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7 Days Bilking Mount Usambara

Safari Overview

On this physically demanding cross-country bicycle ride we travel on dirt roads and forest paths across high ridges and along river valleys dotted with villages, proceeding from the northwest edge of the Usambara range to its southeast corner, where we reach the flat coastal plain that leads to the Indian Ocean.


Day 1: Arrival Kilimanjaro, transfer to Hotel

After arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport you are welcomed by your tour guide. And you will be transferred to Lushoto in Tanga. Drive from Kilimanjaro to the edge of the Usambara Mountains, which offer wide vistas, a cool climate, winding paths, and picturesque villages.

You will spend the remaining hours at the very nice and comfortable lodge in Mambo village.

Mambo is a small village with about 5000 inhabitants and in average, they have an income of less than a dollar a day. Development is still essential at all levels and in almost every aspect. 

However life is hard, people from Mambo are not pitiful, they work hard and try their best to make something out of it.

Approx. drive time: 4 hours

Day 2: Mambo Village to Mkuzi Village

Today’s ride takes us through multiple lush valleys and small villages into Shume, a former German colonial outpost where many of the early settlers’ buildings are still in use. Outside of Shume we have long ascents across two forested mountain ridges followed by a long descent into a densely settled valley.

Camping at Mkuzi village

Approx. distance: 61km cycling

Day 3: Mkuzi village to Kizara village

Start with a climb up a steep dirt track into the forest, eventually opening up to stunning views in all directions. From there we have a long descent through villages nestled on the mountain slope.

We continue over ridges with gentle drops to the fertile valleys below, and one long 5.5km uphill hugging a mountainside. The day’s ride ends at Bumbuli (42 km.) or 15 kilometers farther at Funta.

Load the bikes onto the trailer and drive 50 kilometers across the hot and dry Lwengera Valley. Camp is at the road’s end on the edge of the Nilo Nature Reserve.

Camping at Kizarai village

Approx. distance: 42km cycling

Day 4: Kizara Village to Amani Nature Reserve

The first several kilometers are on a dirt track through the dense forest of the Nilo Nature Reserve before opening out to views of the eastern Usambaras and a series of small villages along a mountain ridge.

We ride this ridge as we pass between villages, forests, and numerous tea plantations, strategically sited on steep mountain slopes. After a long downhill enter Amani Nature Reserve and the final kilometers uphill to our Emau Hill camp.

Camping at Amani Nature Reserve

Approx. distance: 38km cycling

Day 5: Amani Nature Reserve to Pangani

The final day covers the most distance, but is almost all downhill. Start with a gentle descent through dense tropical forest from Amani in the mountains to the gateway town of Muheza. Cross a tarmac road marking an abrupt change from lush mountain environment to coastal plain.

The soil is sandy, the scent of the sea is in the air, and the tropical heat intensifies. The coast is home to the Swahili people, whose livelihood comes from the sea, and whose villages have a distinctly different look and feel than those in the mountains. The Indian Ocean draws us along on this mostly flat section to our final destination at the beach.

Accommodation in a very comfortable hotel in Pangani

Approx. distance: 78km cycling

Day 6: Pangani

Day at your leisure to enjoy the beach and ocean.

Note: lunch and dinner not included.

Accommodation in a very comfortable hotel in Pangani

Day 7: Pangani to Kilimanjaro

Depart mid-morning for the six-hour drive back to Kilimanjaro to catch your flight home or continue on to your next adventutre.

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Price Includes

  • Accommodations (three nights lodging; three nights camping)
  • All meals during the tour (except on 6th Day)
  • Bottled water, coffee, teas, cocoa, milk, juices
  • Services of bicycle guide, camping crew, and sag wagon
  • Use of Mountain bicycle and bicycle helmet
  • All camping and dining equipment (excluding sleeping bag)
  • Transfers to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Moshi, or Arusha


Price Excludes

• Airfare
• Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and beverages in lodges
• Optional activities
• Optional treatments
• Personal expenses
• Tips and gratuities for safari guide and camp staff
• Travel insurance
• Visa and passport fees

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