When I first had the idea of cycling from the UK to Cape Town, I’d never heard of anyone who had done such a crazy thing. I had met and heard of people cycling through Europe and Asia, North and South America, but never Africa. I don’t therefore know why it came as such as surprise to hear that others before me had also made the journey.

Way back when I first had the idea, nearly 18 months ago, I started researching on the internet to see if it would be feasible. I came across two sites documenting independent cycle tours through Africa:

  • Africa by Bike – Luke and Anna’s 2 year journey from UK to Cape Town
  • World Biking – Eric and Amaya’s continuing tour round Africa

It suddenly didn’t seem such a stupid idea. I contacted Luke and Anna who made the journey a few years ago and they reassured me that I would be fine as a solo female cyclist, presuming I take the usual precautions. That was all I needed to hear. Within days I had maps and guidebooks of Africa scattering my room and I was planning the route.

Over the past 18 months I have discovered many others who have made the trip and several more who are planning it.

The most famous are Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Admittedly, they travelled by motorbike and down the East, rather than West and so the similarities are vague. However, everyone seems to have heard of their trip Long Way Down which was documented by the BBC.

Other cyclists who have made the journey include:

And then there are those who are at a similar stage to me – busy making plans, raising funds, buying equipment and getting fit:

As for solo female cycle tourers, there’s

  • Dervla Murphy – a bit of a legend when it comes to cycle touring – who has cycled extensively in Africa and written numerous books

Of course, this is not a definitive list, but if you know of anyone else who has made the trip or is planning it, why not let me know.

As you can see, many people have cycled through Africa and lived to tell their tale of adventure – Here’s hoping that in two years time I can add my name to the list, with my own stories to recount. No doubt there will be many more adventurers following on in the future too.

Wanting to cycle through Africa is not such a crazy idea afterall. Or at least, if it is, there are plenty of other people doing the same crazy thing.