The Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) is a paradise for mountain bike enthusiasts with an adventure around every corner. Explore a 130km trail network of farm roads and jeep tracks including 42km single tracks, or tackle the challenging climbs and put your skills to the test.
Trails run through a conservation area and game such as caracal, grysbok, grey duiker, porcupine, bat-eared foxes, cape foxes and otters still roam naturally in the Bottelary Hills, while more than 110 bird species have been identified in the BHRC.
A total of R160 000 was invested in new trail developments this past year, creating much-needed local employment for Bottelary-based trail building teams, while ensuring that routes continue to offer exciting new mountain bike experiences.
Opt for the new single track section on Wolwedans from Neethlingshof Wine Estate with up to 405m elevation amidst sections of pristine Renosterveld to catch a mesmerising glimpse of the Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountains or head to the new 7km Fort Simon single track with a 100m ascent and 360 degree views for a more technical challenge.
The Jordan route has been extended and now features a 1.2km single track designed and built by Conrad Stoltz, former triathlon world champion. Riders can look forward to a flowy single track in natural terrain with unique granite dome rides that is suitable for all levels of riders.
With a growing number of junior and novice riders venture out on the trails, the BHRC has added interesting extensions to the Orange route that starts at Bellevue Wine Estate. This 20km route runs mostly on jeep tracks and dam walls, but still offers stunning views of both Table Mountain and Stellenbosch Mountains with 277m ascent.
A super exciting addition to the BHRC trail network, is the 7km Polkadraai loop that starts and finishes at Somm & Co at Karibib and gives access to the broader BHRC MTB trail network. Shower facilities are available.
The bonus? 2022 BHRC annual permit holders get free access to the new Polkadraai Bike Park! This family orientated bike park is suitable for all levels of riders from two years with a kiddies track, pump track, skills trail, flow trail and fun line. Day permits are R70 and are available at the Zettler Strawberry Farm.
The BHRC is easily accessible to day and weekend visitors and offers a variety of activities that cater for families, nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts as well as food and wine connoisseurs. Accommodation options include self-catering, B&Bs to boutique and luxury hotels. The area also offers unique indoor and outdoor locations for unforgettable functions. The tranquil surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for a wellness weekend or a relaxing game of golf at one of the world class golf courses in the area. The ever-evolving network of MTB trails remains a key attraction.
Day permits for the Bottelary Hills Conservancy mountain bike trails (R70 payable with Zapper) are available from Asara Wine Estate, Bellevue Wine Estate, Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, Fort Simon Wine Estate, Hazendal Wine Estate, Jordan Wine Estate, Neethlingshof Wine Estate, Zevenwacht Wine Estate, Somms & Co. Karibib, Engen Soneike, Shell Kruispad and Polkadraai Bike Park. Annual permits available online www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za starting from R420 for under 18’s, R525 for students and pensioners, R735 for main members and R630 for a spouse.
An active marshal group patrol the routes to ensure they are in good condition and to police rogue riding. Please note that riders accessing the trails without displaying a valid permit on their bicycles are trespassing on private property. The BHRC MTB Trails network has several designated starting points with the latest route map available on the Trailforks app.
Route maintenance is an ongoing process. Trail-Blazers is constantly busy with trimming back overgrown sections, cutting grass, fixing erosion damage, clearing fallen trees and repairing damage caused by general farming activities. As part of the conservancy’s efforts in terms of job creation, local youths are employed where possible.
No hiking is permitted on the BHRC single tracks, but circular hiking trails on Mooiplaas and Koopmanskloof cross over the MTB routes. In addition, Zevenwacht Wine Estate offers a vineyard walking trail. Day permits are available directly from the respective tastings rooms – except for Koopmanskloof, which is on appointment via firstname.lastname@example.org. Zevenwacht also offers an annual walking/running permit – visit www.zevenwacht.co.za for more details.
For more information visit www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za and follow the social media pages: @BottelaryHillsConservancyMTB on Facebook and @bottelary_hills_conservancy on Instagram.