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EPIC trail update – condition of the route – 30th May

(Video Clips at the bottom)


The Elephant EPIC has utilised the Leopards Hill to Lower Zambezi escarpment road since its inception. Over the years, development work has commenced on this road and most notably in the past year. Please read these notes and view the film clips to demonstrate the current situation of the route.


  • A wide road is being developed from the end of the tar (27km from the start) following the original track until the bottom of the ‘Mother’ (38km) where it veers off towards Chirundu.

  • Of the 75km route there is approximately 11km of road that has changed significantly since EPIC 2019.

  • In the 11km stretch there are sections of sand that range from approximately 15-200m of loose sand.  However, the sand is not deep and all is manageable by mountain bike. In between the sandy sections there is good gravel road.

  • Road construction is not visually aesthetic and has impacted on the natural beauty of the route in this section, however there are still some amazing views throughout the course

  • There has been some grading to both the ascent and descent of the ‘Mother’ but there is not road construction there.

  • In many places the route is now safer than it has been in the past and overall the improvement in quality of the road should result in shorter race completion times.


What the EPIC team is putting in place to ensure rider safety and satisfaction:


  • Sand hazard signage at all areas of concern along the route.

  • Marshalls to flag the riders at the main areas of concern (i.e. downhills with sand – e.g. see film 5).

  • Working with the road contractors to keep informed of changes up to race day and ensuring they will not be working during the race.

  • Sending an in-house road maintenance team to the course in the days before race day to clear out loose sand areas in attempt to create solid bike lanes where possible and remove any rocks.

  • Riders safety brief at the start of the race to remind riders of the risks and areas of concern.

  • Four strategically located water stations providing refreshments, first aid, limited bike supplies and logistical support as required.

  • Sweeper vehicles to support riders as required (note these vehicles will be stationary unless required in order to keep the route clear for riders).

  • Requesting that all participants send their support vehicles to the finish via Kafue Road and NOT utilising the EPIC. We aim to minimise all traffic on the road that day for rider safety and enjoyment.


The Elephant EPIC challenge is a mountain bike (mostly) off-road event covering 75km. It was established as a fundraising event for wildlife conservation and this remains the core of the EPIC. We encourage riders to physically test out the route by bike in advance if they have any concerns regarding their safety or enjoyment of taking part in the event given the recent changes in the condition of the road. We request that riders take all necessary precautions to ensure their own safety (as well as that of other cyclists) during the race and approach sandy sections with caution and reduced speed.


We will keep you updated here with any significant changes and developments with the route and we hope that you will enjoy the race and all that it embodies.


Join the migration! Ride to the River! Who’s EPIC, you’re EPIC!

Doing it for wildlife!



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