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Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Eddie, have you seen the GroPro footage - link

Lourens, Head Guide at Olifants is active on the forums, but he is away until 9 August. I will ask him to post some answers here for you when he gets back to work.
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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby Lourens » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:19 pm

Hi everyone,

Sensitive topic... :hmz:

I wish I had more guides to do all the activities, and not showing any guests away who would like to do the Mountain Bike Trails and the more popular activities.

The Mountain bikes are done in the morning and afternoon, if the manpower allows it, and it is for minimum 2 pax above 16 years of age and older, above 65 years need to provide a medical certificate to proof you are fit and healthy. Maximum of 6 pax per trail.

We only have ONE route, and anyone can view the gopro footage to be able to see what it is like.

We do provide the bicycles, but you may bring your own mountain bike as well. It is NOT a fitness test at all, but a guided activity and we cycle between 7km's and 15km's- depending on which mountain bike trail booked.

The bikes are more about the excercise than animal sightings, even though I have seen the big 5 and Wild Dogs on the bike route before.

You have to stay in Olifants Rest Camp to have the possibility to do the Mountain Bike Trails, and Phalaborwa Gate is also offering the Mountain bike Trails- Donavan Terblanche can be emailed regarding this at donavan.terblanche@sanparks.org, but do need your own bikes and routes are available from 20 km's to 32 km's.


I will be back at work on the 9th of August, but hope it explains things a bit better???

Regards,

Lourens Botha.
Last edited by Lourens on Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby Waterbuck » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:29 am

Hi Mounties
I have read as much as I can about the Mountain Bike trial at Olifants and seems (like with all Kruger activities) that there is a wide range of opinions. Well, I am the kind of guy that wants to go and find out how it is......first hand. I will be doing the trial later this month, but some questions are still playing in my head:
1. I can understand that we won't be riding top of the range bikes, but are the bikes in a reasonable condition?
2. I know they provide snacks and water, but should I also carry some anyway?
3. Any advise or other opinions will be great?
4. I'll be going at the end of September, leaving 05:30 am: do I wear shorts or longs. Cycling pants or just my plain old shorts?

:hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:
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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby Lourens » Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:09 am

:D Hi everyone,

Waterbuck went with us on a Mountain Bike Trail, and I am hoping he will post a sightings report regarding his experience.

Regarding the Skukuza trail, I emailed the Camp manager.

:D
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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby Waterbuck » Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:23 am

Hi all - I have written a fairly detailed account of the mountain biking at Olifants under my trip report called Come with MEEEEEEEEEE!!!, which you can find HERE
Without repeating what I have written there, I can confidently say that this mountain bike ride from Olifants is an absolute thrill.
We had a great ride and although something could go wrong with a bike, or you may have to go with a group that may not have the same level of fitness as you.......all of this is immaterial once one realizes the great privilege of riding in Kruger.
In fact, on our ride there were some minor issues with the bikes of the people that brought their own as opposed to the KNP bikes.
Accolades and thanks to the work Lourens does to keep these rides going.
I don't think most of us realize how much work it takes to keep a fleet of bikes in good shape and to cater (with a smile) to everyone's needs.
Well done Lourens!! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby Eddie Lubbe » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:15 am

Another reason why it would be great to expand the mountain biking activities is one of availability. It is not always possible to get accommodation at Olifants. I for one have been unsuccessful for the past 2 years and as yet could not find accommodation for next year. The activity is also only provided during the morning, which means that driving from any other camp to Olifants is not possible.

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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby Eddie Lubbe » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:38 pm

I have just made my booking for the mtb trail at Olifants for next year. I was told that the minimum number of guests taken on the trail is 2, which is perfectly understandable from a costing point of view. When I asked if I could pay for 2 guests in the event of no other people booking, I was told that is not an issue of costs - Sanparks' policy is to take a minimum of 2 guests on the trail, in other words 4 people in total, including the guides, regardless if you pay for 2 people or not.

Does that sound right?

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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby Waterbuck » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:02 pm

Hi Eddie. To be honest, I am not quite sure what the question is here: Are they saying the min. number of guests is 2 (+ the 2 guides) or are they saying the min number is 4 (+ the 2 guides). Let me know.
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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby Eddie Lubbe » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:22 pm

Minimum: 2 guests + 2 guides = 4. But if you are onlyn 1 person, you are not allowed to pay for 2 people. In others words, it is not a question of money, it is a question of numbers

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Re: Mountain Bike Trails at Olifants Camp

Unread postby EddieL » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:34 am

I am starting to wonder why Sanparks even bother to market this activity. It seems that nobody knows what is going on with the mountain biking trails. Problem A1+: accommodation bookings have to be made months in advance. How can you book if you can't get proper information on the matter? Twice I have phoned Olifants camp - on the second occasion the reception clerk did not even know of the mtb activity!

How can we read about this outing in "Weg" magazine but on this forum we get limited information? Quite frustrating.

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Mountain Biking at Olifants

Unread postby Funrider » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:30 pm

We booked a MTB trip at Olifants for Sunday morning at a price tag of around R600 per person. Heavy rains prevented us from going out and the ride was moved to Monday Morning.
Our guides, Dennis and Vusi was very pleasant and knowledgeable, and tried to give us some insight into the African bush.

The ride starts about 12km from the camp. Once on our bikes it was a pleasant ride behind the guides, with frequent stops to check spoor and sounds. Although we did not spot any game we could feel the presence of the game and it was a really good experience. At some stage we turned off the Jeep track onto wild paths with some thick sand which seemed a challenge to the ladies.

Once we reached the river some snacks and drinks was provided. We then took a different route back to our vehicle. the ride was about 3hours in total including the vehicle ride to and from the start.

I have some criticism and suggestions.

We only covered about 10km. One cannot expect to see much game on such short route.
The route was fairly technical which made some of the riders concentrate more on there riding than trying to see game.
The snacks consisted of a packet of creamcrakers, packet processed cheese, Oats bar and a bottle of Energade. This was for 6 people.

Suggestions
If possible use normal dirt roads. This will make it easier to cover more ground and even novices will be able to ride as long as your level of fitness is adequate.
A "snack pack" for each person containing a fresh sandwich and fruit will go down nicely. As 1 of us had to carry the snacks because the guides carry weapons, it would be better to let each rider carry his own pack.

Would I do it again? No, not in the current format. It is way to expensive for what you get.

Would like to hear from others that has done this activity.


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