South Africa is home to some of the world’s most scenic and breath-taking terrain. From the stunning Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve to the serene foothills of the Tulbagh mountains, there’s plenty to get a biker’s engine revving. However, while bikers are always looking for the next opportunity to get out on the road, not everyone has the time to go on lengthy cross-country expeditions. TomTom, a global leader in navigational and traffic tracking technology, shares some of South Africa’s lesser known routes to try out when the riding bug bites, and all you have is a day to spare.
Epic rides in the Eastern Cape
This 300-kilometre route promises a thrilling ride for adventure-seekers, along with plenty of stunning sights and scenes of nature. Travelling from the quaint and quiet town of Patensie, be sure to look out for some of South Africa’s oldest landmarks like the old Melkhoutboom Cheese Factory and the Boer War Relics Museum. The route winds along dirt roads towards the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, where you will want to stop and rest a while to truly appreciate this majestic mountain range, before embarking on the round trip past the Groendal Reserve and back to Uitenhage. This is a great route to get some dust on your scrambler or adventure bike, but roadsters and cruisers may have a tougher time on the dirt roads.
Escape the rat race in Gauteng
If you’re looking to get away from the city for just a few hours, this is the route for you. Ideal for a quick Sunday ride with mates, this 300-kilometre return route takes around four hours to complete at a leisurely pace – and there’s no skimping on scenery. While travelling along Gauteng’s famous ‘Golden Highway’ is a treat on its own for bikers, the real opportunity to open up that throttle happens further along the route and closer to Heidelberg, with sweeping bends in the road and miles of room to let loose. Stop for a quick stretch and a hot cuppa in Heidelberg, before heading out to Val, a small village just a 50-minute ride away.
Be sure to get an early start on this slightly longer route, which should take you around eight hours to complete while travelling at a moderate pace. This route is best suited to the more experienced riders on adventure bikes, as it features some rocky terrain and sandy areas.Some of the main attractions that keeps many biker coming back year-round include the Loskop Dam Nature Reserve – with vast stretches of open landscape and the possibility of spotting some wildlife – and crystal-clear dams near Dullstroom that are a sight for sore eyes after a long day’s ride.
Wild and free in the Western Cape
Kraaifontein – Tulbagh – Porterville
The Western Cape is the ultimate destination for a ride with a view. Following this 350-kilometre return route from Kraaifontein, bikers can look forward to a tour of some of the province’s most beautiful sights. Other points of interest on this route include a ride through the stunning town of Wellington with incredible views of wine farms and orchards on the way to Tulbagh and Porterville. While this route is suitable for all bike types, there are some great off-road trails for the adrenaline junkies too! You can also use your TomTom Rider 400 to find the most exciting routes to try, whether you’re looking to avoid the boring straights or make your way to the highest peaks. The Rider 400 is easy to mount and use while riding, so you can change course in no time.