Sappi trails app primed for Karkloof MTB Fest

Howick – As passionate mountain biking enthusiasts from every corner of the country gear up for the biggest MTB Festival of its kind, the Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival from 8 to 10 May, riders are welcoming the news of the development and expansion of the popular app developed for the Karkloof trails.

The Sappi MTB Trail Guide app is loaded with information on the myriad of trails that make up two of South Africa’s top mountain biking destination’s – the Karkloof and Mankele – including accurate route information with distances, grading of difficulty of each ride with ascent and descent data, and individual user accounts with opportunities to rate each route.

The app includes accurate geo-location capacity so that a rider can see exactly where they are on an interactive map of the location. As a result more and more riders are riding the popular trails with their smartphones in a cradle on their mountain bikes to enable them to enjoy the full advantages of the app.

Designed as a planning tool and meant to enhance riders’ on-trail experiences, the app, which can be run on almost any smartphone, does not compete with well-established timing and training apps.

“The Sappi MTB Trail App literally puts the trail maps, route descriptions, emergency numbers, accommodation and restaurant information into the pocket or backpack of a rider,” says Andre Oberholzer, Sappi Group Head Corporate Affairs.

“From a Sappi safety perspective it has an alerts function, so riders can be made aware when trails are closed due to operations or if it is a high fire risk day,” added Oberholtzer.

Initially it was developed on the Windows platform and has had very good reviews along with 2312 downloads on Windows 8 and 3445 on Windows Phone.

Oberholtzer confirmed that the design team was working on a new release of the app for Android and iOS mobile platforms.

“Sappi hopes to see the MTB Trail App become an invaluable tool to mountain bikers around South Africa, especially as we expand our content to include other provinces,” he said.

“Sappi has established a strong relationship with the mountain biking community, a relationship that has developed over the last 25 years,” says

“Many people love to be outdoors and away from traffic and the stress of urban areas, and among those people are cyclists. Sappi land offers the environment they are looking for and we’ve been amenable to the development of trails on our land for a long time.

“Since the development of our MTB Strategy in 2012 we’ve been working more formally with trail custodians to ensure that trail riding experiences are safe and compliant with both national and international standards.

“Linked to this formalisation was the development of the Sappi MTB Trail App in 2013, which was a digital extension of our work to make all the information concerning the trails accessible to riders.

More information can be found on the YouTube video at

Riders and spectators can follow news and developments via the event’s Facebook page (Karkloof Mountain Bike Club) or on Twitter (@KarkloofMTB) while more information can also be found at and entries can be submitted via

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