We have been to Holla Trails before; about 3 years ago. We were surprised to see that the entire layout at the start of the trail has changed.
I did the 25km Purple route elavation 500m. Yip it’s quite a bit of climbing. Despite wanting to die on some of the tougher climbs I really enjoyed my ride. Its a lovely flowy trail. There are technical and entertaining bits but not that intense that they interrupt your flow.
This is a great venue for the whole family. There is a children’s play area. There are some shops. As we were running a bit late I did not peruse the facilities but it was clear that it is a great place to take the children. There is a easy green route for children and excellent for newbies as well.
There is a restaurant and some shops. The toilet was clean, I did not see a shower. Bike rentals are available which is great for holiday makers who could not travel with their bikes.
Holla Trails is quite easy to find. It is easily accessible as it is not far from the highway.
Holla is a bit pricier than the going rate. We pay R50 or R40 at most trails. Holla is R60. I do think the entry fee is justified. Maintenance in coastal KZN must be off the charts. Just keeping trail from being devoured by the jungle must be a continuous effort.
The Trail Itself:
Security on Trail
Fun & Variation
Security on trail:
I felt safe, the trails are quite busy on a Sunday and even though we started quite late there were a few other riders out. I am note sure if they have ever had any bad incidents.
Fun & Variation:
The climbs are kak and while climbing a particularly steep nasty hill, I was thinking, “I am a freaking grandmother, what on earth am I doing, I should take up knitting.” There are lovely fast downhills to reward your effort and the misery is quickly forgotten. Any of you fellow mtbers who know me don’t worry I am never going to #$%@!ing knit. Besides for the lovely downhills, there is an exhilarating windy foresty section, not for newbs but a lot of fun and doable for my average skills.
Variation is great: one minute you are staring at miles and miles of beautiful green hills and at one point you can see the ocean, next you are in semi-jungle, then you are between sugar cane plantations watching tractors pull trailers up what seem to be impossible to navigate jeep tracks. We rode with some local guys for a while. We commented about how the drastically the layout changed from our last visit. They told us that they do not ride Holla often but every time they do the trails have changed.
The purple route has challenging climbs and the foresty section is a bit technical with some steep drops and sharp corners, fortunately although sandy at spots you don’t seem to lose traction on this sand. The purple route is great for the average rider, like myself. It challenges you a little bit but does not scare the gajeebies out of you. We cycled the pink route before which was much more technically challenging, we were told it is still quite technical and that the red route is the toughest.
The ocean, millions of beautiful green hills, jungle, you name it Holla has it.
A great deal of the trail is on ground road and jeep tracks. Some are quite busy. Keep a lookout.
Maintenance & Trail Marking:
We lost our way a few times some of the route markers that should have been purple were pink, we soon realised that they were meant for the purple trail. At times the route markers were hidden behind sugar cane or bushes. We managed to keep on the correct trail for most of the ride. Michael decided to do a fast finish and left me 4km from the end. We both got very lost the last 1km and funny enough both of us ended up on the hikers trail. Route markings could definitely be a bit clearer. I do know that years ago when I rode this trail one of the guys told me that monkeys steal their signage but it should not be a problem so close to the end to show people which is the correct way back.
There are lots of hills and lots of steep climbs that will make you cry. The trail rewards you with lots of fun and fast downhills so don’t lose hope.