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The Tour D' Afrique Race
From Cairo to Cape Town.... 12 000 km, 10 countries, 96 days of cycling averaging 130 km each. 22 resting days. A total of 120 days to cross the continent and race with 40 over competitors.
This adventure race will challenge my body and mind like no other, crossing some of the most exotic places on earth, pedaling pass places like Kilimanjaro, Victoria falls, lake Malawi...
This race will also be about meeting people, sharing their lifes, their food, their culture.
Become a follower and you will receive regular updates and photos of this incredible adventure!
My name is Gerald Coniel, I am 45 y.o and I must be crazy!... But why be normal?...
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HELP ME DONATE BIKES!
Each year the Tour D'Afrique organisation donates bicycles to health care associations in the countries we cross. One bike can deliver medicines up to 100 people a day. Last year 320 bikes were distributed... In 2010, we have donation ceremonies planned for Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Arusha, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Windhoek and Cape Town.
I will be handing over the bikes myself. You will see on this blog when, where, and to whom the bikes went. Join me in raising money for purchasing as many bikes as possible. www.tourdafrique.com/foundation
To participate, mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org 100 euro buys one bike, it is the most efficient way to help I have ever heard. Get together with a few friends and offer one bike, make me proud! Imagine what an impact you can make with 100 euro!
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Nairobi Kenya 14.3 to Iringa Tanzania 25.3
9 Riding days
3 Resting Days
Exotic factor 4
MAP OF TANZANIA
Cairo to Cape TownPharaoh's Delight
Cairo to KhartoumThe Gorge
Khartoum to Addis AbabaMeltdown Madness
Addis Ababa to NairobiMasai Steppe
Nairobi to IringaMalawi Gin
Iringa to LilongweZambezi Zone
Lilongwe to Victoria FallsElephant Highway
Victoria Falls to WindhoekDiamond Coast
Windhoek to Cape TownMasai Steppe
Nairobi to Iringa
Start: March 14, Nairobi, Kenya
Finish: March 25, Iringa, Tanzania
Price: €950 Distance: 1,012km
Riding Days: 9 days
Resting Days: 3 days
If scenes of Wildebeest migration and big cat kills on the Discovery or National Geographic Channel are your favourite vision of Africa, then this is the section of the Tour d'Afrique for you. One day south of Nairobi, you will arrive at the border of Tanzania and immediately spot the unmistakable Mount Kilimanjaro and its smaller sibling, Mount Meru. From there, it’s a day’s pedal to the rapidly growing and vibrant city of Arusha. As the gateway to such famous attractions as Serengeti National Park, Ngorogoro Crater, and “Kili,” Arusha is East Africa’s safari capital. Here riders are given 3 days off, affording them the opportunities to experience wild Africa at its most spectacular, to shop in the local stores and markets, or simply to rest and replenish their energies.
Heading south from Arusha, the red-cloaked Masai tribesmen will be your constant companions as you spin along roads with relatively little traffic, keeping an eye out for zebra and giraffe. At Lake Manyara you trade the tarmac for several challenging days of ascents and descents – the Masai Steppe – on a rougher gravel road, that can be treacherous in places if the rainy season has arrived. However the friendliness of the villagers, the roadside banana stands, and the sheer beauty of this unique and verdant land ensures that come rain or shine, this stretch is one of the most memorable on Tour. After passing through Tanzania’s modern capital of Dodoma, you hit pavement again shortly before the pleasant town of Iringa, which is the gateway to nearby Ruaha National Park, and a regional center of the Ismaili Islamic sect.
PLACED TRAVELLED IN TANZANIA
Mto Wa Mbu
Ngorongoro Kwa Kuahinia
Dodoma Mtera Dam
Moyale Sololo Chobe Marsabit Laisamis Serolevi Archer's Post Isiolo Timau Nanyuki Naro Moru Kiganjo Karatina Sagana Muranga Sabe Saba Thika Ruiru Kahawa Nairobi AThi River Kajiado Lemileblu Ilbisil Elemborasha Namanga
South of Addis Ababa, the terrain changes again to rolling countryside interspersed with alkaline lakes. After passing Mount Guraghe and Lake Abaya, riders will arrive in Arba Minch (Forty Springs), which is renowned for its beautiful views, Crocodile farm, and nearby Nechisar National Park. In Yabello, you can visit the wildlife sanctuary where you might catch a glimpse at some of Africa's rarest birds such as the Prince Ruspoli Turaco. Most of the riding for this stretch is on reasonably good pavement, with one exception - a tough off-road day between Kanso and Yabello through remote villages inhabited by the Borena people.
The crossing from Ethiopia into Kenya at Moyale marks the beginning of the “meltdown” portion of this section. It takes 6 riding days to cross the unpaved lava expanse of northern Kenya’s Dida Galgalu desert, which for long stretches redefines the words bumpy and corrugated. At the midway point the market town of Marsabit, set on the slopes of an ancient volcano, offers a welcome respite before the “road” descends again into the arid lands that are home to the Samburu people and their herds of camels and cattle. Approaching Isiolo, riders rejoice at the sight of pavement, and the opportunity to have a well deserved beer or ice cream bar. From there, the route ascends and then descends the western slopes of majestic Mount Kenya, before crossing the equator in Nanyuki, which is a short day’s ride from Nairobi, East Africa’s largest city.
The “Meltdown” features some of the most diverse changes in scenery and riding conditions, from plateau to desert to savannah. Cycling the “Meltdown” in its entirety is an impressive accomplishment for any cyclist.
Sudan 05.02-20.02 Ethiopia, Distance 1592km, 14 days of riding, 2 rest days, Difficulty 5, Exotic factor 5, Comfort 1
MAP OF SUDAN
PLACES TRAVELLED IN SUDAN
Wadi Halfa Semna Kulb East Farka Kaweka Amara Abri Delgo Sabo Farag Thergo Karma Ergo Dongola El-Goleb Bahri El Dega Goomour Abu Dulua Omdurman Khartoum Al Hazza Hezza El Fao El Gedaref Doka Galabat
MAP OF ETHIOPIA
PLACES TREVELLED IN ETHIOPIA
Metema Aykel Azozo Gondar AddisZemen Bahir Dar Injibara Debre Markos Goha Tsiyon Debre Libanos Addis Ababa Coca Lake Langano Arsi Megelle Awassa Yirga Alem Dilla Agere Maryam Yabelo Mega
From Khartoum to the border of Ethiopia, the Tour passes through the “bread basket” of the Sudan. The countryside gradually changes as you cycle towards Ethiopia and witness the transformation from the Arabic Muslim world of northern Africa to the more tribal and traditional nature of the Horn of Africa.
Once in Ethiopia, the ride of your life begins. Ethiopia contains some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world as well as one of its most unique and ancient cultures. This section will challenge your body more than any other due to the high altitude riding, not least during the first two days in country when the Tour takes the rough but slowly improving road up onto the plateau from Metema to the Gondar road junction. The second of these days features the most climbing – some 2500 meters - of any day on tour.
The Ethiopian Highlands offer several fascinating stops including Gondar city with its 17th century castles, and Bahir Dar where you can visit ancient monasteries on islands in Lake Tana and the Blue Nile Falls. While some riders may hesitate to sample such wonders of Ethiopian cuisine as injera (flat bread), shuro wat (chick pea stew), and kitfo (steak tartare), no-one can resist the espresso and juice bars found in all the larger towns.
From a cycling standpoint, the highlight of this section will be the Blue Nile Gorge, a 1600-meter precipitous descent and ascent on a newly paved road that will test the mettle of cyclists of any caliber. Once you have conquered the Blue Nile Gorge, the beautiful terrain of the central Ethiopian plateau will whiz by as you spin towards the capital city of Addis Ababa. The descent from the eucalyptus forested hills that surround Addis into the downtown core is an experience you will not soon forget.
Cairo Adabiya Bir Udeib Ain Sukhna Zarafana Ras Gharaib El Gouna Abu Sha'r Hurghada Safaga Bir Umm Taghir Bir El Qreiya Qena El Barahama Khuzam Luxor Tod El Idisat El Shaghab Mo'alla Mata'na El Deir Nekhab Gebel Serag Silwa Bahari El Kagug Kom Ombo Daraw Aswan Lake Nasser
The Tour d'Afrique starts at the legendary Pyramids of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. As one of the wonders of the world, the Pyramids are a perfect embarkation point for the intrepid journey ahead, and the Sphinx bows its head in respect as you cycle past and bid farewell to Africa’s largest city.
After riding to the Red Sea and down the coastal highway to Safaga, you climb inland and cross the rugged Eastern desert into Upper Egypt, joining the Nile River at Qena. In Luxor, the opportunity to explore the magnificent temple of Karnak and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens is one not to be missed. From there, the Route continues south along the banks of the mother Nile towards the Aswan Dam.
From Aswan you will travel overnight by boat down Lake Nasser and past the Abu Simbel monuments into Sudan, one of the world’s most remote and least visited countries. But as you will discover, the Sudanese are some of the world’s friendliest people. For many riders this is where the “real” Africa begins. With the Nile River as companion, you will spin past minarets and through palm grove villages that have hardly changed in hundreds of years. Change is however coming more rapidly now as the sandy tracks that the Tour used to traverse the Nubian desert on are replaced by smooth Chinese funded tarmac. This section ends with a convoy ride into the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum, which sits at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers. After the heat and dust of the desert, Khartoum seems to be part oasis and part mirage, especially when one enters the air-conditioned ABSA shopping center, where milk shakes, gourmet coffees, a supermarket and even bowling can be found.
The "Pharaoh's Delight" is for those who want to feel the desert wind on their face and experience the romance of biking along one of the great rivers of the world through the lands of the Pharaohs, the Nubians and the Cush. At times you will feel like you are one of the first travelers to come upon these forgotten lands. And on a bicycle, that’s pretty much the truth.