The Lebombo Eco Trail is a 5-day (4 night) outdoor adventure spanning a great part of the Kruger National Park.
The Lebombo Eco Trail is a self-drive 4×4 route that passes through about 525 kilometres of the Kruger Park. The trail takes five days (four nights) to complete, and is led by an experienced South African National Parks Guide.
Called the “wilderness experience on wheels”, the Overland Trail follows the eastern boundary of the Kruger National Park along the Lebombo hills from the extreme South to the extreme North. Experienced, professional guides act as trail leaders and will interpret the various ecozones the trail crosses, at regular intervals.
Although it is not strictly speaking a 4x4 challenge, road conditions vary from reasonably good to a few places with steep inclines and muddy patches where guests are asked to engage in 4 x 4. Without 4 x 4 capabilities, wheels might spin and the road might be damaged. Therefore only 4 x 4 vehicles and only genuine off-road trailers or caravans are allowed.
The trail departs from Crocodile Bridge every Sunday and ends at Pafuri on a Thursday during the dry season from the 1st Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October, after which the rainy season normally commences. Only 5 vehicles plus the guide’s vehicle are allowed on the trail at any one time, with a maximum of 4 people per vehicle. Bookings can be made at central reservations on (012) 426 5111. Please note that the route may be closed completely after heavy rains.
WHEN TO GO
The trail runs in the dry season from 1 April to the last Sunday in October which is roughly when the rainy season starts. The tour starts from Crocodile Bridge at 09:00 every Sunday and ends at Pafuri around 12:00 noon on a Thursday.
The Lebombo Eco-Trail is entirely self-catered and participants are required to travel in their own 4×4 vehicles. According to park rules, all vehicles need to be fitted with a GPS device.
However, vehicles are not required to be hardcore off-roading machines. The route has been designed for those who want to enjoy a scenic self-drive, and not for those who are looking to challenge their vehicles.
This Trail is rated as the best eco-trail in Southern Africa due to the diversity of the fauna and flora encountered en route.
The route covers a distance of over 500km. Clients are required to drive their own vehicles, cater for themselves and to carry their own equipment. Guests also need to bring their own firewood and water. At each of the campsites there is a drum for ash but each vehicle needs to carry there own rubbish until it can be disposed of at one of the camps. A maximum of 4 persons per vehicle is allowed.
Only 5 vehicles are allowed on a trail at one time to ensure that the environment is not unduly affected and to afford groups some exclusivity. A ranger from the park, who leads the convoy in his own vehicle, accompanies each group. Regular stops are made by the ranger to interpret aspects within the environment or to share special experiences. Usually, three camps are visited whilst driving up North to refuel, replenish food supplies and to allow tourists the opportunity to shower!
Thanks go to the Trail sponsors, namely Nissan South Africa and VUSWA, for sponsoring the lead vehicle and to Jurgens CI for sponsoring the lead vehicles roof-top tent.
Five four-wheel drive vehicles will be allowed to participate at a time with up to four participants per vehicle. Each vehicle must be fully equipped with tent, water containers, gas bottles, cooking equipment etc. This is a self-catering activity, usually three camps are visited en route north for fuel, water and showers. The camps usually visited are Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi.
A highly experienced trail leader will accompany trail-goers for the duration of the trail, offering safety and an unparalleled bush interpretation that covers geology, biology, botany as well as historical and cultural information.
Starting and Ending of Trail
The trail starts at Crocodile Bridge every Sunday and ends at Pafuri on Thursday at about 12:00. Please report promptly at Crocodile Bridge at 09:00 on the day of departure. Please check that the vehicles are ready for the trip, ensure that everyone has signed an indemnity form (which can be collected from the reception), vehicles are filled with fuel and trail-goers are present for a short debriefing from the trail leader. Delayed departure’s should be avoided so that more time can be spent enjoying the wilderness.
You start off by driving to the eastern boundary where you will have a magnificent view of the Crocodile and Komati rivers, meeting at the border of South Africa and Mozambique. From there it is up a steep hill and across to Lower Sabie along the eastern boundary. Some of the trail runs along the eastern boundary, but this does not deter from the beautiful scenery of wide, open spaces, bushveld on both sides and many magnificent trees. East of Lower Sabie is the first of four unfenced camping sites, each with its own unique and natural feel. Two Enviro-loos (mobile toilets with no chemical component) are provided at each of these, one for ladies and one for gents. Each site has its own unique bush character as they have been left as undisturbed as possible.
The departure time from the camping sites varies depending on the season but will be no later than 07:00 in the morning. Each day is filled with a variety of experiences - from seeing different animal spoor, animals, plant species and birds to dense bush. It ends with the green, "fairytale" scene at Pafuri picnic spot.
The trail is quite exceptional, starting where two countries meet and ending at the joining of a third (South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique). This "meeting place" takes part in the famous Crook’s Corner area in the north. The trail's duration is four nights and five days.
This is not an obstacle course or a testing ground for four-wheel drive vehicles. The participants on this trail will be true bush lovers and ones who enjoy the wilderness.
– Tent and sleeping bags
– Camping beds
– Camping tables and chairs
– Sufficient firewood or gas for cooking
– Cool box or mini-refrigerator
– At least five litres of drinking water per person per day
– Enough food for three decent meals a day
– Crockery and cutlery
– Torches or gas lamps
– Wash basin and stand
– Well-equipped tool box
– Basic first-aid kit
– Fire extinguisher
– Camera and binoculars
– Chargers for camera and cell-phone
– Gas cooker and cooking equipment
– Plastic garbage bags (which will be disposed of at one of the camps)
Why book with us?Our promise is to offer great products and superior customer service. If you need to cancel, make changes or help planning your vacation you can count on us to be there by your side.