A backcountry bike tour of Africa
Imagine – just you and your bicycle traveling thousands of miles together along the dusty roads of Africa. Daniel Gold, one of the writers for GoNOMAD did just that. He was one of many bicyclists putting the pedal to metal… or rather his foot to the pedal, trying for first place at The Tour D’Afrique. I have never been to Africa myself, but I could only imagine the kind of pleasures, sights, and even the pain a bike ride like this could bring. Read on for more of “Cairo to Capetown: Biking Through the Heart of Africa”:
The Tour D’Afrique is the longest most grueling bike race/expedition in the world, covering 12000 kilometers (7,456 miles) through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
In 2006, more than 50 riders attempted the trip from Cairo, and I was one of them.
My uncle, Henry Gold, started the tour in 2003 as a way to promote sustainable transport and introduce adventurous travelers to a continent he fell in love with, a continent that most people would be reluctant to travel through on their own.
Forget the other-worldly landscapes, the wild animals, and the other conventional African formalities. At the heart of every good African story lies the people, the locals, and there were many I met along the way.
Riding through villages, I was usually greeted by singing and smiling children, no matter how impoverished or desperate they looked.
There’s a certain quality of Africa that makes you feel this way, as if you’d subconsciously entered another world and found your senses so overwhelmed that you can’t quite remember what you were feeling.