Need-to-know: The riding at Mankele Adventures is pretty in your face. Once you run out of the valley you immediately go into gnarly climbs, following steep lines along the ridges hemming in the area.  Expect loads of rocky drop-offs, slip-sliding bush tunnels and gritty, gravelly corners. Endless wooden boardwalks, carefully constructed at strategic spots, perfectly complement the natural pathways, ensuring adrenaline pumping trails with an excellent balance of lung bursting climbs, disc burning descents, nail-biting north shore, river crossings and fast, smooth single-track.

This is the training playground for SA’s top riders, but there is also something for everyone, no matter what your riding skill, fitness level or age. All trails are marked using easy to follow colour-codes and warning signs for any technical or obstacles, of which many have ‘chicken out’ detours. The trails range from the easy 5km Blue trail with its flowing single-track, bridges and jeep track designed for beginners to practice their technical skills to the gruelling 55km Purple route and anything in-between, including the Adventure Zone and another 8 routes at least. 

The short but very rewarding and somewhat technical Blue Trail starts at reception, leads you out the main gate where the fun starts as soon as you have gone over the bridge and a nice drop-in to the right gets you next to the river. After a crossing and a short climb, some flat jeep track leads you back to the campsite before heading into the Adventure Zone, up Mamba Koppie and back along the river’s edge to the start.

The infamous Purple Trail’s first 15km is a nonstop battle with granny gear, but the magnificent view is well worth the climb. The descent via the bush tunnel can be hair-raising or you can opt for the ‘easy way back’. There is a huge drop that is extremely dangerous in the bush tunnel, so be careful, scout it out or opt for the chicken run. 

Finally, for the adrenalin junkies there’s the utter madness of the 1.8km Down Hill Trail where switch backs, drop-offs and rock gardens will try rip you off your bike. Or try the new Gold and Silver trails, with special, very technical, Black Dot sections on most of the routes that will spice things up (but don’t complain if you lose your teeth on these!).

No helmet – No ride (helmets for sale or for hire at reception).

For more information on Mankele and the Off-the-Bike activities that it offers, check out our blogpost here!

GPS: 25° 23’ 15.62” South / 30° 42’ 47.47” East

Mankele MTB Park on Trailforks.com


29/11/2019

Mankele Mountain Bike Park

Mankele Mountain Bike Adventures is beautifully located in an indigenous forest near the Sudwala Caves and alongside the Houtbosloop River.