About the challenge
South Africa is a land of incredible contrast and beauty. It possesses a vast array of landscapes, from spectacular coastline to a verdant, mountainous interior – which offer some of the most varied and enjoyable cycling on the continent.
Our ride takes us along the famous Garden Route, passing sweeping, deserted beaches and heading inland through vineyards, indigenous bush and forested mountain slopes. We finish on the beach at Gordon’s Bay, with vistas across to Cape Peninsula and the Cape of Good Hope.
March trips offer the extra buzz of joining thousands of other cyclists on the Cape Town sportive* around the roads of the Cape Peninsula – an unforgettable way to end your ride!
*The Cape Sportive Supplement of £175 on March dates
Part Payment option available on this challenge
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|05 Mar 2017||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4700||Or||£2125||Book now|
|06 Oct 2017||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4350||£1950||Book now|
|04 Mar 2018||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4700||£2125||Book now|
|05 Oct 2018||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4350||£1950||Book now|
Spectacular coastal scenery of famed Garden Route
Exhilarating road climbs and descents
March departure takes in closed road sportive on the Cape
Stay in hotels along stunning south coast
Days 1-2: Depart London for Port Elizabeth and the surf capital of Jeffrey’s Bay
Days 3-5: Sweeping beaches and tough climbs on mountain roads via Knysna and Mossel Bay
Days 6-7: Rolling roads through vineyards and amazing coastal scenery around False Bay to Cape Town
Days 8-10: Join thousands of cyclists on the famous Cape Town sportive* around Cape Peninsula; fly Cape Town to UK
*Applicable to March date only, free day to explore on October date
What makes it demanding?
Distances range from 80-115km
Undulating coastline and steep mountain climbs
Occasional sections on hardpacked dirt
Heat adds to challenge
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The trip cost includes all accommodation, as well as all flights and transport; bedding except sleeping bag liner; all meals except as specified in the itinerary. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of guides, cooks and drivers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, airline fuel supplement if charged by the airline, two meals as specified, tips for local crew, or international departure tax. Please note, bike carriage or hire are not included in this challenge. It also does not include any extra food, drinks, personal items or entry to any optional tourist sites you may wish to visit. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs & other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights) and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with South African Airlines or British Airways and Comair, however, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.
Accommodation is in hotels/lodges in great locations. They are comfortable, though standards may vary. In Cape Town we stay in a good 2-3* hotel.
All food is included All food is included except for meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is varied and plentiful. Please let us know any dietary requirements well in advance.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities and you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Our main luggage will be carried by vehicles that move the bags and equipment between the night-stops each day. Space each night is limited and hard-sided luggage is not recommended, so we suggest your kit is packed in a soft rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should bring a daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, drivers and cooks. Your local guide knows the local area well, and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Drivers and cooks do not always speak much English but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely.Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the wage in this country for many people is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
Distances vary from approx. 80-147km, with some stiff climbs. Roads are predominantly smooth tarmac and super riding. We ride some sections of hard-packed dirt to avoid traffic; these are frequently ridden by road bikes, but may add to the challenge. Traffic is usually light and we will cycle at our own pace, but there may be times where we have to re-group.
We recommend you bring your own road bike, though bikes can be rented in-country – please request details well in advance.
This ride is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance. We supply a thorough training guide on registration.
It is imperative that you supply your own helmet and wear it at all times while cycling, with straps done up.
It is generally hot during the day, though it can be cooler in the hills and at night. Climate is influenced by the mountains and the coast and can change rapidly. Average temperatures for Cape Town range between 11-24°C.
Clothing & Equipment
We are travelling through varied terrain and could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Our trips are graded from Challenging (Grade 1) to Extreme (Grade 5). This ride is graded Demanding (2). Main challenges lie in the strenuous climbs and long mileages on some days.
Many factors influence Challenge Grading, such as terrain, distances, climate, living conditions, etc. The grade reflects the overall trip; some days are likely to feel more challenging than others. Unusual weather conditions also have a significant impact, and not all people are tested by the same aspects.
Our grading levels are intended as a guide, but span a broad spectrum; trips within the same grade will still vary in the level of challenge provided.
Passport & Visa
A ten-year passport is essential and must be valid for at least 1 month after departure from South Africa. There is currently no visa requirement for UK citizens.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Malaria is not prevalent in South Africa. A Yellow Fever certificate is essential only if arriving from an infected area. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! Travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow trekkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before Responsible or Sustainable Tourism became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.