Tranquilitas MTB Trails
CLOSEST TOWN > Emgwenya
TRAIL DESTINATION > Waterval Boven
DISTANCE > Various distances
GRADING > Moderate to Advanced
There are a few guys in South Africa you can trust when it comes to all things mountain biking. Glenn Harrison is one of them and, if you know the name, you will immediately understand why you need to ride his trails at Tranquilitas.
On your bike
Most of the routes consist of a rollicking combo of purpose-built single-track, hiking trails and gravel roads, and will therefore suit all levels of rider. Enjoy the super-tight, fast and flowing sections, especially through the Zorro swerves in the forest, and take occasional breathers to enjoy the many viewpoints and historical landmarks.
There will be climbing, but the ascents are pretty rideable, following the contours of the landscape. The up-side of this isthat the elevation gain is quick - and very achievable - without too many gear changes
The descents are 98% rideable, and the brave will blast the wooden bridges and drop-offs others agonise over. All in all, the routes are extremely well marked, and the Blue Trail is suitable for families. Plus there are all those jeep tracks around the campsite to keep the kids occupied …
Here’s a quick breakdown of the routes –:
Forest Loop – 7km(Intermediate): Start at entrance to Tranquilitas Farm and follow the blue arrows up the single-track via the forest and onto the escarpment. An enjoyable ride with great views, followed by 3km of fast downhill singletrack through forest and grassland until you get back to the farm gate.
Old Coach Road – 11km (Intermediate): Follow the Red arrows along a solid climb, then enjoy the speedy sections of trail through the forest. A newly completed addition takes you out onto the high plateau with endless views down the Elands valley. A steep climb to the top of the koppie follows before you blast back down to the farm gate.
Big Dipper – 4.5km (Intermediate): The trail has some rocky drop offs and steep bridge drops and a fast downhill endurance-type track looping back to the start.
Follow the Dog – 3km(Easy to Intermediate): A cool little warm-up from the campsite, with a circular loop up behind the camp and around the front of the escarpment. Short and fun, with superb views over the valley.
The Tranquilitas Rim – 8km (Intermediate to Advanced): This route runs close to the cliff edge and has some fantastic and fast runs through the grassland. Rocky drop-offs are encountered at speed, so be sharp. (Can be ridden in both directions).
Boven Mountain Loop – 11.5km (Strenuous): This superb trail contours along the steep mountain overlooking eMgwenya. (Can be done in both directions).
Trail X – 3km(Strenuous): A steep descent into the indigenous forest below the cliffs. This trail is a fast downhill ride through the pristine natural forest with several switchbacks, passing waterfalls and with river crossings over purpose-built suspended bridges. Currently ridden either direction with a strenuous climb out of the valley.
Off the bike
Boven (now Emgwenya) used to be an old railway town, but now masquerades as a scenic tourist spot perched on the very edge of the Highveldt escarpment, roughly 260km from Johburg. Locals say it is a ‘drinking town with a climbing problem’, and the dramatic crags on the outskirts of town make it obvious why Boven is internationally famous as a rock-climbing destination.
Tel: +27 (0)82 388 0100
Cell: +27 (0)82 753 3695 (Gustav)
GPS: 25°40′38.29″ South / 30°21′48.56″East
Moderate to Advanced
30 minutes to 4 hours
Six trails : circular and return options
Tranquilitas Adventure Farm.
Forest trails, 4x4 track and technical single track, bridges
Available at the Tranquilitas reception hut
Signal along most of route
Day permikts from Tranquilitas Adventure Farm
Chalets, luxury farmhouse accommodation, permanent tented camps, camping with neat and clean ablutions, safe parking
Rocks on Tranquilitas Rim Trail. It can get very hot, so stay hydrated.
HOW TO GET THERE
.BEST TIME OF YEAR
All year round.