First there was road biking, then came mountain biking and took the world by storm as it allowed us to cycle on gravel and single tracks. Now there is fatbiking ! A new sport so to speak as it allows you to go where no bicycle has been able to go before. Snow, sand, dunes, rocks – the fat tires provide a crazy amount of traction. If you have not been on a fatbike you have not cycled yet !! the freedom these bikes allows is insane …
Seven days through some of the most pristine and remote areas left on earth! Traverse the Namib desert on a fatbike. Cycle through dunes and on the beach, sleep out in the open, visit the forsaken remnants of the Diamand towns in the "Sperrgebiet", get close to shipwrecks on the skeleton coast, see seals and oryx and jackals where the Atlantic meets the dunes.
This bike trip is something to put on every cyclists “bucket list”. Not for beginners though. You need to have at least average bike handling skills, you need to be able to sit in the saddle for 8 hours on some days, you need to love nature and be able to handle whatever it throws at you (sandstorm, heat, cold, rain), you need to be able to dig deep, you need to love camping, the outdoors and most importantly – you need to love the desert and sand, lots and lots of sand !!
Rates & Departures 2018
Departures on request only
Min pax 6 and max pax 11
Tour Cost 2018:
6 pax: - N$ 61,105.00 per person
8 pax: - N$ 48,210.00 per person
10 pax: - N$ 40,470.00 per person
11 pax: - N$ 37,655.00 per person
Single supplement: N$ 515.00
FatBike Rental: N$ 4,050.00
- Airport transfers
- All meals and drinks (limited selection of beer and wine, tea / coffee, water, soft drinks) while camping.
- All equipment (tents, bedroll with pillow and duvet)
- Race food (limited)
- 1 night Beta D/B/B
- 7 nights camping with Namab Operations
- 1 night Swakopmund Guesthouse or similar B/B plus Dolphin Cruise.
- Mechanic/cycling guide.
- Lunch on day one – we stop at Kalkrand service station.
- Lunches and dinners at Swakopmund
Arrive Windhoek in the morning or the night before (own arrangements). Airport transfers will be provided.
We meet at Mannies Bike Mecca at 10h00am to test/setup bikes and load final equipment. Scheduled departure due south at 11h00am.
The road takes us to Rehoboth, Kalkrand (lunch stop for own account) and then onto gravel roads all the way to Beta. Expected time of arrival latest 17h00pm.
Check into our rooms. Dinner and briefing for next day.
Day 2 – 80km – 7 hours in the saddle
Breakfast at 06h30am. 07h00am depart for Kanaan gate. 08h00am get on our bikes and start riding.
Today’s riding is approximately 80km. We will stop for lunch at about 12h00. Although today is relatively flat, cycling on jeep track we do cross a few small dune belts – a first tiny taste of what the fatbikes are made for. With the wind probably on our noses and long (very long) false flats it is vital to hydrate well and eat enough.
Although “just” 80 km this first day could prove to be one of the toughest. The scenery is stunning though with vast open planes and mountains in the back drop.
Get into camp in the late afternoon. Grab your bedroll and pop-up tent and settle in. Cold beers/drinks and snacks, a crackling fire and hot showers are a perfect end to a long day. Dinner and reminiscenceabout the first day around the fire before we probably have an early night.
Days 3 – 70km – 7 hours in the saddle
Wake up at 06h00am. Breakfast at 06h30am. Pack your bags/bedroll, get bikes ready and be ready for departure at 07h30am.
The first 10-15 kilometers are a mixture of jeep tracks on hard surface and more and more soft sand as we get closer to the dunes. You will haveto cross a few dune belts and soon we do not see any jeep tracks anymore. We just find our way through vegetated dune sand.
Once we hit the larger dune belts it is great fun to navigate virgin red sands for 1-2 kilometers before we traverse wide dune streets, still with plenty of vegetation. The ostrich grass is predominant and will cause some pain and irritation as it draws blood from our shins and fingers.
We stop for lunch midday. Lunch is a spread of salad and breads, cold meats, cheeses, fruit, jams – buffet style. You make your own sandwiches.
This afternoon we head deeper and deeper into the dunes. Less valleys as the dune belts get closer stacked together. Awesome riding with fantastic scenery everywhere.
Same late afternoon procedure as the day before.
Day 4 – 65km – 6 hours in the saddle
Today might just turn out to be the most spectacular time you have ever spent on a bike. Until lunch we have an immense open playground.
As we navigate through the dunes we can play as much as we can or like. Slipfaces to go down, endless riding on the creastof dunes – just plenty of fun.
The best part is after lunch. We have about 15 km to go until we hit the Atlantic Ocean. We cycle through massive dunes but are dropping about 600 meters in altitude over 15 km. This peace will make you scream with delight. And then we hit the ocean at a place called “afklimbaai”.
From here we have another 15k due north on the beach (massive dunes on our right). These 15km can feel like 30 depending on the wind and your condition.
We get into Namab camp late afternoon.
Here we spend two nights. Fixed tents, proper beds, proper showers and shelter.
Day 5 - (no planned cycling)
Today is for rest if all goes well and to provide a buffer-day should we not achieve our daily target for whatever reason (weather, technical, fatigue …)
We can do some fishing, we can cycle in the dunes behind camp or we can just rest our bodies. This day is for everybody to construct as he/she pleases.
Day 6 – 100km – 7-8 hours
Wake up 06h00am. Breakfast 06h30am. Ready to depart camp 07h30am.
The first 10 kilometers we cycle on or on the edge of the dunes, the next 60 odd kilometers are flat and potentially fast if we do have the wind from behind. The landscape is very different to what we have seen before. We go past the old diamond towns on jeep tracks. Great opportunity to take pictures of some of the old ruins.
After lunch we have about 15 km of dune belt to navigate – the sand will be considerably softer this time and skills and legs will be tested. We get to conception water early afternoon and then have another 10 km to our overnight camp. The last kilometers are on the beach again. Where we set up camp will be dictated by the weather, either on the beach or somewhat into the dunes.
Day 7 – 60km
07h30am ready to depart camp as per usual.
We have about 20-30km of cycling either on the beach or in the dunes. The dunes are right next to the beach so depending on tide and personal preference we can do what we want. As long as we keep heading north all is well. We will stop at the famous shawny shipwreck for photos and to refuel.
As we get closer to sandwich we have to leave the beach and cycle somewhat inland through undulating dunes – endless sand as far as the eye can see. We will have an early lunch. After lunch we need to cover maybe 20km to our campsite which will be in one of those little enclaves with dunes to our left and right while facing the ocean. We should arrive early afternoon already. Great to spend time in camp, to take a walk, to take pictures and have a few beers.
Day 8 – 50km
Depart camp 07h30am
The first 20 km are through some of the highest and most spectacular dunes you have ever seen. There will be some pushing today. At times we are high on the dunes with sandwich harbour(and later the ocean) a few hundred meters below us – a stunning sight. We make our way down to the beach at sandwich harbour lagoon. From here we cycle about 15km along the famous “lange wand”.
We continue on the beach for some kilometers before we head inland to traverse large saltpans. If all goes well we hit the saltworks at Walvisbay by no later than 13h00pm. Here we are met by vehicles, we load up and drive the last 45 kilometers to Swakopmund by car.
Overnight: Swakopmund Guesthouse or similar. Dinner (On own account.)
Breakfast 07h00 am. Depart for Windhoek 08h00 am.
Transfer to Windhoek International in time for your outbound flight.