Mountain bike trails through the bushveld near Olifants Rest Camp in Kruger National Park are one of a kind! You’ll have to be confident to ride a mountain bike though on rough terrain to go on one.
The tours are something like a cross between a game drive and a game walk. You’ll have a game drive to begin with to get to the starting location. Once you hop on your bikes, you’ll cover more distance than on a game walk, but just like a game walk, you’ll be powered by your own legs!
There are also some parts of the trail where you’ll walk, so make sure you wear the right footwear, that is, closed shoes.
Mountain biking in Kruger National Park is a unique experience. The only rest camp offering it is Olifants, which is about half way up the park on the eastern side.
There are two trails on offer:
- The Hardekool Draai Trail, which follows the Letaba River, goes for 21.4km (13.3 miles). The ride lasts about 4 hours.
- The Olifants/Letaba River Confluence Trail goes for 12.2km (7.6 miles). The ride goes for 3 hours and you need to be an expert mountain biker to do it. It’s a tough one!
Two rangers lead each trail and will explain the sights and sounds of the bush to you as you go along. There’ll be no more than six travellers on a biking safari.
The times and days that a tour leaves depends on the season. There’s a good chance cycle tours would leave early morning in summer, which is a really good thing. You wouldn’t want to be sweating it out riding a bike at any other time of day in the hot humid weather.
To go on the biking trail, you can bring your own bike, but you don’t have to have your own one. One can be provided at Olifants, with a helmet as well.
There is a rule, that to go mountain biking, you need to be at least 16 years old, so it’s pretty much an activity for adults.
If you do try this tour, you’ll be one of a few only who can say they’ve been cycling in Kruger National Park!