Soutpansberg

Nthubu MTB Tracks

CLOSEST TOWN > Marken

TRAIL DESTINATION > Masebe Game Reserve

DISTANCE > Various

GRADING> Intermediate to difficult

OVERVIEW

Escape to the tranquility and seclusion of the Waterberg Wilderness to explore the expansive ranges of the malaria-free masebe Gamee Reserve. This is the perfect base from which to disappear along the trail network winding through typical northern bushveld blanketing the remove valleys and sandstone cliffs.

On your bike

Around 30km of reserve roads and off-road tracks make for exceptional adventure mountain biking in the Masebe Game Reserve. Head up on one of the big sandstone hills to a plateau along a rocky 4x4 track, where relatively flat dual-track dirt riding and great views will keep you cranking for more. Backtrack home along the same route or be daring and path-find your own descent along the numerous game tracks! An easier return option is the sandy road from the main gate to the camp; it is reasonably flat and winds through sandstone hills and trees.

Off the bike

Some amazing San rock art sites await adventurers who are prepared to swop their bikes for boots on short hikes into the rugged hills. Enjoy game viewing, birdwatching and some 4x4ing.

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27(0)15 781 0690

Website: www.africanivoryroute.co.za

GPS:  23° 38.’24.1” South / 28° 31’26.6”East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate to difficult

DURATION:

Various options

CONFIGURATION :

A network of trails and roads

START POINT:

Nthubu Main Camp

TERRAIN:

Reserve roads, jeep tracks and game tracks; sand, rocks

MAP:

Will be emailed on request

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

No day visitors

FACILITIES:

Self-catering accommodation in five safari tents on wooden decks with flush toilet, basin and bucket shower; linen, bedding and towels not provided; no electricity; communal gas hop, freezer and fridge

BEWARE OF:

Marshy sections in summer when the rier rises

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Masebe is situated 111km to the northwest of Mokopane, starting off along the N11. The detailed instructions and GPS coordinates on the African Ivory Route website will get you through Segole Village to Nthubu - approximate driving time from Mokopane is two hours


BEST TIME OF YEAR

Summer days are hot with frequent thunderstorms while winter is dry and cool with no frost

 

Buffelsdrift MTB Trail

CLOSEST TOWN > Rust de Winter

TRAIL DESTINATION > Buffelsdrift Conservancy

DISTANCE > 10km loop

GRADING> Easy to Intermediate

OVERVIEW

 

Less than an hour of tarmac cruising from Jozi will get you to the 430ha Buffelsdrift, an unspoilt bushveldt paradise set upon the Elands River. This stunning private game reserve boasts a 10km trail that circles the farm, with a range of options to adjust the total distance.

On your bike:

Crank off from the bridge near the Buffelsdrift Lapa to cross a water canal, then continue on to Kudu Dam and Wildebeest Vlei, an open area great for game viewing. A gradual ascent through a well wooded area awaits, with the incline increasing as you climb towards Reed Buck Mountain. If you have to get off and push here, you won’t be the first, but do so in the knowledge that the view from the top will be well worth while.

Gaze all the way across to the Waterberg, then get ready to bomb onto the thrilling downhill run via Zebra Hills. Once you’ve negotiated Blesbok and Porcupine Vleis, you will be back at the start where you set of across the canal.

Off the bike

The trails here are also great for birding, hiking and game viewing, and the Rust de Winter Dam, perfect for fishing and boating is only 8km away.

CONTACT:

Telephone:  +27 82 885 5577

Website:  www.birdhiking.co.za

GPS: 25°12'26"  South / 28° 33'0'East 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to intermediate

DURATION:

45-90 minutes

CONFIGURATION :

10km loop

START POINT:

At the bridge near the Lapa

TERRAIN:

Farm roads and jeep tracks

MAP:

Available on website

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Day visitor fee payable

FACILITIES:

Self-catering accommodation, lapa and picnic sites; nearby lodge restaurants

BEWARE OF:

Tortoises and dung beetles have right of way!

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Buffelsdrift, Rust de Winter, is 83km northeast of Pretoria. Follow the N1 towards Polokwane, take the Pienaarsrivier off-ramp and travel east to Rust de Winter. Pass the Rust de Winter Dam road sign and Engen petrol station before looking out for the Buffelsdrift turn-off on your right.


BEST TIME OF YEAR

Year round; the annual MTB Challenge is held in November

 

Leshiba Wilderness MTB Route

CLOSEST TOWN > Louis Trichardt / Makhado

TRAIL DESTINATION > Leshiba Wilderness

DISTANCE > Various Options

 

GRADING > Easy to Difficult

leshibawildernessmain

OVERVIEW

Go absolutely off the grid to explore the wonderful outdoor offerings at Leshiba Wilderness, an eco-lodge boasting end-of-the-world views from the top of the Soutpansberg

On your bike

This 4km by 7km reserve allows mountain biking along a network of gravel roads and animal tracks, with enough variation in terrain to make for a challenging crank through a unique wilderness landscape.

Crank along high cliff faces; blast downhill amidst boulders, bomb the open grassland plains or just meander gently along on tranquil woodland tracks ... Stop and clamber down Hamasha gorge for a stunning swim in one of the rock pools framed by high cliffs, and chill out within this spectacular amphitheatre before cycling back out.

Off the bike

The eco friendly Game and Nature Reserve offers accommodation on top of the Soutpansberg mountains in the Limpopo province, South Africa, in one of the country’s most unique environments. Other options include horse safaris, hiking trails, stargazing, ancient rock art, pools massasge therapy and a retreat centre.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Leshiba Wilderness

Cell: +27 (0)82 881 1237

Tel: +27 (0)11 483 1841

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

Website: www.leshiba.co.za

GPS: 22°59.000’ South / 29°33.000’ East 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy

DURATION:

Depends on how long you want to ride. A network of trails in the Wilderness.

CONFIGURATION :

The reserve is 4km wide by 7km long and there is a wide network of roads and animal tracks over varied terrain.

START POINT:

Leshiba Wilderness, anywhere in the wilderness.

TERRAIN:

Bush trails, dirt roads, and jeep tracks

MAP:

Available at reception

CELL RECEPTION:

Extremely limited coverage

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Free for guests - day visitors by arrangement only

FACILITIES:

Accommodation ranging from full board to self catering

BEWARE OF:

Thorns, snakes, ticks and wildlife

  • Take the M1 North out of JHB
  • Get onto the N1 North to Polokwane (Pietersburg).
  • At Polokwane follow signs N1 to Makhado (Louis Trichardt)
  • Take the N1 to Makhado (Louis Trichardt)
  • At Makhado (Louis Trichardt), the first main 4-way stop that you come to is Rissik Street / R522 to Vivo.
  • Turn left into Rissik Street.
  • The BP garage that you will come to on the left is the last fill up spot
  • Take Rissik Street all the way out of Makhado (Louis Trichardt) and +- 31km outside of town you will cross over a railway line
  • Carry on over the railway line for +- 4.7km and you will cross over the SAND RIVER Bridge
  • After the bridge +- 300m down the road you will see our sign on the right hand side.
  • Turn right onto the gravel road.
  • Carry on along the dirt road. After +- 3km's, you will come to a farmhouse on your left.
  • After the farmhouse, a few hundred metres up ahead, the road forks and you keep to the right. Continue following the signs that say Leshiba.
  • Follow the road up the mountain to our gate. Please make sure that you have put the chain around the gate and not just the gate post and that you have secured the combination lock.
  • Keep straight at the first sign that says RECEPTION

 

 

HOW TO GET THERE

See left.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Rainfall is generally from October to April, with the veldt at its prettiest and the streams full. Autum and winter make for better game spotting.

 

Mahavhela Ben Lavin Nature Reserve MTB Trails

CLOSEST TOWN > Louis Trichardt

TRAIL DESTINATION > Ben Lavin Nature Reserve

DISTANCE > 4km, 15km, 45km

GRADING > Easy to intermediate

OVERVIEW

The management of this reserve has thoughtfully laid out two marked MTB trails ranging in distance from 4 km (Fountain Trail) to 15 km (Tabatjane Trail). 

On your bike

These rides take place against a backdrop of the alluring Soutpansberg Mountain range and cover a large proportion of the total reserve area. The trails wind their way through undulating landscapes formed by riverine floodplains and climb up onto plateau areas. In addition to the scenery, non-predatory game can be viewed while you are riding. Look out for snakes. Entry level bicycles can be hired from the shop in the main camp. The reserve is also crisscrossed with 45km of gravel roads.

Off the bike

The reserve offers self-guided walking trails in addition to the MTB trails. If staying at one of the reserve’s three camps, secure your food from the monkeys and do not feed any wild animals.

CONTACT:

Route information: Ben Lavin Nature Reserve

Telephone:  +27 (0)72 366 8554 or +27 (0)72 593 4124

Website: www.polokwane.info/ben-lavin-nature-reserve/

GPS:  23° 7' 54.84" South /  29° 56' 25.44" East

 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to intermediate

DURATION:

Various

CONFIGURATION :

Two circuit trails of 4 km and 15 km and 45km of reserve roads.

START POINT:

Start in the reserve

TERRAIN:

Gravel roads, plateaus

MAP:

No maps available

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Day visitors are welcome. Route permits cost R15 per person. Gate times are from 06:00 to 19:00

FACILITIES:

Ablutions. Kiosk. Swimming pool. Self-catering accommodation in 6 chalets, or at a campsite accommodating 4 tents. Bike hire.

BEWARE OF:

Look out for snakes

 

HOW TO GET THERE

On the N1 and about ten kilometers before the town of Louis Trichardt, turn right at the Ford Edward signpost. There is a prominent sign for the reserve at this turning. The entrance gate to the reserve is about 3km on this good gravel road.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Year round

 

Medike Mountain Reserve MTB Route

CLOSEST TOWN > Louis Trichardt

TRAIL DESTINATION > Medike Mountain Reserve

DISTANCE > 8km - 22km

 

GRADING > Easy to Intermediate

OVERVIEW

Just 36km to the west of Makhado, the Sand River cuts an impressive gorge with massive quartzite cliffs through South Africa’s northernmost mountain range, the Soutpansberg. Medike Mountain Reserve lies centrally within this Natural Heritage Site, brimming with forested kloofs and gorges, archaeological sites, mountain streams, waterfalls, spectacular rock formations and mysterious Bushman shelters dotted with ancient rock art.

On your bike

Two riding options include an 8km trail along a steep dirt track contouring up the side of the gorge, making for a thrilling albeit demanding trail affording stunning views across the Sand River and the mountainous bush veldt beyond. The second trail is a flatter, 22km route following the Sand River via neighbouring farms all the way to the R522. Permission from your hosts is required before you crank onto this route. 

Off the bike

The reserve offers 32km of hiking trails with a river route to the waterfall, and to a lookout point over the gorge as well as routes to a massive mountain baobab, San rock art and a remote gorge with fascinating rock formations. Off the reserve, spend a day driving around the Venda Art route (170 km round trip) or meander along the closer Levubu Fruit Route which is 30km away. You can also take a tour of the salt pans from which the Soutpansberg mountain range gets its name. your hosts, the Underhays, will provide further information.

CONTACT:

Route information: Hannes and Maritjie Underhay, Medike

Address: PO Box 513, Makhado, 0920

Telephone: 015 516 0481 or 082 893 2958

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

Website: www.medikemountainlodge.com

GPS: 22°59.654’ South / 29°36.832’ East 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to Intermediate

DURATION:

1.5 - 3 hours

CONFIGURATION :

8km and 22km return

START POINT:

Medike Mountain Reserve

TERRAIN:

Mountainous dirt tracks, farm roads

MAP:

Available at reception

CELL RECEPTION:

Very limited

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Private property. Day visitors by arrangement only; free for guests

FACILITIES:

Fully-equipped, self-catering cottages with bedding, linen and towels provided.

BEWARE OF:

Bring insect repellant in summer to avoid getting tick bite fever. Puncture proof your tyres

 

  • From Johannesburg take the N1 North to Pietersburg (Polokwane)
  • From Pietersburg continue on the N1 to Louis Trichardt (Makhado)
  • At the first 4 way stop entering Louis Trichardt turn left on the R522 direction Vivo for 29km until you reach a railway crossing where signboards to Medike are displayed
  • Turn left and follow the dirt road for 7km to Reception

HOW TO GET THERE

See left.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Winter is milder with cool evenings while summer is hot and humid

 

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