Circumnavigating Africa in aid of Save The Children
Spencer making repairs on the road.
Nice site. I just bookmarked you on my bloglines.
I’m a reporter work for one of korean newspapers. I envy you and your wonderful times. Wish you happy along!
hello again Spencer,
Your progress is good I see by the map not too long before you reach Europe again.I see you are now a TV star well done. Has this journey changed the way you think about the way the world treats Africa?
There is a lot of following for you in Plymouth, I have told people and they follow your progress Via this
site. Let me know when you think you will be at Gib so I can come down to meet you
Hi Spencer-I put a comment on but it dissappeared-was it because of my comment about how you walk!.!No seriously bud,its great that you are getting there and long may you remain the one and only Spencer
Sam and Iris
Hi Spencer hope you made it to the Village on Stilts of Nzulezo, Ghana. Best of luck and looking forward to see the Show.
Expats at Axim
Hi Every one
Just a quick up date. I am now in Ghana which is gripped by World Cup fever as the Ghanaians are convinced they will win the competition. This is the same in all the other African countries I have been through in the last couple of months. I am waiting for a visa for the Ivory Coast and then after that hope to go around the west coast and on to home. In the last few weeks I have breezed through Gabon, Cameroon and Nigeria where I was greeted like Rock Star. I was provided with free accommodation by coutesy of Brian Voakes and was taken under the wing of Charlyboy who I mentioned in my last report. He is a famous celebrity in Nigeria, a TV star, publisher and a motorbike lunatic. At the age of 59 he organised a massive rally through the streets of Lagos which brought the city to a stand still!!! Charlyboy led the rally, running in front in his bandana, multitude of Gothic rings, piercings and tatoos and all the time waving a white handkerchief to the obviously adoring crowd. We were ferried around by all the bikers to various TV interviews and press conferences. I appeared in ten publicationsa and four TV programmes. The Nigerians are incredibly polite and friendly and so switched on it was aapleasure to spend a week there. One radio listener did comment that I should be arrested for causing chaos in the city centre-I suppose he was late for work. Sorry! After the madness of Nigeria I rode into Benin and an absolute oposite experience. After heading through the famous Volta River region I stopped on the coast and set up tent on the beach with not another soul in sight-what a contrast to Lagos-but both wonderful experiences in their own way. I rushed through Togo-its only 140 kms to Ghana. Accra has surprised me it is so plush and sophisticated and clean it makes Paris look like Slough, appologies to both places. Everything is going so quickly it is difficult to keep the blog up to date. My ‘book’ diary is expanding day by day. Thanks Spencer
I saw your interview in Newsday newspaper in Nigeria and found your attitude inspirational,my sister also saw you on TV and said you were a very humble man so I would like to offer you my respect and good wishes for the future.I hope you will come back to Nigeria soon Frank
Hi Spencer, sounds like you are having fun in Nigeria, i’m glad – was a bit worried about that section! We have about 30 sleeps to go and then it’s home time for us.YIPEE, can’t wait. We will be in SA on 11 July and into Moz on 13 July. Wonder where you will be by then? Keep meeting good people and take care.
Watched your interview on Nigerian independent Television and found it very interesting and an inspiration.You were lucky to meet Charlyboy-he is an idol to many youth in Nigeria.Good luck
Saw you on TV in Cameroon and would like to say that I am very impressed with you and your travels round Africa. I hope you come back to my country sometime and good luck for the rest of your journey.
MESSAGE FROM JOANNA LUMLEY TO SPENCER
‘Have a fabulous time, Spencer. Good luck, go safely and send my love to Africa. Warmest good wishes from Joanna Lumley’
Glad to hear things are going well in Nigeria. Reuben still talks as if you’ve left “to visit friends in Africa” and will be back soon. He was planning just yesterday where he was going to take photos with you. One of the chairs round the table on the veranda is still allocated to you! We really enjoyed having you to stay – especially the children. There are very few people they respond to that well. Your family is very lucky – even if you aren’t with them right now.
I’m uploading a couple of photos from when you were about to leave to our online album. Unfortunately they are a little fuzzy. I blame the low camera battery! The web address starts: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/ and finishes with the first part of our email address.
We heard the interview you did for the radio here yesterday. It was good – and you didn’t come across as a potential communist freedom fighter/terrorist!
Good luck with the onward journey and come back soon.
I saw you on TV in Cameroon but was unable to meet you.I would like to take this occasion to thank you for your extreme efforts in helping the children of this great and gracious continent.You are one of a kind Jonathan
nigeria has always been so wonderful ….as all africa is…where r u heading to from abuja??
ride naty ride…..u know the song…
we r with u…
Hello from Spencer
Just to say that I’m now in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, where I have had the most amazing welcome, but firstly a little about Cameroon. The country and people truly amazing and also a very warm welcome. Thanks to BHC and to Tim Fisher and family who provided accommodation and useful information. Without their help my stay in Cameroon would not have been so pleasant. News of my trip somehow got through to the Press and TV and I appeared on a very popular Chat Show on the national network. The next day I was recognised by every body and little children ran down the street cheering ‘Mr Spencer’. The Standard Tribune newspaper also ran an article on my venture and this will appear on the Press Page on the web site soon. If things were mad in Cameroon in Nigeria it has been crazy!!! Before getting to Abuja I had to traverse a notoriously bad and sometimes dangerous road from Cameroon into Nigeria. I decided to take the Mafe Road as it would shorten my journey to Abuja by a thousand kms. It was an incredible trip and physically very hard but probably not as difficult as I have experienced before. Getting very used to unloading the bike and hauling it out of mud and deep ruts in the road. When there is a road that is. At this point I must say that back in the UK Alec Travers contacted Brian Voakes who lives and works in Nigeria and through some amazing organisation contacted his Nigerain associates and arranged for stopovers in various places in the country. WOW! I arrived in ABuja on Sunday and was greeted with warmth and generosity and was prompty put into an hotel. The first really luxrious place to stay for the last seven months. I have enough to write a book on Nigeria alone as I seem to be a celebrity here. Have been on TV, interviews with three papers, two radio interviews and been in a modelling shoot with Nigeria’s biggest TV celebrity/Musician etc ‘Charlyboy’. He is an incredible character, a big-built local guy with the sides of his head shaved and dreadlocks down the middle and so many body piercings that he resembles a pin cushion. Add to this various tattoos you have a star for a fantasy movie. He has a collection of enough motorbikes to put Imelda Marcos’ shoe collection to shame, not to mention the Roman pillars at the entrance to his house, in the middle of which hangs a 12ft skull-yes 12 ft, and a motorbike suspended in the air on a 30ft pole and you will begin to get a picture of Charleyboy. A really, really great guy. So far Nigeria and the Nigerians have made this part of my venture truly memorable for all the right reasons. There is much more to say and I will endeavour to get a report onto the blog asap. Please send messages as it is nice to know that there are friends out there.
Best wishes Spencer
Spencer! I’m still glad to read that you’r still on the road and feeling well. We’re planing to get back to Marsanbit in Kenia to continue our journey on the middle of August. When you’re in the northern area of Africa we’re properly southern of you. If you’re faster, I will complain from the south of Spain up to the border of UK. Lets have a look. And big fun
Take care and enjoy from Anneliese and Frank
I live in Ghana and can provide such an amazing person as you with accomodation for as long as you require-the world needs more Spencer Conways-I will email you with details if you are interested in my proposal
When is the next report coming through? After the last one want to know what’s been happening. Anyway great endeavour. All the best. Ashraf
Wow Spencer, you’re doing really well. Tell us more when you can and take care on the next stretch
Hi Spencer, You are a star! Can’t wait to read about the whole journey, they should make a movie. What an amazing adventure that only a few people would have the courage to complete. As a teacher of young children and with 2 lovely and fortunate girls of my own, I was very sad to hear of your section of the journey where the Save the Children workers felt unsafe on the streets because they were afraid of the children! It is terrible that those children are in such an unthinkable position.
Thanks to people like you, that some of the world’s children may avoid the same fate.
Hi From Spencer
Thanks for all the advice for the next stage of my journey. Am now in Bamenda deciding which route to take into Nigeria. This is a vibrant town and some beautiful scenery around. I have sent back my latest photos and info and hope that some recent pics will be on the site soon. I am hoping to get through Nigeria in five or six days but who Knows as some roads are now like mud slides as the rains are with me!!!
Mamfe is hell and the people are horrible-the road is bad -please think of different-Kobus
My friend Kobus just went through Mamfe and said it was terrible-bad roads and bad people-maybe think of an option-whatever you do I wish you most luck
Wondering where you were and just seen that you are in Cameroon. Hope you like it there and remember they have a good football team in the World Cup. I look forward to another report as the last one was a first hand account of your experiences and was very real to me as I have been through some situations a little bit similar a few years back in west Africa. You must be careful in Nigeria, just watch out but I found some very friendly and interesting people there. Hope to hear more from you soon.
Sorry for the silence. Will send another report soon. Am in Cameroon, an amazing country. Will be on my way to Nigeria soon. Thanks for all the blogs.
your journey sounds amazing and awe inspiring. Here at Save the Children we read your blogs and talk about you often.
I hope it continues to be an inspiring and wonderful adventure. HUGE thanks for all your fundraisinf efforts so far.
All the best
Amy Burns – Save the Children UK
You are a god-I cant believe what you have done alone-keep that label forever-adventurer-you derserve
it-I will follow your progress and so will my friends for inspiration
Hi Spencer-be very careful with the next section.Out of Nigeria and you are sailing.Only two of us are continuing .Please email me I will tellyou the news.You are doing great
Please try and avoid the N+Mamfe road.It is difficult and dangerous-try and head more north-it is smuch safer and you have been through enough-Take care-you only live once-I appreciate what you are doing but risking like this is crazy-Marius
The Mamfe road in Cameroon is terrible.I suggest you google images and you will see what you are facing.I am sure you have seen as bad but it was the worst road I have ever been on in my life.Luckily as soon as you cross the border it is perfect.Gauge yourself and stay safe
Hi Spencer, wow, what an adventure, your blog proves that in the face of great diversity you have managed to keep your sense of humour intact:)
Good Luck, I wish I had the guts to do what you’re doing!
Spencer-I met you at the campsite in Lilongwe-I rolled the truck if you remember-I am so glad that you are doing so well as we enjoyed your company very much-one of the most entertaining evenings of my trip-I am now back in Israel.Good luck with book,film and whatever comes-you deserve it.I will follow right up to the end and furthe
I am following your trip as is all my family and we extend all our hopes to you for a peaceful and
successful conclusion.We live inOgoja in Nigeria and I would like to warn you that the road from
Mamfe to Ekok(the border frontier) is a very bad one and you should assume a whole day for the 80 kms
Eugene Peterson and family
Superb journey and excellent website and blog-I realise you have your plate full but more blogging would be great-go for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your trip is very special and I admire your website much.I hope the luck of God will be with you for the journey.More blogging please it is very interesting and good quality
Good to hear your bike is fixed and you’re on your way again. Congratulations on the ride so far and enjoy the rest of it. Brilliant achievement. Shame I’ll miss you for that beer…
Richard in Douala
You probably won’t remember us – we met on your first day at a petrol station on the motorway in France. It seems light years ago now. You’ve definitely lived several lives since last autumn. I admire your resilience – though it must have been really tough at times. We’re still in the middle of France, in the moutains of Auvergne, safely riding our Triumph Rocket III – a different world… I guess you’ll just want to get home as quickly as possible once you’ve reached France, but know that you’re always welcome here for a well deserved rest.
Best of luck for the remainder of your adventure.
Muriel and Paul Norris
Just read your last report, it was really good and I am glad you got bike fixed and are on your way again. Looking forward to your book! Take care and will keep following your progress.
I have recently bought a Tenere and of course am very glad that you are so happy with the bike but
I have to say that you are the one doing the trip and there are few people that could do it the way
you have,safety in numbers etc.I work for the Red Cross and can only admire your dedication-I have seen some difficult places some of which you have been through.Go for it
Hope all is going well on this epic expedition-my one complaint is that there is not enough blogging going on or are you saving that for your book!!!!I am also a Tenere owner and think they are the most incredible bikes.Please more info and best of luck!
What an incredible trip and what an excellent writer you are.I felt like I was there with you.I am sure
you will be picked up by a publisher.Good luck with the continuing trip
DEar Spencer I listened to your radio interview and then decided to look you up on Google and I found you. I am very pleased to do this as I have found somebody after my own heart as it is some thing I would like to do someday but not on my own. It would be too dangerous for me amd i admire your strength of will to do it. When you come back I hope that you will write a book to tell everybody about every thing you went through. I am an admirer of your courage and I wish you every success in the future. Will we see you on TV@
Nearly Â£23000 on your fund raising. That’s relly great and also what an endurance trial. A few roads like you’ve been on would finish me and my bike!! When do you get back. Like to be there. Enjoyed and amazed by the article.
Belated birthday wishes to you Spencer. Keep up the good work and enjoy the rest of the trip.
Glen & Antoinette
Inner beauty is a difference between an educated person, quiet and adequate. Your article is proof. Thank you.
Good article. You must be a journalist?
Where are you now? Want to know as we are following your ‘adventure’. went through your blog and enjoyed the report. A very good read. Hopefully will be some more to follow. Keep going and watch your back. Bacon from SA
happy b/day spanner. hope u get bike fixed again soon. ill have a cold amstel for ya….cab
Happy birthday from Mum and Dad. Hope you are OK and can at least enjoy a beer with some one, somewhere. Evert has jus popped in and sends his greetings and says take care. Have just got some desperate info about Nigeria.Sounds pretty nasty so avoid the danger zone. Also Ivory Coast and other areas!! Not a good idea to go on that route. Do some research on the situation when you get to Cameroon. Anyway Happy Birthday agian from Biddenden.
We now have a coalition Government!!!!
Lots of love Mum and Dad.
Hopefully you will be on your way soon and that the bike sees you through. Read your report and found it a very good read and look forward to the next one. Have you any film that we can look at? It would be real and first hand. If you haven’t it would be fairly tragic. I am a biker and know a little of what you have experienced as I have done some rides through China a couple of years back. But that was with a few other mad men. Anders from Sweden
Some of our customers go to great lengths to avoid having contact lens aftercare check ups.
Lots of love from All at I-Zone opticians Ashford Kent.
Saw your ad on TV so decided to google your name.The press headlines show that you have had a tough time which you dont deserve especially as you are collecting for such an admirable cause.99% of peolple would have given up but instead you extend the trip.You are obviously high up in that 1%.Keep it going and many congratulations on the trip so far and I hope it is a smoother ride from now on.There is a place called Hippocamp in Brazzaville where you can stay for free-not far from the Hotel de ville
Hope you are well? Have you managed to get your bike fixed? Was on the phone to a friend the other day and while I was speaking to her, her hubby shouted, “there is Spencer in an ad”, I didn’t realise how famous you were becoming! It is bril how many people are recognising your accomplishments and I am proud to know you as a pal, keep going and safe trip home.
Jax and Cabs
We visited ‘headquarters’ last weekend and the staff were fit and well! Caught up with all your news and hope the bike is soon back on the road. Love and Happy Birthday wishes for 12 May.
great to hear that you are extending your journey! 60,000km! 32 Countries! A proper circumnavigation of Africa – fantastic! Have just finished reading ‘Lois on The Loose’ and ‘Mondo Enduro’ and can’t help thinking about what your book will be like – can’t wait! All the staff here at Dexterity Motorcycle Training are rooting for you, and we continue to follow your progress with interest.
Take care, and happy motorcycling!
Hi Spencer I think we had a brief word at a petrol station in Tunisia /Libya? Amazing to see you on Tv and so checked out your site. What a read and great photos. Anymore on the way. You’ve had some ‘adventure’ and what guts!! I think I would have turned round and headed back to Europe. You must get the bike fixed. MUST! You have got so far and need to finish such an epic journey. Only hope that somebody will make a film. I’d like to be in it. Best of luch to a super hero. If only people knew what its like to be on yourown in the places you’ve been to inAFrica.
Hi- my name is Simon Preston and I live in Tenterden.I met you at Tescos just before you left and have just seen youp add on TV- I looked at your website and couldnt believe what you have been through.
Myself,my wife and son who knows you from Homewood would like to wish you a safe journey all the way back to England.Good luck
Spencer-I see that you have got Lois Pryce on your site-have you thought of asking her as she is one of the few people who has been to the west coast Jens
I am a biker and respect fully what you are doing.I cant help you with your problem because very few riders go on the west coast because of the politcal situation and the state of the roads-but Im sure you know that.I did notice that Lois pryce is on your website-she went down the west.Have you contacted
her-just a thought.Best of luck with the repairsand the rest of the”incredible journy”
Can anyone help? Spencer is stuck in Kinshasa with a broken down bike. He has done all that he can to diagnose the problem as also some local mechanics. Does anyone know of a good mechanic for Yamaha’s in Kinshasa?
Saw your TV advert on Sky and had to follow it up as I am also a biker-what you are doing is many mens dream but they dont do it-respect to you for taking the plunge.I hear the west coast roads are a real challenge especially as you are going into the rainy season.It seems like you have the character and courage to do it and I will follow your progress carefully
I hope you can get the bike fixed and continue on this fantastic adventure.I am very jealous but at the same time too addicted to my home comforts-will leave the adventuring to people like you and hope that I can enjoy it on TV one day.Congratulations and good luck
I did Cairo to Cape Town two years back and was completely fatigue by the end.I think it must be very brave and difficult to do the West straight after.Good luck and enjoy even when tired if you can!!
iÂ´m a colleague of your fatherÂ´s and iÂ´ve just read your blog for the first time. itÂ´s quite incredible(both the places and what you are doing). IÂ´d love to do something similar one day but know i never will – i havenÂ´t got the guts to confront the things you have had to or even to alone for such a time in such remote and dangerous places.
Congratulations on all you have achieved so far and good luck with the remaining part!
All the best,
(and regards to Mike!)
Hello Spencer-my name is Blake and I heard your radio interview on the way back from work.I live in Tonbridge Wells but heard about your leaving but could not make it down.I am sorry you had to go through such a difficult time but sound like you are one of those people who can rationalise it-either that or you are as hard as nails-good luck with the rest of the trip-ride like the wind!
I hope everything is going well-I am sorry I missed you at the border.I will watch your website and may God be with you Bongani
Wow! You are doing so well, you’re very Brave or maybe a little bonkers!
Hope you continue to meet lots of lovely people. Hopefully you wont any more nasty encounters. I look forward to your next message, they make fantastic reading.
Wish you all the best .
What a serious challenge you have set yourself and to not give up after what I read in your press
section.I also saw you are a TV star.I am sure ther is more to follow and you should of course write a
book.It is better than any journey I have seen yet.Bonne chance
Glad to know things are progressing well, an amazing acchievement so far!!
I hope onedrop continues to keep you on the straight and narrow, its certainly working for me in the wilds of Pakistan and Kashmir!!
You are the type of person who gets up and does it-not only making the most of your life but helping less fortunate people-good on you.Best luck Irani White
Sorry, I’ve been out of touch for a while. You are a true inspiration; I am proud to call you a friend. Please keep safe and return to your lovely family soon. Only someone with your guts would even attempt this. We send our best wishes…love to Mike and Wendy also.
Incredible expedition-something that many talk about but could never do.May God be with you and hope you reach your target in distance and in fundraising
Brilliant venture-excellent website and a very brave person.Keep it up
Hello John. This is Spencer’s father thanking you for your comment on his blog. He’s a little out of touch at the moment, hopefully in the bush with a repaired bike. Some electrical problems on the status assembly and difficult to get things sorted in the bundu. He chose the Tenere as it has proven quality and can withstand a bashing. Also quite easy to service and maintain. He has covered thousands of kms over some incredibly rough terrain and the bike has held up until now. Also, he had concerns about the weight of other bikes. The Tenere is relatively easy to pull out of mud and deserts! Spencer is however, a fairly big chap 6′ 3″ and strong which probably makes it easier for him to overcome these concerns. He really is inlove with his bike and I don’t think he would change it if needed in the future.
Having recently changed his route, now deciding upon an extra twelve or so countries around the West coast will once again be a further test of his and the bike’s endurance!
Most certainly on his return he intends to visit bike clubs to give lectures with film of course and I know he would be only too pleased if you kept in contact. Many thanks for your interest. At present there is going to be a radio interview BBC South East at 16.20 BST Thursday, tomorrow! Yours Mike
Saw your ad on TV-I didnt know anything about this trip-I think it is an inspiration to everyone not just bikers(of which I am one-KTM 990 Adventure.)What made you choose the Tenere.Is it as good as some reports say.Would you choose a different bike next time? I will point my bike club to your website.Will you be touring the clubs when you get back? I wish you the very best of luck.You are a true adventurer
Hi to Ashraf good to get a greeting from you. See you some time back in Aswan. Hi Paul thanks for the message. And to all those who have taken the time to read my report. Hope more to follow. Would you believe got the bike part from the UK. Wrong part with right number!! Plan B Try to fix the electrics with the help of a local mechanic. I must say that I really want to get on with the next stage but am meeting some interesting people in The DRC. Bye for now. Spencer
Just looked at your ad on the TV and got your name and found your web site which I have taken an hour to go through. I can’t believe what you have done on your own without support!!! It knocks what these other guys have done with 4X4s and TV crews off the planet. have you got a film of the whole lot? It would be incredible. It is the adventure of a lfetime and a shows a true pioneering spirit. I’ll be following your trip from now on. Garry
I have to agree with the comments Spencer-your descriptions are brilliant-I am still in Windhoek at Cardboard going through the same visa problems you did.Hope we can meet up some day.Good luck with the rest of the trip
Spencer-we are all watching your progress here in Swaziland and everyone is hoping you have no more problems. As I told you when you were here none of us were really surprised that you would be the one to do something like this. Go for it and the best of luck with the new route.
Well done to have got this far, Spencer. Your trip sounds fantastic. Keep up the good work and keep safe too. Best wishes, Yvonne
Looks as though we will be queueing for your book.Keep it up and remember not to go near any mor
e ostriches-you are doing an incredible thing.Call me when you get back-Tanzanian Gerry
Hi Stewart. I’ve decided to change course and try to stay nearer the west coast. So this means Gabon, Togo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, France and HOME!!! This is to ensure that I do as complete a Circumnavigation as possible. Should take another 12 weeks or so.
Hope all is well in Biddenden, Spencer
I hear you are changing your route so where are you going? Surely you are not going a longer way round. If you are best of luck with whatever. Stewart.
Ilook much at you drive and wish best luck until you return to Aswan one day
Your good friend Ashraf
Still following your progress with interest. You are doing very well, despite the challenges! Of course, we also look forward to seeing you back in Biddenden in due course, walking down to the shop to get a paper and some milk! You are missing a wet and windy May Bank Holiday weekend here!
Hi Spencer-met up with you in Kinshasa-my girlfriend and I both concluded you are the maddest person we we have ever met-long may it last-Martin and heidi
Hello from Spencer
I have been in Kinshasa now for two weeks as my trusted bike has taken too much of a bashing in the last month and has developed an electical problem. For bikers the Status Assembly has decided to work only when cold and cut out when hot. I am waiting for a part from the UK and hopefully will get it in the next couple of days. Then on to Gabon and Cameroon. Still some distance to go and difficult terrain. Spencer
Was told about your site by Jackie and thought I’d just like to say something. I worked in Zambia as a volunteer teacher some years back and travelled a little in Africa and I know what it’s like to go bundu bashing. I find it difficult to comprehend what you are doing as it is a challenge of all challenges and you have to have great determination and courage to do what you had to face and still do for the next part of the ‘journey’. I will be following your progress and keep fingers crossed that you succeeed and get home safely. Janet
I have just found this site and I am in awe of what you are doing. Did a ride down the East Coast a couple of years back on a KDx and found it very tough. How you can do both east and west is something else, And with life threatening events on the way. Hope you make it all the way, really sincerely best of luck. british stiff upper-lip, eh?
Hi Spencer, you should be really proud of yourself. You have covered an enormous chunk of Africa, despite the dangers you have found youself in and raised an huge amount of money for Save the Children. Your on the way home now. Take care of youself and I look forward to meeting you in Biddenden. I will do everything I can to assist your Mum and Dad and John with the website but I think they’ve done an amazing job so far.
What a read!! When is the book coming? Can’t wait to get it. Jackie
Hey man Ireally can’t believe this. I’m knocked out. Yu got som guts. Buzz