Turkish woman travels across Africa on motorbike
She has faced the most difficult terrain and has encountered thieves. Worst of all, she has narrowly escaped being attacked by a machete.
Gülçin Söğüt, a Turkish woman in her mid-thirties, set out on an adventure after losing her mother. She is close to fulfilling her dream of traveling across Africa on a motorbike.
“We have covered almost 50,000 kilometers while traveling across the African continent,” she told Anadolu Agency after crossing the Kenyan Border into Ethiopia.
“It was my dream to tour Africa,” said Söğüt, who is already famous on social media among Turkish people. She has inspired thousands with her adventures.
With a daily budget of $50, Söğüt set out on the tour with her European partner Ferry Schouten.
“He had zero experience with motorbikes when I first met him,” she said about Schouten, who she had met in Indonesia, while he gave a nod and chuckled.
“Our African tour has been both pleasant and chilling,” Söğüt said, recalling traversing very challenging terrains, such as deserts, sand dunes, and valleys.
“Riding on sand dunes and gravel is the most difficult to me,” she said.
The only thing Söğüt has said she will not do is travel in the rain. “I hate to be drenched,” she added.
While the two have had a chance to stop at stunning places, like Ngorongoro in Tanzania, where they have marveled at the beautiful falls, and South Omo in Ethiopia, where they have witnessed the most exotic tribes, they have also had chilling experiences.
“The scariest of all so far was when a man was about to strike me with a machete, coming out of nowhere as we were riding,” Söğüt said.
She said she was saved by another guy who told the attacker he should not harm a woman.
“Sometimes I would call out to him for help,” Söğüt said, pointing at her partner.
“I would tell her, whenever danger looms that it is her dream and not mine,” Schouten said.
Söğüt lost her mother in 2013, after which she thought life was just too short. “So I gave up everything, including my job. I packed my bag and set off to Latin America. I stayed there three years,” she said.
Ever since then, she decided to travel far and wide, which she has been doing.
As of now, she has already covered 32 African countries, and with Sudan and Egypt left ahead of her, Söğüt’s Africa tour will end in the next few weeks.
“We now have a different view of Africa from the image we had about the continent, which was mostly negative,” she said.
According to Söğüt, people in Africa have been very nice and kind.
“There were people who approached us and gave us money,” she said.
Söğüt said locals slaughtered a chicken and went fishing to feed them in Guinea Bissau.
That gave her the strong conviction that humanity is basically good wherever you may happen to be.