The Hell and Back Tour
The Hell and Back Tour
Day 1: 35km, Day 2: 70km, Day 3: 65km
Total 160km
Tour length : 4 days


The remote and isolated Gamkaskloof valley in the Little Karoo was first inhabited by farmers in 1830 and was only accessible by foot until 1962 when a road was finally built. For more than a hundred years the valley was left to itself. It is an unbelievable place to visit – semi detached from the world. It is a place of echoes, eerie in its atmosphere, beautiful in its wilderness and solitude. A breathtakingly beautiful place to visit nestled in the bulge of the majestic Swartberg Mountains. To get there we have to first climb the Swartberg Pass. We then follow the backbone of the Swartberg Mountains before falling between the narrow walls of the Gamkaskloof. The entire ride is on a four-wheel-drive gravel road. The scenery is simply unbelievable.

Day One

We leave Knysna and drive approx 2 hours to the Swartberg Private Nature Reserve where we are accommodated in a privately owned house on the reserve. The house is nestled in the shadow of the majestic Swartberg Mountains. Lunch at DeOude Muel restaurant on the way!! ( Lunch today is for your your own account.) Upon arrival we will take a cool 25km warm-up ride within the reserve. We will see Zebra, Eland, Giraffe, Red Hartebeest, Impala, Wildebeest ...too mention a few. This ride is fantastic and has some challenging little sections. Good fun. Dinner at the house under the stars ... fire ... and an ice-cold beer or a good glass of wine.!

Day Two

After breakfast we climb the spectacular Swartberg Pass – a 10km climb with the summit at 1100m above sea level. The rewards at the top are handsome. Unbelievable views of the mountains and the Little Karoo. At the top we turn left on to the Otto du Plessis Rd for 37kms to the little settlement known as Die Hell – Gamkaskloof!! This is a fantastic ride in the most unspoilt area of wilderness you will see in Southern Africa. Mountain streams, King Proteas, baboons, bushbuck and great pinnacles of folded blood-red rock await you on your journey into The Hell. We overnight in lovely stone cottages in the valley run by Cape Nature Conservation. These cottages are the original restored homes of the farmers how used to live here. (70kms) ±1500m

Day Three

Day three is fairly tough as you ride back out of The Hell. The views again are unbelievable, but you need your climbing legs today. We finish the day with a stunning 20km descent down the northern side of the Swartberg Pass to the quaint town of Prince Albert. You are spoilt rotten on your last evening at the beautiful Dennehof Country House. Dine under the stars (weather permitting of course) on succulent Karoo lamb with a good bottle of wine before collapsing into your VERY comfortable bed. (65kms) ±1800m

Day Four

After a sumptuous breakfast in the heart of the Klein Karoo we take a gentle drive back to Knysna via the Meiringspoort. ( A beautiful scenic pass. Tar road.)

Rates include all accommodation, all meals, transfers from Knysna, back up vehicle, snacks each day, and of course your superb guide ... the owner of Mountain Biking Africa ... Tony Cook himself.

Contact us for rates and further information


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