If you’re a traveler that appreciates the path less traveled – or in this case, cycled – then a guided cycling safari in the Okavango Delta is just the experience for you.
You’ll be riding along ancient game paths and jeep trails, soaking up the sunshine, and seeing incredible wildlife sightings, passing acacia woodlands, winding riverbanks, old mopane forests and wide-open savannah grasslands along the way.
This kind of a safari is perfect for the avid cyclist who loves a bit of adrenaline and adventure injected into their game viewing. It really is a first of its kind, and a safari like no other.
We chatted to Botswana-born and raised private guide, Kyle MacIntyre, the brainchild of the experience, to find out what you can expect on a cycling safari…
First off, Kyle emphasizes the exclusivity and customizability of these excursions.
“We arrange these outings as an private safari for a group of YPA travelers,” he explains. “The riding safari can be completely customized depending on what the group wants, but we usually cater for keen cyclists that have a bit of riding experience under their belts. To make the most of the experience, we’ll be riding for about 4 – 5 hours per day, and so you need to be able to cycle more than 5 km at a stretch.”
Kyle grew up in Botswana with a mother and father that were both guides. He has literally been exploring bush trails ever since he can remember, so when it comes to expertise, you couldn’t ask for a better cycling safari guide.
“The terrain is mostly flat and sandy in Botswana,” he explains. “We’ve fine tuned our routes connecting the best flowing sections of single trail naturally created and compacted by elephants over the years.”
The beauty of cycling through the wild on two wheels is the subtlety of your presence and the exhilarating proximity with which you’ll experience the game sightings. On a good day, you and your group will be slamming on breaks fairly regularly for the exciting game-viewing opportunities you encounter on your rides.
Cyclists generally bring their own bikes and gear along, but there are five bikes available to rent for travelers who would prefer just to pack their shoes and cleats. And for peace of mind should a puncture strike, Kyle and his team have a back-up vehicle, basic bike maintenance facilities (such as repairs and air pumps) and mechanical support available throughout the safari.
If a cycling safari by day, followed by sundowners and crackling camp fires by night sounds like your kind of trip, then let’s chat about your perfect, customized itinerary.