SOUTH AFRICA – Tankwa Karoo Gravel Adventure

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03-13 November 2022

OVERVIEW

Riding through the remote Karoo semi-desert, and specifically the ancient Tankwa Karoo basin, is a unique experience not available to many. This is a harsh place with temperatures that can soar as high as 40℃, and drop well below 0℃ at night.

Towns are generally at least 100 kilometres apart and connected by a network of varying quality dirt roads. Expect everything from super-smooth, hard-packed gravel, to loose sand, tyre-shredding rocks, and badly corrugated sections.

The roads are largely unmaintained, and left to the mercy of the weather. The region is very sparsely populated, and it is not uncommon to ride for an entire day without seeing another person. Your typical Karoo town is very small, but the people who live there are known for their generous hospitality and warmth.

We’ll be staying in a range of charming and quirky small-town accommodations, and eat traditional fresh local meals while immersing ourselves in Karoo culture. While each day’s stage will be challenging on riders and equipment alike, there will be enough respite to make this adventure rich and rewarding. A support vehicle will carry our luggage, and occasionally meet us with a freshly prepared lunch or coffee. On other days we’ll take our mid-ride lunches at local farms, meeting some families that have toiled there for generations. Our rides will take us through constantly changing geology with unforgettable vistas, and we’ll learn about the political and social history of this place. On this adventure you’ll experience the true Karoo – the spectacular vast and arid landscapes, and the charming and colorful characters that live here. This is a beautiful place.

Refund and cancellation

Where, for whatever reason, one person is obliged to withdraw, the person must give written notice to Project Adventure Cycling.

Refund will be calculated with this penalty:

– Within 45 days from date of departure the penalty fare is 10% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 30 days from departure the penalty fare is 30% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 21 days from departure the penalty fare is 50% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 14 days from departure the penalty fare is 75 % of the total cost of the trip.
– After this date no refund will be given.

There will be no refunds for those who do not show up at the start of the trip or withdraw during the course of the tour.
There will be no refunds for those who are unable to start or complete the tour due to a lack or inaccuracy of personal travel documents (i.e Visa or Passport).

The traveller understands that some destinations pose more of a risk than other destinations due to weather conditions, socio-political situations and the geography of the region. The traveller acknowledges that factors such as, but not limited to, weather conditions, landslides, floods, flight cancellations or delays, strikes, labour issues, power failures, restrictive governmental laws or regulations, riots, insurrection, war or other (hereinafter called “Force Majeure Event”) are not the fault of Project Adventure Cycling and may hinder, delay or even prevent the Traveller’s ability to make or complete the trip. The traveller acknowledges that the Project Adventure Cycling shall not be liable to the traveller for any delay or cancellation of the trip due to a Force Majeure Event. The traveler is neither entitled to a refund nor any other payment for damages from the Project Adventure Cycling in the event that the trip is cancelled or delayed due to a Force Majeure Event. Please note that we are never responsible for any airfare ticket expenses.

 

COVID 19

In the event that you are unable to fly due to COVID 19 restrictions because of a declared state of emergency, PA Cycling, SL, guarantees:

RETURN OF QUOTE* (Except for expenses incurred up to the time of cancellation of the trip)

QUOTA FREEZE UNTIL NEXT DEPARTURE*.

FEE FREEZE UNTIL THE DEPARTURE OF ANY OTHER TRIP ORGANISED BY PA-CYCLING, SL*.

* The above conditions ARE NOT VALID in the case of a positive individual.

THE PRICE INCLUDE

– Support followed with basic mechanical assistance and luggage transport
– Travel insurance
– Hotel at Cape Town: hotel in a double room for the first two nights and last night
– Full board during the 6 stages
– Airport Transfer – Hotel – Airport on departure and arrival days
– Transfers Cape Town to Sutherland and Sutherland to Cape Town
– 6 days of cycling tours with two guides according to schedule
– Enter the parks or attractions as planned

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

– Plane tickets
– Services, excursions and extra activities
– Possible tips
– Lunches and dinners at Cape Town
– Everything not present in “The price include”

  • Dates
    03-13 November 2022
  • Duration
    11 days
  • Stages
    6
  • Length
    680 km
  • Elevation
    5.500 m
  • Difficulty
    Medium/Hard
  • Price
    2.500 €

THE TRACK

THE STAGES

Day 1 – (4 hour drive)

Drive from Cape Town to Sutherland (stop on way for a special drink at Tjol Se Gat roadside bar).

Sutherland is one of the highest, and coldest, towns in South Africa and is home a famous Southern-hemisphere celestial observatory.

 

Day 02 – STAGE 1

136 km – 1.083 m – Sutherland to Fraserburg via Rante road (lunch stop at Rhenostervlei)

The Rante road is a spectacular route long the edge of the Karoo escarpment.

Day 03 – STAGE 02

111 km – 438 m – Fraserburg to Williston (lunch stop at Langbaken farm, with home-made beer and cheese).

Williston a characterful town and we will stay at the Williston Mall, a crazy place full of rusted cars and old road signs.

Day 04 – STAGE 03

130 km – 766 m – Williston to Middelpos (lunch stop in a remote riverbed).

Middelpos is one of the smallest owns in South Africa, and there is basically only a hotel and Police station.

 

Day 05 – STAGE 04

110km – 968 m – Middelpos loop via Leliekrans and Rooiwal roads (lunch stop in a beautiful riverside glade)

The Leliekrans and Rooiwal roads follow a route through towering spectacular flat-taped mountains.

 

Day 6 – STAGE 5

51 km – 367 m – Middelpos to Tankwa Karoo National Park (coffee stop on the top of Gannaga pass)

The Gannaga pass drops into the ancient Tankwa basin, a drained historic sea.

 

Day 7 – STAGE 6

121 km – 1.851 m – Tankwa Karoo National Park to Sutherland (lunch stop on top of Ouberg pass)

The Ouberg pass climb is brutal, and this will be the toughest day by far, but with beautiful views.

 

Day 8 – (4 hour drive)

drive from Sutherland to Cape Town (stop for lunch at Lord Milner Hotel in Matjiesfontein)

Matjiesfontein in not a town, but a old train station, and our final lunch at the historic Lord Milner Hotel will be a highlight.

 

YOUR GUIDE

Willy Mulonia

Willy Mulonia

Guide

Willy Mulonia, expert lonely traveler and cyclist for more than 30 years.
He made several solo expeditions, but the most important is without a doubt the 28,640 bike trip from Ushuaia (Patagonia) to Prudhoe Bay (Alaska).
He raced in the Crocodile Trophy (Australia) in ’98 and the famous IditaBike (Alaska) in 1999, 2000, 2018, 2019 & 2020 as well as many other mountain bike stage races all over the world.
In 2003 he founded the bike travel agency Progetto Avventura, now renamed Projecting Adventure Cyclism.
In 2010, with the help of all the team of PA-Cyclism he created the Mongolia Bike Challenge, one of the most important MTB stage race in the world.
Today you can find him guiding most the tour offered by Projecting Adventure Cyclism.

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