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Johannesburg to Durban


Davidworldcycletour
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Hi all. I'm new to the group. I'm currently cycle touring around South Africa and hoping that maybe someone has done a similar ride. I'm looking for a route from Johannesburg to Durban and plan to cycle it over a few days, I have found a few and have made some but not sure what they will be like and if the areas they go through are safe or not, it needs to be an alternative to the N3 as its very dangerous and I think its illegal to ride on highways here. I don't mind any distance, dirt roads, hills etc, if they include camping spots along the way then thats awesome to or I will find places to camp. I will be riding with a loaded bike and will have all my camping gear with me.

Thanks for any advice, it will be highly appreciated.

Edited by Davidworldcycletour
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Now I know that this is not exactly from Jhb to Durban per-say but I do believe this is a very good starting point. I reckon you'll be able to map something from this one.

I bought this book a few years ago and they even offer discounts if you stop at the places they stopped at etc etc. Some nice other features in the book as well

 

https://community.bikehub.co.za/topic/150677-riding-the-dragons-spine/

 

https://www.loot.co.za/product/david-bristow-riding-the-dragon-s-spine/vbcm-1681-g630

https://www.takealot.com/riding-the-dragon-s-spine/PLID37783310

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There is a club called Germiston Wheelers who do this route every year. There are are few  guys on this forum. Or check there website for more info.( I see there is a blog on their website relating to this particular ride under "Durban" )

 

You can definitely  not do it on the N3.

 

Good luck

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We did it a few years back as follows

Heilbron - Reitz - Kestell- Phuthaditjhaba - Oliviershoek Pass - Bergville - Winterton - Frere then from there R103 will get you into Durban.

 

But if you want more adventure:

At Winterton head through to White Mountain, then to Glengarry. You can camp at highmoore and White Mountain or even Glengarry. Then I would take the Mpofana and Lower Lotheni roads to Notties(stop for a beer in the area). Then the Fort Nottingham road loop round to Midmar( can camp there) and back to the R103.

 

You could also push through at the foot of the berg towards Underberg via Stepmoor. From there a short stretch on the R612 and after Donnybrook you can cut through to Richmond via Hela Hela. From Richmond to Thronville and then Camperdown where you can jump on R103.

 

To be honest the way we did it was *** boring long days in the saddle. If you leave Heilbron at 4am you can get to amphitheater backpackers near Winterton by late afternoon. In the FS it may be worth going Reitz, Bethlehem, Clarens so you can at least enjoy Golden Gate.

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We did it a few years back as follows

Heilbron - Reitz - Kestell- Phuthaditjhaba - Oliviershoek Pass - Bergville - Winterton - Frere then from there R103 will get you into Durban.

 

Our very similar version was Parktown North - Vanderbijlpark - Heilbron - Reitz (220km) on day 1, then as above.

 

Day 1 is a long day in the saddle (early start to get past the double carriageway options before the cope complained), but a real sense of achievement to get in to Reitz. The rest was pretty cool - a number of passes, good fast riding - we had a reasonably strong group of 6 riders.

 

The only dangerous roads are a) leaving JOburg, and b) into Durban. Durban has very few access roads that are not highways.

Edited by 100Tours
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We did this in Mid October 

Day 1 , Benoni to Frankfort (190km)

Day 2 , Frankfort to Clarens (145)

Day 3 , Clarens to Winterton (155)

Day 4 , Winterton to Maritzburg (145)

Day 5 was Amashova .

 

The only road that isn't too good is the 50km from Frankfort to the Reitz intersection , but apparently there is maintenance happening as we speak .

 

Good luck and enjoy .

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Hi all. I'm new to the group. I'm currently cycle touring around South Africa and hoping that maybe someone has done a similar ride. I'm looking for a route from Johannesburg to Durban and plan to cycle it over a few days, I have found a few and have made some but not sure what they will be like and if the areas they go through are safe or not, it needs to be an alternative to the N3 as its very dangerous and I think its illegal to ride on highways here. I don't mind any distance, dirt roads, hills etc, if they include camping spots along the way then thats awesome to or I will find places to camp. I will be riding with a loaded bike and will have all my camping gear with me.

Thanks for any advice, it will be highly appreciated.

There is a club called Germiston Wheelers who do this route every year. There are are few  guys on this forum. Or check there website for more info.( I see there is a blog on their website relating to this particular ride under "Durban" )

 

You can definitely  not do it on the N3.

 

Good luck

Thanks for the punt Chainsaw.

 

 

@Davidworldcycletour

The route described in a few posts above this are mostly West of the N3, until you've passed through Winterton. You then criss-cross the N3 between Escourt, Mooi River, Howick, Hilton, PMB and the areas between PMB and Durban. 

 

Germiston Wheelers go on an alternative route (East of the N3). At Heidelberg, we turn left towards Balfour (R23) and follow this road to Standerton and Volksrust. You then drop down the escarpment on the N11 to Newcastle, before ending up in Ladysmith. The road from there heads towards Colenso and then joins up with the route described in the posts above at Escourt.

 

The road surface up to Standerton is newly-tarred, and has a wide hard shoulder, so you have that relatively safe feeling of being well of the road. Most of the truck drivers hoot when passing us, and they are the complete opposite of the drivers we find in Gauteng.

 

Once you get to PMB, there are a few routes you can take to get to Durban, and while I know of a few, I'll leave that to the locals. Racing on the Amashova route is different to riding it in normal traffic conditions.

 

Elevation, route, and more can be found using the following links:

 

Alberton to Volksrust - https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28789729

Volksrust to Ladysmith - https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28789738

Ladysmith to "Maritzbora" - https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28789750

 

Accommodation is Volksrust is good,of which Stukkies is our favourite. The owner used to work with one of our members. Ladysmith has a few good options and a few not-so-good.

 

Good luck

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@Davidworltour If you do not come right with the above, drop me a pm and i will send you a gps route of back roads and a bit of dirt that we have done a few times. It is the route mentioned above via Heilbron etc.

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I rode JHB-DURBAN solo last year.

 

Jhb - Vaal Dam - Frankfort - Reitz - Bethlehem - Clarens - Golden Gate (beautiful but a tough uphill!) - Oliviershoek pass - Bergville - Mooiriver - Howick - PMB - Durban.

 

820km in 7 days.

 

East of the Vaal dam was endless roadworks. Don't know what it's like now?

 

Feel free to PM me if you want more details.

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Thanks again everyone. I will check out all the routes you have suggested. I will be going sown the west side and maybe Port Shepstone before Durban.

If you are needing a spot to stay between Port Shepstone and Durban, slightly inland, you can PM me.

I live in a place called Eston. Google Virginia Trails mtb venue, I'm right next door.

Enjoy your ride.

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I bet you know Pete and Lou!?

 

If you are needing a spot to stay between Port Shepstone and Durban, slightly inland, you can PM me.

I live in a place called Eston. Google Virginia Trails mtb venue, I'm right next door.

Enjoy your ride.

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