UPDATED June 7, 2016

BY Henry Gold

IN Company


UPDATED June 7, 2016

BY Henry Gold

IN Company


10 Reasons to Cycle Africa from Cairo to Cape Town

1. The Sounds, Smells and Colours

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From the Pharaonic Egyptian and ancient Nubian civilizations, to the old Semitic and Cushitic cultures of Ethiopia, and, from the nomadic peoples of the Savannah, the Masai, Samburu and Bushman, to the diaspora of Bantu speaking linguistic peoples who journeyed long ago from West Africa to the rainbow nation of South Africa, the vibrancy and spectrum of the sounds, foods, and colours of Africa is something to behold.

2. The Origin of Mankind


Scientific studies now point out that we all carry a genetic memory. Well, I sense that I do. And you will feel the same the minute you land on African soil. You are coming home to where our original ancestors set forth on their own epic journeys some 70,000 years ago.

3. Cycle the Sahara, the world’s largest desert.

wait for me

Just imagining yourself traversing its vast sands of eternity sends shivers down your spine. But today, properly outfitted and supported, and with more and more of Africa becoming paved, you can conquer the Sahara, Dida Galgalu, Kalahari and Namib deserts from the best seat in the house – your bicycle.

4. Natural and Man-Made Wonders

Start your adventure at the Pyramids of Giza, the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, revel in the crown jewels and manuscripts of the Ethiopian Empire, spin past fabled Kilimanjaro, spend a few days at the adrenalin nirvana that is Victoria Falls, and finish atop Table Mountain in Cape Town. Need I say more?

5. The Wildlife

Where else in the world can one cycle while watching out for ostrich, giraffe, elephants, and warthogs alongside and crossing the road in front of you?

6. The Spirits of the People

Despite all the challenges the continent faces, the people of its many nations are welcoming, friendly, generous, and always smiling. Share your life stories with a Nubian family in Sudan, partake in a traditional coffee ceremony in the highlands of Ethiopia, share a gritty shake-shake beer with Malawian farmers, and enjoy a glass of fine South African wine … or several … in the Cape region.

7. The Mystique of Ancient Christianity

Christianity came to Ethiopia in 1st century and on many days you will feel as if time has stood still and you are cycling in the Bible. From traditional frescoed Coptic churches to the colourfully clad monks of this original and unchanged religion, a window onto a unique world awaits you.

8. The National Parks

The Serengeti

Did I mention the incomparable flora and fauna? You may be lucky enough to see the “Big 7.” Choose your park: Serengeti, Ngoro Ngoro, Chobe, Namib-Naukluft and on and on, or better still visit them all. Complete your journey into nature at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, epicentre of the Fynbos eco-region.

9. The Waters

Biking along Lake Malawi

Follow the mother Nile from Egypt to Ethiopia, stopping in Khartoum at the juncture of the White and Blue where two currents and colors mix. En route detour to the Red Sea for a warm water snorkel and a taste of dried abalone. Atop the Ethiopian plateau take a papyrus reed boat to the magical Island churches on Lake Tana. Then dive down and cross the river at the Blue Nile Gorge before ascending 1300 meters back up. Further south the Rift Valley lakes await, capped off by Lake Malawi, home to more species of fish than any other lake, including about 1000 species of cichlids. Revel in the sunset at the Luangwa River in Zambia, a tributary of the vast Zambezi River that flows into another natural wonder, Victoria Falls. Then take your final pedal strokes and raise your bicycle overhead in celebration alongside the shores of the rugged South Atlantic.

10. The World’s Number One Cycling Expedition


Since 2003 when the Guinness World Record for cycling from Cairo to Cape Town was originally set, the route from top to bottom of Africa has become a must do on many long distance cyclists’ bucket list. More than 550 intrepid souls have now accomplished this epic 12,000 km journey on 2 wheels. When will you join them?!

7 Comments for "10 Reasons to Cycle Africa from Cairo to Cape Town"

I have been following the TDA event from Cairo to Cape Town since I first became aware of it and have resolved to ride this as soon as I go on pension. At this point I envisage riding the January 2019 event as I cannot afford to take 41/2 months off work to do the ride before then. My home is in Cape Town but I work in Africa and just left Cairo after 2 years there. My job also included Sudan, Ethiopia and Tanzania which are included in your route and I have always wanted to cycle these countries.

I would like to start some long term planning and get an update on the route, the cost. I saw on a previous TDA brief that sometimes you need some extra staff. My wife is also a keen cyclist and I would love her to ride and share the experience with me but she does not have the confidence to cycle 100kms/day for 4 months. Might there be an opportunity for her to be involved in the support team at all? She is a very practical woman who enjoys the outdoors.

What security precautions do you take when traversing all these conflicted areas. A group of foreign tourists would carry a bit of risk in places like Egypt and Sudan these days.

I look forward to your response re cost and routing.

currently resident in Burkina Faso

    Hi Mark, We have emailed you with answers to your questions.

I would like to get more information about this cycling event. If all go well I will be joining you n 2018.

    Hi Christian, We would love to have you join us in 2018. I have emailed you the information.

Please can you email me more info about the Cairo to CT tour.

    Will do!

hello i have been reamingof cycling from cape town to cairo, if a can join a team or just get a way to do it it would be Awesome

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