South Africa Outdoor Activities4x4 Trails in the Garden Route
The Garden Route extends from Storms River in the Eastern Cape to Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, but is often considered to be most of the stretch between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
The Garden Route is characterised by verdant forests, rolling mountain ranges, deep jade-green valleys and pristine miles of untouched coastline. This topography, the breathtaking landscape, yearns to be explored. For this reason, the Garden Route is frequented by visitors from all over the world. These ones hike, walk and cycle the countryside all year round.
However, the 4x4 trails are also a fabulous way of experiencing the natural beauty of the South African coastline, without having to skimp on luxury or comfort. There are a number of formal trails throughout the Garden Route, as well as some less formal ones. These include easy-to-drive options that are great or beginners or those who do not often venture out into the bush, as well as more challenging trails that are best suited to the pros.
These trails can be done at a comfortable pace, allowing visitors to savour the sights, sounds and smells of Africa from their vehicles. The landscape is as varied as the fauna and flora to which it is home, and offers some rugged areas as well as even parts that make for easy riding.
Because of how varied the habitat is, those embarking on the various 4x4 trails are set to see some gorgeous sights, including a huge array of fynbos (a beautiful plant family that is endemic to South Africa) and bird species, as well as mammals, insects and other animals.
The Knysna Forest 4x4 Trail is a self-drive or guided course that winds through the ancients forests for which this region is so well known, which can be found in the Garden Route National Park. This park alone has a variety of landscape types; ranging from wetlands and forests to coastal areas and mountains. The yellowwood and stinkwood trees tower over you as you make your way along the winding trails. This is a challenging trail, but not too difficult for beginners to master.
The Duiwelsberg 4x4 Trail is in George and takes approximately 3 hours to complete. It takes visitors along the route between the coast and the Langkloof Mountain Range, and makes for easy navigating. During the afternoon, it is frequently blanketed by mist, so drivers should undertake the journey earlier on in the day.
Just 40 kilometres from George is the Louvain Old Voortrekker Pass 4x4 Trail. This is a guided route that extends for some 30 kilometres, taking between two and three hours to complete. There are some rocky inclines that will get the adrenalin pumping, and part of the trail takes you through state forests, meaning that a permit is required before embarking on it. The ocean views are nothing short of breath-taking and provide idyllic backdrops to your land-based adventure.
There are plenty of other options, including guided and self-guided trails, throughout the Garden Route. These promise the combination of gorgeous vistas, convenient accessibility, and variations in difficulty and technical skill requirements.
Featured 4x4 Trails in Garden Route
Duiwelsberg 4x4 Trail
Just past the Montagu Pass you can navigate the Duiwelsberg 4x4 Trail which has a difficulty grading of 2 or 3 and requires either a 2x4 or 4x4 vehicle to complete. The 30km route will take up to 3 hours to complete and take yous long the original...
More info and gallery: Duiwelsberg 4x4 Trail
Louvain Old Voortrekker Pass
The point-to-point Louvain Old Voortrekker Pass 4x4 Trail is not a guided route and is open throughout the year. However, part of the trail is in a state forestry so you will need to obtain a permit before you head out. This 30km route with a...
More info and gallery: Louvain Old Voortrekker Pass 4x4 Trail