Merseyside bikers reach Cape Town after epic journey

Derek Charlton and Paul Gee feeling 'emotional' as they reach the end of their epic motorbike journey, described as a 'great adventure'

Two friends from Merseyside are celebrating with a cold beer after completing 14,700 miles on their motorbikes from the Wirral to South Africa.

celebrating their 'great adventure' Credit: Derek Charlton

Derek Charlton and Paul Gee set off from the Wirral on 2 January and travelled through Europe and down the west coast of Africa to reach Cape Town in three months.

The challenge is all to raise money for Claire House, a children's hospice who provide end-of-life care and offer support for families affected.

They have so far raised £7,000 for the charity. Derek said as they completed the journey:

Thanks so much to everyone who's followed us and everyone who's donated to the charity, it's been a great adventure and we are feeling quite emotional now."

Hannah Shannon from Claire House said: "We are really grateful because we can only keep the doors of the hospice open because of people like Paul and Derek who are doing this amazing challenge to raise money for such a good cause.

Claire House Children's Hospice Credit: ITV News

It has been a long and eventful journey for the friends who had planned their route, but often had to divert due to unforeseen issues like flooding, wildfires and difficult border crossings.

They have described the highlights of the trip as the people they have met and the wildlife they have been close to.

making friends with local children Credit: Derek Charlton

Paul said: "We have met some lovely people over the last few weeks, we met some local school children in the Ivory Coast, we couldn't communicate with them but we got them on our bikes and were rewarded with some lovely smiles,"

The pair stayed at hotels or hostels where they could but due to the remote areas they were travelling spent much of the journey wild camping.

wild camping Credit: Derek Charlton

It was at some of these camping spots where they were rewarded with some of their best wildlife encounters including elephants, zebras and baboons.

Derek and Paul visited the most Southern point of Africa before reaching their final destination of Cape Town, saying

"We are going out to enjoy a meal and a beer and we will reflect on the whole journey"

They plan on spending a few days in Cape Town before shipping the bikes back and flying home.