Start: Johannesburg Finish: Johannesburg
Physical rating: Moderate / Challenging
Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements
Tour code: MZD
Group size: 5 - 14
16 to 99
Tour operated in:
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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.
Location: Johannesburg, Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Accommodation Name: Glen Reenen Rest Camp or similar
Upon arrival in Johannesburg we drive directly to the Golden Gate Highlands
National Park in the Maluti Mountains of the Northern Free State. This
transfer takes roughly 5 hours but will be broken up with stops along the
route to stretch the legs and go to the toilet. The Golden Gate national park
gets its name 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.
Location: Drakensberg Canopy Tour
Accommodation Name: Sungubala Eco Camp or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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.
Location: Northern Berg Electrical & Irrigation Whole Salers
Accommodation Name: Sungubala Eco Camp or similar
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.
Location: Dundee, Rorke's Drift Museum
Accommodation: Battlefields Country Lodge or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
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: Badplaas Forever Resort or similar
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.
Location: Songimvelo Game Reserve
Accommodation: African Rest Lodge or similar
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
Location: Kruger National Park
Accommodation Name: Kruger National Park Camp or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
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.
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: Gecko Lodge or similar
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.
Location: Graskop, Mac-mac Pools
Accommodation: Mogodi Lodge or similar
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
Location: Panorama Road, Blyde River Canyon
Accommodation: Blyde River Canyon Forever Resort or similar
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.
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.
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
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16+ Age people can go on this tour.
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