My one year cycle across Africa

Cycle Across Africa Oct 13′ – Nov 14′

Aged 31, Derek Cullen left his home in Ireland to cycle across Africa. His journey would take him from Cape Town in the very south of the continent, through 11 countries until he reached the Great Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt. Lasting for one year, this self-funded adventure raised more than euro 7,000 for charity and would be the start of a newfound love of outdoor adventures for the Irishman.

“In late 2013 after the loss of both parents and a realization that my life was out of control, I began riding a bicycle solo across Africa. However, the goal was never really to cycle Africa but rather, to face up to some long standing personal issues. It just so happened that I managed to keep going everyday and unearthed a passion for outdoor adventures in the process”

The Route

The Africa bicycle tour began in Cape Town, South Africa and continued north into Namibia, before crossing east through Botswana until the Indian Ocean in Tanzania. From here it was a straight run north through Kenya, Ethiopia, North Sudan and Egypt.

Countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan & Egypt.

Derek ended this cycle across Africa by cycling home to Ireland via France, England, and Wales.

Challenges during the cycle across Africa

There were many challenges along the way but his biggest fear when it came to cycling Africa was sleeping alone in a tent and the prospect of wild animals. But Northern Kenya was the most nervous encounter that brought barren stretches of landscape which were best known for “bandits” and warring tribes.

Change and looking to the future

Cycling across Africa was a life altering experience and the beginning of a new career.

“I am forever grateful for the opportunity to ride a bicycle through Africa for every reason but mostly because it allowed me to look forward with optimism, having spent so many years consumed by darkness. Since then I have started my own small online business and continued to travel the world. However, if you would like to hear how everything came about from the very beginning, then it’s probably a better idea to start here, where you can understand the distinct lack of confidence and uncertainty which dominated the beginning of my journey.

Blogposts in order

Just in case you find it hard to decipher which blog post you should read next, I have listed the posts in order beginning in Cape Town and ending in Cairo as follows:

#1 Leaving Cape Town (South Africa)

#2 Western Cape to the Edge of the Namibian Desert

#3 Enter Botswana and a sad fairytale

#4 Weird and wonderful tales in the Kalahari

#5 Close encounter with a bull elephant

#6 What do you really want to do in life?

#7 Why we should fear the people of Africa

#8 How to love with memories and look forward

#9 Confession of an Introvert

#10 We share the same journey from different places

#11 Difference in believing

#12 Cycling Ethiopia when everything is wrong

#13 The true meaning of a journey

The benefit

Cycle across Africa raised Euro 7,500 for Ireland’s child cancer charity:

 Aoibheanns Pink Tie.