"Looking at Jebel Tuobkal" by Antonio Cinotti via Flickr Creative Commons

Legendary mountain biking trails and Africa seem to just go together. Most of the routes, outside of South Africa, are rarely run. These are places well off the beaten track where you will see herds of elephants, tribal villages, and cultural phenomenon that you will never forget. Ride through Morocco’s Sahara and the high Atlas Mountains, then head downhill from the snowy peak of Kilimanjaro before it completely melts away.

  1. Garden Route, South Africa Departing from crowd pleaser Knysna and its salt water estuary, this favorite collection of trails offers cliff top riding, river gorges, and ostrich farms.
  2. Nalut, Libya With endless miles of excellent trails that are only beginning to get discovered. Arid desert, ancient ruins, high mountains and not another rider in sight.
  3. Madadikgadi Pans, Botswana During Botswana’s dry season, these muddy, flamingo filled pans become a hard, crusty desert perfect for a rugged bike trip.
  4. Namib Desert, Namibia Ride from the mountains at Windhoek across the blood red Namib Desert. Canyons, granite mountains, and grasslands where antelopes roam are all on the multi-day itinerary.
  5. High Sahara Desert, Morocco Peddle more than 31 miles a day across along old jeep tracks, sipping mint tea in Berber villages, and camping at ancient kasbahs.
  6. The Southwest, Cameroon Pass by 14,000 foot Mt. Cameroon and end at the beach, along the way stopping at tea estates and village markets, while winding through dramatic hills and farmland.
  7. Kilimanjaro to Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania Bike the highest mountain in Africa and then advance to the Masai Plains and Great Rift Valley while scouring the landscape for cheetahs and other wildlife. A classic cycling trip.
  8. High Atlas Mountains, Morocco Challenging climbs and technical switchbacks make this trip through high passes and Berber villages limited to advanced mountain bike enthusiasts.
  9. Mpumalanga, South Africa Johannesburg’s legendary biking region
  10. Amman to Petra, Jordan The ancient Nabatean route is made easier with a few bus transfers, but that shouldn’t stop the advanced cyclist from getting to the city of Petra, carved in rock in a hidden valley.

Click here for Top 10 Mountain Biking Vacations in Asia and the Far East