January 6, 2006 – Tour d’Afrique 2006, the annual 12 000-kilometer bicycle race/expedition from Cairo to Cape Town, billed as the most gruelling bicycle race on earth, is all set to begin its fourth Tour on January 14th.
Travelling through 10 African countries in all, the Tour travels past ancient temples, through game reserves teeming with wildlife, across the foothills of legendary Mount Kilimanjaro, alongside the rugged and biblical landscape of Ethiopia’s Simian Mountains and the edge of Botswana’s magnificent Kalahari.
The journey takes approximately 120 days of which 95 are cycling days . The cyclists cover an average distance of 125 km (75 miles) each day with a rest day every 5-6 days.
A record number of riders are participating in the 2006 Tour. 44 cyclists are riding all the way with another 20 who will be riding one of more of the many sections.
Participants are from Holland, UK, Germany, Canada, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, the USA and South Africa.
For those unable to do the full Tour, cyclists are able to ride one or more of the many sections and measure themselves against those who have been riding from the Giza Pyramids and are competing each and every day. This year the organizers have created an exciting new racing segment called the Khoisan Challenge.
The Khoisan Challenge is a 26- day section from Victoria Falls to Cape Town. Covering just over 3,000 kms, it travels through Botswana, Namibia and South Africa from April 18 th to May 13th. This section would normally cost US $4,498 but a special rate of US $2,500 has been set to introduce and promote the final and most exciting stages of the Tour.
“Part of what the Tour d`Afrique is about is to allow participants to get to know the beauty and the culture of Africa and its inhabitants.” Says Henry Gold, founder of the Tour d’Afrique. “So we’ve decided that it’s time to accentuate and celebrate the valour of the Khoisan people, whose tenacity as hunter/gatherers is probably the most important characteristic needed for anyone who wants to win the Tour d’Afrique or any other section of the Tour.”
This year the Tour d’Afrique will award prizes to winners of each section and a special prize for the winners of the Khoisan Challenge.
To follow the race or for more information, visit www.tourdafrique.com
The Tour d’Afrique is open to anyone over the age 18 who has undertaken a medical examination to ensure that they are physically capable of participating in this journey. Individuals under 18 must provide release from their legal guardian in order to partake, and no one under the age of 16 years is eligible.
The Khoisan Challenge – 2006
Start: Victoria Falls, Zambia — April 18, 2006
Finish: Cape Town, South Africa — May 13, 2006
Duration: 26 days
Distance: 3,196 km (1,998 miles)
Special Pricing: US $2,500 (Discounted from: US $4,498)
The earliest inhabitants of southern Africa were the Khoi and San peoples. Identified today as the Khoisan they were hardy hunter-gatherers, known for their stamina in pursuit of wild game over long distances, and living in total harmony with nature on a diet supplemented by honey, roots and fruits of plants — as some tribesmen still do to this day.
The Khoisan Challenge is a modern-day test of speed and stamina that will pit cyclists competing in the fourth annual Tour d’Afrqiue transcontinental race, which left Cairo January 14, against fresh and ready cyclists from around the southern African region and elsewhere, riding in the spirited tradition of the Khoisan people.
Beginning at one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders, Victoria Falls, the route of the race follows the fringes of the Kalahari Desert, the plains of Botswana — warning…elephants always have the right-of-way — through Namibia and into South Africa, along the western coast of the Cape — a true Khoisan distance event. Camping in the bush, and moving by bicycle across southern Africa’s landscapes, this race will honour the Khoisan traditions of harmony with nature — right to the point where Table Mountain — looming over the modern city of Cape Town — greets participants at the finish.