Sunday Times

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WHERE IS IT? Abelana Game Reserve is a 15,000ha Big Five reserve adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park, close to Phalaborwa in the Lowveld. ACCOMMODAT­ION: There are two camps: River Lodge and Safari

Camp. The writer stayed at Safari, a tented camp that accommodat­es 12 guests.

WHAT ABOUT THE BIKES? You don’t need to be super fit — anybody who can ride a bike can do it. As Cameron Murray of Escape Cycle Tours says: “The rides aren’t long in distance, but because you’re scanning for game they’re relatively low-speed so can take a while.“The first ride is approximat­ely 8km

(about two hours); the second is 40km (about five hours) and the final ride is 30km (about 3.5 hours). This includes refreshmen­t stops and a break from the saddle. You can take your own bike or rent. Hardtail bikes can be hired at R350 pppd and ebikes for R850 pppd.

RATES: Abelana is running a special for the rest of 2021: a three-night package is R9,850 per person sharing. It includes accommodat­ion at Safari Camp; all meals, coffee and tea; filtered water; cycling activities with a qualified guide and tracker; evening game drives; and return transport from Johannesbu­rg (by road). There are also walking options, so non-riders are welcome. The team will also wash, lube and check the bikes after each ride and do any repairs that might be required. The rate excludes alcoholic beverages, fizzy drinks and gratuities. CONTACTS: For Escape Cycle Tours, see escapecycl­ or e-mail info@escapecycl­ For Abelana, see abelanagam­, e-mail res@abelanagam­ or phone 061-952-4302.

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