The Pondo-Pedal Mountain Bike tour is the perfect tour to cut your teeth on if you looking for a whetting of wild coast trail riding, and are perhaps a little short of leave, resources... or looking for a stepping stone to the Lower Wild Coast MTB Adventure.
Our 3 day Pondo-Pedal to Mtentu and back, packs the adventure and experience of Wild Coast riding into a cost-effective long weekend. Starting out at the Wild Coast casino (Port Edward), we'll cycle through to the newly renovated Mtentu Lodge. Spend a free day paddling up the gorgeous Mtentu estuary, swimming under forgotten falls in Mkambati Nature reserve or cycling through to Msikaba. We'll spend two nights at the lodge before cycling back to the Wild Coast casino via a different route. Depending on the time and tides, we'll cycle a beach route one way and an inland route the next - stopping at local villages for a cold quart or a plunge in one of the natural pools along the way.
Read our Blog Post about our recent adventure here.
The Pondo-pedal tour can be extended down to Mbotyi or even as far as Port St John's, depending on your support and back-up requirements. However these tour extensions will be customised tours so we'll provide a quote on request.
General Trail Description
Tours are best timed to coincide with a full or new moon period so we can take advantage of the hard-pack beaches created by the spring low tides. The route is reasonably technical with some short, but steep, hills, some tricky sections along cattle paths and long sections of beach riding so a reasonable level of fitness and mountain biking skills are recommended.
||Standard Pondo-Pedal Package:
3 Days / 2 Nights / 2 Ride Days with 'free' day at Mtentu for hiking, own cycling, beach swimming, snorkelling or paddling up the Mtentu estuary.
||Dependent on Route Choice & Tides:
D1: Wild Coast Casino – Mtentu Lodge via Beach route: 28 – 35km
D2: Mtentu – WC Casino via Nyameni Waterfall: 38 – 45km
||Grade 3: a moderate level of MTB fitness and good overall fitness is recommended for this tour. Whilst the daily distances may not seem that high there will be some steep climbs, slow-going sections and portaging will be required in parts.
||Grade 3: some technical skills are useful to be able to stay on your bike through soft sand and rutted paths. However, pushing & portaging sections is always an option and in many instances, a necessity.
||Coastal Mountain Bike Trail: beach riding (though there is also an option to do two inland routes to avoid beach), cattle and jeep tracks, some 4x4 gravel road sections. There are some steep, rocky or soft sand sections on which you may have to push or portage your bike, as well as a potential river crossing or two.
||Wood and thatch lodge on the stunning Mtentu estuary - bedding & towels provided. 4 person chalets with communal showers, toilets and dining boma.
||Fully Supported and Guided Mountain Bike Tour. Trail guide to accompany on both trail days (free day – for own activities), luggage transfer provided to the lodge and back to WC Casino, all meals provided.
** Groups can opt NOT to have the luggage transfer at a reduced fee.
||Mzamba river and beach, riding through friendly rural villages, the red sand dunes (proposed dune mining site), the spectacular Nyameni waterfall, crystal clear plunge pools, Fanta Pine at the local Spaza store, Nyameni & Sikombe mouth, Mtentu Lodge, canoeing up the Mtentu estuary, a dose of ozone therapy from the Horseshoe waterfall in Mkambati Nature Reserve, hiking up the Mkambati River and discovering scenes which would rival a scene from ‘The Beach’.
||Swimming, hiking, canoeing up the Mtentu estuary, horse riding (can be organised as a morning activity on the free day), birding, snorkelling at Mtentu mouth.
|Fauna & Flora
||Pristine grassland & estuarine forests. The Pondoland Centre of Endemism is one of the most important centres of plant diversity & endemism in Africa with over 2 253 recorded flora species, 196 of which are endemic to the region.
Mild sub-tropical climate with small seasonal temperature variation. Summer months (Nov – Feb), avg max daily temperatures of around 27-29 degrees C, whilst winter months (June – Aug) avg 21 deg C. Night temps seldom drops below 10 deg C in winter and average around 15 deg C in summer. The Wild Coast is a relatively high rainfall area (approx 1000mm annually) with most rain received from summer thunderstorms (avg of 150mm/month in Nov – Feb), whilst the driest months, June-Aug produce an average of 40mm/month.
|Seasonality & Best Time Year
||It is best to avoid the hotter and wetter months of November - late Feb and the peak school holiday periods.
Spring and Autumn are lovely times of year, whilst winter months provide the least chance of rain and comfortable daily temperatures. We also try to time tours over a full or new moon period to take advantage of the Spring low-tides.
||Preferred minimum of 4 persons – maximum of 18 persons per single guided group.
|Price / PP
Standard 3 Day / 2 Night / 2 Ride Day Pondo-Pedal Package:
4 Persons: R2700/pp
6-7 persons: R2400/pp
9-10 persons: R2200/pp
13 persons or less: less than R2000/pp
- 3 Days / 2 Nights / 2 Guided Ride Days
- 2 Full Ride days with professional trail guide + free day at Mtentu for hiking, snorkelling, swimming, more biking or paddling up the estuary
- 2 Nights at Mtentu Lodge
- All meals from Dinner on arrival night to packed lunch for departure day ( 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts & 2 lunches)
- 4x4 Luggage Transfers to/back from lodge to WC Casino