Experience the Little Karoo in a unique, exciting, and eco-friendly way. Take a break on your bicycle and breathe in the fresh Karoo air while exploring the beauty of the landscapes under your own steam.
This trip is a self-guided cycling tour with a backup vehicle fully supporting you along the way. The tour can be tailored according to your needs and fitness level. After arriving in Cape Town, you’ll be transferred by vehicle to Knysna, where the cycling will start. This 358km (222.5 miles) cycle route goes through the Karoo region from Knysna to Calitzdorp and takes you over mountain passes and along gravel roads, with time for traditional dinners, wine tasting, and even a massage along the way.
- Cycle through Swartberg Nature Reserve and Meiringspoort
- Swim in waterfalls
- Cycle over Swartberg Pass (the Rubicon of gravel road passes)
- Enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbeque)
- Halfway through your trip, rejuvenate with a full body massage in Prince Albert
- Discover local cuisine and wine tasting in Calitzdorp
- Explore the beautiful, historic architecture in the small towns along the route
This route has its own unique charm. Every road sign that leads you to a town, whether it be by gravel or tarred road, will fill you with a deep sense of wanderlust. Journey through the Central and Klein Karoo, passing through historic towns boasting Victorian, Cape Dutch, and Georgian architecture. Cycle through Meiringspoort, established in 1858, part of the Swartberg Nature Reserve. Meiringspoort is the result of land formations from over 200 million years ago when Africa was still part of the larger continent with Australia, South America, India, and Antarctica. You’ll also cycle over winding mountain passes boasting fascinating legends. Appreciate the heritage of the Karoo told through historic rock art and engravings dating back thousands of years.
Seasonal Notes: The best time to do this trip is during autumn (March to May) or spring (September to November) when temperatures are mild. It is also possible during winter (June to August), but winter gets cold and sometimes there might be a little snow in the mountains. Summers (December to February) are extremely hot and can go over 40°C (104°F) in certain parts, so we don’t advise this tour during these months. It also rains frequently during the summer season.