South Africa and Lesotho Route

To find general information about South Africa and Lesotho including details of accommodation have a look at South Africa – Lesotho in the country file section

Start Finish Distance (Km) Notes
Swartkopfontein Border Zeerust 90 Quality of tarmac variable but ok on the bike. Big difference from Botswana – much more hilly. Tail and cross wind
Zeerust Swartruggens 71 Good tarmac. Get your climbing muscles going if you're coming from Botswana
Swartruggens Rustenburg 56 Good tarmac
Rustenburg Magaliesburg 53 No hard shoulder and fast traffic. Road surface of variable quality.
Magaliesburg Carletonville 59 ups and downs -fast traffic and no hard shoulder.
Carletonville Parys 64 Beautiful tail wind. Lots of ups but really nice downs. The road is double carrigeway to Fochville then single and narrow with no hard shoulder and fast traffic.
Parys Kroonstad 100 More up and down and tail wind. Narrow Road with fast traffic but not too busy.
Kroonstad Senekal 100 Good road with narrow shoulder. Fast traffic.
Senekal Bethlehem 73 A lot of climbing on a good road with wide shoulder. Head and cross wind
Bethlehem Clarens 34 Nice ride in quiet road. Good tarmac. Up and down.
Clarens Caledonspoort (Lesotho) border 46 Beautiful ride amongst sandstone mountains on a good tarmac with a nice hardshoulder a fair amount of climbing
Caledonspoort (Lesotho) border Lephofung Cave 41 Well…we're in Lesotho the Mountain Kingdom! Good tarmac and some steep climbs! Plenty of villages
Lephofung Cave Oxbow 29 1000 mt climb with some very steep gradients on good tarmac. Water from mountains but there were animals grazing up in the mountains when  I was there so not sure how safe it was
Oxbow Letseng 46 Great tarmac. More climbing but much gentler than yesterday. Fabulous views. No water after the Tlaeng Pass. Public water tap in Letseng. You'll see a sign for a lodge at 1.4km don't be fool when you get to the're there is another 9km to the lodge and the sign says 4×4 only!
Letseng Ha Mojakisane 62 A brilliant donwhill to Mapholaneng where there are shops. Then a fair amount of ups and downs until
Ha Mojakisane Sani Pass 43 Another day off climbing but so worth it. Some seriously steep climbs and descents 18 to 20% on good tarmac
Sani Pass Underberg 45 The descent from the pass to start with is on a extremely steep dirt road with switchbacks. I felt the road was challenging until the SA Border post. It then continues to be a dirt road but the gradients are gentler. The landscape around you is awe inspiring. Once you hit the tarmac the gradients are OK and the road surface is good.
Underberg Kokstad 46 Got a lift to Swartberg. After that excellent road surface with a fair amount of undulations. The last 5 km to the nature reserve are mainly climbing on a good gravel road
Kokstad Chintsa 10 On the Baz Bus. I was advised by many people including cyclists not to cycle in the Transkai because of safety so decided to get the bus. It looked a very interesting area – more densely populated and quite mountainous
Chintsa East London 42 Good road surface. No hardshoulder until you hit the N2. Undulating road.
East London Kidd's Beach 42 Good road surface
Kidd's Beach Begha 65 They are building a new road and some sections are very narrow. Cars and lorries go very fast. In one section I got escorted by a police car as according to them I was going to cross a crime hot spot and could get robbed and killed!!! Quite a lot of climbing
Begha Port Alfred 54 The building work continues and the speed of the drivers too.The road goes down to each river and then climbs again. This goes on all day
Port Alfred Kenton on Sea 26 No road works. Narrow road. Fast cars. Good tarmac
Kenton on Sea Alexandria 34 tarred road until you get near Cannon Rocks. Then is a gravel road undilating and corrugated.
Alexadria R72 50 Gravel road until you get to the R72. Then tarred with good surface
R72 Blue Water Bay 58 After 15km you join the n2. good tarmac and good shoulder.
Blue Water Bay Port Elizabeth 22 Joined the N2. Busy and fast traffic. There is a path parallel to the road but come out of it before you get to the railway trucks because it becomes impossible to ride on and it's quite far to the point where you can cross over the railway line
Port Elizabeth Thornhill 72 Followed the dirt road crossing over van strudens raliway bridge. stunning views. Some challenging sections on a fully loaded bike.
Thornhill Jeffrey Bay 33 Good tarmac. Easy ride
Jeffrey's Bay St Francis Bay 74 Good tarmac. Easy ride
St Francis Bay Tsitsikama Faith B&B 72 Undulating road on good tarmac
Tsitsikama Faith B&B Bouklans Bridge 58 Undulating road on good tarmac
Bouklans Bridge Knysna 72 Undulating road on good tarmac
Knysna Wilderness 47 Some climbing on good tarmac
Wilderness Swellendan 25
Swellendan Bredasdorp 71 Undulating  road. Strong head wind. Good tarmac
Bredasdorp Struisbaai 40 Flat road on good tarmac.
Struisbaai Elim 58 Came via the tarmac road. Good flat road all the way
Elim Gansbaai 42 Good road
Gansbaai Herman's 52 Good road
Herman's Betty's Bay 48 Good Road
Betty's Bay Stellenbosch 60 Beautiful coast road to Gordon's Bay with a fair amount of ups and downs. From Strand busy road to Stellenbosch but good shoulder
Stellenbosch Cape Town 50 Busy road to Cape Town beware of the taxis that pull up in front of you without warning
Cape Town Nr Atlantic 61 Busy road leaving Cape Town. Got quieter when I got to the R27
Nr Atlantis Langebaan 96 Nice tarmac. Quiet road – flat
Langebaan Dwarkersboos 56 Nice tarmac. Quiet road – flat
Dwarkersboos Eland Bay 56 Nice tarmac – quiet road – flat only one hill before Eland
Eland Bay Clanwilliams 69 Good tarmac. Very quiet. Some steep climbs
Clanwilliams Nr Klawer 54 Went on the Old Klawer Road. First 13 Km in tarmac then it becomes a gravel road with q fair amount of corrugations and ups and downs
Nr Klawer Vanhynsdorp 27 Good tarmac on the N7 -OK shoulder – ups and downs
Vanhynsdorp Nuwerus 69 Good tarmac on the N7 -OK shoulder – ups and downs with an upward tendency
Nuwerus Garies 80 Good tarmac the undulations continue. A good farm shop in Bitterfontain selling great pies. Nothing after that
Garies Kamieskroon 50 A day of climbing on good tarmac
Kamieskroon Springbok 70 The first half of the day was pretty much down hill followed by continuous climbing and undulations
Springbok Steinkopf 57 A mix bag -some nice downhills but plenty of undulations.
Steinkopf Vioolsdrift 70 Strong head wind to start with but the last 40 Km were a total joy!!
Total days Cycling days Distance
Total SA and Lesotho 89 58 3167