Before the beginning of this year I had always looked at Kenya as one of Africaâ€™s more prominent nations. Some of their benchmarks include free education, a thriving tourism industry and a stable economy. I hope that the present political instability will be resolved quickly and that the repercussions are minimal.
I traveled through Kenya three times with the Tour dâ€™Afrique. And it is truly one of the most memorable sections. It begins in the north at the border town of Moyale where we enter the Dida Galgalu desert. This is one of the most unique landscapes though which Iâ€™ve ever traveled. Itâ€™s a lava rock desert, barren and desolate, but somehow beautiful in its own respect. There is little change in topography; just lava rocks for as far as you can see. Even the road is made out of lava rocks. These are typically some of the most challenging stages of the entire tour. Neither the temperatures, winds nor road surface are working in favour of the cyclists. But what Iâ€™ve found is that is the most challenging days of the tour that our alumni still talk about not the easy days.
The first rest stop is Marsabit. A town nestled into a dormant volcanic crater, but the elevation of the town permits dense and lush vegetation. The town has little to offer but sometimes rest days are spent just resting, but there is a national park where you can visit to see elephants and buffalo. As the tour continues towards Nairobi conditions get better. The road becomes paved and we ride right alongside the snowy peaks of Mt. Kenya. And in the town of Nanyuki we cross the Equator which tends to be cause for an annual celebration.
Over the past 5 years TDA has developed many friendships and contacts in Kenya and we can only pray that the violence there does not affect them directly. Initial progress for the return of peace in the country has been made and we can only hope that things are resolved quickly.