Namaqua

Namaqualand National Park MTB Routes

CLOSEST TOWN >  Kamieskroon

TRAIL DESTINATION > Namaqualand National Park and surrounds

DISTANCE > Various options

GRADING > Easy to Intermediate

no-picture

OVERVIEW

Escape to the beautiful Namaqualand National Park and enjoy the wonderful contrasts and brilliant colours as you wind explore the winding roads of the Park.

On your bike

The best known, and at this stage most popular part of this beautiful new park, is the 5km Skilpad circular route, especially in the springtime flower season. A great way to explore Skilpad is by mountain bike. Besides, there are also another 220km of roads that includes roads to an unspoilt coastline and a 25km route, with lovely vistas, to Soebatsfontein.

Outside the park, Nourivier (29km) offers a moderately easy circular route. Leliefontein lies 30km to the south-east of Kamieskroon and, reached via a series of picturesque mountain passes offers a short 8.2km ride perfect for the whole family. 

Off the bike

Namaqualandis renowned for prolific floral displays during the annual flower season from August to September. In spring, the arid landscape is transformed into a vibrant flower garden filled with a thousand different colours. Several Hiking trails are also available.

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)27 672 1948

Website: www.sanparks.org

GPS: S30°09’57.9”/E17°47’52.7”

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to intermediate

DURATION:

30-90 minutes for Skilpad.  Many other options available

CONFIGURATION :

Skilpad - circular. Various other options

START POINT:

Skilpad Office

TERRAIN:

Gravel roads

MAP:

Available at office

CELL RECEPTION:

None

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Conservation fee payable

FACILITIES:

Self-catering accommodation, toilets, picnic area, kiosk

BEWARE OF:

Dusty summers

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Exit the N7 at Kamieskroon, continue to the T-junction and turn left following the brown information board with the SANParks logo. 

BEST TIME OF YEAR

No doubt about this one - spring, flowers, cooler weather .. got to be August/September

 

 

Niewoudtville MTB Trails

CLOSEST TOWN >  Nieuwoudtville

TRAIL DESTINATION > Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve and Papkuilsfontein Farm

DISTANCE > 15-50km

GRADING > Intermediate to difficult

no-picture

OVERVIEW

Head north beyond Nieuwoudtville and you’ll discover the uppermost reaches of the Cedarberg. The Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve extends alongside this small town, stretching in all its dramatic splendour onto the rugged escarpment overlooking the Knersvlakte below

On your bike

An extensive network of gravel roads traverses the rugged terrain, making it a great place for MTB exploration.

As impressive (and way more organised) is Papkuilsfontein, a legendary 4x4 destination adjoining the reserve. Negotiate the rocky jeep tracks up to the highest point of the kloof for breathtaking views of the Nieuwoudtville waterfall and endless vistas across the Knersvlakte. Pack extra lungs and battle with gravity up Skerpioenkloof; if you're lucky enough to visit in spring, try the 50km Rondekop Route through a floral wonderland!

Off the bike

Numerous day hikes and multi-day trails crisscross the area, and the breathtaking walk along the cliffs to the waterfall should not be missed. 

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)27 218 1246

Website: www.papkuilsfontein.com

GPS:   Papkuilsfontein: 31°33’30.2” South / 19°10’57.9”East                                                            

             Oorlogskloof: 31°26’33.2” South / 19°04’15.1” East

 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate to difficult

DURATION:

Various

CONFIGURATION :

Options from 15-50km

TERRAIN:

Gravel raods, jeep tracks - rocky patches

MAP:

Hand drawn map and directions at Papkuilsfontein

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Day visitor fees apply

FACILITIES:

Accommodation and camping

BEWARE OF:

Extreme heat, rock-strewn gravel roads and locked roads

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Papkuilsfontein is just 23km south of Nieuwoudtville on the Moedverloor Road

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Spring for the flowers. Summer will be gruelling, winter cooler, but nights will be freezing

 

 

Schaap River Canyon

CLOSEST TOWN >  Nababeep

TRAIL DESTINATION > Jakkalswater Guest Farm

DISTANCE >  60km

GRADING > Intermediate

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OVERVIEW

The town of Nababeep is about 20km north west of Springbok, in the heart of Namaqualand. Its quaint sounding name is an amalgamation of two Nama words - 'naba' or bump of an animal, and 'bib' or small spring - which translates into 'the place of the rhinoceros'.

On your bike

Crank onto a little piece of singletrack meandering along the valley into Nababeep itself (3km). Zigzag through this sleepy town along any given footpath, continuing west in the direction of Kleinzee. You will spot a dirt road climb bordering on ridiculousness and of course, this is where you turn right (4km). Even though this is a public road, the Schaap River Conservancy has put up an access gate to limit vehicle access; lift your bike over the gate (7km) if it is locked, and pin your ears back for the crank.

Keep it tidy in the gravelly corners as you can easily slide out in the loose stuff. Around the 10km mark there is a slight hill before you bank back into the descent. You reach the concrete bridge over the Schaap River after 20km; take time out to wander down into the canyon along the slip road before heading back.

Off the bike

Jakkalswater, encicled by towering granite hills, is a stunning and scenic getaway, offering trail runs and hikes as well as a 4x4 route.

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)83 234 8010

Website: www.facebook.com/JakkalswaterGuestFarm

GPS: 29°38’19.7” South / 17°48’31.0” East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate

DURATION:

4 hours

CONFIGURATION :

60km return ride

TERRAIN:

Rocks, loose gravel and serious climbs

MAP:

Invest in a 1:50 000 topographical map of the area

CELL RECEPTION:

None

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Public access from Nababeep

FACILITIES:

Great accommodation at Jakkalswater

BEWARE OF:

Loose gravelly corners

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Bypass Springbok on the N7. Approximatelyh 7km further, turn left twards Kleinzee. Continue for another 7km to the Jakkalswater turn-off, again on your left. 
 

BEST TIME OF YEAR

In summer it is hot as hell. In winter it is freezing. In spring it is covered in millions of flowers. Autumn? Should be good. 

 

Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve

CLOSEST TOWN > Nieuwoudtville

TRAIL DESTINATION > Papkuilsfontein Farm

DISTANCE > 15–50km

GRADING > Moderate to difficult

oorlogskloof

OVERVIEW

Head north beyond Nieuwoudtville and you’ll discover the uppermost reaches of the Cederberg. The Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve extends alongside this small town, stretching in all its dramatic splendour onto the rugged escarpment overlooking the Knersvlakte below.

On your bike

An extensive network of gravel roads traverses the rugged terrain, making it a great place for MTB exploration.
Just as impressive (and way more or­ganised) is Papkuilsfontein, a legendary 4X4 destination adjoining the reserve. Negotiate the rocky jeep tracks up to the highest point of the kloof for breathtaking views of the Nieuwoudtville waterfall and endless vistas across the Knersvlakte. Pack extra lungs and battle with gravity up Skerpioenkloof; if you’re lucky enough to visit in spring, try the 50km Rondekop Route through a floral wonderland! 

Off the bike

Numerous day hikes and multi-day trails crisscross the area, and the breathtak­ing walk along the Nieuwoudtville waterfall cliffs should not be missed. There are thwo other nature reserves in the area, namely Waterfall Reserve and Nieuwoudtville Flower Reserve. A true delight for twitchers, with 145 species in the area. The night skies are amazing with no light other than your candle to distract from the brilliance.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Mariëtte and Alrie van Wyk

Website: www.papkuilsfontein.com

Tel: +27 27 218 1246

GPS: 31°33’25.0” South / 19°11’12.1” East

 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Moderate to difficult

DURATION:

Various

CONFIGURATION :

Options from 15–50km

START POINT:

Various (Papkuilsfontein)

TERRAIN:

Gravel roads, jeep tracks – rocky patches

MAP:

Hand-drawn map and directions at Papkuilsfontein

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Free for farm guests; day fees for MTB visitors

FACILITIES:

Accommodation and camping

BEWARE OF:

Extreme heat, rock-strewn gravel roads, locked roads

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Papkuilsfontein is just 23km south of Nieuwoudtville on the Moedverloor Road.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Spring for the flowers! Summer will be gruelling; winter is cooler, but nights will be freezing.

 

Goegap Nature Reserve

CLOSEST TOWN > Springbok

TRAIL DESTINATION > Goegap Nature Reserve

DISTANCE > 22km +

 

GRADING > Moderate to difficult

goegap-nature-reserve

OVERVIEW

Goegap is everyman’s desert: big enough to feel vast, small enough not to be intimidating. Kokerbome spike the powder-blue Boesmanland sky, the latter backdropping haphazard rock stacks rucking up from amber plains. Warlord Oryx hold sway upon these sandy swathes, rattling their rapier horns amid the heat mirage.

Amongst the rugged jumbles of boulders – some the size of two-up-two-down apartment blocks – you might happen upon Hartmann’s mountain zebra or, even better, that shaolin monk of antelope, the klipspringer. Fascinat­ing semidesert flora, including stands of kokerboom (Aloe dichotoma) and mythical halfmens trees (Pachypodium namaquanum), will add to the experi­ence. August and September often go hand in hand with a spectacular display of wild flowers, especially after a good rainy season.
 

On your bike

Biking is along a 35km-odd network of 4X4 tracks and gravel reserve roads, starting off from the reserve offices set in a narrow valley bisecting the granite domes of the Klein Koperberge. Head onto the plains and turn left for a gentle climb before looping left again at the first signposted turn-off. A few sandy patches will test your bike skills, so keep the momentum going as you follow the rim of the valley.

Various options await you at the next intersection, but at some stage you will have to start the ascent towards Carolusberg, the highest point in the reserve. The 4X4 track becomes rather rugged and steep as you wind your way to the top, with a few Moab-like rock slabs to test your prowess just before you crest onto a craggy kopje overlook­ing the reserve.

Although there is quite a bit of rock and sand, it is possible to adapt the route choice in order to suit your personal level of fitness. The trail is harsh in places, minimalist in most, but eminently rideable if you are a moderate to accomplished mountain biker. There is no shame if you have to push or portage, as the feel-good factor will more than make up for it.

All in all, Goegap Nature Reserve makes for a fascinating pedal-power ex­ploration, but most enjoyable is the fact that it is a truly undiscovered landscape.

Off the bike

Goegap is a popular 4x4 destination, while most of the other gravel roads are suitable for ordinary vehicles. Hiking trails, game viewing and good birding also attract many day visitors. The town of Springbok, as well as the surrounding district, is famed for interesting fossil fields and deposits of minerals and semiprecious stones.

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)27 718 9906

Website: www.northerncape.org.za

GPS: 29°39′54.1″ South /  17°59′53.8″ East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Moderate to difficult

DURATION:

2 to 3 hours

CONFIGURATION :

Circular 22km ride, plus various other gravel road options

START POINT:

Reserve office

TERRAIN:

Semi-desert, sand and some rocky sections

MAP:

Maps available from the office at Goegap Nature Reserve  

CELL RECEPTION: None

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

An entrance fee is payable at the gate and an additional rate is levied per rider

FACILITIES:

Self-catering cottages, safe parking within the reserve and ablutions

BEWARE OF:

Extreme temperatures

 

MORE INFORMATION: Moderate to difficult ride, with the terrain and surface adding to the difficulty level; take care – desert   ecosystems are extremely fragile and careless actions may upset their delicate balance

HOW TO GET THERE

The Goegap Nature Reserve is situated 15km east of Springbok; to get there, head towards the airport along the R355 until you see the reserve signage indicating the turn-off to the gate.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

The best time to ride would be in spring, around August and September. You will enjoy the floral displays and avoid the extremes of the summer heat and winter chills.

 

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