We feature in the book “Top Mountainbike Trails in South Africa” by Jacques Marais. Our routes are also recommended by prominent bikers such as Fritz Pienaar.
There are two networks of mountain bike trails at Thabaphaswa.
- Explore 3000ha with jeep tracks, single track and cattle and game paths;
- service road along the railway to the North - 100km or more;
- plenty of district dirt roads;
- almost no thorns and punctures are rare.
- GRADING: Easy to difficult, depending on the route and distance chosen
- DURATION: Depends on route and distance
- KIDS: Yes, but choose your trails accordingly
- CONFIGURATION: Various options, 7 to 95km
- TRAIL HEAD: Thabaphaswa homestead
- FACILITIES: Self-catering accommodation, ablutions; no cell phone reception
- WHEN: Winters are mild. You can sit around the fire in the evenings and nice and warm during the day. Summers are mild - 5 degrees less than Mokopane and the same as Polokwane.
If you are not Sotho, “Thabaphaswa” may be something of a tongue twister: Thaba means mountain, Phaswa refers to Nguni cattle.
Put them together and visit the place and you will see why the shadows and highlights on the rocks of the mountains are reminiscent of markings on the farm’s rare Nguni cattle. Thabaphaswa Mountain is an important landmark to all the peoples of this area, and for centuries travellers and traders have used it to get their bearings.
Thanks to the geology, Thabaphaswa has very scenic and some rather challenging mountain bike trails on dirt tracks, cattle paths and single-track. The riding is basically along a core circuit route with optional diversions off the beaten track. Enjoy exciting single and jeep track up challenging kloofs and through gaps between the granite outcrops that cover the farm. The main route is about 7km in length and perfect for enjoying a mellow, late afternoon ride with the family. Although it is not a technical ride, there is enough sand, gravel and rocks to make it the ideal route to introduce casual cyclists to off-road riding.
Since the farm is fully fenced you cannot get completely lost and the map provided gives ample directions and indicators of where to go and where to turn back home. In addition, all 95km of hiking and biking trails are beautifully signposted. None of the wild game that you may encounter here was introduced. In line with the commitment to a genuine ecotourism experience, what you see is what has always been here.
For a more challenging 40km return ride, use the railway servitude road from Thabaphaswa to the Percy Fyfe entrance gate. Add another 20km if you include a circuit inside the reserve. In addition a further 20km district route can be followed through beautifull hilly country.
The two mountain bike networks on Thabaphaswa
The first network offers routes on Thabaphaswa and an adjoining farm over a distance of 40km. The area is surrounded by mountains and high ridges with great views over the Pietersburg plains and the valleys to the south and east.
- Rating: Riding enjoyment. Unique combination of nature, scenery and good excercise.
- Grading: Jeeptracks, single tracks and regional dirt roads.
- Distance: 14km to 80km.
- Duration: 1 to 8 hours.
- Access: N1 and provincial roads, ± 5 km gravel road.
- Configuration: Network of trails on nearby farms and in a large surrounding area.
- Terrain: Granite mountains with some reasonably steep climbs.
- Marking: Sign posts and markings on rocks.
- Security: Farm area not near main roads and urban areas.
- Maps are available for trails on the nearby farm as well for those in the surrounding areas.
- Starting point: 29° 02´ 34" E and 24°03´ 22" S
The second network area falls outside the farm and consists of rural dirt roads forming a circular route to the Ga-Mashashane rural town and the Percy Fyfe Game Reserve. The area is exceptional in terms of lovely mountain formations, bushveld trees, game farms and scenery.
Many alternative routes can be chosen and more than 200km can be ridden. The jeeptrack or service road along the railway line can even be followed up to Musina - more than 250 km away.
No main roads, urban areas and townships. It is completely safe.
What the mountain bikers say about us
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