Cycle the Desert of Namibia
Ride through Namibia's vast dune desert, along the Skeleton Coast, jump on a safari and sleep under the stars
6 days off work
Jun, Sep, Dec
Up to 10 people
Hosea Kutako International Airport, Namibia
Hotel · Campsite
While the terrain is undulating and astonishing, this trip is designed for cyclists of average fitness able to cover around 48km a day.
Ride through an ever-changing desert landscape beneath enormous open skies and watch the sunrise over the tallest dunes in the world
Cycle along the Skeleton Coast, the world's largest shipping graveyard and join a safari - eyes peeled for lion, elephant and rhino
Visit thousands of breeding Cape Fur Seals in their enormous reserve and stand on the highest point in the country - Spitzkoppe Mountain
Expert, English-speaking guides and bike mechanic
3 nights in a hotel, 5 nights desert camping
All your breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
To and from the airport and everything in-between
Silverback Sport bikes and all your camping equipment
All permits and park entry fees
Flights to and from the meeting point
Some meals as described
Anytime on Day 1
18:00 on Day 9 or anytime on Day 10
You are free to arrive anytime on Day 1 and your host will collect you from the airport.
On Day 9, you can choose to be dropped at the airport for 18:00 for all flights departing after 20:00. If you are flying home the next day (please arrange an extra night's accommodation), you will also be dropped at the airport for your return flight.
If you would like a private transfer outside of these times, this can be arranged with your host for £20pp each way.
There are regular flights to Namibia from major airports across the UK and Europe.
Hotel · Twin share
Day 2 – Day 3
Hotel · Twin share
Campsite · Twin share
Day 5 – Day 8
Campsite · Twin share
What is the food like?
When staying at campsites, your guides will cook for you. These will be hearty meals cooked over an open fire - expect braai (BBQ) food, potjie and stir-fries for dinner.
Breakfasts will be continental style and usually consist of cereals, coffee, yoghurt, muesli, fresh fruit or the occasional fried breakfast.
For lunch, expect a good selection of sandwich ingredients like cheese and cold meats, plus pasta and salads. Snacks are also provided while cycling.
Vegetarians can be well catered for, along with most other dietary requirements, just check with your host upon booking.
What is the accommodation like?
You'll stay in a twin-room at the Arebbusch Travel Lodge. It's set in large grounds by the dry Arebbusch River with a huge pool outside, making it the perfect spot to relax on arrival.
You'll stay in the Prost Hotel or similar, in a central location so you can easily explore the town.
You’ll stay in twin-share tents at campsites with shared bathrooms and hot showers. Some are basic but very remote.
For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price . Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).
Welcome to Namibia!
Head to your hotel in Windhoek and if you’ve got time and energy, explore the surrounding area. If you'd rather relax, then the hotel has its own pool - so just kick back and enjoy! Join your group and guide later for dinner and a chance to sample some delicious Namibian cuisine as you get to know your fellow adventurers.
Introduction to Fat biking
15km · 400m up · 250m down
Hop into a desert truck and head to Swakopmund - the adventure capital of Namibia (approx 4 hours). Explore the city, grab some lunch and then set out into the dunes on your fat bike for a desert sunset.
All about the dunes
35km · 500m up · 250m down
Ride deeper into the expansive Namib sand dunes as you cross into the otherworldly landscape of the Moon Valley and along the coastline if the tide is in your favour. The dunes are huge and tightly packed and propelling yourself down them on a fat bike is an experience you certainly won’t forget.
The Matterhorn of Namibia
55km · 750m up · 300m down
Switch to a standard mountain bike and descend to the Goanikontes Oasis. After lunch, hop in the truck for the journey to Spitzkoppe, a towering granite peak that rises 1,780 metres above sea level - the highest point in the country. Enjoy the view from the ‘Matterhorn” of Namibia,’ and stare across the surrounding plains - you’ll be cycling across them soon. Camp at a secluded, community-run campsite. Be sure to explore the rock pools and take a quick sunset dip, before enjoying a campfire dinner under the stars.
100km · 300m up · 750m down
Steadily descend to the coast as you cycle to Cape Cross. Prepare for a real Attenborough experience as you encounter the thousands of Cape Fur Seals that call this spot home. This unique phenomenon, thought to be the largest in the world, is a real sight to behold. Watch these relatives of the Sea Lion jostle for space and avoid predatory Orcas and then spend the night at a local campsite just far enough away so that you won’t hear rowdy seals while you're sleeping!
The Skeleton Coast
70km · 350m up · 200m down
Cycle north along a coastal salt road towards the Skeleton Coast - the world’s largest shipping graveyard courtesy of the notoriously treacherous fog and hazardous weather that causes havoc for sailors. At the end of your morning's ride, transfer to camp (approx. 5 hrs) - keep an eye out for desert elephants, giraffe, zebra and springbok. Take a cooling dip in the pool at tonight's campsite, Palmwag Oasis - perfect after a long days ride.
Etosha National Park
50km · 1100m up · 500m down
Pedal up to the Grootberg Pass (1540m) for some far-reaching views over the plains. After lunch, hop back in the truck and head to Etosha National Park, a hot spot for lions and rhinos. Sit by the local watering hole and watch the animals come down to drink, then have another campfire meal and a chance to count shooting stars - if you haven’t run out of wishes already.
20km · 400m up · 300m down
Drive out of Etosha (vehicles are a little safer here than bikes!) and head to Otjiwa, spotting animals along the way. This is one of the oldest reserves in Namibia and a haven for a huge variety of species, including the white rhino. Hop back on your bike for a sunset ride as the animals wake from their daytime slumber. This is your last nights camping, so settle in and sleep to the sound of calling lions.
Back to Windhoek
30km · 400m up · 300m down
Spend a few more hours on the bike and take in the dramatic landscape and enormous skies one last time with a specialist wildlife guide, before heading back to Windhoek in time for your flight home.
All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.
15% Off Outdoor Gear
In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.
What do I need to bring?
- Padded cycling shorts
- Sports top or cycling jersey
- Fleece jacket or similar Jacket for the evenings
- Trousers/leggings for the evenings
- Light waterproof jacket
- Cycling gloves
- Buff or neck scarf
- T-shirts Underwear & socks
- Sunglasses and sunhat
- Something to sleep in
- Cycling shoes/trainers (bring your own pedals if using cleats)
- Bumbag or small handlebar bag for riding
- Quick-dry travel towel
- Padlock for left luggage
- Universal travel adapter
- Power bank or solar charger
- Passports (and visas)
- Travel Insurance documents
- Insect repellent
- Personal first-aid kit (including blister treatment)
- Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
- Alcohol hand-gel
- Reusable water bottle
- Energy bars and snacks
Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however, we would suggest £5 per person per day as a guideline.
Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
The terrain might be undulating and astonishing, but this trip is designed for cyclists of average fitness able to cover around 48km each on back-to-back days.
Fat biking in the dunes will be on modified bikes and you can choose which to ride up or down, making it as challenging as you like. No technical skill is required for this trip, just some strong legs and a sense of adventure! There will also be a desert truck to transport your overnight stuff, so if the going gets too tough or too hot, you can always jump in for a spot of wildlife spotting.
Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Your host will provide you with clean, safe drinking water from large containers. Bring a refillable bottle, it will be used well.
Namibia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so essentially has the opposite seasons to the UK. Due to the desert climate, it is generally dry and pleasant all year round. The months of June to August remain sunny and warm during the day (20-25 °C), but drop down to single figures at night in the desert.
Between September and May it gets warmer, with highs of around 30°C, however, it is always a dry heat and still gets cold at night throughout the year. Rainfall is usually in November to March. If it does rain, it is minimal and in short sharp downpours that are quite spectacular in the desert.
There will be a support vehicle on-hand to transfer your luggage, which will meet you at stops if you need to grab an extra layer or something. The van also carries tools and spare bike bits if needed. We suggest bringing a small bag that can be attached to you or your handlebars for carrying essential items like money, phone, sun cream and a snack.
We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.
We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.
"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
You will be riding Silverback 29ers for the majority of the trip. These are light hardtail aluminium mountain bikes - perfect for riding on road and tracks.
For your time on the sand dunes you will be provided with a fat bike - these are mountains bikes fitted with extra large tyres that make them perfect for riding on sand. The super fat tyres distribute the rider’s mass across a larger area, so that you don't sink in and can gain more traction than with a standard tyre size. You can ride easily and with stability over firm packed sand. No previous experience is needed.
The cycling terrain is approximately 80% on gravel/dirt tracks, 10% on packed sand and about 10% on roads. There is also a mixture of gradients, including undulating rides, flats, downhill and uphill sections. The fat biking is on densely packed sand dunes.
It's no secret that we love cycling and many of us at HQ think it's the best way to see a country, however, we realise that organising your own trip can be a total faff. On our cycling trips, we've found a local guide who has put together a perfect route and will navigate for you all the way. We even send a van that transports your overnight luggage and provide high-quality bikes and delicious snacks to keep you going. Faff eliminated! All you have to do is turn up, pedal and take in the landscape with your fellow tourers. You don't need to be a lycra-clad 'roadie' although they're welcome too!
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