How many kilometres do you plan to do per day/month?
We will generally cover approximately 120-130km per day if the roads are paved or at least good quality, firm but unsealed. A normal day will mean 6-8 hours of pedalling at roughly 20km/hr. Obviously less distance will be covered if pushing through 8 hours of sand or mud! The aim is to cover 2500km per month on average. We have to allow time off to recover (so we can sustain ourselves for ten months), maintain the education programme and website, negotiate visas and border crossings and, of course visit various projects and experience local cultures.
How will the team stay safe travelling through Africa?
Travelling through Africa with a support vehicle and camera equipment is likely to attract more attention than if Daniel and I were cycling unsupported. We have taken many precautions to mitigate potential security risks. We have organised a network of connections throughout the route such as; eight different partner organisations whose projects we are visiting during the journey, working with a number of mining companies from Senegal to Puntland who are helping with security and government connections, a long list of ‘fixers’ who will help with filming logistics and security.
The team is well-versed in keeping a low profile. Our driver, John is a veteran of many African expeditions, and his experience with regard to keeping out of trouble will be valuable.
Will this expedition result in a world first?
If Daniel and I manage to cycle across the entire breadth of Africa in a continuous line from Cap Vert, Senegal to Cape Hafun in Puntland, we believe this will be a world first. We cannot find evidence of anyone else achieving this feat. There are other cyclists who have certainly travelled more distance than we plan to within Africa, including someone who has circumnavigated the continent, but no one has included reaching Cape Hafun. We are fortunate to have some very special contacts who can help us reach our goal. Conditions will probably change several times over the coming months, but we have a possible opportunity to make it safely.
Of course this is just the physical aim, realising the real purpose of the expedition – promoting cultural understanding and learning firsthand about the causes of extreme poverty and what is and can be done to give a leg up rather than a hand out is more important.
Why will you be carrying approximately 30kg of baggage on your bikes when you are travelling with a support vehicle?
There will be times when Daniel and I are away from the support vehicle and wish to have the option of being independent. From experience, we believe that travelling this way changes the way people perceive us – showing that we are putting more trust in them and their people. This gives a better connection with the people and capturing their reactions to us is an important part of the story.
How can you become involved? Take action?
Everyone is invited to follow the expedition via this website and share in our learning experiences. School kids and teachers will be able to partake in a special, innovative education programme created by the international division of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development but relevant for schools within Australia and globally.
We also encourage people to support our partner organisations as they come into focus during the expedition.
Our expedition aims to inspire people to explore the world for themselves, to contribute and to make a difference in what ever way they can.
Are you raising money for charity?
We aren’t raising money directly, but we encourage our supporters to contribute to our expedition partners: Plan Australia, FARM-Africa, World Bicycle Relief, HUG, Supporters’ 500 Group, Afar Pastoralists’ Development Association, Tidene (Niger). If you need t-shirts, especially wholesale, we encourage you to buy them from EdunLive. All of these organisations are wonderful, providing much needed support for sustainable socio-economic development in the regions where they are active. They need your help.