Closest Town: Mossel Bay
Grading: Difficult to Extreme | Duration: Your choice
Location (Area/Province): Garden Route
Configuration: Two routes - 35km and 120km circular
Start Point: Start at Bonniedale Farm (044) 695 3175
Access: A once off fee of R60 per cyclist for the duration of the stay payable at Bonniedale Farm
Beware of: Brutish climbs and extreme downhills
Facilities: Farmhouse accommodation, chalets, camping sites, permanent tents with beds, a lapa and camp; kitchen tent and equipped caravans. Conference Hall ablutions.
Cell Reception: No cell phone reception
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A choice of two routes both starting at Bonniedale Farm, the 35km takes you along farm roads and the 120km circular with steep slopes, brutish climbs and some extreme downhill challenges along a combination of jeep-track and purpose-made singletrack trails. Rated by: Philippe Samouilhan
On your bike
This is a difficult one to rate as the area is magnificent but the altitude profiles are extreme with loose, badly damaged steep bits that make short portages unavoidable. The historical interest quotient is high as a result of ox wagon and elephant tracks dating back as far as 1689.
Situated between Fouriesberg and the southern end of the Outeniqua Range these are proper mountains through which these tracks run. From the Sunbird Camp with an elevation of 702m the view of gravel roads and tracks is clear, on the ground excellent signage makes getting lost unlikely if you stay on the existing trails.
The potential routes are numerous and open to myriad adjustments but care should be taken to choose according to your ability to make it home before nightfall, alternately you and some mates could do the Attaquaskloof section of the old Ox wagon and Elephant tracks, first having made arrangements with Nico and Danette for food and sleeping needs as you do not want to be carrying any more weight than absolutely, completely, definitely necessary.
All that said, it is very beautiful land and you will gain new respect for those tough men and women who did the ox wagon thing.
Off the bike
Bonniedale is a 1,650 ha fynbos farm situated in the Attaquaskloof within the Outeniqua Mountains between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. the farm is surrounded by the Attaquaskloof Nature Reserve, home to a range of antelope (kudu, rhebuck, bushbuck, klipspringer), as well as hyena, lynx, baboon, porcupine and other small mammals. bonniedale Farm encompasses more than 16 square kilometres, offering outdoor activities ranging from bird-watching, hiking and horse-riding to rock-climbing and abseiling, swimming in rock pools, Khoisan rock art and 4 x 4 trails. There is also a large dam with paddle ski’s and a 130m flying fox foefie slide.
Other nearby attractions include the Cango Caves, various game parks and reserves, crocodile, leopard and ostrich farms, an ox wagon museum, whale-watching, Great White Shark-diving, deep-sea angling and bungee jumping.
Telephone: +27 44 695 3175
GPS: 33 52′ 429″ South / 21 51′ 599″ East