6 Day Eastern Cape Mountain Bike Tour

Eastern Cape Mountain Bike Tour.
Zuurberg near Addo Elephant Park to Chintsa on the Wild Coast.

An exciting 6 day ride on remote back roads of the Eastern Cape over rugged mountain passes where Boer War history still lingers in place names and koppies, through wildlife rich thicket close to game parks and finally, when you’re fit and fulfilled, ending in a welcome of green hills and the sparkling Indian Ocean of the Wild Coast.

DAY 1
Pick up at Port Elizabeth Airport

Welcome to sunny Port Elizabeth.  Our friendly crew will pick you up from Port Elizabeth Airport at 4pm and the hour long transfer will see you comfortably ensconced in your 4 star lodgings at Zuurberg Mountain Village.  This location on top of the historic Zuurberg Pass, with magnificent views of the Addo Elephant Park, will start to give you a sense of the ruggedly beautiful terrain you’ll soon be riding through.  After gear checks and chit-chats there’ll be plenty of time for relaxation.

DAY 2
Zuurberg to Somerset East | 90km

We begin our adventure cycling through the rugged Zuurberg Mountain range. A few steep climbs in granny gear will get you to a ridge where Boer War fighter Deneys Reitz and fellow Boers gazed down to the plains below in search of their English pursuers. Young Reitz was so impressed by the beauty of the surrounding Zuurberg Mountains, he even had time to mention it in his note book. Now you can appreciate this beauty without being chased. Keep an eye out for the stunning plant Aloe Ferox, its orange poker-like flower head brings a flash of vivid colour to the muted tones of this area.

Later in the day we’ll start our winding descent to the greener plains below and make our way to the tranquil little town of Somerset East. This town with its historic buildings and picturesque location at the foot of the Boschberg Mountain will be home for the night.

DAY 3
Somerset East to Bedford | 80km

After a cosy sleep in one of our carefully selected B&B’s we’ll head out for a day of exciting climbs in wild kloofs thick with ancient indigenous forest and still inhabited by many wild animals like bush buck and bush pig. We’ll also pass through green and idyllic dairy farmlands keeping an eye out for sleepy cows. This is also game farm country. After a couple of river crossings - the Baviaans and Great Fish Rivers - we’ll head towards the quaint but vibrant rural town of Bedford. In keeping with the old world charm of the town we stay in the recently restored Duke of Bedford Inn for a night of country luxury.

DAY 4
Bedford to Katberg | 97km

It’s a nice and easy 14km start on tar to prepare our legs for some long technical climbs through farmlands a little later in the day. Back on gravel we move through rolling hills with some relaxed ascents and descents. The highlight of the day will be riding through the Impofu and Katberg indigenous forests. These areas of shadowy beauty are home to hundreds of bird species.  Then it’s back to hard work with a 700m ascent of the Katberg Pass. Although this climb is gnarly and steep with some mean switch backs and deep ruts, the expansive views of the Hogsback, Katberg and Winterberg mountains and the long sweeping descent afterwards should be more than enough reward. In fact you’ll go flying all the way in to Katberg Spa & Golf Estate where, feeling jubilant, you can relax in this beautiful tranquil setting.

DAY 5
Katberg to Stutterheim | 133km

This is a challenging day that starts with a fast and mostly downhill cruise to town of Seymore lulling us into a false sense of chillness.  It’s hard to believe that Michel’s Pass was once suitable for ordinary vehicles but now, in its degraded state, it’s perfect for a bit of fun, lumpy-bumpy riding.

The town of Hogsback soon appears; lush, green and beautiful. You can look for hobbits as you cycle down the main road. Then, as we lose altitude, we have some recovery time dropping to have lunch at Sandile Dam before riding on more gentle terrain past Xhosa villages dominating hill tops and the historic school -St. Mathews Mission. A last peddle through the forest of Keiskammahoek will bring us to the outskirts of Stutterheim where we will sleep in a hotel at the foot of the stunning Amatola Mountains.

DAY 6
Stutterheim to Chintsa | 105km

It’s a fast flowing day as we head to the sea and the beautiful Wild Coast. The terrain varies from farmlands to more rugged and wild areas where you are likely to spot game. This area is steeped in fascinating frontier history. Glimpses of deep blue Indian Ocean will announce the end of the tour but a well-deserved late lunch and shower at the sublimely positioned Crawfords Beach Lodge will help make the transition back to real life more bearable. We will transfer you to East London Airport but, although it’s not part of the tour, we would highly recommend you spending another night of chill time at this beautiful beach front location.

*If this itinerary looks a bit tough for your level of riding you are welcome to use an ebike or rent one from us!
*This trip is run by arrangement only.

Price:
R15 985 per person sharing
Based on MIN 10 pax (we will take less, but the per person fee will be adjusted accordingly)

Single Supplement:
Add R3000 per person (on request, subject to availability)

Includes
Accommodation for 5 nights ( Good quality mid-range accommodations throughout)
All meals from dinner on Day 1 – lunch on Day 6
All transport, incl group airport transfers
Vehicle back-up on all riding days. The vehicle will follow on the trail WHERE POSSIBLE and where not, it will meet up with the riders at the closest exit point.
Transfer of bicycles & luggage
Drinks & snacks en route daily while cycling
Entry permits where applicable
Qualified guides

Excludes
All items of a personal nature, e.g. tel calls, laundry, etc
All drinks not dispensed at the roadside, including soft drinks, fancy coffees, bottled water & all alcoholic beverages
Bicycle rental – bring your own bike (or rental bikes available)
Airfares
Bike courier fees
*Additional overnight at Crawfords Beach Lodge in Chintsa ( Add R1200 pp, sharing or R1450 single D,B&B)
Gratuities, except for meals
anything not mentioned above