South Africa cycling holiday

Description of South Africa cycling holiday

Cycle South Africa's spectacular scenery, enjoy our fine wines and gourmet cuisine, stay in our luxurious and ethical accommodation and discover the challenges of our new democracy

WHAT SETS US APART?

• Our trips are exclusive (not shared with strangers) fully customised, guided and portered.
• Pricing is fully inclusive of top-end bicycle hire, luxurious accommodation, most meals and wine and all guiding/transport.
• We cater for individuals, couples, or private small groups (up to 8 guests).
• We can accommodate similar or mixed ability groups and even non-cyclists on the same trip.
• Fully flexible departure dates year-round.
• Every component of the trip, from the accommodation, to bike suppliers, to transport, guiding and food is all sourced from suppliers who pass our stringent tests of responsibility both to people and planet. We as your travel planner are fully accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, as are all the accommodation suppliers.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

• Rides along South Africa’s most scenic routes such as along the Atlantic Coast, around the Cape Peninsula, over famous mountain passes, along vineyard avenues and through nature reserves full of wildlife
• Riding sections of the routes of two of the most famous South African cycle races, The Cape Argus and The Cape Epic.
• Minimum four-star standard accommodation, all Fair Trade in Tourism accredited
• Top-end bikes (carbon frames) supplied and serviced by professional cyclists all along the route
• Cycling between 40 and 130km per day, fully supported, portered and guided by vehicle every day
• Option to take e-bikes or load your bike onto the van at any stage of any ride
• Non-cyclists welcome and accommodated on the trip
• Qualified and insured guides who ride with you on their own bike for the full trip
• World-class food and wine throughout the trip with scheduled lunch stops and cycle-friendly places
• Option to be fully guided, partially guided and self-guided as you choose
• Fully customisable to your preferences: choose more on-road or more off-road cycling, include rest days between rides, factor in safaris, days at the beach or any other customisation: we’ll build a bespoke version of this trip for you with pleasure.


TRIP OVERVIEW
Day 1 and Day 2 Two nights at Parker Cottage, Cape Town. Bike fitting and a short ride around town through Woodstock and the Atlantic Seaboard.

Day 3: First ride of 130km around the Cape Peninsula ending up at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands that night.

Day 4: Leave Newlands and ride 75km to Stellenbosch via the West Coast and stay overnight at the Oude Werf Hotel. Lunch at Durbanville Hills.

Day 5: Short ride of 75km up Helshoogte Pass. Lunch at Val de Vie estate. Overnight at splendid Bartholomeusklip Farm.

Day 6: Riding the spectacular Bainskloof Pass. Lunch at the Bersig Estate Bistro, ending off at The Tulbagh Hotel.

Day 7: Off-road cycle routes at Boschendal Farm. Lunch and transfer to Cape Town International.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1On your first day, relax after your flight and enjoy the village of Tamboerskloof (where Parker Cottage is situated), perhaps strolling down to Kloof Street for a coffee and a browse in the bookshops and art galleries. Your accommodation for the first two nights is Parker Cottage. It was built by the first mayor of what was then called Greater Cape Town as two separate houses in 1895. John Parker was an interesting figure: having arrived utterly destitute in Cape Town from Glasgow aged 15, he luckily managed to get training as a draughtsman, which lead him to become the architect and then eventually the mayor, adding many hundreds of extant buildings to the Cape Town landscape. These days, Parker Cottage isn’t exactly a cottage as the two houses have been combined very sensitively into one grand mansion now boasting ten en-suite bedrooms. The owners, Pamela and Frederic, have done an amazing job of retaining the charm of this old building but adding all the modern conveniences you’d expect at the four-star level. Parker Cottage is unique in Cape Town as being one of the very few heritage buildings that’s almost completely off grid for water, electricity and heating/cooling and of course, it’s Fair Trade Accredited.
Day 2:On your second day, you’ll be collected from Parker Cottage by Chris Hannival of Hannival’s Tours and taken to iRide Africa in Mowbray for your bike fitting. We’ll then do a short ride back to Parker Cottage stopping off in Woodstock, the Old Town and the Winchester Mansion Hotel for lunch. The afternoon is free in case you’d like to visit Table Mountain or the V&A Waterfront.
Day 3:Today you’ll start your ride from Parker Cottage and head south along the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range (the western side of Table Mountain). You’ll ride all the way along the western coastline of the Cape Peninsula, riding up and down the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive and through the seaside villages of Kommetjie and Scarborough. The ride is 132km and a map link can be found below. If there’s time, we’ll take a detour into the Cape Point park and cycle right to the ‘tip of Africa’, before stopping for a well-deserved lunch at The Black Marlin near Simonstown. Your accommodation for the night is just a little further on at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands (Constantia). With over 200 years of history within its walls, The Vineyard is situated in six acres of attractive landscaped parkland on the banks of the Liesbeek River. This beautiful building is most unusual for its time in that it was built then a very long way away from Cape Town itself and over two stories in a Regency (rather than a Cape Dutch) style. It was the original home of Lady Anne Barnard but on conversion into a hotel had extensions designed by highly acclaimed architects Jack Barnett and Revel Fox. It is filled with works by leading South African artists and offers rooms ranging from single to family suites, both mountain and courtyard facing. There are two restaurants with reputations in their own rights at the Vineyard: “the Square”, a great favourite for breakfast and dinner, as well as a popular sushi bar and Myoga Restaurant which offers a modern fusion style of cooking. Myoga is open for lunch and dinner and the Square for breakfast and dinner. The hotel offers its guests two swimming pools - one outdoor, surrounded by loungers and one heated indoor pool. You’ll be pleased to hear that after a long day in the saddle there is a world-class spa on site too.
Day 4:Today you’ll take a much shorter ride along the West Coast, which is the coastline that stretches north from Cape Town. You’ll stop off for lunch at the delightful Durbanville Hills Winery, now a major exporter of wine across the planet. After a bit more time in the saddle, we’ll head south again to the historic Winelands ‘capital’ of Stellenbosch which happens to also be a university town. The centre is a maze of beautiful tree-lined streets, cafes, restaurants, antique shops and small owner-managed stores. The Oude Werf which is right in the heart of the old centre combines a centuries-old heritage as South Africa’s oldest continuously operating hotel with luxury contemporary comforts and intimate hospitality. Whilst it has over 50 rooms and suites it feels like you’re staying in a much smaller establishment. Enjoy classic Cape flavours and vintages at the superb restaurant (which is interestingly a popular choice with locals, not just residents) and the vine-covered courtyard. The pool area is particularly interesting being framed on the one side by the newer block of rooms and on the other by the original building.
Day 5:The cycling today takes you north from Stellenbosch up the Helshoogte Pass which is a long but highly worthwhile climb to reach the summit. After this, if there is time we’ll cycle on to Franschhoek for a look around this lovely town and either stop off there or at Val de Vie which is more on our way north. After the city stays of Cape Town, Newlands and Stellenbosch, you’ll find Bartholomeus Klip to be another world of utter tranquillity. It’s an upmarket destination, below a spectacular mountain range and comprises a working farm with wheatlands, flocks of sheep but also a game reserve with buffalo and a tortoise breeding project. The contrast between the two worlds of conservation and agriculture is as far as we know unique in South Africa and makes for a fascinating visit. There is ample walking, canoeing and birdwatching right from your front door or you can use the splendid surroundings to switch off and relax. There are only five rooms in the farmhouse so there are never more than ten guests staying at a time You are welcome to make the house your own, perhaps in one of the reception rooms where an open fire crackles in the winter months, or on the broad verandah that winds around the house and catches the late afternoon sun. There are four double rooms with bathrooms in the beautifully furnished farmhouse and one separate suite outside, with its own secluded verandah looking over the veld and up to the mountains. Finishes everywhere are luxurious and stylish, with crisp cotton bedding and elegant fabrics. The restaurant at BK deserves special mention. Resident Chef Louise Gillett’s imaginative fusion of traditional South African and classic recipes, made mostly from a variety of local ingredients, produce an ongoing feast of delicacies, all day long, from breakfast over brunch and lunch to high tea and dinner. The emphasis is on sourcing local fresh seasonal produce, the menu changes weekly, and is an eclectic celebration of South African and international cuisine, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The bistro has cosy fireplaces for winter, and a beautiful terrace and courtyard for summer al fresco dining.
Day 6:We leave Bartholomeusklip today, heading south back through Wellington to cross the Bainskloof Pass. If the weather’s fine, we’ll take a dip in one of the cool mountain pools along the way. Our lunch stop is the Bistro at the Bergsig Estate which is just after the downhill section of the Bainskloof Pass. The Tulbagh Hotel’s buildings date from the late 1800s and in fact so does most of the street: two of the hotel’s rooms look out on to this beautifully preserved streetscape. You’ll be delighted to hear that there’s also a spa on site. You’re staying in the Honeymoon Suite which has been created inside the original carriage house of the building: expect open thatch ceilings, two fireplaces and an intimate lounge area. The hotel offers three pool areas, free Wi-Fi throughout and an in-house beauty therapist. All areas have air conditioning and there are cosy wood-burning fires for winter evenings. The Tulbagh also offers two in-house sustenance options: their Karee Wine Bar offers local draught beers, craft gin cocktails and a wide selection of local wines. There is a tapas menu, with a South African influence, and gourmet pizzas from the wood fired oven and also the Olive Terrace Bistro offers à la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The emphasis is on sourcing local fresh seasonal produce, the menu changes weekly, and is an eclectic celebration of South African and international cuisine, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The bistro has cosy fireplaces for winter, and a beautiful terrace and courtyard for summer al fresco dining.
Day 7:On your last day, you’ll be collected from The Tulbagh Hotel and driven to Boschendal for your last ride of the trip. Boschendal has so much to offer it’s at first a little overwhelming: apart from the obvious wine tasting and wine sales, they offer a dining option and an informal café (both of which are simply excellent) along with a delicatessen, over 200km of mountain biking trails, lush and verdant gardens, picnics on the ample lawns under shady trees as well as concerts and events all year round. You could stay forever! We’ll be renting mountain bikes directly from Elrico who runs the mountain biking concession at the estate: there is a large variety of trails from an easy 6km to a bone-rattling 40km Black XXL run so take your pick! Elrico can also guide you on any of the trails. After your ride, there are great showering facilities and of course the pick of Boschendal’s eateries for refreshment. Your driver Chris Hannival will be available to take you back to the airport.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South Africa cycling holiday

Environment

HOW DO WE MINIMIZE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT?
Our Ethical South African Cycling Adventure has been carefully designed to minimize environmental impact and maximize benefits to local people in a meaningful way.
All cycling routes on this trip take place on public roads or on specially allocated off-road cycling tracks on private land (for which a maintenance and conservation fee is paid). In keeping with our conservation policy, we do not cycle on land that isn't maintained for cycling or go off tar on land that forms part of national park land.
All the accommodation on this trip is fully accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. This international accrediting body requires establishments to go through a rigorous 12-month audit of every aspect of their business cycle, including water and waste management and ethical procurement of supplies. As such, you can be assured that waste and water is managed to the highest international standards and supplies such as food and linen are ethically sourced from local companies.
All waste created during the journey itself (water bottles, food packaging, bicycle tubes and bombs) are all collected in the van and recycled responsibly).
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Community

HOW DOES THIS TRIP SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITIES?
Our Ethical South African Cycling Adventure has been carefully designed to minimize environmental impact and maximize benefits to local people in a meaningful way.
Your driver and vehicle guide on this trip is Chris Hannival who is a self-employed qualified and registered tour guide and driver. He grew up in apartheid-era South Africa in District Six, an area which was razed by the government and all the families forcibly removed to desolate locations outside the city. Despite this difficult start, Chris has built up his company to be the sole supplier to our travel planning company and receives rave reviews from his clients.
All the accommodation on this trip is fully accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. This international accrediting body requires establishments to go through a rigorous 12-month audit of every aspect of their business cycle including HR policy. As such, you can be assured that all staff at your accommodation venues are paid a decent, living wage (not a minimum wage) and hold detailed, negotiated contracts in line with international best practice.
The bikes on this trip are supplied by two small independent companies based in the southern suburbs of Cape Town; they service and maintain their own bicycles using local staff who are paid a living wage too. Both suppliers have an on-going relationship with local development cycling initiatives where older bikes and parts are upcycled into the development community. We encourage our cycling guests to bring cycling items to donate (see more on this below).

OUR OPERATIONAL POLICY
We are a small and highly personalised private travel planning company: as such, we never build or conduct the same journey twice. Thus whilst this cycling journey comes with an itinerary, this is entirely open to changes. We can include rest days, ethical wildlife encounters, more or less cycling, wine tasting, ethical tours of particular areas of interest (architecture, flora, history, public art) and several other modifications. All our journeys are private and built exclusively for you.
We are a registered business but we operate as a not-for-profit: this means that once our overheads have been covered for any given year, 100% of the profits for the company are donated to needy organisations that operate in our area.
We support St. Paul’s Primary School, a school in the Cape Town City Bowl that caters for children who live in some of the poorest districts of the city. The school has a particularly high success rate despite the challenges that many of the children face in their communities. We offer two full scholarships (uniforms and fees) every year to some of the neediest children.
Within St. Pauls there is a division of the Shine Centres – a literacy intervention project located in several schools in Cape Town. They assess all the children in the school each year and conduct specific literacy interventions to fast-track reading ages so that children can re-enter the mainstream classrooms. We donate our time in training teachers and supplying stationary to the project.
Cape Town has a particular problem with homelessness for children and young adults. As such, we support the work of the Haven – a series of night shelters for the homeless and indigent across Cape Town with clothing, food and financial donations.
Coming from a family of dancers, we always pay attention to the needs of Zama Dance School – a grassroots dance school located in one of the most deprived areas of Cape Town. Other journeys we offer visit the school and there is a chance to interact with teachers, the founder and pupils alike.
We support the work of Pack for a Purpose – we encourage our clients to donate some space in their luggage to bring items with them that are needed locally. If the journey is equipment specific (e.g. cycling or hiking) we ask our clients to donate boots or helmets to local development initiatives which Pack for a Purpose redistributes for us.

OUR PROCUREMENT POLICY
We make use of small, owner-managed companies such as ourselves for our clients’ needs that are based locally, employ at senior level or are directed/owned by previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs). We also personally engage with these companies on an annual basis to establish where and how the communities they visit have been supported by their business. Typical examples include:

Hannival’s Tours – Chris Hannival is the owner and director of Hannival’s and is himself a PDI. Chris conducts all our local one-day tours to the Peninsula, Winelands, Overberg and many more. Chris grew up in District Six, the area of Cape Town that was slowly erased from the map by the apartheid-era government.
Ekyma Tours – Ron Martin owns and manages his own guiding company which focuses on the history of the ‘first people’ of South Africa, the San, KhoiSan and !Kung people.
Camissa Tours – owned and managed by PDIs Khonaye and Samantha, Camissa offers ethical tours of Cape Town’s disadvantaged areas
Coffeebeans Routes – multi-award winning and Fair Trade accredited company offering engaging and perspective-altering tours around Cape Town and Johannesburg
Uthando SA – umbrella organisation that creates visiting opportunities to grassroots organisations in some of Cape Town’s most deprived areas.
Around About Cars – small and independent car rental company with a nationwide reach. Owner-managed with a PDI director and an all-PDI staff.
Parker Cottage, Oude Werf, Vineyard Hotel and many others – we try to only use accommodation suppliers who are fully accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. We aim to use a minimum of 50% FTT accommodation suppliers and 50% of PDI businesses
Fyndraai Restaurant, Solms Delta and many others – we try to only use dining venues who pay their staff living wages (over and above tips) and make a special effort to source their food supplies from local, sustainable farms and small-scale suppliers.

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