TPZ206: Traveling in Africa & Cycle Racing Across the USA with Alissa

Cycling in Africa

Her travels have taken her all over the world.  Her first big adventure was traveling solo through parts of East and West Africa using public transportation.  She is also into cycle-touring and spent 2.5 months in SE Asia, 5 weeks in Patagonia, and most recently was back in Africa cycling from Luxor Egypt to Khartoum Sudan.  In 2019 she competed in the first Bike Nonstop US race from Portland Oregon to Washington DC.  It was her first experience in an ultra-distance cycling race and she completed it self-supported on her Surly Long Haul Trucker.  Alissa writes about these experiences and more at  Alissa, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ187: Cycling West Africa with Nikki Ray

Starting in Spain, she cycled 10,000 km across 13 countries to reach Ghana on a bike she built from recycled components.  It was an adventure she called Ready Steady Slow in an effort to remind herself not to rush and to patiently take in everything going on around her.  But going slow can be a difficult challenge when the setbacks begin to mount like colliding with a taxi in Senegal and injuring a knee to cycling through the desert in extreme heat to not having the correct tools to fix a disintegrating wheel.  You can learn more about her journey at her website  Nikki Ray, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ171: Kayaking the Kwanza River in Angola with Oscar Scafidi

Kayak the Kwanza

In June 2016, Oscar Scafidi and teammate Alfy Weston assembled the 1960s era Klepper Aerius II foldable kayak and set out on the Kwanza River in Angola – which flows 600 miles from its source on the Bié Plateau to the Atlantic Ocean.  During their roughly 4-week journey they experienced many unexpected delays from dangerous hippos and fishing dams that nearly capsized their boat to government authorities that attempted to deport them.  Part of their adventure was to raise funds for The Halo Trust – the oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organization which has been working for over two decades in Angola, a country heavily contaminated with landmines as a result of the 27-year civil war following independence from Portugal.  You can learn more about the adventure in Oscars book Kayak the Kwanza – Source to Sea Along Angola’s Longest River and at  Oscar Scafidi, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

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Kayak the Kwanza movie

TPZ167: Trekking the Gambia River with Chaz Powell

Chaz Powell Gambia River Trek

In January 2019, Chaz Powell and Tim Roberts set off on a 1,120 km trek of the Gambia River from its source in the Fouta Djallon highlands of central Guinea to the coastal city of Banjul in The Gambia.  It was a challenging 46 days through extreme temperatures and harsh landscapes, with constant hunger and dehydration as a companion along with the wildest of animals.  With unending hospitality and kindness from the locals they were able to reach the Atlantic ocean, becoming the first people to document a full source-to-sea trek of the Gambia River.  For this expedition, Chaz partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation, one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations focusing on the protection of African wildlife and wildlands.   You can learn more about Chaz and his adventures at  Chaz Powell, welcome back to the show. 

TPZ161: Hitchhiking and Cycling in Africa with Jeff Commissaris

hitchhiking the world with a guitar

Jeff Commissaris goes on hitchhiking and cycling adventures.  He’s cycled from San Francisco to Seattle and from Colorado to Nashville.  He’s hitchhiked around America and from Colorado to Argentina and most recently hitchhiked Europe then cycled from Tanzania to South Africa.  You can learn more about his adventures at his Facebook page named hitchhiking the world with a guitar.  Jeff Commissaris, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ141: Walking the Zambezi River with Chaz Powell

Zambezi River

For over a decade, Chaz Powell has been backpacking in remote places around the world. Starting in August 2016, Chaz began an attempt to walk the length of the Zambezi river starting at the source near Kalene Hills in northwestern Zambia. He walked for nearly 1,300 miles in 97 days through one the most remote parts of the world, most of the time alone and self-supported. The goal was to reach the Indian Ocean, but Chaz fell short by 600 miles due to the dangers of traveling through Mozambique. His main goal is to raise money and awareness for wildlife conservation throughout Africa and to highlight the growing concerns of wildlife crimes across the globe. He is supporting the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and you can learn more about Chaz and his adventures at Chaz Powell, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ108: Cycling in Africa with Carl-David Granbäck

Cycling in Africa

Carl-David Granbäck is an experienced expedition cyclist. During his first year-long adventure, he cycled through South America from Tierra del Fuego in Argentina to the Caribbean Coast of Colombia. That trip left him with a strong desire to get back in the saddle and once more head into the unknown so a few years later in 2013 he decided to cycle from his home country of Sweden to Cape Town South Africa. He traveled 28,900 km in 686 days. You can read about his adventures at and Carl-David Granbäck welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ085: Canoeing the Congo River with Phil Harwood

Phil Harwood Canoeing the Congo River

In 2008, Phil Harwood completed a descent of the Congo River, starting at the Chambesi River in Zambia then traveling mostly through the Democratic Republic of Congo. For five months he navigated through the water and the corruption in his 15-foot canoe to reach the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way he encountered people that wanted to kill him and steal his money, but also local fisherman that offered their help when he needed it most. Phil tells this amazing adventure story in his book, Canoeing the Congo – The First Source to Sea Descent of the Congo River and you can learn more at Phil Harwood, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ080: Running across Africa with Emma Timmis

Emma Timmis running across africa

Emma Timmis ran across Africa, coast to coast, from Namibia to Mozambique. It was 89 days and nearly 4,000 km. Supported by a small crew, they called their expedition Head over Heels 2014 with the aim of raising money for several charities. Emma says it was the toughest thing she has done in her life, even tougher than becoming the first woman to run the 2400 km Freedom Trail in South Africa. You can learn more about the adventure and their fundraising efforts at Emma Timmis, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Learn more at

Donate to the cause at

TPZ050: Encircle Africa with Ian Packham

Ian Packham

Ian Packham traveled around the coast of Africa for 13 months without the support of a backup team. It was a 40,000 km journey using locally available public transportation and although Africa has a coastline shorter than Europe, crossing the borders of 31 countries is no easy task when corrupt regimes, poor infrastructure, and war may be around the next turn. Ian wrote a book about his adventure titled Encircle Africa: Around Africa by Public Transport which you can learn more about at his website Ian Packham, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

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