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Bikepacking: Karoo Cross vs Overberg Meander

Gouws 34

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We spent two days driving back from the Greyton Pie run to Jo'burg and rode in both the the Overberg  (sort of Greyton/Riviersonderend/Villiersdorp area) and then on the Klein Karoo route.


Both rides were on dirt roads and around 75km long, were similar but very different.  


In the Western area the roads were generally wider, with rolling hills and the scenery was mostly capital intensive agricultural - wheat fields, cows, fruit trees etc and in the Klein Karoo the roads were narrower, rockier (but still very comfortable on 38mm gravel tyres), the hills were longer and steeper and the scenery was mostly wilderness with the odd vineyard, olive grove or paddock where somebody is trying to eke out a living in the harsh environment.


I loved both, and as Wayne says, you cannot go wrong with either.

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If you can sort out your logistics and don't mind the heat, I'd definitely vote for the Klein Karoo option. It'll definitely be more of an adventure, more of the "out there" factor.


Overberg route is a bit more "urban", more tar roads, closer proximity to towns etc.


Agree with you here, really up to personal preferences but I think the Klein Karoo option would have more variety scenic wise. Cycling Prince Alfred pass, Meiringspoort and Swartberg in one trip would be spectacular. 


Overberg in November the wind can be nasty so you would have to factor that in. Personally I would prefer August/September if I was doing a tour in that area.

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did the cederberg one last week.


to be dead honest, if you're really unfamiliar with the area then go for either.

if you know the terrain a little bit then your options are rather endless.

apart from putting a route together, there is very little input from WC gov here. finding accom that can take you for just one night is a schlepp.

just finding a place to park your car is a schlepp.


it's great initiative, but needs a bit more follow through.

even the official info@capecycleroutes.co.za is a shutdown.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am currently doing this. In Sutherland right now. It is cold. Leaving tomorrow to go to Oudtshoorn via die hell. Get there when I get there. The Karoo is lekka. It gets hot. It gets very very windy. Pack as light as you can. If you are looking for someone to join you let me know. I can maybe get back there to meet you for a day or two. There is plenty of places out here. Carry water. It gets hot. You get my drift!

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks everyone for your input! I do appreciate it. We did the Karoo Cross a week ago and it was definitely an epic adventure. I will try post a daily report of the trip in the week to come but if you want to take a look at some of pictures you can head over to my Instagram account.



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