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Cycle, Safari and Stargaze in Namibia

Ride through vast dune deserts, along the Skeleton Coast, and sleep under the Milky Way

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Trip Ref #10043

Cycle, Safari and Stargaze in Namibia

Ride through vast dune deserts, along the Skeleton Coast, and sleep under the Milky Way

DURATION
8 nights
LOCATION
Namibia
ANNUAL LEAVE
6 days off work
SEASON
March-June, Sept-Dec
GROUP SIZE
Up to 10 people
MEETING POINT
Hosea Kutako International Airport, Namibia
ACCOMMODATION
Classic

Hotel · Campsite

OVERALL RATING

4.7

Based on 16 reviews
DIFFICULTY
Challenging

While the terrain is undulating and astonishing, this trip is designed for cyclists of average fitness able to cover around 35-40km a day.

Ride through an ever-changing desert landscape beneath enormous open skies

Cycle along the Skeleton Coast and join a safari - eyes peeled for lion, elephant and rhino

Visit thousands of breeding Cape Fur Seals in their enormous reserve and camp at the base of one of the highest points in the country - Spitzkoppe Mountain

Day 1

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.

Day 2

Introduction to Fat biking

Cycling

2hrs · 9-12km · 200m up · 150m down

Hop into a purpose-built truck and head to Swakopmund - the adventure capital of Namibia (approx 4.5-5 hours). Explore the city, grab some lunch and then set out into the dunes on your fat bike for a desert sunset.

Day 3

All about the dunes

Cycling

3 hrs · 22km · 500m up · 250m down

Ride deeper into the expansive Namib sand dunes 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.

Day 4

The Matterhorn of Namibia

Cycling

3-4hrs · 35-50km · 750m up · 300m down

Switch to a standard mountain bike, ride the granite gravel plains and descend to the Goanikontes Oasis. After lunch, either jump back on your bike for another 15km or hop in the truck for the journey to the Spitzkoppe, towering granite peaks that rise up to 1,780 metres above sea level - one of the highest points in the country. Camp at the base of the ‘Matterhorn” of Namibia' from a secluded, community-run campsite. Be sure to explore the rock pools before enjoying a campfire dinner under the stars.

Day 5

Cape Cross

Cycling

50-70km · 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! Today is a long day on the bike but it is all optional, if you'd rather not cycle the full distance, you can just hop into the desert truck.

Day 6

Ride towards the Skeleton Coast

Cycling

3hrs · 40-60km · 330m up · 200m down

Driving

5hrs

Cycle north along a coastal salt road towards the Skeleton Coast. At the end of your morning's ride, transfer to camp (approx. 5 hrs), keeping 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 day's ride.

Day 7

Etosha National Park

Cycling

35-40km · 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.

Day 8

Safari day

Cycling

2hrs · 15-20km · 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.

Day 9

Back to Windhoek

Cycling

3hrs · 20-25km · 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.

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking guides and bike mechanic

Accommodation

3 nights in a hotel, 5 nights desert camping

Meals

7 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Equipment

Silverback & GT 29ers hardtail mountain bikes, tents and sleeping mats for camping

Permits

All permits and park entry fees

Luggage Transfer

A desert truck to carry all your overnight kit

Support Vehicle

To hop into if your legs need a rest

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Some meals as described

Personal expenses

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5 – Day 7

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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. The guides will appreciate your help with washing the dishes.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just let your host know on booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Windhoek

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.

Swakopmund

You'll stay in the Prost Hotel or similar, in a central location so you can easily explore the town.

Camping

You’ll stay in twin-share tents at campsites with shared bathrooms and hot showers. Some are basic but very remote. Tents and mattresses are included, you'll need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow (see kitlist). The crew will appreciate your helping hand when setting up the tents.

Upgrades

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).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Windhoek International Airport, Namibia (WDH)

10:00 on Day 1

Ends

Windhoek International Airport, Namibia (WDH)

18:00 on Day 9

Transfers

On Day 1, there is an included group airport transfer at 10:00am, as there are several overnight flights arriving into WDH in the morning. If required, private transfers to the accommodation in Windhoek can be booked for those arriving at earlier or later times for an additional cost, please see below for more details. Transfers from the airport to the starting hotel take approximately 1hr.

On Day 9, there is an included transfer to drop you 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), a transfer can be arranged to drop you at the airport for your return flight.

Arrival and departure transfers are only included in the main price if you use the group arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer on the evening of Day 9. If you would like a private transfer outside of these times, this can be arranged with your host for an extra cost - please see optional extras for the price.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Namibia from major airports across the UK and Europe.

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In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

Included

  • Camping mattress

SLEEPING

  • Sleeping bag (3/4 season if travelling May-September - otherwise 2 season) - (please check the Optional Extras if you prefer to hire sleeping bag and pillow from your host)
  • Lightweight packable travel pillow
  • Sleeping bag liner & pillow case (optional)

Clothes

  • Padded cycling shorts
  • Loose over-shorts
  • Breathable sports tops or cycling jerseys
  • Fleece jacket or similar jacket for the evenings
  • Trousers/leggings for the evenings
  • Warm base layers
  • 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)
  • Sandals
  • May-September: Down Jacket and Gloves

Other

  • Bike Helmet
  • Bumbag or small handlebar bag for riding
  • Swimwear
  • Quick-dry travel towel
  • Padlock for left luggage
  • Universal travel adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Headlamp or handtorch
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Earplugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (including blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Energy bars and snacks
  • Saddle (excluding seat post) or gel saddle cover - optional if preferred
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Sleeping bag and pillow hire

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping bag and pillow hire

Per Person

Full Suspension Bike Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Full Suspension Bike Upgrade

Per Person

Full Suspension E-Bike Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Full Suspension E-Bike Upgrade

Per Person

Double/Twin Room in Windhoek

Payable Before Departure

Double/Twin Room in Windhoek

Single Room in Windhoek

Payable Before Departure

Single Room in Windhoek

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Airport Transfer One Way

Payable Before Departure

Airport Transfer One Way

Per Person

Claire

A great trip to see the highlights of Namibia.

Laura

A simply incredible trip! I would recommend it to anyone looking to have a real adventure! It was a trip that was fairly out of my comfort zone but I loved every minute! The views, the cycling, the camping, the wildlife, it was all unbelievably fun, beautiful and exciting! One of the best trips of my life!

Julie

This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. Namibia has so much to offer, every day was different, the truck was fabulous to travel in, tents are roomy, we enjoyed MCs great cooking morning noon and night. The night sky is phenomenal, I loved seeing the southern cross and the Milky Way so clearly and watching satellites speeding across the night sky in every direction. The campsites are stunning, enjoyed pools at two locations. Etosha didn’t dissappoint and the next 2 days of cycle safari were great fun.

Max

Gabriel and MC were excellent hosts! Very welcoming, entertaining, knowledgable, and excellent cooks.

We had a couple of really challenging days in the saddle, but plenty of rest time.

Saw loads of wildlife, ate great food, had lovely weather, and an all round good time

Daniel

Wonderful country, well organized trip and much fun cycling and exploring with nice group and staff

Cameron

A really incredible experience! Thanks to Sven and McCloud for being fantastic hosts and sharing with us the amazing Namibian landscape, cycling routes and wildlife. Really appreciated the flexibility in cycling according to how you felt, the great campsites and meals and the group spirit as we explored this great country. Highly recommended!

Andrew

Just sitting down and digesting what was an unforgettable trip to Namibia.

The friendliness and skills of the local guides, fellow travellers, and people of Namibia made what was an already great adventure amazing.

The experience of riding through the desert areas and tracking rhino on mountain bikes will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am pretty sure I will return to this amazing country.

David

Incredible trip. The guides were top notch and planned a great balance of activities and cycling. Hard to pick a favorite thing as each day had several unbelievable experiences. The cycling could be challenging but there’s always a chance to drop out and ride in the truck if you aren’t feeling the challenge that day. It’s a great way to see the country. My group was also fantastic and we got along quite well!

Kiera

This trip is not just about cycling - the like-minded group, the knowledgeable Host, the AMAZING chef, comfortable bus and tents and landscapes and stars, smells, sights and people - all came together to make this such a memorable trip! Highly recommend this tour and definitely wont be the last time I will be visiting Namibia!

Rach

Superb trip from start to finish! The sand dunes were a real highlight!

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 324kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

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!

You will typically be riding Silverback or GT 29ers hardtail mountain bikes 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 terrain might be undulating and astonishing, but this trip is designed for cyclists of average fitness able to cover an average of approximately 35-40km 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!

You will be able to cycle at your own pace and your guide may adapt the daily cycling distance from time to time, depending on the group's ability, the weather and local road conditions at the time. 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.

There are two fat bike rides on packed sand dunes (days 2 and 3), four rides on gravel open road that can be sandy, bumpy and undulating (days 4-7) and two rides on jeep dirt tracks (days 8 and 9). There is also a mixture of gradients, including undulating rides, flats, downhill and uphill sections.

There will be one driver and one cycling guide.

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.

Most places in Namibia will accept both the Namibian Dollar and the South African Rand. Money can be exchanged on arrival at the airport or withdrawn from ATM's during the trip. Many local purchases can be made by card. Plan ahead before you travel to avoid paying unnecessary charges and fees.

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.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

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 recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Namibia, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

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.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

April 2024

Friday • 12th April 2024

to Saturday • 20th April 2024
£1,675.00
5 Booked • 5 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 7th June 2024

to Saturday • 15th June 2024
£1,675.00
2 Booked • 8 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 6th September 2024

to Saturday • 14th September 2024
£1,675.00
2 Booked • 8 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 18th October 2024

to Saturday • 26th October 2024
£1,675.00
5 Booked • 5 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Friday • 29th November 2024

to Saturday • 7th December 2024
£1,591.25
£1,675.00
1 Booked • 9 Spots left
Guaranteed to run
Only 1 spot left at 5% off

Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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