When Mr Eazi dropped his Life is Eazy, Vol. 2 – Lagos to London album in 2018, we didn’t think anyone would attempt the road trip. Yet, here we are four years later, and a similar seemingly impossible feat of travelling across the 16 cities on a motorcycle is a casual day on Kunle Adeyanju’s bucket list, a Nigerian man who calls himself an adventurer, entrepreneur and author.
On the 19th of April, 2022, he tweeted the commencement of his journey from London to Lagos on a motorcycle. He successfully arrived in Lagos on Sunday, 29th May 2022. Over the years, the “daredevil” has gone on adventurous trips like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, bungee jumping, skydiving and a three-day trip from Lagos to Ghana on a bicycle. Clearly, Kunle is no stranger to danger. Here’s everything we know about his 41-day transatlantic journey.
Why did Kunle embark on this unimaginable bike ride?
In March, he announced his decision to hold back from enlisting as a volunteer to fight in the Russian-Ukrainian War. With 20,000 foreign fighters already enlisted, Kunle wanted to divert his energy to aid charitable causes in Nigeria. That’s when he made the decision to journey to Lagos, a distance that could beat the 2017 Guinness World Record of 11,315.29 km held by Mark Beaumont (UK), for the longest travelled on a motorcycle.
So what’s the charity side of his plan?
Well, the goal was set in partnership with the Rotary Club of Ikoyi Metro D9110 to raise ₦20 million. As a rotary club member since his university days and current District governor-elect of the Ikoyi charter, it is no surprise that this charity ride is in collaboration with the group. The club is a charter of the Rotary organisation that provides humanitarian services worldwide. Each charter is expected to execute projects that support local communities.
100% of the funds donated on Kunle Adeyanju’s trip are expected to be channelled towards the charter’s goal to raise awareness for polio, primary health care and rural employment schemes. As for his welfare during the trip, Kunle has not confirmed how he plans to cover the cost. What has been evident from his tweet is that biking enthusiasts and Rotary club members across different African countries have assisted him with accommodation, bike repairs and occasional top-ups on food and water.
With a business of his own, Kunle also tweeted that he’d be making a 10% matching grant to each donation. Exactly how much has been raised so far is unclear, but the ₦20 million target was increased to ₦100 million as he continued to document parts of his experience between cities on YouTube and Twitter. The increasing attention has attracted more and more international organisations to partner on the cause, so the ₦20 million target increased.
Online spectators are motivated to support Kunle’s charity plans in partnership with the Rotary Club. After his tweet on the 19th of April, Kunle gained 2000 followers in 24 hours. The anticipation has continued to increase in the last 36 days of the trip as spectators wait to see how much of the journey will be achieved.
To the main event: The last 36 days
Kunle’s transatlantic move: London – France – Spain – Gibraltar – Morocco – Western Sahara – Mauritania – St Louis – Senegal – Gambia – Mali – Côte d’Ivoire – Ghana – Togo – Benin – Lagos.
Day 1 – 6: Europe
Following the thread from his Twitter updates between the 19th and 24th of April, Kunle navigated through the first three cities in six days. From London, he rode to Dover, a major port in South East England. Dover to Calais, his next destination, is the shortest distance between Great Britain and Europe. Crossing into France through Calais, Kunle rode to Borges as his final point for Day 1.
Over the next two days, Kunle covered two provinces in Spain. On day two, he covered 702 km from France to Girona, Spain, and rode another 458 km on day three. By day six, he arrived at Algeciras, in the southern part of Spain, and stopped at Gibraltar.
How did he cross over to Morocco from Spain?
Day 7 – 11: Crossing into Africa, navigating the Sahara and connecting to Mauritania
Kunle announced his arrival in Africa with a tweet on the 25th of April, day 7. It is unclear how he crossed the Mediterranean, but there is speculation that a ferry was involved. While Kunle has not confirmed any details, online sources show that once a week, a ferry departs from Gibraltar to Tangiers Med in Morocco. It takes about 80 minutes for the ferry to cross. However, the service is provided primarily to Moroccan workers in Gibraltar. Other options are available, but you typically require a train or boat to get further into Morocco.
On arrival, Kunle was hosted by the rotary club members of Tangier Marina Bay. He stated that the outing went on till 1 a.m., and by 10 a.m. the next morning, he was on his motorcycle from Tangier to Marrakech.
After a day of touring the scenic views, Kunle rode to Agadir, another major city in Morocco. Agadir is on the fringes of the Sahara Desert and proved to be a slightly more challenging terrain for our rider. Kunle documented that his journey through the desert took two hours. After safely navigating the heinous winds, he arrived at El Ouatia (also known as Tan-Tan Beach) and enjoyed the view of the Atlantic from the shores.
By day 11, Kunle travelled to El Ouatia, the border of Morocco to connect to Mauritania. He travelled deeper into the Sahara Desert and ended up in Western Sahara. He covered his longest distance yet, navigating his way into Nouadhibou, Mauritania on day 12.
Day 13 – 20: Entering West Africa from Mauritania
At 11 a.m. the following day, Kunle rode to the capital city of Mauritania, Nouakchott, and shared tweets about his unpleasant experience in both Mauritanian cities. He vented about everything from the lack of hospitality from the locals to the horrible encounter with immigration going into St. Louis, Senegal, on day 14.
In St. Louis, he was hosted by a rotary club couple who owned a beach house. By day 15, Kunle set out for the capital city, Dakar. Days 16 to 18 were dedicated to resting and networking with delegates like the Nigerian ambassador to Senegal. Day 19 was spent promoting the cause of his charity ride, and the next day, he rode to Saloum de Delta, Senegal.
Day 21 – 27: Arrival into West Africa, broken wheels and entry into Côte d’Ivoire
On day 21, Kunle rode to Tambacounda, the largest city in Senegal, and ended the day at Kidira, a town on the Senegal – Mali border. Days 22 to 24 were filled with bike checks and hangouts with Malian bikers in Dabola, a city in south-central Mali.
Unfortunately, Kunle dented the rim of his bike in an attempt to avoid a collision with a bus, after a series of interrogations by the Senegalese border police officers, on his ride from Dabola. It was dark, and Dabola is on the other side of Senegal’s national park, so it was imperative for Kunle to get help.
Luckily for him, he noticed a village 200m away and pushed his bike there. He called on an interpreter, who had helped him navigate his way from Dabola, for help. At 2 a.m. the next morning, Kunle hired a vehicle to Kayes in the western area of Mali. With the help of rotary club members and the bikers he met in Mali, he was loaned a replacement wheel in Bamako, Mali’s capital.
There have been no confirmations on how long it took to fix the bike, but with the delay averted, Kunle’s updates on Twitter showed he spent the 12th to 14th of May resting in Bamako. Those three days count as days 22 to 24.
Day 28 and counting: Getting into Lagos
On the 27th of May, Kunle departed from Ghana and began his trip to Lome. Only 298.5 km away from Lagos, Kunle’s Twitter followers anticipated his arrival. From his Twitter updates, it’s unclear how long Kunle spent in Lome, but within that time, he visited government agencies like the Ministry of Health and connected with rotary club members to discuss the goal of raising awareness on issues like polio.
After what seemed like a 24-hour tour of Lome, Kunle shared details of the assistance he got from the protocol officer at the Nigerian embassy, Madam Rita. According to the tweet, Madam Rita was behind his ease of access between the borders of Lome and Cotonou. Pictures of Kunle’s arrival in Benin Republic were shared the next day.
On the 29th of May, Kunle was received by other Nigerian bikers at the Seme borders. There haven’t been any updates on how much money has been raised or what’ll be next for this adventurous biker. For now, he’s lodged for an all-expense-paid stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel Ikeja, a well-deserved welcome into Lagos after 41 days of transatlantic riding.
Details of the journey were covered under the official hashtag: #LondontoLagos