Join Date: Apr 2008
Bikes: Cervelo RS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Schwinn Typhoon, Nashbar touring, custom steel MTB
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I went to east Africa in 1995 and 1999 for a total of about three months. I've been to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and just across the border into (the country formerly known as) Zaire. It's been a decade since my last visit, but based on what I saw at that time I would not plan to bring a bicycle. Here are a couple of reasons:
1) Any bike you bring will be worth 100-1000X more than the best local bicycle. As such, it will be a huge target for thieves.
2) Most roads are extremely rough and road signs are non-existent. Finding your way around can be difficult at best.
3) Traffic is a killer. Literally. Right of way is determined by vehicle size and nobody in a motorized vehicle seems to have much respect for bicycles. Traffic accidents are often fatal due to the lack of ambulance service and long distances between medical facilities. The more remote you are, the less likely you are to encounter traffic; traffic in and around big cities can be particularly chaotic.
If it were me, I'd go sans bike and scope out the situation once I was in-country. If you decide you still want to ride, buy a bike once you're there. It may not be state-of-the-art, but it also won't stand out as a target for theft. If you have to bring a bike, I'd suggest a cheap, used mountain bike.