Botshabelo Nature Reserve MTB Route

Botshabelo is nestled in a valley cut by the Klein Olifants River. The name means ‘place of shelter’ and was started way back in 1865 as a mission station. It was bought by the Middelburg Municipality in 1972. They started to restore the property and transformed it into a small

On your bike

Botshabelo trail (12 km) :

It is easy cycling on the hard compacted sand while low grassland affords good views over the lush green rolling hills and valleys. The road loops onto the ridge above the mission to a stone-walled fort. Fort Merensky was built in 1865 to protect the mission settlement from attacks by Chief Sekukuni. It has subsequently been restored and visitors are allowed to clamber over its dry stone walls and defensive tower. After visiting the fort, follow the road back the way you came, before branching left onto a smaller track leading to the top of the hill.

This track forms the main game loop and you can follow it back down the hill catching air over some great irrigation bumps and humps.

Little elephant Trail (35 to 60 km) :

Mountain bikers wanting a more challenging ride may park and ride from Botshabelo on some thrilling singletrack out through the Defence Force training farm, Doornkop, and over the Little Elephant river. This ride can be extended to about 60 km if the Cycad hiking trail is incorporated. Cycle up and down beautiful valleys with spectacular views of the Olifants River, with the possibility of chance encounters with indigenous game


Easy to moderate


Depends on route chosen


Three circuits – 12km, 35km and 60km


Botshabelo Nature Reserve


Hard compacted sand and singletrack


Gate fee payable


Self catering accommodation and caravan and camp site.


Some of the routes are shared with game-viewing motorists

Contact Details

  1. Email:
  2. Phone: 013-245-9000
  3. Website: