I’ve been fortunate enough to talk to many people about my travels and the one thing that continues to interest me is the depth of experience, money, time, and frankly, guts many riders think is necessary to ride in a foreign country. Among overseas destinations, Africa consistently raises an eyebrow as a tricky place to be, doubly so on a motorcycle. For most people, Mongolia is a complete unknown.
All of this FAR outweighs the cost and worries of travelling there and transit is easier than you may think. As with any destination, there will be concerns with routing and safety, but with professional and experienced people making the arrangements, the actual risk is greatly mitigated.
We are now into our sixth year bringing riders to Africa. Southern Africa is our stomping grounds for much of our time and home to my family. That’s important because Africa, like few other places I’ve ridden motorcycles, relies on a system of ‘who you know’ to get things done. Riders who want to experience the ride of a lifetime in a land as mythical and wonderful as this do not want to risk the organization to folks who run one tour a year there.
In 2015 we conducted our inaugural tour in Mongolia and are going back this year for a trip sold-out to African alumni. I spent a month riding through it in 2008 as part of my big ride. Although I’d been on the road for more than four years at that point, Mongolia, one of the most remote, least travelled, and least populated countries in the world, was a place full of uncertainties. It was difficult to get information on routing, infrastructure, and fuel availability. On top of that, the language was hard to learn quickly.
Riding motorcycles here might be as close to ‘exploring’ as the word used to mean. Wild, vast, demanding, and welcoming, it’s a land with few fences, horses, nomads, and a unique history dating back to Genghis Khan. It must be experienced!