We present a fantastic 7 day 6 night tour in the Swartberg Mountains. The Swartberg Pass, built Sir Thomas Bain using convict labour in 1887 is a 24km long narrow winding mountain pass rising to a height of 1585m above sea level!! It passes through some of the loveliest mountain scenery in South Africa and forms the backdrop to our entire tour!!
The climate on these mountains is characterised by extremes ... the weather can changes dramatically and quickly. It can be extremely hot in summer and snowfalls are not uncommon in winter!! It's an awesome playground!! We have chosen superb accommodation to make the best use of this mountain range and show you the real beauty of the Karoo and Southern Cape!! Bring your climbing legs ... this is a mountain tour!! Back up vehicles and many rest stops make it do-able ride for any reasonably fit mountain biker!!
The tour begins in the town of George. Mountain Biking Africa will either meet you at Penny Royal B&B in George (15 minutes from the airport) or transfer you from Knysna to the start in George.
Day One - George to De Rust
The day starts with a superb 7km climb up the Montagu Pass, one of the first wagon routes north over the Outeniqua Mountains. Once seen as an obstacle to travel the pass now gives access to the scenic splendour of this area!! Once over the other side, we enter the Klein Karoo and ride through the "badlands". We follow the Paardepoort road to Oudemuragie, our overnight stop. This is a beautiful working farm with little cottages nestled in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. 75kms.
Day Two - De Rust to Swartberg
Today is an awesome day. An undulating ride over gravel roads to the Swartberg Private Nature Reserve. After 30km of dirt we ride a 20km stretch of tar road to the reserve. The rewards once we get there are huge. We get to crank the pedals within the boundaries of a private reserve teeming with game.
The riding here is phenomenal, jeep tracks and rocky roads take us through the reserve. With the majestic Swartberg mountains as a backdrop we ride for ±25km in the reserve past giraffe, impala, wildebeest, zebra, eland and even dodge a few baboons!!
A fantastic end to a very good day. We spend the night in a privately owned house complete with pool, cold beers, and an awesome log fire upon which we cook our diner. Your guide will prepare a feast for you tonight.
The distance we ride on the reserve can adjusted according to fitness levels …….. we ride as much or as little as you want. 60-75kms.
Day Three - Swartberg to Prince Albert
Today we tackle the southern side of the Swartberg Pass. The climb is superb, the views are amazing, and you end up on top of the world. After soaking in the views you have a wicked 18km descent into the quaint town of Prince Albert. Here we stay at the Dennehof Country House. Prepare to be spoilt ... beautiful 4 poster beds, succulent karoo lamb, and a good bottle of red wine.
Day Four - Prince Albert
We ride as much or as little as you want today…this is also an optional rest day, or a hiking day!! The Swartberg has 2 amazing 9km hiking loops close by…….a great day trip into the mountain. If you want to ride today we take an exploratory ride out of Price Albert to the Gamkaklook dam. Vast open karoo with amazing views and wide open vistas. Today is also an optional rest day for those wanting to relax with partners and enjoy the hospitality of Prince Albert and all the wonderful little coffee shops and curio shops.
Day Five - Prince Albert To Swartberg
After departing Dennehof we have another superb climb. The winding and twisting northern side of the Swartberg Pass with a gazillion hairpin bends back up to the top of the pass forms the main part of our ride today. This part of the famous and has been photographed a million times. It’s a sight to see for sure. The views are superb.
Following a 10km descent down the southern slopes we return to the Swartberg Private Nature Reserve.
Day Six - Swartberg To Calitzdorp
We travel west today and ride to the town of Calitzdorp, home to stage 2 in the inaugural 2004 Absa Cape Epic. We follow some of the Epic route on the undulating Groenfontein road, accompanied by superb mountain views, amazing karoo vegetation and the chance to see Black Eagles, Pale Chanting Goshawk, and many other beautiful birds. The Swartberg Mountains watch over us on this final easy day. Accommodation is at Soeterus on the outskirts of this little Karoo town. 55kms.
Day Seven - Calitzdorp to George/Knysna
After breakfast Mountain Biking Africa transfers guests back to Knysna/George Airport over the Outeniqua Pass.
Tour price includes ALL ACCOMMODATION, ALL MEALS, SNACKS, COLDRINKS, BACKUP VEHICLE, GUIDE, ALL PERMITS, AND TRANSFERS FROM KNYSNATO STARTING POINT AND RETURN. Excludes all alcoholic beverages.
Should you wish to document your adventure, we - at Tony Cook Adventures - are able to supply you with photographs and video. Please enquire for rates when you book. GoPro footage and professional pic available!
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