Marrick Safari Camp
CLOSEST TOWN > Kimberley
TRAIL DESTINATION > Marrick Safari Ranch
DISTANCE > 5km to a 40km
GRADING > Moderate
The Marrick Safari Ranch, an easy drive from Kimberley, offers 3 000ha of pristine African savannah to explore. The area is entirely natural, with a large open pan surrounded by savannah thornveld, bush and plains. Marrick Safari Camp boasts an abundance of bird life as well as at least 18 species of larger mammals. Nocturnal animals and smaller species such as suricates, ground squirrel, aardvark, porcupines, African wild cat, caracal and genet are also found within the four diverse botanical biomes existing at Marrick.
On your bike
The MTB routes basically follow an extensive network of 4X4 trails and roads within the Marrick Safari area, but occasionally ascend along a variety of hiking paths for an exhilarating singletrack blast. Trails are perfect for mountain bikers keen to get closer to nature; several route options allow riders to select distances and terrain suitable to their individual level of fitness. Topography varies hugely, and easy cruising along hard-packed or sandy plains quickly gives way to sharp ascents up the many hills and kopjes.
Many riders underestimate the difficulty of the terrain, as they are lulled into a false sense of security by the apparent ‘flatness’ of the area. Routes are challenging and yet remain fun and enjoyable for all levels of riders. A wide range of ecosystems may be experienced and, as the region changes with every season, you can expect a brand new experience with every ride.
If you want more than just a quickie ride, come back for the multi-day Marrick MTB Challenge hosted here every September – 2011 was the 4th edition of this challenging, 202km Stage Race. Ride through wide open spaces, revelling in more than 40km of singletrack, all the while catching glimpses of a variety of species, including giraffe, gemsbok, zebra, wildebeest and herds of other plains game.
Off the bike
Marrick offers visitors a number of hiking trails, guided game drives and a swimming pool to cool off in on those sweltering, Northern Cape summer days. If you’re keen on some white-water rafting, the Gariep (Orange) River is about one hour’s drive away. If you have time on your hands, check out the fascinating mining museum in Kimberley or do a lake jump into the infamous Big Hole.
Route information: Trevor Datnow, Marrick Safaris
Telephone: +27 (0)53 833 7004
GPS: 28°46’40.3”South / 24°36’40.1”East
1 to 5 hours
Options from 5km to a 40km circular ride
Marrick Safaris reception
Flat and sandy paths with hills and koppies
A trail map, including distances, available from Marrick Safaris
Day visitor fee applies to riders; no fees for Marrick guests
Guesthouse, self-catering cottages, ablutions
Heat and thunderstorms
A variety of terrain, fun for all levels, plus good game viewing
HOW TO GET THERE
From Kimberley, head west along the R357 towards Douglas for approximately 14km until you reach the turn-off to Marrick Safari Camp. From the Barkly West crossing (on the road from Kimberley) the turn-off is just on 10km away.
BEST TIME OF YEAR
Marrick Safari is situated very close to the centre of South Africa and Kimberley lies at an elevation of approximately 1 200m above sea level. The climate is essentially a continental one, which provides hot, wet summers from December to February and mild, dry winters from June to August. The infrequent summer rains tend to take the form of occasional severe thunderstorms and it is not unusual for winter night-time temperatures to drop below freezing.
The Google map shows the location of the trails in the Diamond Fields, near Kimberley. You can also choose from the links at the bottom if the map doesn't work for you...
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