South Africa is a beautiful country with many breathtaking, scenic landscapes to see. If you love the outdoors and a breath of fresh air in the mountains or simply, on a vineyard, then cycling tours could be a great adventure for you. Different from site-seeing in a vehicle, cycling allows you to see nature and feel the beauty more intimately. If you are a daredevil and you’re willing to try this adventure at least once, then this article is for you.
Now, if you’re a newbie to cycling or considering getting into it, we know where you can get all your gear to get started. Regular retailers like Makro, Game and Pick n Pay do sell bikes, helmets, sunscreen, sunglasses, and all the other nice stuff. The current Pick n Pay specials catalogue actually has a good Monterra 26” men’s bicycle for just R1799. Your attire is just as important when considering long distance cycling like this. Look out for all weather shorts and vests, you will be grateful you did so in a place with unpredictable weather patterns like Cape Town.
Let’s get into our escapades!
Cycle tours in South Africa combine your passion for travel and your love for cycling. Our country is endowed with stunning views everywhere you look. From mountains to valleys, forests and vineyards, winding rivers and oceans, we have it all. You may not be able to do this tour in a wildlife reserve, but you will certainly come across harmless antelope on some routes.
1. The Drakensburg & Kruger
This tour starts and ends in Johannesburg. Imagine stunning mountain scenery, beautiful rock formations, wild animal spotting in the Kruger National Park and tranquil natural waterfalls – all on this glorious route. Sounds very peaceful to us, and we think it’s a route worth exploring, a tour worth the time and money it’ll cost. You begin in Johannesburg, go through the Kruger, take the panoramic route and make your way back to Johannesburg.
2. The Cape and Winelands
Lauded as one of the most beautiful places on earth, Cape Town and its surrounds are perfect for a bike tour. Imagine cruising through the Stellenbosch Winelands with Table Mountain as your backdrop! You can go for wine tasting in-between at some of the best wineries South Africa has to offer, and also indulge in the delicious seafood paired exquisitely with the wines. It sounds perfect, we think. The bike tour starts and ends in glorious Cape Town, the wild coastline and rugged interior providing classic riding on peaceful roads with little traffic.
3. The Garden Route
This bike tour takes you from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. It is a very scenic route, allowing riders to explore some Winelands, the beautiful Nature Valley’s Beach, and an ostrich farm. You will also explore the Cape of Good Hope on your tour. This route is very popular with tourists for all the beauty it exudes. Exploring it on a bike, breathing in the clean fresh air would certainly make the tour worthwhile.
4. Cycle South Africa
This is an exciting tour that covers several geographically dispersed places. The tour starts in Cape Town onto Hout Bay, Stellenbosch, L’Agulhas, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Tsitsikamma National Park and finally, Port Elizabeth. The difference between this tour and the Garden Route tour is that it covers more places and, for this reason, it takes longer, meaning expenses are generally higher as well. However, it is worth the price tag for the beauty you will experience.
5. Mountain Bike The Swartberg Pass
This tour is a little different from the others we’ve discussed. It is a day ride; you are on a mountain bike and the pass is 1583m above sea level. To get to it, you have to be transported up. This one is not for the faint-hearted; the zig-zags and sudden switchbacks need a relatively experienced rider. The views along the route are stunning with fauna and flora in abundance there.
Now you have the information you need to decide which tour will best suit your explorer self, a point to note; you have to mentally and physically prepare yourself for the tour. While you can enjoy a ride around the block effortlessly, these tours need you to be fit, and you need the right gear for them. You will need to prepare for different weather conditions too. Once all is in order, pedal away friend, pedal away!