You know those 4×4 vehicles you see stopped at the robots that are covered in dust? Perhaps they have children’s drawings on the back window, or the ever-popular “wash me” scribbled in capitals. You know the ones. Well, they’ve most probably just been 4x4ing. Scaling some glorious South African terrain in search of thrills and adventure. While the car may just look dirty while waiting for the light to go green, it’s actually covered in remnants of its off-road epic journey.
Now that you know what’s going on when a dust-covered monster truck pulls up next to you, you’re probably interested in learning more about these fantastic quests. You may even want to try it out for yourself. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s look at how you can get on board the off-road train.
Start with your Car
The best vehicle to use when starting 4x4ing is, you guessed it, a 4×4. This may seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised at how many drivers think their Polo Vivo or i20 can handle the rough, off-road terrain that comes with 4x4ing. Take note; you need a 4×4! Even a dirt-compatible light truck like a Range Rover Evoque could work. Your 4×4, bakkie (with diff-lock), or SUV doesn’t need to be massive or the strongest on the market. As long as it can operate normally off-road, you’re good to go.
Once you’re sorted with your off-road vehicle, before hitting the roads you need to make sure you’ve got the essential 4×4 accessories needed in case of emergencies. These include (but aren’t limited to), jumper cables, a tool kit, a puncture repair kit, a fire extinguisher, and a portable compressor.
Get 4×4 Training
While everyone knows you’re the best driver in town (obviously), driving off-road isn’t something that just comes to you naturally. If it does, that’s incredible. Usually, it doesn’t, which is why getting professional 4×4 training from an experienced instructor is the best way to learn the art of 4x4ing. This is something we offer at Klein Tafelberg Adventure Centre, allowing you to feel like a pro 4×4 driver.
There are many organisations and companies that offer 4×4 training, like Halfway Toyota who run a two-day intensive course with certification upon completion. Engaging in professional 4×4 training will equip you to deal with the roughest terrain and navigate the stickiest situations off-road. There’s no shame in perfecting your dirt road skills!
Find a 4×4 Playground
Once you’re trained up, it’s time to hone your 4x4ing skills and practice on some wild terrain. South Africa is a land flowing with various landscapes and terrain with differing difficulty grades for you to experience. If you don’t know where to start, or even where to look, join a 4×4 community forum online and ask away.
If you’re looking for the ultimate 4×4 experience, head over to the West Coast’s most adventurous track at Klein Tafelberg. Situated just 2 hours outside of Cape Town, it’s one of South Africa’s top ten 4×4 trails, with sandy fynbos covering the slopes, and sandstone formations revealing their beauty to ensure you won’t want to leave.