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Cycle Tanzania

Tanzania, Africa

Cycle Tanzania

Biking
·
Start: Arusha
·
End: Arusha

Venture off the beaten track on a two-wheeled trip across Tanzania

Activity
Biking
LocationTanzania, Africa
Duration13 days
Start / EndArusha / Arusha
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Tanzania, Africa

Cycle Tanzania

Biking·
13 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Arusha
·
End: Arusha

Description

Brimming with mighty predators and birds, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are must-visits for any Tanzania trip, but safaris are only the beginning. This unique cycling adventure has you cruising down Great Rift Valley escarpments, strolling through farm villages, roasting and grinding your own coffee, drifting off to sleep among nocturnal creatures, experiencing the culture of the Maasai p...

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Itinerary

Day 1Arusha
Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. Today there are no activities planned until your important group meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Should you require a transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), Arusha Airport (ARK) or a shuttle to Nairobi at the end of the trip, this can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader about this at the welcome meeting. Take a stroll to acquaint yourself with the town which, at 1,300 m above sea level, enjoys a temperate year-round climate. Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the group meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Day 2Arusha National Park
Departing Arusha early, climb aboard your support vehicle and head east to Usa River before heading north. From here you'll jump onto your bike for the first time and cycle north (approximately 3 hours; 30 km), in the shadow of Mt Meru, through Arusha National Park. Today's ride is a tough introduction to riding in Africa as the Park roads are rough and at times hilly. All your hard work is worth it though as you enjoy the unique thrill of riding a bicycle through an African National Park - something few people ever experience. Arrive at your overnight destination, the Mkuru Training Camp, located in the foothills of Mount Meru. This small, low-impact community 'camp' is dedicated to research, education and training for the promotion of good practices in natural resources management.  Tonight you will stay in a dorm room with shared facilities. Riding distance - approx. 30kms
Day 3Longido
Enjoy a fairly flat and level ride on unsealed road before hitting the tarmac and heading north (on the road that connects Kenya to Tanzania) to Longido (approximately 3.5 hours; 65 km). Once you meet the main road – which has surprisingly little traffic – you can enjoy a gentle mostly downhill ride for the remaining 40 km to Longido itself. Longido is located on the outskirts of the Mount Longido Forest Reserve. Here you will interact with the famous Maasai people for the first time. Any cultural experience with the Masaai is a colourful affair and one you will remember for a long time. Those with some energy left can take an optional short hike along one of the many walking trails on Mount Longido. Riding distance - approx. 65kms
Day 4Lake Natron & Ol Doinyo Lengai
Today is something unique – you'll brave the unpaved roads which cut west across from Longido to Lengai. These aren’t roads you’ll find on Google Maps, and they're often in poor condition, so you'll be praising your front suspension. The amazing views and car-free environment, however, make it worth the effort. The amount of cycling today will very much depend on the conditions – given the roads, there will be an estimated mix of cycling and driving. The aim is to cycle about 40 kilometres (approximately 3 hours) of this 95-kilometre journey. What won’t change is the scenery, as you travel across dry open plains with the Kerimasi, Gelai and Kitumbeine mountains in the distance and closer by seven remarkable volcanos, the jewel being the spectacular and active Ol Doinyo Lengai, (Mountain of God' in the Maasai language). Close to your remote campsite is the shallow, salty Lake Natron. Often coloured bright pink or deep red due to algae, it is a mecca for the breeding 'lesser' flamingo. Reaching temperatures above 40°C and with a similar acidity to ammonia, this is not a place to swim, but the view is certainly an interesting one. Riding distance - approx. 40kms
Day 5Lake Natron & Ol Doinyo Lengai
Get as active or as relaxed as you like today. Take the bike and ride to the nearby Saitoti River to cool off in the natural plunge pools. Visiting Lake Nartron is also a great option; it's located around 15 kilometres from your camp. Serious adventures can opt to climb Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano (2,878 m), which means a very early start (midnight) and the aim is to enjoy sunrise views. While it requires no technical skills or equipment, the climb itself is long and steep, with large section of scree, and it does get cold in the early mornings. The key is to take the mountain slowly – you will hear the cries of 'pole pole' (slowly slowly) on a regular basis as your guide leads you up the mountain. While it is a hard climb, the sunrise views from the top are truly superb, and you'll be one of the only climbers there. Note: This climb is not included as part of the itinerary and additional costs apply - these costs vary depending on the number of people participating in the climb. See our Packing List section for suggested equipment/clothing for this optional excursion. Optional Activities available - Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano hike - USD$100 per person plus jeep hire cost (jeep costs US$70 in total, split between participants) The jeep can carry up to 6 persons - Visit to Lake Natron only – Community fee of US$20 per person plus jeep hire cost (jeep costs US$70 in total, split between participants) The jeep can carry up to 6 persons - Waterfall visit only– Community fee is US$20 pp and a guide fee of US$10 regardless - Village visit only – this is free but Justaz will need to organize this for them on the ground just in case they need to leave some tip behind. Please note that visit to Lake Natron, the waterfall, the village and viewing the oldest footprints of homo sapiens (dating back about 120,000 years) can be combined as one activity (approx. 4hrs), meaning you only need to pay the community fee of US$20 per person (plus jeep cost) once. Riding distance - None
Day 6Wasso
Today is a long day as you leave Natron behind and climb the valley walls to the Rift Valley escarpment. First you will cycle a relatively flat section (approximately 40 km), with great views of Lake Natron itself. Here you'll climb aboard your vehicle and inch your way up the incline, gaining over a kilometre of elevation over this next section (approximately 50 km). There will of course be stops so you can take in the views and hopefully snap a picture of the unique Lake Natron one last time. The drive today follows the boundaries of the Serengeti National Park all the way up to Wasso, your destination for this evening. Riding distance - approx. 40kms
Day 7Serengeti
Leave Wasso behind and head to the Serengeti National Park (approximately 3 hours; 130 kilometres). Enter the park and swap from a two-wheeled machine to a four-wheeled one. Your afternoon game drive by overland vehicle puts you in the realm of some of Africa's mightiest predators. The rolling grasslands of the Serengeti, dotted with acacias, are perhaps the quintessential image of Africa. Game viewing in the Serengeti is amazing and as you camp out at night, don't be surprised to hear lions in the distance as you recount your wildlife sightings from the day. In normal circumstances, you can expect to see four out of the 'Big Five' game during your stay (rhinos are elusive). Your campsite is basic, but it's within the park itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal creatures as you drift off to sleep. Riding distance - None
Day 8Serengeti
Rise early, around sunrise, for a game drive, followed by a second game drive in the afternoon. Between the two drives you can relax, just like the animals do, during this hotter part of the day. Enjoy a hearty meal during this break, and perhaps take a siesta. Depending on wildlife movements and opportunities for sightings, however, the drive may continue through lunch and last all day. In this case, you will return to the lodge in the late afternoon. For an unforgettable experience this morning, you might like to take an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti. Please enquire when booking your trip to secure this optional activity. It's up to you whether you would like to try for a better price locally on the ground, but this runs the risk of missing out, as places are limited. Riding distance - None
Day 9Ngorongoro Crater
In the morning, we head out of the Serengeti (perhaps visiting on the way Simba Kopjes, an outcrop of rocks favoured by lions and cheetahs who can often be seen basking in the morning sun) and make our way to the legendary Ngorongoro Crater (approximately 4 hours) to take in this amazing destination on a 4x4 game drive. This is one of Africa's real natural treasures, often touted as a vast Garden of Eden. Within this crater lies every type of ecosystem, including riverine forests, open plains, freshwater and alkaline lakes. The scenery is spectacular as you descend almost 600 metres down to the crater floor. You are bound to see a variety of incredible wildlife here, and it's your best chance to spot the endangered black rhinoceros. We take lunch by the freshwater lake fed by the Ngoitokitok Spring, an area inhabited by hippopotamus, elephants, lions, and many others. After our game drive we head back up the crater walls to the National Park gate where we get back on our bikes for the undulating 15km (approx.1hr) ride to our campsite in the small town of Karatu, our home for the night. Riding distance - approx. 15kms (undulating)
Day 10Rift Valley escarpment
It's time to jump back on your bike for the hilly ride from Karatu to our accommodation that sits literally on the very edge of the Rift Valley escarpment, offering breathtaking views over the town of Mto wa Mbu and the massive Lake Manyara. While today’s ride seems short at only 25 km the constant uphill and downhill will definitely test your fitness and bike skills. There are several downhill sections over 3 km long where the only effort required will be in controlling your speed. If you'd rather not ride today, you are free to ride in the support vehicle instead. While out of town the stunning view (both sunset and sunrise are pretty special) make this is a truly unique experience. Ride distance - approx. 25kms
Day 11Rift Valley & Lake Manyara
This morning you will ride the fast descent of the Rift Valley escarpment to the small town of Mto Wa Mbu, located on the northern shores of Lake Manyara, once described by Ernest Hemingway as the 'loveliest I have seen in Africa'. Leaving the tarmac behind we ride through the small villages and plantations before emerging out onto the smooth lake flood plains where we continue our ride to the very edge of the lake. If we are lucky we will spot flamingos or even ride alongside wildebeests and gazelle. Leaving the lake behind we ride back through Mto Wa Mbu and on to the dusty tracks that take us to a traditional Masaai village. Located between towering hills and with awesome view of the surrounding plains this is an ideal place to enjoy lunch with our local friends. After lunch we drive (or cycle if you want to!) back up the escarpment to overnight at Panorama Safari Camp. Total riding distance 30-35kms
Day 12Lake Manyara/Arusha
Today is our last one on our bicycles. We first explore the Lake Manyara National Park on a final game drive (vehicle). Surrounded by the towering ridges of the Rift Valley escarpment, the lake is bordered by lush forest and, if you’re lucky, you may even spot the famous Lake Manyara tree-climbing lions, as well as elephants, baboons, and over 400 recorded species of birds. After lunch we climb back onto our bikes and cycle the smooth and relatively traffic-free tarmac road to the Makuyuni junction then reboard our vehicle for the drive back towards Arusha. stopping along the way to enjoy a walking tour through the village of Tengeru. Here you will get a close look at local farm life. You'll also learn how to roast and grind that staple of all good cycling escapades – coffee. Once the roasting and grinding is done, taste the results of your hard work. After this unique coffee stop we continue to Arusha with plenty of time to get cleaned up before enjoying an optional final night dinner with our fellow cyclists. Riding distance – approx. 40kms Included Activities Lake Manyara game drive
Day 13Arusha
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip. If you would like to pre-arrange a departure transfer from your hotel to Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro Airport please speak with your booking agent and provide your flight details. If you are travelling back to Nairobi we recommend taking a shuttle bus from Arusha. Buses depart twice daily (7am and 2pm) and the service runs via the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Tickets cost approximately USD$35 per person and must be purchased locally. Please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting if you'd like to arrange this service.

More info

Trip title

Cycle Tanzania

Trip code

YTXC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Brimming with mighty predators and birds, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are must-visits for any Tanzania trip, but safaris are only the beginning. This unique cycling adventure has you cruising down Great Rift Valley escarpments, strolling through farm villages, roasting and grinding your own coffee, drifting off to sleep among nocturnal creatures, experiencing the culture of the Maasai peop... Read more

Style

Basix

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle,Overland vehicle,Jeep

Physical Rating

4

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do fo... Read more

Joining point

Venus Hotel

Joining point description

The Venus Hotel is located in the centre of Arusha. All rooms come with a private bathroom, air-conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Some rooms also offer mountain views and wifi is available at this property.

Joining point instructions

We are happy to arrange an arrival transfer for you at an additional charge from either Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details. FROM ARUSHA AIRPORT (ARK): Arusha Airport is the closest airport to the Venus Hotel. A taxi will take approximately 10 minutes and cost around USD$5. FROM K... Read more

Finish point

Venus Hotel

Finish point instructions

We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge to either Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details. Alternatively your tour leader or the hotel staff can assist you with arranging a taxi. TO ARUSHA AIRPORT (ARK): Arusha Airport is the closest airport to the... Read more

Important information

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. 4. On this t... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other g... Read more

Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you w... Read more

Visas

PASSPORT As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with... Read more

Why we love it

Cycling is the perfect way to enjoy the incredible landscapes of Tanzania. When the going gets tough, ride in the support vehicle, and when it’s time to see wildlife, swap the bike for a jeep or truck

Is this trip right for you

To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a bac... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowl... Read more

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you kno... Read more

What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to pur... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity an... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person canvas dome tents with camping mattresses supplied. The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel acc... Read more

Transport notes

While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of c... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Camping (6 nights),Hotel (2 nights),African Igloo (2 Nights),Dormitory with shared facilities (1 night),Guesthouse (1 night)
13days
€2,870per person
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Jun 23
Arusha
Jul 5
Arusha
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Arusha
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