Fat Bikes have made beach riding more accessible enabling us to ride in some pristine coasts to enjoy more than the riding. This Mozambican part of the Maputaland Coast offers riders the opportunity to explore, swim, snorkel, surf, fish and generally have fun while riding a Fat Bike. Dolphin sightings (boat tour) are almost a given while the very lucky may encounter a turtle. So the emphasis of this trip is on much more than pure riding, adventurers will go away with lasting impressions of magnificent beaches, amazing sea life and an insight into the culture of the hospitable people who live here.
|TOUR GRADE||2: EASY
This is a recreational ride for the not so regular mountain bikers and reasonably fit non-riders.
|OTHER TOYS TO BRING||Mask and snorkel
SUMMARY OF ITINERARY
|DAY||DESCRIPTION||DISTANCE||RIDE TIME||OVERALL TIME||MEALS INCL|
|1||Travel & ride to Tartaruga||15km||2hrs||3hrs||–|
|2||North Beach Experience||40km||4hrs||5 – 6hrs||BLD|
|3||Dolphin Experience & Sunset ride||10km||1hr||2hrs||BD|
|4||Ponta do Ouro||15km||2hrs||3hrs||B|
Day 1: Travel to Farazella & Ride to Tartaruga
Stats: 15km, Ride time 2 hrs, Overall time 3 hrs
All members of the group will meet the Detour crew at the SA/Mozambique Border (Farazella) by midday, clear the border into Mozambique and acquaint themselves with Fat Bikes. (The various travel options are detailed below)
This is the first taste of sand riding for many as the group rides the sandy tracks from the border towards the resort towns of Ponta do Ouro and Ponta Malongane.
This will be a slow amble to get into the swing of things and is sure to include a shebeen stop for the first of many 2M beers.
Once settled in to the Tartaruga Resort, most will take a quick dash to the beach before briefing over a 2M beer. Dinner (own account) is in a Malongane restaurant to enable all to get the exotic feel of the area.
Day 2: North Beach Explore
Stats: 40 km, Ride time 4 hrs, Total time 5-6 hrs
In order to catch the best of the low tide, we’ll have an early breakfast and head north up the beach away from the resort of Malongane, so the further north we head, the fewer people we will share the beach with until it is just the group of riders and virgin Africa beaches.
In keeping with the recreational ride plan, we will stop to swim and snorkel when we see a nice bay or pool and enjoy the abundant sea life. While most rides are in winter, those who brave the heat in summer and get the timing right will see nesting turtles (October, November), their nests and if we are lucky, signs of hatchlings (January, February).
While the full ride is some 20km up the beach to Miguel’s ‘Mansion’, there is an option of a shorter ride turning inland at Coral Bay for an inland amble on sandy tracks through coastal forest and past inland lakes back to Tartaruga.
The energetic will ride to Miguel’s, leave the beach into coastal forest and join the sandy tracks for an extended inland ride back to Tartaruga in time for a late lunch.
Relaxing on the beach, going for a surf or fishing will probably be the most popular afternoon activity, but there are sure to be some takers for drinks on the deck overlooking the ocean.
Dinner will be a traditional Mozambican Peri Peri Chicken to top off a great day of beach riding.
Day 3: Dolphin Experience & Evening Ride
Stats: 10 km, Ride time 1 hr, Total time 2 hrs
In keeping with the adventurous spirit of active leisure tours such as this, a Dolphin experience is one of the highlights. Having downed a quick cup of coffee the group will make their way to the beach to board a huge rubber duck and head out looking for pods of dolphin.
There is an 85% chance of sighting these magnificent creatures with most of the pods quite happy to interact with snorkelers. There is a wide range of dolphin reaction to humans from ignoring us through to definite interaction which is unforgettable to experience.
On return to the beach, there is opportunity for anyone interested to amble through Malongane to experience the eclectic mix of cultures, shops, curios, restaurants, etc., ideal for each to choose a spot for brunch/lunch (own account).
Around sunset, those who are keen take the Fat Bikes to the beach for a sundowner ride followed by yet another traditional Mozambican dinner, but this time all from the ocean.
Day 4: Ponta do Ouro
Stats: 15 km, Ride time 2 hrs, Total time 3 hrs
We’ll reluctantly pack up after breakfast and head to the beach for the last time as we set off on a short ride to the SA border on the beach returning to Ponta do Ouro exposing all riders to the final bit of coastline in the area.
The ride will finish at the Ponta do Ouro Beach Bar where we’ll have a celebratory lunch (own account) and 2M or two before a quick shower and boarding the local taxi transfer back to the formal border and heading back home.
The cost for the entire tour is R10 500 per person and covers all basic costs from the start of the trail to the finish and transfers as detailed below. There is a single supplement additional charge of 30% if you require a single room.
MINIMUM NUMBERS: 8
This is an ideal opportunity for owners of Fat Bikes to use them in their ‘natural environment’, so if you have your own, bring it along.
Detour Trails has a hire fleet of Fat Bikes which can be hired for the entire tour at a cost of R2400. There are obviously strict terms to this hire which can be summarised as by ‘treat the bikes as your own, avoid salt water at all costs and if you break it, you pay’.
Depending on where you are coming from, there are a couple of ways to join the tour:
- Self-drive to Farazella (SA/Mozambique) Border Post can be done in any normal vehicle and is accessible. There is secure parking at Farazella at a nominal fee (R40 per day at time of writing).
- Detour Trails provides a limited number of transfers at R750 per person from Durban and return.