In Africa

What is Caravane?

The longest bicycle trek ever made across Africa that will:

* be spearheaded by Papa Amadou Touré, a son of Africa and the creator of the project;

* be led by a core group of young people passionate about the continent;

* invite the people of the continent to appreciate their amazing land and rich heritage; encourage them to engage with their fellow Africans; and encourage them to stay on the continent;

- welcome young people from around the world seeking a rich and inspiring experience;

* feature open-air projections in towns and villages, showing residents other parts of the continent they may not have discovered;

CARAVANE is an opportunity to show the world the often unseen – and inspiring -- side of Africa.

 

Project Creator

Papa Amadou Touré

Papa Amadou grew up in Dakar, Senegal, inquisitive and curious about his fellow human beings and the world around him. A keen listener with an eye for detail, as well as a good student, he pursued a degree in medicine. Spurred by his lust for adventure – and an ad he saw in a local paper – Papa Amadou decided to continue his studies in Montreal. He subsequently completed a one-year internship at one of the city’s main hospitals, however, despite receiving an excellent evaluation of his work, his foreign credentials were not recognised. Like many new immigrants he found himself in the position of having to take on menial jobs to support himself, and for the first time in his life he felt like an outsider. Around this time, he heard a series on Radio France International exploring Africa’s rich past and began reading the literature of Senegalese historian Cheikh Anta Diop. He began to reflect on his past, his experiences and his continent, and thus the dream to undertake an epic journey across Africa was born. He hammered out the details of his vision of a Caravane, talking about it to anyone who would listen, including a group at an African cultural centre in Montreal. Through the connections he made, Caravane was initially launched under the aegis of La Traversée Philanthropique, a Montreal-based non-profit organisation. Caravane grew rapidly, however, and became an organisation in its own right.

 

Archives d’Afrique

Cheikh Anta Diop

Centre Afrika

 

The Core Group

Caravane is an expedition of discovery across Africa, using the simplest, least expensive and most environmentally friendly mode of transportation: the bicycle. We aim to discover the continent – the second largest in the world -- but also to show African’s their continent in a new light.

Caravane aims to visit no less than 45 countries in four years, making it the biggest expedition of its kind in Africa by bike. An expedition of this scale needs a strong core group in which each member has a skill that can fulfil Caravane’s objectives, as well as a passion for the continent. And of course the core group needs to be made up of strong cyclists.

 

To participate you must:

  1. Be at least 20 years old and/or be able to demonstrate a certain level of maturity.
  2. Pass a medical exam deeming you fit to undertake the journey.

 

THE CORE GROUP:

  1. Must keep in good health. Papa Amadou, the project creator and leader of the group will serve as Caravane’s medic.
  2. Must include a bicycle mechanic who can demonstrate the ability to convey his/her knowledge so that other members of the group can learn bike mechanics.
  3. Will include a videographer and photographer who can capture the places we go and the people we meet with objectivity. We plan to project our film footage in the villages and towns we visit and hope to show the locals aspects of their land they may never have seen.
  4. Will have a truck to transport camera and medical equipment. In the event of injury or illness, the truck will also be used to transport members to seek medical care.
  5. Will welcome travellers who wish to join the group for any leg of the journey. This will need to be coordinated between our offices, the project leader and the core group.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of conditions.

 

Africans Join the Trek


"Africa of whom my grandmother sings
On the banks of the distant river
I have never known you
But your blood flows in my veins"

Caravane’s main objectives in Africa are to:

  1. Encourage young people on the continent to look at their surroundings with fresh eyes;
  2. Inspire pride in the continent’s potential but also spur action to make positive changes;
  3. Provide a space and context for local populations to intermingle;
  4. Foster African unity;
  5. Bring together Africans on the continent with Africans in the diaspora;
  6. Open up the continent to people from all corners of the globe who are curious about Africa and who have the same dream of creating a global village

 

To achieve our objectives, Caravane will visit youth centres, associations, universities, and community organisations to recruit volunteers who will be provided with bicycles, as well as plane fare for their return journey. The same requirements of the core group apply to all who want to join Caravane except for the qualifications in a particular field. Caravane will strive to get state support to facilitate the journey.

 

Youth of the World

" Va dans les terres et vois la véritable AFRIQUE

Va dans la jungle, au plus profond,

Tu trouveras ton cœur caché

Ton âme ancestrale et silencieuse. "

 

 

There are people all over the world who feel a connection to Africa despite never having set foot on the continent. Caravane aims to demystify the continent and transcend stereotypical images of it. We believe that the creation of a global village needs to begin in the cradle of humanity.

 

This adventure is for anyone wishing to discover Africa – or just a part of Africa. All you need is to bring your bike and find your own way home. The same stipulations will apply to all participants as for those who are part of the core group.

 

More details can be found under Join the Caravane.

 

Itinerary

The itinerary for Caravane was created with two essential conditions in mind:

1) To visit as many countries as possible and to encounter as many people and cultures as possible.

2) To end the journey at the foot of the pyramids in Egypt to symbolise the iconic nature of our undertaking -- both the physical journey, as well as the more long-lasting pursuit to strengthen the continent.

 

Keeping these two factors in mind, our journey will unfold as follows and include four main routes:

 

Departing January 2011:

 

ROUTE 1 - From Libya to Senegal going along the northern coast of Africa and the western coasts of Mauritania and Senegal.

ROUTE 2 - From Senegal to Chad, covering all the countries in the West (details to come)

ROUTE 3 - From Chad to Cape Town, South Africa, covering the countries in central and southern Africa.

ROUTE 4 - Head back up to Cairo going along the east coast of the continent.

 

By our calculations each of these routes should take about one year to complete. Issues of security will be taken into account when finalising each route. We encourage you to follow our journey and join us on any leg of it.