Editor’s note: A few months ago I got talking to the lovely Alexandra from Extraordinary Africa. They offer many experiences that honestly, all look amazing – the one that caught my eye is the mountain bike safaris. Curious about what living in Africa and running these amazing adventures was like, I asked her to write a bit about what she does. Here it is along with some fantastic pictures!
I’ve worked in the safari industry for eight years, and have been very firmly bitten by the Africa bug. Getting out into the bush is an adrenaline thrill like no other – whether it’s dodging hippos canoeing down the Zambezi or flying over eagle owl nests in a microlight. When I started safari-ing it was in a jeep, which was perfect for getting close-up shots – no-one wants to get too close to a lion without some serious metal in between you! However, this soon wasn’t enough, and on a trip to Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, I ended up on a mountain bike.
My guide, 20 years older than me, whizzed off to keep pace with some cantering zebras, while I puffed slowly along behind him. Two hours later, I was addicted. On a bike you feel part of the bush in a way that you never do in a vehicle. You can smell the dampness of the dust, keep pace with birds as they fly alongside you, and very definitely notice the size of an elephant when you get up close. You’ll trace leopard tracks in the dust instead of driving over them, and move with herds as if you’re another animal. Which in many ways you are.
Fancy a mountain bike safari? Go and have a gander!