Closest Town: Middelburg
Grading: Easy to difficult | Duration: Up to you
Location (Area/Province): Mpumalanga and Western Mpumalanga
Configuration: Various, including 18km circuit
Start Point: Buffalo Gorge Camp
Access: Entry fee payable
Beware of: Do not forget your water bottles or Camelbacks, the climate is warm and the work can be tough, you will get thirsty quickly!!! If you are bothered by wet shoes, wear old ones!!!
Facilities: Campsite with ablutions, self catering tents
Cell Reception: No cell phone reception.
Premium and Curated Trails Only
At Buffalo Gorge you can roam all over the farm and surrounding roads, exploring at will or crank along the 18km loop that follows the 4×4 route. Two stream crossings and a few uphills brings you to markers that indicate 3 options: turn left to cycle uphill to the abseil site for a great view over the Avontuur Valley and the Selons River, turn right to go back to base camp or go straight for a longer ride.
On your bike
Starting at the gate to the camp site, the road travels to the Lapa area then crosses the stream and leads past the showers along the bottom of a small hill. It is generally level, but when one approaches the game fence a short downhill leads to a shallow stream crossing over the Bobbejaan Loop. A short uphill section joins the trial to the main access road to the neighboring farm. The trail turns right and follows a long steadily uphill section on the access road to Buffalo Gorge. On this section markers indicate 3 options. Turn left to cycle uphill to the 50 m high abseil site, turn right to go back to base camp or go straight for a longer ride. For those that may despair on the uphill, a nice thought: What goes up must come down!!
At the next T junction one can again choose to go right back to base camp or to go straight back up the access road to Buffalo Gorge. Approx 4 km later, one can turn left and explore some of the local gravel roads , or turn right and follow the markers to the dam and wetland area where good bird watching can be experienced. The route then follows the game fence to a small waterfall. Here the route splits into two.
The route to the Wild plum tree leads down a small ravine and one has to carry your bike, or leave and walk the Wild plum section. At the Wild Plum tree, cold fountain water is available. Back on the cycling track the route leads to the top of a hill from where the descent (and the fun for the down hillers!!) starts. All the way down the hillside the trail flows and again joins the main track to Buffalo Gorge.
Turn left and head back to camp. Go slow here and enjoy the ride, or go mad, hit 60 km/h and bunny hop every speed hump, praying not to die! The route to the 50 m high abseil site is a tough ride on jeep track but delivers a great view over the Avontuur Valley and the Selons River, if you get of your bike and walk to the edge of the cliff. Once again a mad downhill rush can be enjoyed back to camp, or a more timid pace can be kept if you want to.
Off the bike
After a hard ride, back at camp, hop into the “Bos Jacuzzi” with a cold drink and relax those sore muscles.
Buffalo Gorge has the concession to take weekend horse safaris at neighbouring Loskop Dam Nature Reserve, home to three of the Big Five, while, at Buffalo Gorge itself, there are day rides. There are also abseiling and rock-climbing sites ranging from 15 to 50 m and six hiking trails to choose from and a welcome dip in the “Bos Jacuzzi).
Route information: Ryk or Louise Diepraam
Telephone: +27 83 528 9586
GPS: 25°32′51.5″South / 29°33′47.6″East
For his contribution to our community over the past 10 days, we're sending @milky4130 off to compete in the Stanford MTB Classic!
Good luck Malcolm, give it horns!
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