Africa

World's toughest bike race? 12,000 km across Africa by cycle

Updated 5:07 AM ET, Thu January 16, 2014
Share
tour d'afrique 2014tour d'afrique 2014
1 of 13
The 2014 Tour d'Afrique began on January 10 from the Sudanese capital Khartoum. The race covers around 12,000 km, all the way down to Table Mountain, in Cape Town, South Africa. Courtesy Mohamed Siddig
All previous Tour d'Afrique races have set out from Cairo, but this year the Egyptian capital was deemed too dangerous. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Tour d'Afrique
Tour d'Afrique's highlights include crossing the Equator in Kenya, passing Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti in Tanzania, as well as Lake Malawi, Victoria Falls, and Namib desert. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Tour d'Afrique
The route passes through the deserts of Sudan, home of the infamous "haboob" sandstorm. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Tour d'Afrique
Desert heat isn't the only climatic challenge. Roads become mud baths during Tanzania's rainy season.(Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Tour d'Afrique
The race can bring out the best in people. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Tour d'Afrique
One of the toughest days of the Tour -- climbing the Blue Nile Gorge, in Ethiopia. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Catharina Robbertze/Tour d'Afrique/
A boy in Malawi takes a more laid back approach than the Tour cyclists ... courtesy Tour d'Afrique
This local cyclist performs an endurance feat of his own, while a competitor deals with a puncture. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Tour d'Afrique
Sandra McMillan, 73, a retired real estate agent and a mother of five from Canada, is the oldest rider in this year's Tour. Courtesy Mohamed Siddig
The biggest hazard for competitors? Cars. Pictured, the Tour d'Afrique convoy snakes into Kenyan capital Nairobi. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Catharina Robbertze/Tour d'Afrique
Terrain is another challenge, rarely more so than in the northern Kenyan lava rock desert. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Catharina Robbertze/Tour d'Afrique
The Tour can be a long and lonely journey, but "it teaches you what your strengths and weakness are," says Macmillan. (Pictured, 2013 Tour) courtesy Tour d'Afrique