Boschendal: Cape Town’s Best Kept MTB Secret

With the recent fires raging through Jonkershoek, one of Western Cape’s most popular riding spots has been reduced to dust and ashes. If it wasn’t for the exceptional and brave work of the fire fighting teams, there is no doubt the damage would be far more severe and far reaching.

 

Thankfully though, there is a hidden gem just over the Helshoogte Pass that will help keep your trail stoke high. The gem I am speaking of is the Boschendal Wine Estate, it has roughly 72km of trails spread out over the various routes which cater to different fitness and skill levels.

 

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Overview: Boschendal MTB Trails

 

As with all great MTB trails there are some proper climbs to get the legs burning and as a reward for all that climbing, there is the sweet flowing singletrack back down. The three most significant downhill singletrack sections are the Inferno (3.7km), Sugar Bowl (2.3km), and the Porcupine (1.3km). Each brings their own unique challenge from fast flowing berms, to technical rock gardens and for those that like to get some air time the jumps are perfectly placed for maximum fun. To top it off there is a 1km skills track called the Orchid which will test your skills no matter what skill level you are.

 

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The views of the mountains above the Simonsberg Nature Reserve as you climb up from the security gate are incredible, especially in the morning light as the sun begins to rise above the mountains behind you. One thing is for sure, after a couple of minutes you won’t feel like you are close to a major town but rather in the middle of the mountains in a remote location.

 

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Parking is safe and easy at the main Boschendal parking area, here you will find toilets, and a trail centre for any last minute repairs you might need. The trail centre also has bikes to rent from ebikes to full suspension XC bikes. There is even a pump track at the trail centre for kids and adults to practise on. The trail centre is also where you can purchase your day permit which costs R60 per rider / runner. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 08h00 - 17h00 and Saturday to Sunday from 07h00 - 17h00.

 

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As rad as the trails are the highlight of this spot has to be the mini market and restaurants you can enjoy after your ride. From bacon and egg rolls to fresh fruit straight from the farm as well as coffee and fresh juices, it is a great place to unwind after a ride. For bigger meals like burgers etc The Deli Restaurant is world-class.

 

 

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Suzuki Vitara Brezza 1.5 GLX

 

We were lucky enough to have the recently launched Suzuki Vitara Brezza for the trip out to Boschendal, in the range topping 1.5lt GLX (manual) version. The car is also available in automatic but in my opinion the Suzuki engine (which enjoys its power in the higher rev ranges) is a lot more fun to drive in the manual gearbox form.

 

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You probably don’t know this but Suzuki are one of (if not the first) to pioneer what is now known as the Compact SUV segment. The first Suzuki Vitara was launched in 1988 and it quickly became a cult icon with it’s no fuss dependability on and off the tarmac. Suzuki has taken all of that history and experience, paired it with some modern day comforts, and has built a great piece of machinery. Admittedly it is not as proficient off road as the Jimny but for a family size “small” SUV it is more than capable on those gravel roads getting to or from your chosen riding destination.

 

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As a Compact SUV it is definitely more suited to a towbar and bike rack versus stowing bikes inside the car. A 29er fits in, just, but doesn’t leave much space for the kids and bags. Great for a weekend ride on your own but road tripping with bikes will be a squeeze.

 

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Fuel economy is great for the vehicle's size, we averaged 7.2l/100km over the weekend with a mix of town and open road driving. The 1.5lt engine puts out 77kw and the manual comes with a 5 speed gearbox. I did feel like I was missing a 6th gear on the highway but as mentioned before the engine does seem to prefer being in the higher rev range, at 120km/h the revs were sitting just under 4000rpm but the instant consumption was still hovering around the 6lt/100km range which is quite remarkable.

 

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One of the fun features I found on the car was the ability to change the dashboard light colours, you have a choice between white, orange, yellow, red and blue. Other interior features are on par with what you would expect in this category: cruise control, bluetooth hands free (with phone controls via a flappy paddle system behind the steering wheel), Apple CarPlay (or Android equivalent), rear parking assist with reverse camera. Another neat feature with the Apple CarPlay is the ability to listen to and reply to Whatsapp via voice input with Siri.

 

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Pricing on the Suzuki Vitara Brezza range starts at R244 900 for the 1.5 GL 5MT. At R289 900 for the 1.5GLX 5MT featured here you get a lot of car at the asking price and you definitely feel the history of the legendary original Suzuki Vitara shining through in it’s more modern cousin.

 




12 Comments

Mark James, Mar 08 2021 06:43

Nice article, and tracks look great. Just started riding in CT again, so will definitely go check it out :) 

Harry Millar, Mar 08 2021 07:53

Definitely nice trails and worth a visit, however I would note that they are more suited to the marathon and xco riders as, for a rider who leans more towards trail/enduro, those leg-burning uphills barely justify the downhill sections of trail. Also, go early cos that side of the mountain can get moer-hot!

Headshot, Mar 08 2021 11:26

I rode these a few years back but ja, it was vrek warm but still pretty good fun. Some of the newer Banhoek trails do look like a bit of fun on the downs though? 

PhilipV, Mar 08 2021 12:21

Bear in mind that Banhoek and Boschendal can be risen on one permit. So you can combine both for a big day out.
Or do it like we did, ride Banhoek, have coffee at Boschendal, ride Boschendal, have lunch at Boschendal. Especially with autumn here this does not have to be an early start anymore.

Robbie Stewart, Mar 08 2021 02:08

Did Banhoek survive the fires?

Meezo, Mar 08 2021 02:10

Did Banhoek survive the fires?

yes!

GLuvsMtb, Mar 08 2021 04:24

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GLuvsMtb, Mar 08 2021 04:24

One of my favourite trails. Relieved that it survived the fires.

Super Sywurm, Mar 08 2021 08:16

Are the black routes here mostly XC?

Komkommer, Mar 08 2021 09:20

Definitely nice trails and worth a visit, however I would note that they are more suited to the marathon and xco riders as, for a rider who leans more towards trail/enduro, those leg-burning uphills barely justify the downhill sections of trail. Also, go early cos that side of the mountain can get moer-hot!

You okes still working during this Scamdemic?

PhilipV, Mar 09 2021 07:09

Are the black routes here mostly XC?


It is like Tygerberg Black.
Don't be put off by the colour

Not too technical, and risk is mostly due to speed.

Super Sywurm, Mar 09 2021 07:27

It is like Tygerberg Black.
Don't be put off by the colour

Not too technical, and risk is mostly due to speed.


That is why I have some cheap brakes, to cancel out most of the speed.