Closest Town: Colenso
Grading: Easy to intermediate | Duration: 1 hour to a full day
Location (Area/Province): Berg, Bush & Battlefields, and KZN - Natal
Configuration: Circular or return options
Start Point: the thatch-and-stone cottages
Access: Day visitors by arrangement
Beware of: Roads slippery when wet; 4x4 essential in wet season
Facilities: Accommodation in thatch-and-stone cottages
Cell Reception: None
Situated within the Anglo-Boer War Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, Umsuluzi Game Park has a range of mountain bike route options available to guests visiting the reserve. All visitors are encouraged to soak up the tranquillity of the bush veldt and range free amidst herds of mostly plains game roaming the landscape.
On your bike
A selection of five mountain bike trails combine 4×4 jeep roads and single mountain bike dirt tracks ranging from the laid-back routes to the arduous “Donga Trail”.
The riding on Umsuluzi is predominantly along the gravel roads crisscrossing this 3000ha farm. Terrain varies in difficulty, ranging from easy to challenging, especially in the back-country areas where there are many rocks and dongas to contend with. It is however quite easy to find roads suited to weekend rider just keen to get some time in the saddle within a game reserve environment.
The reserve is home to over 30 species of wildlife and 260 bird species, and riders are able to view a wide range of both flora and fauna whilst the still waters of the Bloukrans River and dam allow for tranquil picnic and recovery spots. Visitors to Umsuluzi Riverside Lodge are able to hire mountain bikes for the day’s activities, whilst the large wooden deck and traditional-themed pub make for a superb sundowner venue upon completion of the wilderness trails.
Off the bike
Enjoy white-water rafting on the Tugela River, or bring your rods to test your angling abilities on the yellow-fish in the Bloukrans River. Some challenging 4×4 trails await, or you can go rhino tracking (both white or black) in Weenen Game Reserve. Or you can just re-charge your batteries!
Route information: Michele and Werner Jacobs, Umsuluzi
Address: PO Box 190, Merrivale, 3291
Telephone: +27 (0)83 602 7963
GPS: 28°44′12.0″ South / 029°49′35.0″ East