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Media Release: Here's your chance to enter the Karoo Mountain Bike Challenge!

Date: 2008-08-28

Entries are now open for the Karoo National Park Mountain Bike Challenge to be held on 18 October 2008.

This is the first time that a race of this nature will be held in the Karoo National Park, situated near Beaufort West on the N1.

The event will feature three distances: a fun ride of 15 km, a medium-distance 30 km ride and 65 km for the serious mountain bike riders.

The course is both challenging and scenic with obstacles such as dry riverbed crossings (weather-dependent), loose shale and sweet thorn bushes to avoid. The portions of the course on jeep tracks call for careful concentration and the karoo heat could take its toll on some contestants.

The route’s first portion follows the Lammertjiesleegte loop, giving contestants a chance to warm up before the challenges ahead and perhaps spot some of the Park’s wildlife such as black rhino, gemsbok and eland. The Park conserves South Africa’s largest herd of endangered Cape mountain zebra.

The 65 km contestants will then take the steep Klipspringer Pass with its spectacular views over the Park, climbing over 450m in altitude before descending down a track at the back of the Nuweveld Mountains.

There are plenty of good vantage points for spectators, especially over the last few kilometers of the race, as well as facilities such as the Park restaurant and the Bulkraal day visitors’ facility with its swimming pool and braai sites. Non-competing visitors can also take advantage of the various activities available in the Park such as guided night drives, scenic drives in their own vehicles, the wheelchair-friendly fossil trail and short hiking trails.

The mountain bike race is held in conjunction with the Hartfees, a festival held from 15 to 19 October 2008 in honour of Professor Christiaan Barnard who performed the world’s first human heart transplant in 1967 and who was born and laid to rest in Beaufort West.

For more information on the race, click here.

Click here for the entry forms for the Karoo National Park Mountain Bike Challenge or contact Dieter van der Merwe for more information on or Tel: +27(0)83 279 2731.

Issued by:

South African National Parks


Megan Taplin

Regional Communications Manager

Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra National Parks

Tel: (042) 233-8609 or 083 650 8649