Metrolife: Bengaluru biker gears up for road trip from Durban to Cairo

A solo journey

Sandesh GottikereImage courtesy: Artist

Bengaluru-based biker Sandesh Gottikere Shivaraju, has always managed to strike a balance between his personal and professional life. A senior data based consultant is embarking on a solo road trip from Durban to Cairo. Sandesh plans to fly to Durban and start his journey from there. The biker talks to Metrolife about his trip and more. 

Why did you choose to ride through Africa?

I chose Africa because it is one of the very few countries in the world that still remain unexplored. The feeling of waking up in a new country every week is something that I look forward to. There are so many new places to see and it is curiosity that drives me.

 What is the duration of the trip and what is the distance that will be covered? 

I am planning to cover 10 countries in 78 days. My trip starts from Durban and ends in Cairo. My motorcycle has been shipped and will reach on April 30, and I will retrieve the bike on May 2.

Which countries will you be visiting? 

My journey begins on May 3 at Johannesberg then I will travel to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Nairobi and Kenya. After which I will travel to Ethiopia, Sudan and finally Egypt.

 What were some of the preparations that went into your travel?

So far what has proved to be the biggest challenge is acquiring the visa. The visa issue is mainly in Sudan and Ethiopia. I will have to go there and apply for it. Further, the fuel stations in Africa do not have electricity to pump fuel, therefore I took a few measures. I will be riding a KTM Duke 390. I have attached two fuel cans of 5 litre each. The bike can take 200 km on a full tank. A luggage rack with a capacity of 48-50 kg has also been attached to the bike by a local mechanic. I will also carry a water bottle that purifies the water when in use.

 What are the licenses required for this journey?

You will need an International Driver’s permit along with a Carnet. You need to be a member of the Automobile Association of India to apply for a Carnet.

How often do you go on such trips? Have you travelled such a long distance before? 

I travel twice a year. I do a 15-day trip and a 7-day trip. I  travelled to the North-East in 2016 and covered a distance of 10,000 km. Many from India have attempted this trip but a solo journey has never been done before.

You can follow Sandesh on his journey to Africa here: www.sandeshshivaraju.com

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