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MMountain biking in the Kruger National Park is a fun and thrilling way to experience one of the world’s great game reserves. If you're reasonably fit, are confident on a bike and have a sense of adventure, then cycling through this great wilderness area is an awesome experience.
Mountain biking in the Kruger National Park is a fun and thrilling way to experience this magnificent game reserve. You don't need to be Lance Armstrong fit, but you do need some degree of fitness. Choose from 1 of 3 cycling trails on offer that you feel is best for you.
All 3 cycling trails start from the Olifants Camp – one of the Kruger National Park's best-loved camps thanks to its superb location, perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Olifants River and its huge elephant population.
You can choose between morning or afternoon rides that take between 4 and 5 hours or opt for a full-day trail taking approximately 7 hours. Olifants Camp will provide your mountain bike, a helmet, water, snacks and a backpack.
To give you some idea of what's in store, let's go along the Hardekool-Draii trail – the easiest trail, although quite long (24km). You'll be 1 of only 6 riders climbing into an open game vehicle with 2 armed rangers, and then it's a 12km drive to where you start using your own pedal power.
You'll cycle along game paths – those trails regularly used by game as they go up and down to the river to drink. Hippos, crocs and all sorts of wildlife use these paths daily.
Then it's time to park your bike, walk down to the river and watch nature's passing show: hippos basking in the sun; crocs dozing on sandbanks; elephants bathing; perhaps even a pride of lions snoozing under a jackalberry tree.
Snacks and drinks are served under a huge sycamore fig tree alive with birds, and then it's back on your bike and back to camp.
In a word: awesome!
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Kruger National Park: Olifants Camp
Tel: +27 (0)13 735 6606/7
Mobile: +27 (0)82 888 6563
How to get here
North by road from Johannesburg (5 to 6 hours) via Nelspruit or Phalaborwa, depending on which gate you choose to enter the Kruger National Park. You can also fly into the park via the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Nelspruit and hire a vehicle from there.
Best time to visit
Winter can be chilly, but your chances of seeing game are better. Summer can be very hot, but the bush is at its most lush and there are lots of baby animals to be seen.
What will it cost?
Expect to pay around R500 per person for a morning ride; R300 pp for an afternoon ride; R1500 pp for a full-day ride.
Where to stay
Olifants camp offers bungalows and guest houses with self-catering facilities.
What to pack
Comfortable walking shoes, binoculars, sunscreen and a hat. Olifants Camp provides bikes and helmets.
What to eat
You'll be provided with water, snacks and packed lunches.
- The Kruger National Park
- South African National Parks – Olifants Camp
- Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport