Gamkaskloof, also known as Die Hel, tops the list of must-ride routes for many adventure bikers in South Africa. It lies in a secluded valley, deep in the imposing Swartberg mountains. Join us on a 4-day tour from Somerset West to Hell and back, from 18 to 21 October.
Total distance: 1070 km
Day 1: Somerset West to Barrydale (Fri. 18 Oct.)
It’s a 330 km mix of tar and gravel. We start (10:00) in Somerset West and ride the beautiful Clarence Drive to Hermanus, Elim and Bredasdorp, before crossing the human-powered ferry at Malgas. Then we head north and sweep through the scenic Tradouw pass and on to our accommodation in Barrydale.
Day 2: Barrydale to Gamkaskloof (Sat. 19 Oct.)
After breakfast (08:00) at the amazing Diesel & Crème, we ride east on the R62 and make a quick stop at Ronnie’s Sex Shop for those who want a photo or more caffeine. In Calitzdorp we refuel and then say goodbye to the tar road as we aim for the spectacular Swartberg pass. After the descent north of the summit, we enter the road to die Hel. This ride is the highlight of the tour, taking three mesmerizing hours. Distance day two: 240 km.
Day 3: Gamkaskloof to Zoar (Sun. 20 Oct.)
We have the entire morning to explore the area as we will only depart at 13:00. We’ll take the same (and only) road from Gamkaskloof to the Swartberg Pass, enjoy coffee in Calitzdorp and overnight near Zoar. Distance: 150 km.
Day 4: Zoar to Somerset West (Mon. 21 Oct.)
We’ll depart at 9:00 and ride to nearby Ladismith. About 30 km later we’ll leave the tar and ride towards the Anysberg nature reserve, before crossing its southern tip. Two hours later we’ll reach Montagu, pass through Robertson, Villiersdorp, and end our journey in Somerset West. Distance: 350 km.
Cost of tour: R 4 950
All accommodation, bedding and meals, luggage/backup vehicle, guide, technician (incl. tyre repairs), Jerrycans.
Motorcycle, fuel, snacks.
You will need an adventure or dual-sport bike and gravel riding experience.
What to bring: Full riding gear and boots, a towel, suntan lotion, sunglasses, personal medication.
Please note: The trip requires a minimum of five and a maximum of eight riders. The route to and from the Swartberg pass can be modified at the discretion of the organiser. Important: No consumption of alcohol will be allowed before or while riding.