Closest Town: Louis Trichardt
Grading: Moderate | Duration: Up to two days
Location (Area/Province): Limpopo and Soutpansberg
Configuration: Forestry roads
Start Point: Start the trails in either Makhado (Louis Trichardt), Roodiwal Forest or Entabeni Forest.
Access: A permit must be obtained from Komatiland Ecotourism in Pretoria at 012 481 3615
Beware of: Extreme heat between December and February and avoid riding between 10:00 and 15:00. Replenish fluids and carry a sachet of Rehydrat for heat stroke and dehydration.
Facilities: Drinking water at Entabeni and Hangklip accommodation facilities only. Take your own water on the ride.
Cell Reception: Not everywhere
The Soutpansberg mountain range forms a truly impressive 130 km natural barrier between South Africa and the rest of the continent to the north. On the southern side of the range, tangled bushveld chokes mysterious gorges and rough cliff faces and it is here that Komatiland Forests have two plantations through which cyclists may do either an overnight trail or day rides on the forestry service roads.
Security: Since these are permit-only, restricted access areas, both personal and vehicle security is generally fine.
On your bike
Hangklip Forest: Hangklip is the smaller area with a variety of circular and return main trails. Entabeni is bigger. In all, there are 1,000 km of forestry roads in the area. This trail may be accessed from Makhado (Louis Trichardt) and cyclists can rest at an attractive picnic area in a section of this indigenous forest.
Entabeni forest: An overnight mountain biking trail can also be done in this forest near Levubu.
Kremetart Route (175 km) You can also take the whole day and do some road cycling by following the circular Kremetart Route, named after a stage race event held in June every year. Pack a set of lights in case the Verwoerd Tunnels don’t have the lights switched on. From Makhado, ride along the N1 up and down the pass for 26 km, turning left to Waterpoort (R523) on the northern side of the Soutpansberg Mountains. Take some time to admire the kremetart or baobab trees, some of which are thousands of years old, lining this road. Continue for 40 km to the R521 and turn left to Vivo. Go 6 km, then turn left again onto the R522, riding 81 km in the shadow of the southern side of the mountains back to Makhado.
Off the bike
The Soutpansberg region provides various attractions ranging from tea estates, waterfalls and the sacred lake of Fundudzi to tropical fruit farms as well as artists’ stalls and galleries.
Telephone: 015 516 0040
GPS: S23°2.54′, E29°54.83′