Bicycle Africa bicycle tour, adventure travel

Bicycle Africa

Liberia, West Africa (click to enlarge)

Comments & Testimonials: West Africa

blue bar

Homepage
Search
Overview
Philosophy
Schedule
Registration
FAQ
References
Discounts
Myths
Travel Consulting
Staff
Jobs
Links

Comments and Testimonials from past participants.... 

Cameroon / Ghana / Liberia / Mali / Senegal/Gambia / Sierra Leone / Togo/Benin

Ed Note: Due to media reports on problem spots in Africa, perhaps you are a bit hesitant to bicycle there. As a responsible company specializing in Africa, we would like to ease your mind. While Africa is not without its problems, we are very selective about where and when we travel. The general information on Africa misrepresents how safe, serene and welcoming the continent as a whole has been and continues to be.  Let our past participants tell you what they experienced.  References are available on request, email us at: "[email protected]" our domain name.

Cameroon:

"The trip encompassed the best month of my life... Bicycle Africa did its best to throw us headlong into African life so that everything we did became learning experience. Most programs control the environment around the traveler so much that they insulate their guests from the personal impact that a truly different society can have on them. You do not complete a Bicycle Africa trip unaffected by the experience.

"[Among my friends] there is commonly surprise that such a trip is possible. And even more surprise, even disbelief, that it is enjoyable... The mode of travel was vital to the experience. It gave us time to see and to reflect on what we were seeing. A motor vehicle would destroy many aspects of the experience. The very uniqueness of our mode of travel served as an ice breaker whenever we met anyone. For the Africans it seemed a very convincing demonstration of the appropriateness of the bicycle for work, travel and recreation."
Bobbi Nan R.

"Everyday of Bicycle Africa was an opportunity to learn.... The Africans were very impressed by the American bicyclists and were delighted to have us in their country. They were honored that we chose to come to their country. I'm sure we'll be remember positively for a long time. I learned so much about Africa and found the bicycle a great way to intimately experience the country."
Mary K.

"I think the bicycle is an ideal way to explore Africa. It seems like more expensive trips isolate the traveler more than expand their horizons. I appreciate the inexpensive cost of the program and the sheer variety of villages, restaurants, and hotels that we patronized. True, it’s a trip that requires a lot of effort—but that effort makes the trip seem all that much more valuable because of it, and the experience with Africa more intimate and sensory.... These trips just do something to you. I feel like a different person. These trips really get into your blood."
Eric M. (3 program participant)

"This is the most friendly country I've ever been to!  People seemed genuinely interested in teaching me about their country. In Douala I asked some random guy how to find the Akwa statue and he turned out to be related to him. He brought out some very old photos of his family and historical photos of Douala and spent like 2 hours explaining the history of the city to me without me having to ask. It was really cool. He didn't even ask me for money or anything!"
Jill K. (7 program participant)

"I like the Bicycle Africa approach to traveling – now that I’ve experienced it, I think it will be hard to go back to traveling any other way. I don’t consider myself a cyclist, but I’ve come to develop a sincere appreciation for bicycle touring.

"I think one of the greatest things about bicycling as a means of travel is that it allows you to see so much more than you would otherwise – you have the chance to stop, to talk with people, to find hidden pathways and to go at a pace where you can appreciate your surroundings. It also means that you travel simply – bringing only what you can carry – and it has the remarkable effect of reminding us of what is truly necessary and important in our daily lives....

"I did have fun. I really enjoyed our little group – the initial four and also the addition of Julius and Yau. I thought that the scenery in Cameroon was stunning and the people were friendly. I was glad for the chance to practice my French.  I liked the food – rice and beans, ndole, fufu, jam-mu jam-mu, omlettes, bread, Nescafe with sweetened condensed milk (which I now drink at home – probably not the healthiest of beverages!). I especially liked the fact that we ate and slept at places where Cameroonians eat and stay. So often, when we travel, we stay in hotels and eat at tourist restaurants and have an experience that doesn’t really resemble that of the people who live in the country...

"I liked the fact that we could veer off the beaten path and explore something that we were curious about – like the Fon’s palance in Babungo – or that we could tour the Sultan’s palace, visit Peter’s museum, meet the Fon of Nso, or stop at the side of the road to check out a local market. I also liked I enjoyed the impromptu stops to look at rubber trees, or cocoa beans drying.  It’s nice to be able to explore something that you’re curious about in greater depth, and to feel that the schedule allows for it.  I enjoyed learning more about various facets of West African (thought admittedly was sometimes a bit spacey at the end of the day) – particularly things like the different language groups in Cameroon. It’s nice to have a bit of context."
Gill M.

The Cameroon program has been immortalized in the "Masked Rider" by Neil Peart

Return to the top of the page

Ghana:

"This went beyond my expectations! Which is excellent. I never would have been able to do as much people-to-people experience on my own. So the guided trip was excellent for this. A few days in the small village gave a really good feeling for how Ghanaians live day to day. I now really appreciate traditional culture and the importance of it to the social fabric of rural society."
Steve R.

"The cross-cultural and educational opportunities were varied and very worthwhile. Sometimes it put me in an overload mode. Your expertise and explanations of what we encountered made the experience more understandable and worthwhile."
Connie J.

"The best part was making new friends and riding roads with no traffic."
Douglas H.

"We enjoyed interacting with people of all walks of life and finding out they didn't resent us. The educational opportunities were limitless."
Peter B. & Lorna P.

"Being on bicycles made us both more interesting and more accessible than the typical tourist. Cycling kept me feeling health. It was great to be getting a lot of exercise and not being cooped up in a bus or something."
Karen H.

"I really enjoyed all aspects of the trip. The variety of scenery, culture and accommodation was great and felt we got a good appreciation for the country as a whole.  Its not a program for everyone, but for someone relaxed, flexible, and really getting to see a country in great details, this is an amazing way to do it."
Tomas C.

Return to the top of the page

Mali:

"At sunset, I stood looking over the houses from an adobe rooftop. The only sound I could hear was conversation -- no radio, no TV, no traffic. As darkness fell, broken only by stars, a few lanterns and the rising moon, I climb down to the courtyard and joined the rest of our group talking with some villagers. These are the times that call you back to Africa."
Neil P. (5 program participant)

"Fabulous sights / interesting nights, wonderful trails / energetic travails, minimal traffica / that's Bike Africa."
Don and Barb C. (3 program participants)

"We appreciate the luxury of being in surroundings where the social fabric seems to weave in all threads, where human dignity is not restricted to the highest bidders."
Shelly A. and Susan B.

"The best part of the program was visiting the towns, villages, and local spots outside the cities.  Seeing the people in their homes, towns and villages made the trip."
Marianne T.

"Bicycling is by far the best way to see a third world country."
Richard D. (4 program participant)

"I just wanted to tell you that I had a wonderful time on the Mali trip. Even my few miserable moments I now find entertaining. I really loved the off the beaten path / live like a local approach. It was exactly the kind of trip I was hoping it would be. Very memorable."
Ann D. (2 program participant)

"I found the trip to be exceptionally well planned; I liked the variety of transportation modes, varying length of riding days, the ratio of “packed” cultural days next to quieter ones, etc... I cannot imagine how I could have had a better time. I loved the people I rode with, the country I saw, and the wide range of experiences."
Vicki W.

"Excellent trip with good balance of cycling, historical education and cultural immersion...Very positive unstructured approach -- seeing, experiencing and discussing these experiences was very educational.... Tremendous immersion in day to day Malian society."
Jill A.

"It was the greatest trip of my life -- it was also the hardest but that seems to help it go into you deeper and make greater changes in how one see's the world and lives in it. I hope to do another trip very soon."
Betsy W. (now a 4 program participant)

postcard from Africa

Hand-painted postcard from Betsy W.

"Once again, thank you for an excellent time; full of special moments, unique experiences, and memories of a lifetime (sound familiar).  Really, an unforgettable experience.  I wouldn't trade trudging through the sand in Mali and Senegal for anything.  Why would anyone want to pass up a chance to see a place like Niongono?  Touba was well worth the effort.  I can't believe that I actually got the opportunity to pray inside the mosque in Djenne!  No one else I know can say that, and that alone was worth it.

"The trip was beyond my expectations. I met some extraordinary people, saw fantastic and remarkable things that I will never forget, and had the opportunity to do more cycling than I had ever done before.

"I would recommend this trip to those people who are open minded, culturally sensitive, flexible, and enjoy cycling. It's amazing how much more you see and experience when traveling at the speed of a bike."
Helen S.

"David, I can't possibly thank you enough for exposing me to Africa. I don't even feel like the same person anymore. When I was in lalaland during my first week back at work, my boss kept saying "Il, you gotta let it go. You have to leave that place behind you." All I could think was a part of me is still floating around in Mali and there's nothing he can do about it..... Once again, I am eternally grateful for the experience."
Jill K. (after first trip, now a multi-program participant)

"I really enjoyed the combination of cycling and learning about the local culture. I had never been on a bike tour before, so it was a completely new experience for me... [The best parts were] staying with the village chief in Somadogou, backcountry cycling to Niongono and trekking in Dogon. It was fascinating to see what happens in every day lives of people... Frankly I'm amazed people aren't flocking to Ibike to go on tours."
Romel J.

"One of the reasons I have chosen the Ibike option is because of the emphasis on learning about the place and people, etc. ... Ibike provides cross-cultural / people-to-people experiences better than any other company I’ve traveled with --  a good thing."
Ralph M. (a multi-program participant)

"Thank you so much for providing me with such a unique opportunity to see Africa.  Your extensive knowledge and experience, combined with your patience, willingness to teach, sense of humor and friendship made the trip particularly memorable and special for me.  I truly appreciate the insight and perspective (and love of biking!) that the tour has given me.  Looking forward to more Ibike in 2010!"
Laura G.

"[I enjoyed] the uniqueness of the program. It fits me well I am just grateful it is available."
April B.

"This trip exceeded my expectations. David's in depth knowledge of the history, geography, and culture of the areas provided an added educational component...  I thoroughly appreciated the educational lectures, and they have motivated me to begin reading modern literature about West Africa since my return. The educational talks provided much needed context to the areas in which we travelled, and without them, I do not feel that I would have been able to appreciate the area as much as I did. In addition to the historical and cultural education, I also valued the bicycle training, tips, and information... I had the most wonderful time cycling that I have ever had in my whole life. While I have always cycled occasionally, this trip reinvigorated my love of cycling and in particular, cycling in new parts of the world and learning about bicycle mechanics... I had SO much fun! I wish I could do it all over again and take over Bicycle Africa myself. There is not a day that passes that I do not think of my time on the tour...  My goal is to go on one every year."
Laura G.

Return to the top of the page

Senegal / Gambia:

"That trip was the best ever -- yes it was...is memories of a lifetime."
Clara T. (this was sent to us 13 years after the trip)

"As a woman in her late 60's, I had some doubts, prior to the trip, but I soon found that a bicycle tour is a great way to be introduced to West Africa. I am eager to return."
Mary L. (5 program participant)

"Where else can you have an experience like this!  To mention a few of the best parts of the program: sitting in on a class in a rural primary school, spending the night at the chief's compound sharing our mutual delight in each other's presence; being invited to speak with the English class at a school in Foundgionge; the kids on the beach excited to practice their English with me and find out about my part of the world (curious kids are always refreshing); Abdoulaye, the immensely eloquent university student describing his studies-  majoring in English and in African and oral literature; the bag of peanuts given to me by a women in a remote village where we had stopped for a rest and some water (one of many 'cadeau's I received); and most certainly Madeleine, our gracious and beautiful Senegalese hostess. The opportunity to stay in touch with some of the people we met -- by e-mail!"
Hope W. (now a 5 program participant)

"I'm happy to recommend David's Africa bike tours.  I did 2 tours -- both were experiences-of-a-lifetime for me.

"David really knows his stuff about Africa, biking, and traveling. His tours are professionally run but very personalized--I felt like everybody's needs were heard and considered in all the decisions he/we made en route.

"The biking: Easily "do-able" for anybody with good basic physical fitness. The pace is never rushed--you can always go at your own pace, and there are frequently lesser- or greater-mileage options on any given day.

"If you're looking for a fancy, upscale trip, don't do a Bicycle Africa trip. This is by no means a "negative," unless you were EXPECTING a fancy trip! David's trips give you an opportunity to see how people live and join in as much as you want. I don't particularly like being a typical "tourist"--I prefer opportunities to try out life as a "Local;" that's what I got on my Bicycle Africa trips"
Lola J (2 program participant)

"It was a tough but fantastic experience - David was right when he called the program an experience of a life time.  thank you, David, for your interesting program and the good leadership and comradeship. Especially I admired that you always found the right way in a country with so few traffic signs!"
Hansruedi S (4 program participant)

"I really like the manner in which the tour was run. Most commercial tours seem to have somewhat of a bubble feel, with some kind of bubble separating us from where we are. That is why I prefer self-contained touring. It is total immersion. Sometimes I go alone. Sometimes I go with a small group. When I go with a small group, usually one person sort of leads it. That makes it possible to go places where I don't speak the local language. The Ibike tour had the same feeling that I get when I go with friends, with just enough guidance to know we will get there. This is a positive."
Al D. (now a multi-program participant)

"The night in the village was special.  Experiences with the people were definite highlights, also the Mosques."
David L. (2 program participant)

"Thank you so much for everything on both trips - for your expertise and help with the bike, your leadership skills, your knowledge of African culture and issues, and for your charming personality.  I found both trips challenging and rewarding, and will be reflecting on them for a long time to come."
Karen V (2 program participant)

Return to the top of the page

Sierra Leone:

"Great trip.  It was great to talk to ngo and leaders in villages to hear their missions and purpose."
Gregg L (4 program participant)

Togo / Benin:

"In villages we often met the Chief or elders, and many times were given the honor of long conversations with these important people... Never have I done a bike tour with so many heartfelt good wishes and local people showing genuine pleasure at seeing visitors to their country. Often strangers would engage us in friendly conversations to learn about our trip, and frequently they would encourage us to return next year for a longer visit."
Rick M (multi-program participant)

"The time I spent with your tour is a highlight of 20 years of traveling and cycling."
Andy B.

"I really enjoy and get a lot out of your discussions and the people-to-people interactions. The museum tours were also highlights... You probably lose sight of , or may not even be aware of, how profound the impact of your programs are -- even to the super experienced traveler."
Hope W. (multi-program participant)

"Togo & Benin are two of the most amazing countries I've ever visited and it was a pleasure to explore them on a bike.  I just wish there was more of it.  Best. Vacation. Ever.  I'm already saving up for my next trip. These programs are way cool!"
Jill K. (multi-program participant)

Return to the top of the page

Liberia:

"Thank you for the greatest experience of my life. The visits in private homes and appointment with the U.S. Ambassador were excellent opportunities. A month on a Bicycle Africa trip is worth four years of college anthropology courses. Other prospects pale by comparison."
Gerie B. (73 yrs old) (and she was still talking about it at 87)

"People are very hospitable and friendly and often stopped me on the road to talk and exchange addresses. They are very interested in the U.S. because of the history of the founding of Liberia and many want contacts in the U.S. as they hope to visit here. I now have about 20 pen pals."
Marianna W.

"The trip was a wonderful experience. I thank you for being willing to share your knowledge and insight. The trip upcountry, seeing how people live, and the opportunity to hear the various viewpoints of citizens, officials, expatriates, and missionaries was wonderful. What we learned and what we saw and who we met are extraordinary for a tour. I'd stress that in your promotional stuff if you can. I'll be glad to spread the word in the U.S. Thanks."
Lynn D.

Comments: Multi-region    North Africa   East Africa   Southern Africa 

For those who like balance, we have even posted some comments on the worst parts of the program.

Return to the top of the page

touring tour eco-tour safari responsible travel journey adventure expedition trip active vacation culture cultural holiday budget

Unique Programs To Special Places For Memories Of A Lifetime!

Please write if you have questions, suggestions and comments about our program or want to be added to Bicycle Africa's mailing list. (Also let us know how you found this site.)

Bicycle Africa Homepage        Ibike Programs       IBF Homepage     To Search
"Hosted by DreamHost - earth friendly web hosting"
Created by David Mozer.
Copyright ? 1983-2017  Ibike LLC.  All rights reserved.