Off-Roading Around Pretoria

If tar roads are boring you, and off-roading across city parks on a Friday night keeps getting you arrested, why not try one of many local 4x4 trails geared up for the purpose?

Pretorians are spoilt for choice when it comes to off-road trails. Quite apart from Jannie-se-hoeve tracks that dot the city’s surrounds, there are many dedicated 4×4 trails and operators around Pretoria, where drivers can practise and polish their off-road skills.

Pretoria 4×4 Mojo

The Hennops Off-road Trail was one of the first privately owned 4×4 trails in the country, established in 1993. Now a well-seasoned hangout for 4×4 nuts of all shapes, sizes and ages, this facility won’t disappoint. If you’d like to discover what your 4×4 is really capable of, these guys will put both man and machine through their paces. Claiming to offer “a variety of obstacles from easy access to rugged, rocky terrain in a picturesque environment,” they’re not kidding.

On both the Klipdrift and Zonkie trails, you’ll have the peace and tranquility of a farm setting on the Hennops’ banks floating through your vision, while sharp spurts of adrenalin hit your veins! Catering for seasoned off-road junkies and complete newbies alike, a day here is one you won’t forget in a hurry.

Around a half hour’s drive from the city center, 4×4 Kungwini is another full-house 4×4 option for day visits or weekend stays. With a pukka nature experience, Kungwini will methodically wow you along their eco-route, typically while the rest of the family braai in the forest. Many 4×4 instructors host their training in the Kungwini lapa, and it’s hard to imagine a more 4×4-geared facility in Gauteng.

The happiest couples are made up of one 4×4 nut and one bush freak and the site is really a lovely bush venue. You’ll find many first-time 4×4 owners getting instruction from the dealership, the occasional lecturer tutoring away about something on the premises, and a well-versed team of fundis to help you enjoy learning or refining 4×4 techniques.

If you’re feeling wild and happy to go where the road takes you for a few days, buzz SA Adventures to see what they’ve got cooking. Facilitators and organisers for all things 4×4 across all provinces, this outfit is a library, facilitator and tour guide all in one!

Geared more for trips that last a few days, they’re also up on anything 4×4 happening in and around Pretoria. Great folk to buzz when the wanderlust hits, they can also point you to localised training and trailing at various Pretoria premises.

Truly an outdoor venue, and perhaps something almost exotic for those gatvol of local tracks, Lekoa Lodge will make you drive, but it’s worth it. Situated on the Vaal, this venue is becoming a “relief valve” for those tired Pretorians who have done all the local trails.

With 34km of off-road tracks, geared for walks, 4×4-ing, quads and mountain bikes, this is an outdoor venue that’s full of charm for Jacaranda jollers. Well worth a visit, it’s best to make a weekend of it.

And finally, Protea 4×4 might be a tad beyond Pretoria, as they are in Krugersdorp, but it’s blitsvinnig down the R26, and they’re worth checking out. Organisers and facilitators of all things 4×4, this is another great outfit to get intel on venues around Pretoria, as well as excursions well beyond Jacaranda City.

Experts in taking the hassle out of 4×4 days or extended safaris, they focus on rugged self-driven outings all over South Africa. Feeling bobaas about your off-road skills? Ever wondered what Sani Pass (or Botswana) looks like when you’re perpendicular to the earth? These are the people to talk to.

Rent Your 4×4 Jol!

And for those who are suffering serious FOMO but don’t own a 4×4 vehicle, South Africa is fully geared to enable those dreams nowadays. Pretoria being no exception, numerous companies enable locals from many South African cities to hire and hit the road in a 4×4 for the weekend, or longer.

Two of the best outfits to try if you’re keen to discover what all the fuss is about, South Africa 4×4 let’s you hire a Land Cruiser or Hilux to get dirty in, while Afritax in Swavelpoort will do pretty much the same for your wanderlust. Both outfits have been around and know the venues, trails, and ins and outs of off-roading, safari packing requirements, how to cushion your 6-pack so that bottles don’t break when you roll down the koppie – you name it!