Book Review on More Back Road 4x4 Trips

Words: Compiled by Tracy Knox | Book Review: More Back-Road 4x4 Trips, by Mariëlle Renssen

Africa Travelling

If you've been thinking about taking a 4x4 self-drive getaway sometime this year, but can't decide on a destination, then More Back-Road 4x4 Trips is definitely for you. This engaging and easy to navigate guide features 10 great routes, and it also takes one through the pitfalls of planning a successful 4x4 trip.



The particular focus of intrepid traveller and author Mariëlle Renssen and her two travel partners is on personal experience: each trip has been personally driven and the accommodation recommendations tried and tested – with opinions given frankly and honestly. Readers are entertained with stories from the road and can learn from the experience gained by Mariëlle and co-authors, including the roads they chose and avoided; best and worst experiences for each trip; their brilliant moves and regrettable mistakes; and useful information on trip planning.


More Back-Road 4x4 Trips features 10 fantastic routes to explore, including Southern-central Mozambique, West-central Lesotho and greater South Africa. The day-by-day descriptions are detailed and accompanied by beautiful, full-colour imagery, distances travelled and maps with GPS waypoints for use with any navigation system. There are bird, flower and tree lists; information on geology, historical and cultural aspects; even technical requirements, packing lists and border formalities, where relevant.


The authors have also proved that you can tackle rugged 4x4 trails, and bump and sway across tens of thousands of kilometres (as they have done), yet still have your comforts at the end of the day – that is, a hot shower, flush toilet and a fridge for those cold beers.


By steering you in the right direction and guiding you through the potential pitfalls, this book allows you to learn from the authors’ experience. It presents a launch pad for your own back-road adventures, to be moulded and adapted entirely to suit you. In short, this book is as much a nature book as it is a 4x4 travel journal. 


Published by MapStudio, the leading publisher and distributor of maps and travel guides in Africa, More Back-Road 4x4 Trips is the sequel to Our Top 4x4 Trips, by Mariëlle Renssen, and the perfect companion for any 4x4 enthusiastic. It is available for R250 at Maps and Travel shops, selected bookstores around South Africa and can also be bought online at




Featuring 10 great routes
Addo Elephant NP, Mountain Zebra NP, Camdeboo NP
Tankwa Karoo NP, Karoo NP
Namaqua NP, Ai-Ais / Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Mac Mac Summit Route, Motlatse Canyon Panorama Route
Mapungubwe NP, Waterberg Meander, Marakele NP
Eleven mountain passes in three days
West-central Lesotho
Kgalagadi’s Wilderness Camps
Back-roads of Kruger
Southern-central Mozambique


Detailed information

Top sites
Comprehensive packing list
Geological information
Lists of likely-to-see birds and animals
Full-colour photographs
Real experiences
Best and worst experiences for each trip
Turn-by-turn descriptions of the routes driven
Each route driven and verified by the author
Useful information on planning your trip
Interesting facts on the regions visited
Information on plant life


Detailed maps
Detailed route map for each route featured
GPS points throughout
Road atlas section of southern Africa
Distances travelled indicated in detail


Related articles:

Of Sand, Sea, Solitude, Horsepower and Adrenaline (Issue 19, p. 38)
Tracking the Molopo (Issue 7, p. 14)
Moegatle 10th Anniversary 4x4 Challenge (Issue 18, p. 94)