Riders on a goodwill mission to South Africa

They will be riding roaring monsters travelling thousands of kilometres in one month. They will pass through countries, from the neighbouring UAE and Saudi Arabia to the difficult and challenging terrains of Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, and finally in Cape Town in South Africa.
A warm sendoff was accorded to the team of nine Omani bike riders, part of the Oman Riders Club, at the South African Embassy in the capital under the auspices of Manabile Shogole, Ambassador of South Africa, on Wednesday as the daredevils embark on a journey of spreading the message of friendship and camaraderie as well as promote the rich culture and heritage of the Sultanate to all the countries that are part of the team’s itinerary.
The ambassador said that their’s is a good cause proving even more that the message of friendship and strong bonds between the Sultanate and the South African nations are alive and more meaning is given to the cultural ties that bind them.
Headed by ace bike rider Hamoud Khamis al Noufli, the team, upon the completion of their journey, will cover the nearly 15,000 kilometres in one month.
The team will be covering an average of 500 kilometres in a day from 6 am or 7 am depending upon the sunrise in these countries and will be on road till sunset.
“We are the torchbearers of Omani explorers’ glory and we are the mouthpiece for the history of our forefathers. We are also the ambassadors of the great traditions and we will be sharing words with the people we meet enroute”, Hamoud said.
Other members of the team include Khalid al Azri, Abdullah al Muqaimi, Abdullah al Touqi, Mubarak al Kiyumi, Saud al Habsi, Majdi Baharesh, Mohammed Eissa al Balushi, and Hamed al Hajri.
The responsibility of being the leader of a team is enormous,” said Hamoud who has been after the project since last two years studying and weighing the pros and cons of each step and every single aspect of the great journey.
“All the team members have been spending time on this project ever since we announced the journey two years ago. We studied the routes, the possible dangers, the documentation in different countries and the rules and regulations existing in these countries”.
“At least two hours before the sunset, we will be looking for a shelter and we are equipped with all sort of camping gear and safety equipment and we are fully prepared to take the journey on,” he said.
Along the way, they will venture into some adventures based on the terrains, cultures and other social factors.
While following a steady speed ensures comfortability, the team members will be accompanied by a convoy car which is at their disposal at any time they need any assistance.
After a long month’s journey, the team will be given a warm welcome at their final destination. They will return to the Sultanate by air while their bikes are also shipped back.
Oman Automobile Association to which the Riders Club belongs is the patron while Oman’s Ministry of Tourism has joined hands with the team as the adventurous trip is yet another boost for the country in the global tourism.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is facilitating all the documentation part for their smooth riding throughout the trip. Omantel and some other private companies have come forth supporting the goodwill journey.

Kabeer Yousuf