The Tour d’Afrique got underway a week or so back, with adventurous mountain bikers setting off from Cairo, Egypt to peddle the length of Africa with the eventual goal of reaching Cape Town, South Africa. Along the way they’ll pass through ten different countries, including the Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia.
All told, the race/expedition will take 120 days, 96 of which will be spent on the bike, with another 22 built-in rest days, and 2 travel days. The racers, who are expected to reach their final destination in early May, are broken up into three groups. The first group to leave the starting line each morning are the serious contenders for winning the event. The second group are those that want to experience every mile of the race, but probably aren’t out for the win, while the “Back Pack” are made up of riders who have come along for the fun of it, and hope to have a great adventure and experience the cultures of the places they visit each day.
This year there is a running blog with daily updates from the course on how things are transpiring. The latest post notes that the race has safely arrived in the Sudan, after crossing Lake Nasser on a ferry yesterday. The race will get back underway tomorrow, with the competitors speeding off into the Sudanese countryside.
The race is an annual event, and it covers more than 7320 miles from the northern Africa to southern. It costs in excess of $10,000 to do the entire ride, although you do have the option of just doing a few legs as well. Overall though, it seems like an amazing adventure, and a great way to see Africa. Anyone want to join me as a future member of the “Back Pack”? 🙂