South Africa

Sounds like the ultimate mountain bike adventure...


Nick Galpine


Sounds like the ultimate mountain bike adventure...



The chug of the generator coughing awake at four thirty.

Legs and bottoms a little bit hurty.

The cold, distant beauty of the stars.

The unzipping of the day and the first stumbling steps outside.

Radios crackling into life, the welcome whoosh of steam from the espresso machine.

The silent sliding of the moon down the sky as the day begins on Tour.

The surprise at a bike hoisted in a tree overnight.

First stirrings of ideas for “revenge”.

The brushing of teeth and the excited, anticipatory chatter over breakfast.

Bikes unhooked from racks and the rush of water into bottles.

Another's day riding is about to begin.



The clickety-clack of cleats clipping in.

First grunts of exertion as bikes nose through a little patch of sand.

Steady breathing and the turning of the pedals.

Gears crank up and down, tyres bite into soil and whir across sandstone.

Melodic, metallic: mopane twigs twang against spokes.

Long periods when no-one speaks - because they're content.

Snap and pop of pebbles on rubber.

Distant trumpeting and plumes of dust.



Whirring downhill and wondering at giraffe.

Swerving around trees and dropping into gullies.

Exclamations at being upended -

And doing a handstand in deep soft sand.

Twisting and turning to avoid stopping.

Never putting a foot wrong – or down.

Bunching up at brunch - the relief of sitting on a different seat.

The meal wrapped up, the squirt of lube and sun cream.

Picking up the bikes, clickety-clack

And we're back in the saddle.



Beeps from the GPS and tips from the guides.

Questions about distance and handy advice.

Congratulations and exhortations.

Rattling over corrugations on a brief diversion.

The end in sight; snap of green banners fluttering.

Legs lifted over saddles and feet touching the ground at last.

Wheeling back to the racks or the mechanics.

Shower or beer? Both bring good cheer.



Clank of chafing dish lid.

Sigh of anti-chafing cream…

Tap of bike shoes on rock.

Released beer hisses, welcome home kisses.

Creak of ice cubes, hot water sighs.

When you’re having fun on Tour,

Time really flies.



Applause billows the marquee.

Everyone is already intent.

On doing this all again.

See you next year?

Sounds like a great idea!

Let’s plan your next journey


When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.