Camp under the stars, spot elephant + rhino on our mountain bike safari tour Namibia
This isn’t safari at arm’s length; exploring on our mountain bike safari tour Namibia gives you the unique opportunity to really connect with the diverse wildlife and local communities of Namibia – the least populous country, yet with the most successful conservation programmes, in Africa.
Our photographer friends Berne Broudy, Jen Judge and Sasha Latypova have done a fantastic job of capturing the real spirit of the people, wildlife and landscapes encountered on our mountain bike safari tour Namibia, Africa.
Click on the images in the gallery to see the full impact of their great work…
Imagine the thrill of pedalling along red dirt roads, feeling the sun on your back, surrounded by endless spectacular horizons when, suddenly, you spot a herd of zebra grazing in the distance. No matter how many more zebra you see during your holiday, you’ll never forget your first sighting of wild animals in their natural habitat, on our mountain bike safari tour Namibia, Africa.
On this 12-day adventure in Namibia you will experience some of the less-travelled corners of this magnificent country, as well as the not-to-be-missed destinations, such as Swakopmund, Etosha National Park, and Sossusvlie – by bike, foot and Landrover.
Tour dates 2018
- 23 Apr – 4 May (2 PLACES)
- 13 – 24 June
- 12 – 23 September
Contact us if you would like to create your own private group tour.
In addition to mountain biking across the vast, red plains of Namibia with the sun on your back, here are some other special moments to look forward to on your mountain bike safari tour Namibia:
- Tucking into delicious apple pie in Solitaire
- Spotting giraffe, zebra + oryx from the saddle of your bike
- Cycling from the Skeleton Coast to the Huab River
- Camping under cloudless, star-filled skies
- Spending a day at Etosha National Park with an expert guide
- Meeting indigenous communities, such as the Himba tribe
Mountain Bike Safari tour Namibia Itinerary
The flow of the itinerary for your mountain bike safari tour Namibia has been carefully crafted to allow you to experience as much of this beautiful country as possible. We’ve tried to maximise time on the bike, whilst avoiding the hottest part of the day, and minimise transfer time in the vehicles.
- +Arrival in Namibia - refresh + prepare for your adventure
If you’re travelling a long way or across several time zones to Namibia then we would recommend arriving into Windhoek a day or two early to allow your body to adjust and to make sure any flight or luggage delays don’t spoil your trip.
- +Day 1 - Group meet-up in Windhoek
Your guide will meet you around midday at your hotel in Windhoek and load your equipment onto what will be your support vehicle for the duration of the trip.
Once we’re all assembled we’ll set off out of town and through the Namib desert towards our first accommodation, a wonderful working farmstead, in time for a light lunch.
After a siesta and some tea/coffee and cake, we will go on a leisurely, leg-stretching late afternoon game ride. We will explore the farm in search of oryx, hartebeest, zebra, kudu, springbok and, with luck, we might spot a cheetah or leopard.
Depending on the vegetation we can cycle cross country on animal tracks, or follow the many jeep tracks. The terrain is mainly flat with mountains in the background, acacia trees and some small granite boulders. We will get back just as the sun sets, freshen up, have some drinks and enjoy typical Namibian hospitality.
We will end the day with a traditional Namibian braai around the fire under the stars.
Cycling time: 2 hours (app. 18km)
- +Day 2 - Dawn chorus + Sossusvlie sunset
On your first full day of your mountain bike safari tour Namibia we will start with a dawn ride around the farm, again this will be a mixture of farm track and animal tracks with some undulating hills. This is a great time of day to see the animals as they are waking up. We will then have breakfast before a vehicle transfer on good gravel roads through the Namib desert to our desert camp in the Sossusvlei area.
Once we arrive there will be time for a siesta, to allow the heat of the afternoon to dissipate, before embarking on an afternoon ride on trails that will lead us into a truly breathtaking valley, where we will be met by our support team with some sun downers, where we can sit down and marvel at the deep red Namibian sunset.
We’ll return to our desert camp accommodation, which lies where the wide grassy valley is sheltered by the Nubib, Tsaris and Naukluft mountains, with a truly awe-inspiring view reaching as far as the dunes of the Namib Desert in the west.
Cycling time: two rides of 2 to 3 hours (app. 40km)
- +Day 3 - Sossusvlie sand dunes + Solitaire apple pie
Today we make a very early start (about 05:00) to drive into the park and on to Sossusvlei itself. Our aim is to ride from the entrance to the park to arrive at Big Daddy (the tallest sand dune in the world) as early as possible to catch the first sunlight and watch the sun rising over the red sand dunes; a must for any visit to Namibia.
We will walk up Big Daddy, cross Deadvlei and end the morning with a late breakfast under a nearby tree.
Once we’re all suitably fed and watered we’ll drive for about 2.5 hours to reach our next lodge, but along the way at the crossroads town of Solitaire you’ll taste their famous apple pie and rest under shade from the midday heat, before arriving at your accommodation and a dip in the swimming pool to cool off.
Again, after the strongest heat of the day has gone we will tackle an afternoon ride that takes about 2 hours to complete. We’ll be mountain biking on jeep tracks through extremely rugged and impressive terrain, and stopping to explore canyons and well-preserved rock art, if light allows.
Our home tonight is at a lodge built on the slope overlooking the north Rotstock Mountain range and the colorful dune landscape of the Namib Desert. The unique round structures blend into the granite surrounding, and this “cave” feeling makes for a true wilderness experience in Namibia.
Cycling time: 4 hours (app. 60km)
- +Day 4 - Kuiseb River Ride
We make another early start, setting off after a hearty breakfast we’ll travel in the vehicle for about 80km through the Gaub pass and Kuiseb pass, and what feels like forgotten countryside. The landscape is vast and open and you can spot animals from miles away.
We continue south-west towards the impressive Kuiseb River, a dry riverbed with enormous acacia trees, where we’ll saddle up and start our ride to a local village which is home to the Topnaars Tribe. This tribe follows a traditional way of life in the Namib desert, collecting fruit and herding their goats along the riverbed. En-route we pass places like Homeb, Klipneus and Swartrug.
We will carry our packed lunch with us on this ride to the Topnaars village, and when we arrive we will have lunch, soak up the atmosphere and learn about their traditional way of life, before continuing on our journey to Swakopmund.
We should arrive at our guesthouse in Swakopmund around late afternoon, just in time to head down to the beach for fun in the cooler air of the seaside!
Our guest house this evening is situated in the town centre, a mere five-minute walk from the beach and main shopping area. The Swakopmund Guesthouse is more than just a B&B and is run with an eco-friendly approach, making use of the plentiful solar energy.
Cycling time: 2 – 4 hours (up to 30km)
- +Day 5 - Swakopmund
On this, our first full day in the Swakopmund area, we will mountain bike on excellent singletrack that is a little more technical at times, but fear not, our guide will be on hand to help you negotiate the trails.
Our morning ride will take around 2 to 3 hours and will reach far into the Namib desert along the Swakop river, with dunes stretching out on our right, then on a quartz rock ridge, before we cross the railway lines and head deeper into the desert.
Here we will find proper roller coaster singletrack – it might feel like riding on the moon – before we arch around and return to Swakopmund. We end our ride at the Tiger Reef Beach Bar – just a few hundred meters away from our guesthouse where we can have lunch and a well earned beer.
In the afternoon you have the choice of relaxing or enjoying some other activities, which your guide will discuss with you beforehand.
We’ll enjoy a typical Namibian dinner on the sea front tonight and another comfortable night at our Swakopmund guest house.
Cycling time: 2 to 3 hours (app. 30km)
- +Day 6 - Skeleton Coast to the Huab River
After being based in the same location for two days we’ll rise early, have a good breakfast and travel in the vehicle up towards the Skeleton Coast National Park. It will take us about three hours to reach Brandberg west, a campsite in the dry Ugab river. The Brandberg is Namibia’s highest mountain and will be towering above us in the near distance.
From the campsite we start riding, first climbing steadily for around an hour, before the gradient eases and we ride a further hour before we get to a remote spring and our lunch stop.
Once fed and watered we will continue deeper into this extremely remote area all the way to the Huab river, home to the desert elephants and lions. To avoid startling these wild beasts at their watering hole we will get off our bikes and into the vehicle once we reach the river.
Total riding distance today is about 60km and will take about five hours. The scenery is magnificent and not many people have cycled here before, this truly is a first! If we are very lucky we may even encounter a black rhino when riding out here.
We should arrive at camp, and our home for the evening, in the late afternoon. The camp is powered by solar-powered inverter systems, so there are no noisy generators or pumps running while you are in camp. There are six walk-in hexagonal meru-style tents with en-suite flush toilet and bucket shower bathrooms, which are situated in a separate portion of the tent. Each tent is furnished with all the necessary comforts and styled with burnt orange interiors, wood and brass.
Cycling time: 4 to 5 hours (app.60km)
- +Day 7 - Huab River by Bike or Jeep
After yesterday’s big day we might have some heavy legs and be inclined to have a more restful day. But for those interested in a short, stunning ride, we have a 3- to 4-hour loop through the mountains on jeep track tucked up our sleeves for you!
If we decide to take things a bit easier, we will explore the river in our vehicle in search of elephants and lions, and for any bikers, we will do a game drive in the early evening.
Also, today we intend to visit the Riemvasmakers, a very friendly people with an interesting history, about which you will be keen to learn more!
We’ll spend our second night at our fabulous camp, in our comfortable meru-style tents.
- +Day 8 - Twyfelfontein rock engravings
We bid farewell to the Huab and to our camp, and drive through the impressive mountains to Fonteine and beyond.
As we make our way towards Twyfelfontein rock engravings, there’s little vegetation, so it’s easy for us to spot zebra, oryx, ostrich and maybe even some black rhino. This is also lion country…
After we have a guided tour of the rock engravings we will continue to our accommodation for the night, the unique Filmhouse-Onjowewe, which is situated about 20km outside of Kamanjab. This unusual house in the North-West of Namibia was built on a cattle farm in 2004 as a set for the movie “The Trail” or better known as “La Piste.” Since then the Burger Family has renovated and revamped this magical house into an overnight experience for adventurers.
Not your typical lodge, and definitely for the more adventurous! There is no electricity, and light in the evening is provided by paraffin lamps, bamboo torches and candles, which creates a surreal and magical ambience.
There are three large bedroom areas, each sleeping four people, and with its own bathroom and curtains to partition the room.
Once we are settled in we will set off on a bike ride around the surrounding farmland to explore the area that is home to the Himba tribe, who we will meet tomorrow morning.
Cycling time: morning – 2 to 3 hours (app. 30km); afternoon – 1.5 hours (app. 20km)
- +Day 9 - The Himba Tribe + Etosha National Park
Today we will start with an early breakfast before meeting with members of the Himba Tribe, which will give you an in-depth insight into the culture of this the last traditional tribe in Namibia. You can experience the milking ceremony, the smoke bath, learn about the beliefs around the holy fire, ancestors, and herbal medicine. You can also learn how the jewellery and hairstyles are used to imitate the status of each tribe member and their close relationship with nature, their cattle and children.
Once we have experienced this truly unique way of life we will depart and make tracks towards the Etosha National Park.
Upon arrival at our camp for the next two nights, we will have lunch, swim and see out the hottest part of the day, before mounting our bikes for an exploration of the surrounding lands.
- +Day 10 - Etosha National Park
Today our main aim is to get into Etosha National Park as quickly as possible to make the most of its treasures. We should be inside the park around mid-morning and spend the rest of the day focusing on wildlife spotting.
Rhino, lion, leopard, elephant, oryx, hartebeest, zebra, kudu, springbok and giraffe all roam freely around the park and your expert guides will impart some of their vast knowledge of each species as you spot it.
We will return to our safari camp to show pictures and tick off all the animals that we saw during our stay.
Cycling time: 2 hours (app. 20km)
- +Day 11 - Final sundowner ride in Namibia
If one day at the park was not enough for you to tick all of the animals off the list we can have another morning spent in the park, before we leave Etosha and drive about four hours to reach our final accommodation.
When we arrive at our farmstead accommodation you will have time to relax around the large pool and absorb all of the amazing sights that you have seen over the past ten days.
Late-afternoon we will depart on what will be our last ride together in Namibia. The farm is home to lots of wildlife including giraffe, eland, wild pigs, baboons, zebras, oryx, kudu… to name a few.
We end our ride on a little hill overlooking the property to enjoy our last sundowner in Africa. Our ride will be relaxed and will take about two hours.
Our last accommodation is set in a breath-taking landscape of mountains, dry riverbeds and open plains, offers a large variety of wildlife and plenty of birds on the 2500 hectare farm.
Cycling time: 2 to 3 hours (app. 30km)
- +Day 12 - Departure
Sadly this is your departure day. If time allows, and you didn’t manage to spot a cheetah, then we can take an optional cheetah drive on a nearby farm, before we transport you back to the airport and say our goodbyes, as you bid farewell to Namibia.
Please note: a mountain bike safari tour Namibia is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Namibia and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
- +Tour Price
mountain bike safari tour Namibia price
£2,590/ $3,885 USD per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room)
We welcome solo travellers on our adventures and if you are happy to share a room with another solo rider of the same sex you do not need to add the single supplement. If, however, you wish to have a room by yourself, a single supplement of £400/ $600 will be payable.
H+I Adventures is bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), so you can be sure that when you book with us your money will be safe. Price includes:
- 11 night’s accommodation with breakfast
- 3 lunches
- All dinners except 2 nights in Swakopmund
- Water/ energy drinks
- Support vehicle
- Tourism levy
- All group safety equipment
- Airport/ H+I recommended hotel pick-up on day 1 and drop-off on day 12 of tour (specified times apply)
- Global Rescue emergency evacuation services
- International/ domestic flights
- Travel and activity insurance
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Bike rental – we can arrange rental of a good quality full suspension bike at a cost of £310/$465 each for the duration of the trip
- Laundry services
- Tips in restaurants and hotels
- Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages (when not on the trail)
- Any other items not mentioned as included
- +Skill + fitness levels required
Does this sound like you? Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect adventure for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.
Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.
- You have some experience (one year) of riding a bike off-road, you own a mountain bike and use it
- You can change gear, brake and pedal efficiently
- You bike on canal paths, forest roads, double track and occasional singletrack
- You may be a road or touring biker who has seen the light and wants to do some more mountain biking, and have ridden off road since seeing the light
- And the ‘+’ part of ‘Novice+’ means that you’re aspiring to ride sections of singletrack during your adventure with us
- You have a reasonable level of mountain bike fitness, exercising at least twice a week for one hour or more, throughout the whole year
- You can ride a mountain bike for up to five hours per day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for three consecutive days
- You are capable of tackling one or two moderate mountain bike climbs per day, of up to 400 metres each
Typical trails you’ll be riding
- The trails on our mountain bike safari tour Namibia are dirt trails made up of a mixture of old walking paths, animal tracks and roads
- Double track: undulating roads made of shingle, gravel and sand; you will also encounter some golf ball- to fist-sized loose rocks
- The surface will generally be hard, but will occasionally be soft and loose in sections of sand
- Your guide will help you build up your skills and confidence gradually, from double track to non-technical singletrack
- +Arrival + departure details
Your mountain bike safari tour Namibia will start and end in Windhoek.
We strongly advise that you arrive a day or two before the first day of your adventure, to allow you to recover from your travels and to make sure that any flight or baggage delays don’t impact on the start of your adventure with us.
On Day 1 of your adventure we will collect you from your local hotel and transfer you by private shuttle (included in holiday price) to your accommodation at the Oanob Dam Guest House, not far outside Windhoek.
On the last day of your mountain bike safari tour Namibia, please book flights departing no earlier than 2pm, if at all possible. If your flight departs much earlier, we can arrange a separate transfer, but this will be at your own expense.
Note: please ensure that you have at least four clean pages and at least six months’ validity (from date of departure from Namibia) remaining in your passport for travelling to/from Namibia.
If you wish to extend your trip to Namibia please contact us and we can help you to organise this.
- +Travelling to Namibia
Most visitors enter Namibia at Hosea Kutako International Airport located 45km east of Windhoek.
International flights arrive multiple times throughout the week from Johannesburg and Frankfurt via a number of carriers including Air Namibia. Other airlines with scheduled flights to Namibia include British Airways, South African Airways, LTU and TAAG, the Angolan national airline.
The airport terminal offers a number of shops and restaurants, also ATM’s and other helpful services, including taxi and shuttle transportation that is also available to and from Windhoek. Flight times:
- To Windhoek from Frankfurt. Approximately 11 hours
- To Windhoek from the USA via South Africa. Approximately 19 hours
- To Windhoek from Johannesburg/Cape Town. Approximately 2 hours
- To Windhoek from London. Approximately 12 hours
- +Preparing yourself + your bike for the trip
Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your mountain bike safari tour Namibia, Africa, to make sure that you have everything you need!
The ideal bike for our mountain bike safari tour Namibia is a good quality full suspension mountain bike with around 120mm of travel front and rear, to tackle the rough terrain and gravel roads in Namibia.
We can arrange hire of a good quality full-suspension mountain bike for the duration of your trip.
To get the most out of your mountain bike safari tour Namibia you should plan some training in advance of your tour, and it is essential that you ensure that your bike has been properly serviced before the trip.
- +Your mountain bike guides in Namibia
Our local mountain bike guides in Namibia are of the very highest standard. They are qualified in first-aid, and have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these very remote and wild parts of Namibia.
Our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the Namibian trails and will be able to enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna. They’re also genuinely nice people and will do their best to make sure that everyone in the group has a great time.
- +Accommodation + Food
The majority of accommodation that we use on our mountain bike safari tour Namibia is family-owned and operated farmhouses, guest lodges and luxury camping. This accommodation is by no means basic even by western standards.
These hospitable lodges provide relative luxury in what is possibly one of the most remote areas on the planet. We have researched these areas extensively to select the most comfortable accommodation in the region, and we have planned the itinerary accordingly.
While we encourage you to eat what the locals eat – organic traditional Namibian food – there is also the option of requesting simple western dishes. Most of the dishes in Namibia consist of a meat element, since vegetables are less widely available.
- +Health + safety
There are no mandatory vaccinations for travelers from Europe. If you arrive from a country where yellow fever vaccinations are mandatory, proof of immunization is required.
Take the usual precautions: ask your doctor whether you should renew your vaccinations against polio, diphtheria and tetanus. It also may be advisable to take precautions against Hepatitis A and B. Unfortunately there is no vaccination against malaria.
You should refrain from consuming water or ice that hasn’t been purified. Bottled mineral water is available almost everywhere.
In Namibia, malaria exists primarily in the northern parts of the country, where protection often becomes too expensive. You can protect yourself efficiently with a bit of planning and extra caution.
Malaria is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, which has previously bitten a person infected with malaria. If there are no mosquitoes, there is no malaria either. Since Namibia does not have much stagnant water the risk of contracting malaria is minimal in most parts of the country, or limited to a specific time of the year.
- High-risk areas are the river meadows in the north, northwest and northeast, where you are advised to take precautions year round
- Kaokoveld, Etosha National Park, the Otavi Mountains and the east including Bushmanland are areas of medium risk. Precautions are strongly recommended during the rainy season (November to April)
- The risk is small in the area between Otjiwarongo and Windhoek. This does not mean, however, that you should not use mosquito repellent
- The coast, the Namib Desert and the south are regarded as almost risk-free
You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad.
Your health and safety is on tour our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.
- +Currency + foreign exchange
Currency: the Namibian Dollar (N$) is fixed and equals the South African Rand. SA Rand is also legal tender.
- Most international credit cards are accepted
- Travellers cheques in foreign currency can be exchanged during banking hours, week days from 09.00 – 15.30 and Saturdays from 8.30-10.30, at any commercial bank in most towns
- Bureau de Change offices at the International Airport and in the Levinson Arcade in Windhoek
- No credit cards accepted at petrol stations
- Personal cheques, foreign currency or foreign Travellers Cheques are NOT accepted at rest camps
We suggest a tip of 10% of the cost of your tour should be paid to your mountain bike guide at the end of the trip, which will then be divided between all drivers, support staff and fixers, if you feel you have had a good experience on our mountain bike safari tour Namibia.
- +Holiday insurance
You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage.
We work closely with WorldNomads whose policies are specially designed for mountain bike holidays. You can arrange your insurance cover directly with them and we ask that you send us your policy details.
Please note: if you have arranged your own holiday insurance, you must bring a copy of your policy with you on your mountain bike safari tour Namibia.
Please note: a mountain biking adventure is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Namibia and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
Mountain Bike Safari tour Namibia reviews
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We had a fabulous time. Our guides, Zieggy, Jacques and Nicky were fantastic...all great fun, so patient with our differing levels of experience and very tolerant of our general noise and sense ofhumour!! Namibia is truly one of the most stunning countries I've ever visited, so varied and completely beautiful. A surprise around every corner. Damaraland is the most incredible place, made even more so by the fact we didn't pass another vehicle for 3 days. A huge thank you to them all.
Who says you should never meet your heroes because they will always disappoint you. Well Namibia has been an itch I have wanted to scratch for 20 years and having finally achieved my wish, I can tell you that my hero did not let me down.
It is hard to describe in words or pictures the sheer beauty and majesty of this place. It has a bit of everything and for the adventurous traveller who wants some exercise and thrills this is a trip that is as good as anything I have done before. The variety of the scenery, the sheer humbling beauty of the rugged landscape, the isolation and the scale. Nothing will prepare you for how spectacular it is.
The cycling is great fun. Technically it is doable for a reasonably novice but determined cyclist who has ok fitness and a big engine and heart. The soft sand and the rocks take a bit off getting used to but the distances are not great and are very doable. It is hot (52 degrees one afternoon crossing the Namib desert) but just jump in the truck and cool off if to hot.
Highlights - everything, but the drive up into Damaraland and the two nights in the Adventure camp will stay long in the memory. H+I organise the tour superbly with great guides and excellent lodges. If anything they undersell how good the trip is but frankly until you have been to Namibia it is hard to tell any one what to expect and how good this trip is.
We organised our own group and I can not think of a better way to have fun with 10 mates. We were a mixed group of boys and girls and very mixed cycling ability and even those who had done no cycling absolutely loved it. Five star rating from me and now a desire to see the rest of this amazing country that we missed out on this time round.
Incredible trip and a great way to see the country as no other tourist will see it. The trip covers a huge area with very diverse terrain and climate. The temperatures ranged from 5 to 48 C, and parts of the trip were in the areas that look exactly like the photos that Curiosity sent from Mars.
The riding is not technically challenging, but you need to have some technical mountain bike skills and training to actually enjoy it. The heat, lose sand, rocks, gravel and very thorny vegetation add some extra challenge and opportunity to learn.
Be prepared for long rides in vans as the distances are vast and only very few roads are paved. The highlight of the trip is Damaraland with out-of-this-world terrain and night skies. Etosha park is also a high note as the sheer number and the diversity of animals you will see is astounding.
We enjoyed meeting the local people, tasting the local food (oryx! pinotage!) and the fact that in most places the water was safe to drink from the tap. Big thank you to H+I Adventures and our local guides for this experience.
We had a fantastic time! It was an incredible experience and I’d recommend it for folks who love to mountain bike and are willing to forego the everyday amenities for a once in a lifetime trip. Bring your best camera(s) because the landscape, animals and people are awe inspiring. The staff are terrific and knowledgable.Scott
Spectacular trip with great riding and viewing opportunities. The itinerary covers large areas and a wide variety of terrains. Though this requires long transfers often over rugged roads, this is also part of the allure of the trip. With Nico as a driver/guide every mile was an opportunity to learn more about the local geology, flora and fauna (or to sneak in some well earned shut-eye). The riding varied in both technical difficulty and aerobic intensity (be ready for sand and heat, at least for the December tour), but the guide's encouragement resulted in great group riding for the most part.
The rental bike was definitely the way to go; the equipment was first rate, well maintained, and set up to handle the damage that thorn infested trails dish out.
This was my introduction to Africa and I must say that it was all I had hoped for. I suspect that the itinerary will continue to be tweaked because of the differing conditions at different times of the year. Don't know if we were just lucky, but weather for the December trip was just about perfect.
I can’t imagine a better way to see Africa. This trip takes you off the beaten path into places that few ever get to see. And bonus! You get to do it on your mountain bike! A bunch of the rides have leapfrogged to the top of my lifetime list of epically great rides, which alone, was worth the trip. The guides and support were really great too, mixing in useful biking tips with local culture and just plain good conversation, and the H&I crew gave enough updates and reminders to make sure we were ready for the trip.
My one recommendation would be to choose the rental bike option. The terrain is pretty unforgiving to a typical bike (rocks, thorns, dust, sand) such that having one set up specifically for those conditions was a lifesaver.
An amazing trip! On many days it is just you, your fellow travelers, and the animals. Give it 4 out of 5 only because it is a newer trip and the itinerary is still being tweaked. Also, there are a couple long vehicle transfers but that is the price you need to pay for such a geographically diverse trip.
Don’t be fooled by the Novice+ rating! Bring along a casual riding spouse or friend as your travel partner at your peril! The loose sandy/gravel conditions can catch even skilled riders snoozing. And pedaling in 30-40 degrees C temps is never easy.
You won’t be the same after pedaling from the Skeleton Coast to Damaraland. Strongly recommended.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) mountain bike safari tour Namibia
- Q. How many people will be in the group?
We only run small group adventures to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will usually be eight riders in the group, but we can accommodate a maximum of 10 people. The minimum number of people we require to run our mountain bike safari tour Namibia is six.
- Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this holiday?
Our mountain bike safari tour Namibia, Africa caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 65-years-old, but age is simply a state of mind, as they say, and we welcome anyone over the age of 18! As long as you have a good level of physical fitness and some bike handling skills you will enjoy this mountain bike safari no matter what your age.
- Q. What style of mountain biking vacation is it?
This mountain bike safari tour Namibia is a guided safari, ideal for novice+ mountain bikers. Riding here, in the wild, endless landscapes of Africa, you’ll cycle relatively long distances on dirt roads, with some moderate climbs and descents.
You’ll also experience some singletrack mountain biking, but your expert local guide will be on-hand at all times to offer skills tips.
- Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?
The distances we cover each day range from 20km to 80km, and we will be mountain biking in the morning and late afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day in Africa. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.
- Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?
Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills training during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your mountain bike safari tour Namibia. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk, or re-join the support vehicle.
- Q. Who will be guiding us?
Your mountain bike guides are local to Namibia, Africa and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and wild landscape of this region of Africa. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of the tour. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip. Meet your mountain bike guide in Namibia…
- Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
On this mountain bike safari tour Namibia you will be staying in a range of comfortable accommodations, including farm houses, guest houses, small hotels and luxury wild camping.
- Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?
All meals except lunch and dinner on the two days in Swakopmund and in Windhoek. Drinking water will also be supplied each day.
- Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?
A good quality full suspension mountain bike with 120mm travel front and rear will be ideal for this mountain bike safari tour Namibia. The terrain you will be riding is rough in places and you will feel more comfortable on a full suspension bike for the duration of the trip. If you wish to travel to Namibia with your own bike, we have some handy tips on how to travel by air with your bike. We can also arrange bike hire for you for the duration of the trip.
- Q. What will the weather be like in Namibia?
September to November/ December are spring months in Namibia and can be hot already, mostly rather windy and dry. Excellent for game viewing as the veld is getting dryer and water sparse and animals gather around waterholes. The heat is a dry heat, so it is very bearable. Maximum 35°C during the day.
- Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?
For details of all the kit required for your mountain bike safari tour Namibia please read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike safari tour Namibia, Africa.
- Q. Can I bring a drone with me?
Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety.