Three Day option
Day 1: Stanford to Witkrans
After a leisurely lunch at one of Stanfords fine restaurants you will be met by the Cycle Down South team, your luggage will be collected and you can start the journey down south. This is a relatively easy afternoon’s ride on quiet gravel roads. The route starts on a short tar section before turning off onto the back farm roads that lead through farmlands and beautiful fynbos. The last few kilometres of the ride take you into the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy, along the shoreline of Kraaibos Dam, built to provide water for Gansbaai as well as the Lomond vineyards that cover the slopes on both sides of the Dam. On arrival at Witkrans you will be welcomed with a fresh welcome drink and a delicious dinner around the fire.
For those with less time available, there is the two day option where you can drive directly to Witkrans , arriving in time for dinner and then starting the ride to Wolvengat the next morning.
Day 2: Witkrans to Wolvengat
There are two route options on the first day which starts at Witkrans Farm in Flower Valley. The tougher route starts with a steep climb out of the valley followed immediately by a steep descent on single track across the Uilkraals River and then a second steep ascent via Koudeberg where you will be met with refreshments. The route between Koudeberg and Baardscheedersbos provides spectacular views out to Dyer Island and southwards to the Soetanysberg. The trail then follows flower picking tracks with some quite steep climbs and descents through diverse fynbos and beautiful landscapes to the lunch stop at Baardscheedersbos. The long downhill into the picturesque village of Baardscheedersbos is a highlight of the morning so look around and enjoy the far-reaching views across the ocean. Baardscheerdersbos, a typical Overberg village, is rural, isolated and unpretentious so it’s worth the time off the bike to enjoy some of the local cuisine and artists’ studios in the village. Lunch is on the stoep of well-known local artist and bread maker Neil Jonker. Be prepared for superb pizza and if you are up for it a glass of local Baardscheedersbos wine.
For those not so keen on the technical stuff, there is a touring route that takes riders along the quiet gravel road past the Lomond vineyards, along the shores of the Kraaibos dam, past Goedvetrou and then up the climb at Papiesvlei, with sharp descent to Nieuwepost and then along a short section of tar to Baardscheedersbos for lunch. The technical route to Baardscheedersbos is 20km, while the easier route along the gravel roads is longer at about 38km to lunch.
After lunch the route follows the gravel road from Baardscheedersbos towards Wolvengat through the Waterford section of the Agulhas National Park with its beautiful, pristine fynbos vegetation. This is a relatively easy and very pleasant afternoon ride on a gravel road to the overnight accommodation where riders can relax, fuel up on some good Overberg hospitality and Strandveld Wines and reflect on a great days riding.
Day 3: Wolvengat to Cape Agulhas Lighthouse
After a comfortable night at the guest house and a hearty breakfast you start out on a relatively easy section of gravel road before turning south into the 20 000ha Agulhas National Park. Here you’re in for a real treat with two route options through the beautiful national park with it magnificent fynbos vegetation, wetlands and rugged coastline. The route selection is dependent on season (winter means some of the lower lying areas are flooded and not accessible while mid-summer makes some of the tracks sandy and slow to ride) and the interests and ability of the group so over breakfast we’ll discuss the options with you. The easiest option is the relatively flat route near the coast which takes riders past Rietfontein to Brandfontein, then along the shoreline to Suiderstrand and onwards along the gravel road to Cape Agulhas and a celebratory lunch. Just before the finish there’s a mandatory photo stop at the southern-most point of Africa. A monument marks the exact location (34°49’ 58″S, 20° 00’12”E) where the Atlantic and Indian oceans officially meet.
Alternatively, those up for more of a challenge, can head inland in the park along gravel roads to Hangnes and climb to the summit of the Soetanysberg, the name of which was derived from the abundance of sweet aniseed buchu that grow on its slopes. Riders then follow a spectacular track on the edge of the Soetanysberg plateau enjoying breath taking views across pristine fynbos to Cape Agulhas. After a relatively steep descent there is a short gravel section back to Brandfontein followed by the magnificent coastal ride to Suiderstrand and then on to Agulhas.
Optional add on’s
1. Extra night at Agulhas Rest Camp
On completion of the trail we can arrange accommodation at the Agulhas Rest Camp in the Agulhas National Park. This is a great spot on the beach where you can relax, swim and take in the beauty of the Park. We will arrange food for you and collect you the next day for transfer back to the start.
2. Return to Stanford on your bike via an additional overnight in Napier
Keen on some more riding? After lunch at Cape Agulhas why not take some of the back roads to the quaint village of Napier or Elim. We can arrange an additional nights accommodation and meals in one of these villages as well as a route map and support for the return ride via quiet farm roads from Cape Agulhas to Stanford.
Up to it?
While the distances are not particularly far there is a fair amount of technical riding and a reasonable degree of fitness is required.
When to go?
The trail can be ridden year round but March to November are the best months because of cooler conditions, fynbos flowers and whales along the coast. Starting dates are pre-determined as the coastal section from Brandfontein to Cape Agulhas can only be ridden at low tide.