The Classic Route Returns… with a Twist
We are excited to announce the dates, prices, and details for the 2018 Tour d’Afrique. After a year away, we will be returning to Ethiopia and our full route from Cairo to Cape Town. But every year we like to offer some new and unique. So we have introduced a new section we call Tribal Lands which include a special trip to visit the tribes of the Omo Valley (more on that below).
The Tribes of the Omo Valley
For the first time ever, Tour d’Afrique will take participants to one of most remotes parts of Africa. We will be including a side trip in Ethiopia to the Omo Valley to visit the fascinating Mursi, Hamer, and other tribes. From the town of Konso in Southern Ethiopia, we will take a 3 day hiatus from cycling and head for the Omo Valley. Here is what one possible itinerary might look like (the village where we start the side trip is dependant on the market day of each tribe)…
Day 1 Arbaminch to Turmi
In the morning we travel out to the Karo people at Kolcho village on the banks of the Omo River. The Karo people excel in traditional body painting. During the evening we visit a Hamer village near to our accommodation. The Hamer take great pride in their appearance. The women, especially typical have red dyed plaited hair and wear leather skirts decorated with shells. Each Hamer village is amazingly still free from western influences and non-organic materials. Their homes are constructed entirely of local materials, mud, wood and thatch. Each village consists of a single extended family unit of approximately 10-15 huts in close proximity around which daily life rotates. Opportunities to witness the Bull Jumping ceremony are possible today as well.
Day 2 Turmi To Jinka
We will drive across dry sandy plains to Key Afar then into more fertile rolling hills to the small town of Jinka. We visit a small museum which gives valuable insight into some tribal customs then we take an optional walk down to the town, meeting the people on the way, before driving out to our accommodation.
Day 3 drive to Arbaminch
Taking an early start we drive across the mountains through some of the most beautiful Ethiopian scenery, on the dry plains we visit a Mursi village. The Mursi people are known for their decorated clay plates which are inserted in the lower lips of women. Starting at adolescence the plates eventually become larger, some plates are finally reaching the dimensions of a bread and butter plate. This custom seems to be used less now and many of the older women just have the loose skin with no plate inserted.
Other Route Improvements in the Last Few Years
- Hotel stays along the Red Sea in Egypt for added security (and comfort).
- Safer and more enjoyable route in Ethiopia. Feedback from the past participants and staff suggest that avoiding the problematic days made all the difference. Their experience in Ethiopia was overwhelmingly positive since we made this change a few years ago.
- Triple rest day at Victoria Falls.
- Double rest days in Gonder, and Windhoek.
- New route in South Africa avoids the cold and altitude and grueling finish they had in 2016 and 2017. This year we will return to our previous routes closer to the Atlantic coast.
“What a place to go cycling.” Epic Rides of the World, Lonely Planet
“An epic adventure dissecting the heart of one of the most fascinating continents on the planet, the Tour d’Afrique not only challenges competitors’ resolve, it opens their eyes and minds to a different world.” World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges, Bloomsbury
More About TDA Global Cycling
Chosen ‘Best Adventure Travel Company’ in the 2015 Indy Travel Awards (The Independent newspaper)
Called “specialist in long distance trips” by the New York Times
“TDA takes clients on the most grueling, life-changing rides anywhere.” – Velo News
Learn about our history here.