The 7,000-mile, four-month Tour d’Afrique, TDA Global Cycling’s original transcontinental expedition, will return for a 16th year in 2018 and, for the first time, will visit one of the most remote parts of Africa, Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. Also for the first time, the Cairo-to-Cape Town trip will not include a race component, allowing riders to more fully experience the adventure and the route. The full tour begins Jan. 7, 2018, and ends May 5, 2018. Shorter sections of the tour are available.
Traveling through 10 countries, cyclists will depart from Egypt’s legendary Pyramids of Giza and ride along the Nile River past ancient temples, through the Sudanese desert, and up and down Ethiopia’s rugged Simien Mountains, crossing the Equator in Kenya. They’ll pedal past Tanzania’s legendary Mount Kilimanjaro, to Lake Malawi and Victoria Falls, down the wildlife-rich “Elephant Highway,” and along the edges of the magnificent Kalahari and Namib deserts, en route to the finish in the shadow of South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain.
New for 2018 is a three-day side trip on rest days to Ethiopia’s remote Omo Valley. Riders will leave their bikes in the village of Konso to visit tribes such as the Mursi and Hamer, which have retained cultural practices such as body painting, hair staining and lip plates. Other rest-day stops include three days at Victoria Falls, between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and two days each in Gondar, Ethiopia, site of the UNESCO-listed Fasil Ghebbi palace compound, and in the cosmopolitan Namibian capital, Windhoek.
The first and final nights of the Tour d’Afrique will be in hotels, while the remainder will be almost entirely camping. Due to the varied terrain and the length of TDA’s trips, cyclists must bring their own bike and camping gear.