iSimangaliso: Four Days in MTB Paradise

Tamped hippo trails slip-sliding along the pampassy edge of the Western Shores estuary … Back-country bombing the wild and whippy cattle tracks of the Lebombo ranges … Game trail cranking amidst free-ranging rhino, giraffe, elephant and bone-crunching carnivores … Leisure cruising the emerald sand forests of the Eastern Shores section … Jeez bru.

Let’s put it this way: you name it, and iSimangaliso will be sure to tick that little box. Yup, bermed single-track, rock gardens, skittish downhill charges, mother-bastard climbs, head-space cruises, bush tunnel blasts … I get the shivers all over again just writing this.

We rode from dawn till dusk, navigating dusty tracks through Big 5 game reserves, slept in safari-style tents and bush lodges, protein-binged around the night-time braai fires, got our beers on, and drifted off to dreamland while night-jars trilled and heynas howled. And along the way, we soaked up every nuance of this incredible #iSimangaliso route as we traversed six distinct and incredibly diverse eco-systems.

Believe me when I say this is a mountain biking nirvanha of note, and to have four days in which to explore these trails is a bit like main-lining on 100% proof #2WheelStoke It was a bonus to ride with some legendary old and fit bullets – thank you Shane Webster, Fred Mittermayer and Julian. You guys are proper.

Superb backup from Lindy Duffield and Debbie Marshall Cooper – and a constant laugh track provided by Andy Carrie and Dane Forman – made this a ride that should come with a serious addiction warning. I will be back, with my #Slider, and with a stupid-huge grin on my face.

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