Runner taking a break in On running shoes. - Tifosi Sports

9 MTB trails to explore this December

Avid mountain bikers rarely remove the bike racks from their cars – you just never know when you’ll come across a trail you simply can’t not ride!

Wherever you’re heading this December holiday, there’s a picturesque route in every province for you and your two-wheeled steed to take on.

Eastern Cape: The Bulungula Mpame Route

This moderately difficult route measures 26 kilometres between Bulungula and Mpame, about 30km south of Coffee Bay. Follow a cattle track across the imposing hills of the Wild Coast, steep downhills, and breathtaking sea cliffs.

Free State: Gariep Dam

Adventure journalist Jacques Marais called Gariep Dam “a piece of mountain-biking nirvana”, and you’ll echo this sentiment once you’ve visited. Gravel road and jeep track trials make up the route here and should you decide to bike through the Gariep Forever Resort or the Oviston Nature Reserve, you’ll probably see some game on your ride, too.

Gauteng: Thaba Trails

A 45-hectare nature reserve in Mulbarton, south of Johannesburg, houses these beautiful and challenging trails. There is something for every competency level, and the newest 30km trail is regarded as the toughest single-track trail in the vicinity.

KwaZulu-Natal: Giba Gorge

Located not far from Pinetown, Giba Gorge has routes tailored for every type of rider. Expect forests, waterfalls and a handmade trail that will have you coming back for more.

Limpopo: The Cheerio MTB Trail

This 25-kilometre route ends in Magoebaskloof and traverses gardens and natural forest, plantations, dams and streams. You’ll just want to start cursing the challenging climbs, when you reach the top of the Ebenezer Dam and realise it was worth it, after all.

Mpumalanga: Tranquilitas Trails

Tranquilitas Farm is located in the hilltops of Waterval Boven. Trails vary from short and easy to longer and more challenging, but the awesome views are worth it, whichever route you opt for.

Northern Cape: Witsand

The Witsand Nature Reserve is home to an impressive range of bird and animal life. Ride among the dunes during the scorching-hot days (remember to slap on lots of sunscreen!) and gaze at a night sky without any equal in the evening.

North-West Province: Van Gaalen Cheese Farm Trails

The Magaliesberg is one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and these trails are located just outside of Skeerpoort, starting at the Van Gaalen Cheese Farm. Bushveld, farmland, rocky terrain, ravines and rivers all make up this challenging trail that stretches for about 150 kilometres.

Western Cape: Eselfontein

Eselfontein Farm provides trails ranging in distance from 15 to 70km. Many consider the tracks on Eselfontein the best single-track MTB trails in the country. Experienced the rustic beauty of the Koue Bokkeveld by bike.

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