To get to the African Ivory Route’s Baleni Camp, you have to bundu-bash your way beyond the town of Giyani into the beatiful bush veldt unfolding along the banks of the Klein Letaba River.
This is not far from the border fence of the Kruger National Park and – although there are no dangerous game here in the tribal grazing lands of the local Shangaan community – you will feel like you are a thousand miles away from the proverbial rat race.
But before you get to Baleni, you first have to go on a mission to find the world’s biggest baobab at Sunlands. Inside this tree – with a circumference of more than 46m – you will find a bar. And if you’re insistent enough, you’ll be able to convince the locals to serve you an ice-cold quart inside the tree. Pretty cool.
It is a rather rugged gravel road in the the camp, so an off-road vehicle is a good option to have. Good thing we had the ISUZU, as this gave us an additional reason to explore and play along the endless off-road tracks slip-sliding along the river banks.
Once you’re at Baleni, though, you’ll be outside a lot more than inside. The trail running and birding is pretty epic, but the mountain biking is the absolute bomb. The terrain is similar to the legendary TOUR DE TULI, with fast and flowing single-tracks blasting through thick mopane veldt.
Watch the haak-and-steek and buffalo thorn, as we came home with some excellent war wounds, and massive smiles to match. So get outside – bring all your roys, and go wild in Baleni! More info at www.africanivoryroute.co.z
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