ID #1713

Off the Beaten Track 4x4 Trails, Kalahari, Northern Cape.

Much of that which is truly beautiful is well hidden.  The Kalahari offers ideal off-road travelling to the eco-connoisseur.

•    Eureka Trail. North of Van Zylsrust.  Starting from the base camp on the farm Eureka, the trail winds for 6.5-km through thick thornbush and sandy tracks until it reaches the Botswana border.  Thereafter there are two choices: Follow the track in a northeasterly direction along the riverbed of the Molopo River to McCarthy’s Rest and the road some 80-km away. The going is easy with sandy patches at infrequent intervals. Alternatively, you can head off in the opposite direction to Middelputs, 33 km away.   About 17-km from the turnoff the trail becomes a track and the surface becomes rocky.
•    Khuis Trail from Van Zylsrust or Middelputs to the Gemsbok border post 165-km away.   A circular trip of 330-km.  Enter this extremely scenic trail through a gate 1-km from Middelputs. Then return along the same route or take the R31 to Van Zylsrust.  Gemsbok and springbok are prolific on both trails and you should exercise great caution when driving as the visibility is restricted. 

The Eureka and Khuis Trails form part of the Kalahari Raptor Route and birds of prey including kestrel, bateleur, lappet-faced vultures and tawny eagles as well as smaller bird frequent both.  Contact Rudi van Tonder at +27 (53) 781 0305 telephone

•    Gemsbok Eco-Trails.  A two-day, 200-km weekend trail leads into the Molopo River basin along the Botswana Border through Kalahari sand dunes and game camps.  Bring passports and extra fuel for this 750-km, five-day trail.  The adventure starts like the to-day option but after sleeping at the Tshahitsi Game Ranch on the evening of the second day, you can cross the border at Bokspits into Botswana.  From here, you travel on sand roads and sand dunes along the Gemsbok park outer fence until you reach the end of the fence.  On Day Three, you are in lion country, following trails through virgin Kalahari bush. At the end of the day you will rest in the “Middle of Nowhere” Camp.   Day Four takes you through more bush, spotting birds and game until you reach Bartrek Ranch and spend the night in luxury chalets.   On the last day, you head back into South Africa via the Middelputs border post and arrive back in Van Zylsrust in the late afternoon.  Contact Hendre or Wessie on +27 (53) 781 0238
•    Kalahari Tsamma Trail.  Named after the wild desert fruit that was one of the most important sources of water and food for the nomadic San.  420-km circular route through thick sand, dry riverbeds, rocky terrain and large white pans.  The trail starts from Kuruman to a 4x4 campsite where you can test your skills in the red dunes. It then follows the dry Gama-gara riverbed to Dibeng and Heuningvlei where you overnight in chalets below the Heuningvlei Cliffs.  Travel on Day Three via the Moshuweng riverbed to one of the few waterholes in the Kalahari. Following the riverbed to Frylinckspan and the opportunity to climb one of the Kalahari’s highest dunes.  Overnight at Rooibokpan Game Ranch, after which you return to Kuruman via Hotazel.   A 2-day extension of this route will take you to see the roaring dunes in the Wisand Nature Reserve. Nico or Pieter Kriek +27 (53) 712 2646 or +27 (82) 565 9563 cell. BFOffthe

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Last update: 2014-05-10 23:46
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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