South Africa is renowned for its natural beauty, extensive plant life and animal life. Obviously, what matters greatly is protecting these from damages, dangers, theft and so on. Further, what also matters is maintaining an environment – on this planet – that will ensure the survival of these, since their survival can mean ours, too. One way to help support such an environment is to support those institutions that maintain an eco-friendly attitude toward their environment.
Wanting to see these extensive plant and animal life can be difficult if you don’t have the right equipment. One such piece of equipment, and probably the biggest is a 4×4, which are made by a number of companies; from Mitsubishi to Isuzu, from Toyota to even BMW. Using this incredible machine allows access to areas you might not be able to reach otherwise, to experience the incredible gifts South Africa has to offer. Yet, in keeping with the spirit of eco-friendliness, we should consider those places that offer more eco-friendly trails for you to use your beast of a machine on.
Wild Coast 4×4 Eco Trail
The name alone says it all. With 450 kilometres of beautiful landscape and the nearest towns being Kei Mouth and Port St Johns, the Wild Coast shows off all its natural gorgeous wonder along this trail. Drivers will experience lush green vegetation, while being secure in the knowledge that they’re not completely off the beaten path.
Many recommend that you travel in a north-easterly direction, starting at Kei Mouth and end at Port St Johns.
Addo Elephant National Park
The number one attraction is also the most important reason to be environmentally conscious and aware. The majestic giants of Africa, the elephant, wander and live peaceably in this national park, renowned the world over for the beasts and their close proximity to humans. Indeed, there are probably over 500 of these beasts at this moment.
Set deep within the bush itself, you would rightfully expect this to be a slightly more challenging experience than others. Furthermore, due to it being so deeply a part of the bush, the restrictions are of course higher, meaning you need to be a qualified, good driver in order to navigate the tricky situations and also maintain respect for the flora and fauna around you.
Leeuwenboschfontein Guest Farm
The name is a mouthful, but don’t let it put you off. Called the “seaside cottage in the Karoo”, this lovely guest farm can be found in the Klein Karoo, amidst spanning vistas, mountains, foliage and near a lovely freshwater lake.
Leisure Wheels Magazine, focusing on the Leeuwenboschfontein’s 4×4 trail noted: “An important, and very pleasing, note is that [owner] Jannie has complied with all the regulations and rules in setting up his establishment, which means that the Department of Environmental Affairs has officially recognised it as an environmentally friendly 4×4 trail.”
Affordable and beautiful to stay in, remaining at the farm means that though you can still experience 4×4 trails, you also are secure knowing you have somewhere close by to return to.
Thus if you wish to experience beauty of South Africa from comfort of your 4×4, do so in places that respect and encourage respect for the environment.