Closest Town: Sutherland
Grading: Intermediate to difficult | Duration: Various (2–6 hours)
Location (Area/Province): Central & Klein Karoo
Configuration: Circular or there-and-back (up to 52km)
Start Point: Skurweberg camping site
Access: No fees for guests, some roads are public access
Beware of: Rough terrain, steep ascents, and spectacular views
Facilities: Various accommodation options, no fuel
Cell Reception: No reception
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Skurweberg offers scenic rides with awesome views and potential sightings of grey rhebuck, duiker and black
On your bike
This rough and rocky ride starts off from the Skurweberg farmhouse and the hills kick in immediately as you crank up Kameelkop. The surface is stony with the rough trail winding through arid Karoo scrub along the Roggeveld escarpment, affording wonderful views over the Tanqua Valley, Sederberg, Klein Tafelberg and Witzenberg. Take a deep breath and hit the helter-skelter jeep track downhill along Skuinsvoetpad, dropping a gut-thumping 1,000 m over the next 3 km. And relax, but only for a few minutes, as the trail now scrambles up the slopes of Ouberg Pass (800 m) and back to the Skurweberg farmhouse.
More adventurous riders can take on the Baboon Trail, with gruelling climbs along some seriously rocky sections. The trail along the river is less rugged, but you can expect sand.
True masochists can face off against gravity on the 52km Sneeukrans 4X4 Trail on an adjoining farm. Ride along 80m-high cliffs or follow the Ouberg Pass, a beautiful old-time gravel switchback linking the escarpment with the Tankwa region via a sheer drop of some 700m!
There are breathtaking views along the route with sightings of grey rhebuck, steenbok, klipspringer, black eagles and baboons. Pack enough water as there’s not much along the route (sometimes available at Winteroord) and be prepared for extreme weather changes at the drop of a hat.
Off the bike
Sutherland is famous for its observatory and a star gazing session is a must. The town also hosts the occasional ‘star party’ and this should not be missed. The period village of Matjiesfontein is down the road. Otherwise visit the cheese dairy about 20 km from skurweberg or the tulip farm at Koornlandskloof. Outdoor options include a hike along the Bossie route, horse-riding or 4×4 trails on surrounding farms, even paragliding – or just relaxing in the mind-expanding landscape of the Karoo.
Telephone: +27 (0)23 571 2728
GPS: 32°17’25.1”S / 20°23’09.4”E