The incredible bike safari that cyclists will love – here’s what it costs

For those looking for a little more adventure on their vacation, the bike safaris offer you physical activity with a unique tour of the region. Safari company Natural Selection’s newest adventure takes you to parts of the Earth that have rarely been explored.

Botswana Guided Bike Safari

Botswana Guided Cycling Safari is the first cycle safari of its kind in the Okavango Delta. You will cycle through ancient elephant paths that have shaped Botswana’s landscape for centuries. Two professional bike safari guides, one in the front and one in the back, will take you past acacia forests, wandering river banks, mopane forests and beautiful savannah grasslands . You’ll experience the incredible wildlife that roams these trails each day, stopping for exciting viewing opportunities.

What’s included in your tour

This six-night tour covers 40 to 70 kilometers (25 to 43 miles) per day. All accommodation, road transfers, daily activities, meals, snacks, water, local beverages and laundry service are included.

Professional cycling guides, support teams and a rescue vehicle are also included for mechanical assistance throughout your trip.

Safari itinerary

The first day gives you time to meet your safari guide and collect your bike and luggage. You will start in Maun, where you will then travel all together by safari vehicle for approximately 1.5 hours to the mobile safari camp, just south of the Moremi Game Reserve. Once you arrive, you will have time to do any necessary bike assembly, have dinner, and get a good night’s sleep.

As the sun rises, you will have breakfast and begin your second day of the 5-6 hour bike ride. From the camp, you will cycle through the woods and plains created by elephants, who are natural trail builders. You’ll stop along the way for wildlife viewing, snacks, and water. You will end the day returning to camp around lunch time to relax and choose a game drive and sunset.

On the third day, you will pack your bags to leave the camp and cycle to Mababe campsite. Your trail will take you along the Khwai River. The journey will again take approximately 5-6 hours, including a stop for lunch. You will camp beside the Khwai River and enjoy a sunset or spend the evening under the stars.

The 6-7 hour journey on day four might be the highlight, with a ride through vast plains and mopane forest. Possible sightings include elephant, buffalo, giraffe and lion. You will then return to camp at lunchtime to relax and enjoy the campsite.

You’ll pack up on day five and head to Little Sable, an elegant yet laid-back safari camp where you’ll also spend day six. Guests can enjoy iconic delta experiences, from game drives to mokoro tours and boat safaris. Little Sable is located next to the Khwai Private Game Reserve, a 200,000 hectare (494,000 acre) wilderness in the famous Okavango Delta. Khwai is one of Botswana’s most iconic landscapes. Here you can see some of the rare species of the animal kingdom, including wild dogs, serval cats, badgers and the elusive pangolin.

The camp offers eight traditional-style tents with a private viewing deck, en-suite bathroom and outdoor shower.

Price to visit

Prices for this once-in-a-lifetime experience vary and are available by reservation. Departure dates are on request. Packages are based on a minimum of two people traveling, or a maximum of six.

For the shoulder season, from November 1 to December 19, packages start at $8,575 per person for two people and $5,160 per person for six people.

In high season, September 1 through October 31 and December 20 through December 31, packages start at $8,975 per person for two people and $5,560 per person for six people.

A charter flight to Maun is included in the package price.

Personalize your experience

The Botswana Cycling Safari is customizable. Your itinerary can include an afternoon game drive with sunset views before spending the evening around a fire. Stays include mobile safari camps, or sleeping and camping along the Khwai River. Or stay at Little Sable, the stylish and intimate hideaway in the heart of the Khwai Private Game Reserve. These experiences are not included and will cost extra.

Optional night skybeds

You can also spend an evening sleeping atop a 5-meter-high (16.4-foot) wooden platform open to the stars. You can trade one of your nights at Little Sable for this outdoor sleeping adventure. You’ll fly by helicopter to Hyena Pan, then take a short drive to Skybeds, where you’ll experience a sunset upon arrival and have a traditional dining experience before bed.

Both platforms overlook a watering hole, which is often used by 400 bull elephants, lions, leopards, elands, zebras, etc., allowing for incredible game viewing from above. Each platform is equipped with a flush toilet, shower and sink below each sleeping area. This is not included in the package and would incur additional charges.

Important things to know about this safari

It truly is the adventure of a lifetime, so there are some important things to keep in mind. Natural Selection says the best time to book is between April and August. The winter months have cooler temperatures with dry, sunny days. There is no rain and temperatures drop sharply at night.

You will need to bring your own bike and equipment. This includes bringing your own spare derailleur hanger, cycling gear (neutral colors, helmet, shirt/pants, shoes/cleats, gloves, goggles, etc.), a set of tools, small binoculars, a hydration backpack and favorite cycling foods. There will be basic spares kept on the rescue vehicle and in camp at all times.

By law, you will need comprehensive travel insurance including coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation.

About natural selection

Natural selection is a collection of owner-operated safari camps and mobile safaris. The aim is to provide customers with unique and exceptional safari experiences and to be part of the African wildlife conservation solution. For 30 years, the founders have pioneered unique safari experiences across Botswana, Angola, Namibia and the unspoilt places of South Africa.

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Wiley C. Thompson