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Reader & Media Reviews:

UBUNTU: One Woman's Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa

(**scroll down for reader reviews)

 

Australian Financial Review

BRAVERY AND INDULGENCES: ROAD WORTHY GIFTS JUST FOR HER

By Tony Davis - 8/12/2016

Put the woman in your life behind the wheel with Life & Leisure's top motoring picks for her this Christmas.

Ubuntu

She rode a motorcycle solo across 19 countries in Africa, taking the time to climb Kilimanjaro, raft down the Zaire River and survive bursts of malaria along the way. Yet Ubuntu: One Woman's Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa reveals something about Heather Ellis that's even braver still (you'll have to read the afterword to find out about that).

Growing up in rural Australia, Ellis developed an early fascination for motorcycles and an intense curiosity about Africa. She eventually combined the two and tells a tale that is at times verging on madness. She reveals how she would accelerate past soldiers toting AK47s at military checkpoints in the Congo to avoid paying bribes or exposing herself to other dangers. As she dryly observes: "Bullets were expensive and scarce, and as the soldiers had to buy their own, it was unlikely they would shoot me."

Simply told in strict chronological order, Ubuntu is a thoroughly traditional piece of travel writing. Ellis has brutal candour and does a fine job of communicating the feel of Africa and the growing bond with her Yamaha TT600 over 15 months and 42,000 kilometres. She calls it "a big bore single-cylinder thumper of a motorcycle with a deep, almost primeval sound that says power and strength".

Ellis survived the sand, mud, parasites, hucksters and civil wars with a mix of guile, luck and horsepower. But she also found plenty to reaffirm her faith in humanity. As she puts it, leaving the Mauritanian dock for Europe: "Africa and its people had looked out for me."

The author later tried to ride the same bike back to Australia from Europe, via the Silk Road, and is working on that story now. In the meantime, you don't need to love motorcycles to be inspired by this tome, and even to decide to crisscross a continent on your own (though perhaps not that one!).

Ubuntu One Woman's Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa (published by Nero), by Heather Ellis, $29.99.

 

9/12/2016 Heather, everything Tony Davis mentions is so very accurate. You deserve huge kudos for your determination to undertake the adventure but also write about in such a way that it makes me happy envious that I didn't do something similar when I was younger. This is, in my opinion, an excellent book to read. I'm so overwhelmed to know the person behind the story, albeit briefly. Congratulations!" Ashley John Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Ellis 

 

Media:

TELEVISION:

Temporary Australians (Channel One, Channel 31). - screening date tba

 

 

PRINT& ONLINE MAGAZINES:

 

Women Adventure Riders Magazine

February 2017

 

Adventure Rider Magazine

February 2017

 

Motorcycle Explorer Magazine

Issue 15 - January 2017

 

BeeEm Magazine (BMW riders)

December 2016

 

Australian Road Rider magazine November 2016

 

Just Bikes magazine

15 Septemer 2016

 

Just Bikes magazine

18 August 2016

 

Cycle Torque magazine

August 2016

 

Australian Motorcycle News

July 2016

 

Australian Motorcycle News

April 2016

 

Motorcycle Trader - Issue 307

April 2016

 

NT News

30 April 2016

 

Ballarat Courier

1 May 2016

 

Royal Auto

October 2012

 

Mountain Views Mail - 10 May 2016

 

Genio e Sport (Moto Guzzi) - April 2016

 

RADIO:

 

The Travel Show - Bondi FM

2 November 2016

 

The Overlanding Podcast

24 November 2016

 

ABC 774 - Sundays with Libbi Gorr

27 November 2016

 

Adventure Rider Radio

9 December 2016

 

 

Mix 104.9 Darwin - 360 With Katie Woolf

5 May 2016

Listen to the Podcast

 

Talk Radio Europe - Travel Daily Show

15 April 2016

Listen to the Podcast

 

Joy FM Melbourne - Word for Word

13 April 2016

Listen to the Podcast

 

3CR Melbourne- The Spoken Word

4 April 2016

Listen to the Podcast

 

 

ONLINE MEDIA & BLOGS:

Motorbike Writer.com - 30 March 2016

 

Speed Sport Blog - 14 May 2016

 

 

AWARDS:

The Book Designer -

Gold Star awarded for May 2016

Heather Ellis 

Comments from judges:

JF: A terrific cover that puts us right in the scene. Combined with the lettering that reminds us of the craftwork we see throughout Africa. Beautifully done. ★Heather Ellis submitted Ubuntu: One Woman’s Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa designed by Peter Long. “As the author, I photographed this image of a group of giraffes by chance on my ride to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. I was travelling across Africa by motorcycle in 1993/1994. Book designer Peter Long’s design skill is exceptional in capturing the true essence of my story – that of ubuntu”

 

EXHIBITIONS:

RIDE - Yarra Ranges Regional Museum

15 December 2012 - 17 February 2013

Heather Ellis