The Valley of 1000 Hills, a stone’s throw from Durban, is populated by rural Zulu still tending the soil and their livestock. This is a huge opportunity for mountain biking on raw natural trails that are sculpted through the ages by these rural peopled as they go about their daily lives. There are endless opportunities to ride while interacting with the folk who live here.
|TOUR GRADE||3/4 : MODERATE – CHALLENGING
This ride is for regular mountain bikers, who have a degree of off road experience. Routes include some moderate to difficult technical sections & sharp climbs
|WHY YOU SHOULD DO THIS RIDE||
Bishopstowe to iSithumba
40km, 750m ascent, 1050m descent
Starting in commercial farmland, the trail follows the uMzundusi River continuously deteriorating as it wends its way into the heart of the Valley and rural communities. It flows on the network of cattle and walking paths along the uMsundusi onto John 14 Trail and almost by surprise meets the uMgeni River from where it’s a short ride to the finish at iSithumba situated at the foot of Old Baldy.
Bishopstowe to iNanda
55km, 1800m ascent, 1400m descent
This is the BIG ONE! It is a continuation of the ride to iSithumba along the uMgeni River on a variety of surfaces, with a few river crossings and other obstacles before reaching the headwaters of Inanda Dam. Here, there is the north or south option which is chosen ‘on the run’. This ride must rate as one of the most demanding, yet rewarding day rides imaginable.
‘Om Die Dam’ Nagle Trail
30km, 1200m ascent, 1200m descent
Nagle Dam tucked away on the upper uMgeni is a little jewel seldom visited and is not short on surprises. The route around the dam is short, but riders who think it’s easy are in for a surprise. The trail gets riders way into rural lands where the going is slow as the valley of 1000 hills is not flat! There are some climbs rewarded by an exhilarating descent sure to put a smile on most faces and even an interesting crossing of the uMgeni.
Wartburg to Mfula
47km, 1950m ascent, 1950m descent
Starting in plantations on the outskirts of Wartburg, the trail is initially on dirt road heading towards the uMgeni River escarpment where it steadily deteriorates as it plunges into the valley down towards the river. After traversing the Nagle Dam Reserve the trail enters rural kwaZulu proper and becomes a network of walking and cattle tracks as it follows the uMgeni to the confluence with the uMsundusi. The trail follows and crosses the uMsundusi (one on ‘scary bridge’) before finally meeting the uMgeni again and following it over Marianne Foley Bridge, Ngumeni Hill and down to Mfula Store.
Thuthuka Mission Rapid Trail
40km, 1000m ascent, 1500m descent
While the trail is actually a figure of eight going up and down the uMsundusi River mostly on walking paths used by the local communities, it doesn’t feel anything like it as it snakes here and there with a big variation in trail type from dirt road to smooth single track to rough single track, etc. After a morning of some of the most challenging and rewarding trails that cross country mountain bikers will have experienced, we will arrive at Thuthuka Shebeen for beers and a traditional shisa nyama lunch.
Nagle to iSitumba
35km, 750m ascent, 1000m descent
This route is 95% single track on the network of walking and cattle paths. Leaving Nagle, it goes along the uMgeni River to the confluence with the uMsundusi River over Scary Bridge and the saddles (well known to Dusi canoeists) to even more single tracks linking villages before finally dropping down John 14 Trail back to the uMgeni for the last few kilometres of trail along the river to iSithumba.
MINIMUM NUMBERS: 8
The cost for each day ride is R300 and covers all basic costs from the start of the trail to the finish. Specific exclusions are alcohol, med insurance & anything of a personal nature.
There is an option of a transfer from a specific point in greater Durban and back in the Detour Mothership limited to 12 riders at a cost of R350 per rider.