Nature and wildlife
Sport and adventure
The town of Prince Albert is at the southern edge of the Great Karoo. Prince Albert is undoubtedly South Africa's most attractive Karoo Town and lies at the foot of the iconic gravel Swartberg Pass, built by Thomas Bain in 1888, it has remained in it's original form for over 140 years.
The rider experience
- It's a 3 day, social ride of 55 to 65km per day with fully stocked water-stops halfway.
- No pressure to ride full distance, support vehicles assist youalong the way.
- e-Bikes are welcome and recommended for the occasional cyclist.
- Sweep Rider and bus brings up the rear.
- Medic and Ambulance service on duty for duration of the tour.
- 3 nights in a luxury B&B
- Dinner at a different restaurant each night, a fantastic selection of wines included.
- Non-Rider companions have their own tour of attractions in the area.
- Afternoons are free for activities of choice in the town.
- Arrive the evening of the first night, briefing before dinner
For the duration of the tour you are based in Prince Albert at a luxury bed and breakfast. The picturesque town of Prince Albert is known as the "Jewel of the Great Karoo" and lies at the foot of the iconic Swartberg Pass. There's lots to do and see in the town after you've stretched your legs on the bike in the morning. The daily routine is typically as follows.
The routes vary from day to day with differing terrain. You will traverse the iconic Swartberg Pass, ride across the plains of the Great Karoo and experience the farmlands on the southern and northern foothills of the Swartberg Range. It's a real Karoo experience incorporating both the Klein and Groot Karoo.Water stops are always fully stocked and provided at the halfway markThe scenery is always spectacular whether you are climbing 12% inclines in the mountains or cruising the flats out in the desert.
The Prince Albert routes
We have a route for each of the 3 days that is the most spectacular riding in the area.
To maximise the experience we transport you out on some mornings so that you can experience a greater diversity of nature and terrain within the 65km cycling limit we have set for each day. Total distance: 182 Km with 2659 m of ascent over 3 days.
KGG Day One
Two Parts totalling 63.3 km and 1340 m of ascent
We load you and your bike in the early morning and bus you down to De Rust. The route then starts beyond the town of De Rust on the gravel Oudemuragie road. This road is remote and meanders through spectacular farmlands and the southern foothills of the great Swartberg mountain range.
Your "tea-time" waterpoint after the first 31.5km is at the junction to the Cango Caves road, where we load your bike again and whisk you off to the base of Swartberg Pass on the southern side.
Day One Part One - Oudemuragie
31.5 km - 595 m of ascent
The Swartberg Pass is a spectacular climb and is fairly tough, but achievable for the average rider.
It's basically 9.8km up and then 22 km down to Prince Albert, an unforgettable experience and well worth any discomfort you experience on the climb.
Day One Part Two - Swartberg Pass
31.8 km 745 m of ascent
KGG Day Three
A downhill desert run of around 55 km, almost no uphills whatsover, desolate Karoo plateau's with the Swartberg range as the backdrop. A minor descent down Tierberg pass, if you lucky you will see, horses, sheep, cattle, eland, giraffe, sable antelope, klipspringers, kudu and springbok. You will definitely see windmills, game fences and thorn trees.55 km - 239 m of ascent , 544 m of descent
The non-rider companion experience
Cooking class at Yellow House
with the idea of enjoying your dishes at lunchtime, Petro serves breakfast and explains what the morning class will entail. Depending on the season, she will present a foraging experience and cooking class. Enjoy lunch with what you have cooked, after which the cyclists can be joined.
What to bring:
Sunhat, water bottle, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, basket or shopping bag for goodies.
Generally we go to Weltevrede Fig Farm (a 6th generation and one of the oldest fig farms in South Africa) for morning tea. They mainly produce Adams figs and have a shop where they serve their famous fig tart and sell beautiful leather goods, other house ware (custom made prints in the famous delft look) and also their farm produce. There we will meet the cyclists and taste other local produce eg. local olives & olive oil, Gay's Dairy cheeses, Lazy Lizard breads, locally produced jams, etc. Other activities are available as follows:
- If you're energetic join the Prince Albert Park run early Saturday before the market (5 km scenic run or walk)
- Saturday market (08.00-12.00) selling locally grown and homemade products
- Our local Fransie Pienaar Museum
- Prince Albert Gallery (variety of paintings and sculptures by local South African artists).
- Karoo Looms (hand spun and handwoven rugs and homeware)
- The Letterhuis is situated on the farm Aswater in the Prince Albert district (about 25km's out of town, and you would need your own transport). It is owned by renowned calligrapher Heleen de Haas. Join her on a guided hand carved stone route; calligraphic route in the poplar wood; her word labyrinth or a show & demo on traditional and contemporary calligraphy.
- Prince of Africa for mohair products and jewellery by local jeweller Di van der Riet Steyn
- Cinnamon & Grace for home ware and jewellery by Talita, also a local jeweller
- Gays Dairy where you can taste and buy her wide range of locally produced cheeses from her Guernsey herd. http://www.gaysguernseydairy.com/
You can enjoy a guided nature walk with breathtaking views of the town and farms along the Koppie behind Prince Albert with Sue Dean from Renu-Karoo Veld Restorationwww.renu-karoo.co.za. Ending at the Lazy Lizard for breakfast or a delicious refreshment and homemade cake selection.
Sue Dean is a Karoo Specialist and focuses on ecological consulting, veld rehabilitation, game introduction and impact assessment
These guided walks are weather permitting, and if not available, then breakfast is served at the Lazy Lizard, after which you will have time to explore the shops in Prince Albert, while the riders go on their final morning ride.