Cycling the Drakensberg & Kruger

Cycling the Drakensberg & Kruger

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12 Days From

$4048

$3749

Cycling the Drakensberg & Kruger

12 Days Starting and ending in Johannesburg

Visiting: South Africa

Tour operator:

Exodus Adventure Travels

Tour code:

MZD

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

5 - 14

Physical rating:

Moderate / Challenging

Age range:

16-99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:

English

Trip Styles:

Active

Activities:

4WD, Cycling, Sightseeing

From: $4048 $3749 Operator discount: -$193 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$106

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

This two wheeled adventure takes us through stunning mountain scenery and past dramatic rock formations, through abandoned gold mines, baboon inhabited forests and tranquil natural waterfalls. Part way through the trip we dismount our bikes and spend two days on safari in Kruger National Park where we have the chance to spot lions, rhinos, elephants, giraffes and various other wild animals. From Kruger we continue our pedal powered journey along the panorama route before ending at the mighty Blyde River Canyon. With perfect road surfaces and idyllic sunshine, there is surely no better way to experience eastern South Africa than by bike.

Highlights

  • Cycle through vast mountain scenery, forests, waterfalls and canyons

  • Search for the big 5 in Kruger National Park

  • Discover the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains

Itinerary

Day 1

Depart London
**



Day 2


Upon arrival in Johannesburg we drive directly to the Golden Gate Highlands
National Park (5hr transfer) in the Maluti Mountains of the Northern Free
State. The park's name comes from the golden hue on the parks sandstone
cliffs as the sun hits them. With 11,600 hectares of highland habitat, the
national park is home to a number of animals including springbok, mountain
zebra and wildebeest as well as the rare bearded vulture and bald
ibis. Depending on the time of the group flights, we will either set up the
bikes this afternoon or tomorrow morning. We will have a chance to test them
out around the grounds of the accommodation before we begin the cycling.

*Accommodation:* Sungubala Eco Camp or similar*
*



Day 3


Getting up early, we cycle 25km on roads through the national park. We start
with a short climb up to a viewpoint where mountain zebra are often spotted
before descending a long winding mountain pass. Later in the ride there are a
few short steep up and down sections to get the heart pumping before it then
levels out again. All along this road there are great opportunities to see
wildlife from the saddle so make sure you have a camera to hand! At the park
exit we transfer towards the Northern Drakensberg (60km) stopping at the
'Vulture restaurant' for the views over the Sterkfontein Dam and an early
picnic lunch. We then get back on the bikes and cycle down the Oliviers Hoek
pass all the way to the Sungbala lodge, our overnight stay. Here we have the
whole night to take in the stunning view of the Drakensberg amphitheatre
whilst enjoying a meal cooked by the guides.

*Accommodation:* Sungubala Eco Camp or similar



Day 4


In the morning we cycle towards the Drakensberg Mountains whilst following a
back road route into the Royal Natal National Park in the Northern Berg. This
ride is fairly undulating but the views of the Drakensberg amphitheatre at
the top of each rise are well worth the effort. After entering the park, we
continue on our bikes for approximately 2km to our picnic spot – before
lunch we can get changed in to swimming gear and walk the short distance to
the cascades waterfall for a well-deserved swim in the cool waters. After
lunch there will be time to explore the park and its hiking trails or simply
relax before transferring back to our accommodation.

*Accommodation:* Sungubala Eco Camp or similar



Day 5


After breakfast we leave the Drakensberg with a 210km (approx. 3 hour)
transfer by road to Dundee. Here there will be time for a little shopping and
resupply before continuing onto Rorke's Drift. At Rorke’s Drift we have a
guided tour around the area where 150 British and Colonial troops defended a
small garrison against nearly 5000 Zulu warriors. After a hearty lunch and a
change into cycling kit it’s back onto our bikes for a 45km ride from
Rorke’s Drift to our overnight accommodation. This is a great ride through
the scenic cattle country; the first 17km is on a good quality compact dirt
road where we often spot many types of vulture and eagle flying overhead,
once back on the tarmac road we have a flat ride to our accommodation where
we can relax in the pool.

*Accommodation:* Battlefields Country Lodge or similar



Day 6


We have an early morning transfer (300km about 4 hours) towards the hot
springs town of Badplaas in the Mpumalanga province. After lunch we get on
the bikes and start our ride with a fantastic 17km descent before an
undulating ride all the way to our accommodation located just outside of the
town with stunning panoramic views of the Hlumu mountain range.

*Accommodation:* Badplaas Forever Resort or similar



Day 7


Today we start with a short transfer to Maanhaar, close to the border with
Swaziland. From here we climb on the bikes and ride along a stunning gravel
road which winds its way between the Songimvelo Game Reserve and the base of
the Hlumu Mountains. We pass an abandoned mine which has now become home to
Vervet monkeys so make sure you have your camera at the ready. As the road
starts to climb we hop in the bus and transfer to the top of a mountain range
overlooking the Songimvelo Game Reserve, we stop on this road for a quick
photo stop at a breathtaking viewpoint that overlooks the valley below before
getting back on the bikes to cycle into Barberton town and onto our
accommodation.

*Accommodation:* African Rest Lodge or similar



Day 8


After breakfast we get on the bikes and start our ride through the Kaap River
Valley as it winds its way towards Kaapmuiden. After about 50km we reach our
stopping point and get in the van for a short transfer to a shopping centre
where we can change out of cycling kit and stock up on cold drinks and snacks
for Kruger. From here we have a very short transfer to get to the Malelane
Gate where we enter the Kruger National Park and start our safari. We have a
two hour game drive through the southern tip of Kruger to get to Skukuza
Camp, keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready as the southern part of Kruger
is known for its abundance of big cats.

*Accommodation:* Kruger National Park Camp or similar



Day 9


This morning we have an early start to beat the heat of the day and maximise
our chances of seeing a predator. Because of the early start we will only
have a small breakfast at the camp which will consist of a South African
'rusk' and a coffee. After several hours of looking for animals we stop in
one of the designated lunch spots where our guides cook up a delicious
brunch. From here we continue our game drive back to camp and have the rest
of the day to relax in the pool or at the bar which overlooks the Sabi River.
Tonight there is the opportunity to go on a night safari drive through the
park in one of the official safari vehicles (this is an optional extra and
should be paid for locally. Please see the optional activities section in the
trip notes for prices and further information).

*Accommodation:* Kruger National Park Camp or similar*
*



Day 10


Today we aim to spend most of the day in the national park searching for
animals, and once again start off with a morning game drive, but in the
opposite direction to yesterday. We return to camp for some brunch and to
collect our bags before heading out on our final game drive in Kruger as we
make our way out of the park via the Numbi gate. From here we have a short
transfer to our overnight accommodation in Hazyview where we can take a
stroll down to the Hippo River or just relax by the pool.

*Accommodation:* Gecko Lodge or similar*
*



Day 11


After a few days of well-earned rest, today we get back on the bikes for the
most challenging ride of the trip. After a hearty breakfast in Hazzyview we
cycle from our lodge up the escarpment and towards Sabie. This first part of
the ride is stunning and very different from what we have seen earlier in the
tour as our route takes us through Avocado plantations and dense forests
before arriving in Sabie where we can stop at a café for a muffin and coffee
milkshake. From Sabie we continue to climb until we arrive at Mac Mac Pools,
here we stop for a swim in the natural pools whilst our guides make lunch.
After lunch our ride heads downhill for a visit to Mac Mac Falls and
continues all the way to Graskop and our accommodation which overlooks the
escarpment.

*Accommodation:* Mogodi Lodge or similar



Day 12


Our final day of cycling will take us through yet more beautiful scenery as
we cycle along the Panorama Route. In the morning we visit God’s Window to
take in the breathtaking landscape view before cycling past ‘Wonder view’
and on to Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Here we stop for lunch and go for a walk
around the curious rock formations before getting back on the bikes for the
last time and cycling to the spectacular viewpoint over the Blyde River
Canyon and on to our accommodation. For our last night in South Africa we
will have a big group meal in the hotel restaurant which has an amazing view
of the three Rondavels and the canyon.

*Accommodation:* Blyde River Canyon Forever Resort or similar



Day 13

After a leisurely breakfast and a short walk to the private viewpoint within
the grounds of our accommodation we get in the bus and transfer through the
small towns of Ohrigstad, Lyndenburg and Dullstroom as we make our way back
to Johannesburg Airport. This transfer is roughly 420km but we break it up
with plenty of short stops and a longer lunch break. Please note that due to
the often high levels of traffic surrounding Johannesburg we leave our
accommodation with plenty of time to complete this transfer. This does mean
that on some occasions when the roads are traffic free we might arrive at the
airport early and have a longer wait before the return flight departs.
**



Day 14


Arrive London.



What's Included

  • Local bike hire

  • Tour leader throughout

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners

  • All accommodation 

  • All transport and listed activities

  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's Not Included

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Travel insurance

Food


11 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners are included on this tour.

For breakfast you can expect a good selection of cereals, toast, jams, fruit
and yogurt as well as coffee and rusks. Occasionally we have a cooked
breakfast or buffet in some locations. Meals which are included in the trip
are cooked and prepared by your guide and drivers. On two days you will have
a cooked lunch, but most days you will have a large selection of sandwich
ingredients including cold meats, bread, salad, cheese and crisps. Vegetarian
and other dietary requirements are well catered for but please inform our
team at least two weeks before you travel. The tour leaders do all the
shopping and meal planning for each group. Each tour has a cool box for cold
drinks and you will be made aware of nights when alcohol is not available so
you can purchase some before hand. We supply the following drinks on all
tours: fruit juice and squash served with breakfast & lunch, tea and coffee
served with breakfast and dinner. All other beverages will be at your own
expense.

Accommodation

We spend 9 nights in small lodges and 2 nights in permanent tented camps. Most properties are small privately owned establishments that are clean and comfortable and all rooms have en-suite facilities apart from our accommodation in Kruger. This does mean that even if you have paid for a single supplement you will have to use the shared facilities at our accommodation in Kruger. The accommodation and locations we stay in throughout the trip are a real highlight and very memorable. One of the best has to be the eco lodge in the Drakensberg where you can spend the evening watching the sun set over the magnificent Drakensberg amphitheatre whilst our guides cook dinner on the Braai (BBQ).

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    14

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    Comfortable

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    16+ Age people can go on this tour.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

SOUTH AFRICA: CYCLING DRAKENSBERG & KRUGER

This was the most brilliant trip - long cycles - h

This was the most brilliant trip - long cycles - hot days and freezing cold nights - August! The group were great, supportive and fun and the tour guides and cycle guide brilliant.

Fabulous way to experience South Africa

The outlined itinerary covers the vast, varied, an

The outlined itinerary covers the vast, varied, and stunning scenery of the more rural South Africa. Plus time spent in Kruger National Park. This trip is for easy going and seasoned travelers who are willing to 'go with the flow'. There are times when a route might change, the weather isn't cooperating, or a pause for mechanical issues is necessary. This trip is a value !!! Together, in the sprinter van, long transfers are covered, the host/guide, makes comfort stops accordingly, and our bikes are on the trailer, with us. We are never too far from our day packs , snacks, and fluids. Having our own van in Kruger gave us flexibility for our own game drives. Having our meals prepped in Kruger gave us more time to use the pool, rest, birdwatch, and at night, watch the evening sky. We had little cultural interaction with the local people, yet we cycled through small town centers, farmland, and housing settlements with waves of "hello' hello'.

SOUTH AFRICA: CYCLING DRAKENSBERG & KRUGER

One of the best cycling trips I have done in 8 yea

One of the best cycling trips I have done in 8 years.  The scenery, wildlife was awesome and the cycling was hard but very rewarding and the best sort of cycling for me - climb and climb and then glide down hills with amazing views.  I am now a big fan of South African pinotage too!

Cycling and Safari in South Africa

This was a good trip with a great balance of cycli

This was a good trip with a great balance of cycling and safari. However, there are some really long transfers between days, not just the transfer to and from the airport. With 14 in a 14 seater mini bus it was not the most comfortable of journeys, especially for the men with their larger shoulders. Make sure you do some training before you go as there are some long hills, which require endurance. The guides were most helpful and encouraged everyone. They also prepared some good meals, taking into account everyone's dietary needs.

Stunning cycle of the Drakensberg and Kruger

A fantastic way to see Eastern South Africa. Plent

A fantastic way to see Eastern South Africa. Plenty of steady climbs to test the legs (would recommend spin classes beforehand to strengthen those muscles!) rewarded with some stunning downhill rides (even though downhills make me nervous). Cycling on good roads with some traffic. Amazing opportunities to spot wildlife too! Top trip.

Cycling Drakensberg and Kruger

This tour is not a race it’s about taking your tim

This tour is not a race it’s about taking your time and embracing the scenery, culture and everything the trip has to offer.

Fantastic and Challenging Holiday

This trip exceeded our expectations in terms of th

This trip exceeded our expectations in terms of the amazing scenery. The trip was well organised and the cycling was challenging.

Brilliant trip!

Excellent trip, so well organised and carried out.

Excellent trip, so well organised and carried out. Lots of cycling made easy with the great guides.

cycling drakensberg and kruger

fabulous trip. Guides Tellis, Bevan and Tish were

fabulous trip. Guides Tellis, Bevan and Tish were outstanding. Great selection of accomodations. all very unique

Drakensberg & Kruger

Correctly graded as challenging, the first few day

Correctly graded as challenging, the first few days were harder than I expected with the altitude and head winds. It was quite cool there too, so a warm and windproof layer is essential in the misty conditions, arm warmers were handy too. The Blyde Canyon ride is long, but you start early (earlier than the trip notes suggest, and without breakfast before setting off); the first and last thirds have an uphill bias but the middle part is a really nice undulating section - the wonderful views are a great distraction too. It’s an enjoyable trip, with some good biking including some fabulous descents safe enough for some good top speeds, and we certainly saw more wildlife than I was expecting - take some binoculars, you’ll be glad you did.

Read all 31 reviews

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Sunday - Thursday

Sep 08, 2024 - Sep 19, 2024
$4048 $3749

Operator discount: -$193

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$106

Sunday - Thursday

Oct 13, 2024 - Oct 24, 2024
$4050 $3939

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$111

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus Adventure Travels allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus adventure travels, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus Adventure Travels requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus adventure travels charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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