Distant SunsTortillas to Totems

Into  Africa
View Full-Size Image

Into Africa

Price: £13.99

Ask a question about this product

CGR is pleased to promote the Author Sam Manicom and his motorcycling adventure books. One of the worlds leading motorcycle authors his books have been read and reviewed the world over.

Sam Manicom’s first adventure motorcycle travel book is the story of amazing Africa, its people and some very good reasons why not to fall off a motorcycle. Sam beautifully describes the challenges and delights of exploring this continent of surprises.

The day Sam Manicom celebrated riding a motorcycle for 3 months, he did so sitting on his BMW R80GS looking south across the Sahara sands. There began a year-long adventure which he describes with vivid descriptions and an informative, sometimes funny, fast-flowing style.

Sam says, ‘There was something really rather nice about the notion of riding a motorbike the length of Africa; the idea appealed to the romantic in me. I’d backpacked in different parts of the world and particularly liked the idea of the freedom a bike could give me, especially after being stuck indoors for so many years. It also felt like I’d be taking my life and turning it inside out. The more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that my life needed a damn good shaking – what better way to do it than this. On top of those thoughts there’d been a niggling voice in the back of my mind which had popped up far too often for safety. It kept spouting the words, ‘A challenge like this will be fun!’ A bike would be the perfect way to get into adventures, but there was a lot to learn – not least of which was that I didn’t know how to ride a motorbike.’


‘Comparisons with Ted Simon’s seminal ‘Jupiter’s Travels’ are somewhat inevitable, but Manicom’s work does not suffer in the least by comparison to his illustrious forebear. He writes engagingly, and in the classic style of the travel writer, with a marked ability to draw out the salient features of a scene and place them center-stage. The deep red of the African earth glows under Manicom’s pen. Visor Down

The 290 page Into Africa is packed with line drawings and with black and white photos to the rear, the centre pages are made up of colour photos


‘The hills run for roughly sixty or seventy kilometers, forming the western side of Kenya’s Elgeyo Escarpment. The roads are mostly dirt which meant that many of them didn’t show up on my map at all. I rode slowly through this beautiful area and didn’t see another white skin anywhere. In the middle of the day I sat in the cool shade of an acacia tree. It was a well-earned rest and the perfect spot to enjoy the view. Sweat had cling-filmed my shirt to my body and my leather jacket was ringed with salt stains again. The foam around my goggles had a salty metallic scent to them and dust had gathered in muddy smears along the lower rims where perspiration would always collect.

My eyes were drawn out over the shimmering brown and yellow plain towards the cool greens of the distant mountains. The sense of phenomenal space was quite awesome and it was only after all these months in Africa that I was really beginning to feel inspired by them. In the first months I’d been too busy just coping with my immediate environment to really take stock of just how big the land is…’


‘Marsabit was our first taste of a sub Saharan old English colonial town. The buildings were either concrete or wood. The wooden houses had verandas and flower gardens, the concrete looked more official with parking spaces and an occasional flag. The poorer locals lived in a collection of shanties on the edge of town, or in run-down, paint-peeling houses none of which, for some reason, seemed to stand up straight.

In the cheerful bustling market we found all sorts of greens, roots and fruits. Beside them hung hunks of meat, rolls of barbed wire, and tools with bright ‘Made in China’ stickers on them. Beat up trucks, Land Rovers and ‘sit up and beg’ black bicycles worked their way patiently through the brightly coloured throng. Squawking chickens, bleating goats and the loud calls of vendors competed with scents of cattle dung, diesel fumes and stagnant drainage ditches to assault our senses…’


‘Safu drove a shiny black vintage Cadillac, which he proudly told us he’d bought from Haile Sellassie’s estate when the old Emperor or Ethiopia had died. A row of bullet holes decorated its side. Apparently he’d collected these on his last attempt to make it up the road that we’d just ridden down! He’d been stuck at the border for days. Leaning down towards us with a pleasantly theatrical manner he said, ‘A bus this very day was stopped and robbed. Its occupants were raped, mutilated and then killed.’ His voice swelled with drama. ‘Local people are on the rampage, it’s difficult to stop them, the new government is out of control in the south so the people are getting rich and married.’

This left me none the wiser. But Safu Baba explained; one of the major local tribes had a bloodthirsty marriage rite. To earn the right to get married, a young man must present proof of his manhood. Traditionally, this was done by killing a man from a neighbouring tribe and then presenting his victims genitals to the potential bride. ‘With the loss of control in the south there are a lot of marriages going on’, he said. ‘And they don’t care what colour the marriage gift is either.’ With this comment he pointedly grinned at Mike and me…’


‘A captivating book for all, this is the story of an enlightening, yet daunting (and sometimes downright harrowing) journey across fourteen African countries by motorcycle. The author, a novice biker, decides to break free from the doldrums of everyday life in search of adventure and finds it. Whether he’s thrust into a brutal jail cell in Tanzania, or experiencing a serous wipe out in Namibia or climbing a mountain, each chapter is filled with one great story after another. Aerostich USA

Readers Feedback Quote:

‘I have now read your book cover to cover. I found the book an excellent read and humorous at times. A mixed bag of emotions. A real adventure and a lot of good will.
Yours sincerely,’ Andrew – UK

290 Pages & 25 Colour Photos

Signed and personalised copies:  If you would like a signed or personalised copy e.g "To Fred from Sam".  Please leave a note in the comments.  No offensive content will be considered acceptable.


At checkout please enter coupon code : intoafrica
This will reduce the standard postage cost by £2, happy days!


You may also be interested in this/these product(s)

Under Asian Skies
Under Asian Skies

Distant Suns
Distant Suns

Tortillas to Totems
Tortillas to Totems

Top quality at the right price!

Customers Feedback

" Great fleece, good quality, fit really well and look great. "

Delivery Charges

DeliveryUK Recorded £4.99
Next Day UK £11.00
Overseas rates vary.

Press /Reviews

Made in England

Wilson Craig Racing

CGR Bike Gear are proud to be associated with
Wilson Craig Racing
Wilson Craig

Brent Nichol Racing