Skip to Content

4x4 Trails in KNP

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
User avatar
YDJanet
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 7:31 am
Location: Washington State, USA

4 x 4 Trails and Wilderness Trails

Unread post by YDJanet » Mon May 23, 2011 7:43 am

My hubby and I are planning a trip to KNP in December 2011. We're considering doing Napi Wilderness Trail and also one or two 4 x 4 trails (the one-day ones).

My question is.... for those of you who have done either or both, is it worth it? In other words:
1. Is the Wilderness Trail significantly better than taking the equivalent number of ranger-led walks and/or drives?
2. Did you feel the 4 x 4 drive was worth the expense, including hiring a 4 x 4 instead of a cheaper car?

We are Americans who love the Kruger and this is our 7th or 8th time but we've never done the trails or 4 x 4 drives.

I'm new here so my apologies if this has been amply covered.

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4237
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: 4 x 4 Trails and Wilderness Trails

Unread post by ndloti » Mon May 23, 2011 8:40 am

1) Yes ! if you like the idea of using your sense of sight , smell and hearing to the fullest (instead of mechanical and tyre sounds) & the intimacy , privacy and the priviledge of being in a fully catered private camp with very little chance of seeing other tourists & vehicles .
2) Debateable , in my opinion , yes , for the privacy factor , only 8 (?) cars are allowed per day ! You are allowed to alight from your car and even have a picnic within 7 metres (20 feet) of your car .
Bear in mind though that the 4 x 4 trails are closed after any significant rainfall to safeguard against tourists getting stranded in mud .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

User avatar
bert
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14297
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands

Re: 4x4 adventure trails

Unread post by bert » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:15 pm

The answer from SANparks
All trails are open :

  
Adventure trails

o Madlabantu,

o Mananga and

o Northern Plains Adventure Trails

· Lebombo Overland Eco Trail – open between beginning of April and end of October (departure every Sunday)


· Malopeni Eco Trail – daily throughout the year


· Olifants River Back Pack Trail - open between beginning of April and end of October (departure every Sunday & Wednesday)


· Mphongolo Back Pack Trail - open between beginning of February and end of November (departure every Sunday & Wednesday)

· All trails close if there are hazardous conditions e.g. heavy rains etc.



Kind regards


Laura Mukwevho

Media Relations

travelshark
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:51 am

Re: 4x4 adventure trails

Unread post by travelshark » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:51 am

Last year I did both the one from Pretoriuskop and from Satara.
Enjoyed them both, but if I had to choose only one, would probably go with Pretoriuskop.
The trails aren't difficult to drive (technically you wouldn't really need a 4x4, but keeps the trails in better condition).
We saw a lot of wildlife (October) and it's so refreshing just to be all by yourself in the bush!
Definitely recommend.
I would say do both if you can, but we did have a wee bit more fun from Pretoriuskop.

Koosbos
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:59 pm

4x4 Routes in Kruger Park

Unread post by Koosbos » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:16 pm

Can anyone give me more info on the difficulty rate of the 4x4 routes in Kruger Park.
Can one do it with a soft 4x4 (no low range)?

User avatar
ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4237
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: 4x4 Routes in Kruger Park

Unread post by ndloti » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:53 pm

A soft off roader is allowed , there are no sections where it is necessary as the trails are closed when it has rained significantly , this in order to prevent vehicles getting stuck and damaging the roads .
You may only access the trails once you have been to the respective camps reception at opening time , once staff have received the "green light" to allow access ...


See this page :

http://www.sanparks.org/tourism/activities/

Best read some of the topics :

Mananga Trail

viewtopic.php?f=133&t=32293

viewtopic.php?f=133&t=24994

However , in the case of the Lebombo route a 4x4 with low range is mandatory .

viewtopic.php?style=2&f=133&t=52011
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

User avatar
SilverSpur
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:10 pm
Location: Secunda

Re: 4x4 Routes in Kruger Park

Unread post by SilverSpur » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:23 am

Madlabantu is currently closed, it is the one close to Pretoriuskop.
You will be OK in the dry season with a soft 4x4.
Expect scratches as it gets narrow here and there.
There are some water issues on the 1st section with low clearance vehicles.

Sometimes you need to clear the path by hand. i.e. remove branches etc left by elephants, the 2nd section gets tricky for low clearance vehicles.

All in all a great experience.

User avatar
Bush Baptist
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 6831
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain

Re: 4x4 Routes in Kruger Park

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:18 pm

Welcome to the forum Koosbos.

4x4 routes in all the National Parks with wild life are not very challenging. They are designed to give the visitor an experience that you cannot get on the normal tourist roads.

I have just done the Nossob 3 day eco trail in Kgalagadi, and apart from a rerun or 2 at a dune it was not taxing.

If you are wanting a challenge, it is better to go elsewhere.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

In a world of grey, be RED

User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 43919
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: The Beautiful Cape

Re: Adventure/Eco/4x4 routes in KNP

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:39 pm

There used to be 4 Eco routes one could do.
The one in the North is still open - the Northern Plains trail.
That one books at Punda (and maybe Shingwedzi, I am not sure).
Read here about the Northern Plains trail.

Instead, in the area one can do two short 'low maintenance' routes.

The Mananga and the Madlabantu are also still open.
Well, open if the routes are dry enough to do.
Sawubona
Dalene


*** Cricket@Skukuza2017! ***

blomflower
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 10:38 am

Re: quieter roads near Biyamati and Talamati accessible with

Unread post by blomflower » Tue May 22, 2012 7:40 am

DinkyBird wrote:Hi blomflower, you do not need a lot of experience.
The one near Satara is not that challenging 4x4 driving wise, it is more a case of using a 4x4 to protect the ecology.
But you do have to take a 4x4 on the Mananga Trail (Satara). read more about it here

You can only book on the day you do the trail as the rangers need to be satisfied it is not waterlogged for eg, and risk you getting stuck.
If you decide to do it, take a whole day to spend on the trail, it is well worth it.


Wow sounds just perfect - thanks so much for that link - will definitely try to do it just hope that we are allowed to with our 4 x2 rather than full 4x4 - even if we can just do part of the trail it sounds like it would be amazing....

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4785
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Re: Kruger and 4x4

Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:49 am

Hi Wildkyker,

we did the Mananga trail near Satara a few weeks ago.
Thoroughly enjoyed it. :D

I understand that the Madlabantu trail at Pretoriuskop is also still in operation.
675
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
leervis
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 723
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:28 am
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Kruger and 4x4

Unread post by leervis » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:21 pm

As far as I know the trail up North is still operating and needs to be booked from Shingwedzi. Also, as far as I know, the trails can only be booked one day in advance because of the potential effect of bad weather.
13 - 16 January '17 Punda Maria
17 - 19 January '17 Balule

18 - 23 May '17 Balule

1 - 2 Oct '17 Satara
3 - 5 Oct '17 Pretoriuskop

User avatar
Elsa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13033
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa

Re: Kruger and 4x4

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:26 pm

More Topics in the Index Here

Lesley Nyawo wrote:Dear Valued Stakeholder
Madlabantu Adventure trail is situated at one of the Rhino Poaching hotspots. The trail is likely to remain closed until such a time, the situation goes back to normal as it could be dangerous for tourists.
Regards


The trails can only be booked on the morning in case they are closed due to bad weather.

Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park
Kruger - 16th Feb to 8th March 2017

User avatar
Elsa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13033
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa

Re: Kruger and 4x4

Unread post by Elsa » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:17 am

Wildkyker wrote:If only the Satara trail is open and restricted to 6 vehicles per day how will it be possible for me to get a chance?
Because you can only book it on the morning you want to do the trail, be at the reception as soon as it opens.
Kruger - 16th Feb to 8th March 2017

User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 43919
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: The Beautiful Cape

Re: Kruger and 4x4

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:05 am

Wildkyker wrote:Hi Dinkybird

Would you be so kind as to confirm with Sanparks? I really want to do the trails. Why would there be only one of four open?
I do understand the safety issue at Pretoriuskop but even then, why should we stand back for poachers that is constantly stealing from nature.

If only the Satara trail is open and restricted to 6 vehicles per day how will it be possible for me to get a chance?

I would love to do the Northern trail.

We have asked SANParks PR to confirm which trails are open.

We have done the Satara trail a number of times, and never had a problem getting a 'place'. Reception opens at 7am, so be first in line. Aldo enquire the day/s before if the trail is open (if you are in camp/passing), so you have a good idea beforehand. It is only closed after heavy rain.

One of the reasons some of the others have been closed is lack of respect by those who used them ... sadly folk did not stay on the tracks etc. The Nonokani was spectacular, but it has been replaced by a number of 'low maintenance' roads you can do close to Phalaborwa gate. You can drive right up to the opposite side of the Shimuwini weir. They are marked on the latest maps. You may not leave your vehicle though.

If a trail is closed due to poaching activity - the one at Satara was also closed for a while - it is for your safety; and I know it is terribly disappointing, but we must try and view it as a small sacrifice on our part to allow the security guys to work in areas without the added stress of watching our for tourists.
Sawubona
Dalene


*** Cricket@Skukuza2017! ***


Return to “KNP Activities & Sightings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Lotta Norin at 13:39:32
orpen
Submitted by Wildspirit at 06:17:18
satara
Submitted by rodandginge at 16:39:49
nossob
Submitted by MufasaLen at 13:14:52