Grade: 2 to 3½
Route Length: 15 km
Accommodation: Five fully equipped, self-catering chalets, sleeping up to 4 people each, +/- 8km outside De Doorns—with a breath taking view over the Hex River Valley. Each of the chalets has a private deck overlooking the Hex River Valley with views on the Magnificent Matroos- , Hex- and Quado Mountains.
Description: Nestled high in the mountains above De Doorns only one and a half hours drive from Cape Town. De Doorns is well known for its many vineyards, historical Cape Dutch homesteads and snow capped mountains during the winter months, an ideal venue to spoil your loved-one to bits.
The Hex River Klipspringer 4x4 trail is set in the picturesque Kwadouw Mountain overlooking the Hex River Valley and the Matroosberg Mountains. The trail was designed and built around getting to know your vehicle, especially your approach and departure angles. The scenic trail is approximately 15km long and will take you to well over 1000m above sea level and can take between 4 - 6 hrs to complete. It is certainly not the easiest 4x4 trail to drive but also not the most difficult 4x4 trail around. The trail will demand your attention at all times, testing and honing your negotiating and driving skills. The various obstacles will satisfy any 4x4 enthusiasts’ requirements with regard to off-road driving. A variety of game and fynbos can be viewed en-route.
4x4 Trails of the Western Cape A - I
1 - 5 - what do they mean?
1. easy - for 4x4 novices or 4x2s with differential lock
2. easy to moderate - 4x4 vehicle and some driving experience essential
3. moderate - low range and 4x4 driving experience recommended
4. difficult - experienced drivers, low range and differential lock.
Recovery equipment recommended
5. extreme - experts only with serious vehicles, not for solo trips. Recovery back-up essential.
Grade: Between 2 - 3
Accommodation: No accommodation available
Description: When driving on the West Coast Road (R27), passing the Atlantis dunes, one does not realize just how huge the dune area really is or the size of some of the dunes. The Atlantis Dunes are a true forgotten gem of the West Coast area. On entering the dune area, you are suddenly surrounded by the pure white sand dunes with Table Mountain in the background. This is truly a worthwhile sight to be appreciated. On venturing further into the dunes, where you are totally surrounded by dunes, you will experience a feeling of being in a desert far away from civilization.
Driving the dunes is really a great experience and lots of fun. It is important however that the basic 4x4 sand driving rules are adhered to at all times, namely; As slow as possible as fast as necessary, don’t over do it rather do it over, tyre pressure, momentum, always drive at the correct angle over a dune, following distance and wait for the vehicle in front of you to clear an obstacle, to mention but a few. These are to ensure the safety of all participants. As the day progresses and your confidence and sand-driving skills improve, the seemingly impossible dunes will become a lot easier to drive. We will be visiting the famous “Horse Shoe” and the “Dog Leg” which have not damaged any vehicles but have dented an ego or two in the past. An excursion to Atlantis Dunes is always very popular and produces many highlights.
BIEDOUW VALLEY 4X4 - Clanwilliam
Grade: 2 to 3 in Spring
Route Distance: 28 km
Terrain: Rock and Sand
Accommodation: Our camp, at the farm Mertenhof, offers grassed campsites with good ablution facilities with hot showers & flush toilets. Alternative accommodation in the farmhouse is available.
Description: For a few short weeks of the year the Biedouw valley, in Agter Pakhuis north of Clanwilliam in the Cederberg Mountain Range, becomes one of the most beautiful places you can visit to experience a flower spectacular not often experienced elsewhere. At the end of winter this remote valley, with its amazing viewpoints, peace and tranquillity is transformed as millions of flowers come alive, creating a colour-filled spectacle that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. En-route on the 4x4 trail magnificent flowers will be encountered, with stunning views over the colourful valleys below. An experience only 4x4 owners are privileged to enjoy.
It will ensure driving and negotiating skills be tested throughout the day while keeping you on your toes when driving the trail. Weather depending, there could be a bit of water and mud thrown in for fun. There are also spectacular sights to be seen along the way in the form of some very unique potholes, waterfalls and larger swimming holes in the Biedouw River. The second part of the trail follows a very steep climb up to the plateau where stunning views over the surrounding mountains, like Sneeukop, Krakadouw, Citadelkop and the Tankwa Karoo await visitors.
BOEGOEBERG 4X4 - Clanwilliam
Grade: 2 to 4
Terrain: Mountain, Sand, Riverbed
Accommodation: There are 30 campsites, sandstone cottages, a rustic camp in the mountain and a self catering guest house. The camp area offers a well thought-out lapa, ablution blocks, plenty of shade, power points at each campsite and a huge swimming pool, which have all contributed to this trail being so highly rated. Definitely one of the best camps we visit throughout the year.
The Boegoeberg 4x4 trail is situated on the farm “Lambertshoek”, in the “Engelsman se Berge”, overlooking Graafwater, Elands Bay, Lambert’s Bay and Clanwilliam. Trail owner Sybrie de Beer has been committed from the start to making Boegoeberg 4x4 an eco-friendly, family orientated venue, ensuring maximum pleasure for the whole family, with the minimum impact on the environment.
Boegoeberg has attained a deserved “Top Ten” status in the Drive Out magazine on numerous occasions. The old donkey wagon trail has been transformed into a very popular 4x4 trail, climbing high into the “Engelsman se Berge” to the “Platklip Viewpoint” where panoramic views await you. The white dunes of the Lambert’s Bay 4x4 trail, the pointy mountain at Elands Bay, the many potatoes circles of the Sandveld and many other landmarks in the Cederberg Mountain range can be seen from the viewpoint. On the way down we will encounter a long technical descent, followed by a steep ascent before we make it safely back to camp. All along the mountain route are interesting technical driving sections, marked with very appropriate sandstone name boards.
In addition to the mountain trail, you’ll drive a short circular route with a variety of challenges and a sand hill climb challenge, still waiting to find an appropriate name. The latest addition to the trail is the route along a riverbed on the farm, also known as The Canyon. This is always a very popular section and will ensure many highlights and photo opportunities. This is an optional section with escapes at all the obstacles.
DAMON 4X4 - Worcester
Grade: 2 to 3
Trail Distance: 13 km
Description: The trail is situated in the foothills at the start of the Langeberg Mountains, just north of Worcester in the Boland, only 60 minutes from Cape Town.
The trail is 13km long and will require approximately 4 hours to complete. It traverses the mountains between Hangkloof and Boskloof and consists mainly of Karoo soil and shale. Various obstacles, with interesting ascents and descents, will be testing your driving skills and keeping you on your toes, none of which should dent your vehicle or ego. From the viewpoint, the Bloukop peak, the most southern peak in the Langeberg range, can be clearly seen forming part of the Langeberg range to where it ends close to Mosselbaai and Oudshoorn. Remember the old saying of what goes up must come down and it is after visiting the viewpoint that an interesting descent will be encountered, where 1st gear, low-range will be the order of the day. The Damon 4x4 trail is not a very demanding trail on drivers or vehicles, but well worth visiting more than once.
GATJIEBOS 4X4 - Citrusdal
Grade: 3 to 4
Terrain: Mountain, riverbed & obstacle course
Accommodation: The camp can easily accommodate 30 people with enough shade under young willow trees and lovely green grass underfoot. The camp also boasts a large enclosed lapa/braai area and a splash pool to cool off during the warm summer months. The rustic ablution facilities are clean and consist of three flush toilets and three hot/cold gas showers. This camp gives you a true feeling of being one with nature, without the necessity of all the modern day amenities.
Descrption: The trail owner Andre Burger accompanies all excursions of the Gatjiebos 4x4 eco trail on his farm. En-route he will share lots of information about the fauna and flora on the farm as well as history and interesting information about the valley and its people. There are three trail options on the farm. During our visit we will drive only two of the three options available. On Saturday we will start with the mountain option ending at a spectacular viewpoint, where we will enjoy lunch before returning to the camp. On Sunday we will drive the riverbed option. This option will be dependant on the water level in the Olifants River. Should the water level be too high, a small obstacle course close to the camp will ensure enough thrills for the Sunday. The reason why we will not be attempting the third trail option is that the trail difficulty is graded a 4 plus and good ground clearance with diff locks front and rear is a prerequisite to ensure a safe passage.
GROOT TOREN 4X4 - McGregor
Grade: 2 to 3
Terrain: Rock/Mountain, Sand
Accommodation: The lovely campsite offering ablution facilities consisting of 2x Flush toilets and 2x Hot/cold showers (“Donkie”).
There are however 6 two bed cabins at the campsite.
Description: The 4x4 trail, situated in the foothills and slopes of the Riviersonderend Mountains, is a spectacular circular mountain trail and consists of rock/mountain and sand. During the wet winter months the mud becomes an interesting added factor, ensuring additional challenges and fun for all. The start of the trail is at the campsite close to the town of McGregor. Various interesting challenges en-route will keep drivers entertained for most of the day, more so because of trying to keep your eyes on the road and not looking at the fantastic surroundings. En-route we will stop at various viewpoints, the first being Bakenkop, from where it will be possible to look out over the whole Breede River Valley, with panoramic views over Robertson, Ashton and Bonnievale. On a clear day even Swellendam is visible in the far distance. The route traverses a relatively flat section called “The Tuin” where one will see a large variety of Fynbos and what can only be described as a Protea forest. A fairly steep ascent to the Krokodilklip and Goudgat viewpoints will ensure spectacular views over the valleys below, normally filled with colour throughout the year. Quoted by the owners Jacie and Marinda Oosthuisen, “The views are absolutely amazing, almost unbelievable, throughout the year”.
HAMMELHOEK 4X4 - Middelpos
Grade: 2 to 3
Accommodatiion: The campsite is at the start of the trail and offers no shade, so bring your awnings and/or gazebo’s. There are full ablution facilities: hot/cold showers, flush toilets, en-closed lapa, swimming pool and central braai area.
Descrption: As Hammelhoek Private Game reserve is an active hunting farm it is home to a well established road network. It is the track against the foothills of the Roggeveld Mountains that will become our playground for the weekend. We will be navigating many the rough tracks, which include steep down hills, extra steep up hills and many challenging river crossings. Good approach and departure angles as well as practising responsible driving techniques will ensure maximum enjoyment for the weekend. As the 4x4 route is still relatively new, some work at the various obstacles might be required. This always ensures good interaction among participants. Suggestions for improvements and future obstacles will be appreciated by the owner as he intends turning Hammelhoek Private Game Reserve into a memorable destination for all visitors. Join like-mined outdoor enthusiasts to a new destination in the Tankwa Karoo.
Hammelhoek Private Game Reserve covers approximately 1250 hectares in the northern parts of the Tankwa Karoo. The game reserve is home to a large variety of game species like; Springbok, Black Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Kudu, Eland, Impala, Steenbok and Zebra, to name but a few.
BUFFELSFONTEIN 4X4 - Yzerfontein
Grade: 2 to 3
Description: The Buffelsfontein Game Reserve and 4x4 trail, founded in 2000, are situated in close proximity to Yzerfontein and Darling on the R27, some 80km from Cape Town. This is not only a game reserve where animals can be viewed but a good balance between game viewing, corporate activities and 4x4 driving within the game reserve. The latest addition of two rhinos to the reserve, combined with giraffes, six lions and cheetahs make it a unique destination so close to Cape Town. A variety of game such as Bontebok, Kudu, Zebra and Springbok can also be viewed en-route on the 4x4 trail. Do not be surprised if a Bat-eared Jackal, Lynx or Porcupine crosses your path during this outing. This is an ideal family experience, at affordable prises, not to be missed. The Buffelsfontein 4x4 trail has recently been revamped to include an additional 30km of track.
A variety of sand obstacles have been included, giving participants the opportunity to test their sand driving skills and getting to know their vehicles, without the risk of any damage to vehicles. Much thought and planning went into the improvement of the 4x4 trail ensuring maximum enjoyment for all. The obstacles may vary in difficulty depending on the time of the year the trail is visited. Remember the secret to sand driving is tyre pressure and momentum and on this outing these factors will play a major roll. This trail is well suited for a day outing and will ensure lots of enjoyment and fun for all, combined with good game viewing.
BUSHMAN'S CAVE 4X4 - Clanwilliam
Grade: 2 to 3
Terrain: Mountain, Riverbed
Accommodation: The campsites are on the banks of the Brandewyn River on the farm OUDE MUUR in the Northern Cederberg. The campsite offers sufficient shade, partly grassed underfoot, electricity points, fresh water points, flush toilets, hot/cold showers and a refreshing swimming pool.
Description: The trail on the farm is made up of three different sections, with the option of bailing out and returning to the camp after each section. The first section is called Karookop trail and is named after a typical Karoo mountain. En-route to the top of the Karookop a challenging climb will be encountered for the brave of heart. A safe bypass can be used to reach the top. The descent partly circumnavigates with numerous interesting obstacles. The second section of the trail is called Kerneels-se-Kinkels and is named after the worker who drove the tractor when the trail was made. This is a sandy section and the name says it all. It requires you to be alert at all times and will test your sand driving ability. The third section is called Klippekou and is the most difficult of the three sections. The name says it all but there is an escape back to camp should you choose not to drive this challenging section. It is advisable to park your vehicle at the foot of the rocky climb, walk the obstacle, choosing your line of approach and even packing a rock or two where you might think it is required. On this section it is always very helpful when either your passenger or fellow Cederberger guides you through the difficult sections. The escape option after each section makes the trail very user friendly, giving you the option to return to camp and return later only to drive a specific section. Upon completion of the official trail the dry riverbed of the Brandewyn River, next to the camp, is always a very popular playground.
ERDVARK 4X4 - Beaufort West
Grade: 2 to 3
Accommodation: A well-planned bush camp. The camp offers sufficient shade, water points, electrical points, top class ablutions and a scullery. A newly built lapa/enclosed braai area will be the centre point of our communal evening braai. A swimming pool at the nearby farm house will be available to cool off after a long day on the road. A restored stone cottage, with its own private splash pool and surrounded by the wide open space of the Karoo
Description: The Erdvark 4x4 trail is on the farm Boplaas, in close proximity to the Karoo National Park, belonging to Flip and Marge Vivier. It is an active sheep farm that facilitates hunting during the hunting season and is home to numerous popular hiking and mountain bike trails.
On the short “Die Aar” trail, not only will the viewpoint, with panoramic views over the landscape below, be good enough reason to drive the trail, the challenges en-route will ensure that adrenalin levels rise higher than normal. Although it is the same track up and down the route to the viewpoint, the off-camber driving with sharp turns and the technical ascents and descents will keep you alert and concentrating, making it a very popular trail to drive.
The “Tafelkop” trail, being in the Karoo, consists of tracks negotiating the many different plateaus, synonymous with the mountains of the Karoo. The trail offers various ascents and descents where driving skills will be tested. It circumnavigates Tafelkop Mountain, encountering numerous interesting obstacles en-route that are sure to keep drivers alert and on their toes at all times. You then arrive at a viewpoint overlooking the greater Karoo with the Swartberg Mountain in the far distance. The trail is not a vehicle breaker and will give you enough time to enjoy the beauty of the Karoo and interact with your fellow passengers. Depending on the time required to complete the 4x4 trail, you will have the opportunity to explore the Koekemoe River and maybe even enjoy a swim.
HONINGSKLIP 4X4 - Botrivier
Grade: 2 to 4
Route Distance: 28 km
Terrain: Obstacle course, mud pits, mountain
Facilities: The campsite/braai area offers 1 x flush toilet. There is a picnic area available next to the dam. Swimming at own risk
Situated 10km from Botrivier on the R43 to Hermanus, the farm Honingklip is a dry flower producer and a leading South African supplier to the international market. This makes Honingklip the perfect getaway venue for a day trip, with views over the Hemel en Aarde Valley, Botriver Lagoon, the Indian Ocean and Fisherhaven. The pristine Fynbos of this area is unique and home to many species of small game, Rheebok, Blue Cranes and other bird life of the area. This is the true heart of the Cape Flora and Fauna region of the Western Cape.
The Honingklip 4x4 route is approximately 28km long and traverses a private nature reserve called Ruwami Private Nature Reserve, which is part of the Honingklip Farm. The trail offers enough challenges to keep you entertained and satisfied for the day. The first of various challenges on the 4x4 trail is a well built obstacle course consisting of testing cross axles, nerve pinching, off-camber driving, mud pits to enjoy (depending on the rain and your choice), steep ascents and descents and log crossings, to mention but a few of the challenges that await you. Throughout the obstacle course you will have the option of making use of the well planned by-passes at all the obstacles. These by-passes give you the peace of mind that you will not damage your vehicle unless Mr Ego did not stay at home and is sitting on your shoulder. The second challenge is a mini dunes area that could easily keep you entertained for more than an hour. These mini dunes lead back to the trail where two very technical, grade 3 – 4, sections await participants.
On this section rear diff-locks and good ground clearance are highly recommended, ensuring safe passage without damage to your vehicle. At these obstacles participants will have the option of once again making use of the well planned by-passes, giving you the opportunity to capture that very special picture on camera. When reaching the plateau high in the Kogelberg Mountains, a panoramic view of the Elgin Valley, Worcester Mountains, Caledon and Stanford districts can be seen. The panoramic view from this view point is well worth the visit to the Honingklip 4x4.
BUFFELSPOORT 4X4 - Laignsburg
Route Distance: 30 km & 12 km
Accommodation: Campsite has Grass, trees, barbeque area, electricity, running water and good ablutions.
Cottage 1: Sleeps up to 4 people (1 double bed, 1 bunk bed). One bathroom with shower, flush toilet and basin. A "donkey" provides hot water. Kitchen fully equipped, no oven - two plate stove.
Cottage 2: Sleeps 6 (queen, double bed & bunk bed). Kitchen fully equipped. No oven - 3 plate stove.
Outside bathroom with shower, toilet & basin. Plunge pool. NO ELECTRICITY - oil lamps and gas.
Description: The Buffelspoort 4x4 trail, 30 km from Ladismith on the Laingsburg road, is guided and can only be driven on weekends as part of a package, which consists of the following: Friday night - camp at start of the trail. Saturday - drive through the gorge (12 km - 8 hrs) and camp at the end. Sunday - drive a mountain trail - Slanggat (12km - 3,5 hrs) with a viewpoint over the gorge. Blouberg 4x4 can be driven unguided.
The Buffelspoort 4x4 trail situated on a cattle and fruit farm. Buffelspoort is a beautiful gorge that cuts through the Klein Swartberg mountains and a declared natural heritage site. It is an area of great botanical value with a variety of scares and endangered species.
GECKO ROCK 4X4 - Touwsriver
Route Distance: 9km, 2-3hrs
Terrain: Gravel, rocks, sandstone ridges and pole bridges, steep ascents and descents, sand.
Accommodation: The De Wet’s Rust Campsite under shady trees and comes with good ablutions and a splash pool.
Description: Voted by DRIVE OUT as a Superior Destination and one of the top ten trails in South Africa, Gecko Rock offers a technical challenge that traverses changing terrain in an untouched environment.
The hand-built Seattle trail offers different technical challenges as it traverses the changing terrain in this pristine environment. Rocky outcrops, sandstone ridges, steep ascents and tight angles are but some of the surprises waiting around each corner and after the next climb. Another tricky trail, known as the “Boyz to Men” route, is located on the southern side of Gecko Rock and offers a more challenging - though less interesting - drive than the Seattle trail.
HELDERBERG 4X4 - Somerset West
Grade: 2 to 4
Route Distance: 12 kms
Terrain: Gravel, mountainous
Description: We have two routes available, the red and the blue routes with stunning views over False bay and the Cape Peninsula The Blue route is the basic route, with the Red route being more difficult and requiring more technicalities. The Red route is closed under wet conditions. The whole route will be closed when it is too wet at the discretion of the owners.