BUFFELSFONTEIN

Go! Camp & Drive - - Weekend | Western Cape -

If you’ve ever driven to the West Coast Na­tional Park or taken the N7 north up the West Coast, you’ve driven past Buffelsfontein. But not many peo­ple know there’s a fun 4x4 trail hid­den be­hind its gates, be­cause Buffelsfontein is mostly mar­keted as a na­ture re­serve as well as a con­fer­ence and wed­ding venue. A short dis­tance away from these neat fa­cil­i­ties lies a sand trail that makes for some great 4x4 driv­ing for you and a few mates – and it’s only an hour’s drive from the city. It’s “only” a grade 2 to 3 trail, but at the end of the Western Cape’s bone-dry sum­mer, Buffelsfontein’s sand is as loose as a packet of Tas­tic rice. No tyre pres­sure higher than 0.8 will sur­vive. Part of the fun is hav­ing to keep good mo­men­tum al­most all the time, even on eas­ier stretches of the road. It’s ad­vis­able to rather come to a stop fac­ing slightly down­hill if you don’t want to get stuck. Ru­mour has it some meaty Jeeps with huge tyres have dug them­selves in so deeply that the farm trac­tor had to come to the res­cue. The trail leads you in a sandy cir­cle of around 14 km through West Coast fyn­bos, over dunes and down through thick grass and trees, with nice views over the re­serve’s nat­u­ral beauty. Keep your eyes open for game – Buffelsfontein has kudu, buf­falo, gi­raffe, blue wilde­beest, ze­bra and eland, among other an­i­mals. There are also a cou­ple of rhi­nos on the prop­erty, but you’ll prob­a­bly find them fur­ther down on the plains rather than the thick­ets around the 4x4 trail. About half­way through the trail there’s a play pit where you can storm some hills and get rid of even more adren­a­line, and just over the hill there’s a big bush camp. There are per­ma­nent bush tents set up, as well as flush­ing toi­lets and warm wa­ter. There’s no elec­tric­ity though, like a proper bush camp should be.You’ll prob­a­bly find it hard to be­lieve you’re only an hour from home when your fire crack­les out here deep in the dunes. Be­fore you start the trail, you get a map of the en­tire prop­erty with the 4x4 route in­di­cated (a bit small) on it. There are no sign­posts on the trail though and it’s easy to get lost in the sand. Ask for more di­rec­tions when you sign in or check if some­one from the re­serve can jump in for the first round.The trail only takes an hour to an hour and a half so you can eas­ily drive it a few times over the week­end.

PURE NA­TURE. Buffelsfontein is only about an hour from Cape Town, but you feel far away from ev­ery­thing. There are all sorts of an­i­mals, in­clud­ing rhi­nos, and a bush camp deep in the dunes.

THE LAND OF SAND. Buffelsfontein Na­ture Re­serve’s 4x4 trail is a route through thick sand in the dunes. You can have a lot of fun giv­ing your engine some revs.

PHONE A FRIEND. At the end of sum­mer, es­pe­cially in the mid­day heat, the sand is pow­dery and very loose. Make sure you and you friends bring the re­cov­ery gear.

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