Bicycle Africa bicycle tour, adventure travel

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Comments & Testimonials: East Africa

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Comments and Testimonials from past participants.... 

Eritrea/Ethiopia  /  Tanzania  /  Uganda  

Ed Note: Due to media reports on problem spots in Africa, perhaps you are a bit hesitant to bicycle there. As a responsible company specializing in Africa, we would like to ease your mind. While Africa is not without its problems, we are very selective about where and when we travel. The general information on Africa misrepresents how safe, serene and welcoming the continent as a whole has been and continues to be.  Let our past participants tell you what they experienced.  References are available on request, email us at: "[email protected]" our domain name.

Uganda

"Your Uganda trip is absolutely wonderful! Some of the most enjoyable cycling I've ever experienced."
Cindy R. (3 program participant)

"I confess on the ride out of Uganda I had to fight back tears -- I was really sad to leave, and I guess the realization hadn't hit me until then. It took me several days to adjust to home -- physically, mentally and emotionally... I still haven't absorbed everything about the trip, but I can honestly say it was the best thing I've ever done. And do it again, I will. I must thank you for a most excellent job in guiding."
Eric M. (multiple tour participant)

"Uganda has a nice mix of wildlife and cultural/educational opportunities."
Heather A. (4 program participant)

"Uganda (my birthplace!) was a real eye opener and great fun; amazing wildlife, breathtaking sceneries and friendly people. Will definitely be looking to go on another trip with Bicycle Africa."
Ajay M.  (2 program participant)

"Uganda is a great place.  Patrick is a great guide ... very organized and informative leader. When we were riding or sitting in the bus he would point out various agricultural activities and at meals he would discuss the history of the region. Further, he always made sure that we knew how to communicate in the different languages as we cycled from one place to another."
Jill K.  (multiple tour participant)

"First off, it was amazing. As you know it's hard to sum up experiences like that. The trio had a wonderful time and Il has ordered me to do the Mali trip next. Sounds good to me! You are lucky to have Patrick -- he was extremely helpful, flexible, and informative. He went out of his way to teach us about the history of each area as well as some [local language] phrases to make us seem less moronic."
Rosie P.

"I guess for me [the best part was] the couple of days in Queen Elizabeth and Kibale National Parks (seeing all the wildlife especially the elephants crossing the road) and the scenery especially on the last few days towards the end. Also the cultural side of the trip, meeting local people and the visits to the tea factory, hospital and orphanage were amazing. With these extras it made it more than a cycling trip."
Declan R.

"Great cultural experience – good connection with the people. Much better than watching people through a bus window and talking with compatriots in an isolated/sterile environment.  Even though it was difficult at times, connecting with the people – eating their food, living in their communities, riding their buses, biking along their roads. I have a profound respect for the physical strength, patience and dignity of the people as a whole, and the individuals we met were unfailingly respectful, helpful, charming, curious, and welcoming. I also especially enjoyed riding through the Queen Elizabeth game park on bike and the boat tour there.  Patrick was fantastic. He answered all our questions with patience and honesty (I thought), was flexible and resourceful, had a good sense of humor, took our enjoyment seriously, and listened and responded well to our feedback."
Karen S. (multiple tour participant)

"Overall, the program provided an excellent opportunity to travel through the rural villages and countryside of Uganda. . . The social/cultural events were excellent and we benefitted from the opportunity to stay at an orphanage, visit a tea plantation and tour a hospital. People were extremely hospitable and allowed us to engage in the activities at these stops."
Virginia T and Wilson W.

"On the whole the program was very good. ... I experienced Africa, Uganda, on the ground, at eyeball level with real people which is what I wanted."
Paul L.

"The cultural experience was rich and provocative. It opened my heart and my eyes."
Janet S.

"The trip was fabulous.  Patrick explained how to greet people in the various areas we traveled through. This was invaluable, and over and over again turned blank stares in to smiles, laughter, and connection. The mode and style of travel by its nature encouraged the kind of person to person contact that makes it possible for peoples from different cultures to relate to each other. This was wonderful."
Shelly A.  (2 program participant)

"I had a blast. As someone who had traveled and adventured all over the world, this trip was at the top of my list of best trips I have taken. I felt as safe as one could feel in the developing world."
Gary S.

"Just letting you know we're safely back in Kampala after a fantastic time exploring Uganda. Soph and I were very happy with the tour, and thought Patrick did an exceptional job as tour leader. He showed great initiative and was very helpful along the way...."
Tim K.

"Good mix of meet ups with local people through hospital, tea factory, orphanage, etc, with Queen Elizabeth National Park, Chimpanzee tracking, and village hotels."
Penny W.

"Patrick was excellent."
John T.

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Eritrea/Ethiopia

"Your Eritrea tour totally rocked and I wouldn't change a thing...except perhaps forcing future participants to bike from Masawa to Asmara. I'm still kicking myself for not doing it...Great combination of urban/rural experience and itinerary structure/flexibility...I felt constant mental stimulation during the entire trip...The program had the right amount of organization.  Less organization would be stressful.  More organization would take some of the fun away.  It was tons of fun and I felt safe...I can’t even count the number of times random people approached me to have tea or to simply go for a stroll and chat. "
Jill K.  (multiple tour participant)
[Note: The ride from Masawa to Asmara is a beautiful 8000 foot climb in 65 miles.  Most people take the bus and we won't take the suggestion of forcing people to bike it.]

"Eritrea is probably my favorite African country and certainly the easiest to visit because of the people."
Alan P. (5 program participant)

"I loved the cycling. The roads were great, the traffic not too heavy, and the drivers generally patient."
Sue H.

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Tanzania

"I enjoyed everything; the bike rides, meeting people, the coast."
John D.

"I liked the balance on the trip of Zanzibar, bicycling, climbing Kilimanjaro and the wildlife safari -a very good mix! … It was an experience that exposed me to new things that I otherwise wouldn't have experienced."
Carson K.

"The trip was a dream come true for us. It was everything we expected and more. I hope that you will continue to provide these life changing programs. You can also count on us to provide support to advance the program. We have already told many friends about our experience and we are sure two or three will participate on a trip in the future."
Bryan A. & Mischa K.

"It was truly the trip of a lifetime."
Ryan S.

"The trip is excellent as a cultural experience.  We stayed in various towns that were not touristy.  We ate food that was similar to the locals.  The only way you could immerse yourself more in the culture is if you were pedaling the roads with only locals and not other Westerners. This trip certainly has peaked my interest to do another bike trip in Africa."
Albert S.

"I had a great time.  I needed an adventure and I got it.  The two days in the Usambara Mtns were the two best bike touring days I've ever had (and I've toured a lot.)  Even in the heat and chaos of the lowlands, cycling was a fantastic way to be introduced to a new culture."
Alan B.

"I've just returned from the Surf to Summit tour and wanted to express my enthusiasm about the trip. I had a fabulous time. I'd like to thank you for offering this program as I've benefited from it tremendously. The cycling route and climb were challenging and I felt so accomplished after finishing both. And my interest in Africa is stirred. I plan to go back as soon as possible.

"Dominic and Jerome were superb Bicycle Africa representatives. They are both inspiring individuals, they were very good to our group, and they far exceeded my expectations. In particular, having Dominic in charge of the troop was a definite highlight ~ aside from the people and landscape! He is an absolute star. Dominic managed to keep all of us in good form, in good humor and delighted us with his attitude and dynamic personality. I think everyone in our group would agree with me. Also, I felt that I was in safe and perfectly competent hands. I'm sure that this assurance makes a huge difference in how one experiences being in Africa for the first time.

"I'll be keeping my eye on your web site and will look forward to another Ibike tour in the future. Thanks again."
Andrea B.

"One highlight was when, after exchanging greetings, a porter on Kilimanjaro asked where I’d learned to speak Swahili. So many Kilimanjaro trekkers don’t see anything of the country besides the mountain and an isolated hotel in Moshi, that he appreciated the little of the language I’d picked up. Self-contained trips are a great way to experience a country; the trips have been affordable, well conceived and well led."
Al S. (2 program participant)

"This was a great trip that you cannot find in the Backroads catalog."
Gregg L.

"I learned a lot.  The trip was very diverse. I was very impressed by the variation and diversity of cultures, topography, and living conditions.  The bike tour was a great way to meet and have contact with the local people. This would be very difficult to do when traveling by car or bus. I never felt unsafe. I had a lot of fun."
John M.

"Tanzania is a wonderful country and it incredibly fascinating - the scenery is beautiful."
Rick M.  (multiple tour participant)

"It was a great introduction to Africa.  I would have had a totally different impression of the country, and its people, if all I did was stare out a bus window and fend off vendors and touts at the bus stations.  Ibike has it right that going by bicycle through the rural areas and the villages is the best way to visit!!!!"
Chris P.

"The tour leaders were excellent and fun to be around.  They were a wealth of knowledge and very accommodating.  I enjoyed staying in small towns and hanging out with the locals.  I loved the hospitality of Tanzania."
Britney B.

"I enjoyed my Tanzanian cultural bicycling experience immensely, and hope to hook up with Ibike again sometime in the future. Your book on Africa was especially useful in helping me prepare, mentally and physically, for the experience.

"As for feedback, Tanzania is a fantastic country to bicycle in (especially since gas prices went through the roof there). Having group leaders from the Usambaras is the only way to go. Yassein was able to give us a varied and creative route, with insider experiences (traditional healers, farm visits, some school observations, etc) to match. The Usambaras are not really touristed yet, but there is enough infrastructure to make it easy to explore them (with a knowledgeable guide). I consider the time spent there to be the highlight of my trip, mostly because of the connections made with people who did not necessarily see us as primarily a dollar sign in boots (often the case in the more touristed areas, gets annoying after awhile)."
Jim L.

"Culture was truly one of the strong points of this trip. Yassin did a very good job of outlining the history of his country and the people who live there... There were several days in which I thought, and others agreed, that this was the best day of cycling we had ever experience."
Dale B. (4 program participant)

"Tanzania was fantastic. [The best part was] seeing the amazing blanket of stars (and satellites) in Mtae. Cycling from Mtae-Gonja; fantastic long downhill (especially if you enjoy mountain biking) which leads into a dessert-like terrain, then meeting Maasai tribe members during lunch – all  within 24 hours!."
Ajay M. (2 program participant)

"Great guides!! Itinerary was full, interesting and stimulating.  The best part of the program was the out-of-the-way places we visited that most visitors never see."
Colleen K.

"[The best part of the program was] riding roads and staying in little villages that we couldn't have known about without a guide."
Scott K.

"[The cultural experience] was awesome.

"The best part of the program was...Jeez that is hard, it really was the best 4 weeks of my life. As Emmanual said I didn't behave like a tourist and therefore I didn't get treated like one and I felt that the biking was central to this. I just loved feeling like I belonged to part of the landscape and countryside and the people there. I also enjoyed the combination of activity which made it feel like 3 trips in one.

"The biking was great, but more so in hindsight! I can't say that I enjoyed the uphill on the first day, but it was worth it for the view and for the downhill on the other side. The mix of road and off road was great as there were some road bikers in the group and some definite off-roaders.

"I learnt so much about everything, the place the people, Jerome, Emmanuel, myself the others in the group, life in general, any more I don't think I could have taken it all in!"
Ruth E.

"I really enjoyed the route, guides, and overall atmosphere. I LOVED the day from Lushoto to Mtae and the next few off-road days. EXCELLENT route!.... The next few days were filled with breathtaking scenery, gnarly dirt downhill (and uphill), push-a-bike sand and picturesque villages on lush green hills as we wound our way through the towns of Lushoto, Mtae, and Same in the Usumbara mountains of Northern Tanzania.  At times, I thought I was racing in the Tour de Africa and my name was mazungu [ed: singular form of wazungu, Kiswahili word for "white people"] as village children and adults alike greeted and clapped from the villages.  A few children even ran after me at times to help push the bike up the sandy spots.  A local Maasai dressed in traditional gear (complete with robe and spear) showed us a shortcut through some bush trails as we came out on a dirt road near a game park.  Fortunately, no lions were to be seen as we rode the bikes."
Gina O. 

"I have heaps of good memories from the trip as well, and hope to be involved again in the future."
Peter M.

"We had a fabulous time on the Ibike tour to Tanzania!!! I cannot imagine a better way to meet people and experience the culture and landscape of a country. Here were some of the highlights:

  • Yasine and Said rocked! They were helpful and knowledgeable and lots of fun. They did a great job at assessing what kind of travelers we were, and making the trip fit for us.  I appreciated hearing their opinions about Tanzania and admired their hard work and commitment to the development of local tourism.
  • Dar Es Salaam Bike Club. That was a kick, to ride through Dar Es Salaam as a local parade, and then to have the opportunity to hear about the club activities. This is definitely a connection worth pursuing for I-bike..
  • On day 6, we rode from Lushuto to the Convent, and on day 7 we rode from the Convent to MTAE. This worked out beautifully. The ride to the convent felt like a full day’s work out, and  it was great to meet the sisters and Father Joseph.  The convent bucket bath was heavenly –ha! In Mtae, we arrived on market day – riding over the hilltop into a small town with a bustling crazy-colorful crowd was awesome. The ride to Matae was a half-day ride, so we had the opportunity to visit the school – great visit.
  • Day 8, Mtae to Ndungu – I think that was definitely some of the most amusing, all-out-fun and scenic downhill riding ever – Wahoo.
  • Day 9, Ndungu to Mtae – Beautiful, and we were so thankful that it was a cloudy day.
  • On Mt. Kilimanjaro, John and his crew did an awesome job leading us up Kilimanjaro. The climb (the altitude part) was definitely the most physically challenging part of the trip. John was very adept at knowing how to help us adjust to  the altitude and how to prepare us psychologically  to make it up the mountain. We were so impressed with everyone who worked with John – Dennis, Gilberto, Assan, Rafael, Kennedy, Omar Bacardi, and all the others. I felt like we were in very good hands."

Liz M.

"All the lead guides were wonderful and so well organized."
Teresa Z.

"Your program was very much as promised. The biking was even better than promoted. I really enjoyed this offering. Being a lower budget program than what I normally do, it offered me the opportunity to experience expanded my horizons a bit. I am totally satisfied with the overall experience and will definitely consider doing another one of your trips."
Francis D.

"It's a real challenge, and exciting, and fun.  The guides were fantastic. They knew people along the way, and introduced us to their friends."
Pete M.

"I was most pleased with the way the programme let's you experience the country from the perspective of the citizens of the country. In other words, I didn't feel isolated from the environment the way I might have on a canned excursion that catered to my culture. The guides were genuine and did their best to make the trip worthwhile. It was the best way to see Tanzania.  I was made aware of the significant differences between western culture and that of Tanzania and in particular Zanzibar with its Muslim culture. However, I was most impressed with the way in which we were accepted and welcomed by the citizens of Tanzania."
Dan D.

"We had a fantastic time... The highlights for us were the days cycling / walking tour in the Usumbara mountains and the Kili climb, which was very slickly organised."
Emma and Chris P.

"Just back from a truly fabulous trip and I would definitely consider doing other Ibike trips ... The visit to the orphanage was one of the highlights of the trip for me!!"
Jo S.

Comments: Multi-region   North Africa   West Africa   Southern Africa

   

For those who like balance, we have even posted some comments on the worst parts of the program.

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