Southern Africa Mountain Biking and Safari – Zululand to Mozambique
9 days
From $ 8999
Duration9 days

An 9-day mountain biking safari and nature adventure from South Africa’s Zululand to the wild beaches of Mozambique. On mountain bikes, we explore KwaZulu-Natal, biodiversity hotspot and homeland of the Zulu people. The Valley of a Thousand Hills cradles us as we pedal past primeval granitic domes, and along farms, acacia forests, and meandering rivers. We visit ancient subtropical “sand forest,” the iSimangaliso wetlands, and Lake St. Lucia, a UNESCO World Heritage site. For two exhilarating days in a private reserve, we seek the Big 5—lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant on a classic safari. Village gatherings and a traditional South African braai (barbeque) connect us to the region’s vibrant culture. Finally, we behold the unspoiled beaches of Mozambique on an epic ride down the coast. We snorkel with bottlenose dolphins and relax at a paradisiacal seaside retreat—think infinity pool and Indian Ocean sunset—bringing our journey to a beautiful end.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 9 days
    Service level: Standard
  • Physical Grading: Average
  • Ages: 18+
Southern Africa Mountain Biking and Safari – Zululand to Mozambique - Tour Map


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Day 1: Welcome to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Our journey begins at King Shaka International Airport in Durban, major harbor city and cultural mélange of South Africa. Upon arrival, we are met by our expert guides and whisked off to a boutique guesthouse nearby. Dropping our bags, we head down to the beachfront to test our bikes on the long promenade. Feel the sea breeze and beach vibe of this bustling city with deep historical significance. Dinner included.
Cycling: 10 miles with minimal elevation gain/loss.
Meals: D
Day 2: Mountain biking in Zululand.
This morning we set off with our guides into the valley of a thousand hills. The road winds as we drop into the river valley. Rondoval huts and small holder farms fill the flats and tall granitic domes jut from green hillsides of acacia trees. Jumping on our bikes we soak up the scenery, hearing the satisfying crunch of earth under our tires as we follow the river roads. Here and there we break off to follow gentle single track through meadows and past school children, livestock and everyday life in this picturesque country backwater. After a picnic lunch, we walk to a small village, stopping to check in with community leaders and learn the histories of this area. Overnight in classic safari style canvas tents (each with en suite bathrooms and electricity) and enjoy a traditional South African braai or barbeque. All meals included.
Mountain Biking: 3 hours; 21 miles; elevation gain/loss: 1,300’/2,950’; walking; 2 hours; Driving; 3 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: Paddling, mountain biking and transfer to the KwaZulu-Natal coast.
Join the local crew club out on the lake for an early morning paddle, or choose to take an extra snooze this morning. After breakfast we're off on another ride, this time next to a large riparian zone where we may encounter some birdlife as we ride. Afterwards, our guides will pack up the bikes and we depart for our next destination – the diverse terrain of iSimangaliso Wetland Park and rugged wilds of Hluhluwe Umfolozi, one of the oldest reserves in South Africa. Our intimate lodge is set amongst indigenous “sand forest” with a network of trails and cycling paths leading out. Enjoy the stunning view at sunset overlooking the Hluhluwe River and Lake St. Lucia. All meals included.
Mountain Biking: 3 hours; 21 miles; elevation gain/loss: 1,475’/1,300’; Optional paddling: 1.5 hours; Driving; 2 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Dune Forest biking and wildlife safari at a private reserve.
We set off this morning on a gentle trail ride, working our way through sandy forests to the waters of Lake St. Lucia. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this protected section of Lake St. Lucia is wild and features rare indigenous sand forest. Keep an eye to the water’s edge for cruising crocs, sunning hippos and an abundance of birdlife. After lunch we’ll make our way north to the massive 30,000 hectare Munyawana wildlife conservancy. What's an African adventure without safari? This afternoon we join local safari guides in search of black and white rhino, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a host of other species that inhabit this impressive conservancy. Overnight at a safari lodge. All meals included.
Mountain Biking: 3.5 hours; 12 miles; elevation gain/loss 300’/300’; Driving 2 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Full day wildlife safari.
Today is spent in search of the majestic wildlife of South Africa. We head out into the bush early this morning, the best time to catch animals when they are most active. Our professional safari guide knows the terrain and its denizens intimately. Their knowledge helps shape a more complete picture of the unique animal behaviors and ecological dynamics on display. We return to the lodge for a full brunch and some poolside relaxation. Later this afternoon, we’ve the option to go out once again in search of the big five. Overnight at a safari lodge. All meals included.
Safari: 6-8 hours.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Ride into Mozambique and take in the beach vibe.
Bem vindo Mozamibque! Driving north this morning, we cross the border into Mozambique and continue on our bikes. A network of trails span out through a rolling patchwork of grasslands, dune fields and coastal forests. Our ride concludes at a funky little beach town where we have a laid back lunch and rest our legs. The remainder of the day we are free to relax and explore the town. Dinner tonight is on our own. Don’t miss out on sampling the spicy peri peri sauce! Overnight at a beach side guesthouse. Breakfast and lunch included.
Mountain Biking: 2 hours; 12.5 miles; elevation gain/loss 350’/500’; Driving: 3.5 hours.
Meals: B, L
Day 7: Snorkel with dolphins and beach biking to paradise.
We push off the beach in a zodiac this morning for a chance to witness the bay’s playful coastal inhabitants – bottle nose dolphins. After returning to shore for hearty breakfast, we then head up the coast for the last and most unforgettable ride of our journey. Beginning in the inland sand forests of Maputo Elephant Reserve, we make our way towards the coast before turning south to ride side by side with crashing waves. Timed with the low tide, the expansive Mozambique beach is our open road and play field. The ride concludes at a stunning seaside retreat. Individual chalets feature expansive ocean views and offer us a final respite to rest our legs and let the full breadth of our adventure soak in. The remainder of afternoon is at leisure. Enjoy the infinity pool or a swim in the ocean. Overnight at a luxury beachfront resort. All meals included.
Snorkeling: 1 hour; Mountain Biking: 2.5 hours; 11 miles; elevation gain/loss 330’/165’.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: Soak in the sun at a Mozambique beach retreat.
Today is open for relaxation or choose to partake in any number of offered adventures through the resort (at additional cost). Join a snorkel or SCUBA outing to the stunning pinnacle reefs, game drive in nearby Maputo Special Reserve, horseback ride on the beach or relax your muscles with a massage or spa treatment. Overnight at a luxury beachfront resort. All meals included.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 9: Fly to Johannesburg, South Africa and departure.
Bid the beach farewell! This morning we transfer to the Maputo Airport where we bid our guide farewell before flying on to Johannesburg, South Africa. Arrive in Johannesburg by early afternoon, with plenty of time to catch connecting international flights. Breakfast included.
Meals: B



  • Double-occupancy accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • transfers as noted in itinerary including group airport transfers
  • meals as noted in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guide
  • daily excursions/activities and associated gear as noted in the itinerary
  • Accommodation

    Guesthouse, 2 nights, Classic Tented Camp, 1 night, Lodge, 3 nights, Resort, 2 nights

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