There is time today to go into Windhoek and explore the city at your own pace, relax at our lodge and get familiar with our bikes.
Leaving Windhoek behind we start with a short transfer towards the Khomas Hochland and the top of the Kupferberg Pass. Getting on our bikes we get our first taste of the pleasure of cycling through Namibia's amazing landscape as we descend along winding roads past private farm and some local wildlife and. Transferring up Gemsberg Pass and past the 3rd highest mountain in Namibia, from where we have views stretching 100kms, we get back on the bikes. As we cycle down we cross dry river beds and should, hopefully see troops of baboons as well as, hopefully, Hartman's Mountain zebras. Our ride ends at our camp at the Rooisand Oasis where we can enjoy a refreshing dip (60km on gravel roads, 90kms transferring).
Leaving the camp on our bikes we continue along gravel roads up and down rolling hills. We will either cycle all the way to the Guab Pass before transferring the rest of the way to Solitaire or will cycle to part of the way, transfer up the pass and cycle some more afterwards. We aim to get to Solitaire for lunch and will, hopefully, have the opportunity to try the local apple crumble which has been called the best in the whole southern hemisphere. After lunch we transfer to Sesriem. Depending on the weather (which can often turn by the afternoon) we have the option of cycling the last 20 kms. to our camp. (70kms gravel roads, 90-100kms transferring).
Getting up before dawn we transfer a short distance before taking to our bikes for a stunning ride along a sealed road which cuts through the tallest sand dunes in the world just as the rising sun rays hit the red-ochre sand. Arriving at Dune 45 we can climb to the top for some incredible views of the dry river valley and the towering dunes whilst the crew prepare breakfast. We later transfer to the car park from where we will take a two-hour hike to Hiddenvlei or, for those who want, an optional 4WD to Deadvlei. Returning to Sesriem for lunch we have the opportunity to explore the small canyon by foot before transferring most of the way back towards Solitaire. As we get about 20kms out we get back on the bikes to cycle past granite boulders and along dirt tracks. (50kms sealed roads, 20kms gravel roads, 90kms transfer).
After a short transfer we get behind the handle bar and cycle along winding roads back through Gaub Pass and Kuiseb Pass. With luck we should see ostrich, springbok and gemsbok on the side of the road. We later transfer to Walvis Bay Lagoon where we can see flamingos. We will have lunch here, enjoying the Atlantic breeze before a short transfer out of town. This afternoon we cycle along the coast with the ocean on the left and the sand dunes on the right as we head towards Swakopmund. (20kms sealed roads, 50kms. gravel roads, 210kms transfer).
Today is a free day to enjoy the many activities available in Swakopmund. These include sandboarding, quadbiking, dolphin watching, taking a panoramic flight over the Namib Naukluft or just taking the bikes and going for a ride. Those feeling like relaxing a little, the Germanic town is famous for its cake and coffee shops.
We head back inland and, after a transfer out of town, start cycling along gravel roads towards the pyramidal granite hills of Spitzkoppe. After lunch we transfer towards the country's highest mountain, Brandberg in Damaraland. This area is home to the rare Desert elephants and, with some luck, we may come across meerkats. We finish the day with a ride downhill towards our camp by the Ugab River. (70-80kms gravel roads, 140kms transfer)
After another short transfer we cycle towards Himba and Herrero villages. After about 20kms we transfer out of the Ugab River region before getting back on our bikes the remaining distance to the Aba Huab area. This afternoon we visit the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, some dating back 6,000 years. (70kms gravel roads, 200kms transfer).
Day 10 - 11
Staying off the bikes for a couple days we head to one of southern Africa's best national parks, Etosha where we will go on safari. When in camp we have the opportunity to sit by the watering hole which is flood-lit at night and enjoy the 'living theatre' which unfolds as animals come down to the water to drink.
Heading out of the park we cycle from Tsumeb to Otavi along an undulating sealed road. We transfer to Otjiwarongwe and the Cheetah Conservation Fund's centre where we learn about cheetah biology and ecology and the many threats faced by the fastest land animal in the world. We leave the centre enjoy another bike ride for about 40kms along gravel roads and through farmland. (50kms sealed roads, 40 kms gravel roads, 180kms transfer).
This morning we cycle 50kms along flat sealed roads before continuing along 20kms of dirt roads to the Waterberg National Park with its red sandstone table mountain. This afternoon we have the opportunity to go for a walk on the Waterberg Plateau in search of the local wildlife. (50 kms sealed, 20kms gravel)
After a relaxing start, and the option of a morning bike ride, we transfer back to Windhoek to catch our overnight flight back.