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Tanzania Cycle Safari

Explore northern Tanzania on 2-wheels and go on safari in some of Africa’s
best parks



At a glance

10 nights full-service camping and 2 nights hotel Campsites vary in services
The hotel in Arusha is comfortable with en suite facilities

Explore northern Tanzania on 2-wheels and go on safari in some of Africa’s
best parks

For centuries people have explored the lakes and plains of East Africa on two
feet. We explore this incredible region on two wheels. Starting from Arusha
we cycle out across banana and coffee plantations before entering the Great
Rift Valley and the grasslands where Masai cattle graze. After spending time
at a homestead we swap our bikes for 4WDs and go on safari in the Ngorongoro
Crater and the Serengeti. The final days of mountain biking are hugely
rewarding as we ride to Lake Natron and the awe-inspiring active volcano Ol
Doinyo Lengai, passing only Masai with their cattle and the wildlife they
live alongside.

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

Food:
all breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners.

The food is excellent throughout the safari whilst camping; it’s surprising
what the cooks can produce under very simple conditions. The food in the
hotel is quite simple, but if something more special is wanted, there is the
option of eating out in Arusha. Please note we can cater for most special
dietary requirements, but you must advise on booking. Allow USD30 (equivalent
to approx. GBP20) for meals not included in the itinerary.

Start destination:

End destination:

Cycling profile

Day 1

Start Arusha; morning briefing, the afternoon is free to relax after your
flight, lie by the pool or explore the town.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 2

Starting from our Arusha lodging, we cycle a route through banana and coffee
plantations before heading west towards the Monduli mountain range. Open
farmland leads us past the foothills of the mountains. The earth here is
known as ‘Black Cotton’ and is very prone to erosion. We weave through
various small valleys and Maasai homesteads as we traverse the foothills. We
will be carrying a packed lunch to re-energise at a convenient point on the
way. We camp tonight at the ‘Snake Park’, where there is an excellent display
of local reptiles.
Cycle approx. 40-60km
*Full-service Camping*

Day 3

Cycling straight from our camp, the route follows the old tarmac road, which
weaves back and forth over the new road. It is broken up and at times goes
some distance away from the main road. After lunch, depending on the distance
covered, we either get a lift or keep cycling straight towards the Rift
Valley wall, which is seen in the distance, with Lake Manyara glistening at
its foot. After Manyuki we follow the main road to the village of Selelai .
This is open country, and giraffe, ostrich, gazelles and occasionally
elephant are seen. We camp tonight at an attractive campsite on the edge of a
Rift Valley mountain.
Cycle approx. 60-80km
*Full-service Camping*

Day 4

A morning hike up the mountain behind the campsite offers some spectacular
views over the Rift Valley and across to Manyara National Park. Our Masai
guide takes the opportunity to introducing us to the various medicinal plants
that his tribe uses. We head back to camp for lunch. In the afternoon we
cycle out to a local Maasai homestead to visit some of our Maasai friends
and gain some insight into their lives in the Rift Valley. We return to the
camp late afternoon.
Cycle approx. 20-30kms
*Full-service Camping*

Day 5

Departing from the campsite we cycle across the rift to the village of Mto wa
Mbu. The Rift Valley wall is in sight all day as we cycle through a number of
Maasai homesteads. Possible sightings of wildlife as we cross over the open
plains. We have our packed lunch under an acacia tree during the heat of the
day before cycling on and arriving into camp late afternoon.
Cycle approx. 50km
*Full-service Camping*

Day 6

Today all the bikes are packed onto our vehicles and we drive to Ngorongoro
conservation area. Ngorongoro is a special place in that it is a conservation
area, not a national park; which means that the whole area is managed for
both the animals and the local Maasai people who graze their cattle alongside
the indigenous wildlife. After stopping at the entrance gate, where there is
a chance to learn about this fascinating volcanic landscape, we drive around
the rim of the crater itself, from where we can look down and see herds of
wildebeeste and elephant. Then we descend into the crater. The crater walls
provide a natural sanctuary for the animals, which means there is plenty to
see, lions, elephants, buffalo, rhino and, if we are lucky, leopard. The only
animal we won’t see in here is giraffe, whose long legs are unable to cope
with the steep sides of the crater. We drive up the crater wall in the
afternoon and camp on the rim at Simba campsite.
*Full-service Camping*

Day 7

After an early breakfast we have a spectacular drive down the outside of the
crater and come to Oldupai Gorge, where the Leakey family unearthed the
remains of some of man’s earliest ancestors (site visit is an optional
extra). We then drive on to Naabi Hill, which marks the boundary between
Ngorongoro and Serengeti – the Maasai’s ‘Endless Plains’.
We have the rest of the day wildlife spotting in Serengeti. Where we go
depends on the time of year; we can spend time at the Hippo pool watching
these majestic animals laze about in the cool water happily living alongside
the crocodiles, watch a big pride of lions, be in the middle of the
migration, sometimes surrounded by wildebeeste and sometimes by zebras. We
journey from the wide open plains to the kopjes: these volcanic rocky
outcrops provide protection and shelter for a wide variety of animals and
from the top we can look out across the vast grasslands of the Serengeti.
This stunnining landscape will provide us with the ultimate in game viewing,
and we will hopefully see all the plain games; elephants, giraffe, zebra,
wildebeest, lions and maybe the elusive leopard and cheetah, as well as huge
amounts of interesting birdlife, from the elegant Secretary birds to the
flightless ostrich. We spend the night in the middle of the plains at
Seronera campsite.
*Full-service Camping*

Day 8

Our second day in the Serengeti: again we will rise early and have a full day
in the park, heading north and enjoying the animals and scenery as we go.
This is a long day driving but there is plenty to see on the way. We camp
tonight at Lobo camp, in a beautiful setting. Lobo camp is close to Lobo
Wildlife Lodge and if time allows it is possible to stop in there for a drink
at their bar.
*Full-service Camping*

Day 9

We get back on the bikes today. It is about an hour’s drive to the national
park gate and on to the point where we start cycling. The next two days will
be on dirt road with some sandy, rocky and corrugated sections. The route
today is rolling, with two moderate climbs, one of which is quite rocky. You
will be glad to be back in the saddle again as today’s ride is on the edge
of the game park we may see more wildlife en route, as well many
colourfully-dressed Maasai. We set up camp late afternoon at a local campsite
in the little town of Wasso. The campsite is basic but comfortable and has a
bar.
Cycle approx. 40-50km
*Full-service Camping*

Day 10

Today is a potentially our longest day of cycling. We cycle southwards
through the hills bordering the Serengeti and down through an area populated
by the Songo tribe, dressed in their bright orange attire. Our route is along
a rough dirt road with some sandy sections and a number of rocky and
corrugated sections. We need to do as much of the riding before our lunch
stop at 1pm as possible, before the heat sets in. After lunch for those who
would prefer not to ride further, we’ll pack the bikes on the vehicle and
transfer to Lake Natron, stopping on the way at the top of the Rift Valley
escarpment to admire the spectacular view. For those who continue on the
bikes, the riding is tough – very rough roads and very hot. There is more
up and down before coming to the top of the Rift Valley escarpment. The
descent is on a rocky, gravel road with switchbacks, so a steady handlebar is
necessary! The road descends steeply to the side of Lake Natron and then
follows the lakeshore to a village. The road surface changes, becoming
stonier, and requires more concentration. It is a real challenge to reach
camp on the bikes but we will go as far as possible. Camp at the Lake Natron
campsite.
Cycle apporx. 50-100km depending on the group
*Full-service Camping*

Day 11

Today is a free day to relax at Lake Natron camp; we can sit and enjoy the
view of the lake from the camp, which appears almost mirage-like in the
distance. A short drive or walk to the lake is well worth it: the flamingos,
pelicans and egrets are great. It is however VERY hot. Lake Natron is known
as one of the world’s largest breeding grounds for lesser flamingos. A late
afternoon walk to the local waterfalls is a great way to finish the day. The
water is cool and refreshing, and you can almost swim in places. Some people
have taken the opportunity to climb Ol Doinyo Lengai but this is a tough,
very steep climb. Anyone considering the climb must have proper hiking boots,
warm all-weather gear, gloves, good headlamp and poles. Camping back at Lake
Natron campsite.
*Full-service Camping*

Day 12

Return to Arusha. It is a long drive of approximately 5-6hrs, and is also
quite dusty! We follow the foothills of the Rift Valley wall over open plains
on which also live the plains animals, a familiar sight by now. Once we reach
the tarmac road many want to sleep whilst we drive the final 2hrs back to
civilisation. We return to our comfortable starting hotel.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 13

A free morning in Arusha: there is time to explore the town and pick up some
last minute souvenirs or just spend the day relaxing by the pool and
recalling your wonderful adventure over the last few days.
**

Prices & Dates

Trip code:

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Customer Feedback

Tanzania Cycling

Summary:
This was an amazing trip. The Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti days in the
Land Cruiser watching wildlife were even more wonderful than I had expected.
I would recommend it to anyone who is not afraid to rough it sleeping in
tents, riding extremely rough roads and taking cold showers.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
We saw amazing wildlife and had the very fortunate opportunity to observe 2
lionesses track and kill a hartebeest. The wildlife was the highlight of the
trip, and it was made possible because we had an extraordinary group leader,
Gabriel. The hike we took to the Falls and swimming in the pools there are
experiences I will remember because we would not be able to do anything like
that in my country.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
He was so impressive! His knowledge of the wildlife, plants, local people and
the whole environment was complete. He answered every question and was
spot-on with his decisions for our activities. He had a tremendous
responsibility for 16 customers and 8 crew members.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be aware that this trip involves some difficult cycling because the roads are
very rough – washboard and pretty big rocks cover the roads – most all the
way. It can make the 20-40 miles seem longer. But the opportunity to see the
wildlife and experience true Tanzania life is amazing.

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TANZANIA CYCLE SAFARI

Summary:
A unique experience travelling Tanzania in bicycle in contact with wild
animals and Masai people.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Cycling in rough roads with changing landscape and in touch with the daily
primitive life of the Great Masai.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Professional, knowledgable, helpfull and always a smile for everyone.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Depending to the time of the year, it might be cold in some camps due to the
altitude, so be prepared for that.

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TANZANIA CYCLE SAFARI

Summary:
A unique experience exploring Tanzania cycling in the land of wild animals.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Cycling in rough roads in a wonderful and changing landscape. Being so closed
to wild animals and touching the daily and primitive life of the great Masai.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Professional, knowledgable, helpfull and always with a smile for everyone.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Depending the time of the year, it might be cold due to the high altitude of
some camps.

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TANZANIA CYCLE SAFARI

Summary:
More than a cycling holiday and more than a safari – the most fabulous
holiday! Highly recommended.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Can’t pick one moment as every day an adventure! 

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Gabriel was the best! He managed the holiday so well we were just left to
enjoy it! Very nice chap as well. Couldn’t fault him!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Cycling is only one element so be aware it is more than a cycling experience.
Four long days of cycling and one short. Two days no cycling but optional
hikes and three days safari. Perfect for me!

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TANZANIA CYCLE SAFARI

Summary:
A great way to get out of your comfort zone as some of the camping facilities
are basic and also a fine way to lose weight and get fitter!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The game viewing in the Serengeti including seeing the early migration of a
herd of 37 elephants being led out by the matriach walk right past our
vehicle. We were also lucky enough to have a brief but inspirational view of
a leopard leaping up over rocks and back into cover, a female cheetah and her
cubs dragging away a fresh kill to safety and two lions guarding their kill
of a zebra. We also saw giraffes , hippos, ostiches, crocodiles, zebras and
a multitude of other animals in the wonderful setting of the "endless
plains" of the national park.Seeing the Maasai in their homeland as we
cycled past and being able to speak to local Maasai guides was really
interesting and informative.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Gabriel was simply superb throughout the trip with amazing levels of energy
matched by his ability to connect with everyone in our group. He was helpful,
reassuring, patient and understanding and able to carry out a multitude of
tasks from getting a broken axle repaired for one of the trailers to sorting
out all the logistics required for the smooth operation of the small army of
staff quitely and efficently. He was consistently helpful, always smiling
and ready to help out at all times and proved to be an excellent bike
mechanic ans natural leader.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Tanzania has some very sandy, energy sapping roads so be prepared by getting
the off road miles in before you travel. Some of the descents were fairly
technical negotiating boulders and rocks en route and at times it was very
hot (38c on one day) and it’s easy to run out of water so you may want to
invest in a Camel Back with a large capacity to help you keep hydrated. Bring
along a stock of energy bars and gels with you as food stops are not very
frequent and flip-flops for use in showers. You may want to try out the
"Sports" type of sunscreen that claim to offer up to 12 hours of
protection for one application.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
A fantastice trip shared with some great company.

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TANZANIA CYCLE SAFARI

Summary:
An amazing holiday with a great group of people.  Cycling is a fantastic way
to get see the country and get off the tourist trail.  The three day
safari in the middle was excellent.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Driving in the Serengeti and seeing a herd of 30+ elephants coming down the
hill and crossing right in front of the truck then seeing another herd of
100+ elephants later in the day  – both with no other safari trucks
around.  The start of the wildebeest migration was awesome and totally
unexpected.  Camping in Lobo and hearing the lions roaring in the valley at
night.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Gabriel did a superb job of making sure everything ran smoothly whilst being
relaxed and easy going.  His insights into local culture, particularly
amongst the Masai, were fascinating and really enhanced the trip.  His
ability to drive over deeply rutted roads whilst game spotting was
amazing.  All in all an excellent group leader.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be prepared for basic conditions in a couple of the campsites.  The
cycling can be sandy/rocky in places combined with the heat so it’s worth
doing some training.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
If you want a holiday that pushes you a bit but in a relaxed African way then
this is the one for you! I am still trying to work out how, on the last
night’s camping, the cook managed to produce a full roast
dinner followed by freshly baked chocolate cake – all with no sign of an
oven. 

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TANZANIA CYCLE SAFARI

Summary:
Wonderful, surreal, I was living my dream.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
It was an amazing trip, I was anxious before I went, but had nothing to worry
about.  Dave Armon the tour guide was excellent and so was the crew who
looked after us.  The food was basic but good, cycling tough on some days,
but there were plenty of stops to take in the scenery, and it was not a mad
race to get from A to B it was a nice steady pace so you could enjoy the
experience, the group was a very good mix and great company.The camping was
fun, it was wonderful hearing the lions roar in the valley, and the elephants
wondering near the campsite.  The crew were very efficient and setup camp
before we arrived and looked after us well.I loved the game drives, it was
such a wonderful experience being quite close to the wildlife.I enjoyed the
culture side of the trip, the visit to a Maasi family home and learning about
the way they live.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Very good and knowledgable.  Looked after us well.  Very friendly.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Hire the bikes over there as they are very good.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I loved the trip, it was a surreal experience and would recommend anyone
thinking about going on it to stop thinking about it and book it. 

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TANZANIA CYCLE SAFARI

Summary:
Fantastic combination of some great off road cycling and safari.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Getting up early one morning and finding ourselves alone in the Serengeti
surrounded by a pride of lions.  

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Julius was everything you need from a guide – knowledgable,
professional, courteous and entertaining.  The whole team were great. 

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
The cycling is great but can be tough on some days, especially if you’re not
used to riding off road. 

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Be prepared to rough it for a few days, some of the campsites were quite
basic but all had at least a [cold] shower!

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Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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