Type: Guided Group Tour
You Will Be Able To:
- Enjoy the rich history of South Africa and its people
- Cycle natural single track and rural roads and farm lands
- Follow the historic trials of the early settlers and Trappist Monks
- Ride the iconic Freedom Trail
The Tour Will Consist of:
- 6 days cycling with vehicle support where possible
- 100% off road and dirt roads
- Mtb Tour with extreme riding in sections with alternatives for less experienced riders
- Group normally 6 to 14 plus local leader. Min age 16
- 7 nights accommodation in rural village, farm house, hotels depending on the section of route being ridden
- 7 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners, all drinks during the ride and at meal times including alcohol, excluding premium brands of spirits, wine and champagne
- Washing of cycling clothes on a daily basis
Cycle the Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail was established by David Waddilove in 2003 and traverses mainly public land with sections crossing privately owned land. The trails is known as the hardest mountain bike trail in South Africa, it is certainly one of the most rewarding. The Race Across South Africa is held each June and traverses the 2300 kilometres of trail from Pietermaritzburg Kwa Zulu Natal to Wellington in the Cape Winelands. The trail crosses many of the diverse areas of South Africa that can only be experienced from the saddle of a bike. This trail is not for the unfit, it brings its own unique experience not only from a riding perspective but from a cultural experience that you will never forget. There are touring alternatives to the main trail where a rider can still experience the trail but ride easier routes around the tougher spots. There is an opportunity on all sections of the tour where fitter riders can ride the original trail and other riders can take a touring option and meet up again.
Most of our tours are organised for personal groups that do not have the time to ride the race or tour the trail in one trip. Should riders wish to tour the Freedom Trail Tour in smaller groups or outside of the booking dates this can be arranged provided that the timings do not clash with the Freedom Challenge races dates. Contact us for suggestions and a personalised itinerary.
There are seven sections of the Freedom Trail;
KAROO: Hoffmeyer – Bucklands
THE CAPE: Montagu-Dimmersfontein
The average daily distance between support stations is 107 kilometres with some days shorter and some days longer. This is one of the toughest mountain bike routes in the world, The remoteness and isolation of the trail brings its own challenges. Massive Adventures have personal knowledge of the trail as Massive’s founder Andy Masters is blanket wearer number 81. Andy has ridden 4 RASA races, three were learning how to complete the race better and the fourth in 2013 was to actually finish the race in just over 24 days. Andy completed the Ride2Rhodes section three times in 2009, 2011, and 2012.
We have undertaken numerous trips along the trail over the years both as a rider and as a guardian on the annual Ride 2 Rhodes. Having a personal and intimate knowledge of the route, access points and support station hosts ensures that the rider will have an experience of a lifetime cycling the trail and secure in the knowledge that the trail guides know where they are going.
- Number of days cycling: 6
- Pace: Hard: 8-16km/4-10miles an hour
- Terrain: 100% off road depending on the section of the trail
Daily distance in km/miles:
- The daily distance is dependant on the section of trail ridden.
The Tour Starts by being picked up from your Hotel or from the prearranged point at the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Befordview Johannesburg. Riders are transported by road to the overnight accommodation at the start of the section of the trail. It is envisaged to leave Johannesburg by 05h30 on the day of departure.
DAY 2 – DAY 7
Each day starts off really early. The Freedom Trail is a difficult trail and 100 kilometres can take 16 hours dependant on the weather and the riders physical ability. The secret to riding the trail is start in the dark and ride into the light thereby finishing whilst its light. So the earlier we leave the better. Breakfast will be at each host accommodation before you leave and the support vehicle will carry your luggage and lunch with them to the lunch stop.
The trail travels through extremely remote areas and the back up vehicle can only get into certain parts of the trail and at times the vehicle has to drive long distances to get around mountain ranges to catch up with the riders. All riders have to carry emergency rations and equipment with them at all times. The ride guardian will conduct a briefing with the group at supper each night so that riders are aware of where they are going and what the procedures are for the next days of cycling.
After breakfast the group will depart for Johannesburg.
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 10 in size. The pace is upto the individual rider. A ride guardian will always be with the riders and the escorting vehicle will be close by. Any one can jump onto the transport and drop off when they wish to ride. The tour can be used by riders wishing to complete a section of the Freedom Trail or by riders that wish to recce the trail in preparation for undertaking one of the races held on the trail each year.
You are fit and possess a spirit of adventure. A sense of humour is a good thing to have, you may pick up someones on the trail as a lot of riders have lost theirs on the trail previously during races.
- All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners.
- All accommodation
- All transport and
- Tour leader throughout and a ride guardian
- All drinks including alcohol, excluding premium brands of alcohol,wine and champagne
What’s not included
- Travel insurance
- Visas or vaccinations
We stay at farm house, rural villages and small hotels during this trip. All of the owners and managers of the hotels and lodges are known to us and we expect our riders and guest to receive the best of attention at all times. Some of the accommodation is an experience that you may never have had, like sharing a community house in Vuvu, its all part of the trail experience along with the famous Vuvu chicken and Minki’s mince lasagne !
Vaccinations and Visa
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. Please note that new regulations from the 1 June 2015 mean that any child under 18 travelling to South Africa needs to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate with the names of both parents. If a child under 18 is only travelling with a single parent, they will also have to have an affidavit, no less than 3 months old, from the absent parent confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.
There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Eating & drinking
All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners.
The tour leaders do all the shopping and meal planning for each group. Each tour has a cool box for cold drinks. We will supply all drinks and water including alcohol except premium brands. Please note due to the remoteness of some of the locations only Beer maybe available !
This is a mountain bike tour, your bike needs to be mechanically sound as there are very few towns were spares can be purchased. Each day presents its own challenge and expect to push you bike or carry your bike for sections of the trail. Lehanna trail up to Rhodes from Vuvu as an example is extremely difficult. Its always been a kind or passage of rights on this section of trail to carry your bike up the 7 kilometres to the top. If the weather is bad the alternate route needs to be taken via Mcambalala which is longer. Riders need to be physically capable before attempting this trail.
You should be aware that cycling of all kinds has its dangers and that accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake. 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.
Dates & Prices
All prices are fully inclusive as specified excluding items of a personal nature.
All tours can be arranged for specific tour dates as required. The minimum number of participants is 4 riders.The sections of trail are dependant on clients area of interest.
Any of the above sections can be changed depending on the number of riders wishing to cycle the section. The number of days can also be added to cover more of the trail should the client wish to ride for more days than those allotted on these tours.