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Africa trip 2011


the first pictures of the trip
Written by Jerem   
Sunday, 02 October 2011 19:41

Here it is ! i ve been officialy on my way, since the 29th of september. Here are the very first picts, no more for today as my tent as a quite bad internet connection

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on the road to grenoble

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in Switzerland with Christophe

discovering new countries
Written by Jerem   
Friday, 07 October 2011 09:59

This monday, i ve passed by my first 'new country' of this trip : Liechtenstein.  Even if it can sound as exotic as tadjikistan, it s not. The country is a mountain squized between switzerland and austria, filled with banks and people speaking german (or swiss-german) and using swiss franc...

For those fond of culture i recommend the official website of the country

Here is a pict of the castle overlooking the capital city Vaduz.

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across central europe
Written by Jerem   
Friday, 07 October 2011 10:12

I arrived in poland yesterday evening. This morning has been the first day of rain since i ve started one week ago. So far everything went fine, i m getting used to the weight of the bike, things are starting to find their place in the bags.

warm krakow
Written by Jerem   
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 18:01

Thanks to Tomasz who offered me the tour of krakow, i had my first day break here. The warm welcome compensate for the cold temperatures.

Behind us : Krakow castle

on the way to africa
Written by Jerem   
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 18:27

It s common to say that the journey is more important than the destination. Here is one more proof with these very non-african landscapes from Slovakia :

snow on the Tatras mountains between Poland and Slovakia snow on the Tatras mountains between Poland and Slovakia

Written by Jerem   
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 14:19

2 days in Budapest, just the time to  replace my dying sleeping bag, and visit the city :
Matthias church, by day and night

matthias church matthias church

matthias church by night matthias church by night

eastern europe : rain and snow
Written by Jerem   
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 14:33

I haven t been lucky for this loop in eastern Europe. According to the locals, the weather has been good until the previous week, now it s really cold and rainy too.
My first day in Romania was ok, only a bit of rain when entering the Maramures, the northern part of the Carpathians mountains. The conditions were still ok to appreciate the local architecture.

maramures mountains maramures mountains

maramures church maramures church

leaving europe
Written by Jerem   
Saturday, 22 October 2011 20:41


I took again the road after one day stopped in Varna (Bulgaria) because of a storm. The sky was clear but soon after leaving the city, I found out what happened the previous day. About 30 centimetres were bordering the road all the way to Turkey, lots of trees were collapsed because of both the wind and the snow. Fortunately the temperature was quite warm (10 degrees) and the snow was melting fast.

snow at the Bulgarian - Turkish border snow at the Bulgarian - Turkish border

The next day, i rode to Cappadocia, to see these so particular landscapes.

south eastern turkey : from capadoccia to mt nemrut
Written by Jerem   
Sunday, 30 October 2011 21:37


Last picture from capadoccia : the love valley, famous for the shape of its rocks.

love valley love valley

crossing syria
Written by Jerem   
Sunday, 06 November 2011 17:55

After some difficulties, i ve finally entered syria.

I first tried on 3rd, and after one hours questioning, i ve been turned back to turkey, officialy because my visa is not valid.

The next day, i tried to gather infomations : has anybody entered recently syria from turkey, are the chances to enter different depending on the nationality, border post, visa...?

jordan - petra
Written by Jerem   
Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:44

The first big city and main point of interest when entering jordan from the north is Jerash, know for its old roman city, partially excavated

jerash jerash

Then the tourist route crosses the capital city Amman and goes down to the Dead sea.

now beggins the trip !!
Written by Jerem   
Saturday, 03 December 2011 06:54

after a 11000km / 7 weeks prologue in europe and asia, the african trip is now starting! i ve been riding in africa since the 13th of novembre.
the landscapes along the road look definitely exotic.

I want to take the chance to thank all those who made this possible :

egypt : sinai and suez
Written by Jerem   
Saturday, 03 December 2011 22:22

arriving in Africa has been as exotic as it should be:
first step when arriving in egypt is to proceed with the customs and import the bike (the visa and immigration process is easy going).
going out of the boat, our bikes (2 others bikers i met in jordan and i) are the only foreign vehicules, and the port is not really well road signed.
after reaching the custom area, we were guided by a police man to the (too) many desk / offices / counters for the following operations : chassis number copying, overlooking of our papers, stamping some papers, buying road insurrance, photocopying many papers, getting a real expensive small piece of paper writen in arabic, getting some other stamps, queuing -i didn t get the point of all counters-, and eventually paying for our temporary egyptian number plates (attached with tape) -not to mention the night we spent camping inside the custom area, trying to lower the price of the importation taxes !!!

egypt number plate egypt number plate

Cairo and Nile valley
Written by Jerem   
Sunday, 18 December 2011 08:35

Cairo is very famous for its traffic jams. Due to a late start from sinai, i reached the first suburbs of Cairo after the sunset. Average driving skill and safety concern is not high in whole egypt, but entering Cairo on a saturday evening is definitely one of the worse possible road experiences. Vehicules run at very various speed (from 5km/hour donkey carriage to 140km/hour flat out 20 years old peugeot 504) regardless of traffic lanes. Trucks usualy dont change lanes and keep left after they had overtaken another vehicule, while fast cars change lanes like in video games eventually flashing lights if you re one their way (keeping all lights off any other time even at night).

Sudan : pyramids and desert, again?
Written by Jerem   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 19:28

The boat trip to Sudan has been exactly as predicted : busy, rather uncomfortable but offering an unique sunrise view on the abu simbel temple.

boat deck boat deck

North Ethiopia
Written by Jerem   
Thursday, 26 January 2012 11:24

Coming from Sudan, the landscape changes rapidly near the border, from the desert to some kind of savanah,

last day in sudan last day in sudan

and then the road climbs to the ethiopian high plateau

1st mountain road 1st mountain road

ethio plateau 1 ethio plateau 1

ethio plateau 2 ethio plateau 2

ethio plateau 3 ethio plateau 3

First 'big' city after the border isGonder. As most of Ethiopia, this city as a rich history, and hosts one of the famous sights of the country : Fasiladas' palace (XVIIIth century) and some other castles built in the same complex.

addis ababa, broken bearings and south ethiopia
Written by Jerem   
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 15:49

Right after Lalibela came the first mechanical break down of the trip : one bearing of the rear wheel, which has been noisy for a few days, was now used to death.

broken bearing broken bearing

four days in kenya
Written by Jerem   
Monday, 20 February 2012 09:09

At the border Ethiopia / Kenya is the city of Moyale, known for both its remoteness and dangerousness. The road from here to the rest of Kenya is now by far the worst of the whole 'Cairo to Cape town' trip, being a stretch of 380 kilometres of what you dont like as a road, including small stones, big stones, trenchs made by the trucks during the rainy season and corrugations. Moyale is also the host of some conflicts between different tribes, reaching a critical level with the coming presidential elections. Fortunately for me, the army arrived in town 3 days ago and the place seems quiet again. It is important to start the journey south from here at dawn in order both to avoid the heat and be sure to arrive in some kind of a city before dusk.

early start from Moyale early start from Moyale

karibu !
Written by Jerem   
Sunday, 04 March 2012 14:33

My first stop in Uganda has been near Jinja, not because of the source of the Nile, river rapids and white water activities that attract many tourist there, but because i could meet Mahmoud, Belker and other of my previous colleagues who are currently working here. I enjoyed their company a couple of days before continuing the trip to the western part of Uganda. I wild-camped on the edge of the queen Elizabeth national park, which sits between the Rwenzori mountains to the west, and the lake Georges to the east.

sunset on Rwenzori mountains sunset on Rwenzori mountains

what an expensive trip to tanzania would be
Written by Jerem   
Friday, 30 March 2012 17:13

The Kilimajaro is the hightest peak of Africa, at 5896 metres high. it sits on a plain averaging 1500 metres above sea level. It s toped by 2 glaciers and sometimes receive snow falls.

snow on the kilimanjaro snow on the kilimanjaro

last days in tanzania, on the way to vic falls
Written by Jerem   
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 19:57

From Dar es salaam, i had to cross all Tanzania once again to reach the next country : Malawi. After the first days of excitment and once you get used to the crazy bus drivers, travelling in Tanzania is rather boring (and hot !), especialy in the eastern part of the country, the only occupation being the discussions with the traffic police each time i got caught for over speeding. The western side of the country is more mountaineous and remote, offering nicer rides...

last days in tanzania last days in tanzania

victoria falls
Written by Jerem   
Friday, 20 April 2012 21:11

Victoria falls are a highlight of southern africa. The biggest quantity of water flows down at the end of the rain season which comes in april / may (ie now). This huge quantity of water falling down the 100 metres or so creates a cloud of mist just in front of the falls, which immediately condensate and gives the 'zambezi showers' : a permanent heavy rain on the viewpoints. It s easy to see it from the side.

falls from the side falls from the side

zimbabwe and first rides in south africa
Written by Jerem   
Friday, 04 May 2012 09:37

I spent a couple of days in Livingstone / Victoria falls, enough to change my mind many times about my route for the rest of the trip, the remaining highlights of it being Lesotho and Namibia. It quickly came out that it wont be a good idea to visit Namibia first and then Lesotho in may (winter time), most of the country (and roads) standing at more than 2500m high. It still let me the choice on the route to go south to Lesotho. The rainy season being still active in Mozambique, I decided to go through Zimbabwe.

Swaziland !
Written by Jerem   
Thursday, 10 May 2012 13:55

After 28 kilometres of curves at the top of the mountains, the road lead me to a remote and not too much used swaziland border. Right passed the border is the local curiosity : the longest cable of the world (about 20 kilometres ) built to carry minerals from a mine.

longest cabl car longest cabl car

southern african highs drakensberg and lesotho
Written by Jerem   
Monday, 14 May 2012 16:45

After Swaziland, my route continued south, through the south african province called Kwazulu Natal or Zululand, home of the Zulu and land of the battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu war.

natal 1 natal 1

on the way to cape town
Written by Jerem   
Thursday, 24 May 2012 07:18

The Drakensberg mountains continue south of Lesotho into South Africa. So the next day, after a nice bush camp near a river, I carried on my way on small gravel roads amongst these mountains.

south drakensberk 1 south drakensberk 1

last days in south africa
Written by Jerem   
Saturday, 02 June 2012 11:59

I left Cape on another cloudy winter day, heading north. The road was not particulary interresting, and the landscape got gradualy more baren.

western cape 1 western cape 1

southern namibia
Written by Jerem   
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 20:11

For my first day in Namibia, I followed the Orange river which is one of the 3 perennial rivers of the country.

along orange river 1 along orange river 1

northern namibia and windhoek
Written by Jerem   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 10:33

Still on the namibian roads, with their particular road signs... warthog crossing !

warthog crossing warthog crossing

change of scene
Written by Jerem   
Monday, 09 July 2012 17:21

It was an incredible minus 7°C the morning we left Windhoek. After waiting a while, I could see the bike arriving and being loaded.

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