Rainmaker RollerCoaster - 7 day gravel cycling adventure in South Africa

Rainmaker RollerCoaster


New dates confirmed: 2 – 9 October 2021



7 days of epic gravel riding in South Africa’s wilderness

Race or ride … it’s up to you!

“Constantly stunning.”
Cyclist Magazine

“The vibe was amazing”
Bicycling Magazine SA

“A true journey that really puts the adventure into adventure cycling.”
Totally Active Magazine

“Unique and spectacular”
Cycling Plus

“Tough and torturous, a scenic suffer-fest.”
Ride Magazine


Join us for the 3rd edition of our 7-day gravel adventure and explore the wilderness of the stunning Western Cape by bicycle. You’ll camp in a mixture of guest farms, game farms and bush camps along the 500km route and spend the week getting up close and personal with some African wildlife!

New for 2020, riders can now enter to “race” as an individual or a pair, or if you’d prefer to sit back and enjoy the adventure you can enter to “ride” and join small groups supported en route by the HotChillee Ride Captains. We’ve also added an additional night in 2021, meaning we finish in the stunning coastal town of Plettenberg Bay and host the Rainmaker Finishers Braai on the Friday night.


See more testimonials, media and video coverage of the Rainmaker RollerCoaster here.


  • Event entry
  • All meals (from Saturday 2 October PM to Saturday 9 October AM)
  • 7 nights accommodation in tented villages (single occupancy in dome tent)
  • Signed route
  • Manned water stops each day
  • Neutral service at water stops
  • Medical support on route and in race village
  • Baggage transfers between stages
  • Parking (at start venue) for duration of event
  • Bike wash
  • Digital photos and film
  • Timing 
  • Event T-shirt
  • Pro cycling jersey (valued at 1,400 ZAR)

Not Included:

  • Alcohol and soft drinks
  • Insurance
  • Flights
  • Bedding (included in luxury tent and B&B options only)
  • Towels (included in luxury tent and B&B options only)

Additional Purchases – Available on registration: 

  • Accommodation upgrades - luxury tent or B&B
  • Evening mechanic packages
  • Sports therapists
  • Bus transfers to / from Cape Town

There are many benefits from entering a multi-day cycling experience for your company and its employees. whether it’s as part of a reward scheme, health and wellbeing programme, team bonding experience or an opportunity to host clients we can put together a bespoke package for you. Previous LONDON-PARIS participants include corporate decision makers from a variety of industries including banking, technology, finance, law and media.

For corporate enquiries please email [email protected]


If you want to race you can enter as an individual or as a team of two at registration. You will start each day before the riding groups set off and can compete in the following categories:

Racing Team Categories:
U23 Competition
Men’s Team Competition
Women’s Team Competition
Mixed Team Competition

Individual Racing Categories:
Amateur Men Competition
Amateur Women Competition


If you are not racing and plan to ride in a small group with support en route by the HotChillee Ride Captains then please do not enter as a team – but do still bring your buddies! You will start each morning after the racing group sets off. The route is signed with water stops approximately every 30km. Enjoy the adventure with the camaraderie of the HotChillee Ride Captains and your fellow riders.

If you are creating a racing team and have a team-mate in mind already, you must create a password to ensure your friend gets your second place (just don’t forget to share it with them) and if you are feeling extra generous you can also pre-pay for their place too! As the team captain, you will have the difficult task of naming the team, so make sure you pick something good and nothing rude, no pressure!

If you are joining a racing team, all you have to do is select your (hopefully really good) team name from the drop down menu and enter the password that your team mate has very kindly created for you.

If you wish to upgrade to share a luxury tent or a room at a B&B, you will both need to ensure that you have selected the same relevant optional upgrade purchase. You can add upgrades, transfers and optional packages to your registration at any time … until they sell out!

The 2021 route will be announced in December 2020.

It will not be technical but there will be a fair amount of climbing involved so you will need a good level of fitness. For an idea of what you're in for you can see the Rainmaker RollerCoaster 2019 routes here. If you are in doubt as to your fitness then we recommend you have a medical check-up before registering.

You may ride a gravel/adventure bike, cyclocross bike or MTB. The course will be suited to a gravel bike in terms of speed and technical terrain.

The nearest and recommended airport is Cape Town. Transfers to and from the start/ finish line will be available to book via your registration form. We will also be running a transfer service from Cape Town Waterfront. Available transfers as follows:

Saturday 2 October 2021: pick up at Tsogo Sun Cullinan Hotel, Cape Town Waterfront at 10:00 (transfer time 3.5 hrs) and Cape Town International Airport at 11:30 (transfer time 3 hrs).

  • If you are booked on the 10:00 Cape Town Waterfront to Swellendam your arrangements are as follows: Please meet at the Tsogo Sun Cullinan Hotel, 1 Cullinan St, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa at 09:30 to pack bikes and luggage. We will depart promptly at 10:00 so please do not be late. Estimated transfer 3.5 hours. Lunch is not included on Saturday so please bring food with you for the journey. We will stop for food en route where you can grab a pie or sandwich if you prefer. Snacks will be available at Sign-On.
  • If you are booked on the 11:30 Cape Town International Airport to Swellendam your arrangements are as follows:Please meet at Vida Cafe Coffee stand at the International Arrivals gate at 11:00. We will leave promptly at 11:30 so please do not be late. Estimated transfer time 3 hours. Lunch is not included on Saturday so please bring food with you for the journey. There are plenty of options at the airport. Snacks will be available at Sign-On.

Saturday 9 October 2021: 09:00 transfer available to the Cullinan Hotel, Cape Town Waterfront (6.5hours) via Swellendam (3 hours) and Cape Town International Airport (6 hours).

  • Mobile phone with charger and adapter for SA sockets
  • Travel/personal insurance document
  • Eyewear for sun protection
  • Toiletries
  • Personal medication
  • Some basic first aid, plasters and antiseptic for blisters, pain killers, anti diarrhoea, anti inflammatory, salt tablets
  • Babywipes
  • Sunscreen and sunblock
  • Bike repair tools including multitool, puncture repair, spare derailleur hanger, pump or CO2 cannnisters
  • HRM monitor, strap and charger
  • Water bottles
  • Cycling clothing for a week
  • Gels, drinks and energy bars
  • Cash and/or credit card
  • Sleeping bag, pillow and towel – unless you are opting for the luxury tent or B&B option
  • Off bike clothing (casual)
  • Flip flops for showers
  • Insect repellent
  • Washing detergent
  • Plastic bag for dirty kit
  • Torch/headlamp
  • A spare mech hanger and any bike specific spares (we will be in the wilderness for the majority of the event and while our mechanics will be prepared for most repairs, we recommend bringing a spare hanger and any bike specific parts you think you may need.)

Our Event HQ in Swellendam will be confirmed shortly. Sign On will be open between 12:00 – 15:45, where you will be able to collect your race pack and rider number.

Any SA based riders will also be able to collect their Rainmaker Rollercoaster Event jersey at Sign On.  All non SA based rides you will receive your jersey in the post ahead of the event.

The rider briefing with the HotChillee Ride Captains will take place at 16:00. All riders are advised to attend. Stage 1 will then begin at 16:30.

Yes! We ask that all riders take out travel insurance. Travel Insurance and/or Medical Aid details must be added to your registration and, if requested presented at Sign On.

With over 300 members worldwide, exclusive discounts and offers from our partners and sponsors, priority access and discounts on all HotChillee events included in your membership, HotChillee CC is more than your average cycling club.

Find out more and join HotChillee CC here.

HotChillee CC have plenty of rides throughout the year to keep you motivated, both on the road and off it! You can find our calendar here, rides for the following month are usually posted two weeks in advance. HotChillee CC members have 48hr priority entry but you don't have to be a member to join the rides if you're signed up to an event.

Our coaching partners Njinga Cycling also offer all HotChillee events participants a 5% discount on all of their services including indoor classes, benchmark testing, pedal technique coaching, off bike conditioning and more! Find out more here or contact [email protected] for more information.

Rainmaker Rollercoaster logo

tour info

  • Saturday 2 October 2021

    Bus transfer options available from Cape Town (3 hours)
    Sign on and Rider Briefing
    Stage 1: Swellendam – Swellendam (Sunset ride through private game reserve) followed by the welcome Braai

  • Sunday 3 October 2021

    Stage 2: Swellendam – Swellendam (“Around the Pot”)
    Evening relaxing at waterfall

  • Monday 4 October 2021

    Stage 3 Swellendam – Little Karoo Bush Camp (through the stunning Gysmanshoek Pass)
    Evening of remote camping with open camp fires. There will be no B&B upgrade option for this stage

  • Tuesday 5 October 2021

    Stage 4: Little Karoo Bush Camp – Calitzdorp (through the Rooiberg Pass)
    Afternoon Pool Party

  • Wednesday 6 October 2021

    Stage 5: Calitzdorp – Oudtshoorn
    Afternoon / Evening Big Game drive options (available to book on registration)

  • Thursday 7 October 2021

    Stage 6: Oudtshoorn – Uniondale
    Relaxing in private farmlands

  • Friday 8 October 2021

    Stage 7: Uniondale – Plettenberg Bay (via Kwano Cycling Academy)
    The Rainmaker Braai with welcome drinks, wine, entertainment and awards presentation

  • Saturday 9 October 2021

    09:00 transfers available to the Cape Town Waterfront via Swellendam and Cape Town International Airport.

Choose how you ride

Contest for a leader's jersey or category award.


Enjoy the fully supported experience with less of an emphasis on racing.


Focus on completing the course in a fully supported environment.

official partners
ride captain sponsors
official charities