One of the joys and occasional terrors of cycling in and around the greater Hoedspruit area is the likelihood of seeing South African wild game animals from the saddle.
For a cyclist willing to endure a mix of tar, sand and corrugated roads, the greater Kruger area can be accessed via the Guernsey Road. The Guernsey Road intersects the Orpen Road, the Argyle/Eastgate Road and the R40. The longest leg of the Guernsey Road is the section between the Orpen Road and the Argyle/Eastgate Road clocking in at 32km. The shorter leg of the Guernsey Road between the R40 and passing the Klaserie Dam is 11km.
I like to start at the Klaserie One Stop petrol station and take the next right after the overpass and head into wild Africa. The potholed road turns to gravel and dips down to the Klaserie River and offers a stunning view of the architecturally beautiful, arched, railway bridge. The road climbs up and pops out at the beginning of the Orpen Road.
Ride the undulating, tarred Orpen Road for 3km and turn onto the Guernsey Road to approach the first control gate. Drop into the wild and between discerning your route through the corrugation and sand, keep your eyes open for all the lowveld Kruger species.
For a shorter route, turn left at the T Junction heading towards the Klaserie Dam. Look for the Guernsey Breakaway Chalet sign and stop at the shop for a cold drink and a blast from the past.
To cycle the longer leg, continue straight on the Guernsey Road heading towards the Argyle/Eastgate Road. At the T Junction take a right and go 600 meters to the Bush Pub & Inn for a true safari pub experience!
From the Bush Pub turn back and head on the smooth tar, Argyle/Eastgate Road, past the Eastgate Airport back to the R40. Save energy reserves for the Arglyle/Eastgate Road, as the wind often blows.
Once you get to R40, head north and look for Blue Canyon and the road that accesses the unpaved service road paralleling the railroad track between Hoedspruit and Klaserie. Take the left hand turn just before the old rail station and another left once you hit the potholed road and you will pop out on the R40 just beyond the Klaserie One Stop