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Cycling the Drakensberg & Kruger

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Explore the magnificent Drakensberg mountains
Includes return economy airfares

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Escorted Journey
This breathtaking route combines the highest mountains in South Africa with the incredible wildlife of Kruger.

Highlights

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Explore the magnificent Drakensberg mountains
  • Discover the wildlife of Kruger National Park
  • Cycle through forests, waterfalls and canyons
  • Ride along the largest green canyon on Earth

Holiday Type

Wildlife & Nature
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
Active
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N

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What's included
  • International flights
  • 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation: Lodges & Camping
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
Need to know
  • Minimum age 16
  • The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size.
  • British passport holders and most European and Commonwealth Passport holders do not require a visa to travel to South Africa.
  • Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.
  • Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.
  • Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited.
  • Helmets must be worn by all cyclists in South Africa.
Your route
Exodus: Cycling the Drakensberg and Kruger National Park Map South Africa Johannesburg

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Johannesburg

Arrive Johannesburg

Upon arrival in Johannesburg we drive directly to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Maluti Mountains of the Northern Free State. The park's name comes from the golden hue on the parks sandstone cliffs as the sun hits them. With 11,600 hectares of highland habitat, the national park is home to a number of animals including springbok, zebra and wildebeest as well as the rare bearded vulture and bald ibis. During the afternoon we set up the bikes for each individual and we can enjoy a short test ride into the reserve on good tar roads.

Day 2
Ride over spectacular mountain pass with a chance of spotting wildlife; transfer to Northern Drakensberg and cycle to our lodge

Ride over spectacular mountain pass with a chance of spotting wildlife; transfer to Northern Drakensberg and cycle to our lodge

Getting up early, we cycle 25km on tar roads through the national park. The ride is mostly downhill through a winding mountain pass which then levels out with a good opportunity to see local wildlife from the saddle. At the park exit we transfer towards the Northern Drakensberg (60km) stopping at the “Vulture restaurant” for the views over the Sterkfontein Dam and an early picnic lunch. We then get back on the bikes and cycle down the Oliviers Hoek pass all the way to the Berg House, our overnight stay. Cycle distance in the afternoon is approximately 30km on good tar roads. We will stop at the top of the pass to enjoy the view of the Northern Drakensberg.

Day 3
Cycle to the Northern Berg before hiking and a chance to swim at a waterfall

Cycle to the Northern Berg before hiking and a chance to swim at a waterfall

In the morning we cycle the 22km back road route, undulating a little but generally following the contours of the Royal Natal National Park in the Northern Berg. After entering the park, we continue on our bikes for approximately 2km to our picnic spot; before lunch we'll walk the short distance to the cascades waterfall for a well-deserved swim. After lunch there will be time to explore the park and its hiking trails or simply relax before transferring back to The Berg House.

Day 4
Transfer to Dundee; afternoon ride to Rorke's Drift Museum

Transfer to Dundee; afternoon ride to Rorke's Drift Museum

Today starts with a 210km (approx. 3-hour) transfer by road to Dundee where there will be time for a little shopping and resupply, and then onto Rorke's drift. A guided tour will show us around the area where 150 British and Colonial troops defended a small garrison against nearly 5000 Zulu warriors . After a hearty lunch it's back onto our bikes for the 45km ride from Rorke's Drift to our overnight accommodation. This is a stunning ride through the scenic cattle country, with the first 17km on good, compact dirt road.

Day 5
Transfer to Badplaas before getting on the bikes for a 45kms ride to our lodge

Transfer to Badplaas before getting on the bikes for a 45kms ride to our lodge

We have an early morning transfer (300km about 4 hours) towards the hot springs town of Badplaas in the Mpumalanga province. After lunch we get on the bikes and cycle the last 45 km (tar road) to our lodge located just outside of the town with stunning panoramic views of the Hlumu mountain range.

Day 6
Transfer followed by scenic ride on edge of the Songimvelo Game Reserve and on to our lodge

Transfer followed by scenic ride on edge of the Songimvelo Game Reserve and on to our lodge

Today we start with a short transfer to Maanhaar, close to the border with Swaziland. From here we climb back on the saddle cycle around the outskirts of Songimvelo Game Reserve before continuing on through Barberton on the R40. We will be cycling on 25kms of good dirt roads and 45kms of paved roads.

Day 7
To Kruger N.P. through the Kaaprivier Valley

To Kruger N.P. through the Kaaprivier Valley

Today we head north towards the Kruger National Park. We start off by cycling along the Kaap River Valley as it winds its way to Kaapmuiden (50km). We will then trade the bikes for the van and transfer the remaining 30km to Kruger National Park.

Day 8
Game drives in Kruger N.P.

Game drives in Kruger N.P.

This morning we get up early and head out on a game drive before returning to camp for brunch. We will then get back in our vehicle and head further into Kruger NP as we look for its abundant game. The park is home to many of the most emblematic animals of Africa and a good pair of binoculars as well as a good camera are recommended. Eventually we will arrive at our next camp where we can relax in the heat of the day before going for a late-afternoon game drive. Please note that the included game drives are done in our minibus but you do have the option of doing a game drive in one of the park's open vehicles (though this will incur an extra cost locally).

Day 9
More game viewing, transfer to Hazyview

More game viewing, transfer to Hazyview

Today we aim to spend most of the day in the national park. We start off, once again, with a pre-brunch game drive. We will later head out on another game drive as we make our way towards the exit of the park and the town of Hazyview. We should arrive in Hazyview in the late afternoon at which time we will go shopping and resupply for the next section of the trip.

Day 10
Cycle to Sabie and on to Graskop; visit Mac Mac Falls

Cycle to Sabie and on to Graskop; visit Mac Mac Falls

Today we get back on the bikes for one of the toughest days cycling. Leaving Hazyview behind we will make our way up the escarpment towards Sabie and eventually Graskop. This is 70km cycling on tar roads and up mountain passes. If these passes prove to be too difficult you can take advantage of the support vehicle which will be at hand. We will stop en route for a pic-nic and visit the Mac Mac Falls.

Day 11
Ride along the Panorama Route to God's Window via Bourke's Luck potholes rock formations; afternoon ride to Blyde River Canyon

Ride along the Panorama Route to God's Window via Bourke's Luck potholes rock formations; afternoon ride to Blyde River Canyon

Our final day cycling (about 65kms) will take us through yet more beautiful scenery as we cycle along the tar roads of the Panorama Route. In the morning we will visit God's Window known for its breathtaking scenery and Bourke's Luck Potholes with its unusual rock formations. After lunch we will cycle to the look-out point over the Blyde River Canyon before finally reaching our lodge on the edge of the escarpment for our final night in South Africa.

Day 12
Drive to Johannesburg, end

Drive to Johannesburg, end

After a leisurely breakfast on the edge of the escarpment, we drive through Ohrigstad, Lydenburg and Dullstroom on our way back to the Johannesburg international airport.

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