Out For a Bike Ride.......in Africa

We'll be leaving the US at the end of January 07, and heading to Tanzania for the first leg of the trip. The most convenient airport to fly into is Kilimanjaro, which basically serves the tourist trade to the mountain of the same name, and is parked between Arusha and Moshi. We've had tickets for JRO for some time, but had figured that actually doing the climb would be beyond budget and logistical possibilities. But about 3 weeks before leaving, we got to thinking that since we were bothering to fly all the way around the world, and since we are already acclimatized to Denver altitudes, and temperatures, it would just be silly not to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, so we've signed up with Tanzania Journeys to climb the Machame route Mt Uhuru (traditional name) is almost exactly halfway between Cairo and Cape Town (our final destination), and of course is the highest point in Africa, so after we hit the top, we're halfway there, and the rest should all be downhill, right?

After the climb it will be time to stop procrastinating and face the bicycles, and the heat, which will be a major shock since the high temperature in Denver as I write this is supposed to be 2F (-16C). From Tanzania we head south soaking up the culture shock and saying "nice kitty" to any very large felines we encounter. We'll pass from Tanzania into Malawi, down the west side of Lake Malawi and spend some time at the well known Liwonde national park checking out the very large mammal population.

From Malawi, we cross Zambia, and into Namibia at the Caprivi strip, which is the northern end of the Okavango Delta - that African geological curiosity where a number of rivers run inland into Botswana where they simply evaporate. We'll try to avoid doing the same.

Namibia is best known for the famous sand dunes and the skeleton coast, but also the Etosha Pan park - another good place to see large cats and hippos.

From the dunes, we then head south into South Africa and on down to Cape Town, and if we have any extra time, we'll just wander around the wine country along the coast east of Cape Town. Late in May we hop a 747 for Munich and start the culture shock all over again. But at least there will be a lot of gut bier (good beer) to cushion the shock this time.

[Main page] [Munich to Istanbul --->]

(click image for a much larger map with route sketched in)