Embark on the adventure of a lifetime from Cairo to Cape Town!
“The Tour d’Afrique is the ultimate test of endurance and tenacity amidst some of the most beautiful environments and cultures in the world. Each day yields new and unexpected challenges, discoveries and friendships. Riding a bicycle is the perfect pace for exploring and encountering Africa on the outside and one’s own personal limits on the inside.”
- Erin Sprague, 2010 Tour d’Afrique Full Tour Rider
Each year since 2003, a group of strong-willed men and women have undertaken a journey of body and soul on roads less traveled, pedaling their way across Africa on the ultimate long distance cycling adventure.
Welcome to the annual Tour d’Afrique, an 11,718 km bicycle expedition and race from Cairo to Cape Town. This classic route will challenge you physically and mentally like no other – and reward you with scenes of unsurpassed splendor and an incomparable feeling of accomplishment.
Some 400 cyclists from more than 20 countries have completed this intrepid journey, including cycle cross and mountain bike riders of all skill levels, retired couples, university students and professors, doctors and nurses, IT professionals, diabetics, a blind person, and a double amputee. If they can do it, so can you.
The Tour’s mandate is several fold: first, to cross Africa by human power and to experience its beauty and diversity from the best seat in the house – your bicycle seat; second, to create a unique athletic endurance event for both amateurs and professionals; third, to give something back to Africa by raising funds for bicycle donations to community health & development groups; fourth, to raise consciousness about bicycles as an alternative and appropriate means of transport.
Whether you need an escape from your workstation and the rat race, are searching for your retirement dream trip, or simply want to explore the world between school and your first “real job,” we hope you will be inspired to join us on this journey of challenge, discovery, and triumph.
The Tour features 94 cycling days or stages, averaging 123 km each, broken up by 25 rest days and 2 days of ferry boat travel for a total of 121 days in traversing Africa from north to south. Stages range from 80 km on rough terrain to more than 180 km on the best paved roads.
Traveling through 10 countries in all, you will cycle along the Nile past ancient temples, through the Sudanese desert, and up and down the biblical landscapes of Ethiopia’s rugged Simian Mountains. After crossing the Equator in Kenya, you will pedal past legendary Mount Kilimanjaro, to Lake Malawi, Victoria Falls, and along the edges of the magnificent Kalahari and Namib deserts, en route to the finish of your epic journey in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa.
While the thought of cycling across Africa will intimidate most people, anyone who is in decent shape, and who has a solid dose of determination, an open mind, and a spirit for adventure can do it … believe it or not! Egypt’s smooth roads and pleasant temperatures provide a great warm-up for participants to find their legs, especially those without previous long distance biking experience. After a few days most riders become accustomed to the routines of the tour, having found a comfortable speed and some new friends of similar pace to spin down the road with. Energy levels run high as your conditioning increases, and you encounter new adventures in places off the beaten track.
Of course, there are also challenges and the occasional danger to watch out for. On the hottest days dehydration is a real possibility and the need to keep pumping fluids and fuel into your body is key. A good personal hygiene routine is also vital, as many of the diseases that prevail in Africa are sanitation related. In Ethiopia stone throwing children will try your patience and keep you on your toes. While much of the Tour is on roads with relatively little traffic, there are a few days where the traffic is heavier and faster, and defensive cycling becomes de rigeur. Above all it is important to watch over oneself, to not overdo it, and to recognize when your energy and defenses may be down and when it would be sensible to take it easy and maybe even ride the truck for a ½ day or a full day.
Everyone who completes the Tour d’Afrique savors the triumph of conquering one of the longest and most difficult bike expeditions and races in history. Some participants strive to attain elusive EFI (“Every Fabulous Inch”) status, with about a dozen riders succeeding each year. Others set themselves the goal of winning a stage, a section or country, or the entire Tour race in either the men’s or women’s category. But for most, the freedom of having nothing to do today and tomorrow except spin down the African road simply can not be beat. Whatever your motivation, we look forward to celebrating with you, en route, and at the finish line, where medals, prizes, and the realization of a lifetime achievement await.
All riders must pay a $150 US registration fee that is in addition to the entry fee.
A discount of $600 US is applied to the entry fee if received before July 10, 2013. This discount only applies to full tour riders.
Sectional riders will receive a 10% discount on their entry fee if they do more than one section. This discount does not apply to full tour riders.