With its variety of dense coastal forests, cliffs, gorges, valleys and farmlands, the #KZNSouthCoast is the setting for the most incredible nature-based sporting activities, with mountain biking topping the list. There are many well-maintained trails that traverse the natural landscape, providing entry-level options for novices and extending to the more demanding trails for professional competitors.
“The natural beauty of the KZN South Coast is one of the many reasons visitors are drawn here, and one of the ways to experience this nature and local wildlife is by bike,” explained CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), Phelisa Mangcu. “And, with our year-round sunny weather, the KZN South Coast has established itself as one of the country’s top biking destinations, with the annual sani2c and joberg2c mountain biking competitions passing through the region and finishing in Scottburgh.”
#KZNSouthCoast mountain bike trails
Here’s a look at some of the popular mountain biking trails that can be found in the #ParadiseoftheZuluKindom…
1. Rocky Bay Resorts
This iconic #KZNSouthCoast location forms part of the sani2c and joberg2c competitions as cyclists pass through on the way to the coastal town of Scottburgh. The mountain biking trails include 9km, 12km, 19km and 40km courses, as well as the 4km, 6km, 8km and 10km running trails that are clearly marked. The trails are suited to cyclists of all levels.
2. Umdoni Park Trust Golf Club & Nature Reserve
This stunning nature reserve is home to a variety of trails that can take anywhere between 15 minutes and two hours, depending on the cyclists’ preference and endurance level. The trails wind around the Umdoni Park Golf Course and restaurant overlooking the ocean.
3. Burry Stander Bike Park
Established in memory of the #KZNSouthCoast’s Olympic cyclist, Burry Stander, this Umtentweni-based bike park was opened in 2014 to both honour him and develop cycling among local youth. The bike park consists of a 2km cross-country track or a 5km farm track with an on-site Kiddies Zone and coffee shop.
4. Lake Eland Game Reserve
Lake Eland Game Reserve has a number of biking trails, ranging in length from 4km to 45km, crossing four distinct ecosystems. Among the African wildlife, cyclists can enjoy quality mountain biking trails that include gorge rides and climbs. Bikers can enjoy an easy cycle of wildlife viewing, through to the more strenuous Dunstone’s Pass.
5. ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest
Found inland near Harding is the beautiful Ingeli Forest, an indigenous forest that consists of a variety of mountain biking (as well as hiking and running) trails, from 18km to 30km. These cross forest streams and waterfalls for a truly invigorating cycle.
6. KwaNzimakwe Experience
Traversing the Mpenjati River Valley, the KwaNzimakwe multi-trails range from 4 to 22km, with incredible views as well as wildlife and birdlife. The trails are also suited to hiking, birdwatching and 4×4 excursions.
7. Beaver Creek Coffee Estate
This Port-Edward-based biking destination is the southernmost coffee estate in the world which has quality coffee to match its quality trails. For the children, there is the 400m Chocochino Route around the coffee shop, followed by the 2.5km Espresso Route through the Beaver Creek coffee fields. Finally, there’s the advanced 8.5km Stoney Creek Route through Beaver Creek and surrounding farms.
8. Clearwater Trail Centre
Just outside of Southbroom, on the banks of Mtamvuna River, is Clearwater Trails. There are five routes, beginning with the easy 2km green route trail and extending through to the 16km route. The bike trails end with the Coffee Bean Uphill and finish at Clearwater Cabins.
9. Red Desert Nature Reserve
Located in Port Edward is the world’s smallest desert, which is not only home to archaeological wonders, but also great mountain biking trails.
10. Umtamvuna Nature Reserve
This exquisite nature reserve, home to riverine forests and rocky cliffs, consists of a range of well-maintained biking routes. The aforementioned joberg2c and sani2c, as well as the 5-stage South Coast Fever MTB series, all pass along this reserve.
Take the ride of your life on one of the #KZNSouthCoast’s incredible mountain biking trails. For more information about the trails, as well as other events and activities on the #KZNSouthCoast, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores or #Visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. USCT is also on social media – follow the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter.