Welgelegen 4x4 is situated 10km from the northern suburb of Brackenfell, on the Bottelary road in the direction of Stellenbosch. Make sure you get a sizeable bag of biltong from Die Vleiswinkel (31 Kruis Street, Brackenfell) on the way, because Welgelegen’s obstacles will burn your energy quickly. The trail is about 9 km long, with obstacles up and down the Bottelary hills.You start on a steep hill that could cause a rude axle twister or two if you choose the wrong line, but you’ll soon see it’s a walk in the park compared to the rest. Your second challenge is a series of rocky steps that require very good aim. This obstacle is not made for vehicles with low ground clearance or running boards.You see lots of scars where a few cowboys left some metal from their undercarriage behind (let’s hope it’s mostly from rock sliders). From there, you go through a series of similar obstacles as well as dirt ditches where you can practise driving off camber and get to know your vehicle’s dimensions and turning circle. After these challenges it’s a good gravel road up one of the highest Bottelary hills, with beautiful views over Simonsberg in Stellenbosch and the colourful vineyards typical of the area. It’s an easy bit of driving, unlike some of Welgelegen’s other nail-bite obstacles, like Brokeback Mountain. These obstacles are only meant for modified vehicles with tyres standing more than 30 inches high. So there’s fun to be had by every 4x4 driver, whether you own a Jeep Rubicon that looks like a mini monster truck or a stock standard Fortuner with nothing more than a set of all-terrain tyres. Welgelegen is a working family farm and you’re rewarded with beautiful views over the vineyards, protea bushes and fynbos wherever you drive.The farm is open seven days a week and you can drive the route any day you want, but you have to book ahead and also bring a minimum of two other vehicles with you.
DRIVE, THEN CHILL. Welgelegen 4x4 has some serious obstacles, but this road to a lookout point is pretty easy. The campsite, on this photograph, is basic but spacious.