The trail covers some 500 km between Crocodile Bridge in the south and Crook?s Corner in the north east.
Vuswa, a joint venture between Avis Fleet Services and empowerment partner Bohlabela Wheels, manages the Kruger National Park?s extensive transport fleet of predominantly Nissan products ranging from open game viewers to Hardbody pickups and trucks.
The Rosslyn-based vehicle manufacturer has provided a three-litre turbo diesel version of its best-selling Nissan Hardbody double cab.
It has been fitted with Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tyres supplied by Bridgestone South Africa, roof rack with water tank and roof top tent, heavy duty bull bar with winch and high-lift jack attached.
It is equipped with a 40 litre fridge, 50 litre water tank, compressor and the usual essential off-road driving equipment.
Nora Fakude-Nkuna, managing director of Bohlabela Wheels and deputy MD of Vuswa Fleet Services, says Vuswa is very happy to join Nissan in sponsoring the lead vehicle for the Kruger National Park?s motorised eco trail.
"Of course, it's good business for us to be associated with this very popular trail, given that we have the contract to manage the reserve?s large transport fleet.
"It is also pleasing to us to be associated with what is a great educational wilderness experience that attracts hundreds of adventurous nature lovers in their 4x4s to our greatest national park."
The Lebombo Eco Trail opened in 2001 and has proved to be one of the Kruger Park's most popular attractions. It is open from April to October each year, weather permitting, and is already fully booked for 2004.
The trail offers up to five four-wheel drive vehicles led by a National Parks field guide in the sponsored Nissan Hardbody an unforgettable five-day four-night trip from the Kruger?s most southern rest camp, Crocodile Bridge on the banks of the Crocodile River, to Crook?s Corner on the Limpopo River in the north, some 500 km away.
The route uses largely management roads and tracks not normally open to the public, passing through at least 10 different eco-zones covering the entire eastern boundary of the two million hectare game reserve, along the Lebombo mountains between the Kruger National Park and Mozambique.
Special emphasis is placed by the trained field guide on educating trailists on the biophysical, archaeological, geological and other natural assets of this world famous wilderness area.
While the group camps out in the wild each night, among the animals, at designated bush campsites where there are "enviro toilets", there are stopovers at Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi camps where the group can buy provisions, shower and refuel their vehicles.
All vehicles should be equipped with a tent, water containers, gas bottles, cooking equipment and food. Sunscreen lotion, mosquito precautions and repellant are recommended.
Trails depart from Crocodile Bridge on a Sunday and finish at Pafuri picnic site near Crook?s Corner on a Thursday.
The 2004 cost is R4 300 per vehicle (there is an annual increase) for a maximum of four people per vehicle.
Bookings should be made 11 months in advance, through SANParks central reservations in Pretoria, with Hester van den Berg on (012) 426 5117.
Each trail participant receives a free copy of Nissan?s Off Road Tactix guide to responsible off-road driving.