Graeme Sharp is a man of the outdoors. He was raised on a farm surrounded by lions, elephants and the splendid wildlife of Zimbabwe. A farmer and a safari guide in his everyday life, the 33-year-old has a passion for bikes. His childhood fascination for the Dakar pushed him to first visit the race back in 2013 when it was still in South America and then meet as many Dakar veterans as possible, before finally taking on the race. Part of the Bas Dakar team, Sharp will be riding the same KTM that he managed to bring to the finish of both the Merzouga and Morocco rallies this year. A proud representative of his country, he hopes to be the first Zimbabwean to finish the Dakar and bring some positivity to his nation. In Swahili the word safari means adventure. The name of Graeme Sharp’s project: My Dakar Safari.
“I was raised surrounded by animals and every weekend I would ride my bike in the African bush. That was a natural progression into working in safari tours. The Dakar was a childhood fascination. I remember watching and supporting Alfie Cox who was an African hero then. It was always in the back of my mind but I had to stop talking about it and actually do it. I spoke to a lot of former Dakar privateers to learn from their experiences and came home with pages of notes. The Merzouga rally was a first big learning curve in the dunes. And I was then able to improve during the Morocco Rally. That was another great experience. The fraternity between the competitors, even the factory riders was amazing. I now feel a lot more comfortable with the navigation. The more experience you have the more comfortable you get. Being the first Zimbabwean on a bike to compete in the Dakar is a really humbling experience. It makes the purpose to race even bigger than my own. Riding for your country, doing something positive for Zimbabwe gives you strength.”