Former Gold Coast rider Kenn Bannister is riding solo from London to Africa and back over almost 2000km of Sahara Desert to raise money to train African doctors and nurses.
Kenn left last week and is headed through Europe to Africa, covering 7200km and nine countries in four weeks.
He has been planning the ride for two years and has some support from the Royal Army.
Kenn is a member of the King’s College London Alumni and is raising money for the college’s Sierra Leone Partnership in support of their vital work with Sierra Leonean medical schools to train urgently-needed doctors, nurses and surgeons.
“The expedition is a very demanding solo, unsupported and self-funded London to Freetown rally navigation endeavour which, at its core, includes a 16-day Paris-Dakar segment,” he says on his expedition Facebook page.
He started at King’s College in London on February 16 and hopes to reach the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership Connaught Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone in mid-March 2018 before returning home.
The most challenging part will be the Sahara Desert.
His Yamaha Tenere is fitted with a satellite tracker updating every two hours.
Kenn’s expedition Facebook page says it costs about £10,000 (about $A17,700) for King’s to send one medical specialist to Sierra Leone for six months.
“This is the critical area that I wish to support,” he says.
“Achieving the fundraising target (£50,000, $A88,600) will allow King’s Global Heath to send up to five specialists to Freetown in an effort to strengthen the Sierra Leonean medical services following the devastating effects of civil war and Ebola.”
So far he has raised only £730 ($A1290).
You can donate from his expedition Facebook page.
Kenn left Australia in the 1980s to backpack through the UK and is still there.
He did four years as an enlisted soldier, attended Sandhurst and became on officer in the tank regiment.
His father served in Vietnam as a professional soldier on two tours.