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Mountain biking

Samara is one of the most fun and interesting mountain bike rides I've experienced.


With a variety of routes both easy and technical, Samara offers mountain biking for beginners and advanced cyclists. Two options are available: guided and non-guided rides. The guided routes are located within the game-fenced area, as guests will need to be accompanied by a member of the Samara Team. Non-guided routes are located in an area without dangerous game, and guests wishing to cycle by themselves can do so in this section. They will be provided with a radio and a map of the route.

Mountain biking on the Samara Mara, Samara Private Game Reserve, Great Karoo, South Africa

Important information

  • Samara does not provide mountain bikes – you will need to bring your own, as well as any associated equipment.
  • There is no additional cost for the mountain biking experience.
  • Packed lunches and picnics can be arranged for both guided and non-guided routes.
  • Interest in mountain biking must be expressed at the time of booking.
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Guided routes


The Samara Mara guided route is 33km, with 656m total ascent. You’ll cycle through all four of Samara’s vegetation biomes. From the foothills of Kondoa Mountain you’ll begin a 7km ascent to the plateau grasslands above. Once on the Samara Mara, you’ll ride amongst herds of eland, gemsbok, wildebeest and Cape mountain zebra, set against a backdrop of purple mountains. The ride back down to the lodge will take you down the exhilarating Wolvekloof pass.

This route is technical and a good level of fitness is required. Experienced bikers only.



The Milk River guided route is 12km. You’ll ride through the riverine vegetation that hugs the meandering Milk River, across dry riverbeds and through open plains where you might spot monkeys, kudu and, in winter, the elusive aardvark.

This route is gentle and is open to bikers of all abilities.

Non-guided routes


The Vulture Mountain non-guided route is 44km, with 676m total ascent. You’ll cycle through the riverine thicket of the Milk River before moving towards the base of Vulture Mountain. A 1.5km climb up the mountain will present you with a challenge – but the views of the Plains of Camdeboo from the top will be worth it. Ride along the mountain plateau with another, smaller ascent, before a fast 5km downhill bringing you back to the lodge.

This route is technical and a good level of fitness is required. Experienced bikers only.


The Wild Olive Grove non-guided route is a more leisurely 20km. You’ll head out up a valley with lush vegetation either side for 8km, before turning off into the riverine thicket. After 1.5km you’ll reach the river and a grove of 800-year-old Wild Olive trees – the perfect spot for a picnic lunch. The return leg is back from where you have come.

This route is gentle and is open to bikers of all abilities.

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