Midlands

Gwahumbe Game and Spa MTB Trail

CLOSEST TOWN >  Mid Illovo

TRAIL DESTINATION > Gwahumbe Game and Spa

DISTANCE > 18km

GRADING > Easy to intermediate

OVERVIEW

Gwahumbe Game and Spa is located in a malaria free environment and is easily accessible from both Durban and Pietermaritzburg. an Ideal destination to break away and enjoy the tranquil peace of the bushveld.

On your bike

The 18km fully marked mountain-bike tril with superb singletrack forms part of the Mid-Illovo Husqvarna Classic race. Great cranking with a chance of spotting wildlife and an abundance of birdlife.

Off the bike

Activities include 4x4 trail, game drives and walks, birding and fishing.

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)87 150 3475

GPS: 29°59'50.9" South /  30°32'39.8" East

DIRECTIONS:

DIRECTIONS TO GWAHUMBE RESERVE FROM DURBAN (+ 1 hour)

Proceed along the N3 towards Pietermaritzburg. Take the Camperdown (exit 57) off-ramp. At the top of the off-ramp turn left.      Proceed for about 3 km to the T-junction with the R603. Turn left and proceed down the R603 towards Umbumbulu. After about 22 Km you will see a signpost to Mid-Illovo. S 29 54’ 699” E 30 34’ 962” (when you reach the Caltex garage on your left at the Eston cross roads, you are 7 km from this sign – CONTINUE along the R603). Turn right at this sign off the R603 and proceed for 12 Km to the village of Mid-Illovo. Mid-Illovo consists of a Spar, a Police Station, a bottle store, a small filling station and a few houses. Drive through the village and 300m beyond the village turn left onto the Ismont Rd. S 29 58’ 151” E 30 30’ 725”       Proceed for 1.2 km along the Ismont road, and then turn left onto a gravel road, the D368. Proceed along the D368 for 1.7 km and turn left at the Gwahumbe sign opposite St. Margaret’s Church. S 29 58’ 727” E 30 31’ 214”

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to Intermediate

DURATION:

1 hour

CONFIGURATION :

Marked singletrack

START POINT:

Gwahumbe Game and Spa

TERRAIN:

Singletrack

MAP:

Ask at reception

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Free for guests, fee payable for day visitors

FACILITIES:

Wide variety of catered and self-catered accommodation, spa, restaurant

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE

See directions on left

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Good year round

 

Sani Spoors MTB Trails

CLOSEST TOWN > Underberg

TRAIL DESTINATION > Sani Spoors

DISTANCE > 3-13km

 

GRADING > Easy, moderate, difficult to extreme

OVERVIEW

Sani Spoors is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s stand-out mountain biking destinations, and offers what can only be described as an intoxicating mix of mountain bike trails of varying degrees of difficulty. All skills levels are catered for, providing fun and excitement for the whole family. So, if you want to tick off the full gamut of MTB options – from adrenaline-fuelled downhills, gritty climbs and gently meandering trails to technical bridges – go get it all at Sani Spoors in one safe and spectacularly beautiful destination.  

On your bike

The 3.3km Intshitshi Spoor (Yellow) is an easy cruise along the banks of the Umzimkulu River, perfect for novices and children. There are several wooden stiles over farm fences along the way, but enough speed and momentum will get you safely across these (walk them until you’ve gained the necessary confidence). The 7km Umzimkulu Run (Blue) splits from the Intshitshi Spoor at a dangerous bridge to add in an extra bit of flat riverside riding as well as a few fast downhills, then re-joins the Intshitshi Spoor.

The 19.2km Tsango Trail (Lime Green) also starts along the Umzimkulu Run before branching off and following the Umzimkulu River and its tributary the Umzimkulwana River. After crossing the tar road, the trail follows a higher contour with fast flowing and rocky single-track. The 21.6km Rinkhals Road (Orange) continues along the tar road for 1.5km from the Tsango split, before entering a wattle single-track section, emerging onto fantastic cliff-top trails with some fun-filled downhill single-track. It joins onto the Tsango trail at the Umzimkulwana Bridge.

The 9.4km Milk Run (Green) is your access route to single-track heaven. Long climbs, some nice pine plantation single-track and incredible berg views are on the menu. Once at the top, either hit Jackall Joll or crank back along the Milk Run to the start point. This is the only section of the trail where you risk encountering oncoming traffic. Remember, ascending cyclists have right of way, so please be cautious and courteous. 

Once it splits up with the Milk Run, the 13km Jackall Joll (Red) will throw more climbing your way, but it is all worth it. Forestry roads take you to the highest point on the property, from where a number of technical and rocky descents with fantastic downhill switchbacks will seduce the Gravity crowd with adrenaline hit after hit.

Off the bike

The region teems with outdoor options, from hiking in the Drakensberg, abseiling, driving the Sani Pass, canoeing or horse riding. The villages of Underberg and Himeville boast lovely artisanal craft shops, accommodation and eateries and the Himeville Arms is perfect for a nostalgic drink or to meet some colourful locals.

 

CONTACT:

Contatc: Sani Spoors

Telephone: Derek Christie +27 (0)82 318 9995 / Ed Smith : +27 (0)82 299 5234

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.sanispoors.co.za

GPS: 29° 45.967’ South / 29° 27.643’East 

 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy, moderate, difficult to extreme

DURATION:

Depends on trail chosen

CONFIGURATION :

4 trails from 3-13km

START POINT:

Sani Spoors Office

TERRAIN:

Pine forest and pasture single-track, cattle tracks and river bank trails

MAP:

Available at Sani Spoors

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Entry fee payable. Cyclists must register with ROAG and pay on the website

FACILITIES:

Secure parking

BEWARE OF:

Routes may be closed during the fire season or for certain farming operations .

 

HOW TO GET THERE

From the N3, take Exit 99 (Underberg/Southern Drakensberg) just north of Pietermaritzburg. Drive 100 km on the R617 to Underberg. Continue through Underberg towards Swartberg for 5km, then take a right turn onto the Drakensberg Gardens Road. Sani Spoors is 1.5km along this road. The SANI SPOORS entrance is on the left hand side, very well sign posted. It is approximately 2,5hrs journey from Durban and 5,5 hrs from Gauteng. Tar road all the way.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Year round, but check ahead as some routes may be closed during the fires season or during certain farming operations

 

Kamberg Nature Reserve MTB Route

CLOSEST TOWN > Mooi River

TRAIL DESTINATION > Kamberg Nature Reserve

DISTANCE > 13.3km

 

GRADING > Intermediate

kamberg

OVERVIEW

Head past Mooi River and Rosetta into the southern Berg, and you will soon revel in the beauty of the scenic Kamberg Nature Reserve. Unfortunately you pass through a slightly unsavoury settlement right on the reserve boundary, and this detracts from the feeling that you are about to escape into nature. Despite faint sounds of drunken disorderliness disturbing the night-time calls of Verraux Eagle Owls, Kamberg is still a gorgeous destination and should be on your itinerary.

On your bike

One thing is for sure; you won’t get lost on your Kamberg crank. It is most probably one of the easier MTB routes to navigate, so don’t stress about packing a GPS or a compass. Kick off from the Kamberg Camp Site, rolling downhill from the cottages along a cement dual-track descending towards the trout dams (900 metres).

Turn left here onto a very short section of tarmac and onto the jeep-track (1.2 kilometres), ignoring the NO ENTRY sign as this is aimed at vehicles only. A gritty little climb through a drift and into the grassy foothills will get your blood pumping, but you’ll have ample time to look around for eland and other plains game.

At the 3.9 kilometre mark, you can either keep left past some giant tree ferns to the old Roman Baths ruins, but this track soon peters out. Rather stick to the right, heading onto a juddery dual-track, dipping and climbing amidst the grassland ridges. Expect a few steep climbs and descents, as well as a stream crossing or two, so watch your step.

By now, you will be zipping along tight dual-track descending steeply towards the Mooi River way below (6.6 kilometres). Keep your weight back on this downhill section to avoid going over the bars on some of the stony drop-offs, then chill out at the riverside before heading back to camp.

Off the bike

Kamberg is famous for two things - the first is fly-fishing for wily trout in either stocked dams or along the Mooi River, while the second reason to visit is the amazing rock art. If you do the latter, tramp onto the Gladstone’s Nose hike, arguably one of the more scenic hikes in KZN.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Kamberg Nature Reserve

Telephone: + 27 (0)33 845 1000

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.kznwildlife.com

GPS: 29º23'13.54″ South / 29º40'04.82″ East

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate (Juddery, full-suss recommended)

DURATION:

1-2hoursse

CONFIGURATION :

13.2km return route

START POINT:

Kamberg Camp Site 

TERRAIN:

Mostly dual jeep-track, Undulating ridges, eroded with grassy tussocks.

MAP:

No map availible.

CELL RECEPTION:

No

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Permit required and fee payable

FACILITIES:

Five 2-bedded chalets and one 6- bed cottage.

BEWARE OF:

Summer thunder storms, baboon raids on your chalet

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Take the Mooi River off-ramp on the N3, and look out for the turn-off to Rosetta to your right. Kamberg is clearly signposted from here, and you can expect the 41km drive to take in the region of an hour.

Distance from Mooi River: 1hr drive

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Year round - very warm during summer.

 

Fire Alert for Mountain on Bikers Sappi Plantations in KZN

Issued by: Sappi Southern Africa

Many mountain bikers and other trail users are discovering that the Howick and Karkloof trails, passionately crafted by the local mountain biking clubs, offer a fantastic opportunity to enjoy mountain biking and other trail sports on a social basis.

The clubs and Sappi are concerned about the safety of mountain bikers and other trail users. One of the biggest dangers during the winter period (May to October), is forest fires. A reminder of this fact was the devastating fire of winter 2007 that destroyed significant portions of Sappi’s plantations, as well as other property between Curry’s Post, the Karkloof and Howick.

devastating_forest_fire6

 

In an effort to reduce the risks of being trapped in a forest fire, several steps are being taken to inform cyclists about this very real possibility. As custodians of these trails the onus is on the clubs to ensure that cyclists are warned timeously and appropriately about trail closures. A Trail Closure Plan has been put in place to ensure that this is done. The plan begins with a message from Sappi to the clubs/ trail custodians that there is a potentially dangerous period of weather (dry, hot and windy) and that the trails should be closed to trail users for a given period.   The clubs have in place an emergency communication network, to which they then send this message. Another step that is being implemented is the erection of Fire Danger Index and Emergency Exit Point signage at strategic points on the trail networks. This signage has kindly been sponsored by the Lions River Fire Protection Association, which is an important organisation that operates within the area to ensure compliance with the National Veld and Forest Fire Act and supports its members by providing guidelines/rules and ad-hoc fire services in respect of prevention, control and management of fires.  The Association also plays a key role in coordinating integrated fire management efforts among its members, one of which is Sappi.

All trail users are requested to please be mindful of the danger of forest fires and to pay attention to the communications and signage that has been put in place. Take the time to understand the Fire Danger Index, and if you ever reach the trails on a dry, hot and windy day between the months of May to October, please call the Lions River Fire Protection Association on 033 330 6369 or 073 704 5862. If they inform you that it is a High Fire Risk Day, accessing the trails is strictly prohibited. It is also important to ensure that you either have a day indemnity or annual indemnity board on you at all times. These are obtainable through the Howick (082 493 5263) and Karkloof (082 878 7251) Mountain Bike Clubs.

 

ABOUT SAPPI:

Sappi Forests supplies 70% of the wood fibre needs of Sappi Southern Africa from 380,000 hectares of both our own and managed commercial timber plantations; currently with more than 34 million tons of standing timber. All wood grown on Sappi-owned land is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and ISO 9000 certified. A further 150,000 hectares of land is protected and managed by Sappi Forests for biodiversity conservation, including wetlands, riparian zones and indigenous forests. Sappi’s land is available (with certain provisos) to the public for non-motorised recreational use e.g. mountain biking and trail running.

Learn more about Sappi at www.sappi.com.

For further information:

Zelda Schwalbach

Regional Public Affairs Manager KZN

Sappi Southern Africa

Tel: + 27 (0)31 279 6203

Fax: 086 648 5529

Mobile: + 27 83 652 8528

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Gwahumbe Reserve MTB

CLOSEST TOWN > Mid Illovo

TRAIL DESTINATION > Gwahumbe Reserve

DISTANCE > 18km

GRADING > Easy to intermediate

OVERVIEW

Gwahumbe Game and Spa offers guests the ultimate intimate, relaxing bush experience in a superb breakaway location in the peace and tranquility of the bushveld.

On your bike

An 18km fully marked mountain-bike trail with superb singletrack and the chance of viewing wildlife such as hippo, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra and many antelope species, and an abundance of birdlife.

Off the bike

Other activities on offer are game drives and walks, hiking in the Gwahumbe Gorge,fishing, swimming,bird watching and getting pampered at the spa.

 

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)87 150 3475

GPS:  29°59'50.9"South /  30°32'39.8" East

 

How to get there

Directions from Durban

*       Proceed along the N3 towards Pietermaritzburg.

*       Take the Camperdown (exit 57) off-ramp.

*       At the top of the off-ramp turn left.

*       Proceed for about 3 km to the T-junction with the R603.

*       Turn left and proceed down the R603 towards Umbumbulu.

*       After about 22 Km you will see a signpost to Mid-Illovo. S 29 54’ 699” E 30 34’ 962” (when you reach the Caltex garage on your left at the Eston cross roads, you are 7 km from this sign – continue along the R603).

*       Turn right at this sign off the R603 and proceed for 12 Km to the village of Mid-Illovo. Mid-Illovo consists of a Spar, a Police Station, a bottle store, a small filling station and a few houses.

*       Drive through the village and 300m beyond the village turn left onto the Ismont Rd. S 29 58’ 151” E 30 30’ 725”

*       Proceed for 1.2 km along the Ismont road, and then turn left onto a gravel road, the D368.

*       Proceed along the D368 for 1.7 km and turn left at the Gwahumbe sign opposite St. Margaret’s Church. S 29 58’ 727” E 30 31’ 214”

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to intermediate

DURATION:

2 hours

CONFIGURATION :

Circular

START POINT:

Gwahumbe reception

TERRAIN:

Singletrack

MAP:

Ask at reception

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Entry fee payable

FACILITIES:

Various accommodation options, spa

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE

See directions on left

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Year round

 

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