Go Bicycle Touring in South Africa

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South Africa is a country located on Africa’s southern tip. To the north, it is neighbored by Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. South Africa is home to 53 million people, and is one of the world’s most diverse countries when it comes to animals. South Africa’s safaris are legendary and allow you to see all types of animals from lions and tigers, to elephants and ostriches.

From a cycling standpoint, South Africa is one of the world’s best places for a bike tour! From Cape Town (the country’s legislative capital), to it’s most populated city of Johannesburg – and beyond into the great African wilderness. Mountain bikes are the preferred method of cycling some of the country’s more rugged trails, while touring and road bikes can navigate some of the more populated areas. The country also has some of the longest days in the world, and the climate is comfortable – perfect conditions for long days in the saddle.

Popular Bike Tour Destinations In South Africa

  • Cape Town provides the touring cyclist with plenty of options. You can either cycle in the city – which is a challenge in and of itself, or you can leave the populous behind and go for a challenging climb up Table Mountain – one of the world’s most challenging climbs by bike. Table Mountain also has a special meaning for those going around-the-world, as it is often thought of as the pinnacle of the achievement – having reached South Africa from the West.
  • Constantia Valley is one of South Africa’s most popular regions for bicycle touring, and wine tasting. Bordered by Table Mountain on one side, and the Main Road on the other, it boasts some of the southern hemisphere’s best and oldest wine – Napoleon Bonaparte himself was even in attendance to taste the wine. The roads are smooth and sweeping, perfect for bicycle tourists, but aside from the scenery and sprawling vineyards – it is the wine which makes Constantia Valley a hotspot.
  • The Western Cape is South Africa’s holy grail of mountain biking. It’s single-track route elevates up to three thousand feet in some places, and you’re in full view of Table Mountain – a majestic overseer, if ever there was one. The Western Cape offers various degrees of surfaces, from gravel roads to rocky surfaces in it’s forested areas. There’s also an opportunity to see the “Big 5” types of game – elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards and rhinoceroses.
  • The Garden Route takes you from the Wine lands of the Western Cape, all the way to Cape Town. The route allows you to cycle along the coast, and the Indian Ocean, with magnificent paved roads throughout. Although there is the opportunity to enjoy some high-altitude, high-octane climbing in the Swatberg Mountains. The Garden Route is sure to have many touring and road cyclists licking their lips at the thought of such a challenging ride.
  • De Hoop National Park is located the Western Cape Province of South Africa. It is home to the De Hoop Nature Reserve, which features all of the “Big 5” game, it is also prime country for mountain biking, and a great way to experience the African Safari by bike – rather than with a Safari touring company. De Hoop is part of the “Cape Floral Region”, which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although, do not venture to the eastern part of the Park, however, as this site is used for missile testing by various NATO countries.

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South Africa bike touring advenure

Based in the Northern Tuli Reserve of Botswana, the Cycle Mashatu Wilderness Trail provides a unique opportunity to ride at leisure along ancient elephant migration paths, cycle through vast herds of wildlife and to sleep under starlit African skies. Join us for this unforgettable wildlife biking experience in Mashatu, the “Land of the Giants”! [/one_third] [one_third]

The Odyssey Tour unites the Goldrush and Mashatu Wilderness trails in a 9-day adventure, making it the best all encompassing African biking holiday. Join us on a truly incredible African mountain biking holiday, a journey never to be forgotten.

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The tour highlights: Addo Elephant Park, that means a 164000 hectare sanctuary with a multitude of game species and abundant bird life and also the home of the “Big 7” game.

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Facts About South Africa

  • As of 2010, South Africa was the only country in the world to host the Cricket, Rugby and FIFA World Cups.
  • The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the world’s only Floral Kingdoms. And it is the only Floral Kingdom that resides wholly in an entire country.
  • South Africa is ranked as the world’s third-best country for readily drinkable water.
  • South African brewery company, SABMiller ranks as the world’s largest brewing company – by volume. The company supplies up to fifty percent of China’s beer.
  • South Africans voluntarily abandoned their nuclear weapons programme in 1989, and remains the only country in the world to do so willingly.
  • “The Palace of the Lost City” is the world’s largest themed resort hotel. It spans a massive 25 hectares, and features a botanical garden – every square inch of which is man-made.
  • South Africa has around 90% of the world’s platinum metals stored in the country’s many, many mines. An area in which it is also considered a world leader.
  • In South Africa, there is a 710-foot bungee jump, which is the world’s highest.
  • South Africa is the location of the world’s oldest meteor scar, which is called the “Vredefort Dome”, located in the town of Parys.
  • Two South African winners of the Nobel Prize (Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu), lived on the same street!

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Photos by zoutedrop, Randy OHC and Brian Snelson.