The jewel in Cape Nature’s reserves, De Hoop Nature Reserve, will be hosting a three day mountain biking experience, the De Hoop’s MTB Vlei Experience this September, which will change your perception of Western Cape mountain biking. View big antelope, rare birds and one of the world’s most diverse floral kingdoms from the saddle of your bike in the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience.
From the 22nd to the 24th of September 2018 the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience will explore the game trails, 4×4 tracks and gravel roads of the 36 000 hectare nature reserve. Nestled between the Potberg Mountain and the Indian Ocean the reserve boasts a rugged coastline – known for shipwrecks and perfect whale watching – the vlei is a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and a diverse landscape of mountains, limestone hills, grassy plains and snow white sand dunes.
The De Hoop Nature Reserve provides a backdrop of unparalleled beauty to this three-day Mountain Bike challenge which takes place in the height of the whale-watching season, in a region that is renowned as the best land-based whale watching site in the southern hemisphere – riders will not only experience and enjoy the excitement and exhilaration of the ride but will also have the opportunity of possibly spotting whales.
The three day mountain bike experience will showcase all of these aspects, as well as visit the surrounding farms where wheat and canola fields will be growing in the Overberg sun, while Merino sheep graze alongside blue cranes, the South African national bird, in the next paddock.
Two of the three days of the event will feature entirely new routes, never used before by mountain bike races or weekend fun riders visiting the De Hoop Collection. Local farmer and avid mountain biker, Niel Neethling, is responsible for the routes and promises stages of 55, 65 and 52 kilometres in distance with 900, 1 300 and 800 meters of climbing respectively.
Neethling has been hard at work securing land access to private farms and negotiating thoroughfares through highly restricted areas. One of these special sections is the Renosterveld Reserve, located within the heart of the region’s wheat farms, which protects the biodiversity of the exceptionally endangered renosterveld fynbos vegetation. Another is the western banks of the De Hoop Vlei, where the historic 200 year old Melkkamer Manor house is located, which has not seen public access off the main road to the Melkkamer house since the 1980s.
With three days of mountain bike exploration provided by the De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience game sightings are guaranteed.
Not only will riders see the De Hoop ‘regular’ of bontebok and cape mountain zebra; but also herds of eland, the world’s second largest antelope. For the birders in the mountain bike community the vlei’s Ramsar status ensures it remains a protected and ideal habitat for a plethora of wetland bird species, while the Potberg Mountain is also home to a large colony of Cape Vultures (now almost extinct) which take to the wing most afternoons in search of carrion.
The De Hoop Vlei MTB Experience entry fee includes accommodation in a single two person tent per rider, but offers riders and their families a choice of accommodation upgrade options in the De Hoop Collection from the affordable rondawels to self-catering cottages. For those who prefer their creature comforts the De Hoop Collection offers luxury tents, luxury self-catering cottages, self-catering houses and luxury suites in the 300 year old manor houses.
The entry fee also includes three breakfasts and lunches as well as two dinners during the event. All rider and supporter meals will be catered for by the amazing Antoinette Events, the Overberg’s premier wedding and functions catering company. Supporter packages which include meals are available for riders’ family members and friends.
The De Hoop Collection is also offering a fun ride and trail run, environmental education tours, an Eco-Boat Cruise, a Family Night Ride and even spa treatments for non-riders to book during the event.
Find out more about the activities the De Hoop Collection has to offer for non-cyclists and their accommodation options.
For more information visit www.dehoopcollection.com
Entries are R3 600 per solo rider or R 6 900 per team of two. Entries include breakfast and lunch from Friday to Sunday, with dinner Friday and Saturday night.
For more information on the De Hoop Vlei Experience please visit www.dehoopvleimtb.co.za
Read more on the De Hoop Collection and what they have to offer!