Zambia

Lusaka

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Challenging bikers amid scenic splendour

Challenging bikers amid scenic splendour

Challenging bikers amid scenic splendour

The second Kasanka Challenge mountain bike race takes place this year in the beautiful environs of Kasanka National Park. This race traverses Miombo woodland, wetlands, rivers and villages where waving crowds cheer on the competitors.           

The event takes advantage of the increased popularity of mountain biking to build awareness of the  conservation needs of the park and of neighbouring communities. All proceeds are ploughed back into conservation through the Kasanka Trust Ltd which manages the park. Kasanka is the first and longest running private partnership park in Zambia.

The park is famed for the largest mammal migration in the world - with over 8 million fruit bats roosting during the last three months of the year. It is also home to numerous large mammals including the elusive sitatunga and more than 460 bird species.           

The inaugural Challenge took place in May 2011 and attracted a field of 22 riders who competed in two categories of 56 km and 22 km. A short kiddie’s ride was also catered for.

The main event was won by Ryan Ellis in a blistering time of just over two hours which completely blew away the competition and landed him a weekend at Robin Pope Safaris in South Luangwa.

A local Njinga race of 12 km is also part of the cycle-themed weekend, to give local cyclists the opportunity to show off their cycling prowess. Last year this race was won by Greward Chalwe who took home a new Zambike as first prize.

Kasanka is easily accessible on tar road from Lusaka, and offers accommodation in chalets as well as camping.

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Lusaka

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 08, March 2012)