Last month MotoGP star Alvaro Bautista joined 18 other adventurers, including grand prix legend Randy Mamola, in the 'Riders for Health Experience Africa' fundraiser.
During the journey Bautista saw how he and the other MotoGP riders are helping people in Africa receive reliable health care, whilst riding the same bikes that health workers use to deliver health care across Africa.
This is what Bautista had to say about his experiences in Zambia:
“People often wonder what it is that MotoGP riders do during the winter when there are no races. Obviously there is lots of training to be done, but this November I was lucky enough to visit Zambia with the amazing charity, Riders for Health and take part in their Experience Africa adventure.
“We arrived in Zambia and had a day to get used to the bikes that we would be riding. They weren't quite as quick as the ones that I am used to, but they were just right for where we were going.
“Our first day's riding was from Lilayi lodge to the Moorings campsite, six hours away, and we were on the bikes before 9am. This was my first time riding through Africa and it was a real eye-opener. When you see how isolated the villages are and how bad the roads and tracks are, it is really obvious what an important job the motorcycles do, and how much they help the health workers.
“The riding was great fun and the tracks and off-road routes were all twisting, undulating, fast in places, across a wide variety of surfaces. We road past savannah grasslands, maize crops and into forests.
“We were riding for a week and finished our adventure in Livingstone, just a few kilometres from Victoria Falls. I thought that my first days riding had been amazing, but the last two were even better.
“We rode through villages and met lots of people, and what amazes me the most is how happy the children are that we meet. Although they have so little, they are so pleased to see us. It is the kind of excitement and happiness that children get in Spain when they see Santa.
“I always knew that it was important to support Riders for Health when I donated items to their auctions at Day of Champions and met with fans in the paddock and pit-lane, but to see what they do with the money they raise is amazing.