Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions people have about cycling from Cairo to Cape Town. I hope they can help you plan your own Cairo to Cape Town cycling journey!
Cairo To Cape Town Cycle Touring
Over the years since I rode from England to Cape Town, many cyclists have had questions as they look at planning their own bike tours.
I'm always happy to help, and if you're thinking of cycling from Cairo to Cape Town you can drop me a line at dave (@) davestravelpages.com.
Cycling Africa – East Africa
Before that though, take a look through these frequently asked questions related to cycling the African continent, as there might be something that can help you out!
The answers are based on my own experiences cycling Cairo to Cape Town, as well as some of my other bike tours around the world. You can check out some of my trip blogs from those bicycle touring adventures here:
- My bike tours around the world
FAQ About Cairo Cape Town Cycling
Some of these questions are from readers. Others, are questions cyclists might ask when planning to go bicycle touring down the east coast of Africa.
What's it like cycling solo from Cairo to Cape Town?
First question is about solo travel, although I’ve travelled a lot with other people, I have never travelled solo. I’m keen to hear your views on this- if you did the Cairo to Cape Town or any other tours solo? Boredom, loneliness?
All my long distance bike tours were ridden solo. I have done other multi-month trips by car and backpacking with other people though. On the whole, I prefer to bike tour solo, as I really like the personal challenge and am comfortable spending time with myself (it's not for everyone though).
That's not to say I haven't cycled with other people. Even on the longer solo trips, I bumped into cyclists and we teamed up for periods of a few days for a few weeks.
In terms of loneliness, it would come down to how important being with other people is. Perhaps the lockdowns are showing us all a thing or two about that right now – you could consider it pre-training!!
In terms of boredom – There's a mix of things. Some places are challenging and it's just great to fall straight asleep at night. Other times, I might have ridden enough for one day and watched a movie on my laptop (or most likely updated the blog!).
Related: How to carry a laptop when bike touring
Boredom is not really an issue, especially if there is a side project like blogging/video making/ writing/ whatever. I personally like an element of creativity in order that I have a ‘reason' for what I am doing.
Which items of bike touring kit to take cycling to Cape Town from Cairo?
In terms of kit. Aside from the obvious- would you recommend any essential items which you could not have done without?
I'd say not to underestimate the value of a camping pillow. So much better than sleeping with your head on a bunch of folded up clothes! A Swiss Army knife as the most useful non-cycling tool.
Nowadays, I'd also say a Kindle as it reduces the amount of physical books to be carried. And finally a water filter – the amount of plastic used on a bike tour can be frightening when it comes to getting hold of clean drinking water.
Related: How to use less plastic when you travel
Read also: Bicycle Tools To Take To Africa and Do You Need A Stove?
How challenging is cycling in Africa?
What was the most challenging part of cycling in Africa? And which country?
Ethiopia is by far the most challenging country to cycle in. There's a lot of pressure all around that's difficult to put into words. There's the stone throwing by kids in Ethiopia of course, and everyone seems to want something from you.
You'd need to be on the top of your mental game to keep your cool in Ethiopia when cycling Africa! Most other cyclists feel the same.
Is cycling in Africa dangerous?
Dangers- I get a lot of people saying that Africa is extremely dangerous and I shouldn’t go alone. Whilst this only pushes me to want to go more. We’re there any dangers you encountered? Any parts of countries which you would recommend avoiding?
I didn't find any country in Africa particularly dangerous. Even Ethiopia as I look at it now was just highly annoying rather than dangerous. There were one or two incidences of course, but then we all have one or two incidences in any given year that could have been dangerous no matter what the country.
Key points are to be aware at all times and don't get drunk in stupid places (which applies anywhere I guess!). East Africa is relatively safe in my opinion.
One thing to start thinking about is Malaria and what you might want to take to prevent catching it. I personally took anti-malarials. I met two cyclists in Africa cycling together who didn't – one was fine, the other caught malaria and it didn't look too great a condition to have to me!
Bike touring food cycling Cairo to Cape Town
Food- if I wanted to ‘eat out’ all the time and not carry any meals/ cooking stove etc. With me- would this be a viable option for this route?
It's very possible to get away without carrying a stove. I ditched using mine somewhere in Sudan if memory serves! However, with the benefit of hindsight, I'd say the ability to cook 2 or 3 simple one pot meals a week yourself is better in terms of being a moral booster and worth the effort of carrying the smaller amount of extra weight.
Note – Obviously I wouldn't suggest cycling through active warzones. There's something going on in Ethiopia now, but if it's in an area you don't intend to cycle, it probably won't affect you in any way.
England to Cape Town Bike Touring Blogs
Read my blogs for bicycle touring England to Cape Town, including the Cairo Cape Town section here:
- #1 – Cycling from Northampton to Dover
- #2 – Cycling from Calais to Charleville
- #3 – Cycling from Charleville Nezziers to Strasbourg
- #4 – Cycling from Strasbourg to Blaustein
- #5 – Cycling from Blaustein to Schonau
- #6 – Cycling from Schonau to Budapest
- #7 – Cycling from Budapest to Carta
- #8 – Cycling from Carta to Madara
- #9 – Cycling from Madara to Istanbul
- #10 – Time off in Istanbul
- #11 – Cycling from Istanbul to Ankara
- #12 – Cycling from Ankara to Goreme
- #13 – Cycling from Goreme to Antakya
- #14 – Cycling from Antakya to Damascus
- #15 – Cycling from Damascus to Petra
- #16 – Cycling from Petra to Suez
- #17 – Cycling from Suez to Cairo
- #18 – Cycling from Cairo to Luxor
- #19 – Cycling from Luxor to Khartoum
- #20 – Cycling from Khartoum to Gondar
- #21 – Cycling from Gondar to Addis Ababa
- #22 – Cycling from Addis Ababa to Nairobi
- #23 – Cycling from Nairobi to Dar Es Salaam
- #24 – Time off in Dar Es Salaam
- #25 – Cycling from Dar Es Salaam to Mbeya
- #26 – Cycling from Mbeya to Lilongwe
- #27 – Cycling from Lilongwe to Lusaka
- #28 – Cycling from Lusaka to Livingstone
- #29 – Cycling from Livingstone to Gaborone
- #30 – Cycling from Gaborone to Springbok
- #31 – Cycling from Springbok to Cape Town
1 thought on “Cairo to Cape Town Cycle Ride – Frequently Asked Questions”
It sounds like biking in Ethiopia could be an interesting read as a book in its own right!