Closest Town: Magaliesburg
Grading: Easy to Intermediate | Duration: 1-3 hours
Location (Area/Province): Central Gauteng and Gauteng
Configuration: 24km contours. Kloof option + 5km
Start Point: Ingwe Bush Camp
Access: R100 per person
Facilities: Tented bush camp with self- or full catering options.
Cell Reception: Not everywhere
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Ingwe Bush Camp has been in the Saunders family since the 1800s and is resplendent with history. The farm is set against the southern slopes of the Magaliesberg Mountains. Gentle grass plains give way to steeper slopes scattered with rocks and boulders from the sheer ancient sandstone cliffs thrusting up into the sky.
On a clear day, these imposing cliffs are visible from the north-western suburbs of Johannesburg, 70km away. At 1849m above sea level, Nooitgedacht Mountain is the highest point in the range. On 13 December 1900, Boer forces under general De la Rey routed the British who had set up a signaling station on Nooitgedacht. As of 2005, the summit is accessed via a forbidding kloof up a steep concrete road built to maintain the microwave relay towers.
On your bike
Both game and cattle form the core business, but 20 years ago the family had the foresight to develop eco-tourism. Ingwe has an abundance of non-predatory wild animals which may be viewed during 24km of riding along the jeep tracks hugging mountain contours. Those who are unable to resist the lure of altitude will attempt to climb up to the top of the mountain, where panoramic views are ample reward for the effort. The saddest thing about mountain-biking is that what took you two hours to climb is all gobbled up in a mere ten minutes of rim-smelting descent.
Keep control of your bicycle as excessive speeds will be experienced on the steep concrete downhill off the mountain. All roads on the right when you go down the concrete take you back to the camp. Now enjoy this lovely ride and take the time to savour your surroundings.
Off the bike
In addition to game-viewing drives and hunting excursions, Ingwe has a ‘vulture restaurant’ where animal carcasses are left in the veld for the vultures to feed on.
Route information: Colin Sanders
Telephone: 072 304 5802
GPS: 25°52′10.2″S 027°32′55.9″E