Pascal Kolkhuis Tanke | tropicalcyclist.contact [@] gmail [.]com

OVERLANDING SOUTHERN AFRICA:

NAMIBIA -> CAPE TOWN

outdoor playing, outdoor living

our own 'Noah's Ark'

cycling as much as you want

After 100 days Cairo -> Cape Town (2007) and 70 days full southern Africa (2008), the 'Overlanding' form of travel occupies a very special place with us. The use of an overland truck with room for all guests, plus bicycles, luggage, food & drinks and camping equipment, creates an unparalleled nomadic freedom. We cycle the most beautiful parts, we sit at the warmest campfires, we sleep under the fullest starry skies, we feel healthier than ever, can it be more outdoor? "It is addictive!" (Ed, several times on tour with us).

Windhoek -> Cape Town was a fantastic final stage in 2007 and 2008! That is why we keep every year a prominent place for this 'hidden gem'.

What I remember most about Namibia are the tranquility, emptiness and endlessness of the landscape. This journey was in all its facets a highlight for me.

Ronald
We think it was a fantastic trip.
The gravel roads, wild camping and the arid, rough landscape make you feel your way out of the world.
An absolute must!
Wilfried & Hilde

I often think back to taking a shower with a cola bottle at sunset😉 Before the trip, I was a bit worried about those few bush camps, but in retrospect those were the nicest places! I thought it was a wonderful trip and will definitely cycle through Africa again.

Petra
What I really loved was watching the wildlife after a wonderful day, at the campsite, in the Etosha National Parc! There I fell from one surprise to the next, because of what I saw passing: a lion, small elephants, rhinos, hyenas, etc. 
Carla

ROUTE CYCLING HOLIDAY NAMIBIA & SOUTH AFRICA

Traveling through southern Africa for more than three weeks requires flexibility, for example in choosing the route. Local circumstances (for example the condition of the road or political events) may require improvisational skills. That is why we prefer to give the route in the form of a sketch.

  • May 5: arrival in Windhoek, flown in from home or from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. We will first make a multi-day trip to Etosha National Park, one of the most beautiful game reserves in Africa.
  • May 6: transfer to Otjowarongo and continue by bicycle to Outjo.
  • May 7: cycling from Outjo to the border of Etosha National Park. Overnight in Okaukejo or Halali Camp. Lots of wildlife at the waterholes.
  • May 8: safari through the park, to Namutoni Camp.
  • May 9: transfer to Windhoek, with a part of cycling en route.
  • 10-13 May: from Windhoek to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast, the most important Namibian beach resort. Between Windhoek and Swakopmund you can 'feel' Namibia: for three hundred (very beautiful) kilometers we are completely dependent on ourselves, because cities or villages are missing. Wild camping is necessary: luckily, because this is the most intense thousand-star accommodation.
  • May 14-16: to the sand dunes of Sossusvlei, which really cannot be described; even photos fall short.
  • 17-20 May: via Luderitz to the Fish River Canyon; the best place for a glass of South African wine at sunset.
  • 21-25 May: to the South African border; then continue cycling and travel through the impressive Namaqualand, all the way to Vanrhynsdorp; transfer to Kommetjie, just below Cape Town.
  • Days 26-27 May: before we travel to the finish in Cape Town - in our opinion the most beautiful city in Africa - first the ultimate cycling kilometers to the Cape of Good Hope, through Cape Point National Park.

OTHER TRAVEL INFORMATION

We amply support the tour with local expertise and solid stuff: there is room for everyone in the overland truck plus the bicycles and luggage; large double tents; all camping equipment (you only need to bring a sleeping bag); a full field kitchen. Because of this we are prepared for all circumstances and self-sufficient, which gives 'Overlanding' that ultimate feeling of nomadic freedom.

As in all our journeys, we travel 4 to 6 hours a day by bike. The overland truck allows everyone to determine his own daily mileage. Often we continue the road - after lunch - for a while, so that we can cycle the most beautiful routes as well as cover the entire Windhoek -> Cape Town route in just more than three weeks. Depending on personal wishes, around 1,200 to 2,000 kilometers will be done by bike.

One of the main advantages of the Overlanding formula is the guaranteed variation, as we move faster on monotonous parts and we can concentrate on the most surprising cycling routes.

Rest days offer the possibility to visit places of interest and to let the body recover from the efforts made.

A fit body is sufficient, in principle our Overlanding trips do not require a pronounced top condition. The more you want to cycle, the more a good cycling condition comes in handy.

A lot of the road surface is asphalted, in Namibia we also often ride on (easily accessible) gravel roads.

The accommodations consist alternately of hotels and tents (± 60% of the nights we camp; five nights so-called 'bush camp' or wild camping).

The maximum group size is 18 guests.

April and May are considered the most beautiful months to travel and cycle through Southern Africa, the weather is then dry, sunny and pleasantly warm.

Because large parts of the route are unpaved, a mountain bike is the preferred bike. A randonneur without suspension, with thicker tires, is also possible; it is only sometimes less comfortable. Small gears are a requirement for the toughest/steepest parts. Virtually no bicycle material is for sale in many places. We have tools and a number of universal parts with us.

We have good mountain bikes from Cape Town for rent. The rental fee is 265 euros.

For Dutchmen and Belgians, only a passport is required, which is still valid for at least six months after departure from the country. Visas are not required.

With regard to vaccinations, the advice is: consult the GGD or a vaccination service in a personal interview. DTP and Hepatitis A are recommended in any case. Malaria risk exists somewhat above Windhoek (6-8 May). We consider the danger of rabies too small to be vaccinated, but this is a consideration that everyone can best make himself.
www.travelclinic.com is a very informative website about tropical diseases and vaccinations.

CYCLING SOUTHERN AFRICA, HOW LONG?

If you want to live outdoor for more than five weeks and experience southern Africa to the brim, then the perfect combination is that of  Zambia & Zimbabwe & Namibia & South Africa. Start on April 22 in Harare, arrival in Victoria Falls on May 3, fly to Windhoek on May 5 and start the above trip the next day. On 27 May you will have experienced a huge travel experience!

In principle you can hook in or out in many places, but a few points are the most obvious: Harare (Zimbabwe), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), Windhoek (Namibia), Swakopmund (Namibia), Cape Town (South Africa).

In 2020: Harare April 22, Victoria Falls May 5, Windhoek May 5, Windhoek May 9, Swakopmund May 13, Cape Town May 27.

PRICES CYCLING TOUR SOUTHERN AFRICA

Our combination of small groups, foreign areas and full care cannot possibly be low-budget. The use of a fully equipped overland truck - which moves us around 60% of the route - results in extra high transport costs. On the other hand, the price of participation covers almost all costs on the spot, because included are:

  1. all overnight stays
  2. the complete supply of drinks and food (except alcoholic drinks other than local beer and wine)
  3. our guidance (by bicycle)
  4. all transport & logistics between start and finish, naturally including that of the luggage during cycling
  5. all entrance fees; included are the guides.

Participation in the 23-day tour costs 3,195 euros per person. For those who make a part of the trip, the daily rate is 145 euros.

The supplement for a single room/tent is 425 euros.

We have good mountain bikes from Cape Town for rent. The rental fee is 265 euros.

For those taking part in the full Harare tour -> Victoria Falls & Windhoek -> Cape Town, we take care of the transport of bicycle and luggage between Vic Falls and Windhoek with the overland truck, we arrange the Victoria Falls -> Windhoek airticket and contribute 250 euros (the cost of Namibian Airlines, with early booking) to this. The total price comes to 3,195 + 1,925 = 5,120 euros. The eventual rental of a mountain bike then costs 360 euros.

In practice, pocket money spent will be less than 5 euros per day.

Optional is:

  • the cleaning, maintenance and repair of clothes and bicycle. In other words, in cycling terms: the care of mechanics and soigneur. This option costs 130 euros once, and then also applies to all future (hopefully many) Tropical Cyclist tours.

There are several airlines that offer 1 ticket that flies you to Windhoek and that returns you from Cape Town.

Een mogelijke deelname aan deze expeditie-achtige reis? tropicalcyclist.contact@gmail.com.

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Ton en Nynke
Ton en Nynke
1 jaar geleden
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Onze verwachtingen waren hoog gespannen maar deze fietsreis door Namibie en Zuid Afrika heeft deze ruimschoots overtroffen. We hebben genoten van de mooiste zonsop- en zonsondergangen, de prachtige sterrenhemel, romantische kampvuren , de fraaie locaties voor de bushcamps, 50 tinten zand in de woestijn, de spectaculaire vergezichten en niet te vergeten 7 neushoorns bij een waterpool zo’n 200 m van ons tentje.Dichter bij de natuur kun je niet komen. Als kers op de taart de rit naar Kaap de Goede Hoop langs de Misty Cliffs. Wat een topvakantie die tot in de puntjes verzorgd was.

Astrid
Astrid
1 jaar geleden
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‘Welke reizen heb jij al gedaan met Pascal?’ Het was een van de eerste vragen die de medereizigers elkaar vroegen. Niet zo gek als je bedenkt dat op zijn reizen gemiddeld 65% terugkerende gast is. Mijn antwoord: ‘Dit is m’n eerste, maar zeker niet m’n laatste.’

De vijf weken fietsen door zuidelijk Afrika waren onvergetelijk! Het was jaren mijn droomreis, maar de werkelijkheid overtrof de droom. Geen dag was hetzelfde, geen dag ging vervelen. Wat is Afrika groots en wat is het bijzonder dat op de fiets te beleven.

Het mooie van Tropical Cyclist (lees: Pascal) is dat degene die de reizen samenstelt ook degene is die de reizen begeleidt. Pascal weet waarover hij het heeft, hij is een fietser, maar waar ik hem het meest om bewonder is zijn organisatietalent, zijn heldere communicatie én zijn neus voor het vinden van prachtige en onvergetelijke plekjes en mensen! Respect!

Truus
Truus
11 maanden geleden
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Als ik vertel over deze mooie weken zijn dit de elementen die toch vooral voorbij komen:
Namibië: fascinerende ervaring met
– de zon: iedere zon op- en ondergang is adembenemend
– het licht: je eigen schaduwspel en die van je omgeving, het wijzigt ieder uur
– de wind: geen, mee en soms is het vechten met de elementen
– de stilte: luister na het gerammel van je fiets op het wasbord, sta (lang) stil bij helemaal niets
– de weg: zoek het beste spoor in het zand
– het zand: in veel samenstellingen, in honderden kleuren
– de weidsheid: links, rechts, voor, achter, eindeloos
geen moment willen missen…