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"Riding the Freedom Trail has the potential to change lives.

The lives of those riding it and of those along the trail."

David Waddilove, founder of the Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail was established in 2003 with the aim of opening up a fully serviced mountain bike trail running across the interior of South Africa. The trail that exists today relies on the use of local accommodation and services thus allowing riders to ride between stops without having to carry all their own food, water and overnight gear.


The Freedom Trail passes through many wilderness areas, nature reserves, public and private land, showcasing the diverse landscapes, fauna and flora along the way. It traverses some of the more isolated parts of South Africa and offers an insight into the lives of the people who live in these areas.

A series of events is hosted annually along the Freedom Trail - collectively, they fall under the banner of the Freedom Challenge:

  • The Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa: a non-stop 2150km race along the length of the Freedom Trail.

  • The Freedom Challenge Race to Rhodes: a non-stop 480km race along the first 6 stages of the Freedom Trail (from Pietermaritzburg to Rhodes)

  • The Freedom Challenge Race to Cradock: a non-stop 580km race along the second 6 stages of the Freedom Trail (Rhodes to Cradock)

  • The Freedom Challenge Race to Willowmore: a non-stop 530km race along the third 6 stages of the Freedom Trail (Cradock to Willowmore)

  • The Freedom Challenge Race to Paarl: a non-stop 600km race along the forth 6 stages of the Freedom Trail (Willowmore to Paarl)