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4x4 routes in the Western Cape

With these amazing 4x4 routes in the Western Cape, you have every reason to kiss that television remote and all couch comforts goodbye.

List of 4x4 routes in the Western Cape:

With an impressive resume of 4x4 trails in South Africa, it is highly recommended that you try one of the Western Cape's creams of the crop if you're hungry for a self-drive 4x4 adventure.

Boegoeberg 4x4 Trail

Co-ordinates: S32°17.23', E18°45.24'
Grade: 3 - 3½.
Distance: 15 - 20 km
Time: 6 hours

Set high in the 'Engelsman-se-berg' on the Lambertshoek Farm lies the scenic Boegoeberg trail. Between the challenging steep inclines and descents that require technical driving skills to maneuver your 4x4 through, up and around large rock formations, take a moment to soak up the gorgeous panoramic views of the ocean and grand Cederberg Mountains. One of the truly natural 4x4 routes in the Western Cape.

The path takes you across a few lightly flowing streams which vary in difficulty depending what time of the year you tackle the route. This is definitely one of those 4x4 routes Western Cape offers to test your driving skills and vehicle traction.

Glen Oak 4x4 Route

Co-ordinates: S34°21.63', E19°27.3'
Grade: 3 - 4
Distance: 8 km
Time: 3 - 7 hours

The Glen Oak 4x4 route in the Western Cape is nestled in a cosy valley at the foothills of the Klein River Mountains. This area's green forests and striking surrounds are to be found a mere hour and a half outside of Cape Town. The 4x4 route runs over a distance of 7 km and will take you anything between 3 to 6 hours to complete, depending on your level of 4x4 experience and the number of vehicles you have in convoy.

The 4x4 route is loads of fun, with colour coded poles set in place to give you peace of mind that you're still on the right track. Wet or dry conditions dictate what kind of difficulty the trail is and what experience level of 4x4 driving is needed. South Africa's dryer summer and autumn months are safest for beginner drivers to tackle the Glen Oak trail. This means that between November and March you won't have to worry about heavy rains making for tricky tracks... unless Mother Nature decides to be otherwise. Regardless of the season, the route provides a great challenge for experienced drivers and beginners can enjoy the alternative routes that are available at every obstacle.

The track starts off slowly with easy natural obstacles of mud, sand, rock, gullies and steep banks. The terrain gradually increases in difficulty and the track becomes more challenging. Tackling rocky terrain and stretches of testing mud patches, you'll eventually reach a viewpoint of the entire farm. This gorgeous and rewarding pinnacle of the track makes Glen Oak trail one of the best 4x4 routes in the Western Cape.

Klein Tafelberg Trail

Above: Steep descents on the Klein Tafelberg 4x4 route in the Western Cape. Photo by Klein Tafelberg 4x4

Co-ordinates: S32°33.4', E18°28.44'
Grade: Moderate to advanced
Distance: 20 km
Time: 5-6 hours

Klein Tafelberg trail can be found about two hours outside of Cape Town between the towns of Redelinghuys and Araura in a place called Sandveld. This 20 km track to magnificent viewpoints is paved with sandy fynbos covered slopes and weathered sandstone formations. Named ‘Sandveld’, it should come as no surprise that most of the route is made up of sand trails with sections of the mountain to venture over, making for a great challenge.  This 4x4 route in the Western Cape will take you about 5 exhilarating hours to complete.

Karoo National Park 4x4 Routes in the Western Cape

Co-ordinates: S32°21.75', E22°22.29'
Grading: 1 - 3
Distance: 20 km & 85 km
Time: 3 hours & 8 - 10 hours

The Nuweveld mountain range is where you’ll find two 4x4 trails within the Karoo National Park.  These two trails give you the opportunity to pick how long you’re in the mood to be out on the dolerite and shale derived soil track. The first route is a short 20 km in length only taking about 3 hours to complete, whereas the second route keeps your pedal-foot busy for between 8 to 10 hours on an 85 km run. The second route can be enjoyed as a hard-hitting full day adventure, or an overnight route, giving you more time to scope out the mix of plants, wildlife, and birds. Travellers have reported back to say they have spotted the Bat Eared Fox and Steenbok along the dirt road, especially in the evening. Black rhino also roams the bush around this 4x4 trail in the Western Cape, so keep your eyes peeled for this big five counterpart.

The Karoo National Park truly is a beautiful stretch of land. This 4x4 route will take you through its natural beauty. Over stream crossings and soil tracks, past dense vegetation and wildlife of kudu and duiker. Also, when driving near the river banks keep a look out for aardvarks who burrow and make their homes nearby.


Outrekpad is a fun 4x4 track in the Western Cape. Photo by Outrekpad

Co-ordinates: 33°40'58.53"S; 18°29'57.36"E
Grading: 2 – 4
Distance: 25 km
Time: 7 - 8 hours

Ranging from medium difficulty to super challenging, Outrekpad is one of the most fun 4x4 routes in the Western Cape. The route’s sandy low dunes form part of the 25 km track. It’s the perfect place for sand track training and should be tackled with all the right recovery equipment in your vehicle. The 4x4 route is known to be a family route with a great space near the beginning of the trail where you can enjoy a braai under a lap with the convenience of an ablution block, jungle gym and family bush pub. Outrekpad also can arrange an instructor for you if you’re keen to learn your way around a 4x4 and its capabilities.

Matroosberg Reserve

Co-ordinates: S 33.33012 E 19.61076
Grading: 2-4
Distance: 7 km & 30 km
Time: 3 hours & 10+ hours

Matroosberg is an easygoing 4x4 trail that should take you about four hours to complete. Set 35 km outside of Ceres on the Erfdeel farm, Matroosberg Reserve is a 1000 hectare piece of land covering stretches of mountainous terrain. The area is powered by Hex River Mountains and the Matroosberg Peak which rockets up to a whopping 2 249 m.

What you can expect from this 4x4 route in the Western Cape is a track of average difficulty. Some super steep inclines with loose gravel prove to be an enjoyable challenge and the treat at the end of the push is that you’ve reached a height of nearly 2 000 m. It gets extremely cold here in winter, and you can expect a light dusting of snow on the track if you’re the first to tackle it. Just drive carefully and enjoy the icy weather!

If you’re keen for more of a challenge, the Matroosberg Reserve has created a separate route for the daredevils out there. This circular route is quite short, taking a mere one and half to devour.

Tackle South African 4x4 trail terrain on these brilliant 4x4 routes in the Western Cape. All you need to do is hire a 4x4 and go.

Dalene Ingham-Brown

Dalene Ingham-Brown Title: Blog Contributor
Affiliation: Drive South Africa Blog

Passionate about travel, social media and making lists, Dalene is on a mission to nurture her love for camping in South Africa.

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