Most Inspirational Moment
Climbing Dune 40 to see the sunrise. Note we avoided Dune 45, said to be the biggest, on the advice of the group leaders recommendation, this was good advice as we avoided the crowds but still saw a great sunrise.
The trip to Etosha reserve is also a great experience, though we didn't see leopards or cheetah and only a single elephant.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Shane very friendly and personable, got on well with everyone and tried hard to keep the group on the same page when it came to cycling.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Read the small print on the trip notes - a sleeping bag is essential but this is only mentioned once on page 7 after the cycling essentials. Three of us had to buy sleeping bags at the destination and these aren't easy to find, the temperature really drops at night in March and will be colder in later months!
Take a bandanna to cover your face when cycling, some of the roads are very rough and dusty and passing 4x4's at speed set the dust flying.
Due to the daytime heat we finished cycling by 12:00 so very often had early starts, rising at 6:30-7:00 most days. Camping is described as full service, this means you get a tent and a sleeping mat and nothing else. Aside from the sleeping bag take something as a pillow and don't forget a towel!
The campsites don't have any illumination so you'll need a head torch and spare batteries. Away from Windhoek and Swakopmund there are no shops to buy basic essentials
Over the nine days cycling we averaged 30 miles per day, always finishing before lunch. The support bus is on hand with water and snacks, but our support cyclist wasn't up to the task, being a new starter on a bike. Cycling conditions are not easy - I've experienced a few Exodus cycling holidays and whilst there aren't any real hills on this holiday the cycling can be hard, so if you're not sure about your fitness, cycling in heat and on rough roads this holiday is probably not for you.
Cycling in the first week is uninspiring, we found it's lots of endless roads/tracks, some of the surfaces very poor and there is little or nothing to see, our expectations of wildlife didn't materialise when we were cycling at any stage on the holiday. The second week improves in terms of landscape and wildlife.
The trip notes were out of date! Aside from the missing emphasis on a sleeping bag, the promise of a trip to the Cheetah Conservation Centre on day 11 didn't arise and the overnight location had changed for day 7 with a disappointing replacement.