“A very nice loop combining some flowy singletrack and mixed jeep track. Nothing technical other than loose rocks & sand.”
— Garth Armstrong
There is a short section in the Metslothaba River that will be un-rideable during the rainy season but it can be bypassed by going all the way to the edge of Kopong Village and turning right on the Banana River Bypass
60k Loop from Phakalane to Kopong, Bokaa, Morwa and back to Phakalane. The route takes riders through some nice singletrack to the 'Banana Tree' just before Kopong Village, followed by some twisting jeep tracks around to the Bokaa Dam and then back to Phakalane on purpose-cut singletrack.
Need to Know
Bring some money to top up on fuel towards the end of the ride. Best spot is a Spaza Shop in Morwa Village at the end of River Run - Below Bokaa Dam
. Riders will have to turn north before going under the railway bridge, follow the tar road, first road left. The shop is about 1,640 feet (500 m) up the road on the right-hand side.
The route starts at the Puma Garage in Phakalane, heads across the A1 and into Gabs North, down a dirt road. Where the road turns right, look for the singletrack entry on the left-hand side. The Shuttle to the Banana Tree
singletrack runs down the side of the road, avoid the sanding and corrugated road. This track crosses over a dirt road and heads down towards the "Banana Tree", a famous tree that riders throw their banana peels into before heading home.
As you cross the river, look for the right hand turn into Banana River
singletrack, it's not well marked. If the river has flown recently, don't take this track, rather stay on the road crossing the river and then take Banana River Bypass
before the houses start.
There is a short section of track (Jeep Track Across Banana River
) that is not cleared and you'll need to navigate around some thorn trees, just follow the route and it will end soon.
Once on Highway to the Mast
and Dash to the Dam (Bokaa)
, it's a long section of jeep track until you get near to the Bokaa Dam.
Follow the route, after the dam, you'll cross a concrete road, there is a right-hand turn off this road into a singletrack called River Run - Below Bokaa Dam
. It has been marked, but the markers are old and faded and lots are missing.
When you get to the second bridge, you are close to Morwa Village. There is a shop close by.
After the third bridge, turn right out of the river and look for the The Long Drop - Home
singletrack, that runs parallel with the A1 all the way back to Phakalane. Watch out for stumps on this track, they are well hidden and have claimed a number of victims.
All in all, the marking on the route is between sparse and non-existent. First timers must expect to take a number of wrong turns and do a bit of backtracking looking for the correct path.