Jozi 2 Kozi


Inaugural Ride - Highlights

 Start: 25th August - Nigel Boeresaal       Destination: Kosi Bay Maputaland, Northern KZN

Distance:  748 km as per GPS    Time frame: 7 days

Riders from as far afield as Colorado USA and Cape Town arrived in Nigel, Gauteng, heralded by a Zulu “imbongi” or praise-singer, who cautioned the riders of the challenges that lay ahead on the journey to their ultimate destination: Kosi Bay on the warm Indian Ocean bordering Mozambique.

A support team in an VW Amarok 4motion and a VW Combi provided water points, sweep, mechanics and logistic support.  The VW Combi was generously supplied by Brent Wilkins of Strijdom Park VW. 

After a night at Grootdraai Dam campsite, and a fitting boerwors and pap breakfast, riders were loaded onto ski-boats and ferried across the dam, wading in the, icy, muddy waters to get to the shore. Corrugated gravel roads led to the isolated little town of Amersfoort. Passing through this century-old “dorpie”, riders encountered the first of the so-called “undulating hills”(!), and were taxed with a ferocious headwind. 

This continued the next day with rocket-fast descents and heart-attack ascents, including Bitch Hill.  A prize of a weekend in Mozambique was on offer for anyone who rode up.  The men in the group had shattered egos as Bitch Hill was conquered by female rider, Nataly.  Bitch Hill was then referred to as “Nataly’s Hill” (with the deepest respect to the skilled Nataly!).   The only other person to conquer bitch hill was support driver Gustav, although it must be said that this was only due to the trusty VW Amarok’s low range!         


Rocky hairpin descents down Puffadder pass had riders screaming in joy and terror, arriving finally at the tiny German hamlet of Luneburg, complete with German “Oompah Brass Band”, Eisbein and Jagermeister. Some riders stayed up until the early hours singing German war ballads with the farmers (and paid for it dearly the next day in the blistering heat and steep inclines).

By now, riders were feeling the strain of the long days in the saddle as they tackled forestry tracks, uMkhunyane Game Reserve, and dusty corrugations to Klipwal Goldmine and the lightning-fast switchback descent into the Pongola River valley.

Crashes were inevitable with the loose gravel surface making turns treacherous, and the paramedic on his BMW motorcycle was kept busy.  Armed game scouts from Ithala escorted us across the Pongola River, amidst nervous comments about the presence of unseen crocodiles, rhino and elephants. A group of rhinos and mother and baby rhino watched as we rode by, a special sight as we were supporting the noble anti rhino poaching cause. By now the riders were starting to drop out and many a rider climbed aboard the VW Kombi with great relief.


Seriously steep climbs, long winding descents and bumpy cattle paths were the order of the day as riders entered rural Zululand, with cattle, and goats dodging the speeding riders.  Stops at Spaza shops for ice-cold Coke inspired incredulous questions from the locals: “You rode from eJozi? Haaibo!  Why don’t you catch a taxi?  Looks there is a VW Kombi just behind you.”  A few injured riders took this wise advice and boarded the kombi to the great gathering at the end. Sundown found us in a gathering of several hundred people at Mr Mafuleka’s kraal, with much jubilation, singing, dancing, and ceremonial wildebeest served for supper.

Dawn broke with hundreds of cockerels crowing across the valley, on our way to the privately-owned Zululand Rhino Reserve, where we encountered lots of plains game but luckily (or maybe not!) no lions, elephant, buffalo, rhino or leopard. The Zululand Rhino Reserve is the most successful Black Rhino breeding facility in Africa, and to give some support the Jozi2Kozi and Stridom Park VW donated R 5000 towards this continuing work with rhino.                  

At Mkuze taxi rank we jumped onto a smoke-belching bus, loading our bicycles onto the roof, to navigate the extremely narrow pass up to Ubombo town. At the top of the Lebombo mountains, we off-loaded our bikes and raced down into Maputaland and its sandy roads, heading for Lake Sibaya.

Jeep tracks, single tracks and very loose sandy paths tested the riders’ skills and sense of humour! Supper under a full moon at the edge of a pristine lake was a great end to a tiring day.

The last day was the shortest (yeah, but we all know Murphy!) - 83km of flat roads interspersed with sections of loose sand. Well not quite…. There was a lot more loose sand than expected, so a great deal of time was spent falling off.


Just after KwaNganase, there was a little sting in the tail for the riders who thought they had finished with sand: to get to the magnificent viewpoint overlooking the century-old fish traps, estuary and Indian Ocean, there was a very short section of thick sand which put the cherry on top of a wonderfully challenging journey through our country.

Kosi Bay Mouth, forming part of the isiMangaliso World Heritage Site, was our final end point. What an achievement for the riders. Some had never ridden more than 50 kms before, some had bought their mountain bikes 2 weeks before, some did it on single speeds, some bonded deeply with their partners, some bonded less deeply with their partners!

 Thanks to VW the Amarok and the Kombi performed faultlessly and provided fantastic support to the riders on the route everyday, anti rhino poaching and a comfortable ride home for tired and stiff legs!


All in all, a huge success as a personal achievement for the riders and as an event.

 Thank you Brent and VW Strijdom Park!



Get your sticker at any participating unitrans dealer!


Proud winner of the

2013 SANParks Kudu Award

Proud winner of the 2013

GRAA Rhino Conservation Award



Go to top