Cycle Touring in Africa

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  • Interested in hearing experiences of cycle touring in Africa. Am keen to know where are good places to go after being inspired by Sonoko Tanaka's photos of the Tour of Rwanda

    Don't think I'll be able to do the whole Trans Africa thing but would be keen to hear where would be good for shorter trips where you could get affordably reach from London and where there's likely to be places you can resupply on route

    Any suggests gratefully received

  • kenya / uganda / tanzania would be three good countries to cycle around english speaking / scenic / roads in decent nick good infrastructure / cheap / good food

    loads of package deal flights to kenya / mombassa

    africa isn't the dark continent it once was the re supplying issue / won't raise it's head ... depending on what kind of re supplying you are planning on ?

    the thorn bushes there are however pretty scary get some armadillo's for the trip !

  • By resupplying, I mean able to get provisions on route. I like to pick up food along my journey rather than having to lug a week's provisions between widely spread food stops...

  • Listen to the bike show podcast. They had 2 shows on a guy who did Africa

  • I've done Egypt, Ethiopia and a bit of Kenya.

    Egypt (at least where and when I went) was a bit of a pain because we had to have a police escort the whole time. Not because they were worried about us doing anything, but they were concerned that we could get lost or attacked and that would affect the tourist industry.

    Ethiopia was hard work but interesting. The centre is hilly but green with generally decent roads. You'd have no problems buying food along the way here. Some of the outlying areas are deserts, so you'd need to think more about supplies. Plus the roads (if there are any) aren't great. Cycling a loaded bike on sand is only fun for about half an hour.
    The main thing about ethiopia is that it is massively populated. You are unlikely to have a moment to yourself. All over ethiopia you'll be followed by kids all day long asking for money or other things. They don't mean any harm, but it gets pretty wearing.

    I only cycled through a bit of Kenya. I think it depends a lot on where you go. Much of it is very modern with well stocked towns and good roads. But some of the more out of the way bits have only dirt tracks at best, and if you are in the more desert areas you'd need to carry a good few days worth of food and water to be safe.

    Are you thinking of camping or staying hotel/hostels? We did a mixture of both. But when in Ethiopia and Kenya if we couldn't find a hotel we usually asked people's permission to camp on their land or in their compound. Just for peace of mind.

  • Idea would be to take tent but also stay in cheap accommodation as and where available. Really like the idea of being able to eat street food rather than simply subsisting on store bought food. At this stage I've not given it much thought but it's one of those ideas that typically take a while to germinate

  • Street food would be easy to live off in many areas of the countries I went through. But if you are camping you'd need to think about how that would work in the evening.

    We tried not to camp anywhere near a town. You get lots of attention, not usually malicious, but sometimes. And drivers aren't particularly used to / considerate of cyclists, so I'd recommend not cycling after dark if you can help it.

    Because of that, if we were camping, we'd cook our own evening meal. We'd usually stop and have lunch in a restaurant at a stall along our route. Then we'd pick up some fresh veg and rice (or whatever we could find) from somewhere we went past and cook that for an evening meal after we'd set up camp.

    But if we were staying in a hotel we'd eat there in the evening, or in a local place.

  • gus street food villages stores etc are very regular even in the most isolated areas of east africa
    you won't have any trouble finding eateries and places to buy provisions / meals .... it's just the lions you need to watch out for

  • I second Tanzania and Rwanda, went there or first time last year and it was amazing! The roads in Rwanda are on the whole better than Tanzania but great views in both. I recommend dar es Salam, Arusha, Serengeti, lake Victoria and Kigali. Internal flights are also pretty cheap...

  • Listen to the bike show podcast. They had 2 shows on a guy who did Africa

    Think that was Peter Gostelow. petergostelow.com/

  • I second Tanzania and Rwanda, went there or first time last year and it was amazing! The roads in Rwanda are on the whole better than Tanzania but great views in both. I recommend dar es Salam, Arusha, Serengeti, lake Victoria and Kigali. Internal flights are also pretty cheap...

    As we offer African safaris, I have to agree 100% :) Africa gets in your soul

    And don't forget, if you're cycling and a lion attacks, you don't need to out pace him ... just your fellow cyclists! Spin to live

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Cycle Touring in Africa

Posted by Avatar for Gustav @Gustav

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