Trail Daze: Grabouw

Named after the German town Grabow, the small town of Grabouw sits about 1.5 hours drive away from Cape Town, in the vast Elgin Valley. Known for being the largest single exporter or fruits in Southern Africa, it has also hosted numerous mountain biking, trail running and other adventure sporting events over the years. As a results of this, the trail network seems to be never-ending and the backdrop never ceases to amaze.
Well known in South Africa for its huge fruit farms, Grabouw is a place where we had a lot of fun - on uphills as well as downhill. The trails we did are a perfect mix between sandy/rocky singletracks, pine forest, fynbos and unfortunately, burned forest. This variety makes it very interesting to ride and gave us the feeling of having four different rides in one. It was actually nice to feel how this Canyon is versatile and performs in every conditions. Matthieu Hamel

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Heading up and over Sir Lowry's pass, towards the greater Elgin Valley.

Baby blue, ash grey and iridescent green. Those are the colors of these trails. Grabouw has the ability to create images and memories that are impossible to forget because of the natural colour palette on offer. It is one of my all time favourite places to ride because of the mars-like rock formations and the fact that trail builders are always creating new lines to enjoy. Daniel Dobinson

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Grabouw, with the mountains waiting on the horizon.

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The area also features an abundance of pine forests, with much of the trail network going through them.

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The younger plantations don't offer any form of shade and it can get pretty hot in the valley during summer.

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Trails scattered with interesting rock formations - a dream playground for mountain bikers and photographers alike.

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Pushing back to the top of the section.

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Super technical riding with 'Porcupine ridge' in the background.

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The tight forest and rocky sections make way for the fast, flat and open sections towards the Theewaterskloof Dam.

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Wildfires are an unfortunate but natural thing, and holds a certain beauty in itself.

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Matthieu going off-piste in search of more steep and technical riding.

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Heading further towards the dam, through the last section of pine forest and the last rays of the day.

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Customary post-ride beer. Check.

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Man and nature.

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It's heading towards Autumn now with the temperatures dropping fast as the sun goes down, but with riding and scenery this good, you want to take in every last bit.

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Heading home on the N2.

Riders: Matthieu Hamel and Daniel Dobinson

Experience your own Trail Daze with iRideAfrica.


nonky, May 04 2015 12:53

awesome shots, guys - good work!

Meezo, May 05 2015 08:56

where are these trails, are they open to the public?


keen to do all above

Iwan Kemp, May 05 2015 09:26

Great work! Love it.

HowardSteele, May 05 2015 09:45

Great piece...Grabouw is calling

TAAHIRWP, May 05 2015 06:12

I've been to Lebanon with that forest, rocky narrow singletrack just above the forest, and flat singletrack toward the dam.

But what and where is that porcupine place and that other section you guys hike'd up to get to that white dry area.?

TAAHIRWP, May 05 2015 06:13

Lebanon forest has so much potential.

Beefy, May 05 2015 08:47

I am pretty sure that is A-Z at the Country Club.

jawn, May 05 2015 11:14

Jip its grabouw forestry just before the country club.

Meezo, May 06 2015 08:51

heading out there on saturday morning!


cant wait!

phenning, May 06 2015 10:29

its a bargain and your Jonkerhoek season pass will get you in there if you have one

Meezo, May 06 2015 10:35

its a bargain and your Jonkerhoek season pass will get you in there if you have one


R20 gets you in, and 50% off for PPA members, its daylight robbery if you ask me

TCRCARBON, May 07 2015 03:53

Missed the Xterra at Grabouw this year and some of those pics confirm I'll be back next year. The rock garden alone is work the trip from kzn.

Bankie99, May 07 2015 04:15

I am so happy that I did the TruCape 50km race this past weekend so that I could finally see the beauty of the grabouw region.


It really is 1 of the most beautiful mtb races around the WC.

Bankie99, May 07 2015 04:17

Btw - Grabouw is under a hour's drive from Cape Town.

Shebeen, May 07 2015 04:26

AWESOME, dig dan's rasta i'm not sponsored outfit too.


ps. that's not theewaterskloof dam, but eikenhof.

rotorbug, May 07 2015 07:39

Grab is not 1.5 hours from CT!


Max an hour.

ewaldsadie, May 08 2015 08:02

AWESOME, dig dan's rasta i'm not sponsored outfit too.


ps. that's not theewaterskloof dam, but eikenhof.


You're right that isn't Theewaterskloof. It was a late night when I wrote these words!

ewaldsadie, May 08 2015 08:04

Btw - Grabouw is under a hour's drive from Cape Town.

It depends on what time of day you drive out there, but yes it is usually less than an hour.