Best Places to MTB in the Western Cape

If you live in the Western Cape, chances are you are either an avid mountain biking (MTB) enthusiast – or you know someone who is. It’s a fact of life.

And it’s no wonder because the Western Cape offers some of the best places to MTB in South Africa. With so many gorgeous reserves, country spaces and even city cycle spots, we are spoilt for choice.

So, for this post, I am sharing a few of the best places to MTB around the Western Cape. Because, although it’s been many moons since I last rode about our farm on a kid-friendly MTB bike (unless you count one recent e-bike experience)… I have always had a love for cycling and I have, perhaps unintentionally at times, visited many popular MTB places on my travels.

Take Note


Please note: I am not writing this from a technical point of view at all. As I said before, it has been many years since I even rode a standard mountain bike. I don’t pretend to have any professional knowledge or experience in the matter.

If you require inside information regarding MTB tracks and trails, gear and skills – please speak to a qualified MTB coach/expert. Or contact one of the local cycling organisations.

However, if you are simply keen to discover more new places to cycle and zip through the air, passing mountains, country fields and wild animals, then this post is for you.

Safe riding, everyone!

Best Places to MTB in the Beautiful Western Cape

Cape Winelands: Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek

The Cape Winelands might not seem that way at first but it is actually an adventure hub. With everything from segway tours, wine trams, horse rides and of course, incredible hiking- and MTB- trails, this beautiful region offers plenty of outdoor fun.

As a bonus, you get to enjoy incredible, world-class food and wine and picture-perfect Cape Dutch architecture, rich flora and fauna and amazing vistas in the process.

For this section, I focus on Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek within the Cape Winelands.

Boschendal Trail Centre (Franschhoek Winelands)


One of my favourite places in all the Cape, Boschendal, now has their very own Trail Centre. Here, on this beautiful Franschhoek wine estate, you can enjoy riding (or trail running) with your family.

Explore this beautiful farm, steeped in history, natural beauty and rich country vibes, while enjoying the best trails on offer.

Trails on Offer

While there are some hard climbs, MTB lovers are rewarded with some lovely singletracks all the way down.

There are routes to suit all ages and skill levels. However, in order to ride, all riders must have a Day Permit, Boschendal Annual Permit or Bike Permit.


Boschendal offers several unique trails: Yellow Route (4 km); Green Route (9km); Blue Route (11km); Red Route (15km) and Black Route (23km). There is also the Black XL route, which adds an extra 3-4 sections onto the Black Route.

Please note: The Black Route is a more advanced trail so it is perhaps best suited to intermediate and advanced riders.

Trail Notes:

All trails are enjoyed at your own risk and are weather dependent. This means that on rainy days, the trails are closed. Please keep this in mind before visiting. If you’re unsure, rather call ahead and find out from the Boschendal Trail Centre directly.

All riders must wear a helmet at all times.

Please remember to keep your permit on you at all times. You will need to show this at the Avenue 1685 gate. No permit, no riding.

For MTB permits and shower keys, please visit the Boschendal Trail Centre.

Maps can be downloaded from Boschendal’s website or simply scan the available QR code.


Fees and Rental Costs:

There is a permit fee and all riders must have a permit. The permit fees go towards building and maintaining the tracks.

  • MTB Trail Day Permit 2022:


  • Boschendal Annual Permit 2022:

    – R650 per person;
    – R1040 for a couple;
    – R1560 for a family of four. (R250 per additional family member.)
    – Permits are valid for 12 months from date of purchase.
    – When applying for an annual permit, please bring an ID photo with.
    – The annual permit takes a week to process. However, riders can ride for free on the day they apply and pay for this permit.

  • Bike Permit 2022:
  • E-bike Rental: Flat rate of R850 per day.
  • Single Suspension Rental: R350 (half-day fee); R550 (full day fee).
  • Full Suspension Rental: R550 (full day fee).
  • Kids’ Bike Rental: R300 (full day fee).
  • Bike rental bookings are recommended for the weekends and public holidays. To book, please email directly.


The Boschendal Trail Centre is your one-stop for all things running, cycling and walking. They can assist with information, route maps, rentals (including e-bikes, kiddies’ push bikes, single suspension, full suspension and helmets) and more. While riding, use the watering stations found on the Red and Black climb (heading up Big Bunny) or on the Black climb (after Sugarbowl).

For parking, please find the main parking area close to the Boschendal Trail Centre.

Boschendal Trail Centre is open from Monday to Friday, from 08:00 am – 17:00 pm and on weekends from 07:00 am – 17:00 pm.

Bike Fun for Little Ones on the Pump Track

For young riders, Boschendal’s pump track (conveniently situated near the Tree House playground and Trail Centre) is very popular. It is open to all Boschendal visitors but is especially great for kids. However, bike rentals are limited so it is advisable to bring your own ride.

Things to Do Nearby:


While you are at this gorgeous wine farm, why not spend the day exploring it?

Enjoy browsing the revamped Farm Shop; dine at The Werf Restaurant or The Deli; check into the stunning accommodation; or even head for a horse ride.


And if it’s spring or summertime, you can even book ahead and tuck into one of their famous picnics.

Boschendal is one of the best wine farms to explore and is ideal for solo travellers, couples and families alike.

Contact Information:

Email or call +27 (021) 001 9401.


Knorhoek Wine Farm (Stellenbosch Winelands)


Knorhoek is another truly special estate that flies a bit under the radar. Because of this, many people don’t know that this Stellenbosch estate offers luxury accommodation (both guesthouse- and self-catering options), lovely wines and platters and some truly beautiful, free-to-enjoy MTB-, running- and hiking-trails.

They also offer a stunning wedding and events venue – and the farm is happily pet-friendly (as long as you notify them in advance and follow the pet rules).


Trails on Offer

Knorhoek has four trails that are shared by hikers, trail runners and MTB riders. While the trails do not cater to professional riders, they are ideal for beginners and families in particular. They range from quick, easy trails to slightly tougher ones, best suited to the adventurous.

The trails vary in distance, with the shortest some two kilomtres in length and the longest coming in at seven kilometres.

The trails are truly beautiful and offer sights of rich, untouched Cape flora, neat vineyards and views of both Simonsberg and False Bay.


Keep in mind that trails are used at your own risk. While the whole family, including leashed pets, are welcome – you do need to be conscious of and respect the farm’s nature flora and fauna. (This includes everything from eagles and peacocks to porcupines and snakes.)

Fees and Rental Costs:

All trails are free to enjoy by overnight guests, day visitors and the general public during the estate’s opening hours. However, you do need to notify reception before setting out.

While you are at reception, grab a complimentary trail map.



Knorhoek does not offer any bike- or gear-rentals so you need to bring your own gear, helmet and bike.

Aside from the trails, there are no specific MTB facilities here. However, riders can grab a map at reception and enjoy a relaxing, post-ride picnic (advance booking is essential), wine tasting and/or platter offering at the tasting room.

Knorhoek normally has an on-site restaurant, where riders can grab some takeaway coffee or a quick breakfast. However, the restaurant is currently closed for renovations.

Things to Do Nearby:


Knorhoek offers everything from dreamy accommodation to lovely farm attractions and activities (like swimming in the pool, bird watching and catch-and-release fishing by arrangement) for its overnight guests to enjoy. However, day visitors can enjoy the trails and savour a wine tasting or platter from the tasting room.

The estate sometimes hosts fun events and they also offer lovely, pre-booked picnics, available to both guests and day visitors.

While Knorhoek’s restaurant remains closed, you can book lunch or dinner at the classy, nearby Quoin Rock Wine Estate. However, advance booking and a smart-casual dress code is recommended.

Contact Information:

Contact Knorhoek on +27 (021) 865 2114 or email them at



Plaisir de Merle (Franschhoek Winelands)


Another Franschhoek favourite of mine is Plaisir de Merle. I first visited this estate in 2022 and it blew me away.

It offers everything from stunning wine pairings, an excellent hiking- and MTB-trail, rich Cape history, opulent accommodation and a nice indoor (weekend) market. Arguably, this estate is one of Franschhoek’s most underrated gems.

Trail(s) on Offer


The estate has one shared 14 kilometre trail that can be used by MTB riders and hikers alike. (Just step out the way when you hear the bikes approaching because they go by fast – especially on the descent!)
The trail seems popular among all ages and experience levels. Personally, I can only speak about the hiking side of it. However, there were plenty of couples, friends and families who enjoyed riding on the day.
The scenery is incredible and the trail offers everything from twists and turns to river crossings and protea galore.
The views from the top of the trail across the vast estate and to Franschhoek beyond, are breathtaking. After hiking it, I can see why MTB riders enjoy this trail so much.
Like all trails, this one follows a strict ‘no helmet, no ride’ rule. Also, all riding, running or hiking is at your own risk.

Bonus Downhill Flow Track

In May 2021, a thrilling 1.3 kilometre singletrack flow track was also introduced to the estate. With small jumps and berms, this trail aims to improve rider skills and broaden the local MTB community. This smooth, fast-paced track caters well to both beginners and more advanced riders.


In time, there may be plans to extend this track to four kilometres and make it even more exciting for riders! You can read more on this flow track here.

Fees and Rental Costs:

I am not sure about rental pricing for gear and bikes (you will need to check with the Trail Centre). But day permits cost R60 for hikers and riders alike.



There is a lovely trail centre on the estate, at the start of the trail. Here, for R60, you can purchase your permit for hiking/biking.
I also recommend snapping a photo of the trail map near the centre before setting off. However, it is generally a big looping track so what goes up, must come down.
The Banhoek Trail Centre is open Monday to Sunday, 08:00 am – 17:00 pm. The Trail Centre offers rental bikes and other gear, even for little ones. 
There is also a cool type of pump track near the Trail Centre and dedicated Trail Centre parking. (Otherwise, just park in the main parking lot.)

Things to Do Nearby:


When visiting the estate, there is plenty to enjoy: book an overnight stay, visit the weekend market, join them for a wonderful range of different tastings, pairings (everything from fudge and wine to artisanal gin options) and platters.


Honestly, Plaisir de Merle is such a well-rounded estate. There is plenty for families, couples and solo travellers to enjoy here.

(They don’t have any dedicated kiddies’ facilities. Still, the vast lawns, outdoor spaces and beautiful nature ensure little ones have a blast playing outdoors.)

Contact Information:

Email or call (+27) 079 181 6189.

Website: or


Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve (Paarl Winelands)


As I have said before on the blog, Paarl is one of my favourite Cape Winelands’ towns and regions. And it is also one of the most overlooked – for reasons I still don’t understand.

But with its unique beauty, famous wine farms – including Fairview and Nederburg – and outdoor spaces, Paarl is one of the best places to hike, cycle or walk.

It’s a town and region made for outdoor exploration. One such Paarl location is the beautiful Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve.

Home to the well-known, otherworldly Paarl Rocks, pristine nature, impressive views and of course, a plethora of hiking, biking and picnicking options – Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve is an excellent place.

It is especially fun for families to visit and enjoy an escape to relatively undisturbed Cape nature.

Trail Notes and Fees:


At Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, there are various loops that offer MTB fans a chance to relish the incredible Boland views – and beyond.

The trail, which can range from 4-35 km according to MTB Routes, is considered easy to intermediate and takes you up to the Afrikaanse Taal Monument, past Victoria Dam and/or up to Paarl Rock.

For information on the different MTB trails, rules and cost of day permits around Paarl Mountain, please contact Paarl Adventure Trails.

If you use their trails, Paarl Adventure Trails can also assist with bike rentals. Booking is essential (minimum of 48 hours in advance) and options range from standard MTBs to e-bikes. 


Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve has some nice facilities, including a ranger’s office, safe parking, picnic and braai spots, toilet facilities and more.

Things to Do Nearby:


While you are in Paarl, you can catch up on hiking and nature walks; picnics or braais at Meulwater Botanical Garden (situated within the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve); wine tastings and dining out at the local estates and venues, like Fairview, Spice Route Destination or Nederburg; and of course, exploring every inch of the beautiful, safe Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, including walking, driving or riding to see the famous Paarl Rock.

The options and beauty in Paarl are endless… and there really is something for everyone.

Contact Information:

For information on Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, please call +27 (021) 807 6231, 073 748 6325 or email


I recommend visiting Paarl Adventure Trails’ website here.



Cape Winelands: Durbanville’s Main MTB Hubs

Durbanville is one of the city’s most popular MTB regions. There are a number of wine farms and other areas where locals and visitors can enjoy some scenic, fun and challenging MTB trails. Included among these are Meerendal, Bloemendal and Majik Forest.

Many of these incredible trails are attentively managed by the Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club.  They do a stellar job of ensuring the trails are well-maintained and kept in tip top shape.



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Built and designed by the Tygerberg MTB Club, though managed by the estate itself, Meerendal’s trails offer an excellent variety for MTB riders.

The trails offer about 20 kilometres’ worth of riding, 15 kilometres of which is flowing singletrack. This is aimed at a less skilled rider or those who don’t require too much of a technical challenge.

Trail Notes:

The trail is made up of three different routes: Yellow (5km), Green (10.5km) and Blue (17.8km).

All of the routes start at the Meerendal car park and are marked accordingly.

The Yellow and Green routes are gentle, making them ideal of newer riders, children or anyone desiring an easier ride for the day.

The Blue route, meanwhile, is the main loop. It is manageable for most riders – especially if you exclude the climb up to Dorstberg and the subsequent descent.

Without going into too much detail, these trails are hugely popular and seem to award stunning scenery.

Plus, Meerendal is always a good estate to visit and one that I find especially pretty.

For more in-depth information on this trail, please see Tygerberg MTB’s detailed writeup. 


Paid members of the Tygerberg MTB Club can ride for free.  Non-members can expect to pay R50 (per adult per day or R650 per year), R20 (per student, pensioner and under 18s per day or R450 per year) and R20 (Junior Membership; R20 per day or R300 per year). Payment can be made at the parking guard house.

Please ensure you pay before your ride and keep your proof of payment on you. Note: This payment is only valid for the Meerendal trails and does not include access to any of the adjacent farms’ trails.

And remember: no helmet, no riding.

For more information on the Meerendal MTB trails, please see here.

Meerendal Trails are open from Tuesday – Sunday, from sunrise to 18:30 pm (summer: 1 September – 30 April) and until 18:00 pm (winter: 1 May – 31 August). 


Aside from the trail itself, the only other facilities seem to be those of the estate itself.

However, Meerendal offers visitors a lovely, all-round experience; it is a special Durbanville wine estate well worth visiting.

Things to Do Nearby:


When at Meerendal, you can dine out at the relaxed, yet classy Bossa Winelands.

Pop by the still-new farm stall for a varieties of goodies, including Meerendal-themed merchandise and food items.

Or even check into the estate’s luxury boutique hotel and enjoy a memorable stay.

Contact Information:

Contact Meerendal on +27 (021) 975 1655 or email them at


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Bloemendal is arguably one of the most geared up estates in Durbanville as far as MTB is concerned.

In addition to the excellent trails they have, the estate is also home to the Biosport Cycle Track.

Overall, Bloemendal is also a very family-friendly estate and it is the perfect place to safely introduce the kids and family to cycling, while making fun memories out in the sunshine.

Trail Notes:

These trails are built and maintained by the Tygerberg MTB Club. There are some 36 kilometres of trails to suit all experience levels. They offer riders a chance to zip through the Cape’s unique renosterveld.

The trails apparently span across Bloemendal Estate, D’Aria and Hillcrest – two other lovely estates. But the primarily focus on Bloemendal’s two sections (South and North) and Hillcrest.

Bloemendal South:

The trail begins with a drop into a great singletrack called B-Spot. This flowing, easy track is very popular and offers riders a good warm-up.

From there, you can either head straight via the dirt road and climb up to the Majik Forest gate. Alternatively, veer left into D’Aria for a scenic loop before returning to Bloemendal.

Members have the added bonus of being able to access the Protea Hotel corridor via D’Aria, another popular local wine estate.

There is plenty more to enjoy through Bloemendal South. But I think it’s best if I point you to Tygerberg MTB’s detailed writeup of this; you can find it here.

Bloemendal North and Hillcrest:

One of the most important things to remember with this region is no riding is allowed on Telkom’s concrete road. This leads up from Tygervalley Road to the old restaurant.

The only exception is the clearly marked green passage (above the gum trees), where you must port your bike across.

Bloemendal North is also best suited to more experienced, technical riders. Or those who wish to use it as a gateway across into the neighbouring Hillcrest, Contermanskloof, members-only Traverse or Bloemendaaler.

For this, you will start at the trail centre and head for Tygervalley Road via Bloemendal’s main gate.

Again, there is quite a bit of detail and few different options. So, for this, I think it’s best to point my readers to the Tygerberg MTB Club’s writeup; you can find it here.


Paid members of the Tygerberg MTB Club can ride for free. Non-members can purchase a day permit for R60 (per adult) and R40 (per child).

You can pay at the Biosport Cycle Track shop counter or at one of the trail centre’s SnapScan facilities. Please ensure you pay before riding and keep your proof of payment on you. This payment ensures access to Bloemendal, D’Aria and Hillcrest only.

Please also ensure you have the necessary gate codes before riding.

For more information on day permits and general rules, please see here.

And remember: no helmet, no riding.



The main facility is naturally Biosport, which offers a Techzone, Kids Zone and Café. Here, you can access bike rentals, bike fitment and more.

There is also a Trail Park Café and Bar, where you can buy fresh coffee, snacks, cake, beer on tap, sandwiches and other goodies.

In addition to these bike services, they also host MTB-themed kiddies’ parties… Something that is sure to delight avid, young MTB riders!

For more information on Biosport and their on-site offerings, please see here.

Biosport is open daily from 08:00 am – 17:00 pm.

Good to know:

Biosport also offers Thursday night rides from 18:00 – 21:00 pm. For more information, please see here.

Things to Do Nearby:


In addition to Biosport, there are of course Bloemendal’s own facilities, such as their wine tasting and Bon Amis Restaurant. Bloemendal is a lovely estate to visit and explore. It’s small but charming.

And because you are in the midst of the Durbanville winelands, there are many other wine estates within close proximity along Tygervalley Road and beyond.

These include D’Aria, Maastricht Wines, Nitida Wine Farm, Hillcrest Estate – and further on, Klein Roosboom, Durbanville Hills and lastly, De Grendel.

Each estate offers good wine tasting and a host of other activities and experiences to enjoy.

Contact Information:

Contact Biosport on +27 (060) 657 6344 or email them at


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Majik Forest


I could wax lyrical about Majik Forest. I consider it to be one of the  most beautiful, green city spaces anywhere in Cape Town.

And while this is still true, crime has become something of an issue at this beautiful place and its surrounds. So whether you walk, run, picnic or cycle here, it is best to do so in groups and always keep your wits about you.

Trail Notes:

Majik Forest offers some of the oldest existing MTB trails in the Northern Suburbs. Over the years, these have been built and maintained by the Tygerberg MTB Club.

However, while the trails are still annually maintained by Tygerberg MTB Club, building has since ceased and Majik Forest is now a fully public space for MTB lovers, hikers, dog walkers and trail runners.

This network offers a 11.63km-long, largely singletrack. There is no specific routing and markings and trails are open to all so please keep this in mind when using them.


For mountain bikers, there are a number of entrances you can use. The major cycling entrance is off Jip de Jager Road, past the Protea Hotel and to the right of the Vineyard Office Estate. You will enter via a marked singletrack.

Options, Options, Options

If you keep along this singletrack, you will reach the beacon at Lower Majik. From here, you can either return to the Jip de Jager entrance via the same track to your left – or head on towards the power stations.

Follow this past the substations and through the fenced off gate into Upper Majik Forest.

You can carry on if you have Tygerberg MTB Club membership or a valid non-member day permit, as this will lead into the Bloemendal Trail Centre. If not, rather turn back and return via the same route. 

As there is no real signage and fixed routing, the Majik Forest trail is best reserved to those who know the area or who are riding with someone familiar with them.

For more information on this trail, please see here – or read the Tygerberg MTB Club writeup here.


There is no fee, as Majik Forest is a public space.

However, if you wish to cross over into the Bloemendal Trail Centre (see above), you will need to be a paid member of the Tygerberg MTB Club or else a non-member with a valid day permit.


There are no specific facilities for this trail.

Things to Do Nearby:


When you are visiting Majik Forest, you can enjoy walking, picnicking, birdwatching, scenic, short hikes and of course, MTB rides.

It is a good outing – but as mentioned above, crime has become a bit of a concern in recent times, so I feel it is best to go when it is busy or visit in groups.

Contact Information:

Contact Tygerberg MTB Club on +27 (079) 693 3177 or email them at




Klein Karoo/Route 62

The Klein Karoo (Little Karoo) is an incredible region that stretches from Montagu right to Uniondale. Spanning some 350 kilometres, this special part of South Africa is blessed with charming small towns, country escapes, road trip highlights and of course, incredible mountain- and country-scenes.

Add to that the Route 62, one of South Africa’s biggest tourist attractions and you have an unforgettable adventure on your hands.

For this section, I focus on Montagu, a small Cape farming town where I grew up:

Montagu (Route 62)


Montagu is a town dear to my heart, as it is where I grew up. I know from first-hand experience that this warm, cheerful little Route 62 town offers visitors the best in unblemished Cape wilderness and friendly hospitality.

Montagu is ideal for meanders about town, cycling and MTB trail riding, hiking and a host of other outdoor activities.

It also has some lovely restaurants, farm stalls, cafes and B&Bs that make it perfect for a weekend getaway or extended holiday break.


Trail Notes:

Although you can essentially ride all over town and along the many dirt and tarred roads that feed into this small town, there are more dedicated MTB trails to enjoy.

There are several routes to enjoy in Montagu. However, for this post, I am focusing on two as, knowing the areas off by heart, I feel they would offer the best and/or longest MTB rides.

Baden Route:

Leave town via the R318, past the Montagu Golf Club and take the right-hand fork that leads down the long, dirt road.

Follow this until you can turn left through the farmlands.

From there, turn left again (at the next turn) and link up with the R318 that will lead you back into town.

This route can also be done in a clockwise order, depending on where you set off from.

It is a scenic route that offers a good view of the outskirts of Montagu, surrounding farmlands and of course, of the impressive Langeberg mountain range too.

Talana Route: 

To enjoy this route, head down Long Street, travelling along the R62.

You will take this road a short distance out of town until you reach the Talana T-junction.

Here, turn right to the R62 – and once on the R62, you can turn right again for a zippy ride along the tar, following the wide shoulder.

This is a nice, easy ride and offers great views of the surrounding farmlands and Langeberg mountains.



From Church Street, travel into Montagu South and head up past the Montagu Hospital. Right at the top, past the last houses, you will find open fynbos and dirt areas.

Follow this until there is a track off to the left. Once on this track, you can explore the area and soak in the views looking out across town and towards the mountains.

This track is best suited to more technical riders, so for new riders or the less experienced, perhaps stick to the Baden or Talana routes.


There should be no fee, as these are generally considered open farm and/or town roads.


No specific MTB facilities but Montagu offers all you need in terms of local shops, hotels, B&Bs and restaurants.

Things to Do Nearby:


Montagu has plenty of free to inexpensive local attractions to enjoy. Some of my favourites include exploring the tranquil Montagu Nature Garden; swimming in the hot water pools at the Avalon Springs; browsing the Saturday Montagu Village Market; or enjoying a meal or cake and a milkshake at one of the local eateries, such as Die Kloof Padstal, Die Boord or The Rambling Rose.

I also love some of the local nature walks and hikes, including Lover’s Walk and Badskloof Trail (may require entry fees), which connects the hot springs with Eyssenhuis/Ou Meul at Joubertpark.

There are plenty of other fun activities to enjoy – and generally, Montagu is pretty child- and pet-friendly as far as travel goes.

Contact Information:

Contact the Montagu Tourism Office for MTB trail info and other attractions on +27 (023) 614 2471 or email them at


Overberg Region

The Overberg Region is one of the Cape’s richest, naturally untouched regions. Here, incredible flora and fauna, stunning valleys and amazing small towns make up one of South Africa’s most protected, glorious parts.

With everything from seasonal whale watching to ziplining and cosy country getaways and amazing hikes and MTB trails, needless to say, the Overberg Region brings together the very best of adventure, accommodation and experiences!

Oak Valley (Elgin)


Few places on earth could be more beautiful and alluring than Elgin Valley. This special region, famed for its untamed natural beauty, fruit and cool climate wines, is one of my favourite places anywhere in South Africa.

I never tire of driving through or visiting this unique part of the diverse Overberg Region.

In a similar vein, possibly one of the most stunning, lovely wine estates I have visited to date is Oak Valley. It has a rich Cape history and absolutely fairytale-like surroundings, blessed with oak trees, wild flowers and other natural flora and fauna.

Aside from producing glorious wines, fresh flowers, fruits, wagyu beef and acorn-fed pork, Oak Valley also offers incredible accommodation and gorgeous MTB trails.

You can either bring your own MTB or book an e-bike or MTB bike tour through Elgin Adventure Centre. Either way, Oak Valley is made for riding and exploring… that much I know for certain.


When I visited Elgin in 2019, I embarked on an incredible e-bike and wine tasting tour, led by Elgin Adventure Centre. This took me from the popular Elgin Railway Market (another local gem) through the valley, riding inside the beautiful Oak Valley estate to The Pool Room for a winetasting.

And let me tell you, riding through the ancient oak trees, over smooth wooden bridges, around sharp twists in the forest path and through muddy puddles is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had!

If the e-bike or MTB bug bit me, it was definitely that day. 🙂 The adrenaline and the sheer bliss of that ride is something I still instantly relive almost a year later.

So if you don’t have your own bike or gear, I would strongly recommend doing a professionally guided and endlessly fun tour with Elgin Adventure Centre, who are also responsible for Cape Canopy Tour in Elgin.

Trail Notes:


Otherwise, if you have everything you need, Oak Valley has a range of MTB trails and routes. Even to someone as inexperienced as me, it really looks and feels like prime MTB terrain.

Oak Valley’s trails were pioneered by legendary Pieter Visser, himself a keen mountain biker, who designed the trails for all skill levels. (Something I can attest to.)

You ride through the beautiful oak woodlands, past vineyards and fruit orchards and even across cattle fields, surrounded all the while by the splendour of the Groenlandberg mountains, which are also a strong inspiration for their wines.

This is a world-class MTB experience and Oak Valley is well-known for its groomed singletrack.

Visit the trails and discover their popular Sounds of Silence, Stone & Steel, Fountain of Youth, Harrier Hawk sections, to name only a few.

The trails consist of a short blue route and a longer red route. The red route links up with several black loops, best suited to more advanced riders.

In addition to its everyday MTB fun, Oak Valley frequently hosts major MTB events, such as the Absa Cape Epic and Wines2Whales. In fact, when I rode there in 2019, the Wines2Whales was underway…  No pressure riding past all those MTB experts. 🙂

Oak Valley’s trails are open 365 days a year during daylight hours. They are only closed for scheduled events and during severe weather conditions.

After such occurrences, the trails are closed for one day to ensure their integrity and keep them in good shape. 



The daily rate for using Oak Valley’s MTB trails is R60.

You can also invest in an annual membership, which costs R550 from the date of purchase.


Oak Valley offers MTB riders bike washes, showers and secure parking.

Things to Do Nearby:

Aside from the great wine tasting, picnics at The Pool Room and beautiful accommodation (in their 1902 Cottage) that you can also enjoy at Oak Valley alone – Elgin Valley and nearby Grabouw offer visitors plenty to see and do.

While you are in Elgin, visit the popular, steampunk-style Elgin Railway Market; book an incredible zipline experience with Cape Canopy Tour; or make a stop at the popular Peregrine Farm Stall in Grabouw for road trip supplies and other delicious goodies.


There are also a host of other lovely wine farms in the area, including Elgin Vintners, South Hill Vineyards, Lothian Vineyards and more.

Finally, for true blooded MTB riders, you can also check into Trail’s End. This bike hotel is the perfect base camp for MTB lovers and outdoor adventurers in Grabouw and Elgin.

Contact Information:

Contact Oak Valley on +27 (021) 859 2510 or email them at


  • Oak Valley (for information on Oak Valley MTB trails and other estate offerings)
  •  Elgin Adventure Centre (for booking adventure tours in Elgin and surrounds)


Kogelberg Nature Reserve (Overberg Region)


The Kogelberg Nature Reserve, tucked away in the gorgeous Overberg Region, is one of my favourite local Cape Nature reserves. Like many, I not only consider it to be one of the most beautiful but I love everything about its eco-friendly accommodation, nature walks and hikes and diverse natural flora and fauna.

Considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, Kogelberg offers breathtaking mountain views, rich natural wildlife and a variety of excellent activities like hiking, swimming, nature walks, wildlife watching and yes, you guessed it: MTB.

Trail Notes:

Kogelberg Nature Reserve offers a moderate, 22km ride along the jeep track through the Kogelberg Valley to the reserve office (found quite near to the Oudebosch eco cabins).

Known as the Palmiet River Valley MTB Route, this route is estimated to take between 2-4 hours. Skill level is considered moderate and riders are advised to ensure they have plenty of sunscreen and water for the trail.

If it is anything like the Palmiet River Hike, then you are guaranteed gorgeous natural flora and fauna, mountain views and the best in pristine Overberg countryside.


Riders must wear a helmet at all times during this trail ride. 

There is also no cellphone reception inside Kogelberg Nature Reserve (last reception point is at the turn from the tar road onto the long, gravel road.)

Kogelberg Nature Reserve gate times are from 07:30 am – 18:00 pm (April to August) and from 07:30 am – 19:00 pm (September to March).

Reserve office hours are from 07:30 am – 16:00 pm.


You will need a permit for this trail ride. Permits can be purchased at the Kogelberg Cape Nature office.

For exact pricing, please contact Cape Nature or the Kogelberg office directly.

They are a cash-only facility, so ensure you have cash on you if you are buying your permit on the day, otherwise you can normally also book and pay online.


Kogelberg Nature Reserve has clean, well-maintained toilets for use and lovely accommodation for those who wish to spend the night here.

For the MTB trail and hikes, you will, however, need to bring along your own bottled water and energy bars/snacks with.

Things to Do Nearby:


Aside from the many wonderful hikes, wildlife viewing, nature walks and swimming one can enjoy within Kogelberg, they also offer incredible, eco-friendly accommodation in the Oudebosch Eco Cabins.

In the area, you can also explore the amazing Harold Porter Botanical Gardens; say hello to the penguins at the Stony Point Nature Reserve; and enjoy visiting the nearby small coastal towns and villages, such as Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond, Rooi-Els and Pringle Bay.


Contact Information:

Reserve office number: +27 (087) 288 0499.

For accommodation and permit bookings, please contact them on +27 (087) 087 8250.


West Coast Region

The West Coast is perhaps one of the most stunning coastal regions in the world. With pristine, endless beaches, quaint coastal villages and small towns and rich flora and fauna, this region should be protected and cherished at all costs.

The West Coast is hugely popular among families especially, as it provides memorable family holidays, seasonal wild flower spotting and the perfect mix of indoor-meets-outdoor thrills.

!Khwa ttu (West Coast)


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Situated right near Yzerfontein, some 70 km away from Cape Town – !Khwa ttu is an incredible heritage centre and accommodation farm filled with excellent outdoor activities, rich history and insights into the ways of the San people, good food and accommodation – and above all, wonderful wildlife and country spaces in the unique, fiercely wild West Coast region.

Best of all, they offer visitors and overnight guests a range of activities, everything from mountain biking to hiking and guided San tours.

When we visited back in 2017, it was a truly memorable experience. And if I could hike or MTB anywhere now, I think !Khwa ttu would be top of my list.

If you are looking for a fun weekend getaway, I suggest booking an overnight stay in advance. This is a great way to relax and enjoy all their activities at your leisure.

Trail Notes:


There is something for every independent outdoor enthusiast to enjoy here.

Both the mountain biking, trail running and/or more gentle hiking can be enjoyed on the same trails – although the two groups scarcely cross paths apparently.

You will need to bring your own bike and helmet.

There is also a small fee you need to pay to ride and you must sign up a Friend of !Khwa ttu. (Sign up is easy and can be done at reception.) This applies to general use of the trails, including hikes/trail runs.

Thereafter, all you need to do is decide which trail best suits your needs and experience level. There are hard core options, as well as easier ones.

For the more adventurous MTB rider, there is a purpose-built, 10km singletrack course.

There are several route choices, with twists, zigzags and berms to navigate – but it’s a great track that you can enjoy again and again.

For the less experienced or even for those who prefer a gentler outing, try the route that runs along the jeep tracks and gravel roads.

Best of all, you may even find yourself in the midst of a herd of game, such as zebra, eland or springbok,  so soak up the wildlife as you go!

And why not make a pit stop near the traditional replica San village? It’s great fun to explore!


For hikes, trail runs and MTB rides, there is a fee. Sign up and pay at reception and become a Friend of !Khwa ttu – it’s as simple as that. For costs, please contact the establishment directly or ask at reception.

Your Friend of !Khwa ttu card membership includes free self-guided access to the trails, to the Heritage Centre/Museum, invitations to events and much more.

Accommodation is best booked in advance – but all other activities, including MTB trail rides, can be planned at reception on the day.

For groups of 10 or more, please contact !Khwa ttu in advance so they can assist with planning.

!Khwa ttu is open Monday – Sunday, from 09:00 am – 17:00 pm. (Note: Last entry is 45 minutes before closing.)


There are no specific MTB facilities outside of the trails themselves – but there is plenty to see and do at !Khwa ttu.

Things to Do Nearby:


During your visit, take time to explore the unique, newly-built San Heritage Centre (Museum).

When I was last at !Khwa ttu, they were busy with its construction. Nevertheless, I found the San history, language and relics absolutely fascinating. It is an insightful and humbling experience and I definitely recommend it.

You can even join in on one of their guided San tours – but self-guided tours are definitely an option too. Pricing will vary depending on what you choose.


And, as for their in-house restaurant and accommodation, I absolutely loved it. The food was wholesome and good and as for their cottage accommodation, I would check back into it in a heartbeat.

They have everything from beautifully appointed, self-catering cottages to furnished tents with open showers and a communal boma.

Lastly, you can also browse the lovely shop for an array of rare, handcrafted gifts. This includes everything from ostrich shell jewellery to ‘love’ bows and arrows.

Contact Information:

 Contact !Khwa ttu on  +27 (022) 492 2998 or email them at


West Coast National Park (West Coast)


The West Coast National Park is known for offering so many glorious outdoor attractions, with everything from deserted beach hikes to incredible, seasonal wildflower spotting, houseboats and swimming in Kraalbaai available to visitors.

The park is great for romantic, fun couple excursions, trips with your family and friends or even solo travels designed to leave the city and its stresses behind.

Trail Notes:

Among the park’s many activities and attractions are the perhaps lesser known MTB and cycling routes.

For normal cycling, you can cycle from the Langebaan gate to Geelbek on a return trip that spans some 30km on tarred road. Or, if you’re craving a longer cycle, you can cycle from the Langebaan gate to Kraalbaai on a return trip that amasses some 70km on tarred road.

For mountain biking, there are two routes. The first is the 13km Green Trail (follow the green signs), which starts at the Langebaan gate. This leads up to the Seeberg Bird Hide before taking you back to the gate.

The second, slightly longer route is the 17km Red Trail (follow the red signs). This uses a similar route to the Green Trail but instead takes you up to the Seeberg Lookout and thereafter onto Mooimaak before you head back to the Langebaan gate.


There are some rules that cyclists and mountain bikers must follow. These are as follows:

  • No helmet, no riding…
  • Respect the Park and please do not damage anything;
  • Beware of and do not scare or hurt the animals;
  • Leave behind no trace, except tyre spoors on the road;
  • Ride on the marked, signed trails and obey the no-entry signs;
  • Be aware of other cars and cyclists on the roads;
  • Follow normal rules of the road on the tar roads;
  • Barring the permitted cycling and MTB routes, no bike may use any other trail or dirt road in the Park.



All cyclists and riders must pay the standard conservation fee at the gate – or purchase a Wild Card and reap its benefits.

For current rates and fees, please see here on the SANParks website

Within the reserve, Wild Cards can be purchased at Geelbek Information Centre. (You can also book overnight accommodation here – but I would say it is best to book that in advance to ensure availability.)


The West Coast National Park does not have any specific MTB facilities, however, it does have toilet facilities, overnight accommodation, the Geelbek Restaurant, braai and picnic spots and information centres at both Preekstoel and Geelbek.

Things to Do Nearby:


Aside from the West Coast National Park’s incredible activities and attractions – many of which I mentioned above – you can also take a drive into Langebaan or visit some of the other nearby local attractions in the area, such as Thali Thali Game Lodge; local cafes and restaurants in Langebaan and much more.

Contact Information:

Contact the West Coast National Park on +27 (022) 772 2144/5 or email them at



And a Bonus One for the Love of Cycling…

Cape Town – Atlantic Seaboard

The Mother City needs no introduction. Cape Town is deservedly hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With the perfect blend of ocean, mountain and land, this stunning city offers the very best in everything from amazing adventures to unforgettable beaches and world-class food and drink experiences.

Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard is an especially beautiful stretch, which spans from the V&A Waterfront right up to Hout Bay.

Up Cycles Cape Town


Because not all of us our brave enough to MTB or we simply haven’t tried yet – I wanted to also include normal cycling options too. And if you are based in Cape Town, one of the best is undoubtedly Up Cycles.

Up Cycles are Cape Town’s drop-and-go bicycle rental company. With stations in Sea Point, Camps Bay and Silo 5 at the V&A Waterfront, Up Cycles allows you to enjoy cycling around the inner city and along the coastline on their eye-catching, immediately recognisable tangerine bicycles.

You can choose from a standard bicycle, e-bike or mountain bike, so they really do cater to all needs, pleasures and skill levels.

Note: While I have never used them personally yet (although I have been dying to try it for years now!) – I know friends who have. And honestly, I have only heard glowing reports about this service and the overall experience.

How It Works:


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For those who are unfamiliar with Up Cycles, it is a very simple and fun process.

You simply arrive at the station, choose and pay (cash, card or SnapScan are accepted), take note of the rules and safety measures and then head on your merry way!

When you are finished, you simply hand your bicycle and gear back in at your closest Up Cycles station.

You can choose from city bikes (with an option to add a child seat or child carriage for an additional fee); mountain bikes (these must be pre-booked); road bikes (these must be pre-booked); or e-bike (these must be pre-booked).

Obviously, some basic safety rules and recommendations apply. These are as follows:

  • Minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian;
  • Ensure you feel comfortable on your bicycle;
  • Test your brakes are working before you set off;
  • Ask for help if needed;
  • Give right of way to pedestrians;
  • Obey the general rules of the road and be respectful;
  • Do not speed;
  • On the road, ride with the traffic;
  • Obey road signs and use hand signals when needed;
  • Do not text and ride;
  • Wear a helmet for your safety.

For a breakdown of Up Cycles’ pricing, please see here.


Rental pricing will varying depending on which bike type you choose. But generally, pricing starts at a minimum R90 (for one hour on a city bicycle) and can run up to R700 for a full day experience on an e-bike.

Helmets and locks are included in the set price for city bicycles and mountain bikes. 

If you choose a city bicycle, you can also add a child seat on for an additional fee of R90 or a child carriage for R110 extra.

For more information on Up Cycles pricing, please see here.

Unless it is raining heavily, Up Cycles Cape Town is open 365 days a year.

However, their operational hours change throughout the year. For exact operating hours, please contact Up Cycles directly.

Things to Do Nearby:

Before or after your cycle, if you are riding along Sea Point or Camps Bay, you can either stroll along the Sea Point Promenade; grab an ice-cream; visit the Green Point Urban Park; pop by the Mojo Market (Sea Point); or stop by the beach.


And if you are near the V&A Waterfront, there is a whole range of activities to enjoy, including shopping, eating out, browsing the local stores and stalls; visiting the Two Oceans Aquarium; riding on the Cape Town Wheel and of course, exploring the Zeitz MOCCA Museum.

So soak up the scenery as you cycle and then enjoy the best the city has to offer in outdoor and indoor fun, shopping and much more!

Contact Information:

Contact Up Cycles Cape Town on 074 100 9161 or 076 135 2223 or email them at


General Disclaimer and Other Important Notices


While all information in this post has been carefully researched from reliable sources – such as MTB Routes and Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club – or written from my own experience of having visited these places as a traveller – I am in no way an expert on mountain biking.

For any additional information on MTB trails, general rules or expert insights – please contact the relevant cycling organisation or trail management before riding.

Mountain biking is a dangerous sport and should be enjoyed with the utmost care and safety precautions.

Please never attempt anything above your skill level. I have seen and heard of too many tragedies and accidents, even with experienced riders.

Please also ensure you wear a helmet at all times and follow all necessary rules (including the rules of the road) to ensure yours and others’ safety.

Finally, wherever possible, please also avoid riding alone in remote areas.

Always make sure someone knows where you are going to be cycling and when you are expected home.

Note: Pricing and other information was as up-to-date and relevant as possible at the time of publishing.

However, I assume no responsibility for any changes in pricing or general information that may occur during or after this post’s publication. 

About the author

Website | + posts

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust - Travel Writing and Photography, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. Despite having a national diploma in Journalism and working as a content writer by day, Tamlyn's preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

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