Garden Route Day Mountain bike Guided Tours
The Garden Route (Afrikaans: Tuinroete) is a stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa which extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley; with George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre.
It has an oceanic climate, with mild to warm summers, and mild to cool winters. It has the mildest climate in South Africa and the second mildest climate in the world, after Hawaii, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Temperatures rarely fall below 10°C in winter and rarely climb beyond 28°C in summer. Rain occurs year-round, with a slight peak in the spring months, brought by the humid sea-winds from the Indian Ocean rising and releasing their precipitation along the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains just inland of the coast.
The Route is sandwiched between the aforementioned mountains and the Indian Ocean. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests are a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and Temperate Forest and offer hiking trails and eco-tourism activities. Nearly 300 species of bird life are to be found in a variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.
Eight Bells Mountain Inn via Brandwacht, 55km and back
Grading (1-5): 3, no single tracks
Meet at the Eight Bells Mountain Inn that is situated between Mossel bay and Oudtshoorn. www.eightbells.co.za
Cycle from Eight Bells Mountain Inn towards Brandwacht via the small gravel roads. Cross the tar road at Brandwacht and cycle back along the gravel road back towards Eight Bells, relax and have a drink and a great meal at Eight Bells Mountain Inn or stay over at this beautiful venue at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains.
Great Brakriver via Hartebeskuil Dam (55km)
Grading (1-5): 3, no single tracks
Meet at the Pepper Tree Restauarant in the hamlet, Great Barkriver. Great Brakriver is between Mossel Bay and George on the N2. Cycle from Pepepr Tree towards Klein Brak River and then to Hartenbos via the small quite gravel roads and the old main road. From Hartenbos we will head onto the roads between the Game farms. You should see many Game along the way, from Rhinos, giraffe, Blesbok, Hartebees, Kudu, Eland, Buffalo and many more. From Hartenbos via the game Farms towards Brandwacht and from Brandwacht back towards Great Brak River
Great Brakrier via Botierskop Game Reserve (30km)
Grading: (1-5) 3, no single tracks
Meet at Pepper Tree Restaurant and cycle towards Klein Brak River. Follow the Botlierskop signs to Botlierskop Game Reserve www.botlierskop.co.za Have a coffee at Botlierskop and watch the animals from the Restaurant. Continue via the gravel road through Botlierskop game Reserve (road closed, so special permission and a permit needs to be obtained from Botlierskop Game Reserve beforehand) See many different game species whilst cycling on the gravel roads between the fences, Eland, Elephant, Rhino, Kudu, Blesbok, Blou Wildebees, Buffalo. Continue cycling towards Great Brakriver.
Great Brakriver via Forest Highway to George and back: 82km
Grading: (1-5): 4, no single tracks, some steep jeep tracks and loose rock
Cycle from Pepper Tree Restaurant towards Jonkersberg Forest Station via gravel roads. From Jonkersberg cycly on the jeep track called Forest Highway along the Outeniqua Mountains that follows the contours of the mountain towards George to Blanco. Get off the Forest Highway above Blanco and cycle on the gravel roads between the farms towards Great Brakriver.
Great Brakriver via Friemersheim 45km
Grading: (1-5): 3, no single tracks
Cycle from Pepper Tree in Great Brakriver towards Little Brakriver and turn right towards Friemersheim. From Friemersheim enjoy the 10km downhill cycle towards Botlierskop. Cycle via Botlierskop www.botlierskop.co.za and check out the various Game along the way, Eland, Rhino, Buffalo, Blesbok, Kudu, Giraffe, Elephant. From Botlierskop cycle towards Great Brakriver.