British explorer Spencer Conway escaped with his life recently after an encounter with armed bandits at the Kenya / Tanzania border.
Conway, 42, who launched a solo bid to circumnavigate Africa by motorcycle last November, had been negotiating a difficult stretch of road between Marsabit and Isiolo when the attack took place.
After sustaining multiple punctures along the pothole-strewn trail on January 5, Conway found himself caught in a tropical storm ten kilometres from the village. At this point three gunmen, believed to be Boran Shiftas, opened fire from a hillside.
The explorer was thrown from his cycle as the attackers approached, and managed to restart his cycle amid further shooting.
Having outrun the gunfire, he was forced to stop minutes later to assess damage to his vehicle. Owing to the immediate danger he continued, but abandoned his cycle after 70 kilometres as the rear wheel collapsed.
The Briton, who is an ambassador for Optimax Laser Eye Surgery clinics, made his way on foot to a Catholic mission in the locality where he was met by a priest who arranged for his bike to be collected. This was quickly followed by a military escort back to the scene of the shooting.
Advice from the foreign office is to avoid remote areas along the Kenyan border unescorted, and local police report a fatal shooting in this region the week prior to the attack.
Conway is approaching the halfway point in his circumnavigation of the continent, his journey having taken him so far through countries on Africas Eastern block.
The next leg of his voyage will be the Western coast, and he plans to travel a total of twenty-eight countries, covering 40,000 kilometres.
The adventurer, from Biddenden in Kent, aims to raise £40,000 for Save the Children.
Notes for editors – Spencer Conway
Spencer Conway was born and raised in Africa and has worked internationally as a cliff rescuer, lifeguard, gym instructor and teacher.
He is an experienced endurance motorcyclist and has circled the globe several times as a yachtsman.
He is based in Biddenden, Kent, where he lives with his partner and two children.
Notes for editors – Optimax
Founded in 1991, Optimax is a laser eye treatment specialist with 23 clinics nationwide.
It is the only specialist UK laser eye surgery clinic chain, with expertise gained from around 300,000 treatments. Its recent GBP £5m investment in the latest technology means that more people than ever are achieving 20:20 vision.
For further information, please contact:
James Seton, marketing and communications,
Tel: 020 7317 8639