The journey from Cape Town to Cairo has intrigued many travellers. One did it on foot, another travels by public transport, some tried to plan a railroad between these towns. Duncan has decided to undertake the journey on his pushbike. During two stretches in two years he rides the epic journey. In 1986 and 1987 he rides, on each stretch accompanied by a friend.
Well, he did not bike all the way. I have to be honest. In the north of Zambia he travelled by bus, it was too dangerous to bike. Tanzania is travelled by train and matatu. The Northwestern part of Kenya was also a dangerous place. He travelled by car to Lake Turkana. One way or the other he skips the part of getting back to Nairobi and he flies to Khartoum. But parts of Sudan are not safe either, or impassable by bike, so he takes a train. But, to be honest, this still leaves me with an epic journey.
Duncan is a cyclist, but little does he write about cycling, his bike, his equipment.
Africa-travellers have a difficult relationship with borders, Duncan has as well. It is easier to get to Europe from Africa, than it is to get from one country in Africa to another one in Africa.
Probably Duncan was very tired at times, for he regularly misspells names of places.
In the Kenyan town Eldoret he meets a farmer from Britisch descent. We have met this very same farmer, who had an airstrip at his farm. We flew once with him from Eldoret to Nairobi.
There is one map of Africa with the route of his journey. It would have been nice to have a map for each chapter with more details.
Reading this book was a treat!
David Ewing Duncan – From Cape to Cairo. An African Odyssey – New York 1989 – 330 pages.