Mountain biking is a fun sport often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. It requires balance, endurance, stamina, and strength. Mountain biking is good for the health, helps improve self-esteem and a good way to socialize with other people. One of the countries where mountain biking is common in South Africa. South Africa has a number of exciting and challenging trails that draws bikers not only from the country but also from all over the world. The Absa Cape Epic is an annual mountain bike stage race held in the Western Cape and it attracts elite professional mountain bikers from around the world. Here is the list of the best mountain biking trails in South Africa.
#1 Tygerberg Trails, Western Cape
Tygerberg Trail is an integrated network of trails spanning over 120km in the Durbanville Mountains. It is managed by the Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club. The Tygerberg trails range from easy to extreme with single-track, jeep track, and farmland terrains. The system of trails includes Majik Forest, Hillcrest, Meerendal, Contermanskloof, and Hoogekraal which operate a day permit system and offer a range of trails ranging from 5km to 18km. Tygerberg network, Bloemendal, the Corridor, Nitida to Hillcrest and Hillcrest are accessible only by members.
#2 Giba Gorge Mountain Biking Park, KwaZulu-Natal
Giba Gorge is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most popular mountain biking destinations. The trails are divided into various color-coded routes such as blue, green, purple, enduro and downhill. Giba Gorge offers a variety of technical challenges ranging from intermediate to extreme, including rocks, roots, drops and tight switchbacks, up and downhill. The park allows riders to flow ride one trail to another through the link-ups of the trail network. Giba Gorge also features a world-class combo BMX track which offers some of the best permanent dirt jumps in the country.
#3 Tokai, Cape Town
Tokai is Cape’s finest year-round mountain biking trails. The trails are all built according to International Mountain Biking Association standards and are color-coded according to their grading. The trails offer views of Constantia Valley and Table Mountain. The park has many route options from novice to experienced mountain bikers. The trails are rough and tough with lots of massive roots that require every bit of concentration.
#4 Karkloof Mountain Biking Trails, KwaZulu-Natal
Karkloof MTB Trails is a world-class trail network and regarded as one of the best mountain bike trails in South Africa. The trail network is accessible year-round and offers a mixture of terrain which is 7km – 37km various color-coded routes. The trail offers picturesque views and adrenaline-filled features. It has a good mix of natural and handmade trails to keep things interesting.
#5 Eselfontein Farm Mountain Bike Track, Western Cape
Eselfontein Farm Mountain Bike Track offers intermediate to advanced 65kms of mountain biking bliss. The track the best mix of high elevations, river crossings, and panoramic views which makes it one of the best single track MTB trails in South Africa. The trail is interesting to ride because of the obstacles with seemingly-endless climbs and radical descents. Riding Eselfontein requires technical ability, high fitness levels with good handling skills because it was made for hard-core mountain bikers.
#6 Goegap Mountain Biking Trails, Northern Cape
Goegap MTB Trails offering riders a 35km network of jeep-tracks, semi-desert, and gravel roads through the Goegap Nature Reserve. The trails make for a fascinating pedal exploration with its rugged and steep desert-like terrain littered with rocks, boulders, and giant aloes. During the months of August to October is the best time to visit Goegap MTB Trails.
#7 Impala Ranch Mountain Biking Trails, Eastern Cape
Impala Ranch is a 1000-hectare pristine farmland which was turned into mountain biking trails by the Marais family. The trails offer intermediate to advance single-track with trademark wooden bridges and breath-taking scenery.
#8 Northern Farm Mountain Biking Trails, Gauteng
Northern Farm MTB Trails is in the 2500-hectare Northern Farm Nature Reserve. It offers trails which range from easy to intermediate making it a friendly destination for beginners. the trails are open only over weekends and public holidays and have four color-coded route options which are designed to suit specific riders.