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Over the years Stephen has succeeded in delivering the most all-round off-road driving experience that anybody can dream of.
Imagine having both sand and rocky sections all on the same trail!
The fun starts as soon as you enter the gate, where you have to drop your tyre pressures just to make it to the campsite. The campsite is wonderfully laid out,
with a central boma and pool surrounded by shady sites, so you can kuier the night away and still have some privacy. But don’t kuier too much, because
you’re going to need all your wits about you to deal with (and truly appreciate) the multitude of surprises and challenges the morning will bring.
Leave early in the morning while the sand is still damp, and by the time you’ve turned onto the trail itself, you’re in for some serious sand driving. To add to the challenge, Stephen has added some mischievous turns in thick sand to give you a couple of wake-up calls and remind you to keep up that momentum. But too much momentum and you will find yourself parked up a tree!
Critical to your success here is camaraderie, as your mates will no doubt be helping you out along the way. It will take you the best part of a morning to drive about 5km to your viewpoint. And boy is it worth it! There, you can sit down and savour the moment while reflecting on your newly honed sand driving skills, as well as the thrill of accomplishing the first section of the aptly named Skilpad Trail.
Next you have the option of tackling the Adoons Mountain Trail, which is the complete opposite of what you’ve just experienced. So, re-inflate the tyres to 1,5 bar, take a deep breath, swap the wife and kids for a trust-worthy navigator (you will need one) and take a steep rocky descent into a scenic gorge.
Follow the contour track that will hopefully bring you back up for air. Nice, technical driving – but not for the faint-hearted.
Situated in the Sandveld, between the towns of Redelinghuys and Aurora, Klein Tafelberg is what off-road lifestyle is all about.
101 Trail Guide | Klein Tafelberg 4X4 Trail | 2010
Back on the main trail, allow some time for the adrenaline to subside, deflate the tyres again, let your wife back into the car and head down to Heartbreak Hill. This is where your vehicle can really be put to the test. Very thick sand, an undeserved 90º corner and cunningly hidden cross-axles will make your attempt at this sustained incline the first of several.
While you will definitely feel the thrill of being on the trail on your own, some secret tracks along the route mean that Stephen will never be far away. In fact, while you’re hauling the spade out for the umpteenth time to dig yourself out of yet another sand trap, do us a favour and look up the mountain. There’s Stephen, having a good chuckle and making sure that, at the end of the day, everyone will be safe and sound.
WHY GO THERE?
WHERE TO STAY
There is a lovely bush-style campsite with charming ablution facilities and plenty of shade (and sand!). A lapa and swimming pool make it more attractive.
For those who prefer four solid walls, try their well appointed and air-conditioned chalets.
The attractions of the West Coast are just a short drive away. Visit the towns of Lamberts Bay and Elands Bay and enjoy a meal at one of the outdoor seafood restaurants on the coast.