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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
5 days cycling with 95% vehicle support
90% off road on rolling dirt roads and tracks
Some sandy sections and one more technical ride

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.

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Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

All breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners
All accommodation
All transport and listed activities
Tour leader throughout
Local bike hire

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. €27) for meals not included in the itinerary.

Start destination: Arusha

End destination: Arusha

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.

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.

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 a lot, 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.

Day 4

A morning hike up the mountain behind the campsite offers some spectacular views over the Rift Valley and across to Manyara NP. 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 Masai homestead to visit some of our Masai friends and gain some insight into their lives in the Rift Valley. We return to the camp late afternoon.

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 Masai 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.

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 Masai 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 a 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.

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. We then drive on to Naabi Hill, which marks the boundary between Ngorongoro and Serengeti – the Masai’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.

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.

Day 9

We get back on the bikes today. It is a short drive to the national park gate from where we can start cycling. The next two days will be on dirt road with some sandy sections. The route is rolling, and you will be glad to be back in the saddle again. As we are on the edge of the game park we may see more wildlife en route, as well many colourfully-dressed Masai. We set up camp late afternoon at a local campsite in the little town of Wasso.

Day 10

Today is 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 the countryside is as the previous day. We need to stop for an early lunch, after which we pack the bikes on the vehicle and we all get a transfer to the top of the Rift Valley escarpment overlooking Lake Natron, a spectacular view. The descent is on a 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.

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. If we can convince the manager to fill the fresh water pool we can relax there with a cold beer! 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 climb. Camping back at Lake Natron campsite.

Day 12

Return to Arusha. It is a long, dusty drive, approximately 6hrs. 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 you will all probably go to sleep as we drive the final 2hrs back to civilisation. We return to our comfortable starting hotel.

Day 13

The tour ends this morning.

Prices & Dates

Date: 2017-08-202017-09-01

Trip code: MYB170820

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €3505.00

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Date: 2017-11-192017-12-01

Trip code: MYB171119

Availability: Available

Trip status:

Price: €3505.00

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Date: 2017-12-172017-12-29

Trip code: MYB171217

Availability: Available

Trip status:

Price: €3505.00

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Date: 2018-02-112018-02-23

Trip code: MYB180211

Availability: Available

Trip status:

Price: €3615.00

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Date: 2018-08-122018-08-24

Trip code: MYB180812

Availability: Available

Trip status:

Price: €3615.00

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Date: 2018-11-112018-11-23

Trip code: MYB181111

Availability: Available

Trip status:

Price: €3615.00

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Date: 2018-12-232019-01-04

Trip code: MYB181223

Availability: Available

Trip status:

Price: €3615.00

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Customer Feedback

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.

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

Answer:

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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.

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

Answer:

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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!

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

Answer:

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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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