Adventures / Remote Rides

Circumnavigate Kilimanjaro by Bike

An epic cycle safari in Tanzania, pedalling 360° around Africa's highest point through wildlife-packed plains and Maasai villages

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Trip Ref #10426

Adventures / Remote Rides

Circumnavigate Kilimanjaro by Bike

An epic cycle safari in Tanzania, pedalling 360° around Africa's highest point through wildlife-packed plains and Maasai villages

DURATION

9 nights

LOCATION

Tanzania

ANNUAL LEAVE

6 days off work

SEASON

Year Round

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Kilimanjaro International Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Lodge · Campsite

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

You'll need some cycling experience to tackle the tough days of climbing but there are no technical sections to contend with

Safari from your saddle as you pedal past giraffes, zebras and elephants moving from Amboseli National Park to the Simba Plains

Roll along the foothills of Kili to the Shira Plateau, cool off in Lake Chanya and camp out beneath big African sunsets

Experience Maasai culture, bunk down in Maasai lodges and learn traditional bushcraft

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Local, professional, English-speaking guides and bike mechanics

Accommodation

5 nights in lodges, 4 nights camping

Meals

All meals throughout the adventure

Transfers

Airport transfers and support vehicle throughout the ride

Equipment

Hardtail mountain bike and helmet, twin-share tents

Permits

All national park entry fees and permits

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Kilimanjaro International Airport

Anytime on Day 1

Ends

Kilimanjaro International Airport

Anytime on Day 10

Transfers

Your host will meet you at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer you to your lodge on the outskirts of Moshi. On the final day of the trip, your host will drop you back off at Kilimanjaro International Airport in time for your onward flight. Transfers are included in the trip cost. If you wish to arrive before Day 1 or depart after Day 10 your host can arrange private airport transfers for an additional cost - see Optional Extras for detail.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport from various major airports across the UK, Europe and the US, generally transmitting in Amsterdam, Nairobi or Addis Ababa depending on which airline you choose.

Day 1

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4 – Day 5

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7 – Day 8

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Throughout your trip, a team of experienced chefs will cook and serve you nutritious meals. Breakfast will usually be a combination of fruit, cereal, porridge, eggs, bread, pancakes, sausage, bacon, tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Lunch will be a mix of vegetables, fruit, boiled egg, meat cutlets, various sandwich options (egg/ cheese/tomato/tuna/meat/peanut butter), macaroni and meat sauce and bread. Dinner, meanwhile, will usually consist of soup, bread, salads, rice, pasta, potatoes, roast or fried chicken, beef or fish, curry, mixed vegetables, lentils, fruit salad. You'll eat traditional Maasai dishes at Osiligilai Maasai Lodge.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Moshi

Your first and last night of this adventure is spent at Chanya Lodge, nestled on the outskirts of Moshi in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The lodge has lush green grass carpeted gardens, a restaurant serving local and international food and a large swimming pool. You'll stay in twin-share rooms.

Kaliwa Lodge

Kaliwa Lodge on your second night is a stunning boutique accommodation on the slopes of Kilimanjaro at an altitude of 1300m, surrounded by verdant green forest and boasting an incredible terrace with views out over Weru Weru Rift and a magnificent vista of Mount Kilimanjaro. The lodge has a strong approach to sustainability, utilising solar power, sourcing local produce with minimal food miles and developing an in-house water-bottling system where filtered water is supplied in re-usable glass bottles. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with an en-suite bathroom.

Osiligilai Maasai Lodge

A memorable part of the trip awaits at Osiligilai Maasai Lodge, a scenic eco-lodge run by a Maasai community. The lodge features a swimming pool, sauna, meditation room, authentic Maasai activities and food. The lodge is built with locally available natural materials of the Maasai tradition which have been sustainably produced by the local craftsmen/women. You'll stay in twin-share Maasai bungalows with a shared bathroom.

Camping at Lake Chala, Simba Farm and Kahawa Shambani

You'll stay in twin share tents at 3 different sites at Lake Chala, Simba Farm and Kahawa Shambani. Each of these campgrounds has basic facilities including toilets and showers. Your host will set up camp before you arrive each night. You'll need to pack your own lightweight season 2 sleeping bag and an inflatable travel pillow to be transferred along with your luggage in the support vehicle. You can hire a sleeping bag and mat if you prefer - see Optional Extras for prices.

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

Touch down in Tanzania

Touch down at Kilimanjaro International Airport, meet your host and be whisked over to your lodge nestled on the outskirts of Moshi town, in the foothills of Kili. Take a stroll around Moshi before meeting your guide in the early evening to chat through the adventure and set up your bike.

Day 2

Chanya Lodge to Machame Gate

Cycling

53km · 700m up · 550m down

Load up on a big breakfast before hopping on your bike for the first time. Cycle along gravel and dirt tracks through the lush and green Chagga land and then out onto arid open plains and the acacia woodlands of the Maasai on the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro. Bunk down in a lodge surrounded by forest and blessed with incredible views of Kili.

Day 3

Kaliwa Lodge to Osiligilai Maasai Lodge

Cycling

53km · 700m up · 550m down

Back on the trail, pass through the villages of Ngabobo and Tinga Tinga on a shorter day of riding to Osiligilai Maasai Lodge. Here you'll receive a traditional Maasai greeting, learn some Maasai bushcraft skills and head into the wilderness for a spot of spear throwing. Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru provide a stunning backdrop throughout today's ride and your time at the Maasai camp.

Day 4

Osiligilai Maasai Village to Simba Farm

Cycling

37km · 110m up · 480m down

Today’s ride is possibly the highlight of the trip - make sure your wildlife radar is switched on and your camera fully charged! Roll through the Sinya and Ngasurai open plains where you'll get to see giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, gazelles and, if you're lucky, elephants, as they move from Amboseli National Park across the border in Kenya to Tanzania's Simba plains. There are yet more magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro on one side of the valley, and Mount Meru and Ol Doinyo Lengai - an extinct volcano - on the other.

Day 5

Simba Farm to Shira Plateau

Cycling

66km · 1450m up · 1450m down

A tougher ride today, as you climb out of the foothills and onto the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro itself towards the Shira Plateau - one of the most popular routes for Mount Kilimanjaro climbers. See the terrain shift as you gain elevation, culminating in an incredible lunch spot at the plateau with views of the top of Kilimanjaro and its Kibo peak covered with snow on one side, and endless Maasai land on the other. The glorious descent back down to Simba Farm is an exhilarating reward for all the climbing you achieved this morning.

Day 6

Simba Farm to Rongai

Cycling

68km · 750m up · 520m down

Today’s route takes you to the vibrant Nalemoru village, a starting point for the Rongai route trek up the north-eastern side of Mount Kilimanjaro, close to the Kenyan border. Having reached the highest point of the ride yesterday, you’ll be descending further down the mountain towards Lake Chala, seeing the farming techniques carried out on the lower slopes of the mountain.

Day 7

Rongai to Lake Chala

Cycling

76km · 150m up · 1300m down

Having had a couple of tough days with plenty of good climbs, it’s about time for some respite. There are some altitude adjustments to make today as you reach lower elevations, so the going is very steady. A fun and smooth downhill ride to Lake Chala culminates in the chance for a relaxing wild swim in the beautiful waters of the lake itself.

Day 8

Lake Chala to Kahawa Shambani

Cycling

76km · 1400m up · 1200m down

Kahawa Shambani is Swahili for coffee farm, so you can guarantee a great coffee with breakfast to kickstart the day. Today’s route is the longest of the adventure with a mix of uphill and downhill sections on dirt and tarmac roads. You'll pedal through a densely forested area that sees a lot of rain, so expect some mud up your legs.

Day 9

Kahawa to Chanya Lodge

Cycling

76km · 1400m up · 1200m down

The expedition reaches a climax today as you complete the full circumnavigation on the last leg to Moshi. Make an uphill climb towards Mweka Gate, passing trekkers coming down from Kilimanjaro, before descending to Moshi via Kibosho village. Kibosho is a Chagga dominated area with a patchwork of coffee and banana plantations. Arriving back at your lodge sanctuary in Moshi, grab a well-earned dip in the pool before a celebration dinner at the lodge and maybe a little dance if you have any life left in your legs.

Day 10

So long Tanzania

Your adventure comes to end after breakfast at the lodge as your host takes you back to the airport 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's included?

  • Hardtail mountain bike
  • Twin-share tent

What's available to hire?

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat

What do I need to bring?

CYCLE KIT

  • Helmet
  • Pedals and saddle if you would rather use your own (these will be fitted to the bike for you)

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20+ litres)

CLOTHES

  • Padded cycling shorts
  • Sports top or cycling jersey
  • Cycling gloves
  • Rain and windproof lightweight jacket
  • Trousers/leggings for the evenings
  • Cycling shoes/trainers (bring your own pedals if using cleats)
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear & socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Sandals

SLEEPING

  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner
  • Lightweight sleeping bag (2 season)
  • Travel pillow
  • Thermarest or lightweight sleeping mat

OTHER

  • Bumbag or small handlebar bag for riding
  • Gel seat (to fit over the saddle) - Optional
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellant
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks

Sleeping bag (for the whole trip)

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping bag (for the whole trip)

Sleeping mat (for the whole trip)

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping mat (for the whole trip)

Double/Twin room at Chanya Lodge, Moshi

Payable Before Departure

Double/Twin room at Chanya Lodge, Moshi

Single room at Chanya Lodge, Moshi

Payable Before Departure

Single room at Chanya Lodge, Moshi

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

One way transfer Kili Airport to Chanya Lodge (up to 6 people)

Payable Before Departure

One way transfer Kili Airport to Chanya Lodge (up to 6 people)

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 355kg 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'll ride a 'hardtail' - front suspension mountain bike which is perfectly suited to the gravel and dirt roads you'll be rolling along on this trip. The suspension can be locked for a speedier ride when on the flatter road sections.

This adventure includes a support vehicle that accompanies the group, carrying food and water, a first aid kit and bike maintenance equipment, so any flat tyres or grazed knees can be fixed on the spot. You can also ride in the support vehicle if you get tired, fancy skipping a steep hill, or you have just had enough for the day!

All your accommodation is pre-booked, and your luggage is transferred from one point to the next by the support vehicle. You can choose whether you want to cycle with a small daypack to carry snacks and personal items such as a phone or camera for easy regular access.

If you’re cycling in a group, everything will be transported by the support vehicle, so you can cycle completely unburdened.

No technical skill is required, just some strong-ish legs and a sense of adventure! You should be comfortable riding back to back days covering an average of 50km a day. You will need to be a cyclist and some previous riding on dirt roads, away from the tarmac, would be useful but not essential - you'll soon learn that 50km on road vs on gravel and dirt tracks is quite different and a different type of cycling fun. The riding on this trip is on approx 80% dirt roads and 20% paved roads - although you will be riding mountain bikes this is not mountain biking in the standard sense - the bikes are chosen for being robust and comfy so perfect for the terrain covered.

You will be cycling at a relaxed pace with plenty of time to stop and take in the spectacular scenery and watch for wildlife. You will also have a support vehicle with you (away from the group while riding) to transport your overnight stuff and spare bike bits, so if the going gets too tough or too hot, you can always jump in for a bit of respite.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

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 suggest the below as a guideline per person:

$7-10 USD per day

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.

Tap water in Tanzania is not drinkable. The support vehicle will carry filtered and bottled water to keep you hydrated throughout the trip, while some of the lodges you stay at will have filtered water available during your stay. We recommend you bring along a cycle water bottle to sit in the bottle cage, plus a spare reusable water bottle to sit in your day bag and for drinking from when you're not riding.

Being a tropical country, Tanzania’s weather is generally hot and dry which allows for cycling adventures all year around. During the day, the temperature can range between 25ºC/77°F and 30ºC/86°F, cooling to 10ºC/50°F at night. Tanzania’s proximity to the tropics makes the sun’s rays stronger, so bring adequate sun protection. Although the months of April and May are referred to as the ‘heavy rains’ season, the rain is not continuous and usually last only a few hours. This is a good time to travel and enjoy the national parks and forests at their greenest and most verdant.

The support vehicle will carry your luggage from point to point, so everything is taken care of on that front.

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

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.

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