Karoo

Skurweberg MTB Route

CLOSEST TOWN > Sutherland

TRAIL DESTINATION > Skurweberg Farm

DISTANCE > up to 52km

 

GRADING > Intermediate to difficult

skurweberg

OVERVIEW

Skurweberg offers scenic rides with awesome views and potential sightings of grey rhebuck, duiker and black
eagle.

On your bike

This rough and rocky ride starts off from the Skurweberg farmhouse and the hills kick in immediately as you crank up Kameelkop. The surface is stony with the rough trail winding through arid Karoo scrub along the Roggeveld escarpment, affording wonderful views over the Tanqua Valley, Sederberg, Klein Tafelberg and Witzenberg. Take a deep breath and hit the helter-skelter jeep track downhill along Skuinsvoetpad, dropping a gut-thumping 1,000 m over the next 3 km. And relax, but only for a few minutes, as the trail now scrambles up the slopes of Ouberg Pass (800 m) and back to the Skurweberg farmhouse.

More adventurous riders can take on the Baboon Trail, with gruelling climbs along some seriously rocky sections. The trail along the river is less rugged, but you can expect sand.

True masochists can face off against gravity on the 52km Sneeukrans 4X4 Trail on an adjoining farm. Ride along 80m-high cliffs or follow the Ouberg Pass, a beauti­ful old-time gravel switchback linking the escarpment with the Tankwa region via a sheer drop of some 700m!

There are breathtaking views along the route with sightings of grey rhebuck, steenbok, klipspringer, black eagles and baboons. Pack enough water as there’s not much along the route (sometimes available at Winteroord) and be prepared for extreme weather changes at the drop of a hat.
 

Off the bike

Sutherland is famous for its observatory and a star gazing session is a must. The town also hosts the occasional ‘star party’ and this should not be missed. The period village of Matjiesfontein is down the road. Otherwise visit the cheese dairy about 20 km from skurweberg or the tulip farm at Koornlandskloof. Outdoor options include a hike along the Bossie route, horse-riding or 4x4 trails on surrounding farms, even paragliding - or just relaxing in the mind-expanding landscape of the Karoo.

 

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)23 571 2728
Website: www.skurwebergguestfarm.com

GPS: 32°17’25.1”S / 20°23’09.4”E

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate to difficult

DURATION:

Various (2–6 hours)

CONFIGURATION :

Circular or there-and-back (up to 52km)

START POINT:

Skurweberg camping site

TERRAIN:

4X4 trails, jeep tracks, dirt roads

MAP:

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

CELL RECEPTION:

No reception

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

No fees for guests, some
roads are public access

FACILITIES:

Various accommodation options, no fuel

BEWARE OF:

Rough terrain, steep ascents, and spectacular views

 

HOW TO GET THERE

From Sutherland, take the R354 north towards Calvinia. Turn left onto a gravel road after approximately 36km. Drive another 17km to reach the Skurweberg camping site.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

The climate varies from red-hot in summer to below zero in winter; snow is possible in winter

 

Karoo Gariep Conservancy

CLOSEST TOWN > Hanover

TRAIL DESTINATION > Karoo Gariep Conservancy

DISTANCE > 30km or 58km

 

GRADING > Easy to intermediate

karoo-gariep

OVERVIEW

Spend hours cranking along single- and jeep track ‘veldpaadjies’ on the conservancy. This is an experience for every level of mountain biker, with sand, rocks, plains, kopjes and creatures great and small as part of the package.

On your bike

Saddle up from New Holme Guest Farm on a 30km circular crank past Mieliefontein, or explore the conser­vancy plains along another 22km circular ride (an extra 6km sandy and rocky loop will test your legs and balance) en route to the Seekoei River to try and spot the Karoo’s last hippos. There is also the Bloudy Rock Technique Park, perfect for skilled crankers, plus never-ending rides along a network of good farm and district roads. 

Off the bike

Great horseback riding, birding and amazing stargazing, plus listening to the hippos, of course.

Day trips include:
•the Van der Kloof Dam
•the state of Orania
•Graaff-Reinette
•visiting spectacular Karoo Gardens – Pride of many a Farmer’s wife
•bird watching in one of the best bird watching areas in SA
•Mountain Biking on Farm roads – enjoying the fresh Karoo air
•“discovering” the Karoo on horseback

Own landing strip, for light aircraft, situated right on the farm.

CONTACT:

Route information: PC Ferreira
Telephone: 082 567 9211
Website: www.karoogariep.co.za

GPS: 30°53’54.0” South / 24°37’39.3”East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to intermediate

DURATION:

3–4 hours

CONFIGURATION :

Circular – 30km or 58km

START POINT:

New Holme Karoo Guestfarm

TERRAIN:

Plains, kopjes with rocky, sandy patches

MAP:

Available from guest farm

CELL RECEPTION: Good

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Free for farm guests

FACILITIES:

Full board guesthouses

BEWARE OF:

Sunburn; dead legs

 

HOW TO GET THERE

On the N1, 50km from Colesberg and 25km from Hanover.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Squeeze it in before midsummer, or after mid-winter.

A message from PC Ferreira, owner of the conservancy

Mountain Bike the KAROO and rediscover your soul!!

I recently bought myself a cheap mountain bike and have by now spent many joyful hours on all the single and two track “veldpaadjies” on the conservancy. What an amazing experience; surrounded by sand, rocks, plains, koppies and small animals and not forgetting the larger creatures – the only hippos in the Karoo. A project that we are proud to be associated with is the reintroduction of Hippos to the Karoo centuries after it was hunted to extinction in the Karoo and more specifically right here on this very conservancy.

So I invite all novice and experienced mountain bikers alike to come join in our Karoo experience and to come enjoy scenery and fresh air that only the Karoo has to offer. While enjoying the scenery and fresh air, we lose our stress and “recharge our lives” – finding our souls and rediscovering the true value of life.

After an enjoyable day in the saddle, we enjoy a relaxing sundowner at the Hippo pool while losing ourselves in the spectacular sunset that only the Karoo can offer. Getting back form our sundowner and after spending the day in the saddle, all can look forward to a traditional dinner with a Karoo lamb chop off the coals. Following a hearty Karoo dinner, guests look forward to a peaceful night’s rest in our 4-star accommodation offered at both New Holme and Mieliefontein.

I have a great desire to share with fellow mountain bikers all that the Karoo can offer and I have attached a map of all mountain bike routes on the conservancy along with respective distances (See attached map).

So bring the family and / or friends and come share in an unforgettable experience. As we are situated just off the N1 highway near Hanover, halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town and Durban, we are ideally situated to act as a meeting point for friends and family alike.

Guests looking for a truly relaxing breakaway and who decide to stay for a few days, have various day trips to decide between. All day trips can be taken from our well-situated 4-star Guest House.

We look forward to welcoming guests and introducing them to some of the Karoo’s greatest gifts

The Google map shows the location of the trails in the Karoo. 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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