Bike safaris powered by the sun

“Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul”.


The Long Run members are always on the lookout for new ways to get guests close to nature in a low-impact, mindful way. Whether it’s kayaking across lagoons, walking through forests or opting for two wheels over four, travelling slowly and silently offers a more intimate wildlife experience. By introducing e-bike safaris, Cottar’s 1920s Camp in Kenya has not only made this kind of experience more accessible, but they’re also reducing carbon emissions, harnessing solar power and inspiring guests to embrace renewable energy.

The idea for introducing e-bike safaris came to Calvin Cottar while installing a solar system to power the 1920’s Camp and Bush Villa. The company responsible for implementing solar mini-grids at Cottars, the Meeco Group, also developed an initiative called sun2move where electric mountain bike stations harness solar energy to charge all-terrain bikes.

Travelling up to 30km at a time, the e-bikes enable guests of all fitness ranges to get out in the Olderkesi Conservancy using clean energy to experience birdlife and wildlife up-close.  The bikes are also an excellent way to appreciate the Conservancy’s undulating landscape, micro-fauna and scale — the subtler details that it’s easy to miss on a vehicle.

Cottars now have six e-bikes, meaning that four guests and two guides can go out at any one time. Saving approximately 5 litres of diesel per kilometre, this reduces carbon emissions by 0.3 tonnes per trip.  If every group opts for one e-bike trip instead of a half day safari, this has the potential to reduce Cottar’s carbon dioxide emissions.

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