Zuurberg Trail, starting in Cradock and overnighting at, or by-passing, Tollies (Buffelsfontein Game Reserve) (60km away), or cycling on to Somerset East (a further 35 km). The road continues from Somerset East in the direction of Addo to the Zuurberg Inn. From there on to Kirkwood and Port Elizabeth.
Arrive in Cradock. The Tuishuise & Victoria Manor is a faithful adherent to the golden age of Queen Victoria. Check in after arrival for your first night in Cradock. A visit to this area is incomplete without a game drive into the nearby Mountain Zebra Park, where lions, leopard and other predators run freely.
Day 1 of Cycling
- Day 1 - Stay the course with the gravel road, taking the route over the Swaershoek pass (also a favourite with many local mountain-bikers) towards Somerset East.
- Some of the more fanatical cyclists insist on riding the entire 95km route to Somerset East! If you’re a leisurely cyclist, you’ll want to take the road off to the right and head for well-known game farm, Tollies www.buffelsfonteinlodge.com (about 60km from Cradock with 35km to Somerset East). Tollies has a number of lodges set against the backdrop of the Bosberg mountains and welcomes cyclists and road trippers.
- Day 2 - Travelling from Tollies through hilly and scenic Eastern Cape scrubveld, stop for tea or lunch at one of Somerset East’s restaurants before travelling out in a westerly direction for 12km to Glen Avon guest farm, (www.glenavonfarm.co.za), run by Bill and Alison Brown. This is another one of those hidden jewels of the E Cape, offering superior accommodation and meals.
- Day 3 - Leaving Glen Avon the next morning, stick to the dirt road headings towards Addo Elephant Park. Some 50km from Somerset East, cycling or driving through gradually more dense vegetation, you will encounter Ann’s Villa, www.annsvilla.co.za, literally alongside the road. This was the home of the first cycling club in the E Cape and has recently added a number of new bedrooms in the old schoolhouse. It serves as an enchanting stopover for weary cyclists before taking on the demanding 26km Zuurberg Pass to the Inn itself.
- Zuurberg Mountain Village (www.addo.co.za) sits at the top of the pass and, being only 18km from Addo gate, is a particularly popular weekend getaway for folk in PE and surrounding towns. It opened its doors to travelers in 1861, originally as a stagecoach post, and endured seven frontier wars. It was also the route used by Jan Smuts and his commandos during the Anglo-Boer.
- Day 4 - From Zuurberg it is a short hop to the town of Kirkwood and on to Port Eizabeth (in total 80km). Dirt roads precede you to the outskirts of the city.