Nikki Ray, a 29-year English Tourist, has cycled about 10,000 kilometres across the Sahara Desert to Ghana for sightseeing in some parts of the country.

The journey, which started from London in August 2018, took the cyclist eight months to arrive in Ghana.
She passed through six other African countries – Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea and Cote D’Ivoire.

Ms Ray told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that her cycling journey was to erase the perception that cycling for long distances could only be undertaken by men.

“If a man can travel thousands of kilometres alone and feel safe, then a woman can equally do same,” she said.

Ms Ray said she made friends in Ho, the Volta Regional Capital, in 2008 when she volunteered for a Non-Governmental Organization in Ghana and promised to visit again but opted to use the bicycle to fulfill that promise.

She said the green environment of Ho made her feel closer to nature and persuaded her to visit again after 11 years.

Ms Ray said riding through villages in some African countries made her understand the challenges people in rural areas faced daily to survive.

She said one of the main challenges she encountered was the strong winds in the desert, which slowed her pace and made visibility poor, making the journey tiring.

The cyclist said her bicycle broke down in Mauritania due to some unpaved roads she used but was able to fix it to continue the journey.

She bemoaned the lack of respect for cyclists by some drivers, and said she was “carelessly” knocked down by a taxi driver in Senegal, which further delayed her journey for a month.

Ms Tay said she built and repaired bicycles in the United Kingdom and also taught children and refugees to ride to save money.

Source: GNA