Western Cape


This is superb gravel riding terrain, with quiet roads and jeep tracks dust-lining along the Piketberg slopes and surrounding plains. From Aurora, head southwest towards the R399 (16km), and then turn left for 14km of fast tarmac cranking to the Goedverwacht turn-off.

On your bike

This picturesque mission village awaits approximately 11km along this gravel road, with a range of accommodation options, including camping at Januariesfontein (total riding distance of 43km) and premium self-catering at Retreat Guest Farm (49km). You’re in for a solid ascent from Goedverwacht, so this is not a bad place to break out some cold beers and chill after Day One of your ride. Retreat Farm boasts a superb MTB Trail, so bump up your ride with a kickass 24km of singletrack addition!

Your second day starts with an exhilarating downhill ride as you pedal the quiet tar road plunging back down to Piketberg. Negotiate the side-swiping ess-bends of Versveld Pass (10km) before you T-bone onto the R366 (15km), where you will pass the turn-off to Eendekuil (R365) to your right after another 24km. Keep the pedals turning as the R366 curves southwards to Redelinghuys (80km) where Affieplaas awaits with excellent accommodation and meals.

Welcome to Day 3, people! A rather corrugated and sandy (in places) stretch of gravel road awaits as you crank off towards Aurora. Look out for a turn-off to your left towards Danielshoogte Private Nature Reserve after 25km, with proper climbing as you attack the western ascent up Piketberg Mountain. The 9km uphill to Danielshoogte is gritty, but you have another 8km before you top out. Either return to Danielshoogte (51km) or bomb all the way back down to Aurora (63km) where you can book into the Rooi Granaat for some R&R.

Anyone for a Bonus Day in the saddle? Here goes … from Aurora, head southwest for 2km, then keep left for another 15km to the junction with the R399. Keep left again for 3km to the next left as you begin to undulate up the scenic Kapteinskloof valley, passing Banghoek Private Nature Reserve just on 38km into your ride.

You will rejoin your old friend, the R366, again after a total distance of 55km; turn right here towards Piketberg for a fast 40km tarmac crank. Piketberg offers a bunch of accommodation options, and after nearly a 100km in the saddle you will surely need cold drinks, good food and a comfortable bed! I’d check out Lemon Tree Cottage as a starting point!

All in all, you’re in for a 40/60 mix of tarmac versus gravel, with long and undulating stretches and a few gruelling climbs. The northern side of the mountain brims with loads of jeep-track for those keen to explore off the secondary roads, but be aware that you will be riding through farming areas and that all gates should be left in the position you found them.

Keep a look out for jackal- and steppe buzzards, black eagles, bat-eared fox, steenbuck and other small mammals. Leopards are often spotted in the high-lying mountain wilderness, but your chances of seeing them are unfortunately not brilliant. The vistas towards the Cederberg and West Coast, however, will more than make up for that!

Off the bike

The village itself offers a range of accommodation options and fine dining, though its historical route is probably a must-do for all visitors. The construction of the imposing Neo-Gothic church started in 1880 and to this day forms the focal point of the town. You can’t miss it, but also take some time to wander by one of the oldest houses, 16-18 Main Street, that was built in 1844 or up towards Piquet Hill and the old Coach House. The Piketberg Museum is perfect last stop to fill in the gaps.


How to Get There
Take the R399 from Piketberg and turn right to Aurora.

GPS Coordinates
32º 42′ 05″ South /  18º 28′ 52″ East

Best Time of Year
Aurora has a Mediterranean climate, with most of its rainfall in winter



Piket Mountain Gravel Circuit, Western Cape

Get your Vitamin (G)ravel fix the next time you visit the Berg River Tourism Area, approximately 90min from Cape Town. The challenging Piketberg Circuit meanders via the scenic Sandveld plains and boasts a total riding distance of up to 300km, depending on your choice of route.

De Hoop Nature Reserve MTB Routes

The De Hoop Nature Reserve sustains part of the world’s smallest and most threatened plant kingdom – the Cape Floral Kingdom. Close-up encounters with bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, eland, baboons and ostrich are a highlight of any ride.

Simonsberg Conservancy MTB Trails

This collection of trails in the Knorhoek Valley, combining loops on Uitkyk, Delheim, Simonsberg and Muratie, has world-class potential as an MTB destination and may rate as the high point of Meurant Botha’s illustrious trail-scaping career.

Nuwerust MTB Route

Overview There are getaways, and then there are get-completely-off-the-grid-aways … Nuwerust Rest Camp in the Red Karoo Cederberg Park is one of the latter options, and the biking there is pretty much off the charts and their 17km circuit is just one or your options in the area. Nuwerust Rest […]

Banhoek Conservancy

Publication: RIDE Magazine (2016 September Issue) ROUTE – Banhoek & Boschendal Beating around The Bosch Stellenbosch has always been at the forefront of SA fat-track culture, with a whole bunch of rebel trail builders creating MTB magic here in the shadow of Simonsberg. Banhoek and Boschendal now features the next […]

Saldanha Nature Reserve MTB Trail

OVERVIEW The reserve is located on a peninsula at the north western end of Saldanha bay and is a pristine piece of nature. It is located inside the military grounds but is accessible to the general public via the boom gates at the entrance to the military academy. These are […]

West Coast Fossil Park MTB Trails

OVERVIEW Enjoy the fresh west coast air and take a cycle through the Fossil Park. They have a selection of four trails, ranging from 3.5km to 10km, which are of varying degrees of difficulty. They go through a number of different rehabilitated areas in the Fossil Park and they are […]

West Coast National Park

OVERVIEW The West Coast National Park has a range of cycling routes as well as two mountain-biking trails. On your bike The shorter of the two trails is the Green trail. Starting at Langebaan Park Gate, turn right onto the old Bot­telary dirt road (lift your bike over the chain) […]

Wolfberg Mountain Bike Trail

OVERVIEW Wolfberg Mountain Bike trail will take you past some of the most amazing rock formations that the Cederberg is famous for.  The trail could also be ridden as part of the Kliphuis trail – total 30km. On your bike Easy riding jeep tracks through the Sanddrif campsite past the […]