Desert Snow - One Girl's Take On Africa

Take On Africa

During the 20 months it took cycling from the UK to Cape Town, I had close encounters with many wild animals including snakes, scorpions and termites, an angry lion on the road, a jackal that ripped through my tent and stole food, and many elephants. I had to deal with corrupt officials and turn down numerous marriage proposals. But most notably of all, it is the kindness, hospitality and generosity of strangers I met along the way that I’ll remember.

Having entered Africa at Morocco, I traversed the Sahara, cycled through West Africa, for two weeks paddled down the Niger river in a locally-made pirogue (wooden boat) and spent three months crossing the Democratic Republic of Congo before entering southern Africa. I slept alone in the desert sands, in thick equatorial forests, outside the huts of local village chiefs surrounded by hundreds of children, in schools and the homes of people  I met.

The cycling was on roads ranging from beautifully smooth tarmac to muddy and sandy tracks that I had to tirelessly push or drag the fully-loaded bike weighing 50 kilograms. I passed through many different climatic regions and has had to cope with sandstorms, thunderstorms, endless rains and extreme heat.