Take part in a Kruger Park 4x4 route. From day trips to week-long treks, travel overland on paths open only for these activities.
There are five 4x4 routes to choose from:
|Route||Duration / Distance||Leaves From||Departs|
|Madlabantu Adventure Trail||42km (26 miles)||Pretoriuskop||Daily|
|Mananga Adventure Trail||48km (30 miles)||Satara||Daily|
|Malopeni Eco-Trail||2 days, 1 night, 71km (44 miles)||Phalaborwa Gate||Daily|
|Lebombo Eco-Trail||5 days, 4 nights, 500km (310 miles)||Crocodile Bridge||Weekly from April to October|
|Shingwedzi Eco-Trail||6 days, 5 nights||Pafuri Picnic Site||Weekly|
All the trails have guides, except for the Madlabantu and Mananga Adventure Trails. The guides drive their own vehicles and will tell you about the different animals, plants and ecosystems as you pass them.
The trails that last more than a day stop overnight at unfenced camp sites that regular visitors can't stay at. Be prepared to take all your own self-catering and camping equipment to use at the camp sites, including:
You also have to take all your rubbish away with you so the park is left clean and beautiful :-).
Most of the Kruger Park 4x4 routes aren't very difficult, but to go on them, you must self-drive your own high clearance four wheel drive.
There's also a limit to the number of vehicles on each 4x4 drive. At most there's only 6 other vehicles in the convoy. The park has these rules in order to minimise damage to the environment.
There are two types of adventures trails, Madlabantu and Mananga. The trails are on gravel tracks and are closed after rain until they are completely dry. This means that you can only book the trail at the earliest the night before you want to go or in the morning of the day you go. You can also only book these trails from the rest camps they start at and there is a limit of 6 vehicles per trail per day.
The price for each adventure trail is R540 (plus R100 refundable deposit). This price is valid until 31 October 2014.
These two adventure trails are completely self-drive. You won't have a guide leading you! If you have a GPS, it's a good idea to take it with you, just in case!
The Malopeni Eco-Trail is a one night trail. It starts at Phalaborwa Gate in the early afternoon. The trail heads towards the area north-east of the gate and up to the Letaba River. In heavy rain, this Kruger Park 4x4 route might be changed or even closed altogether.
The overnight stop is at an unfenced camp site near Black Heron Dam.
The next day you'll return to Phalaborwa Gate. Buffalos, elephants, hippos, impala, kudus and waterbuck are often seen in the area.
There's only place for 5 vehicles on this Kruger Park 4x4 route. Also, children must be 12 or older to go on the trail unless you arrange otherwise with management when you book.
The current Malopeni Eco-Trail fee is R1,100 per vehicle (price expires 31 October 2014).
The Lebombo Eco-Trail goes all the way along the Lebombo Hills on the eastern border of Kruger National Park. It starts off at Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp each Sunday morning and ends at Pafuri Picnic Site the next Thursday. The trail might be completely closed after heavy rain though.
You'll get to stop at three different rest camps along this Kruger Park 4x4 route so you can get rid of your rubbish, refuel, buy food and even have a shower!
The trail is 500km (310 miles) long and only children 12 and older can go on it.
The trail fee is R8,600 per vehicle. This price is valid until 31 October 2014.
The Shingwedzi Eco-Trail leaves every Sunday of the year and goes through the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This park is made up of three parks in three different countries - Kruger National Park in South Africa, Parque Nacional do Limpopo in Mozambique and Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.
The trail starts at Pafuri Picnic Site in Kruger National Park and crosses over to Parque Nacional do Limpopo at the Pafuri border post.
Animals move freely between Kruger National Park and Parque Nacional do Limpopo, but on the whole, game sightings are far more common in Kruger National Park.
Don't forget to pack your passport and check if you need a visa before you go into Mozambique.
At the border post you'll need to pay a fee. You must also have papers showing the ownership of your vehicle. You can't proceed without them! If you have a hire car or lease car, you'll need a letter from the rental or financing company stating that you may take the car into another country.
Once in Parque Nacional do Limpopo, the trail follows the Limpopo River as far as the first overnight stop at Mamba Pan Camp Site. For the next three days you'll travel through the sandveld region in the eastern part of the park or the Shingwedzi River Valley. Then the trail crosses the Shingwedzi and Buala Rivers.
On the final night you'll stay on a Lebombo Mountain plateau. The next day you cross back into Kruger National Park at the Giriyondo border post near Letaba Rest Camp.
The Shingwedzi Eco-Trail starts early in the morning, so you'll need to stay somewhere close by to be on time for the departure. The best place to stay at in Kruger National Park so you won't be late is Punda Maria Rest Camp or the luxury accommodation at the Makuleke private concession.
If you're staying outside Kruger National Park, there are a couple of places to stay at nearby. You should enter the park via Pafuri Gate which is 25km (15 miles) from Pafuri Picnic Site. It takes about 45 minutes to travel the distance. Punda Maria Rest Camp is 64km (40 miles) away and takes 1.5 hours to get to the picnic site from there.
If you're passionate about four wheel driving and adventure activities, a Kruger Park 4x4 route will be an amazing tour!