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A Four Wheel Adventure!

 
09 June 2015 by Katy Johnson

One of the best things about the Genesis Route is the multiple ways you can explore it. There are the hiking trails, 4x4 routes, paragliding, micro-lighting and even elephant back safari’s, but it is the quadbike adventures that have me hooked.

There is something really fun about a quadbike. No terrain seems too rough, no incline too steep, or adventure too big! They are made for exploring places and the Genesis Route provides the perfect playground for the adventurous to explore. 

Eco Quad Adventures offer a range of guided quad trails in both Badplaas and Barberton catering for everybody, whether you are a quadbike pro looking for a technical challenge or a complete novice wanting to simply give it a go.

My adventure started in Badplaas, under the patient guidance of Oom Steve. An ex-springbok gymnast, school teacher and film maker, Oom Steve has led an interesting life and is much an attraction of the tour as the quadbikes. 

The Badplaas trail takes you through the Forever Resorts’ Game Reserve on a quadbike safari, which at first seemed an unlikely prospect as I was sure the quads would spook the game. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Herds of blesbok, black wildebeest, zebra and the odd eland carried on as usual, seemingly oblivious of our presence. For my photographer friend it was a dream shoot, as the quads allowed us to get closer and manoeuvre easily into the best position for the perfect shot. 

It’s not just photographers who will appreciate the sense of freedom a quad bike provides, anyone who enjoys being out in nature will love quad biking. Unlike a car where you are physically separated from your surrounds, on a quad you feel part of it. This makes it no longer just about what you can see, as every sense is awakened on a quad bike. Whether it is the wind on your face, the smell of the bush that envelopes you, the caress of the long grass as your ride through it, or the initial stillness as you switch off your engine to take in the sounds of the bush. It is undeniable that a quad bike safari really does bring you closer to nature, as one of my fellow quad bikers pointed out it allows you to interact with nature but not interfere.

For novice quad bikers, like myself, the Badplaas trail also provides the ideal opportunity to get used to the bikes as it is not too technically challenging (although it can be made more so for experienced riders) and is done at a comfortable pace. Oom Steve is also the perfect guide keeping tabs on all the riders in the group and ensuring everyone has a fantastic time.

I might have caught the quad biking bug in Badplaas, but it was on the Barberton trails that I really fell under its spell. The 14 streams trail is undeniably the most fun you can have on four wheels. The trail lives up to its name, with 14 different and exciting river crossing on route to one of Barberton’s many beautiful waterfalls. The trail allows you to test the bikes as you develop your skill and have a lot of fun in the process. The four hour route is the perfect length for those new to quad biking as you finish the trail still wanting more.

 

More is certainly what you get from the Heritage Trail. This is a full day of quad biking fun that is not for the faint hearted. The trail is one of the most spectacular in the country and takes you through the aptly named ‘Gates of Paradise’ and ‘Gates of Hell’ on route to Eureka City, a gold rush ghost town. The trail is a technical one, certainly not for novices, but the views from the top make gaining the experience to do it worthwhile. As you are treated to a 360 degree panoramic vista over the spectacular Mpumalanga mountain lands while you eat your lunch. Our guide Walter was also full of interesting facts, wonderful stories and had a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area. As a relative novice to quad biking there were moments on the trail that did push my biking skills to their limits, but Walter was there every ‘step’ of the way giving me all the advice and encouragement I needed. The sense of achievement after reaching the top was certainly worth any nerves I experienced along the route.

Now the only question is what’s next? I am thrilled to hear that Eco Quad Adventures will be launching a new trail around Vygeboom Dam just outside Badplaas. The trail will combine elements of technical riding with spectacular scenery and fun challenges, making it appeal to everyone. So watch this space, as I intend to be on the first tour!

 

 

 

 

Contact Details for Eco Quad Adventures   

  • Open 6 days a week (Tues-Sunday) and 7 days a week in December and School Holidays.
  • Price is dependent on the trail.
  • Badplaas trail is located at Forever Resorts Badplaas on the R38. For reservations contact: +27 (0) 17 844 8000
  • Barberton trails depart from Oppikoppi Inni Krater.
  • For more details and quid bike reservations contact Valmari:
    • oppikoppi@promattrom.co.za
    • +27 (0)13 712 4512 | +27 (0)82 7486703