Filippo and Claudia, a cycling Mal d'Afrique

Italian couple from Cape Town to Malindi by bike

10-12-2014 di redazione

Philip home is in Mambrui and there he fell in love for Africa, Claudia loves to travel.
The passion for cycling brought them together and they decided to get back on the Kenyan coast, starting from Cape Town and being all the way on two wheels, 7000 kilometers of beauty, labor, culture and unique emotions.
To tell this adventure, a blog: also opened.
Always readers, reveal how was their initiative.
"There are a thousand ways to travel the world - explains Claudia, from Mozambique, where they are now - we have chosen to do it by pedaling and pedaling finally begin our adventure in Africa.
We started on 4 November from Cape Town and started pedaling northward with Mambrui destination, where Philip has home by 90 years and where he learned to love Africa, in an authentic and profound ".
From perfect roads of South Africa, to the bridges torn down by the rains in Mozambique, by stops in ecolodge in contact with nature, to the huts dividend of subsistence food mud with the natives. "We chose this type of travel - says the couple - who will score some indelibly our lives and with the hope that we open the doors for future work that links the adventure tourism. Our intent is to put the test as individual adventurers, and as an accomplice pair of a common goal ".
Philip and Claudia opened the blog where daily recount their adventure and through which seek to convey the myriad of emotions that arise them during the journey, then share them with people as possible.
From today, we at tell the key stages of their approach towards Kenya. Exciting moments as the crossing of the Zambezi, the deviations in the interior on the dirt road through forests and villages for anything wrought by tourism, sleeping in tents in rural communities and feeding on fish and shellfish along the endless Mozambican coast. Others who organized safaris and holiday villages.
"In a few days we will be on the border with Tanzania - Claudia tells us - and the desire to return to" our "Kenya and Malindi goes up and up, although many of the places we passed through we have remained in the heart."


For the first time in our long journey we hated our tent.
It looks ugly we never hated so much our perfect green capsule everywhere but transformed, in this warm night, in a crematorium.
"You could open it a little"
No! Would otherwise revenue mosquitoes.
So a curse among the producers of cremation capsules, a curse to the god Aeolus who evidently took a holiday, a curse to malarial mosquitoes, one to moisture, a warm and once in the disappearance of half-seasons, there is always good, we spent a hellish night.
Compounding all colds Philippi, which increased at levels disproportionate number of curses, and the incessant rain started when we squeezed us helmets and decided to walk towards the border.
No, the day did not start well, but we are about to cross the border, no one and nothing can affect our determination.
The border is formed by the Ruwuma River which is located in 32 km from us, the road is unpaved and not always accessible by bike, the rain turns everything into mud, but look forward to the end of the rain and we are moving hopeful that does not start again.
The boat that should lead us in Tanzania apart from a few times a day, according to the high and low tide, today will start at 10, we're late before leaving.
In case you miss the boat of the fishermen who have to try to load us with bicycles and the disproportionate numbers lead us on the other side.
The road starts well but still bad, if not terrible.
We ride as splinters, but at some point the drama, the unexpected tragedy, what no one expects: Philip supports the bicycle on the ground and collapses under a tree, a cold is it suddenly turned into something more.
We begin to look for all the reasons of the case, the sudden heat, failure to sleep, poor breakfast, the tiredness even envy for not yet crossed the threshold of an African hospital compared to me, the lack of desire to run to the ferry , everything to avert the worst-case scenario.
We have 15 km of dirt road before, 1 hour before departure of the ferry and Filippo color "Adams" lying under a tree.
We expect the return of a more human complexion on the face of Philip and we are moving pushing bicycles to the office of the Mozambican immigration.
A road that seems longer a nightmare and infinite.
We arrive at the police station and fortunately all goes well, a few questions, and we routinely addressed to the ferry that seems to be delayed, we can do it.
Missing 4 km in the so-called "No Man's Land" to reach the Ruwuma, a pasticcone of paracetamol for Philip and we sling.
We feel like in "Games Without Frontiers", it is as if we had a big timer on the head rushing pronouncing and remembering, for each hole muddy, the inevitable loss of the ferry.
We race we run and we run, at some point I turn and I see Philip, are in the middle of a forest in the mud, in the no man's land, my only point of reference is gone.
A moment to gasp poi..eccole .. curses shouted in the wind with the Florentine accent to me is broken luggage rack, go back and see Philip, I returned to being a little bit "Adams" bent on bicycle armed pliers and clamps.
I leave it there to take the ferry and try to stop it.
I press on toward the only possible way and I see something far away among the branches, seems a pier, I ask two sitting under a tree signs (gestures), pedal boats to more I can not, I am there, "'ll stop that ferry" run run run and here I am in impamtanata nothing on the shores of Ruwuma, no ferry but two boats timer flowing.
Bitterness, disappointment and above all: where is the boat ??
I go back, Philip is still struggling with the luggage rack, I find a way, the only alternative, there I throw myself.
The mud increases, but I see cars coming, definitely just got off the ferry elusive.
Philip taught me that whatever happens "when in doubt ride", I find myself caught in the word with the mud to the knees.
The scene is as follows: a pristine forest, the mud to the knees, mired machines and locked surrounded by about thirty people screaming and sbraitanti swhaili and then, as in a tragicomic film, the voice of Philip echoes: "ARE YOU BEHIND , PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL THAT TAKE "
From there, imagine the scene as a slow motion, I who I pedal, pedal boats in doubt, Philip grida- the enfasi- excitement-timer-ferry-mud-joy at seeing the pier-people screaming in swhaili- Philip Addams- I who end up thrown into a pool of mud a little bit too high-Philip that breaks the back rack-run-imprechiamo- CLIMB tHE DAMNED FERRY.
Tired but satisfied we arrive in Tanzania, checkpoint and saw the facts in a flash.
Everything is different.
It is enough to cross a river to find a different climate, different faces, different language, different food, different time zone.
We sit in a hut, local restaurant, it is 13, the sun is burning as well as our heads.
Fililppo not feeling well and the mistress of the hut offers us a mat on which to rest.
"Pennichelliamo few minutes"
Famous last words.
We fall asleep in seconds and we awaken with a dozen staring eyes around us after more than 40 minutes, it is late and we still have 40 km of dirt road.
We walk in and a word of encouragement, a word angry, due to fatigue, and a word of comfort we find ourselves changing another inner tube, Philip has drilled (6 Filippo Vs Claudia 1).
The road is terrible, Philip is exhausted, I have the mud up to the head, we are dirty and tired as few times in our long journey.
We arrive very late in town, the first place that we are seems a palace, we stop and we collapse.
We decide to take a stop day, we have to wash everything, bikes are to be adjusted and Philip must defeat the damn "option", the one we had warded off with all ourselves, one that is only recognized by the hospital test, the lords Malaria!!!
No drama but so much regret, we have always been attentive between autan, long clothes and mosquito nets but the zanzaraccia screwed us.
As you wake up this morning we are at the hospital nearest courses, Philip did not have a good color and a high fever had taken the hypothesis space tiredness / cold.
We immediately started the treatment, the doctor says that with this care in two days the fever will disappear and Philip will be fit again.
We believe deeply.
Tablets taken, Italian dinner (pasta we found buitoni, a miracle).
We greet you from under the mosquito netting of our bed with Philip a little bit battered but feisty as ever.
we will overcome this.
Greetings to all of you.


Philip feels fit and against all advice decides to jump into a stage quite challenging.
We wake up and we start waving our friend Harry, who really nice way has graced our dinner the night before, heading towards the famous Lindi.
We do not know if we'll make it, the kilometers are approximately 94 and that, annoyed by our previous allegations that he took leave forcing us to a sultry heat, decided to punish us by promising a wind from now on we will always find to fight with God Eolo by constant north, sassy and insistent at 40 km / h.
The wind is the worst enemy. We ride without stopping, for the first time we see a driving Claudia in the true sense of the word and a Philip slightly breathless. Not true, a heavy wheezing weakness. Probably the Km are too many, but we do not have many alternatives. We arrive in Lindi visibly tried and we head straight to the first hotel to rest. Lindi does not offer much in historic-architectural level, despite being one of the most important places in the nineteenth century before even of the capital Dar es Salam but, if not the city, the landscape all around is something unique.
In fact, the city is on a "creek" or a sea bay completely covered with mangroves that take advantage of the high tide to survive.
But we're not talking about a big mangrove, we are talking about kilometers and kilometers of mangrove, with rolling hills that cross it and give movement to an incredible view.
A different horizon than usual that with the colors of the sunset makes the sleepy and uninspired Lindi lot more interesting. We expect another difficult stage but given the past, we doubt succeed.
We start late due to rain and after a grueling fight with the wind and the climbs, only 55 km we decide to surrender to fatigue and let's get to the first village.
Here comes the redemption of all the hardships, we climb on top and in front of us a beautiful bay, white sand and mangroves, heavenly water, unmissable. No guide talks about it, we have no idea of ​​where we are as it is called, we only know that jump warm ocean water and collapsing on the white sand of this paradise is the only thing you have to do, we do not think twice . Needless any comments, the photos speak for themselves. We leave unwillingly but aware that the sun is about to fall, and we do not know where we will sleep. After a 30ina kilometers, we come to a village, and with luck we find a sweet Fatima that opens the door of the house with extreme ease by offering a floor on which to fix our mattresses, our mosquito net, a bathroom (so if we can define it ) and a fire on which to cook something: what hope for more?
There docciamo, we rest by eating as an aperitif of amazing "samusa" (fried dough with in various possible combinations, chicken or meat in general in this case potatoes).
All around the usual knot of people, we sat on a worn straw mat, which amazingly seems the most comfortable in the world, and we enjoy the sunset with the family of Fatima, including the loving grandfather mohamed, and the constant noise of the wind among the branches which makes everything more magical.
Darkness falls, the real one, so you can get used to look after only a little bit of hours, the African one where you see nothing but you know you are surrounded by presences that greet each other, they walk, they whisper, chat move and live in dark as if there was luce..noi with them, exciting. We decide to cook pasta with olive oil, we still have our legendary Buitoni, we tell you to do, very good. The next day we get up at 5:45 and are waiting for "the man of the honey."
We have heard the night before to ask Honey and so we have not think the cool, polished honey from our packs, brought us the bees with chopped hive locked inside a bucket. So, we are left to witness the preparation of honey, the honey man grabs the hive and starts, surrounded by bees who like to lean on him, and why not to sting him, to wring it with bare hands to get the product final. Prepares us for half a liter of honey, some squashed bee and some residual too big but without a doubt one of the most ever found delicious honeys. This will give the charge to Philip in decreased energy moments. We start as soon as possible, hoping to trick Eolo, but the play does not work and we are once again struggling with a wind really intractable. Have you ever tried to walk with a headwind of 40 km / h?
To explain the effect imagined when car put your hand out the window to play with the wind and the waves draw the mare..ecco imagine having to deal with that wind cycling and 35 kg bags attacked him. We are shrunken, Filippo always feels better, but is still too early and our desire to go can not forget that the defeat of malaria is also from too few days ago. Tomorrow urges a stop. We get to Nangurukuru, a small village on a major junction.
Tomorrow we will rest, we will visit Kilwa Masoko, it seems to be a marvel, but abandon the bikes at the hotel. We recover and leave again.


We speak of this great city, the first real city after a month.
A bustling city full of people walking at supersonic speed.
From the place where we decided to sleep in the city center we have to cross the harbor with a ferry boat that takes 10 minutes and just over 1 minute to download and upload again, here is the entry and exit are transformed into a fun race to " survival". We understand the descent the perché..immaginate two white flies that stumble in here and trying to figure out why they all run? What then the funny thing is that at a distance of 50 meters after getting off continue running, then we realized, they run not to be overwhelmed by the crowd / car / motorcycle / bike docking become a single flood uncontrollably.
We like now, we wander through the main streets in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.
Yes, I said nice because people are all smiling, elderly men play checkers in the tree lined squares and street vendors that offer you the typical culinary products.
For example, scordandoci attention to store more in the choice of food, we tasted a delicious juice of sugarcane FE NO ME NA LE, a nice gentleman winked, with a strange contraption, the reeds from which drew a juice that in addition to energy blow leaves a feeling on the palate rare, and even a "refreshing" that improvising along the way a local served us a dish.
The dish consisted ... .I know bene..sicuramente there was some meat croquette, some cooked vegetables and ... should be, it was just as awesome !! A large seaside town with high-rise overlooking a beautiful bay and a harbor full of cargo as big as cities, but with the same atmosphere and the same typical character of the best African city.
A perfect blend of old and new, African, Indian and Arabic.
Speaking of India, Philip and his hair cut for less than 5 euro gentlemen an Indian has made a masterpiece, we came out with the terror ingelatinato clump style Bollywood actor instead did an impeccable work and Filippo with forces finally completely recovered and the new cut is ready with the last stages.
But we come to the most amusing and symbolic part: we met Freddie and Mary Magdalene.
You may wonder who I am!
I'll say.

Two patients in Africa, but those real sick that they had to make Africa their home for life.
Two very interesting people, he journalist writer and her photographer, living in Malindi (Kenya).
Freddie is dealing with a site that irreverently, sympathy, humor and with great care deals with talk about this fascinating and complex and stereotyped African world.
We contacted Freddie and Maddalena for our arrival but having them around for Tanzania we were able to find us in Dar Es Salaam, a few hours together was really a nice gift. interesting people and charge him with a contagious.
In short, this Dar es Salaam has relaxed but also amused us, we hope to see you again soon.
Left Dar, and its endless suburbs (40 km) we headed to Bagamoyo and after about 70 km we enjoyed an amazing place, this sea.
Tonight we enjoyed a dinner a little 'but arranged in a bad garden, with a constant breeze that pays off the heat taken in the hot sun while pedaling (44 degrees earned), tomorrow we will have to deal with dirt road in the middle of a nature park provided that it is allowed to go by bike to the presence of lions and buffalo, but the problem will face it tomorrow.
Good night everyone from Bagamoyo.


Sometimes we realize that we describe a landscape or a town or even a village saying "one of the best ever seen until now", but that we can do, of kilometers km we are really seeing and enjoying so exceptional landscapes that we can not compare them and we always seem more beautiful.
Left the camp on the beach Hushongo we head towards Tanga, the road is red and climbs between hills covered with agave plantations.
We managed to leave early, the sun is slowly rising with its still warm rays of the only gives glimpses.
The road is really hard, rocky dirt road one with which you feel bouncing every muscle in the body, so for 74 km.
We are already excited to get to Tanga, it will be the last city then the Tanzanian border and the conquest of the fourth state of our itinerary: Kenya.
We arrive in Tanga altered, but as two ants working and tireless stop the legs and we are dedicated to wash all equipment, the dirt road gave so much dust and mud ... the last dirt on our long journey.
After washing let's find Tanga.
A pleasant city!
Well cared for, many flowers and a lively atmosphere, we like.
This city is famous because in the nineteenth century was the main hub of the trade in ivory and with the arrival of the Germans, who built the first railway line that winds up to Kilumanjaro, also developed the cultivation of sisal (Agave) that made the Tanzania the world's leading exporter of this product.
Unfortunately in the 70 collapse of trade of agave and the city, went into crisis, no longer has sailed in good waters.
Having said that, despite the guides did not give much importance, we find it very charming and we enjoy the beautiful Jamhuri Park where a nice old man prepares us a great fruit salad.
Early to bed and wake up with the sun to the stage long-awaited, much needed, one in which we leave Tanzania to get closer and more on arrival.
Every kilometer we seem more exciting.
We are happy, energetic and have in the body that charge given by the anticipation of the arrival.
Like when a runner sees in the distance the finish line, that moment in which he feels can relax but he knows that he can not, indeed, have to press more, it must give everything and then pushes to the extreme.
That's how we arrive at the border, exactly how such a goal.
We know that is not the end but it is a goal, and we enjoy a never experienced emotion.
Our gaze is incredulous and remains so until our arrival in Msambweni, place to sleep, to be honest our gaze is so still and probably rimmarrà so until the final arrival.
We are exhausted, the adrenaline is high but the body feels the weight of kilometers and we would be lying by saying that we are fit, we are tested, the nottatta has been tough, a bit of aches and pains and general soreness but the alarm comes and as we splinters we head towards the magical Mombasa.
Mombasa..con its chaotic traffic, its markets, the Portuguese fort, its wonderful sea all around, its colors is magical, unique and go through with the usual incredulous look even more tired, even more happy!
Missing two stages, missing a few kilometers we look and are unable to express all the emotions, we look silent but that rumbles as if gridassimo: WE WE WE WE WE SIAMOOOOOOO
We enjoy the beloved Mombasa and like two children incredulous nor take magic to take her back in our last kilometers.
Claudia and Philip


"We're thrilled, yet we do not believe that I've made."
This is the comment of Philip Tosini and Claudia Bartolozzi, the two Tuscans who have home Mambrui coming off an incredible adventure, from Cape Town to Mambrui cycling. Four months, 7000 km, nearly one hundred stages. A titanic two brave guys who cut a slice of coastal Africa with the two wheels, going through modern scenarios of dangerous wild South Africa to Mozambique, including malaria and dirt, hospitality and food shortages. Then Tanzania, beautiful and already "smell of the house" and finally the Kenyan coast.
"I would share tomorrow - commented Claudia - but I'm very happy to have arrived in Malindi.
After four months there is the need to stop at the place dear to us, even to review the "film" of what we did and think about the future. "The passion of the two boys is to create safaris on two wheels tailored to those who prefer a different type of tourism, direct, an adventure novel and special, seasoned with lots of sport.
"We've been through all the colors - tells Philip - but the only danger sensations we lived in South Africa, from Mozambique because onwards we always felt at home and we had only smiles and kindness by the people poor and even pià in the cities".
The adventure of Philip and Claudia has been told day after day, with the outline of splendid images, the blog

TAGS: Bici KenyaBicicletta AfricaCape Town-MalindiPedalare KenyaCycle Around AfricaFilippo Tosini

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