No Mans Land Tours

No Man's Land

No Man’s Land

No Mans 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) whose 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 mountain bike tours.

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 off 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 mountain bike tours from 3 to 7 days in length where we base ourselves in one place and use it as a hub or we ride from place-to-place. For anyone up for a mountain bike trip that has a variety of adventure trail riding challenges, exceptional scenery and great people we offer the ride to Rhodes. This bike tour 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.

Quick Facts:

  • Where:  Foothills of the Maluti Mountains, Eastern Cape
  • Terrain:  Mountainous, dirt roads, sublime single track, rocks, communal land
  • Logistics:  Guided and fully catered, support vehicle meets group at various stops
  • Facilities:  Hot showers and warm beds, kitchen, braai area and incredible views.
  • Best time:  March – October
  • Places of Interest:  Maria Zell Cathedral, Hydro-electric scheme (1956 model), grain mill, Ongeluksnek, Black Fountain Trail, Kinira Vlei, Queens Mercy Trading Post

Just a 3 1/2 hr trip inland from Durban takes you to the base of the Maluti Mountains, otherwise known as No-Mans land with spectacular views of the Maluti’s and a mountain biker’s paradise.

The area historically known as No-Mans Land dates back to the mid 19th Century when Adam Kok chose to leave his homeland of West Griqualand where the Boers and British were in conflict and trekked through Lesotho with his tribe to settle in No Man’s land. At the time of Kok’s arrival, the land was occupied by a handful of San and Bantu tribes that had fled Shaka and the Zulu’s. No Man’s land got its name as a result of both the Natal and Eastern Cape Colonies not wanting to claim the land. Nowadays it’s called Griqualand and its here you’ll find an interesting and diverse mix of cultures.

The area is a mountain biker’s paradise offering fantastic flowing riding, spectacular views of the Maluti Mountains and Lesotho as well as interaction with the local communities.

No-Mans Land Tours provides us with an endless variety of trails, which makes it easy to tailor trips around the clients’ needs. We can make the distances as long or as short as each group dictates, making it the perfect trail riding experience for all level of rider. There are of course a few climbs and much of the riding is on single track so a good level of fitness is required. There is technical riding suitable for fit and competent riders, from intermediate to skilled – so those that can ride the tricky sections will and those that can’t won’t – but there’s no harm in the occasional dismount and walk as it’s all about riding for fun, not medals!

Tour options: 

No Man’s Land 3 Day Maluti Adventure – alternative option is the Shabeen Experience add on

Detour2Rhodes - 7 Day ride from Bainesfield to Rhodes