UPDATED April 11, 2024

BY Guest Author

IN Tour d'Afrique

no comments

UPDATED April 11, 2024

BY Guest Author

IN Tour d'Afrique

no comments

Elephants & Education


Benjamin Levin is the Content Creator on the 2024 Tour d’Afrique Cycling Expedition. He reports on the recent TDA Foundation bicycle donation that took place in Livingstone, Zambia.

Why do we ride bikes? On a TDA tour we ride bikes for an adventure, for the experience of cycling in a place you never have before – we bike for fun. In Africa, and many places around the globe, people bike for a different reason. They bike because school can be up to 30 kilometres away and elephants have prevented them from leaving on time. They bike because it is the only way that they can carry their goods to the market; they bike because their bicycle is their taxi; they bike because it is what they need to do.

>>Related Post: Local Bikes In Africa: An Appreciation

TDA Global Cycling wanted to create a great cycling adventure through Africa, encourage the use of bicycles and also contribute to helping people in some communities we cycle through by donating bicycles. Over 2300 bikes have now been donated to people across the globe over the lifetime of the TDA Foundation. Most recently, on the 2024 Tour d’Afrique, 34 bikes were donated to young scholars in Livingstone, Zambia so they would be able to overcome challenges and pursue their goal of obtaining a strong education.

Memory, the TDA Foundation partner in Zambia, and Charles Mioba, District Education Board Secretary, during TDA’s bike donation ceremony

Currently, the TDA Foundation partners with African Impact Foundation, a grassroots organization that works on the ground in Zambia, finding appropriate beneficiaries for the bicycle donations. “We partner with them [the Zambian Ministry of Education] for recommendations every year to identify which schools should benefit from this bicycle donation,” says Memory Mundia, Operations Manager of African Impact and the TDA Foundation’s main point of contact in Zambia. Memory and the Ministry of Education are looking for schools that are located in areas where their student body is spread out across a large area and face unique and challenging problems when attempting to commute to school. Once the beneficiaries are chosen, the school works to find which students are the most in need of the assisted transportation, and they are given the bicycles.

The five recipients of bikes at Twabuka Primary School

One of these schools is Twabuka Primary School located roughly 25 kilometres outside of Livingstone, Zambia and inside of the Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park, a protected wildlife reserve where animals such as elephants, lions and buffalo roam free. “Being in a game park we have deadly animals like elephants,” explains the headmaster of the school. “In the morning the elephants will be traveling back towards the river [Zambezi River] and during that period it is really dangerous for the pupils… giving them these bicycles, they will start off late [to avoid the elephants] but still arrive on time to school.”

It was clear, when visiting the school in early April 2024, that these students wanted to be there on time and ready to learn. Nonetheless, when elephants are on the road, it is extremely dangerous for the students to try to get by them and get to school. Only a few years ago a pupil in 5th year was killed by elephants while attempting to make it on time. “Those times where I didn’t have this bicycle and there were elephants, I used to stay back at home, but now even if there are elephants, I can still come after they are gone… those times I would miss some topics in class, I would find the teacher had started without me, but now I can still come early and find the teacher before he starts teaching,” said one young woman we talked to at the school.

A young TDA Foundation beneficiary smiles as we chat about her bike

Not only are these treks to school at times dangerous for the children, but they also are tiring. Students in this district near Livingstone are expected to be at school at 7:15 in the morning and ready to learn by 7:30. If they have had to cover many kilometres while walking to school, by the time they get there, they are tired and have less energy to learn. “I used to miss classes because I was late and tired because of the distance I covered… having the bike helped me be active in class,” says Mathews Kanyemba, a former recipient of a TDA Foundation’s bike donation. Mathews has now graduated and is currently waiting to hear back from university in Lusaka, where he is planning on studying engineering. “If it was not for the bike, I doubt I could pass the way I did.

As anyone who has ridden the Tour d’Afrique with TDA knows, education is available all over Africa. Countless mornings we have found ourselves cycling with hundreds of uniformed school children as they make their way to morning classes. The majority of the kids we see are walking, some are biking, and very few are in vehicles. Across the board one thing is very clear; these students are hungry to learn and go to school. Education represents opportunity for these students, a way to fulfill all the potential that each of them has. While we understand that there is still a lot of work to be done, we are thrilled that our bicycle donations help bring these intrepid young learners one step closer to achieving what they set out to achieve every time they make that journey to school.


Tour d'Afrique

The trans-African crossing from Cairo to Cape Town has long been one of the world’s epic journeys and an iconic goal for global adventurers. Over...


Leave a Comment for "Elephants & Education"

Your Email address will not published. Required fields are marked