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7 African Motorcycle Travel Books

Here’s a selection of books by motorcycle adventurers who’ve travelled to the lands we visit on our tours. Many of them have travelled elsewhere also and they’re sure to get you thinking about your next adventure.


jupiter-travels African Motorcycle TravelJupiter’s Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph

by Ted Simon

Ted Simon is the grandfather of motorcycle adventure travel.

In 1973, at age 42, Ted set off from London on a 500cc Triumph and rode 63,000 miles over four years through 45 countries in a journey that took him around the world. Through breakdowns, prison, war, revolutions, disasters and a Californian commune, he travelled into the depths of fear and reached the heights of euphoria.

For Ted the trip became a journey into his soul, and for many others it provides an inspiration they will never forget.

Twenty-eight years later and interested in seeing how the world had changed, Ted set off on a BMW R80 GS, travelling 59,000 miles through 47 countries. With the aim of discovering how the world had changed in the intervening 28 years, on 27th January 2001, aged 69, Ted embarked on a second journey. This time he rode a BMW R80 GS over 59,000 miles through 47 countries.

Jupiter’s Travellers, Ted Simon’s Foundation encourages adventure travellers to go the extra mile and be reporters of truth in the world. Their ultimate aim is to promote understanding, reduce tension and to favour the chances of peace between our many cultures.

Rene Cormier sits as a member of the Committee of Advisors.


intoafrica-200x300Into Africa: Africa by Motorcycle – Every Day an Adventure

by Sam Manicom

“Wanting to do something completely different, Sam Manicom learned to ride a motorcycle and within three months he’d set off to ride the length of Africa. This one-year trip turned into an eight-year epic across 55 countries.”

“Sam’s first book – now released as a 2nd edition with colour photos – is the story of amazing Africa, its people and some very good reasons why not to fall off a motorcycle! Sam beautifully describes the challenges and delights of exploring this continent of surprises.”

“Since 1996 Sam has been writing for Motorcycle Sport and Leisure, Adventure Bike Rider, ADV Moto Magazine, Overland Magazine, Motorcycle Voyager, The Riders Digest, Motorcycle Monthly, Motorcycle News, Road Rider, Motociclismo, Motorcycle Explorer and various other motorcycle magazines and newspapers around the world.”



forksForks: A Quest for Culture, Cuisine, and Connection

by Allan Karl

This coffee-table book contains recipes for South African and Namibian cuisine.

FORKS brings the world to your table: An around-the-world adventure story. A colorful photo book with more than 700 color photographs. A global cookbook with 40 signature recipes.

Why would someone sell nearly everything he owns, pull roots, and travel for three years–alone–on a motorcycle? One day Allan Karl woke up to discover that he was unemployed and his marriage had ended in divorce.

Allan looked at these forks in the road of his life as an opportunity to both follow a life-long dream and pursue his passions. He hopped on his motorcycle and traveled around the world–alone. After three years and 62,000 miles of riding, through 35 countries on 5 continents, he returned home only to set out on another journey–to share the truths he’d uncovered and the lessons learned during his adventure around the world.

Between these pages, Allan shares the discoveries, cultures, and connections he made on this global adventure. Through stories, color photos, and the flavors of real local food, FORKS brings his adventure to life and the world to your table: the kindness of strangers, the beauty of humanity, the colors of culture, and the powerful gift of human connection.”


red-tape-and-white-knucklesRed Tape and White Knuckles: One Woman’s Adventure Through Africa

by Lois Pryce

“In her narrative work, Red Tape and White Knuckles, celebrated adventurer and author Lois Pryce shares the story of her 10,000 mile journey through the vast continent of Africa. In doing so, she reaches not only hardcore motorcycle enthusiasts, but every day readers as well.

Setting off from her home in London, Lois makes her way to the shores of Tunisia, the Sahara Desert, war-torn Angola, and the Congo basin before reaching her ultimate destination of Cape Town, South Africa. While some riders might insist on a high powered adventure motorcycle, fancy gear, and even a support crew for an expedition such as this, Lois makes her journey on a simple 250cc motorbike, wearing climate-appropriate travel clothes, and carrying along only the bare necessities.

Through her forthright writing, down to earth nature, and cheeky sense of humor, Lois makes this incredible, sometimes scary, and always surprising motorcycle journey through Africa accessible to all. Despite challenges and unexpected surprises throughout her journey, Lois tackles every obstacle head on and with immense strength of character. Whether you re a seasoned adventure motorcyclist, or just your average person looking for a good read, this story of action, discovery and achievement is sure to inspire and entertain from start to finish.”


motorcycle-messengersMotorcycle Messengers: Tales from the Road by Writers Who Ride

by Jeremy Kroeker (Ed)

Motorcycle Messengers is a collection of travel stories from some of the leading writers in the genre . . . plus a few people you’ve never heard of. Consider it a sample pack of authors.

Read a story by the fire and discover your new favourite motorcycle travel writer.”








Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle from Scotland to South Africa

by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman 

“After their fantastic trip around the world in 2004, recounted to acclaim in Long Way Round, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman couldn’t shake the travel bug. Inspired by their UNICEF visits to Africa, they knew they had to go back and experience this extraordinary continent in more depth.

In Long Way Down, they share their 15,000-mile journey, from the northernmost tip of Scotland to the southernmost tip of South Africa, to ride some of the toughest terrain in the world. Along the way, from the pyramids in Egypt to Luke Skywalker’s house in Tunisia, they meet people who have triumphed over terrifying experiences—former child soldiers in Uganda and children living amidst the minefields of Ethiopia.

They have a close encounter with a family of gorillas in Rwanda and are nearly trampled by a herd of elephants in Botswana. Riding through spectacular scenery, often in extreme temperatures, they face their hardest challenges yet. With their trademark humor and honesty, they tell their story—the drama, the dangers, and the sheer exhilaration of riding together again through a continent filled with magic and wonder.”


ugrUniversity of Gravel Roads: Global Lessons from a Four-Year Motorcycle Adventure

by Rene Cormier

“At the end of a great day of riding and exploring, have you ever wanted nothing more than to fall asleep, exhausted from new experiences, only to wake up the next day and do it all again?

…and again? …and again?”

Join the adventure as 33-year-old Rene Cormier politely removes himself from the working world that surrounds him and cashes in what few possessions he has to finance a three-year-long motorcycle journey around the world.

Never one to let excessive planning get in the way of a good ride, Rene runs out of money half way through the tour and ultimately takes five years to cover his 41-country, 154,000-kilometre (95,000 mile) route.