A new take: iSimangaliso MTB Adventure Tour 2018

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Here’s an opportunity to cycle through a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the Big Five roam, on a relaxed mountain-bike adventure tour.

iSimangaliso MTB Adventure Tour. Image: Peter Kirk Media

After five years of hosting successful mountain-bike races through the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and in response to many requests for a more laid back adventure ride, this year’s event is more of a ‘safari in the saddle’.

Participants will ride in groups of 10, with each group led by a qualified game ranger (also on a bike) who operates in the area and who has in-depth knowledge about the flora and fauna. This gives riders the opportunity to experience the Park and its biodiversity at a more leisurely pace, as riders will be limited to a total of 100 and the event will no longer be timed.

The event has also been shortened to three days rather than four and covers 220km in total.

iSimangaliso MTB Adventure Tour. Image: Peter Kirk Media

Because the format is no longer a race, riders are free to stop when interesting birds or animals are sighted, or at any other area of interest and the guide will share information with the group.

As always, the event is a major contributor to the iSimangaliso Rare and Endangered Species Fund, which is exclusively dedicated to the reintroduction, monitoring, conservation and care of endangered species in iSimangaliso.

Since its inception in 2013, this mountain biking event has contributed over R750000 to this fund and as a result satellite and telemetry collars for rhino, oribi, elephants and lion have been purchased.

iSimangaliso MTB Adventure Tour. Image: Peter Kirk Media

 

To enter visit isimangaliso-mtb.co.za

The dates of this year’s event are 6-9 September and the route is as follows:

Thursday 6th September:
The arrival of participants at St Lucia (leave cars here and takes buses to uMkhuze); registration, event briefing and overnight accommodation at Ghost Mountain Inn (Mkhuze)

Friday 7th September
Adventure tour starts from eMshophi Camp (uMkhuze) and ends at Bonamanzi Game Reserve (Hluhluwe).

The total distance of 95km takes in iSimangaliso’s uMkhuze section, & Beyond’s Phinda Private Game Reserve, Amorrello Private Reserve, iSimangaliso’s False Bay section, Hluhluwe River Lodge and Bonamanzi Private Reserve.

Saturday 8th September
Bonamanzi to St Lucia Eco Lodge – 78km. Ride through Bonamanzi, the Nyalazi floodplains, iSimangaliso’s Western Shores section, iGwalagwala forest and end at the St Lucia Eco Lodge.

After lunch at the Eco Lodge riders will be taken on a sunset boat cruise on the Lake St Lucia estuary to see hippos, crocodiles, birds and other animals up close. You should keep a look out for elephants that sometimes swim across the lake.

Sunday 9th September
Start at the St Lucia Eco Lodge and ride through the iSimangaliso’s Eastern Shores section (43kms) ending for lunch and prize giving at the Eco Lodge. Depart for home.