for the off-road traveller in KwaZulu-Natal would be complete without mentioning the network of gravel roads that exists in KwaZulu-Natal. Although this network is as extensive as in some other provinces, many, if not most, gravel roads are in areas that are not easily accessible, even though they may have good surfaces. However, there are just as many with surfaces that resemble obstacle courses and that may lead into rugged, mountainous terrain-, which means that should you get lost, or need assistance of some kind, it may be very difficult to reach you in adverse weather conditions. Nevertheless, driving on gravel roads can be as much fun – and often as demanding, as any off-road trail. Provided only that in KwaZulu-Natal, and particularly in the mountains, you do your off-road tourism only if somebody knows where you are heading, and when you will be back.

However, with as many dirt roads and routes as there are places to go, 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 KwaZulu Natal tourism for the off-road traveler >>

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