9 november 2016
We have big news that will be officially announced on Friday. Essentially, after continuing to review the situation with our local contacts in Ethiopia we have decided we have no choice but to avoid the country this year. The security situation in the country is unpredictable at best. We feel the likelihood of disruptions from protests, as well as police and military roadblocks is too high. Due to the state of emergency it is also unpredictable whether we would be allowed to travel as a group of foreigners on the roads the tour crosses. While there are always risks involved with crossing any country, we feel that the risks in Ethiopia at this time are too many and too severe.
Of course, as you are registered for The Gorge section (Khartoum to Nairobi) and have fully paid, you are severely affected the entire route from the Sudanese/Ethiopian border all the way to Nairobi has effectively been eliminated.
It is said that when one road closes another one opens, and that is exactly the case in this situation. By not cycling through Ethiopia, we will be able to cycle through two countries that we have not brought the tour through before. Uganda and Rwanda. We will start cycling towards Uganda from Nairobi, Kenya and rejoin our standard route in Arusha, Tanzania. It will be a spectacular section of the Tour around Lake Victoria. For those who are keen there is also the opportunity to visit the mountain Gorillas, a short trip away from the city of Kigali, Rwanda where we have two rest days.
We, of course, are terribly sorry that the decision not to cycle in Ethiopia has been made but rider safety is always our first concern. We do understand that this is a major disappointment for you. We will fully refund your entry and registration fee if you decide that is what you want to do but we are hopeful that you will decide to join us for another section of the 2017 Tour d'Afrique.
Again, apologies for the late notice but we wanted to be absolutely certain that we would not be able to cycle Ethiopia before we made our decision.