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Detour Trails

Detour Trails
ADVENTURE TRAIL RIDING

DETOUR TRAILS offers South African Adventure Trail Riding at its best! Some may wonder what adventure trail riding is. Well, it is simply because there are such great mountain bikes these days we can now take bikes on trails where it was impossible a few years ago. Now we take them with us as we feed our passion for adventure. We ride the mountain bikes a lot, but occasionally we push and even carry them past, through or over obstacles. Simply put Adventure Trail Riding is tackling all levels of trails accompanied by your mountain bike!

WHO WE ARE

We are a bunch of energetic South Africans who for the past few years have followed our passion for the outdoors, adventure and riding bikes. Apart from having raced all the SA major stage races, we've been having fun exploring trails in many remote areas of SA. We are now ready to share these trails with other adventure trail riders. DETOUR TRAILS has been born to provide the platform for all types and levels of active adventurers to experience the amazing natural treasures and wonderful people of our region. As a small dedicated team our mission (& obsession) is to create everlasting memories for those who experience the freedom and pleasure of riding trails with us. At all times we respect the privilege of access to trails given by all land owners and commit to conservation efforts and enhancing the value of adventure trail riding and eco-tourism.

WHAT WE DO

For the recreational to the more serious cyclist, we provide FULLY SUPPORTED ADVENTURE TRAIL RIDING TRIPS CUSTOMISED to their needs. Through our extensive exploring we have found the most amazing and scenic remote trails, ranging from easy gravel roads, exhilarating single tracks that are actually cattle, goat, pony or game paths to some of the most hairy and exciting technical riding imaginable. The trails are over mountains, through valleys, across rivers, along beaches, in forests or grasslands providing a wide variety of terrain and scenery to satisfy anyone who enjoys the outdoors. While they enjoy the trails suited to their skills, our clients are exposed to the unparalleled beauty of South Africa's unspoiled rural areas and to the people who live there, including their food, cultures and traditions.

As we specialise in tailoring adventure trail riding trips to suit all clients' needs in the remotest parts of SA we touch the lives of many rural people. Wherever possible we employ local guides and seek the services of communities living along the trails.

In addition to Adventure Trail Riding trips we provide training programs and training trips to prepare mountain bikers for marathon and stage races. In short we believe that everyone has the right to be the best rider they can be while taking account of their personal circumstances.

WHERE WE GO

Wild Coast (Race the tide on spectacular unspoiled beaches in the land of the amaPondo and amaXhosa)

Drakensberg & Maluti Mountains , Lesotho (Explore the Kingdom of the Sky)

No-Mans Land (Trail Riding Heaven)

Day Trips (Forests, Exciting Single Track, Game, The Works)

Training Camps are arranged in most of our trail areas (A must for marathon and stage race mountain bikers)

Special expeditions to other parts of SA or the world, eg. Mozambique, Madagascar, Tibet.

OUR COMMITMENT TO TRAIL CUSTODIANS

In our obsession for the outdoors we recognise what a privilege it is to be able to share our passion for riding on less frequented trails and exposing our clients to their beauty and treasures. We are fully committed to respecting and working with all land owners and custodians to ensure our activities contribute to conservation efforts and economically enhance the lives of all we encounter.

OUR COMMITMENT TO CLIENTS

At DETOUR TRAILS we don't just love the outdoors, we are obsessed with it. Our pure passion enables us to guarantee our clients an unforgettable experience and life long memories of adventure trail riding at its best. We have a small team of skilled guides and trail leaders who will make your experience as exciting as can be.

ARE YOU UP FOR IT?

Whether you're a serial adventure seeker, a serious or recreational rider, or simply an individual or group of friends wanting to do something different and enjoy the experience of a lifetime, DETOUR TRAILS has a trail for you. We look forward to seeing you on the trail soon! Please contact us so we can share our passion with you and your friends.

All trails are fully supported enabling the client to simply enjoy the ride. From the beginning of the trail we take care of all accommodation, food, guiding, safety and logistical arrangements. A support vehicle carries the riders' baggage to each over night destination so riders need only carry the bare essentials for each day. Where possible the support crew meet the trail riders during the day.

CUSTOM TRAILS:

DETOUR TRAILS specialises in designing and customising trips to suit clients' needs. We prefer to find out what our clients would like to experience and design the trail around these expectations.

We will develop a trip to suit any group based on:

WILD COAST:

The Wild Coast lies between the Kei and Umtamvuna Rivers on the East Coast of South Africa (approx. 300km in length). It is largely unspoiled by development and is inhabited by rural indigenous Africans largely from the amaXhosa tribe and its sub-tribes. Geologically it is split into two sections with the north known as Pondoland after the local inhabitants and the south more widely known as the Wild Coast.

PONDOLAND is the area from roughly Port St Johns to the Umtamvuna River and is characterised by rough seas, high cliffs, huge gorges and rivers with waterfalls dropping directly into the sea (of which the 60m Waterfall Bluff is the best known). The riding is varied, but mainly on animal trails and foot paths. There are also short sections of beach riding. Our Trips are usually three or four days long traversing the whole area or riding into Msikaba as a base to explore the surrounding area including the fabled Grosvenor wreck site and Mkambati Nature Reserve with its spectacular "super bowl" of natural forest.

WILD COAST (or southern Kei) is the area from Port St Johns to the Kei River and lives up to its name. This largely uninhabited coastline has kilometre upon kilometre of unspoiled beaches, coastal forests and numerous estuaries and rivers. A lot of beach riding dictates that we only do this trip over four to six days at spring tides. Game trails and rough track characterise the Dwesa and Cwebe forest areas where riders hope not to get too close a glimpse of the resident rhino and buffalo! Depending on the season and the tides, some river crossings will become memorable highlights of the trip. Other features of this trip are too numerous to list, but the amazing Hole-in-the-Wall is so spectacular that it has to be mentioned as possibly the single highlight of this area. Wild Coast Expedition is a trip along the entire 300km WILD COAST in one go! Because of the nine or ten days required, some extreme adventure trail riding and the need to get the tides right, we only do the expedition occasionally and not without a huge amount of planning. We have extensive chats with prospective riders to ensure they are prepared for the demands of this extreme adventure. Every rider who has done the expedition gives it first class reviews. For those riders who have the time and sense of adventure, this is the trip to do.

LESOTHO : KINGDOM OF THE SKY:

Lesotho is a tiny landlocked nation in the high Drakensberg and Maluti Mountians (Altitude approx 1800 to 3400m). What it lacks in overall size, it makes up for in sheer ruggedness. Everything in Lesotho is steep and big! Nowhere else in Southern Africa do you find real mountains we're only used to seeing on TV during the Tour de France, but with dirt road or trails. The Matabeng is a 35km climb to the escarpment fortunately split by an overnight stop, but the view of the escarpment and down into SA is just reward. Fortunately it's not all up and there are some 'white knuckle' descents like the 25km off Black Mountain or the rugged Linahaneng pass to enjoy.

The rural existence of the Basotho and their reliance on ponies for transport has resulted in a network of pony trails. Combined with the few rough dirt tracks they call roads, these trails are the ideal foundation for challenging adventure trail riding. Our trips range from a taste of Lesotho for three days around Sani Pass to a ten day transLesotho for the adventurer with time on their hands. There are also five and six day trips taking the rider up Sani Pass into the heart of Lesotho and down to Bushman's Nek for an unparalleled experience of adventure trail riding.

An added bonus of any Lesotho trip is the friendliness and generosity of the Basotho people which will leave an indelible mark on the minds of anyone who ventures into their lives. Given their limited resources and simple lifestyle, they're incredibly peaceful and hospitable.

NO-MAN'S LAND:

No-Man's Land stretches from around Donnybrooke in KwaZulu to Rhodes in the Eastern Cape. There is a chain of Trappist Mission Stations (including Maria Linden, Centacow and Maria Zell) who's influence on the local people extends way past their iconic cathedrals. The geography is characterised by the Maluti mountains that have given rise to numerous big rivers which have sculpted the landscape into an array of mountain ridges, deep valleys and flood plains. The area includes commercial farms, some little known nature reserves and rural communal land of the old Transkei. Cattle farming, the use of ponies for transport and game have created a network of trails running through valleys and over mountains which form the basis for the challenging and exhilarating adventure trail riding offered on our trips. From a pure adventure trail riding point of view this area provides the greatest variety of trails including the fast flowing cattle 'single track' of the Ngira River flood plains, rocky technical drops on Black Fountain, the torturous 'hike-a-bike' climb up Lehana's Pass (for the marginally insane) and the 'mother of all' down hills from Ongeluksnek to Maria Zell. Given the wide variety of riding here, we arrange trips for 3 to 6 days in length where we base ourselves in one place and use it as a hub or we ride from place-to-place depending on the needs of each specific group. For anyone up for a trip that has a variety of adventure trail riding challenges, exceptional scenery and great people we offer the ride to Rhodes. This trip is not for the faint hearted, but rewards the explorer in us many times over. As with Lesotho the hospitality and generosity of the people of the area is unbelievable and completes the experience.

WEEK END RIDEAWAYS & TRAINING CAMPS:

In order to adequately prepare for any major stage race like The Cape Epic or Sani2c or for one day marathon events such as Hill2hill, it is imperative to be on a structured training program. This program should include a number of back-to-back long training rides. DETOUR TRAILS arranges 3 & 4 day week end rideaways giving the riders an opportunity to have a number of consecutive long rides at the appropriate pace and on suitable trails to provide the necessary conditioning.

Early in training season (Oct-Dec) the trails are more flat and flowing suitable for base training and aerobic endurance, while later camps (Jan-Feb) include more hills to build strength and anaerobic endurance. The trips provide a forum for discussion on all aspects of stage races including training, bike choice, bike preparation, the event, nutrition, etc. Usually the groups have riders with a variety of experience to share so it is unusual for a rider not to pick up something new. It is not uncommon to have riders who have completed a number of Cape Epics, Sani2cs, Sabie Experiences and one who has completed the Freedom Challenge on these training week ends.

WHERE: Kwa Zulu Natal

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