Adventures / Remote Rides

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

Adventures / Remote Rides

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

Hotel · Campsite

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

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

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Daniel, October 2022

    Overall a fantastic, well-organised trip with an incredible variety of landscapes and scenery. Fat-biking on the sand-dunes and camping beneath Spitzkoppe were particular highlights. Would definitely recommend this trip!

    James, September 2022

    Great trip with the chance to explore a huge range of landscapes and wildlife.

    Matt, June 2022

    Amazing trip - the itinerary, planning & guide were great. The cycling scenery was beautiful and there was some great camping spots. Would recommend!

    George, June 2022

    Challenging means challenging, and worthwhile!

    Matt, May 2022

    The only thing better than experiencing Namibia is powering through it on this Adventure Cycling trip. If you want an exercise challenge, and the ability to see the diversity of Namibia's people and landscapes up close and personal, I'd highly recommend it.

    Andrew, May 2022

    Namibia was spectacular! A wonderful cycling adventure across its vast landscape supported by great travel companions and very knowledgeable, well organised and professional guides. What an experience!

    Matt, May 2022

    The only thing better than experiencing Namibia is powering through it on this Adventure Cycling trip. If you want an exercise challenge, and the ability to see the diversity of Namibia's people and landscapes up close and personal, I'd highly recommend it.

    Included

    Guides

    Expert, English-speaking guides and bike mechanic

    Accommodation

    3 nights in a hotel, 5 nights desert camping

    Meals

    All your breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners

    Transfers

    To and from the airport and everything in-between

    Equipment

    Silverback Sport 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

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Windhoek Airport

    Anytime on Day 1

    Ends

    Windhoek Airport

    18:00 on Day 9 or anytime on Day 10

    Transfers

    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.

    Arrival and departure transfers are only included in the main price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart 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.

    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).

    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

    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.

    Day 3

    All about the dunes

    Cycling

    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.

    Day 4

    The Matterhorn of Namibia

    Cycling

    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.

    Day 5

    Cape Cross

    Cycling

    80km · 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 100km you can just hop into the desert truck.

    Day 6

    The Skeleton Coast

    Cycling

    40-50km · 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.

    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

    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

    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.

    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 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

    Clothes

    • Padded cycling shorts
    • Sports top or cycling jersey
    • 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
    • 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
    • Sleeping bag liner (optional)

    Full Suspension Stumpjumper/Silverback Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Full Suspension Stumpjumper/Silverback Upgrade

    Per Person

    Full suspension S-Works E-Bike Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Full suspension S-Works E-Bike Upgrade

    Per Person

    Sleeping bag and pillow hire

    Payable Before Departure

    Sleeping bag and pillow hire

    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

    Airport Transfer One Way

    Payable Before Departure

    Airport Transfer One Way

    Per Person

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    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 for 2022 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. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    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 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 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    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 in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

    Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

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

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    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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