Website- Cairo to Cape


Tour d'Afrique, the world's longest and most spectacular bicycle race and expedition has attracted a record number of entrants for 2008.  56 full tour and 39 sectional riders from all over the world are gearing up to test their limits in the annual 12 000 km race and expedition down the length of Africa (from Cairo to Cape Town). Continued below


The Gorge: Khartoum to Addis Ababa
Start: Khartoum, Sudan - February 4
Finish: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - February 19
Distance: 16 Days- 1,572 km

Ethiopia Section of Tour d' Afrique: The riders enter Ethiopia from Sudan at Matema, travel through Gonder, Bahir Dar, the Blue Nile Gorge, Addis Ababa, Lake Lagano and Yabello before leaving Ethiopia at the Kenya border post of Moyale.  

From the city of Khartoum to the border of Ethiopia, you will pass through the "bread basket" of the Sudan. The countryside gradually changes as you cycle towards Ethiopia and you will also 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. This section will challenge your body more than any other section due to the high altitude riding. However, there are many interesting stops throughout Ethiopia such as Lake Tana where you can visit ancient monasteries and visit the Blue Nile Falls.

From a cycling standpoint, the highlight of this section will be the Blue Nile Gorge, an 1800-meter precipitous descent and ascent over a crumbling road that will test the mettle of cyclists of any calibre. Once you have conquered the Blue Nile Gorge, the beautiful rolling hills of central Ethiopia will whiz by as you cycle along a newly paved road into the capital city of Addis Ababa. The descent from the surrounding hills of Addis into the downtown core will be an experience you will not soon forget.

Meltdown Madness: Addis Ababa to Nairobi
Start: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - February 21
Finish: Nairobi, Kenya - March 10
Distance: 18 Days - 1,610 km

South of Addis Ababa, the terrain changes yet again to flatter countryside interspersed with beautiful lakes. Lake Langano is set against the Arsi Mountains and is an ideal stop for the riders to camp and take a much-deserved dip. You will also be riding through Shashemene, the unofficial capital of the Ethiopian Rastafarian community. 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 Crossing from Ethiopia into Kenya begins the "Meltdown" portion of this section/

On 12th January 2008 with the pyramids behind them and the African continent stretching ahead of them, the cyclists will collectively push the 'pause' button on their 'normal' lives for four months to begin a journey of both body and soul as they pedal their way through an epic adventure like no other.

 "2008 is our biggest year yet." said company founder and environmental activist, Henry Gold, who launched the first Tour d'Afrique 5 years ago in 2003.  "We had to cap the entries in October and still have hopeful riders on the waiting list."

Gold and his team are pioneering a new cycling category, trans-continental bicycle touring.  "The response to our 3 epic events is snowballing." continued Gold who recently led 37 cyclists across Asia andChina on the inaugural Silk Route Bicycle Expedition. 

"For Tour d'Afrique 2008, we have riders participating from 15 different countries, ranging in age from 22 to 67 and while the majority of them are doing it for the sheer joy and adventure of it, a handful of racers are going to be giving it all they've got." said Tour Leader, Miles MacDonald.  "The event attracts riders from all walks of life, each with their own unique stories and reasons for doing it, but what is heartening is how many of the entrants are riding to raise funds and awareness for good causes or charities."

On their journey through 10 African countries (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa) the riders travel past ancient temples, through game reserves teeming with wildlife, across deserts and the foothills of legendary Mount Kilimanjaro, alongside the rugged and biblical landscape of Ethiopia's Simian Mountains and through Botswana and Namibia's most magnificent wilderness areas.

Apart from experiencing the sheer joy, exhilaration and freedom that comes with crossing a continent by bicycle, one of the main goals of the company is to raise awareness of the damage being done to the environment through society's increasing use of motorized transportation.  Dangerous levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as a result of the use of cars worldwide play large part in the global warming crisis.

"It's common sense that the world needs to restrain the growth and use of car transportation." said Gold.  "Neither urban infrastructure nor the environment can sustain such dangerous levels of growth. As we travel across Africa over the next four months, we look forward to supporting this message.  By proving that it's possible for ordinary people to cross an entire continent by bicycle, we hope to inspire more people to use bikes instead of cars in their daily lives."

The journey takes approximately 120 days of which 96 are cycling days, averaging 125 km each day.  Support trucks transport the gear and equipment, and an experienced crew sets up camp each night and prepares four meals a day.

The Tour accommodates three categories:  Racers -individuals who plan to race all the way; Expedition Riders - who cover the daily distance at their own pace; Sectional Riders &endash; who ride a section or sections of the trip.  

Whether participating as a competitor or adventure cyclist, the Tour d'Afrique challenges riders physically and mentally like no other - with rewards of unsurpassed terrain and diversity, and an incomparable feeling of accomplishment that few have the opportunity to experience in a lifetime.  For the Tour d'Afrique 2008 riders, the time for this lifetime adventure is now, and they can hardly wait for the journey to begin.

For more information, visit and

For further media information and photographs contact:

Tour d'Afrique

Theresa Brown

Tel:  +27 21 674 5398

Cell:  +27 84 353 1975




Tour d'Afrique, the annual 12 000-kilometer bicycle race/expedition from Cairo to Cape Town, billed as the most grueling bicycle race on earth, has just completed its second week of the 16 week odyssey. 

 "The honeymoon is over!" said Cape Town racer Patrick Thomas as the riders faced the sand, dust and corrugated desert tracks of the Nubian Desert of Sudan under the full force of the African sun.

 "The ride finds different parts of your body to exacerbate." reflected Cape Town expedition rider, Darrel Wratten.

 "Nothing can prepare the riders for this section in Sudan" said Tour Leader, Shanny Hill.  "But they're adjusting well to the many new aspects that this cycling epic brings."   

 New sleeping patterns, different food and water, anti malaria drugs, the daily strain of the effort required to cover the distances each day, sun stroke, dehydration, desert winds, dust, fluctuations in temperature from 10 to 37 degrees and saddle sores a plenty are challenging them all beyond their limits.

 But the rewards are priceless.

 "Where else can you flag down a refrigerated truck and the next minute have 40 people lined up buying cold yoghurt in the middle of nowhere?" said Rachel Dobson, staff reporter for the Tour d'Afrique.

 A grueling 25 kilometer desert crossing on Sunday ended in a ferry trip across the Nile River and into the sands of the Sahara Desert. The highlight of the day was riding into the bustling, friendly town of Dongola, where the riders are enjoying a well earned rest day.

Traveling through 10 African countries in all, the cyclists have already clocked up 1 400 km's in 16 days through Egypt and Sudan.

The largest, yet least visited country in Africa, Sudan is home to over 37 million people made up of more than 550 ethnic groups.  In spite of their political problems and differences, hospitality and generosity is key amongst the Sudanese people. The cyclists are constantly invited into the simple, yet beautiful mud and stone homes for chai, coffee or a meal.

While the expedition riders soak up the culture in the villages, take photos and time out to meet the people along the way, the competition amongst the racers is foreshadowing an exciting race this year. 

Dutch racer, Adrie Frijters still holds the lead in the men's race, with American rider, Christopher Maun 3 minutes behind him, while Janet Alexander from America has a comfortable 13  hour lead over South African, Alice Rawlinson, in second position in the women's race.

From Dongola, the Tour will follow the Nile for a day and half, crossing into the Sahara desert before entering the city of Khartoum on 3rd February at the confluence of the Blue and the White Nile rivers. 

For regular updates and more information visit

Theresa Brown

Tour d'Afrique &endash; Cape Town, South Africa

Tel:                  +27 21 421 9342

Mobile              +27 84 353 1975


Mike Coo

Tour d'Afrique &endash; Toronto, Canada

Tel:                   +1 416 364-8255


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