The Amazing Cycling Safari Bicyclists Will Love — Here’s What It Costs

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Cheetah on a Botswana safariPhoto credit: Thomas Retterath / Shutterstock.com

For those looking for a little more adventure on their vacation, cycling safaris give you some physical activity with a unique tour of the area. The newest adventure from safari company Natural Selection takes you to parts of the Earth that have rarely been explored.

Botswana Guided Cycling Safari

The Botswana Guided Cycling Safari is the first cycling safari of its kind in the Okavango Delta. You’ll pedal through the ancient elephant paths that have shaped the Botswana landscape for centuries. Two professional cycling safari guides, one at the front and one at the back, will take you alongside acacia woodlands, wandering river banks, mopane forests, and beautiful savannah grasslands. You’ll experience the incredible wildlife that walk these paths every day, stopping for exciting game-viewing opportunities.

What’s Included On Your Tour

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

Professional cycling guides, support crews, and a backup vehicle are also included for mechanical support throughout your journey.

Safari Tour Itinerary

Day one gives you time to meet your safari guide and get your bike and luggage together. You’ll begin in Maun, where you’ll then all travel together by safari vehicle for about an hour and a half to the mobile safari camp, just south of the Moremi Game Reserve wildlife area. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll have time to do any necessary bike assembly, have dinner, and get a good night’s sleep.

At sunrise, you’ll grab breakfast and begin your second day’s 5- to 6-hour bike ride. From camp, you’ll pedal through woodlands and plains created by the elephants, who are natural trail builders. You’ll stop along the way for wildlife spotting, snacks, and water. You’ll end the day back at camp around lunchtime for some relaxation and your choice of a game drive and sundowner.

On day three, you’ll pack your bags to leave camp and bike to the Mababe campsite. Your trail will take you along the Khwai River. The ride will again be about 5–6 hours, including a stop for lunch. You’ll camp next to the Khwai River and enjoy a sundowner, or spend the evening under the stars.

Day four’s 6- to 7-hour trip could be the highlight, with a ride through wide-open plains and mopane forest. Possible sightings include elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and lion. You’ll then return to camp by lunchtime to relax and enjoy the campsite.

You’ll pack up your bags again on day five to drive to Little Sable, a stylish, yet relaxed safari camp where you’ll spend day six as well. You’ll get to enjoy the iconic delta experiences from game drives to mokoro trips and boat safaris. Little Sable is located next to Khwai Private Reserve, a 200,000-hectare (494,000 acres) of wilderness in the famous Okavango Delta. Khwai is one of the most beautifully-iconic landscapes in Botswana. Here, you can see some of the rare species in the animal kingdom, including wild dogs, serval cats, honey badgers, and the elusive pangolin.

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

Price To Tour

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

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

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

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

Customize Your Experience

The Botswana Cycling Safari is customizable. Your itinerary can include an afternoon game drive with sundowners 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 hideout in the heart of Khwai Private 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 feet) wooden platform open to the stars. You can swap one of your nights at Little Sable for this outdoor sleep adventure. You will helicopter to Hyena Pan then take a short drive to Skybeds where you’ll experience a sundowner on arrival and have a traditional dining experience before getting into bed.

The two platforms overlook a waterhole, which is often used by 400 bull elephants, lions, leopards, elands, zebras, and more, making for incredible game-viewing from above. Each platform comes with a flush toilet, shower, and basin under each sleeping area. This is not included in the package and would cost an additional fee.

Important Things To Know About This Safari

This is truly an 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’s no rain and temperatures drop sharply at night.

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

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

About Natural Selection

Natural Selection is a collection of owner-operated safari camps and mobile safaris. The goal is to provide guests with unique and exceptional safari experiences and be a part of the conservation solution for Africa’s wildlife. For 30 years, the founders have pioneered unique safari experiences across Botswana, Angola, Namibia, and South Africa’s untouched places.

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