Review Date: August 2011 Updated on:


8.3 stars Excellent
  • Value for money: 10.0
  • General Quality of the Trial: 8.0
  • Range of Trails: 8.0
  • Route Markings: 7.0

Riding Experience


8.8 stars Excellent
  • Accessiblity: 7.0
  • Secure Parking: 8.0
  • Attractions in the area: 10.0
  • Child Friendly: 10.0

Facilities and Services

Going to Mpumalanga is always a treat so getting ready for the road trip I felt like a little kid going to the sea on holiday.  A big part of mountain biking for me is the road trip with family and friends; it’s a privilege to live in South Africa where we have so many beautiful destinations on our doorstep.

The journey started with picking Devlin up from the airport and heading out of the city mid week for a mountain bike trip and it’s for work!  After getting stuck in typical Johannesburg traffic we were not sad to leave the big city behind us.

On route we decided to stop at the new Cyclelab branch in Nelsruit that had just opened a couple of weeks before our trip.  This turned out to be a very worthwhile stop as we found a shop packed with gear and a helpful bunch of people.  Geraldine’s new Ibis Mojo had arrived days before the trip and needed some last adjustments, which Cyclelab professionally did while we waited.

Arriving at Mankele is like stepping back in time, all the staff have smiles on their faces and everyone seems to know what to do, the place has a friendly family atmosphere that is palpable.  The Mankele test crew started arriving from various parts of the country which comprised of: Geraldine, Damion, Devlin, Sean and Antonio.  Most of us had ridden Mankele a few times over the years so there was a high expectation for an awesome couple of days ahead.

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Test Crew Wisdom

If you are riding in non rocky terrain like Mankele drop the air pressure in your tyres for more grip: 1.5 – 2.2 Bars depending on your weight. When doing 50km + training rides always take a GPS with as getting lost and heading in the wrong direction is not fun. Take at least 750ml liquid for every hour you are planning on riding, try and be conservative with your estimates. Eat every 1-hour on long rides. For rides more than 2 hours your body needs protein too so pack a bar which contains some. Before attempting a long ride ask for up to date details on the route as things can change due to maintenance, logging, fires etc.



  • Lots of single track
  • The owners are very cool down to earth people
  • Beautiful setting
  • Amazing "Bush tunnels"
  • Long training routes (Great for Epic or Sani)
  • Shuttle for Downhillers or free riders


  • Signage is a problem especially on the longer routes
  • Bridges could be better
  • Far from major cities (not if you live in Nelspruit)

What's on offer

  • Bike Wash
  • Secure parking
  • 4X track
  • Pump Track
  • Skills area
  • Restaurant
  • Family Area
  • Kids party area with jungle gym
  • Affordable accommodation including camping
  • 6 main trails