This 13-day cycling trip through Kenya will have you pedaling through the Maasai Mara and making your way to the white sand beaches of Diani. Along the way, you'll get to meet the women of Zawadisha, glamp in safari tents, make lasting memories with new friends, and be wowed by the wildlife.
Cost: $6,000 - $6,500
Dates: June 28th - July 10th, 2024
✔️ All meals, including a special welcome and farewell dinner
✔️ Accommodation in higher-end safari lodges plus one night of glamping under the stars (double occupancy)
✔️ Highly qualified local guides
✔️ Support vehicles
✔️ Entrance fees to Maasai Mara National Park
✔️ Wildlife game drives
✔️ Dancing, basket weaving, and community visits with Zawadisha
Fun level: ALL-TIME HIGH
Impact: Out of this world! All proceeds benefit Zawadisha's micro-lending program in Kenya that you'll get to see IRL!
Read this please: Please note that airfare is not included. You will need to purchase that separately. The payment you make today is to reserve your spot. You will be invoiced for the remaining payments once your participation is confirmed. Travel insurance is required. We are committed to creating a safe space for all participants and as such have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, intimidation, and/or verbal/physical abuse.
DAY 1, June 28th: Karibu Kenya! Meet your fellow riders IRL, visit the Village Market Mall to stock up on any last minute needs, and join us for an afternoon orientation in Nairobi before you are treated to an incredible Ethiopian dinner and hotel stay.
DAY 2, June 29th: Drive across the great Rift Valley and into the Loita Hills at the edge of the Maasai Mara; end the day with a warm-up loop through the forest around your tented camp
DAY 3, June 30th: 80km riding with 60km of a not-to-be-missed downhill through the hills on single track; finish the ride at Simba Oryx camp on the edge of the Maasai Mara National Park
DAY 4, July 1st: Easy morning downhill ride through the Siana Conservancy and along the National Park boundary. Stop for a soda and to check out the hippo pools along the way before finishing at Aruba Camp. In the afternoon we swap the bikes for a 4x4 open-sided Landcruiser and head out for a half-day safari in the National Park with the aim of seeing the Big 5.
DAY 5, July 2nd: On this incredible wildlife day riding between the National Park and Mara North Conservancy, expect to see a large array of animals. We cross the Mara River and climb up the escarpment to Siria Camp. This beautiful luxury tented camp offers incredible views over the National Park and the route you have just ridden. Bikes will be packed and sent on to Tsavo for the next leg of riding.
DAY 6, July 3rd: Depart the Mara in the morning for a half-day drive back to Nairobi. Relax at the hotel and enjoy a meal at one of Jen's favorite restaurants.
DAY 7, July 4th: An early start gets us to the Standard-Gauge Railway for a four-hour train ride to Voi, the closest town to the rural community where Zawadisha calls home. Transport to the luxury Hildana Safari Lodge for an evening game drives and an amazing sundowners.
DAY 8, July 5th: Ride through the sisal estate to Maungu the back way on an old trading route. You will be greeted by the women of Zawadisha and spend the evening at the remote Kivuli Camp in the Tsavo Conservancy. Keep your eyes peeled for more elephants, giraffes, and zebra on the drive to the camp and your ears open for late night lion roars.
DAY 9, July 6th: Spend the day learning about life in rural Kenya from the women of Zawadisha. You'll travel into the community, visit a homesteads, and meet the Neema Women's Group. Bring your box of tissues and some extra cash for those handmade baskets ;)
DAY 10, July 7th: Depart Zawadisha, with a short drive in the morning to get to the Shimba Hills. These ancient volcanic hills are some of the most mysterious in Kenya, home to a lost mountain rhino herd and unique species. Spend the evening at the Shimba Hills Lodge, overlooking the countryside with incredible views.
DAY 11, July 8th: On the final day of riding, we descend downhill. As the air gets more humid, we pass through Swahili villages and arrive at the Indian Ocean. A cocktail on the beach brings our journey to a close with the team dancing the night away under coconut trees.
Day 12, July 9th: Say goodbye to your Savage Wilderness team as they head back to Nairobi, leaving you to enjoy some well-deserved rest in a tropical, coastal paradise.
Day 13, July 10th: Travel back to Nairobi via train or plane and prepare to fly home. Or allow us to help you plan the second leg of your incredible adventure through Kenya. You've come all this way -- why leave so soon?
Do I need to be an expert cyclist or have ridden long distances before? Nope! You will need to feel comfortable riding at a moderate pace, around five hours per day at 15km per hour. We'll be facilitating Strava challenges for us to train together before the trip.
How many people are going? A maximum of 12 people will be on this trip. We will all have a chance to get to know each other before the trip through optional monthly Zoom calls. Anyone regardless of identity is welcome to join us; we will be centering the experiences of women, non-binary, and trans participants.
I'm afraid of holding the group back -- should I still come? YES! We will be able to split into different guided groups so people can go at their own pace. We also will have a support vehicle in case you'd like to ride shorter distances each day.
Do I need to bring my own bike? No, there will be front-suspension mountain bikes available for you to rent at $25 per day of cycling (7 days total). However, bringing your own bike is not as difficult as you might think! We recommend front-suspension mountain bikes unless you are an experienced gravel cyclist.
Will I have to carry my own stuff on my bike? No. We will have a support vehicle that will transport all of your personal items.
What will accommodation be like? We will stay in mid-range, comfortable hotels walking distance to food and shopping in Nairobi. There is one night of glamping in the Mara. All other lodging will be in safari lodges until we reach the coast, where we will stay in a private home on the beach.
And meals? It's delicious, nutritious, and filling :) All meals will be prepared for you, and we can accommodate dietary needs.
Who's organizing this trip? Jen Gurecki, the founder of Zawadisha, is organizing this trip in collaboration with Savage Wilderness Safaris. The Savage family (yes, that is their surname) and their team have been facilitating school groups and private tours for more than 20 years. In fact, Jen cycled across Africa with James Savage in 2018.
How do the payment plans work? We will work with you to set up a payment plan. You will need to pay the full amount before the trip starts. You also can pay the full amount at one time if that is more convenient.
What about the donation/fundraising part? We will create a fundraising platform like this one from our 2022 cycling trip that makes it easy for you to raise tax-deductible donations for Zawadisha. If you choose the $3,500 rate, you are required to fundraise at least $500. We do encourage everyone to fundraise so that we can make the most positive impact in the lives of the women we serve.
What's your refund policy? You can receive a full refund up to six months before the departure of the trip. If you need to cancel within three to five months of the departure, we will provide credit for a future trip. There is no refund provided for cancellations within one month of the departure date. If we are not able to run the trip due to COVID-19 or other circumstances out of our control, we will reschedule the trip for 2025.
Want to learn more before you reserve a spot? Please contact us!