Reports suggest organisers are considering the move

The Dakar Rally could be on the verge of returning to Africa, according to fresh reports. Sources claim that the Angolan Motorsport Federation FADM was in discussion with Dakar ASO officials at this year’s race and that the FADM has more recently been informed in writing of the possibility of the Dakar taking in Angola and Namibia. While South Africa is not specifically said to be mentioned in the text, it is understood that SA would be a part of such a plan.

Dakar 2019 ran only in Peru after longtime ‘anchor tenant’ Argentina pulled out along with Bolivia and Chile due to apparent financial constraints, to leave a dusty lap-style race that was not exactly flavour of the month with many competitors, especially those towards the back of the field who struggled on well-used tracks this year. A mooted return to Africa has been on the cards for a while already, but now the drumbeat is getting harder.

There are other African territories allegedly in the frame to host the Dakar and the rival Africa Eco Race actually races to Dakar, but it seems a Southern African edition may well be on the cards for Dakar 2020. Of course the ‘Dakar’ visited South Africa with the Paris-le Cap in 1992, so Cape Town (the French call it Le Cap, of course) already has ample Dakar cred. Not to mention an opportunity for many more locals to race - as has become the norm in South America.

Imagine starting your year following a 14-day race starting in Cape Town, heading up through the Karoo to Lesotho for a quick Roof of Africa loop, then back west through the Kalahari to Botswana up to Angola for the rest day up there, before turning south through the Namib and the West Coast back to Le Cap? I’m booking a camper now, just in case. ;-)