Mountain biking at Montusi – the best MTB experience

MTB trails in Northern Drakensberg

Mountain biking – right from your suite at Montusi Mountain Lodge

The Drakensberg Trails network covers nearly 100km of mountain paths in the Northern Berg. Montusi Mountain Lodge, which offers luxury accommodation in the Drakensberg, is perfectly situated for riding right from your suite!

The trails have been purpose-built for mountain biking under the leadership of Chris Mecklenborg, an American adventure sportsman who relocated to South Africa in 1999.

Since becoming part of the Montusi Family, Chris has been steadily building single-track MTB trails in this less commercialised section of the Drakensberg. Recently the Drakensberg Trails have been taken over by an association of tourism stakeholders in the area, with various hotels, lodges and resorts shouldering the burden of trail maintenance.

Mountain biking in the Northern Drakensberg offers freedom seldom experienced. Low traffic density, proper mountain trails, friendly wildlife and a community that values tourism combine to make this a unique MTB experience!

Chris’s favourite trail on the Drakensberg Trails network is the Grotto Trail.  A challenging, but rewarding, 22km loop, which sees you climbing around 400+ metres!

It has been built in such a way that riders never really feel like it’s a labouring ascent. Well, not for long anyway…

There’s about 80% single-track and it starts with a descent through the Gypsy Bend Trail, followed by a longish section on a river basin called the Acacia Meander. This is like riding through an Acacia Tree tunnel at times. Then you begin to climb steadily into the mountain, before entering heaven…

MTB trails in Northern Drakensberg

A thread of well-worn single-track winds you into the belly of the mountain’s base and then turns you back towards the trailhead and along the aptly named Surprise Ridge.

Rises and dips, tight turns and fast bends, bridges and ridges and firm rock surfaces – all to yourself!

It’s along this portion of the trail that you become fully aware of – or distracted by – the incredible “mountain-ness” of this network.

Just as you’re getting used to it, there’s a left turn onto the extraordinary Down Time switchbacks. Some 5km of flow track cut into the mountain with 20 giant berms snaking their way down the mountain face and into the magical forest of the All Out Adventure Park and Drakensberg Trail Head.

Montusi Mountain Lodge guests without their own bikes can hire excellent quality mountain bikes from All Out Adventures, just 4km from Montusi.

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