Travelers will soon be able to see Namibia’s leading conservation efforts and diverse wildlife from two unique perches—the saddle of a bike and the comfort of their private chartered train, the Desert Express. On this Namibia Bike and Train Tour, offered through BikeToursDirect, based in Chattanooga, TN, they’ll also learn first-hand from conservation leaders why the World Wildlife Fund has called Namibia “the greatest wildlife recovery story ever told.”
During the 12-night tour, which departs August 11, 2015, from Nambia’s capital city of Windhoek, travelers will experience the country’s vast beauty while enjoying the highest standards of comfort and service. They will visit the Fish River Canyon (Africa’s longest), traverse the apricot colored dunes of the Namib Desert, and have the chance to see mountain zebras and desert elephants, along with giraffes, rhinos and lions.
“It’s probably the most impressive and memorable setting I’ve cycled in,” says Jim Johnson, president of BikeToursDirect. He recently biked in some of the same areas this tour explores: “The landscapes were breathtaking: vast deserts with some of the tallest sand dunes in the world, remote coastlines, and deep chasms offset by towering mountains.
“And this tour will transcend even that amazing experience. You’ll get to see Namibia’s unique landscapes and extensive wildlife from the unique vantage points of bicycle and train, and it’s a rare opportunity to spend time with many of the individuals responsible for making the country such a conservation success story. It will be the trip of a lifetime.”
After cycling each day, tour participants sleep on the train or in scenic lodges along the route. The train travels the longer distances during the night, making it possible to see more of the country and allowing plenty of time during the day for bike trips.
Two knowledgeable guides accompany the participants aboard the train and on each day’s easy rides, which average less than 25 miles/40 km per day, and a support vehicle is always nearby to shorten the riding or give a helping hand. Participants may also choose to stay aboard the train, a great option for non-cycling companions who sign up for the tour.
Throughout the tour visit, participants will meet many key players behind Namibia’s conservation success story, including John Kasaona, a leader in the drive to reinvent conservation in Namibia by turning former poachers into protectors of endangered species.
Participants will also hear how tourism has made the country’s conservation success possible by generating sustainable income for local communities—and why their travel here helps improve the lives of the nation’s people and save the lives of its wildlife.
The Desert Express holds a maximum of 48 guests in 24 compartments, each accommodating up to three passengers. Each compartment is fully air-conditioned and heated and has a private bathroom. Passengers can also relax in an elegant lounge, a unique bistro bar and a spacious restaurant that will serve the best in Namibian cuisine. Expansive windows throughout the train help travelers experience the full Namibian views.
Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution, and the government gave people living in communal areas the opportunity to manage their natural resources through the creation of communal conservancies. These conservancies – as well as governments, nonprofit organizations and other entities – have restored populations of lions, cheetahs, black rhinos, zebras and other native wildlife to the world’s richest dry land. Through initiatives such as ecotourism, restoration has generated sustainable income for their communities.
BikeToursDirect serves as a central resource for bicycle tours worldwide, representing 125 tour companies with over 500 tours in 71 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers search for and choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at http://www.biketours.com.
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