Fourteen-Day MTB Safari in Beautiful South Africa

Did you know that one of the world’s greatest mountain bikers is a South African? That’s right…multiple world champion, and Pietermaritzburg’s finest, Greg Minnaar.

Given South Africa’s bountiful and diverse outdoor environments, as well as the excellent weather, it is probably not surprising that MTB has exploded in the country!  While for young and old, singles and families, it may just be a great healthy past time, but MTB has also developed as a significant sport and South Africa has become a serious destination for enthusiasts. South Africa’s most challenging mountain bike race, the Cape Epic, is internationally unrivalled as a pinnacle mountain bike event.

South African MTB Milestones include:

  • The first South African MTB events took place in the late 1980’s, with the SA National MTB Cup Series taking place in 1992.
  • The international Grundig/UCI Mountain bike World Cup Series was held in Stellenbosch in 1997.
  • In 2003, Greg Minnaar, South Africa’s star downhill racer, first won the UCI Downhill World Championship. He would go on to achieve a hat trick by winning the title again in 2012 and 2013.
  • The inaugural Absa Cape Epic was staged in 2004 as a prominent multi-day race covering over 800km in 8 days, and this inspired the development of other annual marathon MTB events such as Sani2C, JoBerg2C and the Sabie Experience which have become very popular attractions for both local and international riders.
  • In 2009, SA master MTB trail builder teamed with Spur Steak Ranches to launch the Spurs Schools Mountain Bike League enabling SA kids to enter MTB as a school sport for the first time.
  • Also, in 2009, South African Burry Stander became the Under 23 men’s cross-country winner at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.

Today, the South African MTB calendar is packed with diverse events across a wide range of locations that draw elite professional riders from around the world, as well as many amateur enthusiasts. With more than 400 mountain biking trails, some of which are hailed as amongst the best in the world, it’s no wonder that South Africa has become a sought-after mountain bike destination. In 2018, Stellenbosch will again proudly host of a leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

YOUR ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrive O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg

Upon your arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, you will be met by your driver and transferred to Africa Sky Guest House.

Enjoy dinner and a nice rest before we set-off in the morning!

Overnight Africa Sky Guest House.

Included: Transfer, dinner, and overnight in Africa Sky Guest House.

Day 2 – Depart by road for Mpumalanga

After breakfast, you will meet your guide for a morning departure for the town of Sabie!

Sabie – arguably the best mountain biking destination in South Africa – is the ideal springboard for both novice and accomplished mountain bikers to practice this sport in a secure environment amidst breathtaking scenery.  Sabie offers both the competitive and the casual mountain biker a wide range of well-marked, self-guided mountain bike trails.

Overnight Misty Mountain (studio style units)

Included: Breakfast, transfer, afternoon ride, dinner, and overnight Misty Mountain

Day 3 – Sabie and surrounds

Today we will enjoy further experiences mountain biking in and around Sabie!

With purpose-built MTB trails from a decade of cross-country racing in one of South Africa’s most beautiful settings, what you experience here will motivate many happy returns. You can literally do a different ride every day of the week. The many trails are in existence thanks to the efforts of a small but dedicated group of locals, namely the Sabie Chain-Gang Club and the Mpumalanga MTB Association (MAMBA). Working closely with major forestry corporations like SAPPI, MONDI, SAFCOL and Global Forestry Products, as well as stakeholders in the local tourism industry, they have gained and maintained land access for off-road cycling on private forestry property surrounding Sabie. Consequently, this has become a prime recreational and racing mecca for mountain-biking enthusiasts all over the country.

Sabie is the perfect hub for an off-road cycling vacation, from competitive riders consolidating their training to families with little fledgling cyclists. Road cyclists too will revel in mile upon mile of challenging mountain rides along quiet, wide tarred roads.

Overnight Misty Mountain.

Included: Breakfast, riding, dinner, and overnight Misty Mountain.

Day 4 – Kruger National Park

Morning departure for Olifants Camp in the renowned Kruger National Park.

Mountain bike trails through the bushveld near Olifants Rest Camp in Kruger National Park are one of a kind! You’ll have to be confident to ride a mountain bike though on rough terrain to go on one.

The tours are something like a cross between a game drive and a game walk. You’ll have a game drive to begin with to get to the starting location. Once you hop on your bikes, you’ll cover more distance than on a game walk, but just like a game walk, you’ll be powered by your own legs!

Mountain biking in Kruger National Park is a unique experience. The only rest camp offering it is Olifants, which is about halfway up the park on the eastern side.

There are two trails on offer:

  • The Hardekool Draai Trail, which follows the Letaba River, goes for 21.4km (13.3 miles). The ride lasts about 4 hours.
  • The Olifants/Letaba River Confluence Trail goes for 12.2km (7.6 miles). The ride goes for 3 hours, and you need to be an expert mountain biker to do it. It’s a tough one!

Overnight Olifants Rest Camp.

Included: Breakfast, entrance fees, transfer, dinner, and overnight Olifants Rest Camp.

Day 5 – Kruger National Park

We will enjoy a further day of game drives and/or mountain biking from Olifants Camp!

Overnight Olifants Rest Camp.

Included: Breakfast, entrance fees, game drives and/or rides, dinner, and overnight Olifants Rest Camp.

 

Day 6 – Game Drive through Kruger National Park

After breakfast, we will make a morning departure for our transfer to White River. The route will take us through most of the central and southern sections of Kruger Park, so game viewing will be superb!

Overnight Destiny Lodge.

Included: Breakfast, transfer / game drive, dinner, and overnight Destiny Lodge.

Day 7 – Morning Flight* from Kruger-Mpumalanga to Cape Town

You will start the day with an early breakfast before transferring to Kruger-Mpumalanga airport for yourself-booked flight to Cape Town. *Please Note – Flight is not included in quotation and is of your own accord.

Upon your arrival in Cape Town, we will settle in before enjoying an afternoon City Tour!

Overnight Cape Town Guest House (as available).

Included: Breakfast, transfers, city tour, and overnight Cape Town Guest House (as available).

Day 8 – Tokai and Silvermine

If you ask any off-road cyclist in the Western Cape where the best mountain biking routes are, Tokai Forest is sure to be included in their answer. The steep slopes that characterize the Constantiaberg and the Silvermine Nature Reserve make it ideal for mountain biking. With accumulated ascent for the day of 1,200 meters there will be plenty of hard work to do.

There are some excellent vantage points along the route, with terrific views of the Constantia Vineyards, Hout Bay, Noordhoek Valley, and Table Mountain. Bring your camera along as you may see some baboons!

Day 9 – Cape of Good Hope

While Table Mountain basks in the warm light of dawn with the amber glow of the early morning sun slanting through tall trees and bushes, we are fortunate to be riding in the midst of such beauty.

For those who want to see “the best of the Cape” in one day, this carefully planned mountain bike ride through the Table Mountain National Park and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, made up of fast flowing gravel jeep trails, lung-busting climbs, and single tracks, will plant a huge smile on your face!

Planned by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, this full day ride will take you through a mix of pine forest and the endemic Cape fynbos of the rugged Cape Peninsula Mountain. To ensure that you take in the full glory of the day and have a memorable time, the visit and discovery of the diverse attractions along the route will be on our menu as well. Viewing the African Penguins at the Boulders Beach colony and heading south down the Peninsula towards Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Africa’s most south-westerly tip and legendary dramatic meeting place of two oceans is a truly unforgettable experience!

Designed for moderate to fit mountain bikers, some terrains require technical ability and can be very hilly. Overnight Cape Town Guest House (as available). Included: Breakfast, transfers, area rides, and overnight Cape Town Guest House (as available).

A difficult ride designed for fit mountain bikers, some terrains require technical ability and can be very hilly.

Overnight Cape Town Guest House (as available).

Included: Breakfast, transfers, area rides, and overnight Cape Town Guest House (as available).

Day 10 – Depart Cape Town for Swellendam

Early morning departure from Cape Town for Swellendam.

Apart from the beautiful mountain towering over this historic and unique little town, the variety of activities and natural treasures located within 30-60 minutes’ drive from Swellendam is this destination’s biggest draw-card. In 2007, when the Absa Cape Epic still travelled from Knysna to Stellenbosch (with Swellendam as one of the stopovers), people used to say that it was one of the only races where you could experience anything from single track to rolling hills, epic climbs to fast flats, forest to Klein Karoo – because it travelled such a long distance. The effort of setting up a race village in a new town each day and the cost involved was one of the reasons that the Absa Cape Epic stopped traveling in a straight line from Knysna and opted for the Clover-system. The Clover-system is where you start and finish at least two days of racing from the same venue. When staying in Swellendam you will have the comfort of choosing between single track, rolling hills, forests, Klein Karoo, through a pass, to the ocean, over a ferry – while enjoying the comfort of staying in one place!

Enjoy a day trail around Swellendam.

Overnight Aan de Oewer Guest House.

Included: Breakfast, transfer, area rides, dinner, and overnight Aan de Oewer Guest House.

Day 11 – Swellendam to Knysna

Morning departure for Knysna.

In Knysna, you will cycle through mystical indigenous forests and, just 15km out of Knysna, you will find the Homtini Mountain Bike Trail in the Farleigh State Forest. The entire town surrounds a large saltwater estuary called the Knysna Lagoon. Therefore, besides the nitty-gritty of South African mountain biking fun, you can also enjoy numerous recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, swimming and lots of adventuring.

Overnight Pumula Lodge.

Included: Breakfast, transfer, area rides, dinner, and overnight Pumula Lodge.

Day 12 – Harkerville Forest Routes, Knysna

After breakfast we will make a morning departure for the famous Harkerville Forest.

The Hakerville Cycle Routes are situated in the Hakerville Forest between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. There are four routes catering for the beginner to the more advanced mountain biker. The routes are color-coded and are as follows:

  • Yellow Route: This route is 13km in length and follow gravel forest service roads and will be the only route open when the others are closed due to wet ground conditions.
  • Blue Route: Covering a distance of 11km, this route follows gravel service roads and also along the Beukespad, a forest slip-path, through moist high forest. On returning you pass by some huge Coastal Redwoods planted in 1927.
  • Green Route: This 14km route takes the rider along the Grooteilandpad and onto the Waterpad where there is a refreshing swimming hole, great for taking a break. There is an optional loop that will along which you will have breathtaking views of the Hakkerville coastline. on the return the route follows the Kleineilandpad and then onto the Perdekoppad where you can enjoy an exciting section of single-track.
  • Red Route: This is the longest and hardest of the routes and is said to be one of the most scenic routes in the country. This route takes you through deep indigenous forest, fynbos, and incredible coastal views along the way. 22km in length and more than 10km of single track, this route is definitely the most exhilarating.

Late afternoon return to Knysna.

Overnight Pumula Lodge.

Included: Breakfast, transfer, area rides, dinner, and overnight Pumula Lodge.

Day 13 – Knysna at Leisure

This day will be set aside for exploring this beautiful area or simply just relaxing.

For our final night, we will settle back in to the beautiful accommodations at Val du Charron Wine Estate where we will have a final farewell dinner overlooking the magnificent mountains of Wellington.

Overnight Pumula Lodge.

Included: Breakfast and overnight Pumula Lodge.

Day 14 – Knysna to George, return flight* to Johannesburg

After breakfast, transfer to George for your self-booked return flight to Johannesburg / O.R. Tambo International Airport (or home). *Please Note – Flight is not included in quotation and is of your own accord.

***Safari End***

*Please Note: Internal SA Flights can be arranged, but flight costs are determined at the time of booking. These would be billed as a separate line-item on your invoice and are in addition to tour price.

**Please Note: All dinners included are up to 200 Rand per person, per night – any excess cost and tipping of waitstaff is of your own accord.

RATES

  • Per Person sharing (6-pax min):  $5,525.00 Single Supplement +$700.00 per person Rate is inclusive of the following:
    • All land transfer and travel
    • All meals as stipulated (please note: dinners included are up to 200 Rand per person, per night – any excess cost and tipping of waitstaff is of your own accord)
    • All excursions as stipulated
    • All accommodation as stipulated

    Rate exclusive of:

    • All Flights not included as per itinerary
    • Excursions not included as per the itinerary
    • Meals not included in the itinerary
    • Bike hire
    • Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) not included in the itinerary
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Travel Insurance (highly recommended)
    • Gratuities
Contact us to book now!