Capricorn

Cheerio MTB Trail (Green Route)

CLOSEST TOWN > Hanenertsburg

TRAIL DESTINATION > Magoebaskloof

DISTANCE > 25km

GRADING > Moderate to Difficult

Cheerio

OVERVIEW

This 25km route is suitable for experienced riders and weekend warriors who want to test their strength and stamina. It follows roads through plantations, gardens and natural forest, passed secluded dams and babbling streams.  The climbs are steep and long but the views from the top over the Ebenezer dam towards the Wolkberg make it all worthwhile. It can be accessed from Cheerio Gardens, Cheerio Trout Lodge, Sequoia, Bramasole and Zwakala. 

On your bike

The route links several accommodation establishments in the Magoebaskloof area, making it easily accessible. Starting from Cheerio Gardens, it climbs out of the valley through the beautiful gardens of azaleas, oramental cherries, proteas and crab apples. A small section of single track through a pine forest leads you onto the Cheerio (L) Road towards the R71. Just before the R71, turn down the firebreak and follow plantation roads through the pine and then along the edge of the marshland. A short steep firebreak leads onto the A6 road. At 7.4 km, the route then takes a 5km loop NE. Follow well used gum plantation roads until joining up with Bramasole access road. Ride past Bramasole's beautiful dam and turn right to MAC Venue. If the gate is locked, put your bike over. Pass straight through this stunning events venue and look for the path to the left across the grass. After a short section of indigenous forest, join the plantation road and pass a lovely dam on your left.

After a short section of pine, go around another tranquil dam and follow the road up to the point  where this loop began (12.4 km). Now the climb begins. Follow the A6 road towards and past Mount Merrick. After  2km of climbing you reach a dam with wooden cabins. Take a rest before the final onslaught. After 600m of steep climbing you reach the top and the view is amazing. Follow the road to the to Long Tom Monument and then turn right. Enjoy the view here of the Cheerio Valley. The route from here is down hill for  4km untill you reach Zwakala, following the L9 road. At Zwakala go through the gate and follow the road as it loops along the Broederstroom. After leaving Zwakala, a short steep climb  leads you back to the start of this  loop and onto the L road towards Sequoia. Follow the L road for 2 km and then turn L into Sequoia. Pass 3 scenic dams before a short section of single track through Cheerio to lead back to Cheerio Gardens.

Off the bike

Great trout fishing is possible in three dams on the property, while the nearby Magoebaskloof offer a host of adventure activities including abseiling, quad biking, canyoning and even a canopy tour.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Jane Allison

Telephone: +27 83 442 7429

Website: magoebasklooftourism.co.za / www.cheerio.co.za 

GPS: 23° 54.908’ South / 29° 57.646’East 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate to Difficult.

DURATION:

2 - 3 Hours

CONFIGURATION :

25km circular route.

START POINT:

Cheerio Gardens, Cheerio Trout Lodge, Zwaka, Bramasole, Sequoia

TERRAIN:

Mountainous pine plantations, gardens and indigenous forest.

MAP:

See below.

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Entry fee payable

FACILITIES:

All establishments have toilet facilities. Tea Garden and picnic facilities are available at Cheerio Gardens. Several accommodation options

BEWARE OF:

Timber operations

HOW TO GET THERE

Haenertsburg is on the R71 between Polokwane and Tzaneen. The establishments mentioned are off the R71, between Haenertsburg and Tzaneen.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

March - October

 

Magoebaskloof Adventures Black MTB Trail

CLOSEST TOWN > Hanenertsburg

TRAIL DESTINATION > Magoebaskloof

DISTANCE > 10km

 

GRADING > Difficult

magoebaskloof

OVERVIEW

Magoebaskloof, a densely forested pass along the meandering R71 connecting the towns of Polokwane and Tzaneen, comes from the westernized pronunciation of the name Makgoba, an early chief of the Tlou people. His tribe dwelled within the emerald forests here on the edge of the Wolkberg Mountains many generations ago.

These self-same forests and plantations now offer a huge amount of potential riding, but without local knowledge you can find yourself at a complete loss. To be sure, it seems that Komati Eco-Tourism only allows limited riding in many of their plantations. So your best way of getting in a good ride at short notice may be to get in touch with outdoor operators Magoebaskloof Adventures, who can help you get onto the trails right from their doorstep.

On your bike

One thing to keep in mind though is that their ‘quickie’ Magoebaskloof route is not for the faint-of-heart. Start off on 3km of technical single-track zigzagging along on the angled contours of the Letaba Gorge; the trail is pretty tight and committing, but at least try to enjoy the indigenous riverine forest (if you can tear your eyes away from the terrain every now and then).

Take a breather to gaze out across the spectacular Letaba Gorge, then follow the gravel road for just on 1km. Get ready for an unforgiving ascent along steep single-track leading up to the R528; make sure you check for traffic to safely cross this road.

Once beyond the R528, continue along the forestry tracks through the eucalyptus stands for about 4km of continuous ascent. The rewards at the end of the climb are spectacular views across the dramatic Georges Valley, and you’ve certainly deserved them!

It is time to pin your ears back and bomb onto the steep 2.5km single-track dropping onto the R528 again. This time an underpass allows you to dip under the road, and seamlessly link onto the remainder of the fast and tight route taking you back to the start.

This route – as well as a number of other mountain biking routes in the immediate area - can easily be accessed from Magoebaskloof Adventures.

Off the bike

Magoebaskloof Adventures offers a range of adventures, including tubing, abseiling, quad biking, paintball, climbing walls and the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour. Not far away, the ‘Garden Town’ of Tzaneen provides a perfect spring-board from which to explore a huge range of outdoor options in the area. The unique Modjadji Cycad Reserve (named for verdant groves of these ancient tree ferns) as well as the Kruger Park lie within easy reach – check out www.magoebasklooftourism.co.zafor more info.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Jane Allison

Telephone: +27 (0)83 866 1546

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

Website: www.magoebaskloofadventure.co.za

GPS: 23°58′02.0″ South /  029°59′28.5″East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Difficult

DURATION:

2 - 3 Hours

CONFIGURATION :

10km circular route.

START POINT:

Magoebaskloof Adventures.

TERRAIN:

Mountainous plantations and riverine forest.

MAP:

See below and available at reception.

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Entry fee payable

FACILITIES:

Ablutions, picnic and coffee shop.

BEWARE OF:

Timber operations

HOW TO GET THERE

Haenertsburg is between Polkwane and Tzaneen on the R71. Magoebaskloof Adventures is between Haenertsburg and Tzaneen on the R528. 

BEST TIME OF YEAR

March - November. It is best to avoid the rainy season.

 

Kurisa Moya Adventure Mountain Bike Trail

CLOSEST TOWN > Haenertsburg

TRAIL DESTINATION > Schnellskop Peak

DISTANCE > 7km -20km

 

GRADING > Easy to Difficult

kurisamoya

OVERVIEW

Kurisa Moya Lodge is perched upon the wild edge of the northern Drakensberg escarpment, from where it overlooks the Kudu's River valley. Expansive stands of indigenous woodland and savannah grassland border on a rugged granite dome known as ‘Schnellskop’. The farm boastsa number of marked trails graded according to difficulty and distance, and passes throughfive unique habitats.

Mountain bikers will revel in everything from single-track, remote back roads, technical terrain and a range of natural obstacles along these fast-paced routes. Besides the exhilarating riding, chances are excellent that you will spot samango monkeys, bushbuck or other local wild life while cranking through the Kurisa Moya landscape.

On your bike:

The 7km Beginners’ Route starts along a downhill on an indigenous forest footpath, forcing rookie riders to immediately commit to this awesome ride. Once off the single-track, you will make your way along farm roads and then a fast-flowing cattle track. Bomb through a rocky but rideable dry riverbed, then enjoy a restful cruise along farm roads before hitting the ‘switchbacks’. Here’s your chance to learn while riding, so keep it tidy to the top of the hill, from where you can make your way back to the farmhouse via the entrance road.

This 12km Intermediate Route follows the Beginners section up to the top of the ‘switchbacks’ and onto a farm road cruise. Don’t despair when you get to ‘Hike-a-Bike Hill’, because you will soon look on the bright side of life as you crank along the forestry roads. At the furthest boundary of Kurisa Moya, a memorable downhill single-track with technical corners and various obstacles awaits. This single-track will take you through some of South Africa’s finest indigenous deciduous woodland. The last section of the trail is once again along single-track, but this time through a pine plantation; you will link onto a farm road, which leads you back to the start.

The 20km Advanced Route starts along the intermediate trail before splitting off at the signs to where Schnellskop, the second highest peak in the area, lurks against the skyline. This initial part of the ascent is a tough granny-gear climb, and at times can be quite rocky. Build up a good sweat until you top out onto some flat forest roads, and get your breath back while meandering towards the peak.

The last kilometre to the top of Schnellskop is along a concrete dual-track known as ‘Death by Concrete’; it may well be a monster to climb, but makes for a fast and furious decent. The return route follows the same forestry roads back, but dips off along a new section of downhill track towards Kurisa Moya. It is important to practice caution on this decent to the lodge,because the eucalyptus branches, roots and leaves can be very sketchy when damp.

Off the bike

Fly-fish for rainbow trout; fishing lessons are offered at the lodge and you can hire all the angling equipment right here. Birders will delight in over 250 species of birds in 5 different habitats on a guided bird walk or along the many hiking trails.

CONTACT:

More Information: Lisa Martus

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

Telephone: +27 (0)15 276 1131 / +27 (0)82 200 4596

Website: www.krm.co.za

GPS: 23°48.339’ South / 29°56.207’ East 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to Advanced

 

DURATION:

2 - 4 hours

CONFIGURATION:

Various options

START POINT:

Kurisa Moya

TERRAIN:

Single and Jeep track, forestry and farm roads, cement strips

 

MORE INFORMATION:

Accommodation available

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Free for lodge guests; day visitor fee payable

FACILITIES:

Farmhouse (sleeps 10) Forest Lodge Cabin (x2) Thora Boloka Cottage

BEWARE OF:

Slippery gum branches and leaves; ticks and mosquitoes

MORE INFORMATION

Kurisa Moya is electricity-free; remember to fill up on food and fuel before you head out there

 

 

 

 

Follow the N1 from Johannesburg to Pretoria. Stay on the N1 and follow the signs to Pietersburg / Polokwane. Just before Pietersburg / Polokwane take the Tzaneen R71 off-ramp.

Go through a traffic light and a 4 way stop and take the slipway to the left next to the highway, turning right at the traffic light onto the R71 towards Tzaneen. About 19.5 km out of Pietersburg / Polokwane, take the slipway to the left to the University of Limpopo, at the Kurisa Moya sign. There is a Sasol Filling Station and a Kentucky Fried Chicken on the opposite corner.

Follow this road for about another 26 km until it becomes a sand or dirt road. (You will pass the University of Limpopo and Mankweng Town and Hospital) Watch out for goats and cows on this strech of road. 500 m after it has become sand, look out on the left for Kurisa Moya's sign. Turn right, pass through the gate and follow the signs to the farmhouse or the Forest Lodge. (The reception can be found just below the guest parking at the end of the Farmhouse road)

road map

 

HOW TO GET THERE

See on the left


BEST TIME OF YEAR

All year around.  Winter has lovely mild days
 

 

Stanford Lake Lodge MTB Route

CLOSEST TOWN > Haenertsburg

TRAIL DESTINATION > Stanford Lake Lodge

DISTANCE > Self-determined

GRADING > Moderate

OVERVIEW

Stanford Lake Lodge, a leisurely 3hr drive from Pretoria, boasts fabulous mountain biking upon the shores of the tranquil, 17ha Stanford Lake. The waterfall from the lake feeds into the spectacular Ebenezer Dam. The 127ha area surrounding Stanford Lake boasts an extensive network of MTB trails, offering ample opportunity to explore this historic farm. 

On your bike

The 5-6km Blue Route is suitable for families with young kids, as it follows the edge of Stanford Lake and Ebenezer Dam along well-used roads. The ride is fairly flat with only two uphill sections towards the end, but could be extended by 3km along the ring road around the dam. The more substantial 30km Yellow Route follows the Blue Route before branching off along a gradual climb to cross the R71. It then follows the Broederstroom Road along an easy cruise towards Cheerio.

Off the bike

Enjoy the hiking trails, birding, bass and trout fishing in the Ebenezer Dam and at Stanford Lake or relax while being treated to an Indian Head Massage.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Jady Stanford

Tel: +27 (0)79 519 9211 or +27 (0)82 322 9729

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

Website: www.stanfordlake.co.za

GPS: 23°54′13.6″South / 029°59′18.1″East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to intermediate

DURATION:

1-3 hours

CONFIGURATION :

2 circular routes, 5km to 30km

START POINT:

Stanford Lake Lodge

TERRAIN:

Dirt roads and jeep tracks through pine plantations and indigenous forest

MAP:

Ask at reception.

CELL RECEPTION:

Yes

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Permit from Magoebaskloof Tourism grants access to all routes

FACILITIES:

The Growth Centre offers holistic therapies such as Rei-flexology (feet relaxation therapy) Reiki , Indian Head Massage and Bach Flower Remedies

BEWARE OF:

Sections of trails shared with walkers/vehicles; please close gates

Travelling from Johannesburg on the N1, take the Tzaneen bypass before Polokwane. Turn left onto the R71, this road doubles back over the highway. Stay on the R71 to Tzaneen. Travel straight as you enter the village of Haenertsburg. Pass the first stop street and travel straight for 5.2 km where you will turn right into the A21/ Stanford Farm entrance.

HOW TO GET THERE

See left.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

March to October

 

The Google map shows the location of the trails in the Capricorn Region. You can also choose from the links at the bottom if the map doesn't work for you...

  • The pointers show the approximate locations of the MTB trails.
  • Hovering your mouse over a marker will show the trail name.
  • Clicking on a marker will bring up additional information about the trail. You can zoom in on a marker when it is clicked, using the controls on the left.
  • Clicking on the name or picture will take you to the relevant route page.
  • Different views can be selected at the top right - aerial picture, street map etc.
  • Have fun...

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