I have undertaken three solo motorcycle journeys through Africa, which have spawned three books and a popular blog:



African Brew Ha-Ha is about my motorcycle quest to find the ultimate cup of tea on a solo trip through Africa – Lancashire to Cape Town on a Triumph Tiger. 

Back cover blurb ...

“Tea-drinking is a ritual that binds people together. Alan Whelan was on a unique quest: to find the people at the hidden heart of Africa… and sit down for a nice cup of tea with them. On the 14,000-mile solo journey through Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and all the way to Cape Town across deserts and the toughest roads imaginable, he met sporting legends and ministers, peacekeepers and outlaws, and countless people who shared their last morsel of food with him. 

Armed with little more than blind optimism, he experienced a jaw-dropping ride. Uplifting, insightful and funny, this is the story of one man’s determination through the most physically and emotionally challenging five months of his life.”

I wrote a blog about the trip (and subsequent trips) here



ABHAHA can be found in the Travel Writing section of your local bookshop and is available online here.

Or borrow it from a library - they need our support.



The Black Stars of Ghana tells the story of my motorcycle adventure through Ghana during the 2010 World Cup.

Back cover blurb ...

'Travelling against the backdrop of Ghana's Black Stars' thrilling performance in the 2010 World Cup, Alan Whelan sets off on a motorcycle adventure into the heart of West Africa. He meets witches, fetish priestesses, custodians of the slave trade, and the only white chief of Ashanti who confirm that - if Ghana is an indication of progress - the future of the continent is bright.'

I wrote a blog about the trip here




The Black Stars of Ghana can be found in the Travel Writing section of your local bookshop and is available online here.

Or borrow it from a library - they need our support.



My third journey, Empire Road, headed around Lake Victoria in East Africa. I travelled through Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya. Overland magazine said: "Written with warmth and humanity, Empire Road is Alan Whelan's most insightful and thought-provoking book yet."

Back cover blurb ...

'On his third solo African motorcycle journey, Alan Whelan turns to one of the defining features of the continent: Lake Victoria. Using the lake as a hub, Empire Road reveals the beauty and the tragedy, the inspiration and the ingenuity of a region that still resonates from the days of empire. After acquiring a boda-boda motorcycle taxi in Nairobi, he undertakes a thrilling ride around Africa's greatest lake, travelling through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, on roads and tracks that once brought the great Victorian explorers to the interior. Alan continues his uncanny knack of meeting the most fascinating people who will live long in the memory, from Kenya's superstar long-distance runners to survivors of the Rwandan genocide. He even finds time for an impromptu audience with Barack Obama's elusive Kenyan grandmother.'

Read more about my journeys here.


Empire Road can be found in the Travel Writing section of your local bookshop and is available online here.

Or borrow it from a library - they need our support.



`Alan captures Africa to a `T' - the joy and heartache, the despair and exhilaration, the moments of sheer insanity.' PETER MOORE

‘Excellent book, a well-written and insightful travel adventure. Highly recommended.’ GRANT JOHNSON, Horizons Unlimited

`Mr Whelan... sense of adventure verges on insanity... with a keen, predominantly optimistic eye, Whelan portrays his encounters poignantly.' Real Travel

`Extraordinary one-man mission... with no shortage of adventures along the way... the most physically and emotionally challenging months of his life.'   Blackpool Gazette

`[I] thoroughly enjoyed... His writing ability is way above the norm... recommend African Brew Ha-Ha to anyone with the travel gene.' Adventure Travel OnLine

`An amazing 14,000-mile African motorbiking odyssey - to prove the power of a nice cup of tea can unite the world.' Lancashire Evening Post

‘He described his adventures and mishaps with a disarming honesty... fresh insights into life in some of Africa's forgotten corners.’ Lancashire Writers' Hub




'THIS BOOK is a brilliant read. It's very funny; it's educational; it's thought provoking; it's inspirational.'

'A BRILLIANT book ... highly recommended.'

'A FANTASTIC story of a real adventure.' 

'FUNNY, fascinating and full of life ... kept me gripped from cover to cover.'

'SUPERBLY written, very easy to read and very difficult to put down.'

'A STYLISH accomplished writer ... read it and be enriched by his experience.'

'EXHILARATION, frustration and joy as the author takes you through his emotional journey. Excellent read.'

'A REWARDING READ not just as a travelog but as a journey of personal discovery ... Alan Whelan has taken up the torch lit by Ted Simon and carried it forward to a new generation.'



'THOUGHTFUL, contemplative and gentle, rich with the humour of the chance encounter with strange Ghanaian characters and tinged at other times with sadness. Another interesting adventure by a man seemingly oblivious to the risk of the unknown. Read and enjoy. I did.’

'A GREAT READ, very entertaining and I read it in one sitting. It's a feel-good book that makes you want to go to Ghana.’



'IN HIS THIRD motorcycle adventure Alan Whelan lives even more dangerously. Among his many scrapes he tells a lively tale of his journey through "Darkest Africa". Much of the story is indeed dark and difficult reading - the Rwanda massacres in particular make an uncomfortable chapter. However Alan's positive approach to Africa and its myriad variety of people add up to a wonderful and inspiring story.’

'WHAT A FANTASTIC BOOK, I couldn't put it down and 4 days later I had already turned the last page. If you are interested in adventure motorcycle travel, or the areas surrounding Lake Victoria this provide a fascinating insight into the life of the locals and the history of the first western explorers in the region.’



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