Solo girl first to journey throughout Africa on an electrical motorbike

Angelena Iglesia

Lots of people are nonetheless cautious about taking a protracted journey with an electrical automobile, however Sinje Gottwald isn’t one in every of them.

Final month, the German adventurer accomplished a 124-day solo journey throughout the size of Africa on an electrical motorbike.

And also you would possibly say it was a bit of … cake.

The tech skilled had beforehand spent three years driving world wide by means of the opposite continents on a traditional 1994 BMW R100GS, so she had loads of expertise.


Solo girl first to journey throughout Africa on an electrical motorbike

Sinje Gottwald beforehand rode a BMW motorbike world wide. (Sinje Gottwald )

“After about 10 years working in gross sales tech, which is a traumatic job, I made a decision to stop and go for my dream and take a bag and simply depart,” Gottwald instructed Fox Information Digital.


She didn’t plan to spend a lot time on the highway however was having a lot enjoyable she simply saved driving, determining the place to go subsequent every morning. However as she was making ready to sort out Africa, she determined to make issues just a little trickier.

“I assumed, ‘I understand how to cross a continent, I understand how to cross borders, I do know what to watch out about, so why not add some problem to it and do one thing that nobody has ever performed earlier than?’ And that’s once I thought possibly I ought to do it on an electrical motorbike.”

Gottwald's route took her across the equator.

Gottwald’s route took her throughout the equator. (Sinje Gottwald )

She reached out to Swedish electrical motorbike model Cake and proposed the concept, however the people there weren’t so positive their bike was the suitable device for the job, having a variety of simply 55 miles per cost. However then the journey was postponed by the pandemic, and Gottwald ended up making use of for a job on the firm and was employed. Whereas working there, she had the chance to pitch the journey once more to CEO Stefan Ytterborn, who was supportive.

The Cake Kalk AP is an off-road electric motorcycle.

The Cake Kalk AP is an off-road electrical motorbike. (Sinje Gottwald )

Cake set her up with a Kalk AP off-road mannequin, which lists for $12,370 in the USA and has a 14-horsepower motor and a high pace of 56 mph. The one main modifications she made have been the addition of a big rack to hold her gear and a second battery. She additionally raised the handlebars to make it simpler to face whereas negotiating tough terrain.

The journey began on a ferry from Spain to Morocco, from the place she set off with none help on a route by means of the coastal international locations that will take her all the way in which to South Africa.

“I deliberate each day very totally to seek out the following place with electrical energy.”


“I deliberate each day very totally to seek out the following place with electrical energy,” she defined, utilizing accessible energy wherever she might discover it, which wasn’t all the time straightforward within the extra distant areas. “I generally needed to ask individuals in the event that they knew of any corporations that had an workplace out within the jungle the place I might use the electrical energy. Generally I had to make use of turbines, the place there was only one in a small village.”

Gottwald charged the bike using any available power she could find.

Gottwald charged the bike utilizing any accessible energy she might discover. (Sinje Gottwald )

Locals and her followers on social media supplied ideas alongside the way in which.

“Once I confirmed up at locations, individuals have been amazed and in addition confused as a result of, to begin with, they noticed the bike and didn’t know what it was. Then, they noticed me and have been asking about the remainder of my group or the place my husband was,” she mentioned.

Issues received sketchy a few instances, and approaching Nigeria, she met up with one other solo rider, Anna, who negotiated the border crossing together with her as a result of neither had visas.

Gottwald stayed in a variety of lodging along the way.

Gottwald stayed in quite a lot of lodging alongside the way in which. (Sinje Gottwald )

“I didn’t really feel protected,” Gottwald mentioned. “There have been points with the navy and police.”

They stayed involved the remainder of the way in which by means of the nation, often assembly up.

“I didn’t really feel protected. There have been points with the navy and police.”


“At one level, we have been stopped at a navy checkpoint, and I used to be hit on the arm for no purpose by an officer who additionally grabbed her and shook her and yelled at us, so it was good we have been collectively,” Gottwald mentioned.

She figures {that a} third of the journey was spent off pavement and mentioned a typical day would see her journey 60 miles over three or 4 hours, cease to cost for 3 hours, then cowl one other 60 miles earlier than mattress.

Approximately a third of the over 8,000-mile trip was spent off pavement.

Roughly a 3rd of the over 8,000-mile journey was spent off pavement. (Sinje Gottwald )

“One of many difficult elements is being on the bike for thus many hours,” she mentioned.

However except for having to switch a fuse and cope with a fried charging cable, the bike carried out virtually flawlessly.

“Adjusting the chain was the primary factor I needed to do,” she mentioned.

The entire trip was completed on a single set of tires, and the bike only required minor maintenance.

The whole journey was accomplished on a single set of tires, and the bike solely required minor upkeep. (Sinje Gottwald )

At one level, she misplaced a screw from a sprocket within the dust and was fortunate to seek out it, however then her luck ran out.

“I tightened that screw to verify I gained’t lose it once more, and I overtightened it, after which it broke off,” Gottwald mentioned.

Happily, she was capable of finding assist to take away the stub and get a substitute screw.


Caught whereas ready to get throughout the Ghana border, she needed to sleep exterior with out a tent and spent 24 hours worrying concerning the individuals milling about and the mosquitoes. In any other case, the largest subject was coping with curious crowds gathering across the bike within the small villages she visited.

“If it’s too many individuals, it might probably escalate shortly. And, one time, in Liberia, I needed to conceal in the lounge of an individual who allowed me come inside with my motorbike,” she mentioned.

Gottawald made it from Morocco to South Africa in 124 days.

Gottawald made it from Morocco to South Africa in 124 days. (Sinje Gottwald )

After 4 months, she made it to South Africa, the place she related with Anna once more for the ultimate 37-mile stretch into Cape City.

The journey coated over 8,000 miles and unofficially marked each the longest unassisted journey and first crossing of Africa on an electrical motorbike. However Gottwald is awaiting phrase from the Guinness World Data if will probably be acknowledged because of two brief boat journeys that have been required for safety causes.

She’s again house now, unconcerned concerning the end result and already fascinated with her subsequent huge journey.


“In my mind, I all the time plan journeys, however at this level, I work for Cake and there are such a lot of issues I must do as a result of I used to be gone. However, for positive, I’m planning one other journey, simply nothing concrete now.”

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