Things To Do in NelspruitMankele MTB Trails
Where? R539, Off the N4 to Sudwala caves, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
When? Open daily from 06h30 to 18h00.
How? Call +27 (0)78 801-0453
How much? Price on request
Where: Mankele Mountain Bike Park, just outside Nelspruit
Level: easy to very technical
Type of route: a network of trails
Best: any time of year
Riders are particularly enthusiastic about Mankele. Not only are the trails excellent, but the scenery is beautiful for the bike park is set alongside the Houtbosloop River in an indigenous forest, close to Sudwala Caves.
The terrain is mixed, offering a blend of climbs, downhills, river crossings, fast and smooth single track and a range of bridges, boardwalks, river crossings and big drops.
The ten trails accommodate all fitness levels and range from an easy blue trail (5 km) specifically designed for beginners to practice technical skills, to a difficult 55 km purple route, the first 15 km of which is a grinding climb (there are two escape routes, should it get too tough to handle).
Other routes worthy of a mention are the downhill madness trail - 1.8 km of sheer adrenaline with plenty of switchbacks, drop-offs and rocks; the highly technical black dot route; and x-country, also known as the orange route. The latter might be short (8.5 km) but it includes many technical obstacles – boardwalks, bush tunnels, bridges and hairy descents.
The adventure zone is great for improving single track skills, all trails are well marked, colour-coded and easy to follow, and the technical sections are marked with black dots (those who want to avoid these can use alternative routes).
Other attractions include a coffee shop, picnic sites and swimming pools.
Major events hosted at Mankele include the Isuzu 3 Towers, SAPPI MTB Challenge and the Mankele Avalanche.