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South Africa Cycling Tour – NEW TOUR!
Tour Dates: 10 days, March 23-April 1, April 2 – 11, 2017

Both tours will be accompanied by Chuck & Judy Nichols

NEW TOUR! Our South Africa Cycling Tour will introduce you to a spectacular region filled with beauty and surprise. From the majestic coastal roads of the cape to the vineyards of the interior, South Africa is wildly diverse and rich in natural attractions. South Africa is also emerging as an important economic and cultural center of the continent, it has a stable economy, the local people are friendly and it is truly a hidden gem for a cycling destination. This is a rare find indeed!

We can also make this a CHARTER TOUR for groups of 4 or more on any dates you choose. You invite the people and we take care of all the details. Just give us a call to arrange your dream cycling vacation!

Price: $2,500 US/per person double occupancy ***This is an approximate price, based on the South African Rand / US Dollar exchange rate, which fluctuates daily. The actual trip cost is 35,000 South African Rand per person.

Single Supplement: $250 US ***This is an approximate price, based on the South African Rand / US Dollar exchange rate, which fluctuates daily. The actual cost is 3500 South African Rand.

Price Includes:
  • 9 nights lodging
  • 9 breakfasts, most lunches and 9 dinners
  • van support and luggage transfers
  • map with route directions
  • cycling guide
  • 1 wine tasting
  • road bike or hybrid bike rentals

* Electric bikes are available for an additional cost.

Price Does Not Include:

alcoholic beverages, tips for local staff, airport transfer to the start of the tour.

A deposit payment of $700 USD per person is required to book this tour. Deposit amount subject to change with fluctuation of South African Rand currency.

Our tour begins in the small coastal town of Wilderness, a dreamlike setting right on the Indian Ocean where there are miles of white sand beach right out your door. The first ride will be on a quiet road that heads inland from the ocean to a wonderful game lodge. Later that afternoon we do our first game drive in search of elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes, cape buffalo and a variety of antelope – all up close and personal! Yep, we are really in Africa now!

Each day there is something different to see and we will have a chance to ride through a remarkable variety of landscapes that are all rich in plant diversity. Our cycling route includes forested mountain passes, the breathtaking coastlines of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, scenic gorges and riding to the Cape of Good Hope, the most southwestern point of Africa. We will also visit the world-renowned wine regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek where wine tasting is a memorable tradition.

We have a support vehicle to transfer us to the best locations for riding and to carry our luggage, snacks and take care of our daily needs. Our lodgings are a collection of charming guesthouses, small inns and a game lodge, and you can look forward to tasty South African cuisine with excellent wine each night. We rate this bike tour as moderately challenging and we will have a support vehicle traveling with us each day for rider assistance. Chuck and Judy Nichols will accompany this NEW BIKE TOUR and we hope you will join them for this unique experience – Cycling South Africa!

Tour Map

Day 1 (Sunday, April 2, 2017):

Mid afternoon tour introduction and bike fitting.

Arrive at the George, South Africa airport and taxi on your own to our guesthouse in Wilderness. George has many flights a day from both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Wilderness is just a 10-minute taxi ride from the airport. Let us know if you would like to arrive a day early to get over jet lag as our guesthouse is in a wonderful location on the Indian Ocean with miles of beach to enjoy. Meals begin with a welcome dinner on Day 1.

Day 2

Ride: 46 km, Ascent 400 m, Descent 375 m

After breakfast, we will transfer to a quiet road just west of Mossel Bay on the Garden Route. There is very little traffic and the road is fairly flat, making it a great place to adjust to South Africa riding on the left side of the road. Our route takes us to the Garden Route Game Lodge, which is set against a backdrop of the majestic Langeberg mountain Range. The Garden Route Game Lodge is a private reserve that hosts an incredible variety of wildlife: Zebra, wildebeest, springbok, eland, impala, ostrich, rhino, hippo, lions, elephants, giraffe, buffalo and cheetah. We will arrive by bike in time for a late afternoon game drive before sunset and dinner. And no worries, this is a malaria-free area so no pills are needed.

Day 3

Ride: 40 km, Ascent 535 m, Descent: 252 m

Just after sunrise is the perfect time to view animals on our morning game drive. Following the game drive, we return to the lodge for breakfast. Then, we will depart by vehicle to the start of our ride that takes us over the historical Tradouw Pass to the breathtaking scenery of Tradouw Gorge. We finish our ride in the quaint town of Barrydale, an important fruit and wine region nestled in a fertile valley bordered by the Langberg and Swartberg mountain ranges. Our lodging tonight is in a charming country inn.

Day 4

Ride: 62 km, Ascent 672 m, descent 815 m

Beginning in Barrydale, we ride over a mountain pass to Montague. The scenery changes dramatically as we pass through the Klein Karoo, a semi-desert region renowned for its spectacular vegetation - aloes, milkbush, concertina plant and succulents. South Africa is well known for its great number and diversity of plant species, and we will see many of them during our rides. We will visit the village of Montague and then continue to our lodging by vehicle. We will be staying at the Nuy Valley Guest Farm, a hidden gem in one of the most beautiful valleys of the Cape Winelands District. There, we will have an afternoon wine tasting before a scrumptious dinner at the farm.

Day 5

54 km, Ascent 415 m, descent 359 m

We start out riding the back roads from Nuy Valley to Villersdorp, then we transfer by vehicle to Franschhoek where we spend 2 nights in a lovely guesthouse. Settled in 1688 by French HTHuguenotTH refugees, Franschhoek is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and its name in Dutch means "French Corner.” Some of the original Cape Dutch-style farmhouses can still be seen today and there are a number of renowned wineries in this valley. Dinner tonight is at one of the famous wine estates.

Day 6

Ride: one way ride to Stellenbosch - 33 km, or out and back ride to Stellenbosch - 66 km, Ascent and Descent - 700 m

Today you have several options.
Option 1: Have a rest day, walk around Franschoek, enjoy lunch at a sidewalk café and take in the scenery.
Option 2: Take a ride in our support vehicle to Stellenbosch, the wine capital of the region. En route, you will make a stop to see the Nelson Mandela memorial before continuing to Stellenbosch for lunch and then a wonderful wine and chocolate tasting where they pair a number of different wines with an interesting array of chocolates - the best of both worlds!
Option 3: Ride one way into Stellenbosch, join us for the lunch and wine/chocolate tasting and transfer back to Franshoek in the support vehicle.
Option 4: Go the full distance and ride out and back from Franschhoek to Stellenbosch where you will enjoy the food, wine and chocolate. We return to the guest house in Franschhoek for the night.

Day 7

Ride: 50 km, Ascent and Descent - 470 m

After breakfast we transfer to False Bay for a spectacular ride along the Indian Ocean. This is a beautiful stretch of coastline cycling where baboons are often seen along the road. The entire ride is one postcard view after another. We end our ride near Gordon’s Bay, and transfer to Simons Town, one of the prettiest towns on the Cape Town peninsula. In Simons Town, we will walk along the coastal path to visit the famous colony of African Penguins. These flightless birds roam freely around the area, so you can get relatively close to them. This is a truly special experience. Our lodging is in Simon’s Town in a wonderful B&B with views of the bay below.

Day 8

Ride: 74 km, Ascent and Descent – 840 m

For the next 2 days we will be riding the most scenic portions of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the world’s largest timed bike race that occurs each year in mid-March. The dates of our bike tour are set to avoid this race and we will have far fewer riders on the road. Beginning in Simon’s Town, we ride south along False Bay, enter the Cape Point Nature Reserve and continue to the Cape of Good Hope, the most southwestern point of Africa. This is a day to savor, with so many scenic stops to photograph the spectacular scenery. Ostriches, antelope and baboons may also be seen along the way. Our ride continues through the lovely seaside villages of carborough, Misty Cliffs and Kommetjie before reaching Monkey Valley Resort, a spectacular location that overlooks the Atlantic coastline. We will be spending 2 nights here.

Day 9

Ride: One way: 30 km, Ascent and Descent – 500 m, Out and Back, 60 km – Ascent and Descent – 1,000 m

Today is the grand finale ride and you will not be disappointed! We start from the resort and ride north along the Atlantic coast on the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive to the town of Camps Bay. After a break, we will be returning on the same road to the Monkey Valley Resort. The scenery is spectacular in both directions, with splendid views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic. You can choose to ride the entire 60 km route take a transfer whenever you would like. We return to our lodging at the Monkey Valley Resort for our Farewell Dinner.

Day 10 – (Tuesday, April 11, 2017)

After breakfast we will arrange transfers into Cape Town and to the Cape Town airport. For those of you wishing to spend some time in Cape Town after the trip, we can assist with lodging reservations.

Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions bike tour?

You can expect a spirited mix of singles and couples in their 20′s to 80′s from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references and the make-up of any trip that you are interested in joining.

Can I charter this tour?

Yes! You bring the people and we will take care of all the details! This tour can be chartered as either a Guided Tour or Self Guided Tour. Call us for details and availability, 800-648-8488.

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Travel Information

This tour starts in George, South Africa and ends in Cape Town, South Africa. You can purchase a multi-city airline ticket from your hometown to George, South Africa at the start and return from Cape Town South Africa at the end of the tour. You might find better rates and connections by purchasing the international flights on one ticket and the one way South African flight from either Johannesburg or Cape Town to George on a different ticket. For one way flights in South Africa check out www.skyscanner.com. If you are having problems getting the right flights, give us a call and we will assist you with your flights.

The Guides

Our exceptional South African staff includes a local cycling guide and local support vehicle driver.

The Food

We will be staying in hotels and inns that serve great food. Vegetarian and other dietary restrictions can easily be accommodated with advanced notice. All meals will be included. Beverages are extra.

Weather

South Africa seasons are the opposite those of North America. We have scheduled our tour in late March, which is autumn in South Africa. The skies are generally sunny and clear, and temperatures during the day should be in the 60’s to 70′s and at night in the 50’s to 60’s. This is not their rainy season, but there is always a possibility for showers.

Rental Bikes

We rent good quality road, hybrid and electric bikes. You are welcomed to bring your own pedals and seat.

Passport & VISA

U. S. and Canadian citizens do not need a VISA, but you must have a current Passport. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel! Make copies of your passport! We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.

Health Issues

Our bike tour takes place on the Western Cape of South Africa where the standard of living is the highest in Africa. The tap water is safe to drink, there is no malaria, yellow fever or typhoid, so there are no inoculations required for travel to this region. However, we do suggest checking on the status of your tetanus shots and if it has been 10 years or more to get a booster shot.

The secret to stress free travel

Simply put, pack light and arrive at the starting point of your trip a day early. Many have told us this was the most important thing they did to get ready for their trip. They felt rested and more acquainted with the customs and pace of life in their new surroundings.

Additional hotel lodging

Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations for you in South Africa either before or after the tour.

Travel delays

Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to delays with transportation (airline or other), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!

Learn more about the Travel Insurance.

Language

Most folks in the region of our bike tour speak excellent English. There are 11 official languages spoken in South Africa and many unofficial ones. English is the official language of business, politics and media.

Money

The currency is the South African Rand. You will need to exchange currency for beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for the South African guide and Driver. We suggest starting with a minimum of $250US (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine).

Tipping

We suggest 10% for good service in restaurants and a small amount for baggage and taxi workers. During the tour, we suggest $200US per guest to cover our South African staff and the various service people on the tour and at the lodges.

Cash & Credit Cards

You can exchange money at the airport when you arrive. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or MasterCards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in most of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Euros at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.

Phone Calls Abroad

You will receive a Pre-trip Letter listing all of the hotels and telephone numbers where you will be staying. Leave a copy of this phone list with your emergency contact person. If you bring your cell phone, it must be tri-band with international service. Be sure to activate the international service at least 1 week prior to your trip & check its operation.

About South Africa

Republic of South Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost sovereign state in Africa. It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometers of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, on the north by the neighboring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and on the east by Mozambique and Swaziland, and surrounding the kingdom of Lesotho. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. ~ Wikipedia

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