Those joining African Spokes for our second leg will meet up at the Sakina Campsite in Arusha on 21/3/18. This stretch of the trip will take us south of Arusha. The red-cloaked Maasai tribesmen will be your constant companions as you spin along roads with relatively little traffic, keeping an eye out for zebra and giraffe.
At Babati we'll trade the tarmac for several challenging days of ascents and descents – the Maasai Steppe – mostly on rougher gravel and sandy roads. The friendliness of the villagers, the roadside banana stands, and the sheer beauty of this unique and verdant land ensures that come rain or shine, this stretch will be one of the most memorable on adventure. Two of highlights will be cycling past Rungwa Game Reserve and 1300 meters to the the ‘World’s End’ viewpoint before speeding down 800m into the border town.
Once you set out from Mbeya, you will cycle into Tanzania’s breadbasket near Tukuyu, where undulating verdant hills teem with tea plantations and banana and avocado trees. The scenery is breath taking as you start whizzing down the long descent into the Rift Valley, towards Lake Malawi in the distance.
After crossing into Malawi the adventure follows the shoreline past fishing villages to Chitimba Beach, which has been a haven for African overlanders. Malawi is especially well known for its skilled hardwood carvers, and here you’ll find a large crafts market with beautifully made walking sticks, chairs, “trees of life,” and other carvings. Whatever you do – whether it be swimming, wandering down the beach, socializing in the bar-restaurant, or just reading a book - Chitimba Beach offers a wonderful two-day respite from the journey.
]Malawi’s altitude moderates what would otherwise be a tropical climate. Riders can expect high humidity along the lake, and temperate days on the plateau, with a few heavy showers, some lighter rainfall, and periods of intense sunshine. By the time the adventure reaches Lilongwe in early April the end of the rainy season should be near.
Details: Arrive no later than 4pm on March 21st. The 28th of March and 3rd of April are rest days. For those leaving the trip, the 4th of April is a transfer day to Lilongwe to catch flights on the April 5th or after. (Last night's accommodation provided is 4th April in Lilongwe.)