Some holiday outings are synonymous with winter ─ cosy cottage stays in the mountains, game-viewing getaways to national parks, and of course taking on 4×4 trails. If lazy days and game viewing are not on the cards for you this winter, TravelGround’s got just the thing to warm you up ─ 4×4 trails to test your skills and get the adrenaline pumping through your veins! Pair them with fantastic stays in the vicinity and you’ll have no excuse to sit around at home this winter.

Blombosch Lodge Yzerfontein

On the outskirts of the beautiful Yzerfontein, you’ll find the Blombosch 4×4 Nature Trail on the West Coast. The area boasts fynbos, gorgeous sea views, dune vegetation, limestone ridges and natural salt pans. The route is a great option if you’re a beginner to the world of 4×4. Forget about difficult rocky roads ─ Blombosch’s sandy roads become firmer in the rainy season, making it much easier to take on, but in the summer months you’ll enjoy a different type of driving challenge with deep sand in some spots. Stop for a picnic or braai in the veld at Aapgat campsite and stretch your legs before you take on the next half.

Blombosch also offers rustic lodging on the farm. With several cottages and a main house, it’s the perfect stay for your 4×4 group. Light the fire and spend some quality time together after a day on the road.

Distance: 13,5 kilometers
Driving time: 2 hours
Difficulty grading: 1 to 2
Vehicle requirements: 4×4
Cellphone reception: Yes
Braai area: Yes
Family friendly: Yes, and pet friendly!

Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve

Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is renowned for its scenic beauty and dramatic rock formations that are typical of the Cederberg. With a rich and fascinating cultural heritage, it offers spectacular scenery, ancient rock art sites, amazing indigenous fauna and flora and phenomenal night skies. There are several routes of varying distances and depending on the route, you could be entertained for up to 7 hours. The terrain differs from route to route, but you can expect some sandy trails, easy rocky trails and difficult rocky trails. Trail tip: Always carry a basic first aid kit in your vehicle.

Accommodations options at Kagga Kamma include their unique cave suites that are beautifully integrated with the sandstone rock formations, as well as their spacious, thatched hut suites that resemble the traditional huts of the tribes that lived in the area many years ago. There is a restaurant on the premises, but the boma under the night sky is definitely the highlight!

Distance: Various
Driving time: 1 to 7 hours
Difficulty grading: 1 to 5
Vehicle requirements: 4×4 vehicles with high clearance, low range and diff lock needed for trails with a grading of 4 to 5.
Cellphone reception: No, so don’t travel alone on trails with a grading of 4 to 5.
Braai area: Yes
Family friendly: Yes

Rondegat Cottages

Rondegat is located on a citrus farm next to the Clanwilliam Dam, just 14 kilometers from the historic town of Clanwilliam. We recommend a visit in the spring when you will be greeted with the sight of thousands of beautiful wild flowers bursting to life. The 15 kilometer long circular trail winds through fynbos and boasts beautiful views of the mountain and valley. The trail consists of sand, rock and stones, and some experience is needed for two difficult obstacles. As there is cellphone reception on the route, it can be done with only one vehicle. To avoid disappointment, please phone ahead to make a booking.

Accommodation is offered in well-equipped self-catering cottages with stunning views over the dam as well as a 3-bedroom house. The dam is popular for watersports and fishing, and guests are more than welcome to bring their own mountain bike or boat, or simply relax next to the pool and dam while enjoying the tranquility of this family resort.

Distance: 15 kilometers
Driving time: 2-3 hours
Difficulty grading: 3
Vehicle requirements: 4×4 with high ground clearance
Cellphone reception: Yes
Braai area: No
Family friendly: Yes

Gemsbok 4×4 en Kampterrein

Situated about 70 kilometers north of Laingsburg and south of Sutherland, Gemsbokfontein is ideal for a group of nature-loving friends or family. While you’re not tackling the 4×4 trail, you can experience the unique nature of the Moordenaars Karoo by walking in the veld or climbing a mountain. There are several one-way routes to explore and it would take you about 2 days to finish them all. You can expect rugged terrain with rocks, boulders and sand ─ a 4×4 with a high ground clearance is non-negotiable!

As the camp can only be reached with a 4×4 vehicle, it is very isolated and tranquil. The campsite has space for 10 vehicles and campers are expected to bring their own equipment. There are 2 showers, 2 flush toilets and braai areas. The campsite is surrounded by mountains and located in a deep gorge between the Roggeveld Mountains, so it is recommended that campers wear shoes at all times when moving out of the camp area.

Distance: 45 kilometers in total
Driving time: 2 days to complete them all
Difficulty grading: 1 to 4
Vehicle requirements: 4×4 with high ground clearance
Cellphone reception: Yes, on top of the mountain.
Braai area: Yes, but only at the overnight camp.
Family friendly: Yes

The Dunes 4×4

The Dunes 4X4 is located in Lambert’s Bay, a small fisherman’s village on the West Coast boasting white beaches, wildlife and lobsters. These dunes aren’t beach dunes and therefore not affected by the beach ban against driving on sand dunes. The route is about 26 kilometers long and takes you through 250 hectares of sand. A specific route is chosen according to the season and depending on the direction of the wind. Visitors often refer to it as a giant sand pit, so you can expect a mini-Namib experience only two and a half hours from Cape Town. Trail tip: Remember a shovel and some strong rope to get you out of a sandy situation!

Altyd Tuis offers self-catering units just across the road from The Dunes. It boasts a peaceful farm atmosphere and breathtaking views of the natural surroundings. The accommodation consists of 9 fully-furnished units of different sizes, each with its own outdoor braai overlooking the lovely swimming pool and the natural surroundings ─ the perfect spot to unwind after a long day in the dunes.

Distance: 26 kilometers
Driving time: 3 to 9 hours
Difficulty grading: 3 to 5
Vehicle requirements: 4×4, high ground clearance
Cellphone reception: Yes, depending on location.
Braai area: Yes, by prior arrangement and for groups only.
Family friendly: Yes

Leopard Trail Guestfarm

Leopard Trail Guestfarm is situated on a beautiful working farm, near the town of Swellendam. The farm offers several trails to choose from. The longest one of 20 kilometers takes you into the Marloth Nature Reserve ─ the first 4 kilometers into the mountain is quite steep and peppered with slippery cross axles, clay sloots, and a bit of rock, but the beautiful scenery makes it absolutely worth it! The shorter trails explore farm roads around the dam and all the way up to the Vodacom tower. These trails are not as steep and difficult and are ideal for a 4×4 newbie. And if you forgot yours at home, don’t fret, the owners always have an emergency first aid kit at home!

Accommodation is offered in the main house, barn-style cottage or the campsite. The main house and cottage are both well equipped to cater to guests’ self-catering needs and have their own braai facilities. The campsite boasts a lapa, boma, communal showers and flush toilets near the campsites.

Distance: 4 to 10 kilometres
Driving time: Differs
Difficulty grading: 3 to 4
Vehicle requirements: 4×4, 2×4, high ground clearance
Cellphone reception: Yes
Braai area: Yes, the bushcamp.
Family friendly: Yes

Jagerskraal Guest Farm

Jagerskraal Guest Farm is located in Laingsburg and it’s perfect for guests looking to spend some time away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The area is particularly loved by geologists, due to its ancient geographical history and interesting rock formations. The terrain consists mostly of gravel roads with some areas that are quite rocky. The three circular routes are well signposted and suitable for family outings. However, it’s strongly recommended that persons with back problems don’t travel on the back of the vehicle. Do make some time to take on route 2 ─ there is a beautiful picnic area that is not to be missed! Trail tip: Take a fit person along so that he/she can run back to camp to get some help, seeing as there is no reception on the routes. Guests can take on the routes with their own vehicles, or they can book a trip with the camp Cruiser at an additional cost.

Accommodation at Jagerskraal Guest Farm comprises 9 freestanding cabins, 4 of which share a communal kitchen and bathroom. For those who prefer a more rustic approach, there are also 4 informal wooden cabins. Do keep an eye out for the wildebeest, springbuck, zebra, and more!

Distance: 5 to 10 kilometers
Driving time: Depends on driver’s experience and vehicle
Difficulty grading: 3
Vehicle requirements: 4×4, but experiences drivers can tackle it with a 4×2
Cellphone reception: No
Braai area: No, but a nice picnic area on route 2
Family friendly: Yes

Rietrylaagte Accommodation and 4×4

Rietrylaagte is located off the N7 near the small farm community of Trawal, making it the ideal stopover while travelling between Cape Town and Namibia, or for those coming to view the wildflowers during spring. There are two one-way routes of which the terrain conditions include sand, rock and mud. Trail tip: Have a fire extinguisher at hand at all times.

There is only one unit on the farm, sleeping 4 adults and 2 children. Come experience the farm life with the conveniences of your own home. Guests can also spot wildlife on the farm and look forward to activities such as seeing the wildflowers bloom, hiking, mountain biking and photographic opportunities.

Distance: 15 kilometers
Driving time: 4 to 6 hours
Difficulty grading: 3 to 5
Vehicle requirements: preferably 4×4 high ground clearance
Cellphone reception: Yes, but limited.
Braai area: Yes, but please enquire.
Family friendly: Yes

So there you have it ─ with these challenging 4×4 trails all over the Western Cape, you’ll surely have something to warm you up this winter! Remember your first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, water and some snacks for the road, and get your family ready for a fun-filled day out on the trails!

Please note that, unless specified otherwise, all routes mentioned in this blog are driven at own risk and that the owners/managers can’t be held responsible for any damage and/or loss incurred on the routes.

Feature image: Gemsbok 4X4 en Kampterrein