The Tour Down Under isn’t the only cycling event to get underway this weekend, as the 2010 Tour d’Afrique prepares to start this Saturday as well. This annual event kicks off from Cairo, Egypt and ends four months later in Cape Town, South Africa. Riders will cover more than 7500 miles, and cross through ten countries in this trans-continental, north-south journey.
All told, this Tour includes 96 days of cycling, averaging 77 miles per day. The schedule also factors in 22 rest days and 2 additional days of travel by ferry, which brings the total travel time to 120 days. The stages range in length from about 50 miles on rough terrain to 112 miles over smooth, paved roads.
The route begins in Egypt and wanders south through the Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia, before finishing up at the Cape in South Africa. Some of the landmarks that the riders pass along the way include ancient Egyptian temples along the Nile, Ethiopia’s Simian Mountains, Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent, and Victoria Falls. The conditions will range from arid, open plains, to dry deserts, and temperate cloud forests, and as you might expect, the wildlife will be spectacular as well.
The Tour can be done as one giant four month long ride, or travelers can elect to join at specific legs of the journey as they see fit. There are eight different legs that can be linked together in any fashion that the rider wishes.
I’ve written about the Tour d’Afrique a number of times in the past, and this is one of my ultimate trips. It looks like it would be quite the adventure to explore Africa on the back of your bike with a great group of fellow travelers. One of these days, when I’m a rich and famous blogger, I’ll find a way to join the Tour, as it really does seem like the trip of a lifetime.
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