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Old 05-12-09, 08:27 PM   #1
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biking eastern Africa

It's been ages since I've been on here, but I'm starting to think about a long tour after my Mexico/Guatemala trip of three years ago and a short Pacific Coast trip I just did, so I thought I'd post.

Is anyone out there thinking about biking in eastern Africa? I'm letting the idea marinate and wondering if anyone else is too. The countries I am interested in biking in are mainly Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and possibly Rwanda, Burundi, or Ethiopia... I would be doing some exploring of various agricultural non-profits along the way most likely. I would also love to go to Madagascar, perhaps things there will settle down soon and permit that.

If any of this sounds of interest to you or someone you know, please contact me. I am available to go in late June and to stay for as long as my money will hold out, which could be a while. I am also very flexible on most everything.

Or, if you've biked in any of the above countries and have imput to give me, let me know. It's not set in stone yet, I have several other possibilies I'm also considering, but this one is getting stronger.

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Old 05-13-09, 12:51 AM   #2
Biking to the Pits
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Dear Lamanda,

I'm writing to tell you of my own experience, riding in the wee country of Djibouti. I was drawn to Djibouti because of its geography: Lac Assal is the lowest point in Africa, 500 feet below sea level. It's a spectacular pit, but a hot one, too - I wouldn't recommend visiting in June.

However, I'd recommend Djibouti. It's for the independent cyclist, for sure, but the people were friendly and smart, curious and kind. The border lands are dangerous, because of tensions with Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, so you'd have to stick to the center. But if you get the chance, go.

Your list of countries encompasses an enormous area, so you need to pick your favorite point to begin, and let the winds, politics, and geography decide the rest. As well as your personal fears and goals. I, for one, couldn't camp in the land of Big Predators - I'd never get to sleep!

One more thing: check out Derva Murphy's books on touring in Africa (The Ukimwi Road: From Kenya to Zimbabwe, Muddling through in Madagascar, The Ukimwi Road: From Kenya to Zimbabwe; Paul Theroux's Dark Star Safari, and, I'll immodestly add, my own, Into Thick Air, which describes my Djibouti experience (and other low points).

I look forward to tales of your own adventures.

Jim Malusa
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Old 05-13-09, 09:10 AM   #3
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