Mountain Biking Africa - Black Mountain Magic
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Black Mountain Magic - 7 Days / 6 Nights

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 10km 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

You're going to wish you never woke up today�haha. 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 Loop

Today we get to ride where very few people have ridden before. We get to explore an old 4x4 jeep track at the top of the mountain. After a short transfer to the top (you'll appreciate not having to do the 18km climb today) we ride out for 27km to the Gouekrans Mountain Hut. This is a hut used in the 5 day Swartberg Hiking Trail and is perched on top of the world. A rare treat to be able to ride here ...

This is an unsupported out-and-back ride along the top of the ridge. You'll be blown away by the views. After a snack at the hut we ride back to Dennehof for a sumptuous lunch!!

(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.) 54kms.

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. The views are so superb that it would be a sin not to ride back up and over the pass from this side. A completely different perspective of the mountain.

After a 10km descent down the other side we return to the Swartberg Private Nature Reserve. After lunch those still wanting more get to ride a different route on the reserve, or have an afternoon nap�the choice is yours!!

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 Spekboom Cottages 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. A scenic 1-hour drive before you depart to go home.


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