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Great African Cycling Safari kicks off

Twenty-four cyclists from East Africa have embarked on a regional tour as they bid to promote tourism.

They will be flagged off from Uhuru Park, in Nairobi by Adan Mohammed, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for East African Community & Regional Development.

Each of the cyclists will bear a flag representing their country of origin ahead of the two-month tour.

They will head to Busia, then Kampala, Kigali, Bujumbura and Dodoma before concluding the trip in Arusha at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The tour, dubbed the great African cycling Safari, has been recognized by the organizers as the world’s longest cycling event.

It’s longer than Tour de France, an annual men’s multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in France, that stands at 3,500 kilometres over 23 days.

The race occasionally passes through nearby countries.

“The ongoing tour started in Dar es Salaam Tanzania on August 1st, the cyclists then headed to Nairobi, and have covered the counties of Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Makueni, and Machakos,” said Francis Munywoki, the Safari tour chairperson.

On average, each day, the cyclists will cover not more than 120 km. They are slated to camp in areas allocated by the Local authorities or communal zone of each host community.

Speaking during the media launch, Mr. Munywoki explained that in the spirit of environmental conservation, the cyclists will coordinate climate change clubs as a source of livelihood for local communities.

“We are cycling to promote environmental conservation and sustainability through a number of initiatives such as tree planting to address climate change,” said Munywoki. “We are also cycling to promote peace, unity, and our collective development as a regional bloc,” he added.

He added that there is an ongoing plan to create a training academy that will nurture and seek support to develop young members into internationally renowned professionals.