The Great Limpopo 4x4 trail

2012-09-14 07:46
A 4x4 wants to be driven not only off the road, but off the beaten track. While Kruger National Park offers world renowned game viewing, the true wilderness lies just across the border.

The Limpopo National Park protects 1.1 million hectares of scenic bush that are seldom travelled. While game numbers are slowly recovering from years of war the diverse landscape is as wild as ever. The Shingwedzi 4x4 Eco-Trail takes bush lovers through rivers, flood plains and thick shrub. Far away from tarred roads, petrol stations and fenced campsites this 6-day trail is the real deal for outdoor enthusiasts.

You will feel a bit of a pioneering spirit as you leave the Pafuri Picnic site in the Kruger National Park. The Limpopo National Park and Kruger have been joined in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, but the difference between the two is quite obvious. While Kruger has tarred roads, fenced camps, petrol stations and many amenities the Mozambican side of the Peace Park is still rough. Apart from the Machampane Wilderness Camp there isn’t much in the way of accommodation; supplies and petrol need to be bought outside the park; the road structures are very basic and only used by intrepid travellers. In this case travelling off the beaten track means that you will venture into to a landscape, which is untouched and ever-changing.

The Shingwedzi Trail takes you through fever tree forests, sandveld and mopane woodlands, past tall baobabs and across rivers. Local villages are scattered along the way making for interesting cultural interactions. At night you will lay your head in your tent with nothing but the sounds of the African bush to sing you to sleep. Ablution facilities are only offered at two of the overnight camps and you will have to prepare your own food on the fire.

The game viewing in the Limpopo National Park is still a bit touch and go. Years of war have diminished game numbers and left the remaining animals very shy of humans and their vehicles. But things are looking up. The fence to Kruger is slowly being taken down allowing the abundant game of Kruger to migrate across national borders. Elephant and other animals have also been translocated to the Mozambican side and with anti-poaching units in place the game numbers are steadily increasing. Trail participants should keep an eye out for African wild dog, cheetah and black rhino along with abundant birdlife at the waterholes and river crossings.

Shingwedzi 4x4 Trail Info
•    The Shingwedzi 4x4 Eco-Trail is a 5-nights and 6-day guided self-drive trail in the Limpopo National Park.
•    The terrain is suitable for off-road 4x4 vehicles, off-road trailers and off-road caravans. Vehicles must have low range and sufficient ground clearance. “Soft Roaders” and vehicles with low profile tires are not suitable for the trail.
•    Participants must be self-sufficient for the duration of the trail and provide their own fuel, food, water, firewood and camping equipment.
•    Everything that is taken into the park has to be taken out again.
•    The trail starts at the Pafuri Picnic Site in the Kruger National Park and ends at the Letaba Rest Camp.
•    The trail includes a professional 4x4 guide and two-way radio communication.
•    The Shingwedzi 4x4 Eco-Trail caters to a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 vehicles with no more than 4 people per vehicle.

The Shingwedzi Trail is operated exclusively by Transfrontier Park Destinations. Visit their website for more information.

Read more on:    travel south africa
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