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sublime single-track and country roads

The beautiful KwaZulu-Natal Midlands offers arguably the best mountain biking in South Africa. Whether you are keen on riding the handcrafted single track of Howick and the Karkloof or taking a gentle ride through attractive farmlands and quiet country roads, stopping to visit local art studios and organic deli's along the way, we can customise a fully supported or self guided Midlands tour to suit your particular needs.

Given the wide open spaces and mountainous terrain it is no surprise that the Midlands is home to many passionate mountain bikers and organisations such as the Howick Mountain Bike Club, who through a system of sanctioned access with land owners such as Sappi, have created the largest network of single-track available in the country.

The Midlands community is very proud of their natural heritage and several conservancies and conservation NGO's are highly active in the region. The result is a well managed environment and a healthy relationship between conservation and mountain biking with many of the local races contributing portions of their earnings to these organisations.

Join us on a tour and experience the rich mountain biking culture in this neck of the woods!


From quiet country roads and jeep track to sweeping single-track or downhill thrills, Active Escape will tailor a daytrip, multi-day, or training tour to your group's fitness, proclivity & skills. We also offer skills and bike maintenance workshops.


  • The Karkloof Falls in full glory

    This 3-4 day tour from Lotheni to Karkloof, Howick combines the most scenic of farms, flowing tracks, comfy lodges & fine dining. Perfect for novince to intermediate riders.

  • Snuggling by the fire with a glass of red and your loved one, on a Lovers Weekend Retreat3B's: Boys, Bikes & Beers

    Satisfying the 3 B’s: Boys, Bikes...and beers. Come to the Karkloof with your ‘boek club’ and we’ll tailor a package that will have you returning home fitter, faster and hopefully not fatter.

  • mountain biking in the Karkoof in springDIAMONDS & DUST

    Gather your bikes and besties for a getaway in Midlands MTB Mecca. Rolling green hills, subliminal singletrack, and at the end of the day: a massage pampering, hot-tub, and glass of champagne.

Midlands MTB Tour Offerings


day-trip mountain biking tour in the Natal Midlands

Short on time or need a whetting of what the Midland's has to offer, come and do a half or full day's ride with us. Route and mileage will be personalised to your fitness & mtb experience. Whether its flowing single-track, scenic farm roads and cuppuchino's, or thrilling descents that you after.... we have a route to entice. Two is the preferred minimum, but do still enquire if you on your own. Bike hire can be arranged.

˝ Day Ride (2-3 hrs): R500/pp (based on a min 2pax)
Incl: professional trail guide, trail permit, refreshment + vehicle support

Full Day Ride (4-8hrs): R750/pp (based on a min 2pax)
Incl: proff trail guide, permit, trail snacks & refreshments + vehicle support

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Active Escapes offers many different options for a Midlands multi-day tour, based on your fitness, experience & budget

Active Escapes offer a number of multi-day MTB tours in the Midlands. Our routes are selected based on your skills, fitness and penchants, whilst also accommodating for your preference with overnight lodgings (luxury to more budget alternatives). Our 3-4 Day Midlands MTB Meander from Lotheni,through Balgowan, finishing in Howick - is a great option if you looking for charming scenery, comfy lodgings, sumptuous cuisine ... and a relatively easy 'time in the saddle'. If you keen to slot in as much single track as you can over a few days, then our routes in the Karkloof and Howick should definitely pack a punch. Multi-day roadie tours can also be arranged as can MTB tours for 'dirt roadies'... aka please avoid the single-track. Contact us now so we can give you some itinerary suggestions and then we'll customise a multi-day trip to your wishes and budget.

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3 B's: Bikes, Buddies & Beers »

learning to set gears on a bike maintenance workshop taken by a skilled mechanic

With a group of guys the requirements for a good weekend away are generally pretty simple: plenty of mountain biking on ridiculously good trails, time away with the boys and an endless supply of beer. So far we’ve found this a winning combination, and we’ve fine-tuned the experience to provide an unbeatable weekend break for groups of buddies. Experience the best of the Karkloof and Howick trail networks, trek secret routes to a private craft brewery, swim in waterfall pools and spend proper quality time with your mates away from day-to-day responsibilities and stress.

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dusty women rider

Life these days can be pretty full on, and at Active Escapes we understand this and realize the need for proper time-off. That’s why we’ve designed Diamonds & Dust, a mountain biking trip that includes full days on your bike with your best friends, sparkled up with massages, hot tubs and chilled champagne. Our aim is to provide you with top notch riding on the famous KZN Midlands trail networks, combined with a relaxed space to spend fun time with your friends. With a two and three night option, Diamonds & Dust is sure to provide special memories with your besties, your bicycles and the beautiful KZN Midlands as the backdrop for it all.

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pack in as much single-track as you can on a weekend mountain bike escape in the natal midlands

Don't get to ride your bike as much as you should? When you do, you want to pack in the best of the riding that an area has to offer? That's two good reasons why you should join our Weekend Warrior tour. Accompanied by a professional trail guide (who can assist with bike surgery enroute), you will enjoy the best of the Midland's tracks packed into a full weekend of trail riding. Vehicle backup means you'll have a lift to call & we'll take care of your accommodation, meals, and organise point-to-point luggage transfers, so all you need to do is ride your bike. Coz we all wish we had more time to do just that!

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participating in a multi-day stage event requires you put in the training

The mountainous terrain and sublime single track of the Midlands provide the ideal training ground for multi-day events such as Sabie, Sani & Joburg2C as well one day marathons such as Karkloof and Hill2Hill. Whether it's base, strength, skills or endurance training you require, the daily distance, ascent and technicality of our tour will be customised to suit your needs. Longer training tours typically start in the foothills of the Drakensberg and finish in Howick whilst shorter training weekends can be arranged with clover-leaf routes from a centrally located Midlands farmstay.

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