Horizon MTB – Big Five Cycling Safari

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The Horizon team normally known for its excellence in Horseback safaris is proud to announce the launch of Horizon MTB – Cycle Mashatu. Offering cycling safaris on the stunning Mashatu Game reserve in the heart of the Tuli Block. They are offering a luxury Safari as well as a 7 night Big Five cycling safari which in conjunction with their SA Waterberg partners allows them to cycle with all of the big five.

Four nights of luxury camping and thrilling rides through the African bush in search of wildlife and lifelong memories.

Based in the Northern Tuli Reserve of Botswana, the CycleMashatu Wilderness Trail provides a unique opportunity to ride at leisure along ancient elephant migration paths, cycle through vast herds of wildlife and to sleep under starlit Afri-can skies. Join us for this unforgettable wildlife biking experience in the Mashatu Game reserve, the “Land of the Giants”!

Horizon MTB—CycleMashatu offers a journey like no other; come join us for the ultimate African MTB experience. Our guides are passionate cyclists and specialist field guides going out of their way to ensure you have an extraordinary biking holiday experience. Catering for mixed groups and tailor-made tours, the pace, routes and distances are tailored to suit individual fitness levels and riding ability.

A relaxed ride will cover about 25km to 30km on a morning ride, with an elevation gain of maximum 100-150 meters. More advanced riders might cover up to 50km with an elevation gain of about 250 meters. The aim is to ride 3-5 hours per day at an easy-going pace with regular game sightings, and scenic picnic stops, but be prepared, the riding at Mashatu is deceptively challenging.

Day One: Guests are met at Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and transferred to Pont Drift Border Post Botswana (approx 6 hours), arriving in time for a late lunch. That afternoon you will be fitted to your bike before heading off on your first ride. This ride will be your first opportunity to see elephants. Mashatu is home to the largest free roaming populations of wild elephants on private land in Africa and you are almost assured of great viewing of these incredible creatures. You will arrive at our Two Mashatu’s Camp in time for sundowners and a chance to freshen up before supper.
Distance approximately 20km.

Day Two: The day begins at sunrise with tea or coffee around the campfire and a light breakfast. Today, your journey takes you through the heart of Mashatu to the ancient rock formations synonymous with the Limpopo Valley, before heading west on well-worn elephant trails. Ride through the “Valley of the Elephants” _to the banks of the Motloutse River where sandstone ridges provide a beautiful backdrop. Here you’ll find a lead-wood boma called the “Kgotla” _which is an old tribal court. This afternoon enjoy a game drive in the area surrounding Kgotla and end the after-noon atop one of the awesome rock formations with more sundowners as you look out over the Motloutse River. Back at Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent in the comfort of your bed set within the boma but with a ceiling provided by the southern skies, a truly unique experience and just about as far away from city life and the modern world as you can get.
Distance approximately 40km.

Day Three: Awake at dawn to freshly brewed coffee and a light breakfast, then kit up to explore unchartered landscapes. Today we discover why Mashatu is called the “Land of the Giants”;_ _exploring the amazing sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Some of the oldest civilisations in southern Africa had their settlements in this valley, their kings safely nestled in royal kraals at the tops of these flat-topped hills. The Mapungubwe topography is ancient and timeless. The route is a mixture of rocky outcrops, sandy riverbeds, and smooth flowing singletrack which has been carved by centuries of migrating elephants. Break for coffee and muffins en-route and arrive at your next camp in time for lunch. Tree Camp is a deck wrapped around the trunks of a giant mashatu and two ancient leadwood trees. It perches out of “trunks reach” overlooking the banks of the Majale River and offers spectacular panoramic views of the adjacent cliffs and floodplain where Mashatu’s legendary herds roam. Sleeping quarters are five beautiful and spacious canvas roofed areas with four poster beds. We finish off this day with the choice of a bush walk or game drive in the north west region of Mashatu.
Distance 25-45km, group dependent.

Day Four: An early rise and hearty breakfast is a good start before you set off to explore. Winding your way through the mopane and thornveld savannah, with the chance of spotting elephants, you will spend the day in excellent cycling country with some challenging riverbanks and rocky routes to add a bit of fun to the day. Return to Tree camp for lunch before enjoying a bush walk.
Distance 25-45km, group dependent.

Day Five: Today we have a short ride (one to two hours) arriving back at the reception boma at about 09:30 in time for a hearty brunch and a chance to shower before departing. Then it’s time to say farewell and prepare for the nostalgia to settle in…
Distance approximately 20km.

Cost: £320 per person per night.

Inclusions:

  • Accommodation.
  • All meals and beverages including wines and spirits.
  • Bikes and all equipment.
  • Game drives in the north west region and the far west region of Mashatu.
  • A conservation levy of $10.00 per person per night.
  • Laundry

Exclusions:

  • Airport transfers at £300pp (this includes group road transfers Johannesburg to Botswana and back).
  • Flights back to ORT can be added for an additional £300pp (minimum 2 people).

OTHER SAFARIS WE OFFER

The Big Five Safari -Combine three nights of singletrack riding with rhino and buffalo in the Waterberg, South Africa, with four nights of the Mashatu Luxury Safari, which offers the opportunity to see the remaining members of the big five: lion, leopard, and elephant. Runs for a minimum of two and a maximum of ten guests.

The Tailor-made Safari – Utilising a wide variety of accommodation options including nights at Mashatu Lodge or Tent Camp, this safari is for groups of between six and ten people and can be four to eight nights long. The safari is tailored to suit the group’s fitness levels and riding ability.

The Wilderness Safari – The Wilderness Safari is designed for groups of at least six. This rustic, three night safari starts every Friday and makes the perfect weekend getaway to ride through the mopane savannah and spot wildlife.

The Sacred Ride – This safari is exclusively available for cycling clubs and charitable organisations as a charity fundraiser only, details on application.