Arrive in Tanzania and spend some time exploring the town of Arusha, which is situated at the foot of Mount Meru, the 5th highest mountain in Africa.
After a transfer in the support vehicle to the Usa River, hit the saddle heading North. You’ll be cycling through the Arusha National Park toward the Mkuru Training Camp, a research and education centre in the shadow of mighty Mount Meru. The going is tough at times, as roads can be rough and often features hills. However the reward is riding into a stunning area less frequented by tourists. Your dorm room tonight is situated in a camp focused on researching natural resource management, so it is very eco-friendly.
Although you will be cycling on the main road connecting Kenya and Tanzania for most of today’s ride, there is little traffic. The first part of the route is fairly flat and then mostly downhill toward Longido on the main road. Once at the outskirts of the Mount Longido Forest Reserve, meet the local Maasai people who will welcome you with a vibrant and energy. If you’d like, there is an option to hike a short route on Mount Longido.
Passing the most extraordinary scenery, you’ll cycle on unpaved roads that will test your suspension, and your desire for adventure. However, if the roads get too rough the support vehicle is on hand to give a lift. En route to Lake Natron, admire the various mountain ranges in the distance and volcanoes, which are even closer, including the active Ol Doinyo Lengai. Once at the campsite, chill out and watch Flamingos by the pink-coloured, salty Lake Natron.
Take a day off the saddle to either go on an adventure and climb Ol Doinyo Lengai, which is 2,878m high, or relax in the natural plunge pools at Saitoti River. If you’d like to climb Ol Doinyo Lengai, you’ll begin hiking at midnight in order to see sunrise from the top! It is a difficult climb, and not included in the pricing, however it is a truly awe-inspiring experience for the more adventurous. The areas surrounding your campsite are historic, with the opportunity to visit a village with the oldest footprints of Homo Sapiens.
Overlook the incredible Lake Natron for the first 40km of today’s ride. It’ll be a nice flat section where you can admire the views without feeling out of breath. Then, the support vehicle will take you further up into the Rift Valley escarpment. The landscape here is fantastic so you’ll be able to stop and take some snaps en route. Tonight you will be spending the night in Wasso.
Head to Serengeti National Park on the support vehicle, swapping to a 4-wheel drive vehicle once entering the park. Once you arrive, you’ll be treated to your first game drive in the grasslands of the national park, spotting some of the Big Five predators on your way. Your accommodation for tonight may be basic, however you’ll be in the midst of some of Earth’s most wild animals. Listen out for the lions in the distance as you fall asleep.
Today is jam packed with safari, as you head out at sunrise for a game drive, and embark on another in the afternoon. Over lunch, enjoy a hearty meal and maybe a siesta as you take a break from wildlife watching. However, be prepared to be on the road over lunch too if the animals are on the move. There is also potential for an additional sunrise balloon ride if you wish, however book this in advance.
Today will feature another game drive, this time to Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the Garden of Eden. On your way here you’ll stop by Simba Kopjes, where there’s a chance to see lions and cheetahs basking on rocks. Exploring the Ngorongoro Crater is an experience of a lifetime, where you’ll find all sorts of ecosystems and an abundance of animals. The likelihood of seeing the endangered black rhino is high here. After lunch onlooking hippos, lions and elephants, cycle to your next destination in Karatu.
Although you’ll only ride 35km today, it is very hilly and requires good biking fitness. What goes up must go down, meaning there is also some breezy descents. The support vehicle is on hand if you’d rather not ride. Tonight’s accommodation is in Mto wa Mbu, home to all of Tanzania’s 120 tribal groups.
A leisurely cycle takes you through small villages and plantations to the lake flood plains, where you can spot flamingos, wildebeests and gazelle. Ernest Hemingway described Lake Manyara as the ‘loveliest Africa I have ever seen’ and it’s easy to understand why. Look out onto the picturesque plains as you have lunch and interact with the Masaai people in their traditional village.
Start the day with a game drive in the heart of the Rift Valley escarpment, where you may see over 400 species of birds and tree-climbing lions amongst other fascinating animals. Leave the luscious forests behind to make your way on tarmac roads back to Arusha. Enjoy a visit to the village of Tengeru where you can learn about local farm life on a walking tour, and make your own coffee. Once in Arusha, join your fellow cyclists for a final dinner.
You are free to leave Arusha whenever suits you. Either explore Arusha for another day, or head home earlier. If you are travelling to Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro Airport, make sure to contact us with your flight details to pre-arrange a transfer from your hotel.
An area fit for all adventurers, Tanzania spoils those curious enough with incredible landscapes, fascinating people and unique experiences with wild animals. Ride where no tourist travels and discover immense mountains waiting to be climbed and lions prowling the grasslands. You’ll be cycling past the iconic reddish-pink Lake Natron, Ngorongoro Crater and through truly special National Parks.