Bicycling (South Africa)

The Great South Meander

Distance 364km /Ascent 2 700m / Days: 3-6 / Difficulty: 6-10

- By Mike Finch

Conquer the Overberg in a weekend.

The Western Cape government recently unveiled their fourth cycling tour across the province, the Overberg Meander – a 3- to 6-day adventure perfectly designed for that long weekend. Start packing…


the Overberg Meander route launched in late 2018 is the latest additional to the Western Cape’s Cape Cycle Routes, aimed at promoting cycle touring in the province. Nestled between the Cape Peninsula and the Garden Route, the Cape Overberg is fondly referred to the ‘bread basket of the Cape’, due to its harvests of wheat and fruit. The Overberg Meander route is an exploratio­n of this region, a playground for those seeking adventure and the great outdoors, and can be done on a mountain bike or a gravel bike. Punctuated by towns such as Swellendam, L’Agulhas, Elim, Hermanus and Grabouw, the Cape Overberg boasts a landscape dominated by gentle, undulating hills, deep green grass and golden wheat fields, bordered by forbidding mountain ranges and the ocean. Pedal through the rolling hills of the Swellendam Valley, with the Langeberg Mountains as your backdrop, and arrive at L’Agulhas, the southernmo­st town in Africa. Stop over at the historic town of Elim – a former Moravian Mission station – and sample the unique vintages of the Elim Wine Route, the southernmo­st wine route in Africa. Discover the quaint, idyllic village of Stanford, a quiet town that despite its size punches well above its weight in the production of craft beer and artisanal gin and produce. Cruise into and through the aptlynamed Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) Valley, before finishing your journey in the Elgin Valley, a gem of the Cape Overberg – an adventure traveller’s dream, with some of our most epic mountain biking trails, and fine wine thrown in for good measure.

Stanford punches well above its weight in the production of craft beer and artisanal gin…

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