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Malawi MTB Mission

Malawi Mountain Bike Mission

Come and join us for the second of our MTB Mission Series, this time to the warm heart of Africa, Malawi. Your guide, Adriaan Hefer, has travelled the globe seeking out the greatest adventure experiences, and this is rated amongst the very best. This is a real African bucket list experience, combining 5 days of cycling with 2 days of kayaking on the beautiful Lake Malawi.

The adventure starts from Lilongwe (1000m) before the 5 day cycle through the African bush, through dramatic scenery and including an exhilarating descent from the plateaux down the edge of the great Rift Valley to the shores of Lake Malawi. We transfer to Luwawa Forest Lodge where we setup our bikes and prepare for the International Luwawa Mountain Bike race the next day. That night we overnight at the lodge again before setting out the next day on the Luwawa Wilderness Trail – a 170km route that we will complete in 2 days.

The route follows an old ridge road through the pines and out onto the virgin grasslands of the high plateau and then descends through indigenous woodland. We then descend the African  rift lake escarpment with amazing panoramic views  and  down to Kawalazi Estate for the night. The next day the route climbs over an escarpment  through Chome tea estate and onto Vizara rubber estate to finish on the shore of Lake Malawi at Chintheche Inn where we overnight in luxury.The lake is the jewel in the crown of the Malawi’s tourist attractions. “Discovered” by the missionary-explorer Dr David Livingstone just over 150 years ago, this vast body of freshwater, fringed by beaches of golden sand, is a scenic wonderland. The warm clear idyllic water contains the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world, estimated at well over five hundred, and offers the opportunity for great snorkeling and scuba diving.

The next day we have the morning to chill and enjoy the lake before being transferred to Mua Mission where we overnight camping. The forth day of cycling takes us through awesome scenery to the Phirilongwe Forest Reserve where we over night camping again.

The last day of the cycle is an easy 90km ride down to the lake and then along the lakeshore to Cape Maclear, the home of Kayak Africa, situated in the Lake Malawi National Park. In 1980 the National Park became the first fresh-water marine reserve to be proclaimed on earth, and was declared a Natural World Heritage Site in 1984. At Cape Maclear we will overnight at Ghecko Lounge (www.geckolounge.net) and Mgoza Lodge (www.mgozalodge.com), and have a chance to have a couple of beers and a party night.

Don’t drink too much as we have a 10km kayak the next day, across the lake to the luxury camp on Mumbo Island, probably the highlight of the mission. Mumbo Island is a pristine and deserted tropical island. It has never been populated, and is still in its natural state with a thick covering of miombo woodland and ancient fig and baobab trees.

The waters around the island are clean and calm, and allow guests to enjoy sea kayaking, snorkeling and SCUBA diving. The island’s only mammals – Spotted-necked Otters – are remarkably playful and regularly join guests for a snorkel or swim. The tiny island camp, with capacity for only fourteen guests, features tastefully furnished tents with shaded decks, hammocks, hot bucket showers and ‘eco-loos’. The whole camp is built of timber, thatch and canvas, and is perched on high rocks overlooking the water, blending with the African bush to create a ‘Robinson Crusoe’ atmosphere of rustic charm. Mumbo Island Camp ranks amongst the finest in Malawi, and is a member of the prestigious Wilderness Safaris Portfolio.  See:http://www.kayakafrica.net/index.php?page=MUMBO

After a night on the island, we setoff back to Cape Maclear in our kayaks, for the final night in the village and our big farewell party.

We will be fully supported by a backup team and 4×4 vehicle that will transport all baggage, spares, water and food, as well as being responsible for the setup of our camp site and lunch spots, and preparing sumptuous meals for the cyclists. Three nights of the cycle are spent camping under the African sky, and the others at Luwawa Forest Lodge and the comfortable lakeside lodges.

The cycling route is challenging and requires a good level of fitness with distances of 55km, 110km, 60km, 85km and 90km over 5 days. It is mostly jeep tracks, single track and off the beaten track gravel roads that we will use to cover the 400 kilometres. Day two is the big challenge day with a long distance to cover including a very long descent down the rift valley.

Please email us for the cost per person and includes all flights (ex Johannesburg), accommodation and meals, guides, transfers and kayaking. Extras will include beverages, gifts and scuba diving. It is highly recommended that you bring your own mountain bikes and spares.

contact us for costs and planned dates or more info …

The trip is limited to a maximum of 14 riders, so please contact us on info@secretdestinations.co.za to secure a place on this awesome adventure of a life time.

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