One of the best undiscovered, emerging destinations for cycling is… East Africa?
Bet you didn’t see that one coming!
At SpiceRoads Cycling, we literally cycle the globe, searching for the best cycling in the world to offer our cycling-obsessed clients. And next up on our list of hidden gems is East Africa. This wild and raw natural paradise has so much to offer cyclists looking for a new experience, to get in touch with nature, and cycling unlike anything they’ve experienced before!
Read on to see some of the top reasons why you should go- and why we’re ready to bring you!- to East Africa for a cycling adventure.
1. Cycle on the wild side!
Outside of major cities, human development is small in scale, and most Africans live alongside fantastic nature that most of us can only dream of. You’re never far away from an amazing ride, a breathtaking view or both! And each ride offers a chance to witness some of the iconic wildlife that draws visitors to the continent.
Cyclists lucky enough to visit East Africa are spoiled for choice. Ride through unbelievable landscapes, through remote villages, vast savannahs, and primordial jungles. East Africa is without question the best and most majestic natural playground on earth, and there’s no better way to experience it than by bike.
2. Spot some of the best wildlife on earth.
If you’re interested in cycling East Africa, chances are you have a passing fascination with nature and wildlife. By far one of the biggest and best attractions to the region is its fantastic natural wonders and show-stopping lineup of top predators and prey. There’s a reason why they’re called “The Big 5.”
But keep your eyes open for other creatures and you’ll come away truly impressed with East Africa’s dazzling variety of wildlife. Uganda is known as a birders’ paradise, and draws amateur ornithologists from all over the world to get a chance to glimpse some of the largest, most beautiful, and most peculiar birds in the world. And don’t forget, a trek into East Africa’s mountain ranges gives you the chance to view one of our closest ancestors, the endangered Mountain Gorilla, in the wild.
3. Break some ground- be one of the only adventure tourists around!
Safaris- and their expensive lodges- have been drawing high-end guests to the continent for over a century, but this isn’t the only way to experience a vast and diverse region. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. The more people travel to East Africa and step outside the frame of a safari package, the more they see the incredible variety waiting to be explored by outsiders- and adventure travel is the perfect way to experience it!
While we prefer the unbelievable cycling of course- infinite singletrack over and across amazing landscapes!- hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking are all in the mix of the up-and-coming adventure travel industry in East Africa. While people slowly wake up to this idea of adventure, you’ll be one of the first to experience it- and have it almost all to yourself!
4. Change your mind about conventional ideas about East Africa.
Outsiders traveling to the continent are surprised to find more wealth, peace, and abundance in Africa than they are to find conflict, famine, and disease. Much of Africa’s population are simple farmers living off the land. What they lack in material possessions, they make up for in sincerity, curiosity, and generosity.
As you explore East Africa by bike, you’ll no doubt draw the attention of locals- many of whom just want to learn more about you, and get a chance to chat or just say “hello!” to the rare foreign visitor. And while you should always be careful and prepared for cycling adventures abroad, there’s no reason to let fear define your experience.
Many travelers have reservations about traveling to East Africa for holiday, much less a cycling holiday in East Africa. What they don’t know is that there are so many amazing attractions and surprises the region has to offer, that far outweigh any bad press coverage or popular perception. For the vast majority of travelers, East Africa is as safe a destination as any top tourist spot. Yet it has the benefit of being crowd-free and feeling like an undiscovered, natural paradise.