KZN Midlands - Mountain Biking Mecca

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 Midlands tour to suit your particular needs.

  • Trip Duration1 - 4 Day Tours
  • Daily DistancesDay 1: 40kmDay 2: 36kmDay 3: 35kmDay 4: 35-40km
  • Trail Grading3/ 5 - Fitness. Tours are flexible and can be adapted to suit riders of all ages and fitness. On the 3 Day MTB Meander (distances above) a moderate level of MTB experience is recommended.3/ 5 - Technicality. A moderate level of technical competency (or willingness to try) is advised to make the most of this tour. However, if you not technically inclined, more farm and jeep-track route options can also be organised.
  • Trail TerrainFarm and forestry roads, country roads, jeep track and lots of sublime single-track
  • Accommodation3-4 Star Country Guest Houses and B&B’s
  • Logistic SupportA fully guided and catered lodge-to-lodge tour with vehicle back-up and daily luggage transfersReturn transfer included
  • Group SizePreferred min 4 persons and max 14 pax / per guide
  • PricingFrom R6,900/pp/sharing – for a 3 Ride Day / 3 Night tour
At a Glance

The 3-4 day Midlands MTB Meander tour is a great introduction to the diverse mountain biking terrain on offer in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Beginning in the foothills of the Drakensberg (Lotheni) and making tracks to the small town of Howick, riders get to experience a diverse mix of landscapes from mist-belt grasslands to wetlands, montane forests and farmlands.

Enjoyable at all times of the year, but best during Winter and Autumn months, this tour combines handcrafted trails with pastoral scenery, warm hospitality, and some of the finest cuisine that the Midlands has to offer.

Midland's multiday tours are flexible and can be adapted to different levels of experience, fitness and interest. This tour can also be tailored to groups training for multi-stage events such as Sani2C or Joberg2C, with longer daily distances, ascents and more technical route options.

  1. Day 1Arrival Day: Afternoon arrival in Fort Nottingham, KZN Midlands

    Overnight: Fort Nottingham Guesthouse (Dinner)

  2. Day 2Ride Day 1: Transfer to Lotheni. Ride Lotheni (Umgeni Vlei) – Lions Bush (40km / 557m Ascent, 920m Descent , 3.5 – 4 hours)

    Todays ride is largely along farm tracks and provides riders with magnificent views of the Drakensberg foothills, expansive wetlands and mist-belt grasslands.

    Beginning at a lofty height of 1877m, the Drakensberg is highly visible on a clear day, giving you a real sense of riding in the mountains.

    The trail crosses the source of the Mgeni River and continues to descend through wild mountain terrain, towards one of the oldest and most successful working farms in the region. There is a steep descent before joining up with quiet country road.

    Overnight: Fort Nottingham Guesthouse (breakfast, packed lunch & dinner)

  3. Day 3Ride Day 2: Fort Nottingham to Currys Post (36km / 712m ascent, 912m descent / 3.5hrs )

    Today we cross several private farms. The last half of the ride sees you climbing out of the valley and, ascending 350m over a distance of 4km, but provides some absolutely magnificent views back over Balgowan and the Drakensberg mountains.

    Overnight: Curry's Post Country Lodge (breakfast, packed lunch & dinner)

  4. Day 4Ride Day 3: Currys Post to Karkloof (35km /3-4hrs)

    We’ll make our way along fast forestry tracks to Kyber Pass, where a stiff little climb stands between you and 8km of fast-flowing downhill track. After descending into the fertile Karkloof valley, you’ll make your way on farm and forestry tracks towards Thistledown Country House, arriving in time for lunch.

    Depending on your preference, the afternoon can be spent zip-lining through the trees on the Karkloof Canopy Tour, or simply relaxing at Thistledown. Your host is a renowned local chef, and this evening you will be treated to some of the best country style cooking in the Midlands. Bon appetit!

    Overnight: Karkloof Guesthouse (breakfast, packed lunch & dinner)

  5. Day 5Ride Day 4: Karkloof to Howick (35-40km /4hrs)

    After eggs benedict, today’s ride will start by crossing pig and dairy farms across to the Karkloof Country Club.

    From here you enter the heart of Karkloof single-track territory, where more technical riders can test their mettle on the curves, rock gardens and berms (less technical routes are also available).

    You will pass the impressive Karkloof Falls and follow the contours with some dips and dales, across to Howick for lunch at a local restaurant.

    Transfer provided back to your vehicles.

Looking out from Woodhouse Falls, Karkloof

3-4 Star Country Guest Houses and B&B’s in superb locations

Mostly all ensuite

Towels provided

Karkloof Guesthouse - Thistledown
  1. Do you hire bicycles?

    We much prefer you bring your own. If you are an international couple looking to hire, we will make a plan, but we dont keep a fleet of mountain bikes for hire.

  2. Do you offer day-trips?

    Potentially, but we prefer to offer overnight (2-4 day) trips.

  3. What is the best time of year for mountain biking in the Midlands?

    Autumn and Winter months (May - August) tend to be the most stable and dry. Summer months can be lovely, but also a higher chance of rain. Please avoid public holiday long weekends, and Christmas / Easter periods.

  4. How much experience and fitness do you need for these trips?

    Our multiday tours are flexible and can be adapted to different levels of experience, fitness and interest. We can custom design a trip along quiet country roads (gravel biking) or keep the singletrack flowing to your hearts content.

Midlands MTB Meander - 3 Ride Days/ 3 Nights

Group SizePrice (PP) 
2 Persons
R10 000/pp
4-5 Persons
R8 500/pp
6-9 Persons
R7 500/pp
Whats included in this tour
  • 3 Guided Ride Days - 1 Guide, 1 Back-up Vehicle
  • 3 Nights Accom (sharing basis): Guest Farm/ lodge near Fort Nottingham or Balgowan, 1 Night guesthouse - Karkloof
  • All meals: from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day (3 dinners, 3 breakfasts, 2 trail lunches)
  • Transfer logistics
  • Trail & Reserve Permits
  • Route Access negotiations & customisation