Where To Go For A Cycling Tour In Tanzania

Where To Go For A Cycling Tour In Tanzania : Taking advantage of the many attractions in the region, including the Serengeti National Park, Lake Natron, the Ngorongoro Crater, the Rift Valley escarpment, and traditional Maasai settlements, most Tanzanian cycling trips follow the border with Kenya. But if you’d like to cover more ground, you can also take a minibus and alternate between riding a bike and driving from Nairobi, Kenya, to Dar es Salaam in just under two weeks. The trip typically takes 11–12 days and covers 25–100 km each day. Family cycling vacations, however, stick to a much more reasonable 40 km per day.

Tanzania offers miles upon miles of unpaved paths, single tracks, and dirt roads to explore. These routes stretch from the stunning Usambara Mountains, through the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro with their verdant mountain communities and Maasai desert below, to the hot and muggy Pangani Coast of the Indian Ocean. You can base your African adventure around a bicycle tour, or incorporate one into any itinerary.

Where in Tanzania should I go on a bicycle tour? The best places in Tanzania to go on a cycling tour are numerous. Here are a few of Tanzania’s top locations for your cycling adventure.

Lake Manyara /Mto Wa Mbu.
Lake Manyara and its lush surroundings, dubbed the “loveliest lake in Africa” by Ernest Hemingway, are home to 300 different bird species, including flamingos, hippos, buffalo, giraffes, and tree-climbing lions. After making short descents from the Rift Valley escarpment to the lakeshore, you can get off the vehicle and go on game drives through the trees, where you can spot gazelles and wildebeest.

For a few hours, mountain biking around Lake Manyara National Park is an amazing and fascinating way to spend time exploring this area. You can cycle through the communities of Mto wa Mbu or Magara for a few hours, stopping along the way to visit a nearby plantation or school. In this way, you become acquainted with the local way of life. You can then cycle around the edge of the lake.

Lengai To Longido.
One of the real highlights of cycling in Tanzania is this route, which winds through seven volcano craters and across dry plains on unpaved roads. A three-hour pedal gets you about 40 kilometres along the entire 95-kilometer road, with little chance of passing traffic. Admire the mountain backdrop before arriving at your campground next to Lake Natron, whose waters are as vibrantly pink as its resident flamingos.

Arusha National Park.
You take a quick safari through Arusha National Park on your way to the Ngurdoto Crater, the starting point of this mountain biking safari. There are breathtaking views along the majority of the journey, which circles the edge of the crater. You travel with a park ranger as well because you never know when you might come across buffalo on the road. You may see giraffes, colobus monkeys, and numerous bird species, among many other creatures. There are occasionally narrow, hilly, and muddy paths mixed in with the dirt roads.

Maasai Villages.
Every one of our riding excursions takes place in Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border, in Maasai territory. In the Mount Longido Forest Reserve, you can walk up mountain slopes or go on walks with Maasai guides while learning about medicinal plants. Explore the surrounding towns, learn about everyday life, spend a night or two at a homestead, and spend time around the campfire sharing stories about your diverse everyday experiences or joining in their vivacious dances.

Ngorongoro Crater.
Ngorongoro boasts an abundance of wildlife that lives in a range of habitats, including plains, woods, and streams teeming with hippos. Sightings of all the year round are assured because the animals in this area do not migrate, including (ideally) the rare black rhino, which is hard to spot elsewhere. Enjoy the amazing views as you descend the 600 metres down the crater walls, looking for buffalo, elephants, and rhinos along the way.

Rift Valley.
Massive lakes, spectacular escarpments, and volcanic craters are all remnants of the thousands of miles that the Great Rift Valley carved out of the African continent. One of the most exciting rides of a Tanzanian cycling vacation is a quick 30-kilometer descent into the Rift Valley, mostly on dirt roads that pass through smallholdings and communities all the way to the shores of Lake Manyara.

Serengeti National Park.
A trip to Tanzania wouldn’t be complete without seeing the vast plains of the Serengeti National Park, searching for the Big Five, and tracking the great wildebeest migration as it enters Kenya. Game drives through the grasslands dotted with acacia trees and overnight camping inside the park, away from the wild sounds of the savannah, are fascinating experiences, though cycling is not allowed here.

Where To Go For A Cycling Tour In Tanzania
Cycling in Serengeti National Park.

You can choose from a range of bike rides on Zanzibar Island that can be combined with swimming, visiting a plantation, visiting a forest, or seeing dolphins. Cycling around the island for a week, staying in different places each night, is the ultimate adventure. In just one week, you can discover Zanzibar’s actual character in this way.

Why Go on a Cycling Holiday in Tanzania?
It’s peculiar! It’s not often that you can ride next to unfettered animals, past towering volcanoes, and through traditional Maasai villages where you hardly ever see other cyclists especially not ones wearing any kind of Lycra. And finally, grind and roast your own coffee at the end of the day. This tour offers an amazing blend of cycling and sightseeing, with off-bike time to discover the breathtaking Serengeti National Park and observe wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater. No matter how fit they are, everyone thinks they will be the slowest before they even leave, so don’t worry if you don’t feel “fit enough.” So take a seat back and relish it.

Fitness Advice for cycling tour in Tanzania.
We frequently travel at a leisurely 15 km/h and stop frequently to make sure everyone is well enough to continue. You should enjoy the journey but don’t feel that you need to be especially fit because only a reasonable level of fitness is needed. Tanzania is naturally mountainous, so there are some uphill sections, but everything is doable as long as you stay within your limits.

We would recommend attempting to bike a few hills back home to get used to both riding uphill and downhill in order to be well-prepared for the African roads when you get to Tanzania. In addition, we’d advise (gradually) riding a gravel track a few times instead of just smooth asphalt. When cycling in Tanzania, elevation is the only thing to consider. Because much of the ride is above 1,500 m above sea level, cycling can occasionally make breathing difficult. It’s best to go slowly until you acclimatize. Whatever challenges you face will be outweighed by the incredible people, scenery, and adventure’s distinct character.

Packing list Advice for your cycling tour in Tanzania.
First of all, it’s almost impossible to find a decent helmet locally, so pack yours. Bring your own pedals and saddle if you ride a bike at home frequently; if not, consider bringing a gel cover for added comfort if you don’t usually ride for extended periods of time. It’s important to pack warm clothes and a good pair of ride-on sunglasses because Tanzania is often sunny and dusty. Tanzania can get chilly at night, especially at altitude, something that most visitors are unaware of. Bring your determination, sense of humour, and sense of wonder above all else, and you’ll be sure to enjoy this truly remarkable experience.

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