New MTB permits launched for Bottelary Hills:
The 2023 Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) annual mountain bike permit is now available online at www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za. It includes free access to the new family fun Polkadraai bike park that offers a children’s track, pump track, flow, skills trails, fun line and more.
Permits are valid until the end of December 2023 and cost R800 for main members, R700 for spouses, R600 for students and pensioners, and R500 for juniors younger than 18 years.
The 130km BHRC trail network meanders across the rolling Bottelary Hills through working wine farms and pristine Fynbos Renosterveld conservation areas. Featured en route are farm roads, Jeep tracks and numerous single tracks. A variety of distances caters to various skills and fitness levels. While never too technical, there are some challenging climbs.
Day permits (R70) are also available at a number of access points including:
- ASARA security receiving station, located next to the parking facility (5am to 6pm).
- Bellevue Wine Estate tasting room (Monday to Thursday: 1oam to 5pm | Friday to Sunday: 10am to 6pm).
- Crest Coffee kiosk at Devonbosch (Monday to Friday: 7am to 4pm | Saturday: 7am to 12pm).
- Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate Pro Shop (6.30am to 6pm).
- Dwars in die Weg security, Devon Valley Road (24/7).
- Engen Soneike (24/7).
- Fort Simon tasting room (Friday to Sunday: 9am to 5pm).
- Hazendal Babushka Deli (Tuesday to Sunday: 8am to 5pm).
- Neethlingshof Wine Estate (Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm | Saturday to Sunday: 10am to 4pm).
- The Cellar Door at Jordan (8am to 4.30pm).
- Polkadraai Bike Park (9am to 5pm).
- Shell Kruispad (24/7).
- Zevenwacht Wine Estate (24/7 at the security gate).
In addition, the Bottelary Hills MTB Trails has joined the greater Wine Lands Trails Permit, which offers unparalleled access to an array of trails. Riders can now choose if they would like to purchase the BHRC permit with exclusive access to the BHRC trails or the regional Cape Wine Lands permit at R1800 (adults) and R1400 (Seniors/Juniors) that will include:
- A-Z Grabouw, Banhoek Conservancy
- Boschendal, Bottelary Hills Conservancy
- Elgin Valley
- Franschhoek trails
- Fruitways Farms
- Grabouw, Helderberg
- MTO Jonkershoek, Oak Valley, Paarl
- Plaisir, Stellenbosch Trail Fund
- Van Loveren, Wellington (Wild Boar & Scouts)
- Wine Lands Cycling Club trails
This permit can be purchased online at www.WineLandsTrails.com with a R220 contribution going towards BHRC.
Note: only the BHRC green permit or white Wine Lands Trails permit allows access to the Bottelary Hills MTB Trails.
Access to Tygerberg members purchasing the top-up Winelands trails do not have free access to the Bottelary Hills MTN trails and will have to purchase a day permit. The space between the names is key, so please take note of which trails are included in the package purchased.
Access points operate on a cashless Zapper payment system. Find the latest trail map on the Trailforks app.
TrailFun Runs on BHRC wine farms:
This year, the TrailFun events were held in the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy. They proved very popular with runners and exposed them to some new and interesting wine farms in the area.
In addition, R5,500 was raised for local community development projects. Routes are well marked and fun, located in a safe environment, with a choice between an entry-level 5km or a more advanced 10km run. Run both or loop should you prefer a longer adventure.
Enjoy a wine tasting at the host farm and linger longer in the Winelands. Participants can opt for race starts with prizes for podium winners or enjoy a relaxed run at leisure with no groups and no crowds – just solitude in nature.
The 15km and 21km routes are relaxed starts only and are ideal training runs. Runners receive a timing card and medal. No dogs allowed. The next run will take place at Bellevue Wine Estate on Saturday, 10 December.
For event details and entries, visit https://entries.trailfun.co.za.
Epic experiences at an award-winning location:
The Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy received the Conservation Driver Trophy for progressive conservation achievements at the 2022 Conservation at Work Cape Fox Awards.
The annual Cape Fox Awards acknowledges the BHRC’s remarkable progress and growth to 50 members over the past two years.
Other projects included the WWF-funded baseline plant survey and extensive alien plant eradication in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture’s LandCare.
The Conservancy also launched a trail run series, a recycling programme, several guided hikes and hosted the inaugural Bottelary Hills MTB & Eco Weekend.
MTB permit fees contribute to these ongoing initiatives.