The valleys, ravines and foothills of the KwaZulu-Natal interior are an off-roaders dream, as are the sketchily maintained tracks which wind through the under-explored forests and small reserves which dot the province from the coast to the Drakensberg.
We wanted to document three wildly different routes – one iconic, and two lesser known but no less inspiring. Sani Pass is the undisputed big daddy of South African mountain passes. Its switchbacks are challenging in good weather, and the high altitude means that conditions can change in a matter of minutes, adding to the drama and adventure of conquering this famous pass. Gwahumbe Game Reserve is only an hour from Durban but it feels like the middle of nowhere. An epic place for a day trip, its challenging trails require decent ground clearance, and they’re a seriously fun challenge in the rain – just make sure that diff is locked. oNgoye forest, just inland from Mtunzini, has some bumpy trails through the grasslands before the forest tracks proper, which wind through this untouched indigenous forest, home to a few endemic specials like the Green Barbet and the Red Squirrel.