Flowing Freely in Forest Reserve 27

2023 > Zambia

forest reserve 27 mountain biking
It’s Saturday morning and I am swooping down a single-track trail in Lusaka’s Forest Reserve 27 though a green canopy that wasn’t here just two months ago. Recent rains have transformed these 1,8000 hectares from a dust bowl into a stunning green mountain biker paradise in just a few weeks.

Now I do my best to dodge bushes, branches, and hidden boulders while biking across FR27 for two hours. Surprisingly, I am not alone.

Forest Reserve 27 Farmers

Around every turn and on every hill, local Zambians are turning the soil and planing peas and corn (maize).  They are not out here for fun like me. They are planting food they intend to eat as a survival tactic.

Sadly, there are also Zambians out here to chop down trees. They are making charcoal, the main heat source for cooking, from the very trees that shade the ground, hold the soil, and help moderate the climate.

Please support FR27 rangers like I do. Scenes like this are heartbreaking.
forest reserve 27 tree cutting

Forest Reserve 27 Flowers

Yet there are reasons to be happy. Farmer trails are awesome for mountain biking and FR27 is very close to my hotel. I can taxi out to the start, ride for two hours, and then have a quick zip home in time for breakfast. All the while, I see the beauty that is Zambia.

With the rains, plants are billowing forth with new growth and amazing flowers. I’m told that this year is a bumper crop of fire lilies. Here’s a stunning flowering tree – any idea what it is?
zambian flower fr27

1 Comments on “Flowing Freely in Forest Reserve 27