Northern Region EC

Lammergeier Private Nature Reserve

CLOSEST TOWN > Barkly East

TRAIL DESTINATION > Lammergeier Private Nature Reserve

DISTANCE > 5–25km

 

GRADING > Easy to difficult

lammergeier

OVERVIEW

Lammergeier Private Nature Reserve covers some 8,000 ha of prime mountain terrain, varying in altitude from 1,700 m to 2,750 m above sea level. 

On your bike

Mountainous terrain, rocky singletrack, extreme downhills and eroded jeep tracks make for some technical riding and more than the odd portage. The trails range from cattle tracks to 4X4 roads, through rivers, along valleys and up mountain peaks. Test your endurance at 2 700m; train at this altitude and the Cape Town Cycle Tour won’t even be a challenge!

Anything goes, from short morning rides to multiday trails that will test even the fittest of riders. Mountainous terrain, rocky singletrack, extreme downhills and eroded jeep track make for technical riding and more than the odd portage. For those more relaxed individuals, the farm roads will allow you to meander at a more civil and leisurely pace.
 

Off the bike

Lammergeier Private Nature Reserve also offers a great adventure racing training camp location as well as hiking rails, wild trout fishing, birding for rare sub-alpine species, 4x4 trails, horse-riding, wing-shooting and hunting. White water tubing in season.

CONTACT:

Website: www.adventuretrails.co.za

Cellphone: +27 (0)82 929 9729

GPS: 30° 44' 49.7" South / 27° 21' 43.1"  East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to Difficult

DURATION:

Short morning rides or multi-day trails

CONFIGURATION :

Various options, 5–25km start

START:

Reception Office

TERRAIN:

Mountainous terrain, rocky singletrack, eroded jeep track

MAP:

Available from reception

CELL RECEPTION:

None

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Free for reserve guests

FACILITIES:

A choice of self-catering accommodation and overnight huts.

BEWARE OF:

Thin air, snakes, lightning storms

 

HOW TO GET THERE

From Aliwal North, pass Lady Grey on the R58 and, 27km later, turn left at the Lammergeier Adventure Trails sign. Follow this dirt road for 11km and thereafter the signboards to reception.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Weather here can be very changeable; be prepared for extreme conditions at any time of the year

 

Rhodes MTB Trail

CLOSEST TOWN > Rhodes

TRAIL DESTINATION > Southern Drakensberg Mountains

DISTANCE > 81km

 

GRADING > Difficult to extreme

rhodes

OVERVIEW

Crank out of Rhodes along a gently undulating road, but don’t be fooled – after a moderate 10km warm-up ascent, all kinds of mind and body alarms will kick in as you hit the lower reaches of Naude’s Nek, the highest and meanest pass in the country  

On your bike

A public gravel road from Rhodes climbs to the top of Naude’s Nek, the highest pass in the country. Grind your way to the mythical summit, 22km away. From here, the route branches left to leave the main dirt road. The trail then heads off northwards to dip through streams and valleys parallel to the escarpment above the Maclear and Mount Fletcher districts. Pass the Cairntoul Police Station and follow the Lesotho border in a westerly direction. If you thought the hard slog up Naude’s Nek was tough, wait until you start grinding up the hellish jeep track to Lesotho View, the highest point on the route at 2 732m.

Dead legs, hallucinations of ice-cold beers and panoramic vistas across Lesotho will keep you company as you summit and then drop down onto the Ben Macdhui Flats (muddy as hell after the rain) until you join the Carlisleshoek Road just below the Tiffindell Ski Resort. Follow this towards Rhodes, traversing the plateau before blasting down the infamous Carlisleshoek Pass. This dual-track, concrete strip careens along impossible hairpins to drop more than 300m in less 3 km. The gradient hits 1 in 3 in places. At speed, this rates as one of the hairiest MTB experiences in Africa.

If you survive this adrenalin rush, bomb along the gravel road contouring down into the valley. Another steep section, incorporating two more hairpins, awaits but then you’re home and dry as you cross the river to crank back into the village.[/div2]

Off the bike

Flanked by Ben MacDhui (3,001 metres) and Bonnyvale Peak (2,633 metres) Rhodes is renowned for its cold climate, sub-alpine topography and meandering trout streams. Winter snowfalls annually attract snowboarders and skiers fro around the country to local slopes. South Africa’s well-known Tiffindell Ski Lodge is found here. Major draw cards in the area include fly-fishing with the Bell’s Whisky Wild Trout Fly-fishing Festival held in March each year. Quad-biking, hiking, alpine flower viewing, rock art, horse-riding and wing-shooting are also on offer. Nearby Maclear boasts exposed, fossilized dinosaur footprints believed to be 200 million years old, as well as superb rock art sites.

CONTACT:

Website: www.rhodesvillage.co.za

Tel: +27 (0)45 974 9290

GPS: 30°47′44″ South /  27°57′51″ East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

A hard ride which borders on extreme during wet, muddy and icy winter conditions

DURATION:

Anything from 4-8 hours in the saddle

CONFIGURATION :

A circular ride along public roads - 81km

START POINT:

Rhodes Village Main Street

TERRAIN:

Mostly gravel roads, with gnarly jeep tracks along some of the more remote sections

MAP:

No map, invest in a 1:50 000 topographical map of the area

CELL RECEPTION: Limited

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Public roads, so no fee is payable

FACILITIES:

Various accommodation establishments in Rhodes offer all the mod cons

BEWARE OF:

Carlisle’s Hoek holds the record for the most broken collarbones during a race … you’ve been warned!

 

HOW TO GET THERE

From Aliwal North, take the R58 to Lady Grey and Barkly East. From here, turn left on the R396 to Moshesh’s Ford, 34km, and on to Rhodes, another 30km.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Ready yourself for four seasons in one day. A clear summer day may morph into a scary storm with pelting hail and lightning in seconds. Winter here is the real thing, with sleet, fog and snow.

 

The Google map shows the location of the trails in the Northern Region of the Eastern Cape. 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.
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