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Once in a lifetime, Cairo to Cape Town on bicycle … 100 days
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the tour d'Afrique

The Tour d'Afrique is a 12,000km semi-supported bike race from Cairo to Cape Town, taking place on an annual basis since its inception in 2003.

my take on Tour d'Afrique

Some say it is the longest and most gruelling bike race in the history of the sport. Yet, the long duration of four months, multiple different countries and many, many physical and mental challenges make the nature of the event quite different from your standard race. Much more, it is an experience of which the racing aspect is only one of countless facets. When I called Giles (a 2005 participant and a great source of advice and help to me) about Tour d'Afrique, his first descriptive comment to me was simply "best experience of my life". To tell you the truth, after months of seemingly fruitful research I am still not quite sure what to expect. What I do know is that four months of the unexpected are lying ahead.

the route

The route leads through ten countries on the African continent. They are (in the order that we will be passing through) Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Sights to marvel at and obstacles to overcome include the Nubian Desert, Ethiopia's Simian Mountains, the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Botswana's Kalahari, the Victoria Falls and the Namib Desert.

some more facts

The 12,000km distance is covered in approximately 96 stages, each with an average workload of 124km. At night we will sleep in our tents on camping sites or whatever place might be deemed suitable (the latter is called "wild camping"). In the morning we then have to pack our gear on one of two support vehicles for it to be hauled to the next camp. During the day navigation is largely our own responsibility, although apparently all there is to it is going south most of the time. So far nice and easy.

africa map

 

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