Mark Beaumont cycles 10 000km down the length of Africa in 42 days to set a new world record
Cape Town - Adventure cyclist, Mark Beaumont, has broken the coveted Cairo to Cape cycling world record after arriving at the Green Point lighthouse on Thursday, just 42 days after setting out on the 10 000km journey.
The Scotsman started his adventure on 10 April with the original aim of reaching Cape Town 50 days later, covering 200km a day.
However, he seems to have outdone even his own expectations, gaining a full eight days on his original plan and raising £30 000 (R554 038 at R18.48/pound) in the process for Orkidstudio, a humanitarian architecture and construction charity.
Apart from exceeding his own expectations, he also managed to break the previous Cairo to Cape cycling world record, set up by South African Keegan Longueira earlier this year.
Longueira's 59-day journey - done in order to raise awareness for Operation Smile - started on 2 January and ended on 2 March 2015, meaning that Beaumont has left him just over two months to bask in the glory of being a world-record holder.
Beaumont's speedy cycling journey took him from Egypt, through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana, finally ending up in South Africa.
Beaumont rode into Cape Town shortly after 17:00 on Thursday afternoon, crossing the Guinness World Record finish line in the parking lot just beyond Green Point lighthouse, with Lion's Head forming an iconic backdrop in one corner and the choppy Atlantic Ocean in the other.
He was welcomed by his wife, Nicci, and 21-month-old daughter, Harriet, who were both overjoyed to see him. Asked about how he felt on arrival he jested: "Right now it's just relief. That's not a very exciting emotion, is it?"
Beaumont admitted that it had felt a lot longer than 42 days on the route and that he had encountered some seriously tough terrain while pedaling through the eight African countries.
"I've been going at the speed of about 260km a day average, and last week I was pushing 350-plus a day, so it's like seeing Africa as a slideshow," he said, adding "there have been some insanely tough times. And, really, Ethiopia takes the biscuit. It was by far the hardest."
Despite the physical difficulties of the journey, Beaumont said he was touched by the most phenomenal receptions in each country, each time he took some time out to meet the people of the places he was passing through.
Beaumont, his wife and daughter will be spending a few days in Cape Town before heading back to Scotland and according to Nicci, they have a whole list of activities they'd like to get through before departing.