The iconic Trans Baviaans celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2024. Racing from Willowmore, in the Karoo, to Jefferys Bay, on the South African East Coast, through the Baviaanskloof has remained a stern challenge throughout the last two decades; despite advancements in mountain bike technology. Due to the size of the challenge, which least we forget is a single-stage 230 kilometre ride, and the remoteness of the route the Trans Baviaans has steadfastly remained a team event. That will change – for selected participants – in 2024 however as solo entries are made available for the first time, to qualifying individuals wishing to take part in the Repeat.

The Trans Baviaans Race is scheduled for 10 August this year. “The Race, as the name suggests is our premier – racing – event,” Zane Schmahl, of EcoBound, explained. “It attracts the most competitive teams and has seen the course record both set and bettered. Due to the popularity of the Trans Baviaans, we added a second event in 2015. This soon became known as the Repeat.”

Trans Baviaans

The racing is always competitive in the Trans Baviaans and the solo men and women will be rewarded with their own category. Photo by Simon Pocock.

“The Repeat is always a bit more relaxed,” Schmahl noted. “The teams are less serious and everyone is generally there to have a good time, rather than to set a fast time. It has allowed us to experiment with things a bit too, and saw the first gravel bikers to take on the race, when Bryan and Lauren Allot completed the 2019 Repeat on gravel bikes.”

“This year we’re allowing solo entrants to the Trans Baviaans Repeat, for the first time,” the race director added. “After twenty years of team format racing, we’re delighted to be able to offer a limited number of riders the chance to ride the Repeat on their own.”


Riding through the wild Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area is always a special experience. Photo by Simon Pocock.

“Safety remains our primary concern and for that reason only experienced Trans Baviaans riders will be eligible for a solo entry,” he elaborated. “To qualify you need to have earned a Trans Baviaans Shield, by completing 5 or more Races/Repeats. These solo entries are limited to 100 riders and are only available for the Repeat, which takes place on the 17th of August.”

To enhance the safety of the solo riders each individual will be equipped with a satellite tracker and every rider will also be checked for the compulsory spares as well as cold/wet weather gear. They will also have access to three check point boxes, which will be transported to Check Point 2 (93 kilometres in), Check Point 3 (123 kilometres) and Check Point 4 (140 kilometres). The solo riders will start with the main field at 10:00, in Willowmore, and will be recognised with separate category prizes at Sunday’s prize giving.


Experience in the event is key to navigating the 230 kilometre course safely on one’s own, which is why EcoBound have strict provisos governing who is eligible to enter solo. Photo by Llewellyn Lloyd / Reblex Photography.

To enter the 2024 Trans Baviaans Race or Repeat visit Additional information in the form of training plans, advice, and podcasts detailing the event can be found on the Trans Baviaans 24HR MTB Race Facebook page and on @transbaviaans on Instagram. Solo entries to the Trans Baviaans Repeat open on the 1st of March, at 10:00.