Noiselessly through the Namib desert on wide tires
You can ride a bike, would you call yourself sporty and are you in the mood for a new adventure? Then you are ready for the somewhat different desert experience. Camel riding was yesterday, today we go gallantly with the fat bike through the oldest desert in the world. Hard to believe, but with the extra thick tires you literally glide over the fine desert sand. Are you ready to immerse yourself in the Swakopmund adventure?
On a fat bike tour you will experience one of the most picturesque landscapes in Namibia in what is probably the most beautiful and authentic way. You enjoy the vastness and silence of the desert, broken only by the gliding of the wheels and the interesting explanations of your guide about the local flora and fauna. A fat bike tour through the oldest desert in the world is not only reserved for the extreme athletes among you. With a proper introduction to the mobile pedestal and the terrain that you will explore, it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable tour with an enormous fun character. By the way, a fat bike tour is absolutely environmentally friendly and leaves no ecological footprint apart from the traces of tires in the sand. You discover regions that are not accessible to motorized vehicles.
Helmet on, stow things away and off you go
A fat bike tour starts like all other tours in which you are out and about with special equipment so that – what news – you choose the right equipment. So you get bikes that match your body size, have the saddle adjusted if necessary and do a test ride. If everything fits, you grab the obligatory helmet and stow your water bottle in the holder provided.
Already excited about what awaits you in the next few hours, you will then listen to the instructions of the guide, who will first explain to you in principle how to operate the bike and, above all, the gears and inform you about the course of the tour. Since the driving behavior on sand is somewhat different, you should listen carefully so that you can enjoy the unique panorama on the way and are not busy with your bike or accidentally bury your head in the sand due to incorrect movement or too harsh braking.
Then it starts already. You swing on the saddle and enjoy the “Swakopmund vibes” on the short route through the city down to the river bed of the Swakop. Your guide will provide you with some information about the dry river and the Dorob National Park, which you will drive on during the tour.
Sand as far as the eye can see
Finally the time has come! As soon as you enter the river bed you will be glad to have your fat tires, with which you can glide relaxed through the fine sand. After the first few meters in sandy terrain – just before you hit the dunes – you check the tire pressure and let some air escape for a better driving experience in the deep sand of the dunes. As soon as you are on the first dune, the first feeling of high comes over you. WOW – for the breathtaking scenery of the dune landscape in front of you and WOW – for the silence of the desert and driving on an ancient dune in Namibia’s oldest desert.
While you are rushing over the dunes, you probably forget the time a bit and let the atmosphere work on you. Your guide feeds you every now and then with information about the fauna and flora of the desert, because even in this hostile environment there is vegetation and individual animals that have adapted to the harsh living conditions. He also shows you a cool trick that has to do with the fine desert sand and a magnet. You also have the opportunity to capture these unforgettable moments with the camera while cycling on a dune. Although you will find that it is virtually impossible to capture this unique atmosphere photographically.
Downhill with adrenaline guaranteed
After a while you will reach the slightly higher dunes and finally the so-called “adrenaline section” of the tour. You probably knew “black slopes” from skiing up to now, but they can also be found here in the Namib. For those of you who dare, it starts with an easy descent before you get down to business and plunge down the really steep slopes of the dunes. It is important to observe three important rules so that you do not end up face-on in the sand and entertain the other participants with your stunts: 1. The front brake is taboo, 2. The front wheel must always be straight and 3. Your butt in the air. Once you’ve internalized this simple piece of advice, you should end up at the bottom without the experience of desert sand in your mouths.
In case something goes wrong – luckily the sand is super soft. Due to the extremely high fun factor, it is possible to repeat such a steep descent several times. If you prefer to enjoy the view, you can of course do so and snap pictures for the souvenir album and all those who stayed at home.
It goes high
Arrived at the highest point, you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the unique dune landscape and Swakopmund. You can even see the Atlantic in the background. Don’t waste too much time trying to capture this scenery for eternity – take a deep breath and enjoy the here and now, because the tour is drawing to a close.
You cycle back to the river bed, past the endemic yoke leaf plant (Zygophyllum stapfii) and tamarisk trees. Who knows, you might be lucky enough to run into a herd of camels grazing in the river bed along the way? If not, it’s a shame, but since we continue to cycle to the beach, it certainly makes up for it. Or have you ever ridden your bike along the beach? We can only recommend the tour to anyone who wants to actively explore the desert and is traveling near Swakopmund. For us it is the most exciting and environmentally friendly way to experience the beauty of the Namibian desert.