Elephant Epic training loop

Overview

Yes, I know we should be tapering the week before the Elephant epic. I know it will do the race no good to do a long and hard training the week before. However, the people joining the training have no chance to win the epic anyway (hence no intention to try) and it is just great fun to do a long ride in the escarpment!! We all just go to bed really early for the rest of the week, wear our compression socks every day and pray for a quick recovery.

This loop is focused on making kilometers and is therefore a mixture of jeep tracks and single-tracks with only two long hills. Having said that, these hills named “That’s what she said” (long and steep) and “the creeper” (long and rocky) are very challenging. There’s only a few of us able to ride them all the way. The views from “That’s what she said” are very rewarding and it’s downhill is one of the better ones of the escarpment…

Guides
Craig, Martijn, Hubert

Stats
Length 72 km
Ascent 800m
Difficulty: moderate/tough (length!)
Starting point: Alain’s place ( 15°29’11 South,  28°26’25 East)
Type: Circuit

Track
Epic training (to get this file on to your PC, right-click on the link and select Save As…)

Map

Epic_training

Photos
Eastward view from the top of “That’s what she said”

That’s what she said

View into Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

Dos Rios (Pump Up Version)

Overview
This is a fantastic route that showcases the best of the escarpment rides, the great sweeping descent and single track to the two rivers (hence Dos Rios) and the gradual and very manageable re-ascent to the Pump with plenty of great track and views in between. It is not a hard ride, about 3 hours of pedal time, and plenty of options to reduce or extend as you go, this one started from a private house but anywhere along the Chifwema Road would be fine.

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 46km
Elevation Gain: 453m
Difficulty: moderate
Starting point: Chifwema Road
Type: Circuit

Track
Track in GPX format (right click – save link as)

Map Image

Google Earth KML File

Click here

Three Farms Loop

Overview
This a varied 40km ride. It is a true loop with very little of the trail ridden twice. After a gentle climb up to the entry point into the Forest Reserve there is gentle downhill single track section and a couple of nice gullies across streams. There is then a lot of dirt/gravel road with three good hills – cyclable but they will take your breath away.

You pass through three farms – but no one seems to mind!

You pass by the entrance to Monkey Pools and so you can pop in there for a bit of a break if you’d like to.

The last few kilometres are on tar which makes to a nice run to the end.

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length 39km
Ascent 416m
Descent: 416m
Difficulty: easy/moderate
Starting point: Kilimanjaro Cafe/Lodge, Leopards Hill Road.
Lat -15.472164 Long 28.390483
Type: Circuit

Track
Track in GPX format: Three Farms Loop.gpx (to get this file on to your PC, right-click on the link and select Save As…)

Photos
Three farms loop image

Three farms loop map

Elephant Epic to Lower Zambezi

Overview
This route was the inaugural Elephant Epic, a fundraising ride for Game Rangers International. The route starts at the junction to the Mikango Barracks down Leopard’s Hill Road and finishes at Kiambi Lodge on the Lower Zambezi. The track is a mix of dirt road and jeep track, occasionally quite rough in places but not too technical. We had 2 water points along the route and you must take ample food and water if doing this without backup, a chase vehicle is highly recommended. Whilst the overall route is a descent into the Zambezi valley, there is one tough climb approx 40km into the route with a steep descent on the far side into the sandy soils of the river valley. You will obviosuly need transprot back to Lusaka from Kiambi.

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 76.5km
Ascent: 430m
Difficulty: tough
Starting point: Mikango Barracks Junction, Leopard’s Hill Road
Type: A to B

Track

Elephant Epic

Map

 

 

 

 

Photos 

Pump Down, Creeper Up

Overview
This is a great and not too difficult loop of the escarpment terrain. Thje descent is via the fun filled Pump Down route, cross country to the Pitcher’s Mound and then regaining the height via the steady and rewarding single track of the Creeper. A fast, flat stage along the middle plateau follows then a final push back on the Escarpment Path and home to the PX. Nothing too technical but start early and take adequate water!

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 47km
Ascent: 453m
Difficulty: moderate
Starting point: Polocrosse Club
Type: Loop

Track

Pump Down Creeper Up

Map

 

 

 

 

Photos – Single Track of the Creeper

Route of the 2012 Mulungushi Dam MTB Race

Overview
This route was the 44km race route of the 2012 Mulungushi Dam Race. It was a FANTASTIC trail with all the terrain Zambia can offer, great forest single track, flat fast bush trails, river crossings and the rest! The start and finish are from the Mulungushi Dam Boat Club – they have a beautiful spot on the waters edge with private and rented accommodation available…

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 44km
Elevation Gain: 457km
Difficulty: moderate / tough
Starting point: Mulungshi Boat Club – Bell Tower
Type: Loop

Track

M’gushi Dam Race

Map

The Creeper

Overview
So called because of the steady, gradual climb that creeps up the escarpment in contrast to the short, sharp pull of Profanity Hill, this route is a taxing and longer loop of the valley floor below the escarpment off the Chifwema Road. The start and middle sections are nice and easy, flat or downhill with the odd river crossing or two. Once at the Pitchers Mound, turn right and head away from Profanity Hill following some awesome single track back up the escarpment. The final pull up to the height of the start takes in the brutal Hamburger Hill, so called because completing it justifies mass hamburger consumption before long and rolling ridge ride drops you back onto the Chifwema Road. HH is a tough bike hike, not for the faint of heart or limb. This route has been cleaned up a bit and comes in at 57km. Take plenty of food and water. Incidentally, if you do run out of water in this area, pumps can be found at 99% of the schools, often found on one of the more substantial paths.

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 57km
Ascent: 689m
Difficulty: tough
Starting point: Polocrosse Club
Type: Loop

Track

The Creeper

Map

Pump Down, Profanity Up

Overview
This is a great, shortish trail that starts and finishes at the Polocrosse Club on Chifwema Road. The descent starts off the main escarpment track and is marked by a hand pump, what follows is probably the best of the descents down into the lower valley, a long, winding path down that is not too technical allowing some good speed. Once in the valley, the path meanders through to the ‘Pitcher’s Mound’ before turning back up to reclaim the high lost via Profanity Hill…the inclusion of this makes this a moderate trail, otherwise nothing too technical and a good introduction to this area for those less familiar…

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: c38km
Ascent: 417m
Descent: 322m
Difficulty: moderate
Starting point: Polocrosse Club
Type: Loop

Track
Pump Down Profanity Up

Map

Fruitcake Figure of Eight

Overview
This is a moderately easy, wooded ride. It starts and finishes at OxyGym on Leopards Hill Road. If you’re driving there you can park in their car park. The ride cuts across the south-west corner of the Forest Reserve but most of the rest of the figure of eight is also wooded although the pictures I took don’t have a lot of trees in them!

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length 25.4km
Ascent 400m
Descent: 400m
Difficulty: easy/moderate
Starting point: S15 27.709 E28 23.075 (OxyGym, Leopards Hill Road)
Type: Double figure of eight

Track
Fruitcake Figure of Eight 240612.gpx (Right-click, Save As…)

Photos
Fruitcake Figure of Eight Fruitcake Figure of Eight

Map
Fruitcake Figure of Eight OSM

Chifwema Road Extension 2

Overview
This is a mixed terrain trail about 60/40 jeep track to wide footpath / single track. There are some great descents (with corresponding climbs) and some good views off the escarpment and down towards the Lower Zambezi. Technically there are a few tricky bits but generally nothing too severe, take plenty of water and some food to recharge for the climbs and allow 4 hours or so.

Guides
N/A

Stats
Length: 52.5km
Elevation Gain/Loss: 630m
Difficulty: moderate
Starting point: Leopards’s Hill Polocrosse
Type: Circuit

Track
Chif Road Ext 2 (to get this file on to your PC, right-click on the link and select Save As…)

Map