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What’s Next

The big question (when you arrive is Cape Town after 20 months cycling nearly 25,000km) is ‘What next?’ Well, here’s the answer…. http://helenstakeon.com/blog/whats-next/ As you can see, I’ve set up a new website for my new adventures. I’ll keep this Take On Africa website live, but most things I post from now on will be […]

Namibia (part 2) - The Dry

Namibia (part 2) – The Dry

Not much mentioning of the bike recently? Apart from one puncture (the first since Ghana, 8,000km ago) it’s been a smooth ride. Good tarmac roads since I left Lubumbashi – that’s 3,000km of excellent roads – and barely a hill in sight. Easy pedalling. Time to think; time to look around. Time to ponder and […]

Namibia (part 1) – The Wet

What’s not to love in Namibia? Beryl Markham, a remarkable woman who grew up in East Africa, wrote: ‘So there are many Africas. There are as many Africas as there are books about Africa… Being thus all things to all authors, it follows, I suppose, that Africa must be things to all readers. Africa is […]

All About Lions in Botswana

All About Lions in Botswana

I left Kasane, with the words ‘I’m surprised you’re still living’, still ringing in my ears. The road from Kasane south to Nata passes through game reserves. This means more animals and less people. I would need plenty of water and to be on the lookout for elephants and lions. Concerned with lack of water […]

Last Days in the Congo

Just a short note on my last days in the DR Congo. (Will write about Zambia and Botswana shortly as will happily hole up here in Namibia somewhere just to get out of the rain… but today I’m pedalling on towards Otjiwaronga – good name huh!) Leaving Congo I planned to leave Lumbumbashi sooner. But […]

A Little Less Cycling in Congo

A Little Less Cycling in Congo

Kikwit to Tchikapa – 343km in 5 days Kikwit – shit, leave quick Always happy to arrive in a town – Good food, cold drinks, a bed, a shower… Usually happier to be leaving town – peace, and quiet, less hassle, good views, fresh air. Kikwit was no exception. The hotel, once a luxury establishment; […]

Cameroon's Highlands

Cameroon’s Highlands

Time to hit the hills. Time to take on Cameroon’s Highlands. Top Speed I cycle out of Bamenda, refreshed after the rest. The road sweeps around the green hillsides and I look out down the valleys into the distance. I am reminded of an English summer on a crisp, clear morning before the sun warms […]

Finding Helen - White! White! White!

Finding Helen – White! White! White!

Scene 1 The dirt road from Ekok wound its way round and up and down through the thick, overgrown forest. Everything was big. Trees competing to grow the tallest, to reach out above the canopy and feel the sunlight on their leaves. Hillsides vanished into a mass of green where fast-flowing waters rushed loudly, out-of-sight, […]

Togo – A Mix of Religion

Love lost in Kpalime Over the border into Togo I flew down the hill into Kpalime. Another town in Africa. My introduction to Togo. Friendly people. French-speaking. I checked-in, showered and sat down in the hotel courtyard with a beer to celebrate a new country. Soon enough I had company. Yana spoke to me as […]

Ghana – The Return to Accra

Ghana – The Return to Accra

Sequels are often a let-down. The original is rarely surpassed. Ghana, the second time around however, was the exception. Not unexpectedly though. After some R&R, my energy levels and enthusiasm restored, I knew I would see the country in a different, brighter light. This time, I wasn’t going to let things get the better of […]