Join Greg Bond on this trip of a lifetime. Greg is a wildlife-tracking specialist with a degree in Wildlife Conservation who has guided at Kruger National Park for over seven years. He speaks Zulu, Afrikaans and English and rides with a .458 slung over his shoulder. Just in case! On The Rhythm of Africa trip our bikes will allow us to get closer to the natural wonders of South Africa and Botswana while our guides educate us every pedal stroke and step of the way. This trip is not a race, but a real adventure. While there are dangers of riding and existing amongst big game, we travel with professional guides who know how to safely navigate in this land.
We will ride the majority of the time but we’ll also spend two days on foot tracking and viewing big game on the edge of Kruger. We’ll stay in a variety of truly epic accommodation: from five-star Umlani Bushcamp, to the mountain-high Mount Anderson Ranch and luxury camping nights where we sleep under the stars…and take turns on night watch, keeping the fire stoked and listening to the night sounds of nocturnal life in an ancient land. This trip is limited to 8 participants. Join us for an experience of a lifetime!
Day 1 – Arrive in Jo’burg, transfer to Mount Anderson
Today we will pick you up at the airport or the nearby airport hotel if you decided to arrive yesterday. After meeting the rest of the group and your guides, we’ll load up the van and drive approx. 1.5 hours to Mount Anderson, in the Mpumalanga region of South Africa that borders on Mozambique and Swaziland to the east. This afternoon we’ll set up our bikes, relax and review safety, itinerary and other orientation. Tonight we stay at the beautiful Mount Anderson Ranch.
Day 2 – Ride Mount Anderson
After breakfast we’ll head out for a ride in the dramatic highveld of the Drakensberg Mountains with 5 major rivers and peaks as high as 7,500 feet (2300 meters). This lush and mountainous area is a water conservancy catchment for the Kruger National Park and provides spectacular flora, fauna and birdlife. On today’s ride we’ll explore the old gold mines dating back to the 20’s and 30’s. Tonight, we’re at the Mount Anderson Ranch.
Day 3 – Ride Spekboom River Trail
We’ll start today off with a steep climb that’ll bring us high up in the mountains in open grassland where typical afro-montane grow (high altitude African scrub brush) and proteas trees (indigenous trees). Then it’s a fast and flowy descent on the other side all the way down to a woody, savannah zone and warmer climate. Tonight, we’re at the Mount Anderson Ranch.
Day 4 – Ride to Sabie
This morning it’s off to Sabie, a town surrounded by fragrant pine and eucalyptus forests and great rides. We’ll also visit Sabie’s famous waterfalls including the 230-foot (68 meter) Lone Creek Falls. We’ll ride on double track and singletrack today with approx. 2500-feet (750 meters) of climbing and 5000-feet (1500 meters) of descending. Tonight we stay in Sabie, at the Woodsman Hotel.
Day 5 – Ride to Pilgrims Rest
After breakfast his morning we’ll meet up with local guide Dennis Lowry who will lead us in the ride from Sabie to the town of Pilgrim’s Rest. This ride is up and over a mountain range, mostly on double track. Today’s ride has some awesome scenery! Tonight we stay at the famous historic Royal Hotel with it’s Victoria-era ornate rooms.
Day 6 – Transfer to Umlani Game reserve (Krueger)
This morning we will pack up the van and drive to the Timbavati private nature reserve that borders on the world famous Krueger National Park. After unpacking and relaxing, we’ll head out for an evening game drive. Game drives offer the opportunity to approach animals very closely. This area boasts some of the best game viewing in all of Africa! Expect to see the Big 5: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. Tonight we stay at the very special 5-star Umlani Bushcamp.
Day 7 - Umlani: Tracking big game on foot
This morning we’ll wake up at dawn and head out for a walk with an experienced tracking guide (armed, of course!). This will be unforgettable as we track big game on foot, following tracks and learning the intricacies of their existence. We’ll walk slowly, whispering, as we advance into the lush forest. This evening we’ll head out for another unforgettable game drive. Tonight, we stay at the 5-star Umlani Bushcamp.
Day 8 - Transfer to Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana
After and early breakfast we’ll load up and drive approx. 3 hours to the remote eastern corner of Botswana and the 75,000 acre / 30,000 hectare Mashatu Game Reserve. At the border we’ll meet Joe Rakumako, our local guide and ride to our first night’s camp. Mashatu is a diverse wilderness of savannah, open plains and sandstone outcrops. After watching the mind-blowing African sunset we’ll camp under the stars. The campsites are basic but epic with a hot shower, cots with mattresses and a sleeping bag, chairs and tables. A Land rover will take our luggage to the next site. Tonight, we’ll take turns on night watch duty…keeping the fire stoked and listening to the night sounds of nocturnal life in an ancient land.
Day 9 – Ride Mashatu, Botswana
This morning we’ll be up at dawn and enjoy a hearty breakfast. Then we’ll head out on our bikes. The trails here are old elephant trails, dating back a million years (seriously!). Expect to see antelope, zebra, giraffe, wilderbeast, elephant, jakal, eagles, vultures, baboons, ostrich, lion, hyena, python and maybe even leopard. Don’t worry our guide rides with a .458 caliber gun that would take down an elephant. Tonight we sleep at another wilderness camp and take turns on night watch duty.
Day 10 – Ride Mashatu, Botswana
Good morning! This morning we’ll head out early again before the mid-day sun heats up. Our guides have an uncanny sense: often we’ll stop at the faintest sound of an animal calling, a sighting or tracks. Tracks can tell what type of animal was there and where it was headed. Joe can also call certain birds who’ll come by to visit the group! Tonight we sleep at another wilderness camp and take turns on night watch duty.
Day 11 – Ride Mashatu, Botswana
Today we’ll ride 25 kilometers (15 miles) to the border on a dirt road where we’ll check into the Mashatu Main Camp, an idyllic luxury camp with 7 en-suite tents with private decks. This rustic camp features an open-sided thatched deck where meals are served, running water and even a plunge pool to cool off! This evening we’ll head out for a game drive, come back to camp and party!
Day 12 - Transfer to Jo’burg
This morning we pack up the van and drive 7 hours back to Johannesburg and our hotel. This afternoon we pack our bikes, relax then head out for our final dinner in this cosmopolitan city. This morning we’ll drive you to the airport depending on your departure time. Have a safe flight!
Day 13 – Fly home
This morning we’ll drive you to the airport depending on your departure time. Have a safe flight!
Also see tour packages in:
Africa South Africa Nature & Wildlife Wildlife Viewing
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