Lonely Planet Writer

Cycle the length of Africa in this epic four-month adventure across ten countries

If you’re a bigger fan of two wheels than four and have a generous vacation package, this incredible trans-continental cycling tour of Africa might just be the holiday of your lifetime.

Cyclists in Tour d’Afrique pass camels in Sudan. Image by TDA Global Cycling

The four-month, ten-country adventure Tour d’Afrique will kick off on 7 January 2018 from Cairo, travel down mainly the eastern side of Africa, before crossing to the west to end in Cape Town on 5 May. Some of the sights along the way include the Pyramids,  Mount Kilimanjaro, Victoria Falls and the Namib desert.

Throughout the 12,000 kilometres of the tour, there is an effort to strike out into some of the more remote regions of the continent, including Ethiopia’s Omo Valley to visit the tribes that reside there and Kenya’s Dida Galgalu desert with its extreme climate. This year, there will not be a race element, allowing cyclists the full freedom to enjoy the experience at their own pace.

Cyclist meets an elephant on the road
You never know what you’ll see on the way. Image by TDA Global Cycling

If four months is out of reach of your time off or your budget, the tour has been split up into eight sections, lasting on average two-three weeks, where you can join the tour to experience just one region. All the tours include your camping and food, tour leaders, both local and on-the-road support, and your baggage will be transported for you. When you finish, a bicycle will also be donated to an NGO in your name.

The tour is organised by TDA Global Cycling and is now in its 16th year. Its first trip in 2003 set the Guinness World Record for the fastest human-powered crossing of Africa. Participants are advised to prepare for the tour by riding for at least one hour, three times a week for three months prior to joining the event. The cost of the full tour is US$16,900 while sections start from $1,250.

Cycle through the sunrise. Image by TDA Global Cycling.