Heading south from Khartoum, the Tour first passes through the Gezira region which is the “bread basket” of the Sudan. After the town of Sennar you will ride on rough off-roads near the fascinating and remote Dinder National Park. The countryside gradually changes as you cycle towards Ethiopia and 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 as well as one of its most unique and ancient cultures. This section will challenge your body more than any other due to the high altitude riding, not least during the first two days in country when the Tour takes the rough but slowly improving road up onto the plateau from Metema to the Gondar road junction. The second of these days features the most climbing – some 2500 meters – of any day on tour.
The Ethiopian Highlands offer several fascinating stops including Gondar city with its 17th century castles, and Bahir Dar where you can visit ancient monasteries on islands in Lake Tana and the Blue Nile Falls. While some riders may hesitate to sample such wonders of Ethiopian cuisine as injera (flat bread), shuro wat (chick pea stew), and kitfo (steak tartare), no-one can resist the espresso and juice bars found in all the larger towns.
From a cycling standpoint, the highlight of this section will be the Blue Nile Gorge, a 1600-meter precipitous descent and ascent on a newly paved road that will test the mettle of cyclists of any caliber. Once you have conquered the Blue Nile Gorge, the beautiful terrain of the central Ethiopian plateau will whiz by as you spin towards the capital city of Addis Ababa. The descent from the eucalyptus forested hills that surround Addis into the downtown core is an experience you will not soon forget.
Countries: Ethiopia and Sudan
Far Out Factor
January 31, 2014
February 17, 2014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
15 Days Riding
3 Days Resting
Ethiopia and Sudan