The rough and undeveloped terrain of Africa means that exploring is often done in the comfort of a 4×4 or lacing up your boots and going on a walking safari. Why not make tracks on a mountain bike instead? With many dirt roads to choose from in Tanzania, a lot of them unexplored by cyclists, there are plenty of views to take in and keep you pedalling. Fresh air and scenic views are a standard occurrence on mountain biking trips. Add wildlife into the mix and suddenly you have a ride to remember. Forget your feelings of fatigue by taking opportunities along the way to look at the wildlife wandering the plains of Tanzania. Apart from the wildlife to be seen, there are some interesting stops along the way.
Described as the “lake that turns animals into stone”, Lake Natron is a wetland site of extreme significance. Due to its high salt content, this lake is inhospitable for a lot of animals in the region. This has made it an ideal breeding ground for the famous East African flamingos (with estimates in the millions). The high salt content of the lake means cyanobacteria thrive, providing an abundant food source for the breeding flamingos. Between the end of September and end of October the flamingos lay their eggs. This is when the lake is at its driest, providing evaporate islands for nests and a caustic barrier to protect the nests from predators.
Ol Doinyo Lengai
Ol Doinyo Lengai or the “Mountain of God” is sacred to the Maasai people and rises sublimely over the plains below (2,330 m at its peak). The Maasai make regular pilgrimages to the mountain to thank their God for blessings bestowed upon them. The Maasai believe that these pilgrimages are important to keep their God appeased or they will face her retribution. Foreboding formations created by periodic lava flows can also be seen around the mountain.
The ruins of Engaruka have intrigued many archaeologists over the years. These ruins have been connected to settlements of pastoralists, hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists throughout their history. At the height of these settlements, it is believed that there may have been an estimated 8,000 people living in the area. It’s the unanswered questions of these ruins and their sudden desertion that makes them an interesting enigma along this mountain biking adventure.
A safari with a difference. Exploring Tanzania from the saddle of your mountain bike will leave with more than a little heavy breathing. Contact us at email@example.com to see how we can help you on your way to exploring the plains and wildlife of Tanzania, or click here to see more on our cycling safari.