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South Africa

Biking and the Big 5

Guided Mountain Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

10 days

Prices from

$5,360 P.P.
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A unique mountain bike holiday in South Africa full of incredible contrasts including mountain lodges, thrilling singletrack, vast African wilderness and intimate wildlife viewing.
Starting in the Waterberg we base ourselves at Summerplace Farm, nestled in the beautiful mountains of Limpopo. Riders of all levels will have fun here. We have access to a network of trails including rough singletrack and open farm roads. It's here where we have the unique experience of feeding the resident Rhinos at nearby Ants Nest.
Our next location are the Soutpansberg Mountains. Here at Leshiba Mountain Retreat we explore a private wildlife and eco-tourism reserve that has a vast biodiversity of flora and fauna, stunning scenery, unspoilt nature, and a rich variety of culture and wildlife. Our biking here explores the exciting network of singletrack and jeep tracks on the reserve, with the trails exhilarating and fun.
Our final location is Selati Game Reserve lying to the west of the Kruger National Park. Here the riding is more of a wilderness experience by bike and we will often encounter wildlife on the trails. Selati is a superb game reserve in which to view, lion, white rhino and elephant.
In addition expect sightings of baboon, zebra, giraffe, jackal, honey badger, mongoose, hyrax (commonly known as “dassies”), wildebeest and numerous types of antelope. There will of course be armed riding guides with us at all times and a back-up vehicle (where access allows).
During the trip there are several options to undertake game drives, which are for many a highlight of their trip and ensure that we get the very most out of these incredible areas and affording us the chance to see the region’s most elusive animals up close. During the trip we stay in three locations with the accommodation of a high standard throughout. Participant numbers are kept specifically low so as to have minimum impact on the trails and tracks and areas we ride through and in addition allow us a better chance of wildlife encounters along the way.
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Highlights

  • Biking Waterberg’s winding singletrack
  • Game drives and end of the day sundowners
  • Big 5 spotting by bike in Selati
  • Feeding the resident Rhinos at Ants Nest
  • Boma camp beers and star gazing
  • The thrilling biking trails of Leshiba Mountain Retreat

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Itinerary

Day 1
Departure for South Africa

Depart for South Africa on one of the many overnight flights arriving the next day in Johannesburg.

Day 2
Arrival: Johannesburg / Waterberg
6 Miles / 10 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Dinner

After meeting your local Skedaddle guiding team in Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) we head-off on our transfer to Waterberg Mountains in the Limpopo region of South Africa. Just 3.5 hour’s drive from the city of Jo‘berg.

Waterberg is a pristine rugged wilderness boasting mountains, savannah and dense forests.

Having either stopped for lunch en-route, or after checking in at Summerplace Farm, we are set to get on our bikes for an afternoon exploring an amazing network of singletrack before returning for sundowners and dinner at the farmhouse.

Waterberg

Situated approximately two-and-a-half-hours drive from Johannesburg and close to Vaalwater, Limpopo. Our accommodation at Summerplace Farm is perfectly situated to explore the wonderful 120km network of pristine trails that cut their way through the majestic bushveld of the Waterberg.

The area is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream and offers superb game viewing on the reserve. We will also have the opportunity to Skedaddle across to the neighbouring Ant’s Nest Reserve where we will enjoy breakfast on one of the mornings and take part in feeding the resident rhinos. The diverse topography here enables it to naturally sustain over 40 species of game including giraffe, white rhino, zebra, buffalo and numerous species of antelope. For those who are passionate about birds, there are well over 300 species of resident and migrant birds here too.

Accommodation – Summerplace FarmHouse

Based at the lovely Summerplace Farm where we’ll be situated at both the Farm House and neighbouring chalets/cottages with a great swimming pool perfect for post-ride dips & sundowners.

Day 3
Rhinos and Wildlife of Waterberg
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After a good night’s rest, we wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and our delicious breakfast.

Leaving straight from the farmhouse we head out on our bikes and cycle through the farm on a combination of rough singletrack and farm roads. Our journey today takes us to a unique spot at which it is time to feed the Rhino’s and cherish a few moments with these prehistoric endangered animals.

Returning to our bikes it’s time to explore further into the reserve which is home to giraffe, zebra, kudu and buffalo. After climbing uphill for a while its time for lunch at a wonderful spot that overlooks the Waterberg gorge.

Views absorbed and photos taken our post-lunch ride takes us back down the mountain on a great newly designed singletrack that sees us winding our way back to the farmhouse for sundowners and dinner.

Accommodation: Summerplace FarmHouse

Day 4
Buffalo Feed and Full Day Riding
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

An early start to the day as we transfer you to a neighbouring farm to be in time for feeding the buffalos. Thereafter we hop on our bikes and explore this wilderness area before heading back to Summerplace for a hearty brunch. After brunch there will be some time to relax at the newly-built bike village on the reserve.

This afternoon’s ride will be a combination of singletrack trails and breath-taking views and ends in style at a secret sundowner viewpoint for a cheeky beer before returning back to Summerview for another delicious home-cooked dinner.

Accommodation: Summerplace FarmHouse

Day 5
Waterberg to Leshiba Mountain Retreat
10-20 Miles / 17-30 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Another early breakfast before departing for Leshiba. After unloading our bikes at the base of the Soutpansberg Mountains our mountain biking challenges begin. We’ve a tough rocky climb for around 10Km /6 miles before entering the Leshiba Reserve from where we continue our biking to the accommodation. After check-in at Art Lodge you can choose between a short afternoon ride or an afternoon spent at leisure.

Leshiba Mountain Retreat

Spectacularly positioned atop the mystical Soutpansberg mountains high in the Limpopo Province, this reserve has one of South Africa’s highest biodiversity of flora and fauna with unrivalled scenery, unspoilt nature, a rich variety of endemic wildlife species including giraffe, zebra, antelope, leopard and porcupine.

Our evening meal is taken outside overlooking the Duluni valley, under a star-filled sky we’ll be able to hear the sounds of the bush.

Accommodation – Venda Art Lodge, Leshiba Mountain Retreat

Within Leshiba is Venda Art Lodge, an authentic traditional village re-created together with internationally renowned Venda artists, Noria Mabasa and Thomas Kubayi. The Venda Art Lodge is a magical African story waiting to be shared with you.

Our accommodation for our two nights here is in en-suite African style huts (locally known as Rondavels) that open up to sculpted sun-baked courtyards. The traditional circular African dwelling with a conical thatched roof, additionslly have a swimming pool and pool deck offering stunning views over the Duluni Valley.

Please enquire for an upgrade to the Lavish Suites

Day 6
Leshiba
20 Miles / 30 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After a light breakfast, a full morning is taken to explore Leshiba by bike on a mixture of brilliant singletrack and jeep trails, stopping for a late morning picnic brunch in the reserve.

A game drive is offered in the afternoon with a chance to view Leshiba’s wildlife from the comfort of a game viewing vehicle or you can spend the afternoon taking in the beautiful views from Venda Village and enjoying a dip in the swimming pool, or for those feeling more energetic there’s always a few more biking trails to explore.

Accommodation – Venda Art Lodge, Leshiba Mountain Retreat

Day 7
Leshiba to Selati
8 Miles / 13 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After a leisurely breakfast at the lodge, we head down the Soutpansberg Mountain. On arrival at Selati you are welcomed at HQ and escorted to the Klipspringer Lodge, your private bush camp for the next few nights. Cold drinks and a light lunch overlooking the waterhole will introduce us to this wild open space. Once settled we head off for a short afternoon ride to warm up the legs and explore this incredible place that will serve as our base for the next few days. No ride here is of course complete without a sundowner and we’ve a superb location for tonight before heading back to camp where besides the fire we’ll eat later that night.

Selati

Situated between the towns of Gravelotte and Mica to the west of Kruger National Park, Selati Game Reserve lies on 28,000 hectares in the Limpopo Province. It lies to the north of the Olifants River looking out onto the Drakensburg escarpment with its granite hills towering over the bush and is home to endemic cycads and an impressive range of savannah trees.

Established in 1993 its vision was to preserve and uplift the surrounding wildlife that plays a crucial role in the country’s heritage. Today, Selati Game Reserve continues to enrich this legacy of conservation with unwavering dedication to sustainable resource management.

It was proclaimed as a conservancy in 2003 and is a partnership between neighbouring families who have pooled former farmland to preserve and sustain the biodiversity of this region in the heart of the bushveld.

It is a superb game reserve in which to view lion, white rhino and elephant. In addition expect sightings of baboon, zebra, giraffe, jackal, honey badger, mongoose, hyrax, wildebeest and numerous types of antelope. With safety a high priority the camps are fenced and give you peace of mind when exploring these beautiful areas by foot.

Accommodation – Klipspringer Lodge, Selati

For our three nights in Selati we are based at Klipspringer an oasis set in the northern side of the reserve that is named after Klipspringers (small antelopes) who can be seen roaming the area. It overlooks a nearby watering hole adorned with a hide for effortless game viewing, while the pool, open air boma, and raised lounge allow you to enjoy the scenery in style.

Our accommodation is in three thatched standalone cottages, as well as the spacious main house and offers cosy accommodation. The common area is equipped with all at-home luxuries, whilst the surrounding area melds into nature. Rest up after a ride on the veranda, take a dip in the pool or head to the watering hole for wildlife viewing.

Day 8
Selati - Big 5 Spotting and Ancient Cycads
22 Miles / 35 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After breakfast and an eye-opening Moer coffee (South African plunge coffee), we head off for a day amongst the unique landscapes of Selati.

Heading south across the Selati River we ride towards the ancient and endemic cycads (seed plants) of this area in search of fun trails and game. So keep your eyes peeled as if anything catches your eye, the experienced trails guides will have us off our bikes and exploring the terrain or following game. This is a wonderful place to spot cheetah with the open clearings marking their territory boundaries.

Drink and snack stops along the way keep us fuelled-up before we head back to camp for lunch. Post-lunch snoozes beside the pool are very much in order in the early afternoon before we head off for a game drive to see what wildlife we can find. The game drive will most probably end after the sun sets, giving us an opportunity to spot some of the nocturnal wildlife.

Accommodation – Klipspringer Lodge, Selati

Day 9
Selati - Selati River and Sunsets
22 Miles / 35 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

A superb day of riding through the area south of the Selati River. The open areas around the water sources are prime Rhino terrain and with our trails heading close to these the chances of spotting a Rhino good. The dams here afford great views of this part of the reserve and so drink and snack stops are scheduled here before riding north so as to head along the riverbank back to camp. Another afternoon is spent here nestled between the Klipspringer Koppies before an afternoon game driven and our final Selati sunset. Our final dinner of the trip is spent at camp during which we’ll be able to reflect on the riding and wildlife we’ve seen during our time in this wonderful slice of South Africa.

Accommodation: Klipspringer Lodge, Selati

Day 10
Departure: Selati / Johannesburg
6 Miles / 10 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast

After a light breakfast we have time for a short final ride along the river before leaving Selati and heading back to Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) for homebound evening flights.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The first part of your trip explores well-manicured flowy single track and animal paths; well suited for intermediate and advanced riders. There are frequent more technical sections, however these are short and you can always push if they take you too far out of your comfort zone.

The second leg winds up mountains, over short sections of rocky terrain, through forests and across plains. The riding is not super technical but exhilarating and challenging.

The third part of your trip includes trails that are largely non-technical and allow you to keep your head up and stay on the lookout for animals. There may be some sandy sections through dry riverbeds that will test your balance.

Please bear in mind that the routes may alter depending on level of the group.

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Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 - 4: Moderate/ Challenging

25-50 miles / 40-80 kms per day

Aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 trips

For mountain bikers with some experience of singletrack and steeper terrain

May include rocky features and switchbacks

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Trips that are graded as a 3-4, will have aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 trips. If you have experience of off road riding on a variety of terrain, and would like a taste of more challenging terrain, a grade 3-4 trip could be for you. Terrain will include singletrack and steep sections (both up and down) which require more bike handling ability. Shorter technical and demanding features suchs as rocks, roots and tricky climbs will be encountered on occasion on most days. A day’s ride can see you on the trails for around 8 hours (with breaks) and covering between 25-50 miles depending on the terrain. If you’re generally fit and manage to ride frequently this could be the level for you.

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Dates & Prices

*

Late Availability

We want you to know which tours are coming up soon, so you don’t miss out! If a trip has this symbol beside it, it means you don’t have long to snap up your place.

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
* 02/10/2022
Return Date
11/10/2022
Duration
10 days
Price
$5,360.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) All local alcoholic and soft drinks in Waterberg

C) Sundowner drinks, local wines, beers and soft drinks at Selati

D) Meals as the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

E) Filtered drinking water during rides

F) All guided experiences – biking, walks and drives

G) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in First Aid

H) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

I) Rhino and African or Cape buffalo Experiences – Waterberg

J) Guided Game Drives (as per itinerary)

K) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival and departure day from O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg (JNB)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (very limited availability)

E) Travel insurance (available to UK residents if required)

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, accommodation facilities etc.)

H) Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic at Leshiba)

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

The arrival and departure airport for this trip is Johannesburg (JNB). Our trip is scheduled to fit overnight flights arriving in Johannesburg by 10:00am on Day 2, and departing in the evening of Day 9.

Common international connections to Johannesburg include London, Amsterdam, Istanbul and Dubai.

Please check with us before booking flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your flights fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make arrangements that fall outside of the above there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

This tour makes use of a varied and fascinating selection of accommodation. Your first host location is the comfortable private estate farmhouse at Summerplace Farm, offering a warm welcome to Africa. In the private reserve of Leshiba we stay in Venda Art Lodge, a lodge created in a traditional village style.

Single rooms are not always available, but may be organised on request when we have smaller groups.

There may also be possibilities to upgrade in Leshiba – Contact us for details.

As with all of our trips we aim to use accommodation which showcases the style and hospitality of the area you are visiting. We always have comfort and convenience in mind when selecting such places.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent. These bikes are typically very good mountain bikes featuring front suspension, disc brakes and good quality components.

We can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets at the time of booking.

If you choose to rent a bike from us you are welcome to bring your own saddle with you, and if you would like to use SPD/clipless pedals you will need to bring these with you.

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