Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

Helping to promote Alan’s tours

I now appear on Alan’s tours website here:-

Unfortunately the link doesn’t work on mobile devices as it redirects to their website and strips the last bit of the url 🙁 🙁

Africa biking trip stats

Here’s my little spreadsheet of the 1,981 miles of biking I did with links to the Strava files:-

Africa biking trip Trip Totals 1,981 73,790 3,170
Daily average, biking days 62 2,306 99
Bike Day # Day Date Place (link to Strava) Accomodation Distance (Miles) Ascent (feet) Distance Km Night
1 Thursday 18-Feb-2016 Heathrow at 21.10 Flight
2 Friday 19-Feb-2016 Port Elizabeth at 18.35 GB Guest House
3 Saturday 20-Feb-2016 Port Elizabeth GB Guest House
4 Sunday 21-Feb-2016 Port Elizabeth GB Guest House
5 1 Monday 22-Feb-2016 Jefferys Bay Funky House 58 2428 93
6 2 Tuesday 23-Feb-2016 Eerstervierland Fynbos Golf and Country Estate 50 2595 79
7 3 Wednesday 24-Feb-2016 Plettenberg Bay Thandar View 60 3540 96
8 4 Thursday 25-Feb-2016 Knysna Amber guest lodge 31 1798 49
9 5 Friday 26-Feb-2016 George 43 3163 68
10 6 Saturday 27-Feb-2016 Oudtshoorn 41 3632 65
11 7 Sunday 28-Feb-2016 Ladismith 66 5394 105
12 8 Monday 29-Feb-2016 Barrydale 49 2504 79
13 9 Tuesday 1-Mar-2016 Montagu 40 2684 64
14 10 Wednesday 2-Mar-2016 Robertson 22 641 36
15 11 Thursday 3-Mar-2016 Villierdorp 55 2216 88
16 12 Friday 4-Mar-2016 Stellenbosch 43 3258 68
17 Saturday 5-Mar-2016 Stellenbosch 0 0 0
18 13 Sunday 6-Mar-2016 Stellenbosch to Argus Cape ride 100 5667 160
19 Monday 7-Mar-2016 Cape Town 0 0 0
20 14 Tuesday 8-Mar-2016 Bloubergstrand 14 273 22
21 15 Wednesday 9-Mar-2016 Velddrif 83 1813 133
22 16 Thursday 10-Mar-2016 Lamberts Bay 60 1597 95
23 17 Friday 11-Mar-2016 Nuwerus 80 3819 128
24 18 Saturday 12-Mar-2016 Garies 50 2565 80
25 19 Sunday 13-Mar-2016 Springbok Caravan park 75 6999 120
26 20 Monday 14-Mar-2016 Steinkopf 34 1673 55
27 21 Tuesday 15-Mar-2016 Noordoewer 38 1242 60
28 22 Wednesday 16-Mar-2016 Not Rosh Pinar 53 1434 85
29 23 Thursday 17-Mar-2016 Nearly Aus 87 4358 139
30 Friday 18-Mar-2016 Luderitz by car 0 0 0
31 24 Saturday 19-Mar-2016 Seeheim 106 2138 170
32 25 Sunday 20-Mar-2016 Keetmanshoop 33 1247 53
33 Monday 21-Mar-2016 Keetmanshoop train 0 0
34 Tuesday 22-Mar-2016 Windhoek 6 297 9
35 Wednesday 23-Mar-2016 Windhoek 0 0 0
36 26 Thursday 24-Mar-2016 West Nest Lodge 107 1735 171
37 27 Good Friday 25-Mar-2016 Zelda 83 386 132
38 28 Saturday 26-Mar-2016 Tshootsha jungle light (kalkfontein) 77 112 123 540
39 29 Sunday 27-Mar-2016 Ghanzi 73 149 116
40 Monday 28-Mar-2016 Ghanzi 0 0 0
41 30 Tuesday 29-Mar-2016 Sehithwa 121 140 194
42 31 Wednesday 30-Mar-2016 Maun senthaga 68 110 108 535
43 Thursday 31-Mar-2016 Maun senthaga 0
44 Friday 1-Apr-2016 Maun senthaga 0
45 Saturday 2-Apr-2016 Savuti Camping 0
46 Sunday 3-Apr-2016 Kasane The Old House 0
47 Monday 4-Apr-2016 Kasane The Old House 0
48 32 Tuesday 5-Apr-2016 Victoria Falls Shoestring backpackers 53 1152 85
49 Wednesday 6-Apr-2016 Victoria Falls Shoestring backpackers 0
50 Thursday 7-Apr-2016 Victoria Falls Shoestring backpackers 26 1031 42
51 Friday 8-Apr-2016 Victoria Falls Shoestring backpackers 0
52 Saturday 9-Apr-2016 Johannesburg Garden Court 0
53 Sunday 10-Apr-2016 Johannesburg Garden Court 0
54 Monday 11-Apr-2016 Jo’Burg airport at 20.20 Plane 0
55 Tuesday 12-Apr-2016 Heathrow at 06.35

And here are the biking gpx files mapped using Adze:-


and here is all the travel by internal combustion engine :-

The motorised bit of Africa 2016
The motorised bit of Africa 2016

25090 A walking day at Victoria Falls

Wednesday 6th April

I didn’t sleep at all well, maybe it was the excitement of visiting the Victoria Falls a childhood dream or maybe it was the bed!  The previous evening had been pretty awful with all the locals dossing about watching football 🙁 plus a silly ticketing system at the bar. Unfortunately for me  I  had already booked and paid for 4 nights.

For breakfast  I took myself of to The Shearwater Cafe followed by a stream of the usual touts :-(, Interestingly Shearwater seem to own everything in Victoria Falls.

Small section of the falls
Small section of the falls

I wandered down to The Falls and paid my $30 entrance fee. The falls are totally spectacular and didn’t disappoint at all far better than I ever imagined just so wide, nearly a mile, the volume of water is totally immense making me wonder why so much of Africa is desert and that Zimbabwe is importing food from South Africa.

I took loads of photos until the inevitable happened and the camera became waterlogged with the spray 🙁 🙁  fortunately the iPhone kept working.

I went to the internal cafe, Shearwater again, and tried to dry it out. I was not alone 🙁 a lady had an identical D550 that had suffered the same fate, she was in a much worse position than me as her travelling was only just beginning. She is off to China via the ‘stans. It’s a small world – she recognised me from the border post!

In the afternoon we did another quick tour of the falls the wind must have changed direction as you could see the falls much clearer than in the morning so I was able to get a nice header pic in front of the main fall 🙂

Then it was back through the touts to the town

true_size_of_africaApart from the camera a great ending to my first African trip 🙂 So pleased that I made it to the falls by using the train and safari vehicle. I wouldn’t have had time to bike the additional 1000 miles. Africa is just so vast it’s hard to imagine as you can see from the diagram.

So although I’ve biked 2000 miles it barely registers on the African scene 🙂

Once home I guess it will be time to send the Canon back to Colchester Cameras yet again! My next camera I think will be a Nikon which apparently are a lot more water resistant.


25089 Biking Kasane to Victoria Falls

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I left The Old House jut before 8am after the owner rescued the girl from faffing about on her ancient Windows PC trying to sort the bill out.

Notice wind direction :-(
Notice wind direction 🙁

The day started with a brisk headwind as you can see from the flags image and a climb of cause. Reaching the main road I came across a huge queue of trucks waiting to get into Zambia. I turned of and went down the remarkably quiet road to the Zimbabwean border post, passing large troops of monkeys at the roadside.

At the border there was a queue of 3 trucks 🙂 so I just biked straight to the office. I must say I love these border crossings on a bike! No queues ultra friendly guys and all very civilised I handed over my $55 and in return my passport page was filled with a bright sticker (I later learnt that for $10 more you can get a visa that admits you twice).

So on I cycled I was surprised to see several trucks carrying loads of refined copper cathodes obviously from Zambia. Another interesting thing was no trucks were carrying containers. Lots of elephant dung on the road which I wasn’t expecting. I didn’t see any but an oncoming car stopped to warn me of a herd crossing the road 1km away so they are close. The only animal I saw apart from a dead snake was a poor tortoise in the road, I chivvied him up to get to the verge before a truck got him!

Finally I made it to the Shoestrings Lodge/Backpackers must say it was quite a bit worse than I expected with an uncomfortable bed and need of maintenance 🙁 Plus  decidely expensive since Zimbabwe lost its currency to hyper inflation in 2008 (Ten Trillion notes are sold by the pesky touts in the street) they now use the US dollar.

about the best under the conditions
about the best under the conditions

I discovered it was $30 for entry to the falls but you could get a glimpse from the railway/road bridge so I walked there followed by a group of touts offering banknotes/carvings/bowls etc Maybe the train at $120 for a 3km ride and dinner would have been better 🙂

The Strava shows I rode 53.3mi with 1,152 feet of climbing.

My pics of the day are here