Ewan McGregor Biking From Scotland to South Africa

Ewan McGregor, best known for his roles as a young Obi Wan-Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels and as a cheeky monologist/narrator in Trainspotting, has biked from Scotland to South Africa with his best pal Charley Boorman. After documenting the 15,000 mile trip which spanned 20 different countries and took 85 days last year, the pair are releasing it in a 10-episode format on the Fox Reality Channel with new episodes premiering on Saturdays at 9PM ET.

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I’ll state for the record that it goes without saying that a 15,000 mile bike trip through Africa is possibly one of the most significantly brutal trips a traveler could take. The series should be an interesting watch for biking and Ewan McGregor enthusiasts alike. It certainly has already been proven that audiences all over the world adore watching this particular man sweat and move around.

  1. He made another trip before this, riding from London to New York. He rode through Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia (and a few other countries). With Charley Boorman also. The series is called “Long Way Round”. The one you’re talking about, I believe, is called “Long Way Down”, which I haven’t seen yet.

    It’s not clear in your post, but I thought it might be important to state that they’re doing it on motorbikes. I don’t know what motorbikes they’re using for the South Africa trip, but for the round the world trip they used BMW touring bikes.

  2. I think they use BMW bikes again for this trip.

    The show is well worth watching – it was on the BBC here in the UK earlier this year and it was a great view from start to finish – it’s perfect travel TV, showcasing some beautiful places (Ethiopia in particular looked stunning), showing quite how much of a physical endeavour it was for them (even with their back-up team) and finally showing their interaction with all the fantastic people they met on the way.

  3. They passed through my campground when I was rafting in Jinja, Uganda. I woke up late and saw the really nice SUVs decked out in sponsorship and realized who it was. They did a half day rafting trip (I had rafted the day before).

    I didn’t see any motorcycles, I think they must leave them somewhere and go with their crew when they’re not “working.”

    I have to say, driving in SUVs thorough Africa is a lot different than managing it on your own in public transport, especially the Ethiopia-Kenya leg which was horrible on my own. I imagine on a bike it would pretty hot an exhausting, but still easier than arranging everything without the support.

    I second the Long Way Round, which was fascinating. I imagine the Long Way Down will be amazing as well, although having now been to a lot of the places on both of their trips I take it with a grain of salt.

  4. This is definitely worth watching! Long Way Round and Long Way Down are two of my favourite documentaries.

    Both Ewan and Charley come across as very genuine, with a real passion for travel and commitment to raising Unicef’s profile along the way.

    And in fact, Charley Boorman arrived here in Sydney a couple of weeks ago at the end of his latest trip (called By Any Means – http://byanymeans.bigearth.tv/), and I am sure that the series will be just as entertaining, even without Ewan McGregor’s star power.

  5. I did this kind of trip on a motorbike in 2000 and I must tell you it was not “possibly one of the most significantly brutal trips a traveler could take”. It was hard at times, but come on! Africa is not the jungle you think it is. There are roads and lots of nice people that help you, and the time when they aren’t are few.

    Just to give you a reality check. Sorry to burst your bubble ;-)

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