Gariep Trail

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Gariep trail (through three Provinces E/Cape, N/Cape & OFS), from Colesberg towards the Gariep Dam, through the Oviston and Gariep Reserves and then on to a choice of destinations, including the town of Bethulie (remember the late Patrick Mynhardt's impersonations of Oom Schalk?).

Trail Details

Day 1: travel to Colesberg and find your way to The Lighhouse Guest House (situated on the main drag through Colesberg at 40A Church St) to be welcomed by Brian and Bianca Kenmuir, themselves experienced and enthusiastic cyclists.  

Day 2: guests cycle out of Colesberg on the R58 towards Norvalspont, turning right about 2km out of town onto the dirt road signposted to Steynsburg. After little more than 1km on this dirt road, take a left turn towards Gariep. After an hour or so's cycling, stop for a picnic breakfast in the veld. Continue your trail (about 55km in total) to Bultfontein farm and its well-known Karoo Nights guesthouse, hosted by Hentie & Helena - your overnight stop. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to do a game drive on neighbouring Van Wyksfontein, viewing wild buffalo and many other species. That evening, enjoy a farm dinner before retiring for the second night of your trail.

Day 3: Cyclists will be directed on the farm road to neighbouring Gelykfontein Stud with its Morning Glory Cottages (35km cycle in total). Enjoy Marene van der Walt's lavish lunch and dinner, and let her enchant you with her incomparable cooking skills and demos.

 Day 4: Cyclists will be directed to a point crossing the R58 tar road into the Oviston Nature Reserve, cycling some 50 km along the southern shoreline of the dam, encountering a variety of antelope en route to Gariep village. Around Gariep we use a number of venues (depending on availability) for the overnight stay. There are options to do a tour of the dam wall and take a sunset cruise, or book the Anglo-Boer War tour of Norvalspont and its concentration camp. 

Day 5: Cyclists continue their journey on the northern shoreline of the dam on the road to Bethulie (this is the History Option*). They will be guided en route through the Gariep Nature Reserve by Anthony Hocking, renowned author of 14 books and owner of the famous "Book Hotel", officially the Royal Hotel in Bethulie. Arriving in time for a light lunch, guests then have the option to chill out in rooms before exploring Bethulie's places of interest with Anthony, including the Anglo-Boer War concentration camp, the old railway station and the longest bridge in SA. Before dinner at the Royal that evening, take a short walk to the voorkamer of well-known concert pianist, Benjamin Fourie, and be enchanted with his stirring recitals!

* the Gourmet Option is to divert from Gariep village on a dirt road to Bokpost in the Phillipolis district. This is a 5-night trail.  

Day 6: Cyclists set off on the 42km Louw Wepener trail through various farms to the north of the town, again guided by Anthony in trailing vehicle. This will include visits to a number of interesting farms where one or two housewives will eagerly ply your lean, athletic frames with cheese scones and other delicacies!

Day 7: Following an early breakfast, guests are collected by Willie Els in his Quantum bus and returned to Colesberg (approx 1hr 15 min) to reconnect with parked vehicles ahead of their homeward journey. The alternative arrangement is that guests park their cars in Bethulie for the duration of the trail and Willie will ferry them (plus luggage and bikes) to the start point at the Lighthouse in Colesberg.

Gariep Trail Photos - 2016

Setting off on GariepSetting off on Gariep
Orange ValleyOrange Valley
Orange ValleyOrange Valley
Climbing the fence in Oviston ReserveClimbing the fence in Oviston Reserve
Lisa, Nikki, Kirsty - Karoo NightsLisa, Nikki, Kirsty - Karoo Nights
Breakfast stop on way to Morning GloryBreakfast stop on way to Morning Glory
Karoo Crew from KZN at Morning GloryKaroo Crew from KZN at Morning Glory
Cindy (Karoo Crew) on Dam wallCindy (Karoo Crew) on Dam wall
The Gariep DamThe Gariep Dam
Gariep Dam Wall TourGariep Dam Wall Tour
The Gariep Dam Wall TourThe Gariep Dam Wall Tour
Sunset cruise on GariepSunset cruise on Gariep
Gariep Reserve - OFS sideGariep Reserve - OFS side
Steu en route to BethulieSteu en route to Bethulie
Lisa, Cam, Kathy, Kirsty - KZN galsLisa, Cam, Kathy, Kirsty - KZN gals
Royal (Royal ("Book") Hotel in Bethulie
Lisa, Nikki & Spider arrive in BethulieLisa, Nikki & Spider arrive in Bethulie
"Karoo Crew" en route to Colesberg for Gariep
Visiting Louw Wepener memorial near BethulieVisiting Louw Wepener memorial near Bethulie
Heading homeHeading home
Morning Glory CottagesMorning Glory Cottages
Morning Glory Cottages Garden and Pool AreaMorning Glory Cottages Garden and Pool Area
Morning Glory Cottages - Bed RoomMorning Glory Cottages - Bed Room
Morning Glory Cottages Dining RoomMorning Glory Cottages Dining Room


Trail Dates & Bookings

Autumn trails start in mid March and run until the first week in June. We run trails on most weeks during this 3-month period.

Spring trails resume on 15 September and run until the first week in December - again during most weeks in this period.


Complete the form below should you wish to send us an enquiry regarding this Trail. 

Cyclists wishing to book trails can do so for any four- or five-day period, including weekdays. Generally, the best days for trailing involve arriving at your start destination on a Thursday, cycling on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, departing on the Monday or Tuesday morning; but we will tailor trails to suit your specific requirements, depending on availability of accommodation at the various guesthouses en route.

Please note: minimum of 8 cyclists per trail, maximum of 14.

The ideal number of cyclists per group is between 8 and 12. By prior arrangement, GKC can accommodate a maximum 14 cyclists per party. The minimum number for a trail to take place is 8.


Please Note:
A 50% deposit on costs is payable two months ahead of commencement of trail in order to secure booking. The remaining 50% to be paid before start of trail. No refund of deposit if cancellation within 10 days of the start date of the trail.


Contact David Southey directly via email or phone:

Phone: 011 489 5411 (Office Hours) or 082 453 6357

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