An impressive lineup of ambassadors from Giant and Liv Bicycles, will kick off the action at South Africa’s MTB party of the year, the 10th annual Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience that is set to make its much-anticipated return to the stunning City of Oaks on the weekend of Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November 2023.

Paid partnership with Stillwater Sports

Amongst the esteemed list of ambassadors are renowned mountain biker, Oli Munnik, avid trail rider and full-time photographer, Max Sullivan, Enduro specialist, Jason Boulle, and professional mountain biker Mariske Strauss.

“The Savanna Origin of Trails is a world-class event, that is perfectly timed to unite weekend warriors and professional riders in celebration of mountain biking and the spectacular trails of Stellenbosch,” states Luke Lockhart-Ross, Marketing Manager at Dragons Sports.

Oliver Munnik. Photo: Sam Clark

“Being the Bicycle Partner for this event is a true privilege, as it provides us with an ideal platform to connect with the cycling community. In 2023, numerous Giant and Liv ambassadors will join the Savanna Origin of Trails, embodying our brands’ human-centric approach. Instead of vying for the lead, they will traverse the field, capturing videos, snapping photos, engaging with fellow riders, and offering assistance to those in need. Riding a bike is all about enjoyment, and we aim to remind people of that, especially after a long year. Let’s hit the trails, savour the thrill, and revel in the MTB Party of the year!”

According to Oliver Munnik, the Savanna Origin of Trails strikes the perfect balance. “The event offers a rewarding route and a fantastic post-ride vibe. We often forget that we can participate in an event without the pressure to race it, but rather take it easy and enjoy the scenery. This event reminds us of that. My aim will be to spend a bit more time at the water points than I typically do. I can’t wait to experience the post-ride stoke.”

Max Sullivan | Photo: Giant Bicycles South Africa

After spending several years in Stellenbosch as a student, Max Sullivan is excited to make a return to the trails this November. “I fell in love with the trails,” Sullivan affirms. “Having moved away from competitive racing for a while, this event perfectly aligns with what I seek. It’s about relishing the journey, sharing laughter, forging new connections, and savoring the moments at the water stations. I look forward to experiencing the route to its fullest, one pedal stroke at a time.”

According to Jason Boulle, he always has a good time when it’s on two wheels. “The Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience essentially boils down to two days of riding some of the finest MTB trails in the Cape with friends, so naturally, I couldn’t resist signing up,” says Boulle. “Racing has its merits, but it’s essential for all of us to remember that the core reason we ride our bikes is for the sheer enjoyment of it! I look forward to making some top-class memories and new friends, while sharing the stoke with people on the trails.”

Jason Boulle | Photo: Max Sullivan

In her role as a Liv ambassador, Mariske Strauss has found the means to pursue her dreams and embrace her passion. “Participating in the Savanna Origin of Trails has been on my wish list for as long as I can remember, and now the moment is finally here,” Strauss exclaims. “I love that riders are encouraged to enjoy the route, scenery, and experience, instead of racing. We sometimes get so wrapped up in the racing side of things that we forget why we started riding in the first place. I can’t wait to ride all my favorite trails jammed into one amazing event. My goal is to have an absolute blast.”

Mariske Strauss | Photo: Max Sullivan

EVENT INFORMATION2023 Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience

Affectionately dubbed ‘SA’s MTB Party of the Year’, the Savanna Origin of Trails is an individual 2-Day MTB Stage Race that highlights the beauty and splendor of Stellenbosch. Mountain bikers will be treated to a vast network of world-class and exclusive trails while celebrating the origin of SA mountain biking.

Date: Saturday 18 November 2023 – Sunday 19 November 2023
Start and Finish Venue: Coetzenburg Stellenbosch University
Start Time: 08:00
Event Format: Two-Day Stage Race for individual riders
Categories, Distances & Entry Fee: Full Marathon

Age:  18+

Distance Day 1:  +-45km
Distance Day 2:  +-48km
Entry Fee:

·       R2100.00

·       Additional Tented Accommodation: R1500.00

Half Marathon

Age:  18+

Distance Day 1:  +-29km
Distance Day 2:  +-31km
Entry Fee:

·       R1900.00

·       Additional Tented Accommodation: R1500.00

The entry fee includes:

  • Exclusive First Ascent Rider Jersey
  • Finisher Cotton Tee
  • Finisher Medal
  • Spectacular on route experience
  • Access to world class routes that are usually not open to the public.
  • A light breakfast with coffee on both days.
  • A scrumptious lunch on both days.
  • Complimentary drinks and refreshments.
  • Well stocked water points (on route and in the race village)
  • Entertainment (on route and in the race village)

For more information or to enter the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience please email or visit

Paid partnership with Stillwater Sports