Book "A Woman Alone Around Africa" - Interview with Jo Rust
Johannesburg-born Jo Rust is one of the world's most prominent women in adventure travel. Jo is no stranger when it comes to traveling roads less traveled by. She holds a number of records, including - 'fastest female cyclist from Johannesburg to Cape Town, solo', 'first person to cycle around South Africa, solo', the firstwoman to ride around Africa on a motorcycle, solo'. Last mentioned being a journey that saw her traversing 45 000 kilometers, through 28 countries over a year around the African continent.
Jo is an avid adventurer, speaker, author, tour guide and a professional off-road motorcycle instructor.
She was the first ever female brand ambassador for BMW Motorrad South Africa and qualified as the 4th internationally accredited female off-road instructor in the world. The first in Africa.
Jo is also the founder of the International BMW GS Girls and also the mastermind and driving force behind the idea of including a female team in the international GS Trophy.
As a true reference in adventure riding and a true role model for many motorcycle adventurers around the world, she's about to launch her first book and that was the perfect reason for a short interview.
How and why did you start your project "Jo Rust Adventures”?
To set the record as the first woman in history to circumnavigate the African continent on a motorcycle, solo.
What's the weirdest thing that happen to you while on an adventure?
Being taped to a chair with a gun against my head in Angola. Being stuck in Libya during civil war with both borders to Tunisia and Egypt being closed. Riding past big military tanks and military check points situated at each entry and exit of towns in Egypts.
And the most amazing one?
Too many to mention. The amazingly friendly and generous people I met all around the continent. The beautiful nature and surroundings. The wonderful cultures and food.
Your first motorcycle was…?
A Kawasaki KLR 650
Your present motorcycle is…?
BMW R1200GS Liquid Cooled
The most amazing countries to go on an adventure are?
Wow. So many to mention. In Africa - South Africa of course. Namibia, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya. And then Peru in South America. I led a tour there last year and it was amazing!
What's your essential kit to take on an adventure?
Chargers needed for electronics and a concise toolkit with puncture repair kit, a compressor, cable ties, duct tape, necessary tools.
Can you give an advice to all the motorcycle adventurers out there that love adventure on 2 wheels?
Never stop exploring! Remember a smile goes a long way. Be patient and travel slow to take in as much as you can. Always aim to get better as a rider to make sure you are safer, especially when you are planning to travel on more technical roads less traveled by. Although I traveled alone, it’s not always the optimum as it’s usually better to at least travel in a pair - just in case. But this doesn’t apply to me. LoL.
You have a new book coming out soon "A Woman Alone in Africa". Congratulations for that. What can you tell us about it?
Yes, finally! After 5 years my book is finally ready. It’s an autobiography which tells the story of my life and how I came to the decision to want to travel around Africa on my own. In the book I tell all the stories of my amazing encounters whilst on my journey and how I finally became the first woman to circumnavigate the African continent on my own. The book will be available soon on Amazon and on my website: www.jorustadventures.com