Cycling the Drakensberg & Kruger

12 days
from
$3,795
incl. taxes
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Moderate / Challenging
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Trip code: 
MZD
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
4–14
Min age:
16

Cycle between the jagged peaks of the Drakensberg to the big game of Kruger National park

This two wheeled adventure takes us through stunning mountain scenery and past dramatic rock formations, through abandoned gold mines, baboon inhabited forests and tranquil natural waterfalls. Part way through the trip we dismount our bikes and spend two days on safari in Kruger National Park where we have the chance to spot lions, rhinos, elephants, giraffes and various other wild animals. From Kruger we continue our pedal powered journey along the panorama route before ending at the mighty Blyde River Canyon. With perfect road surfaces and idyllic sunshine, there is surely no better way to experience eastern South Africa than by bike.

Highlights

  • Discover the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains
  • Search for the big 5 in Kruger National Park
  • Cycle through vast mountain scenery, forests, waterfalls and canyons

Key information

  • 8 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • Mostly tarmac with two short sections on hard pack dirt roads
  • A few challenging climbs, most roads have little traffic
  • Group normally 4 to 14 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • 9 nights lodges and chalets, 2 nights permanent tented camp

 

  • Countries visited: South Africa

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Approximately 2-5 hours cycling per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; 80% tarmac, 20% compact dirt roads

Day by day breakdown
Day 255.0km/34.0miles
Day 330.0km/18.0miles
Day 445.0km/27.0miles
Day 545.0km/27.0miles
Day 660.0km/37.0miles
Day 750.0km/31.0miles
Day 1070.0km/43.0miles
Day 1165.0km/40.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Johannesburg; transfer to Golden Gate National Park.

    Upon arrival in Johannesburg we drive directly to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Maluti Mountains of the Northern Free State. This transfer takes roughly 5 hours but will be broken up with stops along the route to stretch the legs and go to the toilet. The Golden Gate national park gets its name from the golden hue on the parks sandstone cliffs as the sun hits them. With 11,600 hectares of highland habitat, the national park is home to a number of animals including springbok, mountain zebra and wildebeest as well as the rare bearded vulture and bald ibis. During the afternoon we set up the bikes for each individual and have a chance to test them out around the grounds of the accommodation.

    Accommodation: Glen Van Reenen Camp or similar

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Ride over a spectacular mountain pass with a chance of spotting wildlife; transfer to Northern Drakensberg and cycle to our lodge.

    Getting up early, we cycle 25km on roads through the national park. We start with a short climb up to a viewpoint where mountain zebra are often spotted before descending a long winding mountain pass. Later in the ride there are a few short steep up and down sections to get the heart pumping before it then levels out again. All along this road there are great opportunities to see wildlife from the saddle so make sure you have a camera to hand! At the park exit we transfer towards the Northern Drakensberg (60km) stopping at the 'Vulture restaurant' for the views over the Sterkfontein Dam and an early picnic lunch. We then get back on the bikes and cycle down the Oliviers Hoek pass all the way to the Sungbala lodge, our overnight stay. Here we have the whole night to take in the stunning view of the Drakensberg amphitheatre whilst enjoying a meal cooked by the guides.

    Accommodation: Sungubala Eco Camp or similar


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cycle to the Northern Berg before hiking and a chance to swim at a waterfall.

    In the morning we cycle towards the Drakensberg Mountains whilst following a back road route into the Royal Natal National Park in the Northern Berg. This ride is fairly undulating but the views of the Drakensberg amphitheatre at the top of each rise are well worth the effort. After entering the park, we continue on our bikes for approximately 2km to our picnic spot – before lunch we can get changed in to swimming gear and walk the short distance to the cascades waterfall for a well-deserved swim in the cool waters. After lunch there will be time to explore the park and its hiking trails or simply relax before transferring back to our accommodation.

    Accommodation: Sungubala Eco Camp or similar


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Dundee; afternoon ride to Rorke's Drift Museum.

    After breakfast we leave the Drakensberg with a 210km (approx. 3 hour) transfer by road to Dundee. Here there will be time for a little shopping and resupply before continuing onto Rorke's Drift. At Rorke’s Drift we have a guided tour around the area where 150 British and Colonial troops defended a small garrison against nearly 5000 Zulu warriors. After a hearty lunch and a change into cycling kit it’s back onto our bikes for a 45km ride from Rorke’s Drift to our overnight accommodation. This is a great ride through the scenic cattle country; the first 17km is on a good quality compact dirt road where we often spot many types of vulture and eagle flying overhead, once back on the tarmac road we have a flat ride to our accommodation where we can relax in the pool.

    Accommodation: Battlefields Country Lodge or similar


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Badplaas before getting on the bikes for a great ride to our lodge.

    We have an early morning transfer (300km about 4 hours) towards the hot springs town of Badplaas in the Mpumalanga province. After lunch we get on the bikes and start our ride with a fantastic 17km descent before an undulating ride all the way to our accommodation located just outside of the town with stunning panoramic views of the Hlumu mountain range.

    Accommodation: Badplaas Forever Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Transfer followed by scenic ride on edge of the Songimvelo Game Reserve and on to our lodge.

    Today we start with a short transfer to Maanhaar, close to the border with Swaziland. From here we climb on the bikes and ride along a stunning gravel road which winds its way between the Songimvelo Game Reserve and the base of the Hlumu Mountains. We pass an abandoned mine which has now become home to Vervet monkeys so make sure you have your camera at the ready. As the road starts to climb we hop in the bus and transfer to the top of a mountain range overlooking the Songimvelo Game Reserve, we stop on this road for a quick photo stop at a breathtaking viewpoint that overlooks the valley below before getting back on the bikes to cycle into Barberton town and onto our accommodation.

    Accommodation: African Rest Lodge or similar


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Cycle to Kruger N.P. through the Kaaprivier Valley.

    After breakfast we get on the bikes and start our ride through the Kaap River Valley as it winds its way towards Kaapmuiden. After about 50km we reach our stopping point and get in the van for a short transfer to a shopping centre where we can change out of cycling kit and stock up on cold drinks and snacks for Kruger. From here we have a very short transfer to get to the Malelane Gate where we enter the Kruger National Park and start our safari. We have a two hour game drive through the southern tip of Kruger to get to Skukuza Camp, keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready as the southern part of Kruger is known for its abundance of big cats.

    Accommodation: Kruger National Park Camp or similar


    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Game drives in Kruger N.P.

    This morning we have an early start to beat the heat of the day and maximise our chances of seeing a predator. Because of the early start we will only have a small breakfast at the camp which will consist of a South African 'rusk' and a coffee. After several hours of looking for animals we stop in one of the designated lunch spots where our guides cook up a delicious brunch. From here we continue our game drive back to camp and have the rest of the day to relax in the pool or at the bar which overlooks the Sabi River. Tonight there is the opportunity to go on a night safari drive through the park in one of the official safari vehicles (this is an optional extra and should be paid for locally. Please see the optional activities section in the trip notes for prices and further information).

    Accommodation: Kruger National Park Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    More game viewing, transfer to Hazyview.

    Today we aim to spend most of the day in the national park searching for animals, and once again start off with a morning game drive, but in the opposite direction to yesterday. We return to camp for some brunch and to collect our bags before heading out on our final game drive in Kruger as we make our way out of the park via the Numbi gate. From here we have a short transfer to our overnight accommodation in Hazyview where we can take a stroll down to the Hippo River or just relax by the pool.

    Accommodation: Gecko Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Cycle to Sabie and on to Graskop; visit Mac Mac Pools.

    After a few days of well-earned rest, today we get back on the bikes for the most challenging ride of the trip. After a hearty breakfast in Hazzyview we cycle from our lodge up the escarpment and towards Sabie. This first part of the ride is stunning and very different from what we have seen earlier in the tour as our route takes us through Avocado plantations and dense forests before arriving in Sabie where we can stop at a café for a muffin and coffee milkshake. From Sabie we continue to climb until we arrive at Mac Mac Pools, here we stop for a swim in the natural pools whilst our guides make lunch. After lunch our ride heads downhill for a visit to Mac Mac Falls and continues all the way to Graskop and our accommodation which overlooks the escarpment.

    Accommodation: Mogodi Lodge or similar


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Ride along the Panorama Route to God's Window via Bourke's Luck potholes rock formations; afternoon ride to Blyde River Canyon.

    Our final day of cycling will take us through yet more beautiful scenery as we cycle along the Panorama Route. In the morning we visit God’s Window to take in the breathtaking landscape view before cycling past ‘Wonder view’ and on to Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Here we stop for lunch and go for a walk around the curious rock formations before getting back on the bikes for the last time and cycling to the spectacular viewpoint over the Blyde River Canyon and on to our accommodation. For our last night in South Africa we will have a big group meal in the hotel restaurant which has an amazing view of the three Rondavels and the canyon.

    Accommodation: Blyde River Canyon Forever Resort or similar


    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Drive to Johannesburg, end.

    After a leisurely breakfast and a short walk to the private viewpoint within the grounds of our accommodation we get in the bus and transfer through the small towns of Ohrigstad, Lyndenburg and Dullstroom as we make our way back to Johannesburg Airport. This transfer is roughly 420km but we break it up with plenty of short stops and a longer lunch break. Please note that due to the often high levels of traffic surrounding Johannesburg we leave our accommodation with plenty of time to complete this transfer. This does mean that on some occasions when the roads are traffic free we might arrive at the airport early and have a longer wait before the return flight departs.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Moderate
12 Days from $3,795
Guided (Incl. Taxes)
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Essential Info

Visas

British passport holders and most European and Commonwealth Passport holders do not require a visa to travel to South Africa. Please note that all travellers to South Africa who do require a visa are required to have a minimum of 2 blank consecutive pages in their passport i.e. a left hand page and a right hand page to enable an entry visa to be issued.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory but some vaccinations are recommended. These include typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and influenza.

Eating and Drinking

11 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners are included on this tour.

For breakfast you can expect a good selection of cereals, toast, jams, fruit and yogurt as well as coffee and rusks. Occasionally we have a cooked breakfast or buffet in some locations. Meals which are included in the trip are cooked and prepared by your guide and drivers. On two days you will have a cooked lunch, but most days you will have a large selection of sandwich ingredients including cold meats, bread, salad, cheese and crisps. Vegetarian and other dietary requirements are well catered for but please inform our team at least two weeks before you travel. The tour leaders do all the shopping and meal planning for each group. Each tour has a cool box for cold drinks and you will be made aware of nights when alcohol is not available so you can purchase some before hand. We supply the following drinks on all tours: fruit juice and squash served with breakfast & lunch, tea and coffee served with breakfast and dinner. All other beverages will be at your own expense.

Weather

Although the greater part of South Africa lies north of the tropic of Capricorn, the temperature is moderated by the altitude. The average midday temperature is likely to be about 22C on the coast and 24C inland. This trip covers various different weather regions. Generally inland areas will be dry between the months of April and October (although storms can occur), whereas in the Drakensberg Mountains rain is more common at this time. In August the nights can be very cold, especially in the Drakensberg where temperatures can drop below freezing. However the days are warm and crisp with generally cloud-free skies. During the months of November through February rain can sometimes be expected and the temperature will be higher. However, as anyone who has travelled to these parts will say, rain is often a blessing, it manifests the local colours, drops the sometimes sweltering temperatures and never generally lasts too long. It also means the night times are incredibly clear.

MZD

Is this trip for you?

Activity level: 4 (Moderate/Challenging)

8 days cycling with an averaging distance of 55km a day with full vehicle support.

The cycling is all on good condition paved roads, apart from two short stretches of hard packed gravel road on days 5 & 7. Most of the cycling is over undulating terrain with some challenging climbs that are followed by long flowing descents. Our cycling guide leads the group and a support vehicle follows at all times. Snack stops are sets up every 15km where you can re fill water bottles and help yourself to sweets and snacks. Helmets must be worn by all cyclists in South Africa.

Legal Note: all group members joining this tour will be asked to sign an indemnity form at the start of the holiday. This indemnity form is a requirement of the South African Tourism Service Association which our local supplier is a member of. As a client of Exodus Travels Ltd, your rights under the Package Travel Regulations (1992) are unaffected, and Exodus remains liable for the actions of our sub-contractors.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Chalets, Lodges & Camping

We spend 9 nights in small lodges and 2 nights in permanent tented camps. Most properties are small privately owned establishments that are clean and comfortable and all rooms have en-suite facilities apart from our accommodation in Kruger. This does mean that even if you have paid for a single supplement you will have to use the shared facilities at our accommodation in Kruger. The accommodation and locations we stay in throughout the trip are a real highlight and very memorable. One of the best has to be the eco lodge in the Drakensberg where you can spend the evening watching the sun set over the magnificent Drakensberg amphitheatre whilst our guides cook dinner on the Braai (BBQ).

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed December 2019
    Heather Ward

    Simply the best!

    This was our first Exodus cycling holiday and it won’t be our last! The scenery was varied and beautiful, the hotels were better that I was expecting and the cycling was challenging but manageable and a great way to see the countryside. We were able to ride at our own pace through out the trip, with one of the guides at the front and one bringing up the rear and breaks every hour or so for water and snacks. Food from the Exodus Mobile Kitchen was excellent - every meal was something different and we were often the lunchtime the envy of other tour groups! The buffet meals in the hotels were also good - a range of options to suit everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the safari in the Kruger - we saw an incredible volume and variety of wildlife, often quite close up - lions 3ft away, elephants crossing the road in front and behind our vehicle. The crowning glory was a leopard spotted by one of our group which just seemed to want to show off for us!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bradley, Skhu and Rea did a fantastic job of looking after us all. From fixing bikes (and the truck) to cooking (including baking a cake on the barbecue!) to sharing their knowledge and love of South Africa and its animals, all three were amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is worth doing some training ahead of the trip, some days were quite tough - up to 2000m of climbing. But we could all ride at our own pace - there was never any pressure to keep up - so don’t let it put you off. There is always the option to get a lift from the truck!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is no bar or other access to beer or wine on the first night, so if you want a drink (and you might after a long transfer), you will need to buy something either at the airport or at one of the stops on the drive.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    sandra southwell

    Drakensberg & Kruger

    Correctly graded as challenging, the first few days were harder than I expected with the altitude and head winds. It was quite cool there too, so a warm and windproof layer is essential in the misty conditions, arm warmers were handy too. The Blyde Canyon ride is long, but you start early (earlier than the trip notes suggest, and without breakfast before setting off); the first and last thirds have an uphill bias but the middle part is a really nice undulating section - the wonderful views are a great distraction too. It’s an enjoyable trip, with some good biking including some fabulous descents safe enough for some good top speeds, and we certainly saw more wildlife than I was expecting - take some binoculars, you’ll be glad you did.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife. This time of year we were told that the animals can be harder to see in Kruger because they’re more scattered in view of the wider availability of water, but we saw plenty - and with the added bonus of lots of babies, including some lion cubs, playful young elephants and the cutest of little antelopes. We also saw some herds of zebra galloping joyously across the meadows earlier in the trip, which was wonderful to see. And late in the trip we passed some people praying by a river family close to the road; hearing their wonderful singing whilst cycling along was very uplifting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adonia, Rea and Innocent made an excellent team, I hope for future travellers’ sake that they will work together again because they definitely helped make it a really good trip. They obviously got on well and joined in with the group far more than I’ve experienced with most other Exodus trips (I’ve been on at least fifteen). They were knowledgeable, fun and Ado in particular was very keen to ensure we were all aware of the safety aspects of the trip. They were also good cooks, the beef stir fry and barbecue were definite highlights.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sleep on the first part of the transfer on day one, after the lunch stop there are great views and animal spotting opportunities. Make sure you get a three round-pin adapter, only one or two places had European two-pin sockets. I bought mine at Heathrow but dare say you could get one cheaper beforehand. All accommodations have charging points, although a battery charger pack might be useful on the safari days if you use your camera a lot. You won’t need a huge amount of cash as most meals are included and there aren’t that many opportunities to buy things; if you see something you like buy it as you may well not see it again. There were ATMs at a few of the places we stopped for the guys to stock up on food, however I’d recommend getting some currency before you leave the UK or exchanging some cash when you arrive at the airport. There weren’t that many opportunities to pay by card, particularly for the smaller purchases. Take a travel towel or sarong for the day-time swimming opportunities, you may like to have water shoes for some too. Worth having a change of clothes handy on part-transfer days to avoid sitting in your cycling gear for longer than necessary. A couple of places didn’t have any soap in the bathroom and some provided a kettle but no tea/coffee. Take a few snacks or buy some at the well-stocked supermarkets along the way; the provisions at the snack stops were generally limited to peanuts, wine gums and liquorice all sorts - sometimes with a banana, apple or orange too; I have been on many trips which provide a wider variety of options at the snack stops (exotic fruits, biscuits, chocolate bars, snack bars, crips, energy drinks and so on). The larger bikes had two bottle cages, but even if yours doesn’t two water bottles are handy if you like to drink lots, especially on the safari days (most of us bought a 5 litre bottle of water each for the days in Kruger and Hazyview, everywhere else you can drink the tap water). Lots of the roads were quite light in terms of traffic, but some days were busier and the vehicles can drive quite close as they’re not used to cyclists in this part of S Africa, there were often decent hard shoulders though. Roads were generally in good condition with a few areas having potholes, sadly broken glass from discarded bottles was pretty ubiquitous. Take cleat shoes and clip-in pedals if you’re used to using them. It’s definitely worth taking one of the optional extra game drives as the drivers are expert spotters and are in contact with each other, meaning they know where the best sightings are (ours cost R700 which was quite a bit more than the trip notes suggest, but was longer and very worthwhile). The knowledge-sharing led to us seeing a leopard as well as the other members of the big five gang. That said, our guides and driver were pretty impressive when it came to spotting animals and birds too, we saw a cheetah whilst driving through the park with them; they have a keen interest in the flora and fauna of the area, and a great deal of knowledge to impart.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would agree with other reviewers in that I don’t understand why this trip needs to have quite so much self-catering. I totally understand it’s easier for lunches and some of the picnic spots were excellent - day 3 in particular, plus days 10 and 11. In the Kruger we could easily have had lunch in one of the camp cafes/restaurants. However I too would have preferred to have more evening meals in restaurants. After a day’s cycling I don’t really want to have to balance my dinner plate on my lap, and it’s nice to have a choice. Furthermore, the team have to work incredibly hard sourcing and preparing the meals, then clearing up afterwards; they have very little downtime on this trip. We saw steak on offer in restaurants from anywhere between £7 to £10 and I’m sure that most Exodus customers would be more than happy to pay this for a nice meal on a comfortable chair once or twice during the trip. There are a few fairly lengthy bus transfers but it’s such a vast place that they’re inevitable; our guides kept us amused with information from time to time along the way and Adonia had a small library of books on the wildlife for us to read through. We were fortunate in not having a full group as we had plenty of space and travelled in comfort; I think it would be pretty uncomfortable if there were 14 people and it would also make it difficult for everyone to get a good view on the safari days. The accommodation varies along the way, but is all fine. The Eco camp on days 2 and 3 is wonderful, the hotel at Hazyview is nice although the pool wasn’t clean (the pool at the lunch spot that day was far superior), the final night’s accommodation is lovely and spacious with great views from the bar - head there in advance of dinner to watch the rocks changing colour as the sun goes down. The tents in the Kruger had fans and fridges which was more than I’d expected, although you will have to share the washrooms not only with other campers but also an interesting array of insects attracted to the light - but in general the bug count (and particularly the mozzie count) is pretty low on this trip. Keep a look out for the porcupine in the Kruger campsite - it headed down between the wash block and laundry at around 7pm both nights we were there, it moves a lot faster than you’d think! It’s a shame that the hotel at Graskop is out of town as it looked like there were quite a few interesting shops to potter around there. A couple of nights we had to keep the bikes in our rooms - not much of an issue for me as I was on my own, but probably a bit of a squeeze for two. WiFi and phone coverage isn’t available everywhere, or at least not good connections - so expect some respite from electronic communications! I was lucky as my bike was reasonably good, albeit a bit on the small side. It did however struggle to switch from the large ring to the middle one at the front, but the rear gears were infinitely better than a number of my fellow companions who all had lots of issues with their bikes during the trip. People signing up for a level 4 trip will all be keen cyclists with good bikes at home, and Exodus need to make sure that their local partners are aware of the expectations of their clients. Having bikes which need fixing multiple times a day simply isn’t good enough and takes away some of the enjoyment factor of cycling in such lovely areas. As a minimum the bikes need a thorough inspection before each trip commences and be replaced where necessary. If the support team could spend a little less time preparing food for us all they could do a proper check at the end of each day, and they should certainly be given more spare parts for use during the trip. The local company needs to make appropriate investment to ensure more than just adequate equipment is provided.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Sue Altman

    Great itinerary, excellent guides, shame about the bikes

    The bikes are key to the enjoyment of a cycling holiday. I have enjoyed at least 12 previous cycling holidays with Exodus and the bikes provided for this trip were the worst I have ever had. It was difficult or impossible to change gears smoothly on both the front or rear gears. The chain frequently hopped 2 gears, no gears, or changed on a whim entirely by itself. Frequent adjustments were made by the guides, but any changes didn't last more than 20km. I suspect the cables needed changing, but this wasn't in their remit. The display on the handlebars were completely obscured so you had no idea what gear you were in unless you memorised the back and looked down at the front, making it easy to cross chain and exacerbate the problems. On first sight of the bikes at least 2 had new chains which were drooping almost to the ground.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We saw the most astonishing range of animals, including a cheetah, a leopard and 4 baby lions in The Kruger National Park and quite a few outside. The view of the porcupine moving at speed 2 night running on the same route between the toilet blocks in the campsite at dusk was just amazing. I loved the tours of the Rourkes Drift and the Cave paintings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Adomi was brilliant; well organised, very well informed . His team consisting of Rio as support and Innocent as the driver worked well and they were friendly and, chatty and mixed in with all of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't book this trip until you have assurance that the bikes have been replaced or all the key components changed

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All the meals included were prepared by the leaders and driver. I would have enjoyed the trip more if we had eaten in more restaurants. Apart from the first meal, their cooking was excellent, but I do like to sit at a table after a long day in the saddle and have a choice of food and a glass of wine offered. There were restaurants in most places and the food was very cheap and good. We couldn't understand why it was organised like this. It also seemed unnecessarily very hard work for the team. Finally I do like proper coffee not instant for breakfast!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    shaun bowler

    Excllent leader but disappointing trip

    A beautiful part of Africa. The trip would have been so much better of some proper road bikes. Town hybrid bikes make the cycling up and down never ending hills very hard work. The accommodation and food was extremely average. The rand is so weak, it was cost so very little more to eat in some nice places and stay in some really nice guest houses we passed. It felt that we were on a budget! The food in SA is exceptional and we never got to experience it. The saving grace was our guides who also were good cooks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the Views in the Drakensberg's, especially when going down hills.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    they were both excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some nice food with you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    please review the accommodation, food and bikes

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Shaun for his review. We were pleased that he found this part of Africa to be beautiful and the tour leaders to be excellent, but we are sorry that he was disappointed with the bikes, accommodation and food. We are very confident that the bikes we use are the most suitable for this tour, as they are robust enough for some of the rugged conditions. The route offers spectacular roads and we select the best available accommodation along these routes for groups of this size. The feedback we usually receive about the accommodation and food on this trip, which visits rural parts of South Africa, is usually very positive, as are the reviews for this trip overall, but we nonetheless regret Shaun’s disappointment. John Penge – Product Manager

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Janice Eastman

    Cycling and Safari in South Africa

    This was a good trip with a great balance of cycling and safari. However, there are some really long transfers between days, not just the transfer to and from the airport. With 14 in a 14 seater mini bus it was not the most comfortable of journeys, especially for the men with their larger shoulders. Make sure you do some training before you go as there are some long hills, which require endurance. The guides were most helpful and encouraged everyone. They also prepared some good meals, taking into account everyone's dietary needs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting really close to some of the animals in Kruger

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bradley was informative and helpful, also a great cyclist.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train for the hills. There are many and they require endurance, especially in the heat. If you take your own bike, like I did, it would be preferential to have a 11-32 cassette. I only had 28 and it was very hard work at times.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus could improve the experience if a bigger mini bus was used. It was very tight with 14 passengers in the back in a 14 seater bus, when some of the transfers are over 4 hours long.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Bill Petrusiak

    Better than expected

    While the scenery, the riding, the safaris were everything we hoped for, what really made the trip were the guides. Peter with his excellent knowledge, Bradley with his encouragement and concern, Vuyo, with his driving skills and always being there, made the trip so enjoyable. They had great insights, a great sense of humour and their efforts enabled us to do it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the wildlife

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was very knowledgeable and attentive. Even when we thought he was wrong, circumstances proved he was right. For example, getting up at 6 a.m. to see the animals, or getting an early start on a hot day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready for some long van transfers. Also, have warm clothes for the high altitudes. Drink lots of water. Use sunscreen.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    South Africa is a beautiful country with lots of potential. Tourism will help it reach that potential.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Denise Hall

    Cycling Drakensberg and Kruger

    This tour is not a race it’s about taking your time and embracing the scenery, culture and everything the trip has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the diversity of the scenery and the wild animals in Kruger.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tallis ably assisted by Vuyo were first rate tending to all our requirements. All the meals prepared by the leaders were excellent considering the facilities available to them, more than enough for everyone and dietary requirements well catered for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long challenging hill climbs but scenery is worth the effort.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Amanda M

    Diverse trip that exceeded (already high) expectations!

    A wonderful trip full of beautiful varied scenery, challenging cycles, wildlife, and history! While we did spend substantial amounts of time cycling, it also felt like there was a good amount of time for non-cycling activities: visiting several historical / archeological sites of interest, hiking, swimming on multiple days, and enjoying a beer in the evening. The cycle days also weren't rushed, with good breaks for coffee and lunch on most days. Our lead guide, Peter, was fantastic: so experienced in leading cycle trips and a conservationist on top of it, which was particularly insightful for our time in Kruger. The accommodation was all very comfortable and the many meals prepared by the guides were great: including several barbecues and often hot breakfasts or lunches at picnic spots!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling in the Golden Gate Park (day 1 of cycling) with herds of zebra crossing the road in front of us; the peaceful setting of the Sungubala Eco Camp; everything about Kruger Park; setting off just after sunrise for our toughest day of cycling.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Jennifer Steward

    Cycling Drakensberg and Kruger

    This is the trip for you if you're looking for challenging cycling through soaring mountain scenery combined with wildlife spotting in the Kruger National Park. There's also time for relaxing away from a city environment in comfortable accommodation in beautiful natural surroundings. The trip is a good mix of active cycling days on a variety of routes (mostly low traffic) but with hills! The game drives in Kruger give a good break before two quite challenging cycling days toward the end of the tour. All round a great trip for people who enjoy active outdoor holidays.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the challenging rides through the majestic scenery of the Drakensberg Range and, particularly, the ride along the spectacular Blyde Canyon. Spotting wildlife in the Kruger National Park and observing a rare African Wild Dog face off hyenas on a morning game drive was inspirational!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader worked hard to ensure the group was looked after well. He has a good knowledge of local history and was sociable with the group. All the team of guides worked hard, were good-humoured and took care to ensure everyone had a good time, plenty to eat and drink and enjoyed the cycling and other activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is plenty of uphill on many of the routes so a bit of cycle training is advised. However all the routes are do-able and there is a support vehicle following the group at all time. Great for travellers who want social media downtime as WiFi is limited in many places.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are some relatively long travel days but the drives are scenic with plenty of stops along the way.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Ian Cooper

    Ian Cooper. Cycling the Drakensburg Ranges

    Very well run trip with Jean-Paul Gardelli looking after us, Ende driving,fixing bikes and game spotting and Skhumbuzo ably assisting and telling stories. The guys turned out excellent meals every day on the road and kept a steady supply of liquorice allsorts to get us up the hills!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ende our driver spotting a leopard on a branch driving out of Kruger was brilliant. The scenery is truely spectacular ( just like the ads!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jean-Paul Gardelli was great. Very informative on many subjects thrown at him. Obviously loves his country and got on really well with everyone..Nothing was too much trouble for him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great trip for the moderately fit. Lots of variety in the scenery and the driving sections are not too long.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lots to see in South Africa so try and incorporate another tour

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