Buy your 2022 BHRC MTB permits online now and get 13 months for the price of 12!  This is also the ideal Christmas gift for outdoor enthusiasts. As an exclusive introductory offer, Bottelary Hills permit holders get free access to the soon-to-be-opened Polkadraai Bike Park for 2022.  This family-orientated bike park caters for riders of all abilities with its kiddies track, pump track, flow, skills trails and fun line.   We’re also excited to announce the launch of the 7km BHRC Polkadraai loop across Karibib, Reyneke, De Toren and Sterling Wine Estates. Park and purchase day permits are available from Somm & Co. Karibib or the bike park for convenient access to the broader BHRC MTB trail network.


To ensure that our routes continue to offer exciting new mountain bike experiences for riders, the BHRC has invested R150 000 in 30km new trail developments, which includes 12km single tracks built by Trail Blazers and Conrad Stoltz respectively.   A special thanks to the teams of Jordan Wine Estate and Wolwedans Vineyards for their efforts and support.  The extensive trail network now totals 120km of farm roads, jeep tracks and numerous single tracks. While never too technical, there are challenging climbs and a variety of distances on offer for riders of all fitness levels.


Trail Blazers is contracted by the BHRC for ongoing trail maintenance and creates much needed employment and skills development to local youths.   Meet 21-year old Alfonzo Williams. He was born and raised on Goede Hoop Wine Estate, attended Bottelary Primary School and like many other rural youths did not complete his tertiary education. Left with limited options, life was pretty grim. In 2018 he was given the opportunity to become a member of a local alien clearing team, completed his chainsaw training and has not looked back since. He soon showed leadership skills that earned him the position of on-site supervisor, while he was also co-opted into the mountain bike trail maintenance team. This he loves. Our vision is to kit him out with his own mountain bike so that he can join our marshal team for route patrols and guided rides.


To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the mountain bike trails and the beauty of the bountiful Bottelary Hills, we hosted our first MTB & Eco Weekend from 1-3 October this year.  Visitors got to bike, hike, sip and taste their way through this off-the-beaten track destination in the heart of the Cape Winelands.  In spite of COVID restrictions and challenging weather fun was had by all.  This will become an annual event during the first weekend of October.


Super excited that Bellevue Wine Estate on Bottelary Road, Fort Simon Wine Estate on the Fischer Road, 18Coffee on Neethlingshof Wine Estate, Somm & Co Karibib and soon the Polkadraai Bike Park on the Polkadraai road have been added as new park and ride access points to the BHRC mountain bike trail network.  Each of these venues offer food and wine experiences.  Be sure to download the Trailforks App for route profiles and difficulty levels. If you’re new to mountain biking, the BHRC Orange route starting from either Bellevue of Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate is ideal.  Gradual climbs on mostly jeep tracts and dam walls offer a relaxing nature experience and beautiful views.

Day permits (R70) are available from park and ride points including: Asara Wine Estate, Bellevue Wine Estate tasting room on Bottelary Road, The Farmer’s Pantry on Brenaissance, Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, Fort Simon Wine Estate, Hazendal’s Babushka Deli, The Cellar Door at Jordan on the Stellenbosch Kloof road, 18Coffee at Neethlingshof, Zevenwacht Wine Estate, Overgaauw (no permit sales), Somm & Co. Karibib and soon to be launched Polkadraai Bike Park.  In addition to the park and ride points, day permits are also available from Engen Soneike, Shell Kruispad, Hellsend Bike Compound in Dorp Street Stellenbosch and the Dwars in die Weg security gate.  Please note that permits are payable with Zapper.


Four years ago we started a social development programme focussing on the families living and working on farms in the Bottelary Hills.  Literacy remains one of the main challenges of our school children in their quest to obtain a tertiary education. It is our aim to address this challenge in order to secure a future of dignified living as an educated adult.  In 2018 we embarked on the “Doen en Leer” literacy programme. Through investing in the literacy programme, we envisaged that the youth will stay in school and advance to higher education. We are now teaching our Xhosa-speaking learners Afrikaans through this programme.  The ATKV is our main partner and donate “Boektrommels” to enhance the culture of reading.  Additional funding was obtained through the Stellenbosch Municipality Grant-in-Aid fund.  This year we trained seven facilitators and reached 120 foundation phase children through this programme.


Did you know that the Bottelary Hills falls within the Cape Floral Region (CFR) – listed by UNESCO as one of 34 internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots?  Around 9 000 plant species of which around 70% are endemic – meaning that they are found nowhere else on earth – can be found in the CFR.  Less than 5% of the original extent of Renosterveld vegetation remains as it grows in rich fertile soils, which is often replaced with commercial crops.  The purpose of the BHRC is to retain and expand the patches of Renosterveld in its area, including the critically endangered Swartland Granite Renosterveld.

Since the launch of the mountain bike trails in 2011 as a source of income, funds have been allocated to the clearing of invasive plant species and the conservancy now has more than 700 hectares of unspoilt Renosterveld.  There has also been a notable difference in water streams flowing again and the natural re-establishment of Renosterveld plant species.


In nature one gets stability through diversity. Renosterveld has evolved over time as the ideal diverse ecosystem for our area and supports many different life forms in the soil, on the soil, in the water and in the air. This delicate interactive balance that evolved over time for our specific area, is very precious and should be protected.  Without dedicated and committed landowners, this would not be possible. The BHRC currently has 42 members of which three have been awarded the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Championship status – Neethlingshof Wine Estate, Mooiplaas Wine Estate & Private Nature Reserve as well as newcomer De Morgenzon Wine Estate.

The WWF Conservation Champions are acknowledged as environmental leaders in the wine industry for their exceptional commitment to regenerative farming practices, including conserving natural systems and biodiversity on their land, implementing responsible production practices and spearheading innovations in water and energy efficiency.  Follow them on Instagram @followthatsugarbird


No hiking is permitted on the BHRC single tracks, but circular hiking trails on Mooiplaas and Koopmanskloof cross over the MTB routes.  In addition, Zevenwacht and Fort Simon offer vineyard walking trails.  Permits are available directly from the respective tasting rooms except for Koopmanskloof, which is on appointment via christel@bottelaryconservancy.co.za.  Zevenwacht also offers an annual walking/running permit – visit www.zevenwacht.co.za for more details.

We will be launching a Bottelary Trailrun Series as well as longer guided hikes in 2022.  Announcements to be made on our website and social media platforms.


15 children from Bottelary Primary took part in a social C2R MyRyde event hosted on the BHRC trails. This community initiative was made possible by collaborative partners and sponsors.  A huge thank you to Rotary International Stellenbosch for the bicyles, Mbobo from Fairtree Capital and Fairtree Racing Team for assembling the bicycles, Cycle2Ride for sponsoring the 15 helmets to the young riders as well as their MyRyde entries. Thank you to Bottelary Hills Conservancy & MTB Trails for allowing us to host a race at the Bottelary Tennis Club.