Saddle up for the next iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day with ATS
A journey of adventure
In just nine weeks, a few hundred adventurous mountain bikers will descend upon the verdant village of St Lucia Estuary to kick start the third iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day powered by Nashua. They are in for the time of their lives, experiencing the once-a-year privilege of freewheeling through the untamed wilds of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park world heritage site and surrounding areas. Already heralded as a bucket-list ride and the next big thing in MTB circles, this year’s event promises more single track, off-road, deep-in-the- bush-with-big-five-species fun.
Four days of pure adrenaline through the iSimangaliso Wetland Park world heritage site, Bonamanzi Game Reserve, Hluhluwe River Lodge, Phinda Private Game Reserve and the Lebombo Mountains.
But don’t just take listen to what WE say – we are obviously somewhat biased. So we invited well-known adventure sports enthusiast, journalist and photographer Jacques Marais to sample some of the route and take some promotional pics for us. He’s ridden more tracks than you can shake a guava stick at, and this is what he wrote (in authentic rider lingo):
“Tamped hippo trails slip-sliding along the pampassy edge of the Western Shores estuary … Back-country bombing the wild and whippy cattle tracks of the Lebombo ranges … Game trail cranking amidst free-ranging rhino, giraffe, elephant and bone-crunching carnivores… Leisure cruising the emerald sand forests of the Eastern Shores section…
Let’s put it this way: you name it, and iSimangaliso will be sure to tick that little box. Yup, bermed single-track, rock gardens, skittish downhill charges, head-space cruises, bush tunnel blasts … I get the shivers all over again just writing this.
We rode from dawn till dusk, navigating dusty tracks through Big 5 game reserves, slept in safari-style tents and bush lodges, protein-binged around the night-time braai fires, got our beers on, and drifted off to dreamland while night-jars trilled and hyaenas howled. And along the way, we soaked up every nuance of this incredible #iSimangaliso route as we traversed six distinct and incredibly diverse eco-systems.
Believe me when I say this is a mountain biking nirvanha of note, and to have four days in which to explore these trails is a bit like main-lining on 100% proof #2WheelStoke . [This is] a ride that should come with a serious addiction warning. I will be back, with my #Slider, and with a stupid-huge grin on my face.”
Opinion makers, bloggers, trend-trackers and influencers …these are some of the names by which Durbanites Dane Forman and Andy Carrie are known in their various social media platforms aimed at engaging with the world at large – especially in the world of tourism. And they were mighty impressed, liberally peppering their tweets, Instagram and Storehouse posts with words like epic and amazing!
Andrew Zaloumis iSimangaliso CEO and co-developer of the ride, chips in: “I always say to riders that once you have ridden the iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day you will be able to tell the difference between elephant, hippo and nguni paths. Elephant paths, with their wide meandering curves, are my best… I look forward to hearing about your favourite!”
Spending the first two nights at Sugarloaf Campsite, St Lucia Estuary means lots of free time to partake in a variety of tourism activities: Estuary boat cruise, beach or game park horse riding, bird watching, self-guided trails, guided kayaking or game drives.
Luckily for you, there are still a few team spots open for the event that takes place from 20-23 August 2015. Snap them up by entering online at www.isimangaliso-mtb, and check out the social media pages listed below for more shots to get your adrenaline going.
• Compulsory briefing 19 August 2015 at Sugarloaf Campsite, St Lucia Estuary
• Route is the reverse of previous years: St Lucia Estuary, Eastern Shores, Western Shores, Bonamanzi Game Reserve, Hluhluwe River Lodge and Lake St Lucia floodplain, False Bay, Phinda Private Game Reserve, uMkhuze and the Lebombo Mountains.
• Entry fees include a compulsory donation to iSimangaliso’s Rare and Endangered Species Fund bringing enormous benefits to the management of these species in the Park.
• Six local schools will receive office equipment donations from main sponsor NASHUA and twenty local jobs are created during the event.
Mel Bell CEO
African Travel Solutions
Tele: + 44 1476 530927
Mobile: + 44 7780 579306