Fancy off-road driving on demanding 4x4 trails? Then take yourself off to Mpumalanga and test those driving skills. The Riverwild routes are challenging, but not dangerous, and you’ll be under the watchful eye of experienced local guides. All you need is a reliable vehicle, good nerves and a steady foot.

Did you know?

The beautiful, indigenous Sudwala Rainforest is a natural heritage site.

You’ll find Riverwild 4x4 Trails situated just 42km from Mbombela (Nelspruit), the capital of Mpumalanga, near the Sudwala Caves – the oldest caves in the world.

Riverwild's off-road trails are definitely not for beginners but if you know how to drive a 4x4, have a sense of adventure and are not afraid of getting you or your vehicle dirty, then it’s off to the Weltevreden Valley adjacent to the fast-flowing Houtbosloop River.

The trails are graded from 2 to 4, and although they are not dangerous, they will test both your driving skills and the capabilities of your vehicle.

Start your drive with the Monkey See, Monkey Do Trail, where most of what you see is the back end of the vehicle in front of you. Just breathe deeply, maintain a firm hand and foot and put your trust in that driver in front of you.

Be sure to listen to your guide and avoid shredding your tyres on the Rock Spider Trail, which is littered with jagged rocks. It’s extremely challenging but mercifully short.

If you enjoy navigating hairpin bends, then try the Bush Tunnel Trail. Canopied by forest, this trail puts you and your vehicle through exciting twists and turns where one minute you’ll be tilted skywards, the next towards the ground.

Still pumping lots of adrenalin? Then go for the appropriately named Leopard Leap Trail where you’ll be faced with extremely steep ascents and difficult descents.

Feeling a bit shattered now? Then calm down and opt for the smoother and less demanding River’s Edge Trail that follows the river. The guides suggest you choose this trail at the end of the day to soothe those taut nerves and unwind.

If you feel you can’t cope at any stage, there are escape routes and detours from all the trails, and if you would like to hone your 4x4 skills, or if you’re feeling a bit rusty, then Riverwild has all sorts of training packages available.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Riverwild 4x4 Trails
Tel: +27(0)81 438 5511

How to get here

Take the N4 north from Johannesburg or Pretoria. Left at R539 at the Sudwala Caves/Sabie sign. Travel on past caves for 7km on Weltevreden dirt road.

Best time to visit

Any time of year is good, but spring and autumn are best.

Around the area

Abseiling, river rafting, mountain biking, hiking, birding. A visit to the Sudwala Caves is a must.

Tours to do

Tours of the Sudwala Caves leave on the hour.

What will it cost

Approximately R300 per trail.

Length of stay

Depends on how much driving you want to do, but great overnight accommodation is available, so plan to stay at least one night.

Where to stay

Choose from permanent luxury tents on site, or any number of B&Bs and lodges in the area.

What to eat

Delicious home-cooked meals are available.

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