First the Trans American, then the Trans Continental, now the Trans Afrika. The final race in the series of road bikepacking races takes off Sunday, October 12th. Taking place in Southern Africa, the race travels from the Beitbridge border post in South Africa to Cape Town South Africa. Similar to the Trans Continental, there is no set route, but rather 3 set checkpoints that each racer must go through.

What to Know:

Name: Trans Afrika Year: 1st Length: Aprox 2,800km Start: Beitbridge, South Africa Finish: Cape Town, South Africa Vert: 42,000m Route Description: Mostly Pavement Race Director: Andy Masters   Trans Afrika Racers will start at the border of Zimbabwe and South Africa in the town of Beitbridge. The three checkpoints are well spread apart, making for a unique twist in this self supported race. The first checkpoint is over the border into Piggs Peak, a small town in Swaziland, a small landlocked country. The second, and likely toughest checkpoint is Moteng Pass, in Lesotho. Lesotho is a country that is completely surrounded by South Africa. Racers will have been tested up to this point with plenty of climbing and hills, on top of the dreaded Motengo Pass. Montengo Pass is the high point of the race, and the stage of the KOM, a small race within the race. Once racers descend Montengo Pass, they will re-enter South Africa and head southwest towards Cape Town. The Final Checkpoint is the town of Prince Albert, roughly 1000km away from the finish. Racers will be greeted with more mellow terrain from here to the Western Cape mountain ranges. Once riders get about 400km away, only a few difficult climbs stand in the way between them and Cape Town. Trans Afrika Racers will be completely on their own, carrying bags on their bike to hold food, water, and gear. Most importantly they are only allowed to resupply at commercial locations, being as they are available to everyone.  Racers will need to strategically plan their route in advance, such as where to resupply for food and water, what route to take, and where and when to sleep. Although it’s hard to say in a first year event, finishing times will be dependent on racers route choice. Some will be traveling light, only carrying essentials, others will be using racks and panniers. 17 total racers will be participating, two of them being women. All the racers are from South Africa except two racers from New Zealand. The leaders are expected to finish in under 8 days, but we could be surprised. Trans Afrika For more information check out Trans Afrika’s Website If you want to track the race, check out this link.

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