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Madlabantu 4 x 4 Adventure Trail

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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wildtuinman
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Mar 30, 2005 7:48 am

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Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Wed Mar 30, 2005 8:35 am

The Matlabantu Adventure Trail was named the man eater trail simply because there are one or two places on the trail that eats up your vehicle and yourself.

The Adventure Trail names were done in consultation with local section rangers and other officials and, as far as I understand, this was purely the person's creativity.
I have been on this particular trail twice and believe that it has been well named.

The comment that these trails have been created from old management roads and firebreaks is correct. Although the trails aren't meant to be "tests" for vehicles or driving ability, we require full 4x4 vehicles as these definitely reduce environmental damage from wheel spinning at difficult places.
The nice thing about this product is the limited access to the trail - only six vehicles per day - and if you do the trail on a quiet day, it is possible that you are the only vehicle to go on it.

At the launch of the Adventure Trails in November 2003 at Pretoriuskop, a group consisting of management and media went on the trail and were lucky enough to see black rhino, sable, elephant and white rhino.
Each of the four trails are totally different and are aimed at showing different Kruger eco-zones.

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Madlabantu 4 x 4 trail

Unread postby Freda » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:18 pm

We decided to do the Madlabantu trail from Pretoriuskop last Saturday, what a fantastic experience 8)
We didn't see another vehicle on the trail the whole day, we felt as though we were the only people in the park.
We booked at reception at 7am in the morning and headed towards the trail, we are new to 4 x 4ing and didn't have a GPS so we were a bit apprehensive but very excited.
What a wonderful day we had, there are two sections to the trail about 50kms in total and we did one of the sections both ways, once the wrong way and later the right way :lol: making 74kms, (must buy a GPS but sometimes it pays to get lost :wink: )
We spent almost 10hrs on the trail.
We saw klipspringer, steenbok, duiker, giraffe, rhino, kudu, impala, zebra, wildebeest, squirrel, hippo, bushbuck, vervet monkeys, elephant, mongoose and a herd of over 100 buffs made us wait for over an hour to pass.
We went around the perimeter of the roan camp but unfortunately didn't see any.
To be able to get out at Mtshawu dam and watch the hippos grazing really gave us an adrenalin rush, we were checking around every few minutes in case a predator was watching us.
This trail is not a test of 4 x 4 skills but a chance to see parts of the park you have never seen before, we even found a railway and saw the longest train I have ever seen :shock:
This really is a great experience and now want to do the other 4 x 4 trails, if anyone else gets the chance, go for it, you won't regret it, it's worth every cent.

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Unread postby Freda » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:54 pm

Sorry I'm so late replying I was busy doing the other three trails :wink:
I have done the Madlabantu twice with a GPS and got lost both times :lol: better not to have one and just follow the directions.
Just watch for the instruction that says: Right turn, go straight.
This really means, at the right turn carry on straight :roll: but if you do turn right and go straight it can be very interesting, we found a railway with a train on it and lots of buffs and we still found our way out :)
Do it and enjoy it, you probably won't see another vehicle all day.
If I remember, I will scan the leaflet and post it on Monday.

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Unread postby Freda » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:31 pm

I have scanned the Madlabantu trail, hope it is large enough to read. They will give you a copy when you book. Just do it and enjoy, you can't get lost, even without a GPS :)
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Also have the other 3 trails if anyone is interested.

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Re: Madlabantu 4 x 4 Adventure Trail

Unread postby Freda » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:27 pm

Go for it, you will love it :D
We have done it twice and will definately do it again.
Try to read this thread.
Pieter Steyn has also done it twice and stayed longer than intended the first time but I can't find his report :roll:

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Re: Madlabantu 4 x 4 Adventure Trail

Unread postby Freda » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:35 pm

We have done it from Berg-en-Dal, it is 64kms to Pretoriuskop taking the Voortrekker Road.
You can only book when Pretoriuskop reception opens because it is weather permitting, ask B-n-D to check with them the night before, sometimes it is closed for repairs.
The trail itself is about 40kms, so it can take you 4,5 or 6 hours depending how slow you take it, gives you plenty time to get back to B-n-D.

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Re: 4x4 Trails in KNP

Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:38 pm

Senyetse wrote:Thanks DB and Ndloti :) . DB, more or less how long did it take you to do the trail?

Took us the whole day ... we left only because we had to get back to camp.
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Madlabantu Adventure 4x4 Trail......anyone done it?

Unread postby African Lynx » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:35 am

I will be in Kruger at the end of September and as it will be school holidays it will be busy.
I was thinking of getting off the beaten track and onto something less travelled.
Has anyone on the forum done the Madlabantu Adventure 4x4 Trail before?
Its located in the Pretoriuskop area.
If they have, how long should I set aside to drive it?
I believe we can get out our vehicle, but only in open spaces (makes a whole lot of sense!!!)
No picnic facilities along the Trail?

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Re: Madlabantu Adventure 4x4 Trail......anyone done it?

Unread postby MATTHYS » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:20 am

Hope you find some one African Lynx :D
Pieter Steyn
did it in December 2008. That is the most recent that I can think of, but I might have missed others.
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Re: Madlabantu Adventure 4x4 Trail......anyone done it?

Unread postby JCM » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:10 pm

Did this trail in July this year.
The trail consist of two parts.
The one going south of the Fayi loop and the other one north of the Napi road ending more or less east of Shabeni koppie.
You can choose which one of the two "parts" you want to do.
I did all the other Adventure trails and this one was the most difficult one for me, time and season depending.
If you are going to do both parts, set aside the whole day.
Just one part-half a day is fine, but then the cost factor.
I did the southern part the morning and the northern the afternoon and gave myself less time for the northern section.
Just made it back in time!
The southern part went through more flat terrain, with rolling hills and a few dry streams you had to pass. The grass was not a problem here.
Found a huge herd of buffs that were very skittish.
The northern section was more challenging as it went through a few river streams, some filled with water also.
The descents were also rocky and very bumpy.
This area runs through more mountainous terrain with more rocky roads.
But hey its a 4x4 trail.
One stream was quite challenging though.
The biggest problem with this trail to me was the grass that were more than a meter high which made game viewing a problem.
Did find Rhino and elephant.
Maybe now it would be OK.
You also pass a big dam.
Pity that you also could not get a nice look-out here.
Both sections game wise not that fulfilling, but 4x4 more challenging to me.
Also the map handout at office had some directional faults too.
Do take your GPS.
At this time of the year I think you would be better of than me.
Hope I could help,and do ENJOY!!
Kruger very different experience. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Madlabantu Adventure 4x4 Trail......anyone done it?

Unread postby micmic » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:19 pm

I also did both sections on August 13th.
A 4x4 is certainly in order, not because of the 4 wheel drive (which was never needed) but because of the higher ground clearance and the more forgiving suspension.
Like JCM, we didn't see much because grass was very high.
All we saw was kudus, impalas and a glimpse of a fleeting sable antelope.
But I did like the "alone in the wilderness" feeling.
If you are OK with spending 5-6 hours with very scarce game viewing, then go for it.

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Madlabantu 4 x 4 Adventure Trail

Unread postby JCM » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:31 pm

Ditto Micmic!!
I also did enjoy the "wild" factor!!
GO FOR IT, you won't regret it either.

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Re: Madlabantu Adventure 4x4 Trail......anyone done it?

Unread postby Senyetse » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:48 am

Just a note to everyone:
A 4 wheel drive is required to minimize damage caused by spinning wheels, even if not needed one should always do offroad trails in 4 wheel drive (H4).
In fact any gravel road driving should be done in high range 4x4 (or true 4x4 in softroaders) - it minimises damage to the road and is a lot safer by improving handling.
Dec '11 - Storms River
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Re: Madlabantu Adventure 4x4 Trail......anyone done it?

Unread postby Scipio » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:57 pm

This is the most demanding of the 4 trails in Kruger. Low range, high clearance is suggested. :whistle:


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