Adventure Classics offers adventure bike tours where you get to ride adventure bikes in the incredibly scenic Garden Route of South Africa.
Paris Dakar – Staged on an African Desert
We at Adventure Classics take our inspiration from the Paris – Dakar Adventure Rally. The Dakar Rally, currently staged on the South American continent, was formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, raced on the African continent, from its inception in 1979 until 2008.
The Paris-Dakar Rally was founded by a Frenchman, Thierry Sabine, who had raced in rallies in Africa. Sabine had also raced in the first Paris-Dakar Rally (called the “Oasis Rally” at the time) which he had organized. Many participants of the early rallies were French, reflecting a national preference for long-distance endurance races.
At the time, Paris-Dakar Rally competitors left Paris, France on Christmas Day to cover approximately 12,000 km (later extended) over 20 or so days. Most of the course was set in harsh conditions, including the uninhabitable Mauritanian desert and the Tenere desert, barren in all directions for hundreds of kilometers.
As a result, more than half of the participants did not complete the rally, and some even lost their lives. Riders would have to cross politically unstable regions on occasion. Being called “the world’s toughest race,” from its beginning, was no exaggeration.
The event gained wide recognition in Europe as a motor sports event marking the beginning of the new year. In France in particular, it gained popularity rivaling the World Grand Prix (currently MotoGP) and the 24 Heures du Mans.