Two incredible mountain bike races, a Big 5 game reserve and an exciting equestrian event with outdoor market - these are just a few of the adventures that are in store on the Garden Route this Heritage Day weekend, and it’s not too late to make your plans - it’s a few weeks away!
The Buco Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage Race starts on Thursday 20 September from a new venue in the Plett Game Reserve, with flowing trails through beautiful indigenous forest. Day 2 then traverses the 700-hectare private estate Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate, with day three starting at Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm with its renowned network of singletrack and along a coastline with spectacular views, which forms part of the Robberg Coastal Corridor.
Whether you are riding the Dr Evil Classic or coming up to the Plettenberg Bay and Knysna area for a relaxing getaway, here is a list of things to do on the Garden Route this Heritage Day weekend:
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve
Guided safaris at cost R490 per person and will take you on a two-hour game drive on the 2,200 hectare reserve at the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Their knowledgeable game rangers will hopefully track all of the Big 5 for you, and you could also encounter many species of antelope, giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodiles. The historical country house on the reserve, the Baroness Safari Lodge, has beautiful views over the gorge and the Tsitsikamma Mountains, a wonderful option for an indulgent stay.
Equestrian and outdoor market fun
Kurland is the country’s premier venue for equestrian events, and the SA 2018 Adult Eventing Champs is on from 21 - 23 September. This is a Three Phase Event made up of dressage, show-jumping and cross-country and will be great fun for spectators, with a stunning outdoor market with lamb on the spit, Thai food, and a jumping castle for family fun! You can stay at the Hotel or at Kurland Villa, or visit the estate on one of the days to see the show.
Rest at the river
Stay at a room on the Bitou river at the Plett River Lodge, and enjoy dinner at the on-site restaurant, Down to Earth. They will have a special on the Saturday night of the Heritage Day weekend that will include a meal for two and a bottle of red or white wine for R 250, and the restaurant is open to the public.
Cairnbrogie Mountain Pump Tracks and Cafe
Whether you are supporting riders who start their day 3 of the Dr Evil Classic on the Saturday 22nd, or you bring the bikes and the family to enjoy the pump tracks and cafe on Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm, this will be a great place for an active outing - the bike park has become extremely popular with riders of all ilks, and the vibe of the race village on the Saturday will make for a fun day out.
And.. another mountain bike race
We won’t make a lot of noise about this one as the event is sold out - the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge is worth putting in your calendar for next year. The popular 100km one day race from Uniondale to Knysna via the Prince Alfred’s Pass is on Sunday 23 September this year, and if you are a really fit rider keen for a busy weekend, the organisers have reserved a few entries for those who are still to sign up for the remaining few Dr Evil Classic entries. The combination of the Dr Evil Classic and the Karoo to Coast offers four days of mountain biking bliss for the seriously adventurous.
Need we expand further on the merits of a long weekend in Knysna or Plettenberg Bay? Forest walks, lagoon cruises and scenic beaches, a tranquil spot or one of the buzzing events - make sure you make the most of your Heritage Day weekend - and be sure to have a braai!
Distributed by Maryann Shaw Communications on behalf of the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge and the Buco Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage Race.