Category Archives: South Africa

Skedaddle Twaddle about our cycling holidays in South Africa

For the love of cycling!

Roses are red, violets are blue…stuff the flowers and book a two-wheeled trip for two!

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This Valentine’s day, why not avoid the materialistic clichés and instead put the wheels in motion for an exciting adventure together? Here is a selection of our most lusted after destinations, handpicked by our HQ team…

1. Team Road: Tuscany Tourer, Italy
Why? Idyllic landscapes greet you at every turn in treasured Tuscany and we can’t think of anything more romantic than soaking up the sublime Val d’Orcia views together on two wheels.

2. Team Leisure: Chateaux of the Loire, France
Why? This is quintessential France at its best! Picture grand castles dotted along a scenic valley – all washed down with the region’s revered vineyard wares and gastronomic delights.

3. Team Adventures: Wine Country, Chile
Why? Don’t miss your chance to cycle the incredible vinayards of the Colchagua Valley (complete with an Andean mountain backdrop) with your other half – surely the dream holiday for those who love to relax with a tasty tipple, or two?

4. Team Mountain Biking: South Africa and Botswana
Why? If you’re the sort of couple who crave an adventure, this is the tour for you. Packed full of experiences, you’ll get to sample some fun and technical biking, as well as the chance to spot lions as you explore the “dizzyingly exciting” Mashatu wildlife park, by bike!

3 bold biking journeys for adventurous riders

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If you’re keen to immerse yourself in exhilarating landscapes next year, you might want to take a look at some of our favourite bold, beautiful and adventurous biking tours departing in 2017

  1. Best for: Countless exotic wildlife encounters in the heart of Africa
    Trip:
    South Africa & Botswana | Grade: 3-4
    We say:
    The best way to take on an African safari! Combine your love of technical riding, with the chance to spot the BIG 5. You’ll definitely get your lion’s share here…
  2. Best for: A 1,000km cross-country challenge packed full of historical highlights 
    Trip: Ruta de la Plata, Spain | Grade: 4
    We say:
    Gear up for an epic 2-week route that sees you journey through one of Europe’s most diverse countries. This ancient trading route is packed full of history, including the UNESCO site of Cáceres.
  3. Best for: A Far-flung adventure in one of the world’s last great wildernesses 
    Trip: Wild Patagonia, Chile and Argentina |  Grade: 4-5 
    We say: Tried and tested by our head honchos, this is a brilliant adventure boasting some of the best trails on the planet! Supported by a team of local gauchos, you’ll get a real flavour for this extraordinary corner of the world.

Trip Perspective: Victor takes on a biking safari

Few cyclists can say they’ve been up close and personal with some of the worlds most magnificent (not to mention pre-historic) animals. One such Skedaddler, Victor Dvortsov, is one of the lucky ones amongst us who can say he definitely has! From zebras, rainbow coloured exotic birds and even a big cat…or two, his biking adventure to South Africa and Botswana certainly lived up to expectation. Here’s his story below:

Have you heard a story about a cyclist who almost ran over a bear? Naturally the dude freaked out, dropped his bike, and climbed the nearest tree. Little did he know it was a runaway circus bear, as scared by this sudden encounter as him. So imagine how startled this guy must have been watching the bear hastily mount the bike and pedal away!

Not that anything of the sort happened on our mountain biking safari in South Africa and Botswana, on the banks of mighty Limpopo. No giraffes tried to steal our bikes, although a baboon did sneak into my tent when no one was around and took the toothbrush (note his million-dollar smile in one of the pictures!)

But we never felt threatened by the wild life (our guide, Joe, said he never had to use his rifle, not even once), although unfortunately the wild life didn’t always feel the same way. With one exception: most animals don’t deem cars dangerous, and are unable to parse the humans inside, for as long as these humans don’t do anything dumb, attempt to stand up for example. So in the evenings when we loaded gin and tonic into our jeep and headed to one pretty spot or another for a sundowner, we had some amazing encounters. Once we watched a lion pride no further than 20 feet away, and the very same evening came across a cheetah family, a mother with cubs. And later yet, in complete darkness, Joe had somehow spotted a leopard carrying a guinea fowl in its teeth, so we followed the cat and watched, in the torchlight, as it jumped up a tree and proceed with its dinner.

Why fantasize of Jurassic Park if the very real African savannah is out there, within reach? That’s how it felt, so palpable was the sense of timelessness, of witnessing the world as it was hundreds of thousand — if not millions — years before Twitter, before Trojan War and even The Flintstones. I couldn’t help thinking that Homo naledi, a new extinct species of hominin just discovered in Rising Star cave system near Johannesburg, had likely been observing the same scenery we did, although probably not from a bicycle…

Victor is the winner of our October Customer Competition and has won £250 to put towards a future holiday of his choice. For more information about our mountain biking holiday in South Africa & Botswana CLICK HERE.