Nedbank Tour de Tuli has officially launched the 2019 route of Africa’s most exciting mountain-biking event, with the big difference being that this year’s route will be run in reverse compared to previous editions of the Tour.
As in earlier Tours, the focus will be on the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA) which protects wilderness areas in three southern African countries: Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
In keeping with the Tour’s emphasis on minimal environmental impact, riders follow unmarked trails – primarily along ancient elephant paths. Elephant herds have traversed these areas for centuries, so it makes sense to follow in their footprints.
The reverse route will see participants in the 2019 Tour spend more time in Botswana than in previous years, and the Tour will begin and end at the same place in South Africa. Riders will have the opportunity to explore remote wilderness areas, pass through rural communities, and have their passports stamped at unique, especially set up border posts where they will be the only people crossing that week.
“Our route reconnaissance team members have outdone themselves this year, and we’re excited to reveal what we believe will be our most compelling route yet,” commented Tour Director, Nicola Harris. “We’ve taken the opportunity to showcase some of the most ruggedly beautiful areas of southern Africa, with routes that focus on both cultural heritage and natural history”.
The GMTFCA has a rich and fascinating history, and this was brought to life at the May 29th Route Launch Event in Rivonia by professional storyteller Rob Caskie. Rob’s compelling retelling added an extra dimension to the appeal of the Tour and gave riders an authentic sense of place through the power of his words.
Itinerary highlights over the four days of riding on the 2019 Tour will include:
Day 1: Mapungubwe Confluence Camp (South Africa) to Nyala Berry Bush Camp (Zimbabwe) – approximately 65 km, including crossing borders at the Limpopo River.
Day 2: Nyala Berry Camp (Zimbabwe) to Amphitheatre Bush Camp (Botswana) – approximately 80 km, including another border crossing from Zimbabwe to Botswana, a ride through Shashe Village and the historic Bryce’s Store ruins.
Day 3: Amphitheatre Bush Camp Loop (Botswana) – approximately 50 km – easier riding and beautiful scenery, plus a visit to one of the Children in the Wilderness schools.
Day 4: Amphitheatre Bush Camp (Botswana) to Mapungubwe Confluence Camp (South Africa) – approximately 60 km – Sacred Mountain and Shalimpo Island
Click here to watch a short video showing the highlights of the 2018 Nedbank Tour de Tuli.