Mountain Biking in Magoebaskloof, Limpopo
This zigzagging 10km trail is known for its intensity with hardcore mountain contouring, sublime ascents and mighty views. Envision yourself slicing through dense forests that run along the R71, connecting Polokwane and Tzaneen. Just a heads up; this route is not for the casual cycler. The trail is quite tight and committing, but if you are able to tear your eyes from the path you can witness the extreme beauty of the forest too.
WHERE TO STAY Magoebaskloof Adventures can host you in their lovely wooden chalets that are set in the indigenous forest on the edge of the Letaba Gorge with their spectacular mountain views. Each chalet has two single beds, a king bed, a bathroom with a toilet and shower, a lounge, and a covered deck surrounded by the forest’s wealths.
Kloofing in the Magaliesberg, Gauteng
Kloofing, otherwise known as canyoneering, is the lucky packet of all adventure sports. Brace yourself for exposure to all the elements; you will breathe in the freshest air, swim through various water bodies, rock climb through the mountain and you will definitely feel the burn. Kloofing in Magaliesberg is a whole day’s adventure, so you need to be fit and flourishing. Priced from R500 per person, or R201, in a group (confirm with your provider) and it includes, GoVertical Mountaineering guides, all adventure gear, entrance permits and a hiker’s lunch in the gorge.
WHERE TO STAY You can stay in the local town, Hekpoort. Try Steynshoop Valley Lodge. The self-catering homestead has five ensuite bedrooms and the adjoining cottages each have one bedroom. You’ll love the ambiance created by the walled kitchen garden and Cape-style fowl run. A true country experience, with extensive birdlife including eagles and vultures.
White water rafting on the Umkomaas River, KwaZulu-Natal
The Umkomaas River, Zulu name Mkomazi, which means “place of the cows”, runs through rural KwaZulu-Natal, and between Richmond and Creighton it has been dubbed the most high-volume white water available south of the Zambezi. Expect a rollercoaster ride of high-volume rapids and big wave chains, with some slow moving parts to allow you to see where it is that you’re flowing. Below St Josephine’s Bridge the spectacular aloe-hung cliffs fall straight into the river and the expedition camping on the riverbanks can make you feel like the one and only adventurer.
Rafting on the Umkomaas is only available in the mid-summer months (generally November through to April) as the river level is highly dependent on rainfall in the catchment. The price is dependent on the group size and on the design of the trip, whether it is a half day, full day or multi-day trip. The price includes experienced and professionally qualified rafting guides, all equipment, meals and softdrinks on multi-day trips, and snacks or lunch with refreshments on day trips.
WHERE TO STAY Up for camping? On multi-day trips, participants get a choice of expedition-style riverside camping (tents and gear provided) or transferring back each day to Highover where you can overnight in backpacker-style lodgings or more upmarket private chalets such as the Riverside Stone Cottages.
Mountain biking in Rhodes, Eastern Cape
This is probably the hairiest mountain bike trail in South Africa. The hairpin bends, river crossings, extreme gradients and top speeds make this trip a powerful ode to one’s fitness capacity (if it is completed). What makes it even more insane is that the route is not marked, meaning you not only need to have a fit body, but also a fit brain, able to navigate nature’s chaos. The good news is that Rhodes can be conquered, so it should not be feared but rather revered. What are you waiting for? It lies just south of the country’s border with Lesotho on the gravel R396 connecting it to Dordrecht, and is very near Tiffendell Ski Resort if you’re looking for a different kind of adventure.
WHERE TO STAY The Walkerbouts Inn is appropriately named for adventurers’ lodgings, with comfortable en-suite accommodation, fine country cuisine and hospitality you’ll relish after a tough ride.