12 Day - 11 Night Tour

This twelve day mountain bike tour from Cape Town back to Cape Town focuses on the Western Cape Province, a dream mountain-biking destination. We've selected three regions: the Cape Peninsula for its pristine white beaches and spectacular scenery, the Overberg, rich in colour and character and then of course, the wide open skies and arid plains of the Karoo with classic mountain passes grinding into the Swartberg ranges.

Part of the success of this tour must be attributed to the terrain, a well balanced route with a mixture of forest, vineyards, rugged mountains and semi-desert. Ravines along dusty gravel roads combine with the discovery of the diverse attractions that these regions have to offer.

Enjoy a cable car ascent to the summit of Table Mountain, one of the most famous natural landmarks in Africa. Head south along the Peninsula, towards Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. View the African Penguins at Boulders Beach; explore the historical town of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Watch the whales in Hermanus (July to November). Explore beyond the Overberg where the hinterland awaits with wide-sky spaces, arid plains of the Karoo, classic mountain passes and a safari experience.

Tight, twisting single tracks and remote dirt roads will lead you through amazing places, designed for moderate to fit mountain bikers who are used to longer distances. Some terrains can be very hilly and require technical ability.

Watch a Video of This Tour: 

Cape to Karoo

Duration: 

12 days & 11 nights

Number of Riders: 

2 to 6

Total Distance on MTB: 

380km

Total Accent: 

5225m

Difficulty: 

7

Average Daily Distance: 

38km

Group Tab

Day1
Day2
Day3
Day4
Day5
Day6
Day7
Day8
Day9
Day10
Day11
Day12
Mountain bike cycling Tour Image

Highlights

* Table Mountain by cable car

* Visit of the city of Cape Town

 

Day1

Difficulty

0

LATE MORNING ARRIVAL OR AFTERNOON ARRIVAL AT CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Meet and greet by our tour guide and transfer to your accommodation in Cape Town.

Cradled by Table Mountain, Devil's Peak and Lion's Head, Cape Town offers a rich historical heritage, scenic splendour, a kaleidoscope of colour, activity and excitement. Chill out on sunny Clifton Beach or joined us for a short afternoon visit of the city and ride up Table Mountain by cable car (weather permitting)

The majestic mountain offers breathtaking views of the Mother City and its mosaic surroundings in all directions.

Overnight in Cape Town
Lunch excluded & Dinner included

MTB Cape Town

Highlights

* Mountain bike on the slopes of Table Mountain

* Mountain bike Constantia green belt

* Cape of Good Hope nature reserve (Cape Point & Cape of Good Hope)

* Penguin colony

Profile

Mountain bike profile

Day2

Total Distance on MTB

30km

Difficulty

5

JEEP TRACK AND ROCKY SECTION IN TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Early breakfast. We will ride in the cool morning and tour with the minibus in the afternoon. Your mountain bike excursion will take you from Signal Hill along the steep slopes of Table Mountain National Park and through the exclusive suburb of the Constantia green belt. The distance might sound short, but rest assured there is nothing flat on this mountain!

Designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, those fast flowing gravel jeep trails and single tracks will plant a huge smile on your face.

To ensure that you take in the full glory of the day and have a memorable time, visiting and discovering the diverse attractions along the route will be on our menu as well. Viewing the African Penguins at Boulders Beach, heading south down the Peninsula towards Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope Africa’s most south-westerly tip and legendary dramatic meeting place of two oceans is a truly unforgettable experience!

Overnight in Stellenbosch

Light lunch included, dinner excluded

Mountain biking Bankhoek conservancy

Highlights

* "Sky fall" single trail

* Banghoek conservancy

* Stellenbosch

* Franschhoek

Profile

Profile Stellenbosch to Boschendal
Profile Ormarins to Franschhoek

Day3

Total Distance on MTB

53km

Difficulty

8

JEEP & SINGLE TRACK

Breakfast then a ride through the picturesque town of Stellenbosch, with its charming character, historic architecture and oak-lined avenues. It is a must to visit on anyone's itinerary. The first farms were allocated before the end of 1679 and the village was formally established in 1685. Salut! A touch of France is coming our way in today's ride as we will be heading toward Franschhoek.

Crank up into cloud country for your first killer climb of the day through shady plantations up the north slopes of Jonkershoekberg. From here, on your descent into the Banghoekrivier valley, you will encounter the middle section of our trail, winding its way past lush green fields, orchards, well-kept farmsteads and wine estates to refill our liquids...

First part of the ride expect rollicking hills followed by technical single trail and down along the course of the Berg River. Lunch break on a wine farm, short transfer before ascending the stunning Franschhoek Mountain slopes for the second serious ascent of the day. There is yet another tricky descent towards home.

Overnight in Franschhoek
Lunch & dinner excluded

Mountain biking South Africa

Highlights

* Theewaterkloof nature reserve

* Historical wagon road

* Paul Cluver mountain bike trail

* Oak valley mountain bike trail

* Overberg area

Profile

Mountain bike profile Theewaterkloof
Mountain bike profile entrance Oak Valley
Mountain bike profile Oak Valley to Howhoek

Day4

Total Distance on MTB

45km

Difficulty

6

JEEP AND SINGLE TRACK WITH TECHNICAL SECTION

Be buoyed by the knowledge that today’s ride is the longest of all twelve days and not the easiest! A healthy breakfast is followed by a short transfer to the top of the Franschhoek pass, for a scenic tarmac warm-up ride of 8km down to purgatory, where we enter the Theewaterskloof Nature Reserve. The track around the dam is gentle and undulating, a variety of antelopes may be spotted as well as eland and Cape mountain zebra. Conservative riding is best; don’t beat yourself up here as the main course of the day is still to come! We will have a short transfer of 30min with the minibus to the start of our next MTB trail alongside the Groenlandberg Nature Reserve. The rich and diverse fauna and flora of the region make this an interesting route, with  many natural obstacles adding to the challenge. The trail will follow the track of an old wagon road linking the two valleys. The views from the top of this pass are magnificent, as you view the apple orchards below and gain a panoramic view of the valley. Grab the handlebars! Some sections require technical ability and prudence. Our lunch stop will be at the Oak Valley estate which staged one of the famous mountain bike races "the Cape Epic". After lunch we will be riding some of the famous Paul Cluver mountain bike trails, starting in the amphitheater with the swing bridge, lots of berms and flowing single-track. Don’t burn all your matches! There are still some lung busting climbs to come before reaching our overnight destination to cap off a demanding day in the saddle.

 Overnight in Houwhoek
Lunch & dinner excluded

Mountain biking the old wagon road

Highlights

* Old historical wagon road

* Single trail & jeep track

Profile

Mountain bike profile Howhoek to Hemel en Aarde

Day5

Total Distance on MTB

54km

Difficulty

7

JEEP & SINGLE TRACK AND GRAVEL ROAD

 Breakfast at the Houw Hoek Inn, located on the site of a toll gate established in Dutch East Indian Company days. It is the oldest hotel in South Africa, situated in the heart of the Kogelberg Reserve, a world heritage site. Welcome to the heart of the Cape Flora Kingdom (best viewed in spring from July to September)

On the first part of our journey the track takes us down the historic Katpass to the Village of Bot River and onto a-beautiful wine estate. These boast fantastic mountain bike trails with a-lots of single tracks and bridges, followed by picnic on the farm to unwind. The afternoon will take us along undulating hills, jeep tracks, single and gravel roads, another long but beautiful day on the saddle!

The rich and diverse flora and fauna of the region make this a stunning mountain bike trail. In November 2011 a young leopard was photographed in the area.

Overnight in Hemel en Aarde valley
Lunch excluded, dinner included

Mountain biking bridge

Highlights

* Hemel en Aarde single trail

* Fernkloff MTB trail

* Hermanus

* Whale watching in season

Profile

Mountain bike trail profile

Day6

Total Distance on MTB

30km

Difficulty

6

JEEP & SINGLE TRACK

Early breakfast. The start from your guest house will see a fast downhill section of tar road before reaching the entrance of Hemel-en-Aarde valley. Today’s ride will take us up the valley mainly on single track; the opening climbs through the vineyards provide a great warm-up into the cool morning. The views along the way, as well as the drop down towards the vineyards are worth every effort before reaching the top of the Fernklof Nature Reserve. The panoramic vista over the seaside town of Hermanus and Walker Bay are a perfect place for a picnic (weather permitting) After lunch a short bike porterage will follow to a scenic single trail alongside the mountain slope. The ride will take us toward the outskirt of Hermanus, were we will meet our vehicle for an 1h45min transfer to the historical town of Swellendam situated at the foot of the Langeberg Mountain range.

Overnight in Swellendam
Picnic lunch included & dinner excluded

Mountain biking the Montagu pass

Highlights

* Montagu historical pass

* Oudtshoorn "Ostrich Capital"

* Little Karoo

Profile

mtb profile George to Oudtshoorn

Day7

Total Distance on MTB

63km

Difficulty

8

JEEP TRACK AND GRAVEL ROAD IN THE LITTLE KAROO

After an early breakfast we leave the country's third oldest historic town Swellendam - for a 2h30min transfer to George, the starting point of our next cycling journey. We will ride the historic Montagu Pass which links George to the village of Herold where we will stop for lunch. Completed in 1848, the mountain road climbs to an altitude of 780m, affording magnificent views across the surrounding Outeniqua Mountains. Steep ascents follow by an undulating gravel road will take you to Oudtshoorn, the "Ostrich Capital" of the world situated in the Little Karoo at the foothills of the hefty, stocky Swartberg Mountain Range.

Overnight in Oudtshoorn

Lunch & dinner excluded

Mountain biking Image

Highlights

* Swartberg pass

* Ostrich farm

* Prince Albert

Profile

mountain bike profile graph

Day8

Total Distance on MTB

24km

Difficulty

7

GRAVEL ROAD IN THE LITTLE KAROO & GREAT KAROO

Awake with an early breakfast followed by a short transfer to the foothills of the southern slopes of the majestic Swartberg Mountain. The fresh mountain air will feed your soul and energize your spirit for the arduous journey over the Swartberg Pass. Constructed with help of convict labor between 1879 and 1887, this dramatic mountain gravel road links the Little and the Great Karoo.

This is one of those rides that really put "mountain" into mountain-biking. It is gnarly gravel all the way as you granny-crank into the teeth of gravity and sweat it out along 15km of relentless climbing towards the highest point of our itinerary. When you finally summit, the awe-inspiring view along the gravel zigzag blasting down into the verdant valley below  will make it all worthwhile. A drop of nearly one thousand meters over 16km will be staring you in the face. Take a couple of deep breaths, saddle up and get ready to kick some big mountain butt as you hit the home run to Prince Albert and relish the sudden  abundant supply of gravity. Although rare, leopard and lynx still roam the broken Swartberg topography, preying on chacma baboons (their favourite quarry). There are more than 150 bird species and close-up sightings of regal black eagles are not uncommon.

The town of Prince Albert IS little gem of preserved period architecture at the foothills of the Swarberg ranges. This Karoo village with its gabled houses and thatched roofs has retained much of its nineteenth century charm.

Overnight in Prince Albert
Light lunch/ Sandwiches included & dinner included

Lions

Highlights

* Safari experience

* Afternoon Game drive

* Overnight on the farm

 

Day9

Total Distance on MTB

0km

Difficulty

0

You can rest your legs today! No mountain biking but a safari experience instead!

Breakfast followed by a 2.30 hours liaison/transfer to a game farm for a big 5 experience. Legends of the wilderness - elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino. Afternoon game drive.

Overnight on the game farm

Lunch & dinner included

Mountain biking

Highlights

* Morning game drive

* Ceres valley

* Old wagon road
 

Profile

MTB profile

Day10

Total Distance on MTB

35km

Difficulty

7

JEEP, SINGLE TRACK & FARM ROAD

Early morning game drive is followed by breakfast, then a short 45mn liaison with our bus to our next destination. Today’s ride will take us from the top the Ceres valley all the way to our next overnight stop. Our mountain bike route will be a mixture of old wagon roads and jeep tracks going down the valley. The views are breathtaking, so take a break to absorb the visual splendour extending across the Koue Bokkeveld. We have kept the firework for the last bit..   a network of fast and furious single and looping “S”-bends all the way down via a few skid-out switchbacks.. Relax and enjoyed you have arrived at your destination. On the menu a midday lunch, a nap and a late afternoon ride at sunset for those who still have energy!

Overnight in Ceres

Lunch & dinner included

 

 

Mountain biking in Wellington

Highlights

* Bain's Kloof historical mountain pass

* Welvanpass mountain bike trail

Profile

mountain bike profile trail

Day11

Total Distance on MTB

46km

Difficulty

8

SINGLE TRACK & HISTORICAL MOUNTAIN PASS

Early morning breakfast. We leave Ceres for our final overnight stop the town of Wellington, situated 1 hour’s drive away. Today’s cocktail is composed of a tar section the famous, some say notorious – Bain’s Kloof Pass, a national monument. It’s a long, smooth climb on tar. After reaching the summit, a short descent, a left turn off the tar and on to the Welvanpas trails; this means sampling incredible single track, in this case the black route. A gain of 300m in three kilometres of tough climbing on the Full Monty –– The 12km mark reveals the highest point of the loop then a fast pine forest descent through single-track straights and switchbacks will have you grinning from ear to ear. But you will have to pay for the 3km of exhilarating speed with another 3km of tight and twisting single-track climbing to get to the 18km mark.

Soon enough the route brings you to the side of the mountain where views down the valley roll away from beneath your feet. Some of the best mountain bike runs in this area are the precipitous traverses and descents that cross the steep valley walls. The Welvanpas black route uses the natural contours to great effect to produce some exposed white-knuckle single tracks descents.

The last 10km of trails is all reward; it drops into farmland below the Hawekwaberg. A thrilling way to top up on adrenaline before the flattish cruise home to our midday lunch stop. The late afternoon will see us unwind after those fabulous 12 days of mountain biking through some of the country’s best mountain bike trails and some of the best red wine the area has to offer! 

Overnight in Wellington

Lunch & dinner excluded

Mountain bike group

Highlights

* Free day in Cape Town

Day12

Total Distance on MTB

0km

Difficulty

0

Breakfast, transfer back to Cape Town situated 1h30min away from Wellington.

Free day.

Transfer back to Cape Town International Airport

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