Sample Trip

Mountain Bike from Nairobi to the Masai Mara

“A serious 4-day ride all the way from Nairobi to the Masai Mara, mainly on single track dirt trails”

Budget level: Mid-Range
Country
Kenya
When to Go
All year
Duration
7 Nights
Safari Type
Camping, Lodge
Location
Masai Mara, Nairobi
Kids Min Age
12

Come and enjoy a ride from your hotel in Nairobi (Karen) to the Masai Mara. Experience quiet single-track footpaths, hard to reach off-road trails, and the occasional tarmacked road. An immersive way to experience Kenya and an excellent way to see the culture. Ride into the Great Rift Valley, through the Mara ecosystem and into the Greater Mara Plains. The heart of Old Africa!

This cycle trip can be custom tailored for all ages and rider experience. Whether you are interested in a semi-supported expedition or would rather traverse from luxury lodge to lodge, the cycling trips are great for all types.

At the start of the safari stay for a night or two in Karen, Nairobi, and enjoy the many activities and experiences on offer around Nairobi. There are a number of great accommodation options available in Karen with our favourites the House of Waine and Hemingways. Then get ready for the cycle trip of a lifetime all the way from Nairobi to the famous Masai Mara!

The 4-day mountain bike ride starts with an afternoon briefing in Karen Nairobi to familiarise you with your bike and equipment. A briefing and the overview of the itinerary will also be done at the same time. Early the next morning cycle out of town and onto the Great Rift Valley Escarpment for the start of a once in a lifetime adventure!

Over the next 4-days cycle around 100 km per day with vehicles supporting you all the way and camp overnight along the route in comfortable tents provided and setup by the crew. The camping can be done as a standard – or superior option, the standard requiring some participation and the latter providing a bit more luxury for those that prefer. Enjoy delicious meals prepared by the chef on open fire and chat about the adventures of the day with your fellow riders around the campfire.

Along the way you will get to experience the Maasai way of life and stopover at a Maasai cultural camp. On Day 3 the plains of the Mara will start to appear as well as the wildlife that calls this home.

On arrival in the south-east of the Masai Mara check into a safari lodge(s) of your choice and budget and enjoy 3 days (or more!) of fabulous safari time, some pampering and R&R after the ride of a lifetime! Depending on the time of year the Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara might be on so make sure not miss that!

Itinerary in Brief

1 Night Nairobi Hemingway’s Nairobi
1 Night at Mt Suswa, Great Rift Valley
1 Night at Maji Moto, Maasai Plains
1 Night Tanzania border, Masai Mara plains
3 Nights S-E Masai Mara Game Reserve

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

detailed itinerary

Check in at your hotel in Nairobi and in the afternoon meet your guides and the team that will support you. A guided discussion of general bike set-up and an opportunity to familiarize yourself with your bike and equipment. A briefing on the itinerary for the following days will be done after, as well as any Q&A’s.

There are many accommodation options in Nairobi but two of safariFRANK’s favourites are House of Waine and Hemingways!

Depart Nairobi early morning. Cycle out of the hotel towards the Ngong Hills and onto the Great Rift Valley escarpment. Drop into the Rift Valley (great decent!) riding towards and then up onto the crater rim of Mt. Suswa. A distance of 100km with vehicle support along the way and camping overnight at a convenient spot.

Ride off Mt. Suswa, heading west towards the Masai Mara. Travel across the Ewaso Nginro River and ride up out of the Rift Valley to Maji Moto, a Maasai cultural camp. This is a remote segment of the safari, so you will be supported by both a vehicle and a motorbike. The great plains and wildlife game start to appear, just magical! Total distance covered 110km.

Ride up through the Loita Plains and into the Loita Hills and Forest. A tough day with a lot of amazing views as we traverse the Loita Hills, virgin Cedars and Podocarpus forests as we head towards the Tanzanian border. A lot of riding without direct vehicle support, although periodic check-ins will take place for water refills and feeding fuel-ups. Distance covered between 80-120km depending on the group.

Continue riding towards the Mara leaving through the forests and heading towards the open plains. A total of 60-100km travelled depending on the group. Located on the plains and inside a Masai Mara conservancy is the final destination the safari lodge and the end of the cycling portion of this safari.

Saying goodbye to your bikes and cycling guides, the rest of the safari is centred around game drives and animal viewing in the Masai Mara. Several lodges can be used such as Cotters Camp 1920s, Enkewa Camp, Instinct of the Mara, Olarro Lodge and Plains, or Fisi Camp, there are lots of choices depending on your preference and budget.

Continue with your Masai Mara safari and do game drives and possibly even bush walks provided by the lodge where you are staying. Depending on the timing the Wildebeest Migration might be and you wouldn’t want to miss that!

After an early morning breakfast transfer to the local airstrip and fly back to Nairobi for you connecting flight home, or your next destination.

The cost for the cycling/camping leg of the safari is: Standard trip is USD 1150 pp and the Superior trip USD 1500 pp, based on a min of 4 participants. This does not include the pre-night in Nairobi, or the lodge stay in the Masai Mara, or the flight back from the Mara to Nairobi.

The Standard option requires some participation from the guests such as putting up and taking down the tents and washes will be in buckets. The food is good but a bit more basic than the Superior trip. For the Superior trip the crew will put up and take down the tents, there are better showers, a larger variety of food and drinks, including beers and house wines.

Included: accommodation is camping for 3 nights/all food, snacks, water, drinks, soda and beer/guides & instructors/park, conservation & camp fees/bikes, but you are welcome to bring your own/flying doctor(Amref).

Excludes: visas/international or local flights/accommodation in Nairobi and the Masai Mara/personal effects/medical insurance.

Availability: Safaris are available all year, inquire about specific times or seasons.

It is likely you will be getting hot, sweaty, muddy, dusty and possibly a bit wet!

Pack as though you will face most of the elements. Guest should bring all personal effects and equipment prior to the cycling safari. The operator can provide additional necessities if requested such as helmets, or gloves etc. at an additional cost.

1 x Waterproof jacket
1 x Trainers/shoes
5 x Socks
5 x Pairs of underwear
1 x Sandals, or similar for showers and relaxing
5 x T shirts
1 x Short/Long sleeved shirt, for evenings
2 x Pair of light weight trousers and shorts
1 x Comfy warm evening wear, evening temps could drop to 15 degrees Celsius
1 x Sun hat/baseball cap
1 x Sunglasses
1 x Sunscreen, factor SPF 30+
1 x Simple wash kit (toiletries)
1 x Torch and spare batteries, head torch ideal, but any will suffice
1 x Swimsuit t& travel towel
1 x Towel
Good book for the evenings
Cards/travel game
Camera
Wet wipes
Hand sanitizer
Covid mask
No suite cases, only soft-shell duffle bags for the internal flight from the Mara
Sleeping bag and pillow on the Standard trip

Cycle helmet, no helmet = no ride, but the operator can provide one
Cycle gloves
Frame bag or ruck sack, for carrying your day gear and water
4 Sets of cycle cloths, 2 minimum as these can be washed for you
Water bottles/bidons, camel back, 2 litres of water minimum to be carried, 4 preferable
Waterproof jacket
First aid kit & after sun cream
Chamois cream
Cycling shoes
Cycling glasses, if not use your sunglasses, a must have

If you are bringing your own bike, or have the following and want to bring it please do:

Bike in a travel bag/box
Bottle of chain lube
Multi tool
Derailleur hanger for YOUR bike
Brake pads for YOUR bike
Spare chain for YOUR bike, what speed your bike is? 10/11/12 speed?
Spare cleats for YOUR pedals
Have your bike well/fully serviced before flying to Kenya

when to go

janfebmaraprmayjunjulaugsepoctnovdec
Masai Mara GoodGoodGoodMixedMixedGoodBestBestBestBestGoodGood
Nairobi GoodGoodGoodGoodGoodGoodBestBestBestBestGoodGood
Best = Best Good = Good Mixed = Mixed

Ready for a long distance MTB ride to the Masai Mara? Talk to us!

Contact safariFRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!