Page 19. Triporteurs in Africa

The first time I visited Africa, in 2001, I went alone and hitched around South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. I don’t remember seeing any 3-wheelers. When I returned to Africa in 2007, I went with my friend Gary. We reckoned we’d feel safer travelling together so we could do more interesting journeys. We flew into Gambia (cheapest flights from UK) and then took a road trip up to Dakar in Senegal and back again.

I didn’t think I’d find any triporteurs, but as Senegal is French-speaking I did keep my eyes peeled. In our week of travelling I only saw one. By pure chance, I mentioned to get this shot of it from the window of our moving bush taxi on my mobile phone camera (Nokia N80).


As you can just about see from the photo below, there are actually two of them parked side by side. It’s not possible to get bush taxis to stop, so I had no opportunity to get further photos or find out more information about them, though I assume that they were used at sometime as local taxis. The rear passenger compartment is interesting, as it appears to have 2 seats facing forward and two facing back.


In France, handcarts and pushcarts come under the category ‘triporteurs’ so I include them on my various triporteur websites. The one below, pictured on the outskirts of Dakar, is a typical catering handcart.


We made it to Dakar for the weekend, so managed to see a great live music show at a local venue with the Orchestra Baobab. On the Sunday we were approached by a guy who spoke good English, and he became our ‘walking tour guide’ for the day, showing us around parts of town – including local bars – that would have been hard for us to visit otherwise. I’d seen these bakery handcarts all over Dakar so, in lieu of any other interesting vehicles to photograph, took this picture as we walked past the bakery entrance.



Here’s a rare picture of a Pashley triporteur made for export to Africa – in fact it’s a 1957 Royal Enfield 350cc Bullet, with Pashley providing the frame and rear end.

You can read more on the next page.


Published on June 16, 2007 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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