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What a memorable, unique experience, riding through a range of terrains that you’ll never experience anywhere else in the world! November 2016
What can I say about the cycling? First of all, the (hired) dual suspension Scott bikes was quite good. I wouldn’t waste my time bringing my own bike, not with the rough, dusty riding you put them through. Not that I own a mountain bike however as I’m a road cyclist. Riding on low PSI tubeless tyres was a new experience for me, but the plush ride they supplied on flat roads was certainly needed when the road became rutted…. and boy you’ll experience plenty of rutted roads. Both on the bike and in the van. A Namibian massage I call it. Frankly being a road cyclist makes you a little precious so the mountain biking was a little challenging. I wouldn’t take on this tour unless you regularly ride about 100kms a week on the road, or 50km a week on the mountain bike. We only clocked up about 40-50km per day, but the terrain is quite tough (both sandy and rutted in sections) and it saps your speed. That, combined with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius made for a challenging experience. Saying that, you can take the van at any stage if conditions become too tough. We had one day where everyone eventually took the van option. The final two had made it past 50km into a headwind with the temp around 34 degrees! Best riding was the in Namibgrens, Tsuaschab river camp, the loop around Spitzkoppe and a sweet descent into the save the Rhino camp.
The guides overall were really helpful. As I mentioned before, I didn’t speak German however they were mindful that my tour mate and I were the minority in the group and gave us equal attention. They were very knowledgeable when it came to the flora and fauna of the region. There were books in the vans for each to share to aid in the identification of plants and animals encountered along the way.
The food was certainly a surprise. I initially thought the food would be very basic, but the dinners especially were amazing, especially if you’re a meat eater! Well, you’d find it hard if you’re a vegetarian. The game meat was amazing! Amazing! Really a highlight. The buffet style breakfasts were very good; the lunches were mostly basic sandwich packs with a few table sit down lunches thrown in. Always enjoyed a few Windhoek lagers or even a Rock/Malawi shandy after each ride. The honour system of paying for drinks consumed during the tour worked really well.
Accommodation was sufficient. It ranged from mid-range lodges to decent high end camping sites that made you feel like you were close to nature. There were a couple of days of full camping, where the showers were very basic but this was all part of the experience. The best shower I’ve ever had was an outdoor shower at Spitzkoppe after a day of solid riding.
So what were the highlights? Well I’ve mentioned the food, but I’ll add the camping, dunes in Sossusvlei, Spitzkoppe bike loop, Swakupmund, rock paintings in Twyfelfontain, Etosha day trip. The animals were somewhat sparse at the beginning (excluding the baboons near the first night’s accommodation) however the numbers ramped up towards the end culminating in a trip to Etosha national park and an amazing ride around a private game park in Otjiwa. So many different species of native animals on show in the game park, no predators on this ride thankfully.
Thank you very much - the trip was excellent.
Hans & Shaw were superb guides/hosts & all members of the group thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
We all thought Namibia is a stunning country & well suited to mountain biking. As I mentioned to Hans, I'm sure you could attract more business from the U.K and it might be worth looking at something like 'The cyclist' magazine to advertise etc.
We would certainly use you again if we return but meanwhile thanks again for all your help in putting this tour together for me.
Namibia Individual Travel 9 Erma Street Ludwigsdorf Windhoek - Namibia