Voorhoede 4x4 Trail

Trail Summary

Distance

17.6km

Time

ħ3:45hrs

Deep water

Yes

Escape routes

Yes

Route Type

Circular

Terrain

The terrain covered includes mud holes, tracks and some slightly technical climbs up rock strewn slopes.

Vehicle Requirements

4WD required

Yes

Low range

Yes

Diff-lock

Yes

Snorkel

No

Overall Summary

In order to negotiate the trail successfully, the correct vehicle is required. The trail has some technical details that do require care and planning. The route does run through some nice scenery at the higher elevations, but give the meadows a miss unless you wish to do many river crossings.

A technical challenge for the intermediate driver/vehicle, providing some nice scenery.

Cost

R150/vehicle

Views

4

Driving difficulty

3

Overall

4

Braai Facilities

No

Overnight facilities

Campsite

Map provided

Yes

 

 


Trail Summary

The Voorhoede 4x4 trail is situated 5km outside of Caledon on the N2 towards Riviersonderend. The trail offers a variety of different driving conditions that need to be negotiated. There are more difficult sections to the trail, but in general the trail is fairly easy to drive. The trail starts off next to a dam and then after going through a woody marshy area winds up into the mountains. The first section of the trail although in mud is fairly easy to drive as the footing under the mud is sand rather than a slick mud. In rainy weather it may be a lot more difficult to drive, but when we were there, the water was never much above axle level. A 4wd vehicle is required for these areas, and to ensure that no problems were encountered, we did engage diff lock when driving through the muddy sections. Tires were also deflated by 10%. (Drive slowly into Caledon to re-pump the tires after the trail.)

In the woody area around the mud hole, there is a camping area under some pine trees. Rudimentary (long-drop) facilities are all that is provided and there is no running water or other facilities.

After the wooded area, the trail climbs up into the mountains to the eventual summit. The going underfoot is solid and fairly smooth over most of the trail, allowing us to trundle along in 2nd LR for most of the trail. There are some more challenging climbs up the eventual summit and these were driven in 1st LR with diff lock engaged. However these sections are only a couple of hundred meters at most.

The picnic site is located at the top of the mountain below a radio mast. On our trip, the wind was blowing and it was chilly despite the sky being cloudless and the weather in the valley being warm. This did make it unpleasant being out of the car and we ate our sandwiches in the car to avoid the strong wind.

After completing our picnic lunch, the descent off the mountain proved to be fairly easy, although there were one or two sections that did need to be descended in 1st LR to ensure safety.

At the start of the trail, we were told that the waterfall indicated on the map was beautiful and should be visited. However, we did not get an opportunity to visit the waterfall, but if we do another trip to the area would seek it out.

After the descent the trail continues along the side of the mountain through some meadows. There are several short river crossings to be completed with some boggy ground along the way. We felt this area to be slightly boring and would avoid it in the future, unless you really enjoy driving through water. We did however see an eagle (Tawny?) sitting on a fence post on this area of the trail.

Overall, the trail was pleasant to drive without being too difficult. We both said afterwards that we would like to do the trail again some time in the future.


Images


On the climb up to the plateau. The road surface and condition is very good. There are also a lot of flowers to be photographed on the way up.

Looking out over the low-lying areas to the south from higher up on the climb. The trail can be seen snaking down the hills.

The bakkie parked at the highest point. Tracy looking out towards the north.


Getting There


Take the N2 from Cape Town to Caledon. About 5km outside of Caledon on the N2 towards Riviersonderend the farm is on the right hand side of the road. Look for the Voorhoede sign with the trout on it. For those travelling from Cape Town it is worth phoning ahead to ensure that the mountain is not shrouded in mist.

İGavin Blakeman
Images İGavin Blakeman