Cycle Village and Programme

The Cycle Village – The Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls

The Elephant Hills Hotel overlooking the Gary Player designed golf course and the mighty Zambezi River, was the venue that hosted the  Zambezi Cycle Challenge for the past two years. It proved to be an ideal location and will again serve as the Cycle Village for this years’ event. Elephant Hills will be the central pick up/drop off point and venue for briefings after each days’ ride. Riders and any supporters whom are not staying at Elephant Hills, will still be welcome to the venue and meals will be available at their own expense. We urge the participants to take up the discounted packages offered by Elephant Hills and enjoy the atmosphere and company of the other cyclists.

Neutral Zone, Technical Back up

The neutral zone (technical back up team), will also be situated at the Elephant Hills Hotel and will be there to assist with any mechanical hiccups the riders may experience. They will only be charging for parts and consumables used. Please note that this team will not be offering bike washing as part of their service nor will they be doing routine servicing of bikes – they will be there to assist with serious mechanical faults only. There will be bike washers on hand, but please make a small donation ………..

The programme summarised

6th July

pre booked packages, you and your bikes will be met at the Victoria Falls airport and transferred to your hotels.

The registration desk will be open at Elephant Hills Hotel from 12.00hrs to 16.00hrs and then move to the Vic Falls Boat Club. The welcome, safety and race briefing will be done at the Victoria Falls Boat Club at 18.00hrs. It is compulsory for all participants to attend this briefing.

Dinner and drinks are available after the briefing at the Boat Club and buses will shuttle riders back to Elephant Hills at the end of the evening. Dinner is included but drinks will be at your own expense.

Most importantly for those who do not have their own transport to the start, please ensure that your bikes have been delivered to Elephant Hills before 16.00 and are put on the bike racks available to you, so that they are loaded on the trucks that will deliver them to the starting point the following morning.

7th July Day 1 Distance 75KMS Matetsi to Vic Falls

Bikes will be loaded the night before and entrants will depart the hotel at 6 am. The road transfer will take approximately 40 minutes along the Bulawayo Road. We aim to start the Days ride at 7.15am. The 75 km route starts on a gravel road and after 2-3 kms will enter a single track for approximately 10 kms. Thereafter you will cross the Matetsi river and be on a double track for about 20 kms or so. You will then be on single track again and double track through wildlife areas and community reserves until you get to the finish at Elephant Hills Hotel.

Braai and drinks will be available at the finish at own expense.

Free afternoon at Leisure.

Meet at 18.00pm for  Day 2 briefing followed by dinner.  For the Ele Hills residents dinner is included and for non Ele Hills residents welcome at own expense.

Make sure your bikes are delivered to Elephant Hills by 16.30hrs for loading if you do not have your own transport to get to the starting point for Day 2.

8th July Day 2 Distance 70kms – The Zambezi River

Your Bikes will be transported to the starting point which will be about 35kms from Vic Falls on the Kazungula Road. Riders will depart from Elephant Hills at 6.00 and the race will start once the safety marshalls have given their Ok.

The ride will immediately take us down into the Westwood Vlei and follow double and single tracks through the Matetsi private concession down to the Zambezi river and into the Zambezi National Park. From here the route follows the river with the odd loop inland on a combination of gravel, single and double track all the way to Elephant Hills Hotel.

Free afternoon at your own leisure.

Briefing for Day 3 at 18.00 hrs at Elephant Hills

Make sure your bikes are delivered to Elephant Hills by 16.30hrs for loading if you do not have your own transport to get to the starting point for Day 2.

9th July Day 3 Distance 50km – Batoka Gorge, Riding on the edge

The buses will leave the Hotel at 6 am and transfer you to today’s start, approximately 30kms downstream from the Victoria Falls themselves. It’s just about all single track and the most technically challenging day of the event. The start has a 3 km stretch on gravel before entering a gentle single track through the rural villages.

You will then enter the Wild Horizons National Park concession and enjoy a single track that has been referred to as one of the best single track routes they have ever ridden! Interspersed regularly along this route are (some) breath taking views of the Zambezi river way below. As you approach the end of the ride, you will be greeted by the thunder and spray of the Victoria Falls before the final stretch to the Elephant Hills Hotel.

This afternoon is spent relaxing and soothing tired muscles before meeting at 3.30pm for transportation to the sundowner cruise. The cruise takes place on the river above the falls and lasts until just after sunset. The cruise drops us off at the gala dinner venue on the banks of the Zambezi where we will enjoy prize giving, dinner and drinks.