|Saturday 30 October|
|Overnight flight from London to Maun, Botswana with a short layover in Johannesburg.|
|Sunday 31 October|
|Arrive in Maun, the safari capital of Botswana on the edge of the famous Okavango Delta and Moremi Game reserve. It’s been a long journey, so after a late afternoon bike fitting, it’s an early dinner and full briefing on the challenge ahead.
|Monday 1 November • Maun to Leopard Plains, Boteti|
|After a wholesome breakfast, we leave Maun and head out into the heartlands of Botswana on good paved roads past the town of MTOPI and along the edge of the Makgadikgadipans National Park towards Leopard Plains and our first night – a mix of lodge and camping facilities. Leopard Plains is a working wildlife ranch on the edge of the Nxai Pan National Park with good quality facilities. The clear star lit skies of Botswana often devoid of rain 10 months of the year, makes camping extremely popular and comfortable in this part of the world with our overnight facility enjoying Wifi and a comfortable lounge/dining room. Over the planned 89km you will ride on slight inclines, gentle downhills and flat roads with a total height gain of 400m and a good chance of seeing farm cattle ranches and zebra.
|Tuesday 2 November • Leopard Plains, Boteti to Planet Baobab, Nr Gweta|
|Leaving Leopard Plains, it’s a long day in the saddle on good road with a lunch stop at the entrance of the Nxai Pans National Park. Heading out towards Planet Baobab, we’re cycling open national park land, entering elephant territory where giraffe, zebra and buffalo freely roam.
Reaching Planet Baobab, one of the most inventive lodges in the country, we’re in twin chalets and comfortable style safari tents, with a huge open air central lounge area to relax in and view the stars.
|Wednesday 3 November • Planet Baobab, Nr Gweta to Nata|
Cycle 96km (plus 1 hr transfer to Elephant Sands)
|Another long day on the bike, leaving Planet Baobab and heading towards NATA town. There’s a bonus of a great ice cream/coffee stop on the way and a cooling dip in the pool of our lunchtime stop at Nata Lodge. Refreshed, it’s a 1hr transfer to ELEPHANT SANDS, one of the main highlights of this challenge - an exceptional location where elephants and other wildlife visit the waterhole to refresh themselves at the salt lick, viewed from the safety of a relaxed public lounge area.
|Thursday 4 November • Elephant Sands, Nata to Panda Camp|
|There’s a big day of cycling ahead of us as we ride 150km, but the sun is at last behind us and there’s often a tail wind to help us on the way. It starts early at 7am with a few gentle ups and downs, where you may see elephant in the distance. Good, large road verges and giraffe plus Springbok beside the road and we enjoy the contrast of the last 20km cycled through huge commercial farm lands - stretching into the horizon with sun flower and food crops grown - towards the town of Pandamatenga. It’s a second night of good quality camping – the best way to experience Africa in the comfortable climate and starlit skies enjoyed most of the year. Great refreshment stops today, with a real sense of achievement from a tough day of cycling. 597m/600m of height gain over flat but slightly gentle hilly roads.
|Friday 5 November • Pandamatenga to Kazangulu-Kasane|
|Another 7am early start today heading towards Kazangulu and Kasane. Kazangulu is the only place in the planet where four countries meet in such close proximity – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and is where the Chobe River meets the mighty Zambezi River - close to Victoria Falls (one of the 7 wonders of the world). Height gained today will be in the region of 500m only, but it’s an enjoyable cycle on fast road as we aim to finish mid afternoon and celebrate our achievements.
|Saturday 6 November|
|With masses of optional activities to choose from, there’s an opportunity to take a safari in Chobe National Park, a day trip to Victoria Falls or a sunset cruise on the Chobe river to view the bird and wildlife. There’s so much to do in Zimbabwe /Livingstone/ Zambia; white water rafting, helicopter flights, walk with lions or bungy jumping. Visit the famous Victoria Falls bridge, watch the sunset from a steam train or have tea at the Vic Falls Hotel – historically frequented by British Royalty over the years.|
|Sunday 7 November|
|Transfer from the hotel back to Kasane airport for the return journey home.|