For the 8th year in a row, a hundred racers lined up at the picturesque Mulungushi Dam startline to experience the challenge and beauty of riding through the Zambian bush.
Though Zambia’s mountain bike scene has grown to include several unforgettable races, the Mulungushi MTB still stands out as a uniquely fun and family-oriented weekend.
The race is held at the Mulungushi Boat Club, near Kabwe. Most people come for the entire weekend and bring their family and friends along. Though the main event is the race on Sunday, the Mulungushi experience actually resides in the countless other activities in and around the dam.
Boating is a very popular pastime, and throughout the weekend people can be seen speeding, sailing, and fishing.
For the adrenaline junkies, there is a cliff jumping spot within walking distance of the club.
There are many places to explore, like the bat cave that cuts from ones side of a hill through to the other; the spillway that has rock pools and a waterfall; and many lesser-known rock pools and waterfalls that can be discovered through obtaining local knowledge and exploration.
The race its self is on singletrack and jeep track. The terrain varies from flowy flatland to rocky hills, and you can choose to do the 20 km, 40km, or 70 km route. The 20 km route is for beginner riders, so the terrain is non-technical. The 40- and 70 km are for more advanced riders seeking a challenge.
All racers are rewarded with beautiful scenery through forests, villages, and rivers.
Proceeds from the Mulungushi MTB Challenge go to Sunflower Orphanage, aiding in building and maintaining its facilities.
This year’s winners were: Sarah Jackman in the 20km women (also 4th overall), Dylan Vaughn in the 20 km men, Nora Richards in the 40 km women, Lance Vaughn in the 40km men, and Bedias Tunkanya in the 70 km.