Tour d’Afrique: Elephant Highway

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Victoria Falls marks the beginning of “The Elephant Highway,” perhaps the most popular section of the tour, and the first half of the classic Victoria Falls to Cape Town cycling route. After a quick spin to Kazungula, you cross the Zambezi River by ferry and enter the country of Botswana, whose mineral resources and democratic government have made it one of Africa’s biggest success stories. At our 1st campsite in Kasane, the Chobe River boat cruise – where you slowly coast up and down stream past herds of elephant, crocodiles, hippos and lots of other wildlife – is a must-do.

The next week features the longest and flattest cycling days on the tour including six centuries (100 miles) in seven days of riding. Fortunately, you will also be riding through one of the most impressive wildlife habitats on the planet. Botswana is home to some 110,000 elephants that roam through the Kalahari and Chobe National Parks. Don’t be surprised if you have to stop on a highway to allow a family of elephants or a solitary male Bull Elephant to cross at a safe distance!

After camping near the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve you arrive at northern Botswana’s largest town, Maun, for a rest day when you can take a dugout canoe or a small plane ride into the Okavango, the world’s largest inland river delta. The cycling then continues along the Trans-Kalahari Highway, including “the Longest day” at 208 km, towards the border of Namibia, a country whose stunning arid landscapes are one of the world’s best kept secrets.

This section ends in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, a modern, cosmopolitan city that lies in the middle of the country. Here riders can enjoy fabulous beer, great restaurants, a blend of southern African and German cultures, and some amazing shopping.

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