SOUTH AFRICA CYCLING HOLIDAYS TRAVEL GUIDE

Whether you're looking for world famous wine and coastal roads in the Western Cape, wildlife safaris in Kruger, or river canyons in the Drakensberg Mountains, cycling in South Africa reveals a kaleidoscope of naturally colourful contrasts. South Africa cycling vacations roll out along the tarmac roads leading between fishing villages and farmlands in Overberg, or game reserves and mountains in Mpumalanga.
South Africa mixes moderate challenges with smooth surfaces to ease cyclists into whale watching, wine routes and watering holes.
Daily distances of around 50km leave afternoons free to rest or explore. Joining a small group, with group leader and back up vehicle, takes the stress out of cycling in unfamiliar territory, with the added bonus of luggage transfers in between guesthouses or safari lodges allowing for an enjoyable experience rather than an uphill slog. Make the most of mountain passes along the Panorama Route or whale watching from Hermanus as seasonal variations offer a wonderfully varied choice of South African scenery to match these classic cycling itineraries.
Find out more in our South Africa cycling vacation travel guide.

WHAT DOES A SOUTH AFRICA CYCLING HOLIDAY ENTAIL?

Who’s invited & where are we going?

Who’s invited & where are we going?

Our cycling vacations in South Africa are run in small groups and take place either around the vineyards and coastal routes of the Western Cape, or in the national parks and Drakensberg Mountains in the east. Groups have a maximum of 16 cyclists (average group size is about 12) which allows access to small, privately owned guesthouses, permanent campsites or safari lodges, with meals provided. There will also be plenty of opportunities to visit local markets and roadside cafés, especially around the Cape Peninsula, Hermanus and Betty’s Bay. Throughout the tour you’ll be accompanied by a group leader and a backup vehicle, which will also carry your kit. Guided groups are great for solo travelers as they provide security in numbers and reassure you that directions, accommodation and trustworthy recommendations are all in hand. Single room supplements are also available, where possible. A certain level of fitness is required although the cycling pace is easy going, allowing you to chat with companions or just enjoy the views. There will be a certain amount of camaraderie and socialising, especially in the evening, so bear this in mind if you prefer your own company.
David Sear from our small group cycling vacation experts, Exodus:
“I think it really adds to the experience when you share the trip with other people; on our challenging trips the physical effort really brings the group together, whereas on our leisurely trips the group provides a great atmosphere, conversation and fun. You are guaranteed to make friends on a group tour and having a local guide to give you all the information means you don’t miss a thing.”
What can we expect?

What can we expect?

Tarmac roads are the norm apart from a small percentage of routes which take you over hard pack dirt tracks, away from traffic. Some sections may take place on busy roads and also feature a couple of challenging climbs, followed by long flowing descents, although, in the main, South Africa cycling itineraries are fairly relaxed. Average daily distances are approximately 55km, with two-day safaris in Kruger National Park or a free day in Hermanus (depending on which tour you choose) offering a different perspective as well as a break from the bike. Most mornings you’ll be in the saddle, leaving afternoons free to get orientated before exploring at leisure or as part of an organised group tour.
What is included?

What is included?

Although bike hire is included you’ll still need to bring your own safety helmet as well as suitable clothing, such as padded shorts, cycling gloves, wraparound shades and breathable cycle jersey. In addition, some cyclists like to bring their own saddle, pedals and/or gel saddle cover. A full kit list will always be sent out in advance.

Our top South Africa cycling Vacation

South Africa cycling vacation, Western Cape

South Africa cycling vacation, Western Cape

Superb scenery, culture & wildlife

From US $2785 to US $3065 12 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2018: 3 Nov, 24 Nov, 8 Dec
2019: 5 Jan, 2 Feb, 16 Feb, 2 Mar, 16 Mar, 13 Apr, 7 Sep, 21 Sep, 5 Oct, 19 Oct, 2 Nov, 16 Nov, 30 Nov, 21 Dec
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about South Africa cycling or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

SOUTH AFRICA CYCLING HOLIDAY MAP & HIGHLIGHTS

Our cycling tours of South Africa take place in two contrasting regions: the Western Cape in the southwest and the Drakensberg Mountains and national parks in the east. Both areas boast stunning scenery with the Cape Peninsula, Gordon’s Bay and Cape Agulhas on the Western Cape encapsulating the gloriously green Garden Route whilst, in the east, Blyde River Canyon, Kruger and the dramatic Drakensberg come to the fore. Wine regions, including Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, encourage sociable cycling close to Cape Town whilst witnessing the natural wonders of God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes make pedalling the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga all the more rewarding.
1. The Cape Argus Route
2. Drakensberg Mountains
3. Panorama route
4. Songimvelo Game Reserve
5. Stellenbosch
6. The Whale Coast
The Cape Argus Route

1. The Cape Argus Route

This 109km route starts and completes in Cape Town with an annual race, held in March, attracting thousands of cyclists looking to test themselves in less than seven hours. Cycling a 70km section of the Cape Argus is an achievement in itself with Chapman's Peak, Camp's Bay and the 12 Apostles ensuring cyclists are left in no uncertain terms as to why this scenic stretch of SA is held in such high esteem.
Drakensberg Mountains

2. Drakensberg Mountains

There are some beautiful back roads to be found leading over the foothills of the Northern Drakensberg with a stimulating 30km route from the soft green folds of the Sungubala Valley into Royal Natal National Park providing rich rewards from the top of every rise. Pause for a well deserved picnic in the park before taking a dip in a tiered waterfall and exploring surrounding trails on foot.
Panorama route

3. Panorama route

Blyde River Canyon has some of South Africa's most prominent rock formations, many of which can be found on the 65km Panorama Route that leads past God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the aptly named 'Wonderview' over Kruger National Park. Take your time to feel the ground beneath your feet before completing a solid day's cycling overlooking the canyon and the Three Rondavels.
Songimvelo Game Reserve

4. Songimvelo Game Reserve

Many of South Africa's nature reserves were once mined for their abundant minerals however, these days, abandoned mines are more likely to be occupied by monkeys as you'll discover on the 60km cycle route through Songimvelo Game Reserve, close to Swaziland. Follow the gravel track winding around the base of the Hlumu Mountains that leads onwards and upwards for gorgeous valley views.
Stellenbosch

5. Stellenbosch

If you're hoping to combine wine and wheels then may we suggest a 50km ride to Stellenbosch from Bloubergstrand featuring clear roads, natural notes and glorious visions over Table Mountain? Furthermore, if you fancy a fresh and flirty freewheel there's a delicious descent into Franschhoek Valley from Hellshoogte which brings you to Boschendal; always worth a cheeky Chardonnay upon completion.
The Whale Coast

6. The Whale Coast

The 90km ride from Hermanus to Gordon's Bay is considered one of South Africa's most scenic, which is really saying something. Not only does the route pass through several seaside villages (perfect pit stops for fish cakes) but you'll also be treated to some cracking views over the Cape of Good Hope and False Bay, as well as finding chances to spot whales if cycling in season (Jun - Dec).
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Who`s invited and where are we going?: ] [David Sear quote: ] [What can we expect?: ] [What is included?: ] [Map introduction: ] [The Cape Argus Route : ] [Drakensberg Mountains : ] [Panorama Route - Blyde River Canyon: ] [Songimvelo Game Reserve(monkey) : ] [Stellenbosch: ] [The Whale Coast: ]