Bontebok MTB and The Country Butcher
Bontebok Park is the smallest National Park in South Africa. Therefore your chances of seeing animals are great.
We started the ride from the Drostdy in the Old Quarter, which is only 5.3km from the Bontebok Park main entrance. Bontebok Park, being so close to town, enables you to start your ride from where-ever you are staying in Swellendam. Most of the trails can be driven with a vehicle, but they have added a new 10km section, that is only for mountain biking.
On today's trip we saw about 30 Bontebok, 4 Hartebeest and a Zebra. As you can see on more than one of the photos, it is quite easy to get within 50m of the animals. In the 90 times that I have cycled in this park, I have always seen animals.
There is not a lot of climbing, but the surface slows you down. The trails take you along the Breede River and being part of the Cape Floral Kingdom (a World Heritage Site), there are always flowers in bloom.
When the main gate is closed, you cannot enter Bontebok Park. The gate opens at 7:00 in the morning and closes at 18:00 - 19:00 in the evening, depending on the time of the year. Important Note: The main gate has moved to the Cape Town side of Swellendam, right next to the N2. Check the Google Maps to see exactly where to enter. Accommodation is available in the park.
After the ride we stopped for coffee and a rusk at The Country Butcher. Apart from the great selection of quality meat, The Country Butcher is much more than just meat. Their aim is to create a one stop shop for all your fresh daily needs. They have good coffee, newspaper and seating to enjoy it. They offer a meat selection, free range farm eggs, full cream farm milk and their latest addition, freshly baked Ciabatta. My wife compares it to Melissa's in the platteland. If you have to get bread or something to braai after your mountain bike ride, then this is where you should drink your coffee. It will give you an extra 30minutes on the bike or more time to chat after the ride. Click on the link to find out more.
After the coffee I met my family where they were enjoying the Spring Market organised by a local church.
Today's mountain bike trip:
39km from Drostdy, to and through Bontebok park, to The Country Butcher
1.5 x 750ml water bottle
Other MTB routes in Bontebok Park
See the Bontebok in the photo above,
Spring Market at local Church in Swellendam.
Let them eat Cake at Spring Market - photo by Alex@Atelier.