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MMountain biking through the Kruger National Park is a wonderful way to get up close and personal with the local terrain, and to see some fascinating and beautiful creatures.
To take part, you need to be reasonably fit as the trails take you through wild bushveld; turning back will be just as strenuous. Trails are graded so you can pick the ones you prefer; green is moderate, while the black trail is technical and strenuous.
YYou can choose to do a morning or afternoon ride, each of which should last about four-to-five hours. The full-day trail experience usually takes about seven hours. Once in the Kruger Park, head to Olifants Camp where the cycling trails start. It’s also one of the most popular camps, with a magnificent view and a huge elephant population. Here you’ll get a mountain bike, a helmet, fill up your water bottles and choose some high-energy snacks for the route.
The Hardekool-Draai trail is the easiest, though it is the longest at 24km. Six riders are picked up in a Land Rover and transported on a game drive to the start. From there, you cycle your way towards a river where you’ll experience unparalleled game viewing. Snacks and refreshments are served under the trees, while armed rangers ensure that you—and the game—remain at a comfortable distance from each other.
The Letaba Route is designed for mountain bikers looking for a hard-core, off-road gravel and bush experience. It’s gritty and fun and is considered one of the best in the world. For those who are looking for a real challenge, this is the one to choose.
On these routes, you will occasionally head off the transport track onto the “wild highways”. These are the pathways that animals use to get to watering holes and hides. This is one of the closest ways to truly experience the bushveld.