Total tour distance: 70 miles
Daily tour distance: 10 miles
Difficulty: 70 / 100
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.
Duration: 9 days/8 nights
Start/End: OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, SA
Departures: First Thursday of the month from March to November
The Goldrush trail: Based in the eastern highlands of South Africa provides classic free riding in pristine afromontane surrounds. Enjoy the comforts of a luxury ranch-style homestead, and ride exhilarating single track through game rich grasslands. Explore relics of South Africa’s gold mining era and appreciate utter seclusion from the outside world.
Cycle Mashatu Wilderness Trail: 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”!
Join us on this truly enticing African biking holiday, a journey never to be forgotten. Ride highland peaks and forested valleys in Lydenburg South Africa, and bike ancient elephant trails in Botswana. Indulge in the classic luxuries of the Golden Cottage, and slumber to sounds of the wild under starlit skies in Botswana's wilderness.
Day 1: Arrive at OR International, road transfer to Mt Anderson (Thursday)
Meet your guide at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, or preferred hotel and drive 4hrs to Mt Anderson Reserve. We’ll have an opportunity to settle into our stunning location, prep our bikes, and enjoy a sundowner on the terrace.
The Golden cottage is a luxurious ranch style homestead, catering for a max of 6 guests in 3 double en-suite rooms. Trust us you'll love it.
Day 2: Alpine Heights (Friday)
We're on holiday, so no wake up calls here. After a light breakfast we climb to above 2000m. We emerge on highland plains and cruise down winding trails, herding eland, wildebeest and zebra as we go, eventually dropping into the Spekboom river valley. We break for a swim and lunch and head back to the cottage for well-deserved siesta. (Approximately 30 km’s)
We ride mostly single track, in pristine highland wilderness (up to 2000m), at a relaxed pace with plenty of stops to soak up the views. We may encounter wildlife including zebra, black wildebeest, baboons, reedbuck, jackal and eland.
Day 3: Bushman's trail (Saturday)
After breakfast we ride the Bushman's trail - short steep climbs, winding single track along an escarpment with dramatic views of the valley below, through late 1800s gold prospecting scars, flowing descents with some technical and steep sections, past San rock art and over stream bridges. We'll lunch on the trail and be back at the cottage in the afternoon for down time. (Approximately 30 km’s)
Day 4: Pilgrims Rest (Sunday)
We wake to a hearty breakfast and set for perhaps the biggest day’s ride of the trip. Over Olifant’s Nek, we descend the course of the upper Blyde River mostly on forestry dirt roads, through unparalleled vistas, as it tumbles down to the 1800’s Gold mining town of Pilgrims Rest. We lunch in a local tavern and spend some time exploring the historical village. We’ll shuttle back to the Golden Cottage. (Approximately 50 km’s)
Day 5: Mashatu, Wilderness (Monday)
We depart early for the 5 and a bit hour drive to Pont Drift border post where we meet the Botswana team. After sandwiches and packing the land cruisers we ride to our 1st wilderness camp. (Approximately 20 km’s)
The wilderness camps are set up prior to our arrival and contain basic amenities to offer comfort without distracting from the wilderness experience. Meals prepared on open fires, hot water bucket showers, camp cots and cold beers all add up to a comfortable and exhilarating night out.
Days 6 and 7: Mashatu, Wilderness (Tuesday and Wednesday)
We awake at sunrise to a breakfast of yogurt, cereals, toast and fruit. We ride a variation of paths and trails to return to our camp by lunchtime. We relax during the midday hours and then enjoy a sundowner from a vantage point in the afternoon. (Approximately 30 km’s)
The riding at Mashatu is very relaxed where we ride for approximately 4 to 5 hours a day, with many stops en-route. We often encounter wildlife including elephants, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, kudu, and eland among others and occasionally we see lions and leopards. Two qualified trails guides accompany each group and ensure the safety and enjoyment of the group. A back-up vehicle is in radio contact with the group at all times.
Day 8: Mashatu, Kgotla (Thursday)
After a breakfast and home brewed coffee, we ride (our last of the trip) out to the sandstone ridges of the Limpopo valley, through stellar moonscapes and gardens of Eden. We’ll arrive at our Kgotla camp where we’ll enjoy an afternoon of relaxation and a final epic sunset. (Approximately 40 km’s)
Day 9: Departure
We wake up at leisure, breakfast and pack bikes. We'll return to Pont Drift border post for the road transfer back to Johannesburg and a farewell to new discovered friends.
Mashatu Game Reserve is situated within the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana. The adventure begins and ends at the Pont Drift Border Post, approximately 5 ½ hours drive from Johannesburg.
The Goldrush trail is situated in the Mount Anderson Reserve near Lydenburg, Mapumalanga, South Africa. Approximately 3 ½ hours (check?) drive from Johannesburg.
Departures are available all year round.
At Mount Anderson guests stay in luxury ranch-style homestead. At Mashatu guests stay in beautiful bush camps. Sleep in tents or under the stars. The choice is yours!
Groups of up to 10 people are recommended.
The distance, pace and route is tailored to each group. The aim is to ride 4-5 hours per day, covering 30-40km’s.
At Mount Anderson, being a mountainous area, the trails are challenging with a fair amount of climbing and treacherous rocky sections. Beautiful single track has been carved into the area and for the trail for the most part, is very ridable. Rated 4/5.
At Mashatu the terrain is fairly flat and the pace is generally easy going with regular game sightings and scenic picnic stops. Rated 2/5.
A backup vehicle is on hand at all times to rescue tired riders or tired bikes!
Mountain bikes with off-road tyres and tyre sealant. Bike hire is available on request. Helmets are compulsory.
No bike, no problem! We have robust all terrain mountain bikes for hire at R250/day.
Food and Beverages:
All meals are included in the package price. Please bring your own riding snacks. A fully stocked cash bar is also available.