Swartberg Tour

  Mountain bike or Cyclo-X
  Suitable for Sport and Elite level riders
  5 Day Tour: 4 days riding, 1 day transfer

Without a doubt the most interesting and unique tour that we offer, the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the Klein Karoo has created a unique history of man versus nature over the centuries. Still amazingly isolated, full of character and definitely worth the trip.

Day 1: Transfer from Cape Town

Day 2: Ladismith to Calitzdorp – 95km (1800m altitude gain)

We start the day off heading south out of Ladismith on the R62, but it is only once we turn off the tar that one starts to get a feel for the countryside. The mountain range to your left is the Towerkop Forest Reserve and part of the Outeniqua Mountain Range. A quick stop in Van Wyksdorp for a coffee or cool drink is just what we need before we get down to the serious riding of the day in the form of Rooiberg Pass. Be careful on the tricky descent, as the “road” is not always in good condition. From the bottom of the pass it’s a nice flat ride all the way into Calitzdorp the Port Wine capital of the country.

Day 3: Calitzdorp to Prince Albert – 85km (2500m altitude gain)

There is no way of hiding the fact that today’s ride is going to be very much an uphill affair, on the bright side though the scenery is stunning and if we get away early enough, the morning light on the mountains is a fantastic experience. The major climb of the day is Swartberg Pass, the last pass to be built by Sir Thomas Bain and it remains very much the same as he left it in 1888. Once again be careful on the descent to Prince Albert there are some fairly tight corners on this road and there is always a chance of oncoming traffic.

Day 4: Prince Albert to Die Hel – 70km (2100m altitude gain)

We head back up the Swartberg Pass this morning and take a right turn just before the summit. This is the road to The Hel (as it’s known to locals) or Gamkaskloof in most map books. The history of this valley and the local inhabitants makes for a fascinating read. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamkaskloof )

Day 5: Die Hel to Ladismith – 65km(1300m altitude gain)

This morning we get to use the same route (Die Leer) out of the valley that any visitor or local would have used pre-1962, before the first road was built into Gamkaskloof. The rest of the riding today is breathtaking and the gentle decent of the 22km down the Seweweekspoort Pass more than makes up for the portage earlier. After a quick shower, and a bite we transfer back to Cape Town.

Note: “Die Leer” entails a 1km portage and an altitude gain of 700m.