Parts 7 & 8 of our 8-Part Video Series – Cycling Cairo to Cape Town

“Listen, about four and a half clicks down the road, there’s two elephant bulls. One on either side of the road. Don’t hang about, just keep cruising on.”

Just another day on the Tour d’Afrique riders enter Botswana on the infamous Elephant Highway.

Part 7 – Victoria Falls, Zambia to Windhoek, Namibia

The sightings of the lumbering beasts keeps riders sharp on the otherwise flat straight roads skirting the Kalahari Desert.

After camping near the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve they arrive at northern Botswana’s largest town, Maun. The cycling then continues along the Trans-Kalahari Highway, including “the Longest day” at 208 km, towards the border of Namibia, a country whose stunning arid landscapes are one of the world’s best kept secrets.

Part 8 – Windhoek, Namibia to Cape Town, South Africa

From the capital of Namibia they head further west into the unique lunar-like landscape. On mostly gravel roads they are reminded that this trip is not yet done and challenges remain.

Entering South Africa it becomes increasingly hard to not start looking ahead to the finish and what comes next after Cape Town.

“When we reached South Africa… this is the last week… We felt the emotion in the last stretch.”

And soon enough Table Mountain appears in the distance and like that it’s done. Four months and over 11,000 km in Africa.

Hats off to filmmaker Laundon Peacock for putting this series together. Through broken lenses, illness, limited internet/electricity, and bad weather he was able to produce something that we feel gives everyone a great insight into what it’s like to cycle the Tour d’Afrique.

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My first few months working at TDA Global Cycling

 

If you have been following along you may remember me, I’m the new girl here at TDA in the Toronto office. It’s been a few months since I started in mid September and OH BOY I have learned a lot!  If you have recently emailed us or called the office with questions you might have learned a little something from me too. Here are some of the most common questions I’ve had so far from potential riders, which usually required a little research and thought to get them their answers.

WHAT KIND OF BIKE DO I NEED FOR YOUR TOURS?

This is by far the most common question I’m asked on the daily.  Firstly, it depends on what tour you are considering, also if you are doing the entire tour or a few sections. The terrain can vary drastically with some roads being newly paved one day and the next you are riding on mostly dirt or sand. Luckily our website is built to help guide you through a whole bunch of really helpful information. Each tour page has a level of difficulty rating on it using our tour rating system. Once you have an idea of how the tour is rated you can read more about bike selection on our FAQ page. There is no need to purchase a new expensive bike – we actually prefer simple bikes with simple components so our tour mechanic can service your bike with limited access to parts. A good steel or aluminum bike with clearance for larger tires is ideal – we suggest a absolute minimum tire size of 700 x 35 on any tour. Good quality tires mean less flats, less flats mean more fun. An additional tip would be to get a good bike fit done at your local bike shop (most offer this) to ensure your set up is ideal for long distance riding and optimal comfort. They will measure your sit bones too which is really helpful in choosing the right saddle.

ARE THERE WASHROOMS IN BUSH CAMPS?

Have you ever wondered what the toilet situation is like in a bush camp on the Tour d’Afrique? Well, you are not alone. As I learned quickly in my first week, a lot of people are curious (often slightly nervous) about where they do their number 1’s and 2’s while staying at bush camps. This is a fair question, and when I first had someone call in to ask I had to politely ask if they could hold for a moment while I checked in with my fellow colleagues.  The facts are that some camps on our expedition tours will not have regular washroom facilitates and no running water. You are outdoors the entire time and you will need to take care of your business outdoors too. The immediate question that usually follows is “How often will I need to poop outside?” We did the math and if you are signed up for the entire Tour d’Afrique then 20 % of the time you will need to be prepared to dig a hole (we have shovels) and master your squatting technique. Don’t fret if you have never had to squat before we will send you informational videos and helpful ‘how to’s’ before the tour begins. It’s not a bad idea to practice at home or maybe when your alone on a run before you embark on this memorable adventure!

WHAT SORT OF TRAINING SHOULD I DO?

Training, training and more training. Well, not for everyone. Firstly I must say we always suggest you see your doctor before you register for any tour to ensure you are in good health. Everyone is also required to fill out a health and fitness questionnaire before the tour begins. As for training tips, you should keep in mind that myself, nor anyone at the office is a fitness expert (by any means) but we are indeed happy to offer our thoughts on the topic.  Our suggestions come from a place of personal preference, past experience and hearing what has worked well for riders on past tours. Personally my training involves running a few times a week to build up my endurance and riding my bike whenever I have the opportunity. That might include riding to work, a nice long ride to the other side of the city or even to the pub for a quick pint after a long work day.  My training techniques might not be for everyone but I think the common ground is spending time on your bike and being active as mush as you can.  Spending tonnes of time on your bike before you go is by far the most important note to take. You will want to work out any little adjustments necessary so that you are as comfortable as possible for many hours on the saddle. Whatever your training strategy is, just be sure to have some fun with it. You want your body to get used to the idea of working hard but maybe even enjoying it too.

I will leave you with those for now but stay tuned on what comes along next as I navigate my way through learning the ropes at your favourite cycle touring company!

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Parts 5 & 6 of our 8-Part Video Series – ‘Cycling Cairo to Cape Town’

 

“The stages were shorter in Ethiopia and Kenya but the climbing is brutal. Zambia the kilometers went up but the overall effort pretty much stayed the same… which is… really tough!”

With the rough dirt roads of Tanzania behind them, the riders transition to relatively smooth and paved roadways. But challenges remain…

Part 5 – Mbeya, Tanzania to Lilongwe, Malawi

From Mbeya the riders have a dramatic descent through verdant avocado, banana, and tea plantations as they enter Malawi. Now firmly on paved roads, the daily distances start to creep upwards. After leaving Lake Malawi they climb to the central plateau where they ride through many villages, camp on soccer fields at local schools and eventually reach Lilongwe.

Part 6 – Lilongwe, Malawi to Victoria Falls, Zambia

From there it is into Zambia, spinning along the Great East Road, the route lined with tall elephant grass. The riders get a well earned 3 day break and a chance to enjoy other activities off the bike at the legendary Victoria Falls.

The conclusion of our series – parts 7 & 8 – will be released in our December newsletter. You can read our summary of parts 3 & 4 here. Make sure you sign up! Simply enter your email address here or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Hats off to filmmaker Laundon Peacock for putting this series together. Through broken lenses, illness, limited internet/electricity, and bad weather he was able to produce something that we feel gives everyone a great insight into what it’s like to cycle the Tour d’Afrique.

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Tour d’Afrique

Our original trans-continental journey and flagship expedition crossing Africa from north to south, covering almost 12,000 km in four months. A test…

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Parts 3 & 4 of our 8-Part Video Series – ‘Cycling Cairo to Cape Town’

 

“You don’t think about the distance or the day. You just, you know, there is only the next 10 meters ahead of us”

The nerves and anxiety of the Tour d’Afrique riders on display in parts 1 & 2 of our 8 part video series now give way to the ebb and flow, struggles and the triumphs of their daily experience as the weeks and months flow by.

Part 3 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya

“When we crossed over into Kenya we left the mountains of Ethiopia behind and all of the sudden it was just this vast savannah like territory.” 

After leaving the mountain challenges in northern Ethiopia, the riders pedal out of the booming capital city of Addis Ababa and head south. Their legs are strong and they now have the confidence and conditioning to tackle Kenya. As one rider puts it, “we got into our stride a little bit.” They spin through the dry northern deserts of Kenya, passing through the tribal lands of the Borana, Samburu and Masai people. Riders then celebrate crossing  the equator in the shadow of Mt Kenya.

Part 4 – Nairobi, Kenya to Mbeya, Tanzania

 

Riding into Tanzania everybody was looking for Kilimanjaro

Riding out of Nairobi, the cyclists head south towards the border with Tanzania, keeping an eye out for their first view of legendary Mount Kilimanjaro. In Arusha, Tanzania, the riders trade in their bicycles for safari vehicles for 3 days and experience the incredible East African wildlife living in the Ngorongoro Crater and out on the Serengeti Plain. The next week takes them over some challenging roads in the vast interior of Western Tanzania. Sand, dirt, gravel and some tough climbs make this a very intense section. One rider commented – “There were a few days where I felt like throwing my bike into the bush.

RELATED
TOUR

Tour d’Afrique

FULL TOUR

Our original trans-continental journey and flagship expedition crossing Africa from north to south, covering almost 12,000 km in four months. A test…

Parts five and six of this 8 part series will be released in our November newsletter. You can read our summary of parts 1 & 2 here. Make sure you sign up! Simply enter your email address here.

Hats off to filmmaker Laundon Peacock for putting this series together. Through broken lenses, illness, limited internet/electricity, and bad weather he was able to produce something that we feel gives everyone a great insight into what it’s like to cycle the Tour d’Afrique.

Go to Homepage

Parts 3 & 4 of our 8-Part Video Series – ‘Cycling Cairo to Cape Town’

 

“You don’t think about the distance or the day. You just, you know, there is only the next 10 meters ahead of us”

The nerves and anxiety of the Tour d’Afrique riders on display in parts 1 & 2 of our 8 part video series now give way to the ebb and flow, struggles and the triumphs of their daily experience as the weeks and months flow by.

Part 3 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya

“When we crossed over into Kenya we left the mountains of Ethiopia behind and all of the sudden it was just this vast savannah like territory.” 

After leaving the mountain challenges in northern Ethiopia, the riders pedal out of the booming capital city of Addis Ababa and head south. Their legs are strong and they now have the confidence and conditioning to tackle Kenya. As one rider puts it, “we got into our stride a little bit.” They spin through the dry northern deserts of Kenya, passing through the tribal lands of the Borana, Samburu and Masai people. Riders then celebrate crossing  the equator in the shadow of Mt Kenya.

Part 4 – Nairobi, Kenya to Mbeya, Tanzania

 

Riding into Tanzania everybody was looking for Kilimanjaro

Riding out of Nairobi, the cyclists head south towards the border with Tanzania, keeping an eye out for their first view of legendary Mount Kilimanjaro. In Arusha, Tanzania, the riders trade in their bicycles for safari vehicles for 3 days and experience the incredible East African wildlife living in the Ngorongoro Crater and out on the Serengeti Plain. The next week takes them over some challenging roads in the vast interior of Western Tanzania. Sand, dirt, gravel and some tough climbs make this a very intense section. One rider commented – “There were a few days where I felt like throwing my bike into the bush.

RELATED
TOUR

Tour d’Afrique

Our original trans-continental journey and flagship expedition crossing Africa from north to south, covering almost 12,000 km in four months. A test…

Parts five and six of this 8 part series will be released in our November newsletter. You can read our summary of parts 1 & 2 here. Make sure you sign up! Simply enter your email address here.

Hats off to filmmaker Laundon Peacock for putting this series together. Through broken lenses, illness, limited internet/electricity, and bad weather he was able to produce something that we feel gives everyone a great insight into what it’s like to cycle the Tour d’Afrique.

Go to Homepage

Parts 1 & 2 of our 8-Part video series ‘Cycling Cairo to Cape Town’

“This is going to be the most fun you’ve had in your life. It’s also going to be some of the worst times.” Those were some of the first words shared with the 2019 Tour d’Afrique participants by tour leader Tallis at their initial meeting in Cairo. A day later they all took their first pedal strokes on what would be their four month journey across Africa.

This eight part series follows the participants through the ups and downs of cycling through Africa. Part one covers the first section known as Pharaoh’s Delight – from Cairo to Khartoum. Nervous riders start from beneath the great pyramids and head out into the arid landscapes of Egypt. They cycle alongside the Red Sea and pass through cities like Luxor along the Nile River. They take a quick ferry ride into Sudan and head out into the desert facing punishing headwinds on their way to Khartoum.

Part two covers the section known as The Gorge – named for the one pivotal stage into and back out of the Blue Nile Gorge. A grueling stage that ends with the climb out of the gorge; some 1400 m in a span of just 20 km. This video also highlights the cultural and geographic changes as the tour leaves Arab and arid Sudan for hilly sub-Saharan Ethiopia. It ends in the growing metropolis of Addis Ababa.

Parts three and four will be released in our October newsletter. Make sure you sign up! Simply enter your email address in the orange box above.

Hats off to filmmaker Laundon Peacock for putting this series together. Through broken lenses, illness, limited internet/electricity, and bad weather he was able to produce something that we feel gives everyone a great insight into what’s it’s like to cycle the Tour d’Afrique.

RELATED
TOUR

Tour d’Afrique

FULL TOUR

Our original trans-continental journey and flagship expedition crossing Africa from north to south, covering almost 12,000 km in four months. A test…

Go to Homepage
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