Mountain biking trip Cape Town
These Cape Town mountain biking trips are aimed at mountain bikers who have the singletrack bug.
Every day we take you out on the best Cape Town mountain biking trails in South Africa and these singletrack/ enduro cycling trips ensure you ride on the best Cape Town mountain bike singletrack. Below, are examples of the places we can take you.
Your accommodation will be cosy and comfortable guesthouses that are close to the best mountain bike trails around Cape Town. We will drive you around the beautiful Cape and take you on fully guided rides packed with the sweetest singletrack.
Advanced beginner to advanced rider. With such a range of options, there is something for everyone (as long as you love singletrack!)
Amazing singletrack cross country riding, enduro or free ride mountain biking. Smooth flowing trails in some areas and rocky, rooty & tight, narrow singletrack in others. You can also look forward to drops, jumps, logs and northshore features on this tour. Surrounding vegetation varies from pine forest to endemic fynbos.
TABLE MOUNTAIN AND DEVIL’S PEAK MTB
Since this ride is normally on the day you arrive, we make sure there are no uphills to contend with, so that we can get the riding stoke going and ensure that you sleep with a huge smile on your face on your first day in Africa.
We’ll shuttle you up the slopes of the iconic Table mountain where our ride starts off on a “closed to cars” tar section that Mother Earth is taking back for herself. This road is an easy flat warm-up and an opportunity to ensure your machine is in working order before bombing down a fast rocky jeep track and onto the exciting stuff on Devils Peak. Adrenalin pumping Cape Town mountain bike singletrack dropping down a few hundred meters will get your eyes to the size of saucers and then it’s onto an even gnarlier, steeper section of crazy downhill singletrack riding (Don’t worry, there are alternative rides down- you don’t want to injure yourself on your first day!).
We pop out (normally high-fives abounding) just above Rhodes Memorial where we can admire the amazing view. From here we can ride past some of our first wildlife (black wildebeest, zebra), before cruising down through the historic University of Cape Town (UCT), where we can do some easy Cape Town mountain bike urban riding (steps, banks etc). We finish up at a little jump track where we will be picked up and shuttled off for a well deserved beer and meal.
Wooohooo! Don’t you love holidays?!
The Tokai forest is a small patch of pine and gum forest situated in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. Mountains, wine farms, residential properties and the world famous Table Mountain National Park, surround it.
As Capetonians, we are extremely fortunate to have this Cape Town mountain bike riding area in the midst of our city and on weekends it becomes apparent how many active people are around. These trails are thus quite well worn but we make the most of your mountain bike trip by letting you skip most of the uphill and show you the trails that most people don’t ride.
We normally start off high up in the Silvermine reserve and enjoy a snack along the banks of a beautiful black-water dam. The views are incredible and there’s little doubt that you’ll take a dip in the dam before the ride starts. From here, we bomb down into Tokai forest and do some nice technical cross country trails with some nicely exposed bits that will wake you up for sure!
The views over Cape Town from the top of Tokai are unrivalled so make sure you’ve got your camera on this ride. We’ll ride the infamous switchbacks (fortunately with gravity assisting us!) and then complete all the other trails and at some point we’re sure to meet up with the local baboons, which are endemic to this area.
All in, this ride will be 90% downhill because of the way we configure it and we’ll be picked up at the end by our van having sampled some amazing Cape Town mountain bike trails in the midst of Cape Town.
This is home to Meurant Botha who is South Africa’s saving grace when it comes to Cape Town mountain bike trail building and land access. He has built some beautiful backcountry trails on this wine farm where you’ll find yourself cycling through bright green vineyards one minute and bombing down rocky, downhill singletrack the next.
An awesome surprise is sweeping down a trail in the sunlight and suddenly entering a quiet cluster of poplar trees and having the option to ride a few north shore trails in this shaded, cool and beautiful patch of paradise in South Africa.
Dirtopia is a full on trail centre with a nice challenging little pump track situated right next to the wine tasting shed and trail centre shop. An awesome long 4X track is the latest addition to this Cape Town mountain bike haven and is sure to add a little spice to the mix.
From here we’ll have a scrumptious, freshly made lunch and let our legs recover from the morning’s activities before rewarding ourselves with tasting of some of the best wines in the world.
This forest is situated between 2 massive mountains in a steep valley, which allows us to ‘coast’ between the 2 different faces of the valley like a skateboarder on a giant half pipe. The singletrack is purpose-made for mountain bikes and it has all the elements of riding that will make you weep with joy.
“Radiata” is a trail that is bench cut and super fast and smooth, with a super steep slope on your left. You will have tunnel vision for the first few kilometres ensuring that you stay on this superb singletrack! The switchbacks are later on and by the time you get through them your calves will be quivering with adrenalin and your fingers will be begging for a break. Another backcountry trail worth describing is right near the entrance which can be ridden up or down with equal measures of smile. It is on a gradual slope, which will have you sweeping through what feels like endless perfect corners, leaning your bike further into each perfect curve until that 2-wheel drift warns you that you are at your limit.
Even most of our uphill riding will be singletrack. This helps take your mind off the fact that your legs are working and your lungs are heaving! You can trust us when we tell you that those pesky uphills are worth every drip of sweat once you point your bike downhill!
The ride ends on the grass under the ancient oak trees and we usually order a few beers (or hot chocolate/tea/cake/pancakes) from the trail head restaurant and let the war stories flow!
Situated in an area called the ‘Overberg’, these plantations are surrounded by a picturesque countryside with fertile valleys, overlooking orchards and rambling roses, open pastures, scenic pass and majestic pine covered mountains. The area is famous for it’s export apples and we’ll be riding through orchards from which you have probably eaten an apple or two before! There are some fantastic Cape Town mountain bike trail centres out this way (the Cape Epic used them with great appreciation from the competitors) and the feeling of serenity and space will plant a silly smile on your face for days.
The Elgin Valley borders the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a protected area of more than 1600 plant species! This area is just too beautiful to hurry through so we stay a night here so that you can take it all in and we can treat you to a South African braai (BBQ). The great food will be well earned because after a day of backcountry riding here, you will be famished!
We wake up early and drive to Cape Towns nearest game farm where we will go on a game drive to try and spot the ‘Big Five’ (Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard).
A host of Africa’s most famous wildlife to be seen also includes Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Cheetah and many types of Antelope.
We travel out from our base in Stellenbosch for a 1.5 hour drive through scenic passes, tunnels and incredible terrain towards Ceres. In our opinion, the best cross country riding in the area is found in this ‘bowl’ of land totally surrounded by a towering mountain range. Snow covers the peaks in winter and the sun beats down in summer, but the huge refreshing dams and crystal clear water from the streams ensure that all are kept comfortable, whatever the time of year.
This is a working fruit and wheat farm that will find you following skinny lines of dirt through blossoming apple orchards and rustling through cross country trails of dry wheat fields. The climbs can be quite tiresome but your bike would never forgive you for not making it to the top and cruising the seemingly endless miles of biking’s dusty holy grail. This mountain bike playground offers every type of vegetation you’d ever want to ride through: pine trees, poplar trees, fynbos, grasslands, orchards, wheat fields, renosterbos…the list is endless!
There is so much Cape Town mountain bike riding to be done on this farm that we stay overnight and ride it for 2 days. The accommodation is fantastic and we will entertain you here around a huge fire and treat you to some South African specialities for dinner, while you sit under a canopy of oak trees and watch the shooting stars streak across the sky. The farm also boasts an abundance of indigenous wildlife, including tortoises, leopard, baboons, antelope, fish eagles and there are clear river pools along the route to ensure you are kept cool and invigorated.
We leave Ceres and travel for about 5 hours through the Klein Karoo on the scenic Route 62 all the way up to Knysna. The Knysna forests are famous for their mammoth, ancient indigenous trees. What they should be famous for is their amazing trails and diversity of the environment you get to ride through. The entire Harkerville forest grows ever so slowly between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, and there might still be wild elephants roaming through these forests but nobody is sure quite how many. The bird-life is incredible with exotically coloured birds swooping through the branches and you would be unlucky not to spot an antelope scurrying through the bushes or a troop of baboons chilling out next to the singletrack.
This is the route that you will never forget because of the almost impossible levels of grip you obtain from the tacky, moist soil. You ride through a jungle of ancient indigenous trees and twisting vines. If you’ve only ever cycled through pine, gum or poplar forests, you are in for a treat! You would be excused for thinking that you are in the Amazon jungle at times. At other times you cruise along concrete cross country type singletrack perched on top of seaside cliffs where the waves crash hundreds of meters below you. And sometimes you just ride through quiet damp pine forests with only a dark chocolate coloured trail leading you forward and when you stop, the absolute silence will blow you away!
While we’re in Knysna we usually have a few meals at ‘the Heads’ - a magnificent geological feature of two great sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the Knysna lagoon or if you are up to it, we can sample some of the home-grown oysters, reputedly some of the tastiest in the world. We normally drive a circular route there and back so that you can experience more places and we can show off more of our amazing country. These can include:
* The famous Route 62-the longest wine route in the world
* Natural hot baths
* Cape Aghulas - The Southern tip of Africa
* The famous Garden Route
* The best land based whale watching in the world (season dependant of course)
On our return from Knynsa, we head south - almost to the very tip of the African Continent. We will overnight at De Hoop nature reserve in a basic hut from which we can explore this amazing coastline on our bikes. The cross country trails can be very sandy so the wider your tyres the better but this destination is less about the ride and more about seeing whales frolic in the ocean. This is one of the best land based whale watching venues in the world. Of course after all the hard riding you’ve been doing until now, your legs will welcome a few easy, short rides!
We head back towards to Cape Town along the coast, stopping off at the Southern-most tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans converge.
Once back in Cape Town, there might still be time to do a ride or two in any of your most admired Cape Town mountain bike trail centres around the area. If not, then comes the sad and difficult decision to leave our sunny country. Don’t worry though - work makes you money - and money means you can come back for next year’s mountain bike Holiday!
“Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia”. H.G. Wells
Tel: +27 83 457 5662