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4x4 Trails in KNP

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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wildtuinman
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4x4 Trails in KNP

Unread post by wildtuinman » Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:19 am

Has anyone done the Lebombo eco trail or daily 4x4 trails in the Park? What were your experiences?

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Lebombo trail

Unread post by Shikra » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:07 am

This trail is extremely popular and one would have to book well in advance - about 11 months.
The season runs from beginning of April to end of October each year which is obviously the cooler and drier time of year.
However, from time to time cancellations do occur and you can get lucky if you try often enough.

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Unread post by ceruleanwildfire » Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:20 pm

Managed to book the Lebombo Trail shortly after it first came out.
Went in March/April of 2003.
The trip in general was very interesting and was definitely an experience of a life time.

Game viewing wasn't that spectacular.
I generally see more on the roads, but the landscape and the scenery that you get to see on the trail is spectacular.

As far as off roading goes, it's definitely not a back breaker and even the smallest of 4x4s should be able to make it through.

My only gripe about the Lebombo trail is concerned is the price.
Even at that stage where it cost R3500, that kind of money where you have to pitch your own camp, provide your own food and occasionally pitch in to clean the toilets is a bit much.

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Unread post by wildtuinman » Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:19 am

It begins at Pretoriuskop and is roughtly about 46km's.
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Re: Nonokani 4x4 adventure trail

Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:00 am

peterv wrote:Who has done the Nonokani 4x4 adventure trail that departs from Phalaborwa Gate?
I would like to know how rough it is and if it was worth the R460 charged.
Can you confirm that it comes out just before Letaba?Peter V


I have not done the 4x4 trails myself but have heard from others who did do some of it.
A 4x4 is required purely for protecting the environment.
It is not to test your 4x4 and your skills as a 4x4 driver.
I say yes it is worth the R460 because you get to be almost all by yourself in the bush.
You can leave your vehicle at times but not venture more than 7m or so from it.
It must be a great experience and I hope that I will be able to do one myself soon.
I am not sure that it ends close to Letaba but I would think so.
Last edited by Elsa on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Nonokani Trail permanently closed.
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Unread post by wildtuinman » Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:47 am

craigsa wrote:I have done the Satara "4X4" trail, don't need a 4X4 to do it.
It was an interesting drive, nice to be alone out there.
Did not see many animals.
Satara's trail was very well marked, so i take it they are all well marked, so no i don't think you need a GPS..


You're right in saying that a 4x4 is not necessary.
The only reason why they call it 4x4 trails and enforce you to use a 4x4 is to limit the negative impact on nature.
KNPSM has mentioned this previously elsewhere.
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Unread post by Jumbo » Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:23 am

Freda, we went on the Northern Plains Trail, think a 4x4 will be necessary in the rainy season.
Was worth every cent spent.
Saw lions stalking the Lichtensteins Hartebeest and Roan Antelope in the Roan Camp.
Felt sorry for them, they did all the trouble only to realize there was a fence between them.
Also saw Eland and Crested Guineafowl.
Most amazing of all was being ALONE.

Also had humorous incident.
We were travelling in a car with a Mozambican registration number.
At one point a Parks bakkie came racing up from behind, remember we were on a back road a few kilometres away from the Mozambican border.
We presume they were from the anti-poaching unit - the guys at the back all had weapons.
After they pulled us over the driver asked “So, were do you think you are going to now!

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Unread post by wildtuinman » Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:10 pm

francoisd wrote:When doing the trail must you have a 4x4 with low range and/or diff lock or will the so called soft 4x4 such as Nissan X-trail, BMX X3 etc also be able to handle the trails?

Well if u don't mind the scratches go for it.
The trails aren't there to test the vehicles performance unless you manage to get yourself in trouble.
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Unread post by KNP Spokesman » Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:53 pm

wildtuinman wrote:Just to sort out a misconception here. A 4x4 is a prerequisite as far as I know. You will not be allowed to venture on such a trail without a 4x4.


I like to call this remote communication.
Thanks WTM for "stepping in" here, I appreciate it.

To answer, I suppose 4 x 2 and other vehicles with good ground clearance could possibly tackle many of these trails without any problems.
But, like Jumbo says, common sense should prevail and - in order to prevent unnecessary damage to the environment - we insist that all vehicles should be 4x4.

To answer someone else, although a GPS is recommended, it isn't a requirement as the trail landmarks (or way points) are pretty well described in the trail document.

The trail document explains it like this:
P5 (point 5) - Windmill - turn right and follow road for 5.6 kms to P6 - dam etc (I think you get the picture!)

Incidentally, when I went on the Northern Plains Trail with a certain journalist from a certain travel publication last year, we took a few wrong turns here and there (imagine the embarrassment!) but she wasn't too nasty in the article she eventually wrote.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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Unread post by KNP Spokesman » Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:21 am

Freda wrote:Thanks for the info, KNPSM, I really want to do the Northern Plains trail.
No GPS but I do have a 4 X 4, they say I'm too old to do a walking trail but I can still drive :wink: :lol:

Hi Freda
Northern Plains is, in my opinion, very interesting as you go through grassland, a semi wetland and a dam. As Jumbo indicates, you also pass the Roan Camp with a possibility of seeing these interesting animals.
The other interesting thing about this Adventure Trail is that it is probably the one that has the fewest vehicles travelling on it - probably because of its remoteness.
My advice is as follows:
Take all your guide books (especially your bird book), liquids, a picnic lunch and your binos/cameras and head out to the trail as early as possible.
Stop off at Babalala Picnic Spot for final "preparations" at the ablutions and head to the entrance of the trail (roughly half way between Babalala and the Punda Maria T-junction).
Drive slowly and enjoy the trail.
When you see the fence on your left side, try and be as quiet as possible and look out for the Roan.
At the Roan Camp, the resident Tsessebe herd often hang around so we often see both these rare species on the trail.
They seem to be quite inquisitive - especially towards white bakkies as the local section ranger Karien Loubser has a white Toyota Hilux and they often come quite close to her (she reckons its because they love her - she is probably right!).

Enjoy it!

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

Jumbo

Unread post by Jumbo » Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:47 am

wildtuinman wrote:Plus you can alight from your vehicle for up to 8m and only 8 vehicles are aloowed on the trail daily. Great stuff. Might do one next weekend!


We did not alight from our vehicle except when my SO had to push us out of the mud on the Satara trail. :wink:
Don't know why?
Think the rules of the Park are so embedded into our conscious that we did not even consider it.
Though have to admit, I did protrude through the sunroof to get video and photos of a big herd of eland.

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Re: Can you get out on 4x4 trails?

Unread post by Freda » Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:28 pm

Familyfun wrote:Can you get out of your vehicle on the private 4x4 trails?

Yes, you can get out, just be bushwise, look for a nice open space, use your eyes and ears and keep the car doors open in case you have to get back in quickly. Don't go too far away from your vehicle.
Enjoy it :)

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Unread post by christo » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:57 am

Eight metres is a guideline, but I would adhere to that strictly.
In some areas 8 metres are already in a thicket etc., which can be dangerous.

If you are bushwise and know how to read signs, you should be fine.
This gives you the chance closely inspect many of the smaller aspects of nature at work.

It also gives the opportunity to enhance your tracking skills as well as spotting the differences and activities that goes on in and around animal droppings.
To change ones life start immideately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.

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Unread post by Snoobab » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:15 am

The reason you are allowed to get out your car is in fact a safety measure, not a sight seeing reason.
As these roads are not maintained by parks board on a regular basis there is the distinct possibility that something like a branch or whatever may have fallen into the road and as they insist you do not detour from the road you are therefore allowed to get out your car and remove the branch or rock etc.
It is also to inspect the road ahead if you feel uncertain about something, e.g. crossing a rocky dry river bed. Sight seeing should be done from the safety of you car.

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Unread post by wildtuinman » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:28 am

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