Closest Town: Underberg
Grading: Easy, moderate, difficult to extreme | Duration: Depends on trail chosen
Location (Area/Province): KZN - Natal and Midlands
Configuration: 4 trails from 3-13km
Start Point: Sani Spoors Office
Access: Entry fee payable. Cyclists must register with ROAG and pay on the website
Beware of: Routes may be closed during the fire season or for certain farming operations.
Facilities: Secure parking
Cell Reception: Intermittent
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Sani Spoors is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s stand-out mountain biking destinations, and offers what can only be described as an intoxicating mix of mountain bike trails of varying degrees of difficulty. All skills levels are catered for, providing fun and excitement for the whole family. So, if you want to tick off the full gamut of MTB options – from adrenaline-fuelled downhills, gritty climbs and gently meandering trails to technical bridges – go get it all at Sani Spoors in one safe and spectacularly beautiful destination.
On your bike
The 3.3km Intshitshi Spoor (Yellow) is an easy cruise along the banks of the Umzimkulu River, perfect for novices and children. There are several wooden stiles over farm fences along the way, but enough speed and momentum will get you safely across these (walk them until you’ve gained the necessary confidence). The 7km Umzimkulu Run (Blue) splits from the Intshitshi Spoor at a dangerous bridge to add in an extra bit of flat riverside riding as well as a few fast downhills, then re-joins the Intshitshi Spoor.
The 19.2km Tsango Trail (Lime Green) also starts along the Umzimkulu Run before branching off and following the Umzimkulu River and its tributary the Umzimkulwana River. After crossing the tar road, the trail follows a higher contour with fast flowing and rocky single-track. The 21.6km Rinkhals Road (Orange) continues along the tar road for 1.5km from the Tsango split, before entering a wattle single-track section, emerging onto fantastic cliff-top trails with some fun-filled downhill single-track. It joins onto the Tsango trail at the Umzimkulwana Bridge.
The 9.4km Milk Run (Green) is your access route to single-track heaven. Long climbs, some nice pine plantation single-track and incredible berg views are on the menu. Once at the top, either hit Jackall Joll or crank back along the Milk Run to the start point. This is the only section of the trail where you risk encountering oncoming traffic. Remember, ascending cyclists have right of way, so please be cautious and courteous.
Once it splits up with the Milk Run, the 13km Jackall Joll (Red) will throw more climbing your way, but it is all worth it. Forestry roads take you to the highest point on the property, from where a number of technical and rocky descents with fantastic downhill switchbacks will seduce the Gravity crowd with adrenaline hit after hit.
Off the bike
The region teems with outdoor options, from hiking in the Drakensberg, abseiling, driving the Sani Pass, canoeing or horse riding. The villages of Underberg and Himeville boast lovely artisanal craft shops, accommodation and eateries and the Himeville Arms is perfect for a nostalgic drink or to meet some colourful locals.
Contatc: Sani Spoors
Telephone: Derek Christie +27 (0)82 318 9995 / Ed Smith : +27 (0)82 299 5234
GPS: 29° 45.967’ South / 29° 27.643’East