Road Cycling Holidays in South Africa ~ Road cycling holidays are not something you associate with the vastness of South Africa – you definitely won’t manage to see the whole of the country on your bike.
Not unless you have months at your disposal (there are those who happily cycle Victoria Falls to Cape Town in 21 days!).
Certain parts of the country lend themselves more naturally to road cycling holidays in South Africa than others.
We take you through the best areas for road cycling holidays in South Africa – just keep scrolling.
But first …
How to See the Best of South Africa on Your Bike
Self-drive road cycling holidays in South Africa
It is possible to do it yourself.
Planning ahead using maps, and booking your Accommodation separately is one of the most enjoyable holidays to plan – the Western Cape alone has over 2 000 km of tar roads, jeep tracks and forest and mountain trails at your disposal.
And the Garden Route is extremely popular to cycle at your own pace.
Organised tours for road cycling holidays, South Africa
But often it’s easier to let someone else take the responsibility for arranging the logistics of a road cycling holiday for you.
In which case there are plenty of reputable tour companies who have pre-packaged cycling tours, or bespoke trips.
Road cycling holidays, South Africa, when you don’t have the cash
You could do similar to Teresie Hommersand, who is crowdfunding (raising funds for charity) her road cycling trip from South Africa to Norway! Teresie came to South Africa lured by Devil’s Peak (she’s not the only traveller to fall for Cape Town’s mountains) for a year’s study abroad (she stayed for six years).
Averaging 50-60 km a day, her trip will take her a year…
When to go road cycling in South Africa
All year round!
South Africa has glorious weather throughout the year. That said, there are parts of the country you’ll prefer in different seasons.
For instance: do the Namaqualand during spring when the flowers are in, and don’t cycle the Kruger National Park, or the Cederberg, during peak summer if you don’t enjoy the (extreme) heat. The Drakensberg and Eastern Cape passes will have snow during winter.
So, do your homework ahead of your trip.
Best parts of the country for road cycling holidays in South Africa
CAPE POINT & THE WINELANDS
Cape Town has plenty of bike routes – MTB and road routes. But some of the most popular cycling holidays are the trip between the City Bowl and Cape Point – a distance of around 60 km and easy to do over a few days, taking in the seaside villages en route.
Or, the Winelands – nothing quite beats wine tasting by bicycle!
Book your Accommodation: Where To Stay in the Cape Winelands
Nothing tops South Africa’s Garden Route.
The Garden Route is a stretch of coastline between Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay (roughly 200 km long) along which is such a display of natural beauty, and agreeable places to visit that you are spoiled for choice.
Book your Accommodation: Where To Stay in the Garden Route
South Africa’s answer to the British Midlands, but with a great deal more ideal weather, the Midlands Meander easily translates into a self-drive cycling holiday along its 80 km meandering lanes and roads.
The route is a must for its combination of quaint villages, foodie pleasure, and artists.
Book Your Accommodation: Where To Stay in the Natal Midlands
South Africa’s Wild Coast is at once remarkable and beautiful.
But be warned: its effect is virtually tranquilising, it’s so calming.
The combination of remote and wild countryside, rich in ragged cliff-lined beaches, valleys, coastal forests and seaside villages, brings both perspective and down time.
Book Your Accommodation: Where To Stay in the Wild Coast
If you think Table Mountain is iconic, then you have yet to experience the Drakensberg’s table top peaks that soar to heights of over 3 000 metres.
This wall of mountain forms the boundary between South Africa and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, loved by hikers and seekers of beauty alike.
Book Your Accommodation: Where To Stay in Drakensberg
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
The idea of cycling in one of the world’s largest wild game parks will probably raise a couple of eyebrows.
But there are mountain bike trails from Olifants Rest Camp, whilst accompanied by armed field guides. If you’re a ‘serious’ cyclist, then there’s always K2C Cycle Tour.
Book Your Accommodation: Where To Stay in Kruger National Park
The Namaqualand, roughly 5 hours’ from Cape Town, extends along the West Coast for over 1000 kilometres, divided by the Orange River into two sections: Little Namaqualand to the south, and Great Namaqualand to the north.
The flowers, if they occur, happen between August and October.
Book Your Accommodation: Where To Stay in Namaqualand
Known as the world’s longest wine route, Route 62 winds through the heart of the Klein Karoo across a series of mountain passes and through the Breede River and Langkloof valleys.
Wine and fruit farms, quaint towns, and superb scenery across 850 km between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth are yours to explore.
Book Your Accommodation: Where To Stay on Route 62
The largely undeveloped wilderness area known as the Cederberg after the Cedar tree once found prolifically in the area, is where rooibos tea and buchu grow naturally.
It’s also an outdoor escape riddled with hiking routes to extraordinary rock formations, and caves filled with San rock art.
Book Your Accommodation: Where To Stay in the Cederberg
EASTERN CAPE’S 8 MOUNTAIN PASSES
These challenging routes through the same mountains that, a little further north west become the Drakensberg, are aimed at hardened cyclists as they’re long and arduous. The beauty of the place is worth any discomfort.
Book Your Accommodation: Where To Stay in Eastern Cape