We are off to go and explore the beautiful East Coast and find some of the best 4×4 trails in KZN. KwaZulu-Natal boasts a variety of terrains to go and conquer, whether sandy drives, grassy plains and river crossings. Where you can enjoy the feeling of summer year-round.
We have chosen some trails that features different difficulty levels for your skill set. Have a look at our favourite 4×4 trails in KZN below and see our favourite trails in South Africa and Gauteng too!
If you think we’ve left out any amazing 4×4 spots, leave your comment below so that we can go check them out!
4×4 Trail Ratings
Let’s just start our adventure by understanding what the different trail ratings mean and remember to ensure that you stay within your skill level when deciding on a 4×4 destination:
Grade 1: Easy – Suitable for 4×4 novices or 4x2s with differential lock
Grade 2: Easy to Moderate – Suitable for 4x4s and all-wheel drive vehicles with traction control
Grade 3: Moderate – Only suitable for vehicles with a low range gearing
Grade 4: Difficult – Suitable for experienced drivers; low range and differential lock
Grade 5: Extreme – Suitable for experts, not for solo trips; low range, high ground clearance, traction control or differential locks – Recovery back-up is essential
Finding the Best 4×4 Trails in South Africa
Terrain: River, rock, sand, terrains with some steep gradients
Closest Town: Empangeni
This 2km trail is estimated to take between 2 and 4 hours and will have you rock hopping, river crossing and practising your axle articulation in no time. They insist on a once-off safety and instruction briefing to ensure that all drivers are up to speed on the trail before jumping into your vehicle. So make sure you book ahead.
Test your grit on this trail if you take your off-roading seriously. They cater for corporate functions where you can book a half day or a full day of fun or have a private braai at one of their designated spots!
Check out the Bainage 4×4 trail here.
Imbabala Game Lodge
Terrain: Gravel, river crossings and steep inclines
Closest Town: Weenen
This game lodge proves to be a neat package to be enjoyed by the whole family. Besides offering a 50km game drive-like trail that could last you between 4 and 6 hours, they also offer an enormous variety of other activities that will get everyone having a good time. Make a weekend of it and enjoy the amazing game views or try to focus on some of their more technical obstacles.
This is an awesome track for fauna and flora lovers and will probably have you returning time and again.
Explore Imbabala Game Lodge here.
Stoney Ridge Off Road Academy
Terrain: River, rock, sand, mud
Closest Town: Weenen
If there was one place that you coulddo everything ‘off-roading’ then this would be it. Stoney Ridge is home to 5 different trails ranging through all of the trail ratings. They offer guidance and training in all the various ratings, including recovery training and advanced driving courses. Depending on the trail you choose, you can expect to spend around 2 to 8 hours working your way through their trail/s.
Choose your season well; if you want to drive or train in mud, make sure you check the weather before you go!
Note that booking is essential, go check them out here.
Tugam Game Reserve
Terrain: Rocky with some spectacular mountain scenery
Closest Town: Pongola
Tugam Game Reserve offers 4 different trails that could last roughly 2 hours each to complete. This ecotourism site boasts with a large variety of wildlife, including Rhinos, and is a great venue for some bird watching and spotting indigenous trees.
The game farm offers accommodation, so you have no excuse not to complete all 4 trails over 2 days.
Check out the Tugam Game Reserve here.
If you have some experience on one of these trails, tell us all about it in the comments below or feel free to mention any trails that you feel are noteworthy to go and check out.