Welcome to the world’s adventure playground! Africa is the destination to stretch your horizons and free your intrepid spirit. We’ve rounded up the best of the best rides, from mountain bikes to camels and horses - or even a Harley-Davidson cruise!
Biking in Africa
Africa is a sublime mountain-biking destination. The terrain ranges from soaring mountains to semi-desert jeep tracks and steep forest single tracks. While scenic rides dominate the offering, there are plenty of opportunities to amp up the adrenalin. Here are my Top 5 biking destinations in Africa.
1. Zambia’s Tafika Camp
Set in the game-rich South Luangwa National Park, this lodge opens from May to November annually, catering for a maximum of 12 guests at a time. The South Luangwa is home to Zambia’s famous walking safaris, which means lots of ideal mountain bike tracks. After a thrilling ride, relax in a riverside hammock or visit a traditional village for an authentic cultural encounter.
2. Cape Town Hikes and Bikes Tour:
Table Mountain is one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders and Cape Town’s most convenient play ground for mountain bikers. Over four action-packed days with expert guides and top quality gear, you’ll bike along well-maintained jeep tracks to the historic Block House and up the steep ascent to Plum Pudding. Adding a specialist hike and tandem paraglide off Lion’s Head makes this tour the ideal introduction to Cape Town’s great outdoors.
3. Luxury Migration, Lake and Crater Safari:
This tour takes in the best of Tanzania, from the Serengeti's iconic plains to Lake Manyara, a wilderness Hemingway once described as, ‘the loveliest I had seen in Africa’. At Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, the daily game viewing activities range from nature walks and game drives to mountain bike expeditions, all led by expert guides. Explore lush woodlands, open plains and the flamingo-filled lake shore to see blue monkeys, honking elephant and tree-climbing lions.
4. Cape Town Harley and Heli Tour:
Two of the best ways to enjoy Cape Town’s natural beauty are by air and motorbike. On this 4-day adventure, you’ll cruise on a Harley-Davidson along what is arguably one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world, the dramatic curves of Chapman’s Peak Drive. The Harley’s laid back cruising style lets you soak up the sights on the ground before you take to the air in a powerful Robinson or Bell helicopter. This is the only chopper tour to circumnavigate Robben Island, wrapping up your Harley and Heli Tour in grand style.
5. Quad biking at Namibia's Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
The 10-day Iconic Namibia Safari features two nights at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in the Namib Desert. It's hauntingly beautiful - the vast, rolling dune-scape bound by jagged mountain peaks and offering sanctuary to desert-adapted creatures that you'll see nowhere else on earth. Explore the dunes on quad bikes (ATVs), guided game drives, walks and mountain bike expeditions.
Riding in Africa
Exploring the wilderness on the back of a horse or even a camel is one of the more unusual game-viewing experiences Africa offers. The height of these animals delivers a very unique perspective, and travelling on any of these creatures allows you to explore further and see more than you would on foot. Riding an animal through the bush is a much more intimate, close-to-nature experience. A horse simply makes much less impact than a vehicle – there is no rumbling engine, no scent of diesel and wildlife is less twitchy around other mammals than machines.
7. Horseback riding at Benguerra Island Lodge, Mozambique:
Famous for its warm hospitality and sensational tropical setting, Mozambique’s Benguerra Island offers some of the world’s best scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea and saltwater fly fishing, and sea kayaking. When you’re ready to explore the land, you’ll find island tours, nature walks and, best of all, horseback beach rides to make the most of the endless white sands.
8. Camelback adventure in Samburu, Kenya:
This 3-day walking safari is a great add-on to a family tour. Set in the beautiful Samburu area, your guides are Samburu or Masai tribesmen, who take pride in sharing their passionate understanding of this rugged land with you. A caravan of camels carries you across the Laikipia Plateau before a charter flight whisks you to Nanyuki for game drives, nature walks and an extra camel ride for the kids. Children have a much more interesting view from the top of a camel, and riding allows them to enjoy the wilderness for longer than they would on foot. This is a well-balanced, active tour for the whole family.
9. Horseback riding at Camp Kalahari, Botswana:
Set in a private concession bordering the Makgadikgadi Pans, Camp Kalahari offers a great combination of comfort, authentic safari ambience and happy adventures. It’s the perfect place to witness Botswana’s wet summer season migration when thousands of zebra and wildebeest journey into the area for the fresh, sweet grasses. The dry winter season is more temperate and ideal for quad biking across the pans. Horseback riding is one of the best ways to explore this beautiful region. You’ll feel like an early explorer discovering the stillness of the Kalahari Desert for the first time.
Whatever your expertise level, there’s a ride waiting for you in Africa. Saddle up, hop on and let’s go exploring!