The 2010 edition of the Tour d’Afrique is now more than halfway done, with riders leaving Tanzania behind, and entering Malawi for the first time. The epic cycling event is the longest in the world, and extends the entire length of Africa, running North to South.
Malawi is the sixth of ten countries for the cyclists, who have already rolled through Egypt, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Each of those nations offered their own set of highlights and challenges, such as long, difficult climbs in Ethiopia and plenty of heat, humidity, and mud in Tanzania. The paved and sunflower lined road, in Malawi will come as a much welcome respite for the tired legs of the adventurous travelers who are making this journey. Ahead of the riders lies Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, and finally South Africa.
Highlights of the trip thus far have been many, as the cyclists set out from the shadow of the Great Pyramids and have peddled past some of the most diverse and amazing wildlife on the planet. They’ve crossed deserts and expansive plains, ridden past the the famed Simian Mountains, and through the foothills of Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain on the continent.
Now in its eight year, the Tour d’Afrique has become the adventure cycling tour for anyone who longs to see the world from the back of their bike. The Tour runs 120 days in length, 96 of which are spent cycling, and covers more than 12,000 kilometers (7450 miles) in the process. This year, the riders hale from 14 different countries, with some coming to ride for the adventure itself, while others are competing in an incredibly long and demanding race. No matter what your reasons for riding are, this has got to be the most rewarding cycling trip anywhere.
You can follow along for the rest of the tour at TourdAfrique.com where they are posting regular updates, blog posts, and photos.
On a personal note, this is one of those events that is at the top of my personal bucket list. It seems like it would be an amazing way to see Africa and a perfect adventure. Of course, the team that puts this on has a number of other great rides as well, such as their Silk Route adventure and the Vuelta Sudamericana, which is another epic ride lasting 80 days through South America.
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