Did you know?
The Cape leopard, though not a proven sub-species, weighs about half that of other African leopards and enjoys a much wider territory.
When complete, the visionary Rim of Africa trail – encompassing six mountain chains – will rival the US Appalachian Trail and Spain’s Camino de Santiago. For now though, this part of the mega-trail, the Cederberg Odyssey Trail, offers a week-long, moderate cycling and walking adventure.
This cycling and walking trail in the Cederberg is a classic off-the-beaten-track pilgrimage, but unlike latter-day pilgrims, you’ll enjoy the attentions of a crack back-up team.
As you indulge in a love of the African outdoors on foot or on your high-tech off-road bicycle, the back-up guys will transport your luggage, set up camp, ply you with delicious meals and uncork endless bottles of fine Cape wine. With pampering like this there’s no time to worry about weary feet and saddle bums.
Plan to cover around 12km a day during this transformative wilderness experience which launches on the first day with a cycle to Bakkrans, via the Rooi Cederberg Karoo Park, ending at a campsite under the stars.
On the morning of the second day, an expert tracker from the Cape Leopard Trust guides you on a the trail of Cederberg’s most elusive and threatened predator. After lunch, cycle to the Stadsaal caves and make a cultural connection with the San, the original inhabitants of the Cederberg, though their enigmatic rock art.
Early on the third day you’ll cycle to Driehoek, through the Cederberg’s prehistoric valleys, before swapping your bike for hiking boots. Spend the night at Crystal Palace and on day four, make your way to Crystal Pools. After a relaxing picnic lunch, hike on, through towering and surreal rock formations to spend the night at Vangstasie.
Day five presents possibly the toughest hike, but it proves to be fair exchange for the friendly hospitality and traditional meal provided by your hosts, the rural mountain community of Heuningvlei.
Day six comprises a short cycle to Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Retreat – voted Best Hotel in the World in 2009. Rejuvenate your tired body in the spa, tour the reserve’s myriad rock art sites, or save your energy for the afternoon game drive, and later that evening, the chef’s superlative organic menu.
On Day seven, your trip may have ended, but whether you head home, or stay on to explore the magical Cederberg, your personal odyssey through an African wilderness will become a treasured memory.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Bike & Saddle Tours
Tel: +27 (0)21 813 6433
How to get here
Drive on the N1 or N2 to Cape Town, or fly to Cape Town International Airport. Translux, Intercape, and the Baz Bus have regular services to Cape Town from all major South African cities. There are also rail options. The tour group departs from the Cape Grace Hotel at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Best time to visit
Tours are run from August to November, and in March/April. Wild flower season in the Cederberg is late July to late September.
The tour company offers transfers to and from Cape Town.
What will it cost
R25 500 p/p fully inclusive.
Length of stay
Seven days, excluding travel time to and from Cape Town.
What to pack
You’ll be sent a detailed packing list on confirmation of your booking. Guests are advised to bring their own sleeping bags.
Where to stay
There’s accommodation to suit every budget in Cape Town; and in the Ceberberg, stay on at Bushman's Kloof Wilderness Reserve, or try some eco-accommodation around Clanwilliam.