Information about cycling Namibia

Water: water is very important.You will need a lot of water: we drank up to 12 liters a day (this was in summer from November to January). Water is available at every farm (you can ask the farmers), in wells at almost all villages, and gas stations. Also you can get water from the windmills that supply water for the cattle. Usually it is ground water and very good. Especially when riding in the hot summer, the loss of mineral salts due to sweating is substantial. Therefore we used Ultra Buffer and Ultra Refresher to resupply the body with important minerals/amino acids/sugars during riding (Ultra Buffer), and to allow optimal regeneration (Ultra Refresher).
Roads can be very rough. When it is sandy, or if the washborad pattern is very bad, or if there is a lot of loose gravel on the track, cycling is hard work. It is not worthwhile to only ride on paved roads. The interesting places of the country are only accessible by gravel road.
Food: you can buy most food in Namibia and Botswana, and there are truck stops along the main roads where you can buy cold drinks, and also eat. However energy bars, and special high energy compact food is not available. Check out our list of food that we prepare for various tours to be inspired for your own expedition diet.
A trailer is very useful to transport water and food. We both used the BOB-Yak trailer and thus were independent of gas stations and farms for about two to three days (depending on our water consumption), and we could carry food for two week.
Africa is the land of thorns. Almost every bush or tree has thorns, and they can be very big. However, the seeds of small annual plants have very short and hard thorns which work their way through the tire over days. Kevlar protected tires (e.g. Schwalbe Marathon XR) may reduce the frequency of punctures, but it is essential to bring enough spare inner tubes.
Thanks to Ultra Sports for their support of this tour with their products Ultra Buffer and Ultra Refresher. Without it, this tour would have been a whole lot harder!
The new gearing system Speedhub 500/14 made by Rohloff proved to be ideal for the rough conditions of deserts. There was no maintenace to do, the Speedhub allowed immediate gear shifting in all situations, and during the whole 5000km with many rough and sandy roads there were no problems at all. An excellent product.