The craziest places I can imagine biking someday are India and Africa. That's probably because I've spent most of my time in those places in cities that are so hectic that biking seems more like a nightmare than a dream vacation. But with the right guide, there are adventures that fulfill even the wildest imaginations.
Today in our Dream Trips segment, we're featuring some trips from Bike Tours Direct that can take you through these incredible destination on bike.
African safaris are increasingly moving from four wheels to two as bicycle safari tours grow in popularity. Travelers can now experience the rich history, culture, and ecology of the continent alongside its natural wonders with an expanded selection of guided bike safari itineraries in Namibia, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania with BikeToursDirect.
Stepping out from behind the barriers of traditional vehicle-based safaris gives travelers the opportunity to go beyond merely observing the wildlife and landscapes from a distance. Cyclists travel inside the awe-inspiring scenery, enjoying a more sensory experience where the sights, smells, and sounds of the grasslands and wildlife are not inhibited by the boundaries of a jeep.
Namibian Desert Bike Safari
BikeToursDirect’s 15-day Namibia cycle safari is a unique way to experience both the world’s oldest desert and Africa’s famous big game animals. Cyclists explore the spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei and the geological history revealed in Sesriem Canyon before visiting the Atlantic beach town of Swakopmund.
Guests observe big game like elephants, black rhinoceroses, zebra and big cats from the bike saddle and from the front door of the lodge in Namib Naukluft Park, the largest game reserve in Africa. Cyclists also will view wildlife in several national parks and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, where farmers work together to maintain the largest cheetah population in Africa.
Mountain Bike Safari through Kenya and Tanzania
This 16-day Kenya and Tanzania biking and camping adventure varies from the chaos of Nairobi to the sudden sparseness of open savannah with wildlife grazing the plains. Taking on once-in-a-lifetime mountain biking routes far from the traditional tourist scene, guests will experience Africa at eye level, viewing wildlife from the bike saddle, meeting Maasai tribesmen and camping in the wilderness.
Cyclists pass imposing Mt. Kilimanjaro, visit Amboseli National Park in Kenya and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. The rain forests of the Usambara Mountains offer unforgettable mountain biking before ending at the tropical Indian Ocean coast.
South African Bike Safari
This 11-day South African bike safari tour explores the sites, sounds, and tastes of the Cape peninsula. Adventure activities include observing the “big five” in game preserves, tracking rhino on a guided hike, viewing ancient Bushman cave paintings, and kayaking the pristine Touws River. More relaxing pursuits include beach time and whale spotting. This deluxe cycle safari features five-star accommodations, gourmet food, vineyard visits and wine tastings.
There is no better way to see this country than from the seat of a bike saddle, offering cyclists a unique opportunity to feel the true spirit of India. The spicy smells of cardamom and curry; the shy yet friendly villagers collecting water from town wells; the dirt paths snaking through the Himalayas where children skip home from school—these are the experiences best enjoyed by bike.
From the beaches of Gokarna and the backwaters of Kerala to the misty northern mountains of the Himalayas and sun-kissed deserts of Rajasthan, these India bike tours offer a true glimpse into the real India. Most tour dates run December through March, making these trips to India the perfect destination for winter weary cyclists.
BikeToursDirect now has eight guided India bike tours, starting at less than $2,000, which feature the wide diversity of geography and people across the expansive subcontinent.
BikeToursDirect now offers the following tours in India:
Land of The Maharajas (11 nights): See the entire state of Rajasthan, replete with fantastic hilltop fortresses, exotic fairytale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism. Tour date: Dec 21, 2013. Costs start at $2,671.
Bangalore to Gokarna (10 nights): Cycle through tropical forests, lush coffee plantations, beautiful beaches, and ancient shrines. Tour dates: December through March. Cost starts at $1,975.
Classic Kerala (8 nights): Ride through a National Geographic Traveler Magazine top “10 Paradises of the World”—along the backwaters of Kerala. Tour dates: December through March. Cost starts at $1,838.
Serene Kerala (8 nights): Explore the backwaters of Kerala on this tour that takes cyclists on an overnight cruise on a typical Kerala houseboat; a walk through a spice plantation; and visits through rural villages along the Western Ghats mountain range. Tour date: Nov 23, 2013. Cost starts at $2,468.
Kumaon Himalayas (9 nights): Cycle and see the magnificent peaks of the Himalayas, fascinating flora and fauna, and picturesque terraced fields tended by colorfully clothed women. Stay in a traditional village and experience one of the most scenic rides in India. Tour date: March 9, 2013. Cost starts at $2,124.
Ladakh: The Little Tibet (9 nights): See this Tibetan outpost up close as you cycle through Ladakh, known as Little Tibet. Cyclists will have the opportunity to cycle one of the highest passes in the world, Khardung La. This is an enthralling route through high elevation monasteries, and only for experienced cyclists. Tour date: June 29, 2013. Cost starts at $2,504.
Rajasthan (9 nights): Cycle through the most colorful and vibrant part of India—Rajasthan. A colorful safari through beautiful deserts and splendid medieval forts, this tour allows cyclists to see and experience desert life. Tour dates: December through March. Cost starts at $2,000.
Remote and Beautiful Rajasthan (10 nights): Experience rustic and rural Rajasthan; ride through tiger preserves; and see rural desert villages. Tour date: October 19, 2013. Cost starts at $2,124.
These India bicycle tours include accommodation, domestic transport, English-speaking guide services, van support, transfers, admissions and other services. Accommodations on the tours range from charming fort-palace hotels and plantation retreats to refurbished village houses. Cycling distances vary per tour and incorporate sightseeing of major historical attractions.
BikeToursDirect serves as a central resource for bicycle tours around the world, representing 75 tour companies that offer more than 385 tours in more than 70 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers search for and choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process.
Learn more at http://www.biketoursdirect.com.