On 9th January 2015 a group of intrepid cyclists started on a four month long journey, cycling from Cairo to Cape Town. During their four months, they will cycle 12,076 kms (7,503 miles) through ten countries – this is the Tour d’Afrique and it is definitely not for the faint hearted. For those who do not have four months to spare, cyclists can join in the fun and do one or two legs of the trip.
Travelling from the Cape to Cairo or vice versa has been on many people’s bucket list ever since Cecil John Rhodes dreamt of a railway from the Cape to Cairo. The first Tour d’Afrique was in 2003 and won the Guinness World Record for the fastest human powered crossing of Africa. This journey consists of 94 cycling days and 27 rest days which, if the riders aren’t too exhausted, give them a chance to explore their surroundings. The fun begins at the pyramids in Cairo and takes the traveller through Egypt, visiting Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel before crossing into Sudan and experiencing the desert. In stark contrast, the journey then takes you into the mountainous regions of Ethiopia with its intriguing history and challenging riding. The cyclists’ journey then goes through the Dida Galgalu desert in Kenya before arriving in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Tanzania and the highest freestanding mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro, is the next destination. A three day’s rest in Arusha, which is where the big safaris begin, gives everyone a chance to explore and enjoy the wildlife and lush vegetation of Tanzania. Malawi is the next stop. Practically everyone in Malawi has a bike, so cyclists will have lots of friendly company on the road before enjoying a sojourn by Lake Malawi. The tour then takes cyclists all the way across Zambia to Victoria Falls where they can enjoy extreme sports such as river rafting and bungee jumping. The final leg of the journey takes the adventurers through Botswana and Namibia before arriving at the beautiful city of Cape Town in South Africa.
THE SUPPORT TEAM
This journey is accompanied by an excellent support team which will carry the camping equipment, food and luggage for the trip. Members of the support team are there to assist with anything from ensuring times are kept to keeping bikes in good working order. There is even a paramedic who will accompany the cyclists all the way from Cairo to the Cape. Meals are prepared by an experienced chef who knows that good nutrition is vital for every cyclist’s enjoyment and completion of this challenging journey.
There are six other extreme cycling journeys to choose from if Africa isn’t your cup of tea. There are trips which span over five months going from Anchorage, Alaska all the way down to Mexico City, or, if you would rather explore South America, from Venezuela to Patagonia. Whichever journey you decide to take, don’t forget to pack your reflective cycling vest or reflective belt.