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Kruger National Park’s Mananga 4X4 adventure trail

Words & Photos: Melanie van Zyl. Article from the Getaway blog Magazine August 2015.

On a recent trip to the Kruger National Park to#tellbetterstories, we were looking for something a bit different, not just the same old game drives. The Mananga 4×4 adventure trail was exactly what we were after.

Managa Trail 1 Melanie van Zyl

This 48-kilometre track is limited to six vehicles a day and you can get out of your vehicle in open areas (once you’ve scouted the scene). After reading this blog post, however, you may want to reconsider.

Mananga translates to ‘wilderness,’ which is exactly what you pay for. It’s not a challenging drive by any means, but it offers an escape from the touristy tar roads in prime game spotting territory near Satara Camp. It’s an area famous for its game as the bush is relatively open and the animals plentiful and diverse.

Managa 4x4 Trail 2 Melanie van Zyl

Managa 4x4 Trail 3 Melanie van Zyl

Managa 4x4 Trail 4 Melanie van Zyl

The trail begins just 5km from Satara and heads into knob thorn/marula bush before turning down towards the N’wanetsi River and then back up again towards Gudzani Dam. The trail crisscrosses the bush between three main roads, joining the main gravel tracks for a few kilometres in between. The entire trail should take about five hours depending on what you see. 

Managa 4x4 Trail 5 Melanie van Zyl

Managa 4x4 Trail 6 Melanie van Zyl

We were incredibly fortunate and saw a male lion within metres of the car and another pride of about six lion a little further on. At both sightings we were the only car and could spend as much time with these mighty felines as we pleased.

Managa 4x4 Trail 7 Melanie van Zyl

Managa 4x4 Trail 8 Melanie van Zyl

Bookings cannot be made in advance and the trail works on a first-come, first-served basis. Bookings can only be made only at Satara Rest Camp reception from 7am.

Cost: R587 per vehicle at time of article (plus a R100 refundable deposit).
Contact: Tel 013 735 6306, Sanparks

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