September 23 to 26, 2016
Bike ancient elephant trails and slumber to sounds of the wild under starlit skies in Botswana’s wilderness.
This ride is for fit, confident mountain bikers who regularly ride grade 3 trails and above. The riding at Mashatu is manageable for most mountain bikers.
Upon arrival into Johannesburg Airport you will be met at transferred to Marben Manor (or similar) You are booked on a Dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
You guide will meet you early at Marben Manor for the drive to Mashatu Game Reserve. The drive takes approximately 6 hours to get to the Pont Drift Border post. Cross the Limpopo river which forms the boundary between South Africa and Botswana. After a light lunch and packing the Land Cruiser we ride to our 1st Wilderness Camp
We awake at sunrise to a breakfast of yogurt, cereals, toast and fruit. We ride a variation of paths and trails to return to our camp by lunchtime. We relax during the midday hours and then enjoy a sundowner from a vantage point in the afternoon. (Approximately 30 km’s)
After a breakfast and home brewed coffee, we ride out to the sandstone ridges of the Limpopo valley, through stellar moonscapes and gardens of Eden. We’ll arrive at our Kgotla camp where we’ll enjoy an afternoon of relaxation and a final epic sunset. (Approximately 40 km’s)
An early departure and a 6 hour road transfer we will arrive at Mt Anderson Golden Cottage. We’ll have an opportunity to settle into our stunning location, prep our bikes, and enjoy a sundowner on the terrace. The Golden Cottage is a luxurious ranch style homestead, catering for a max of 10 guests in 5 double/twin ensuite rooms. Trust us you’ll love it.
After a light breakfast we climb to above 2000m. We emerge on highland plains and cruise down winding trails, herding eland, wildebeest and zebra as we go, eventually dropping into the Spekboom river valley. We break for a swim and lunch and head back to the cottage for well-deserved siesta. (Approximately 30 km’s)
After breakfast we ride the Bushman’s trail – short steep climbs, winding single track along an escarpment with dramatic views of the valley below, through late 1800s gold prospecting scars, flowing descents with some technical and steep sections, past San rock art and over stream bridges. We’ll lunch on the trail and be back at the cottage in the afternoon for down time. (Approximately 30 km’s).
We wake to a hearty breakfast and set off for perhaps the biggest day’s ride of the trip. Over Olifant’s Nek, we descend the course of the upper Blyde River mostly on forestry dirt roads, through unparalleled vistas, as it tumbles down to the 1800’s Gold mining town of Pilgrims Rest. We lunch in a local tavern and spend some time exploring the historical village. We’ll shuttle back to the Golden Cottage. (Approximately 45 km’s)
We wake up at leisure, breakfast and pack bikes. The 5 hour transfer will have us back in Johannesburg around 16:00 hours in time for evening flights.