Heather Ellis is an Australian motorcycle adventurer, author and speaker who rode solo across Africa and Central Asia along the Silk Roads to China on her Yamaha TT600. She is the author of two bestselling books, Ubuntu: One Woman’s Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa and Timeless On The Silk Road: An Odyssey From London to Hanoi.
TIMELESS ON THE SILK ROAD: An Odyssey From London To Hanoi (Phonte 2019) is my eagerly anticipated second book and follows Ubuntu: One Woman's Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa (Black Inc. 2016). Available everywhere books are sold. If you'd like a signed copy, you can purchase here via Paypal for $30 (inc. postage. Australia only) For international readers, please email me for reasonable postage to your country. My books are also available in paperback and as an eBook on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and others...
I am honoured to be invited as a special guest at THE OVERLAND EVENT - UK where I get to meet the 'whos who' of motorcycle adventure travel. If you're in the UK and thinking about or planning an overland trip, you must attend this event. Come and say hi.
Watch a short interview about Ubuntu on Travel Groove (Travel Made Easy). Features travel tips and tricks by travelling experts for adventure. Be inspired to travel and adventure more!
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My Yamaha TT600 today. The same motorcycle I rode through Africa in 1993/94; used for motorcycle couriering in London ; and then rode through Central Asia along the Silk Road during 1997.
He waits patiently for our next adventure.
I now call Melbourne, Australia home and enjoy riding my Moto Guzzi V50 around the hills of the Yarra Ranges. That was until the dear old girl fell victim to a SMIDSY while I was stopped at a red traffic light (SMIDSY = Sorry Mate I Didn't See You). I'm in the process of rebuilding her.
Today, I ride a Triumph Thruxton 900cc. The 'Black Princess', she is a quick nimble thing on mountain roads and in city traffic.
The Ted Simon Foundation encourages those who adventure into the world to go the extra mile and transform their experiences into something of value for the world to share.
Best motorcycle travel books
Author-signed books via Paypal:
Timeless On The Silk Road
published by Phonte, April 2019
$35 (inc. postage Australia)
Due to increased postage costs, I'm no longer able to ship overseas. You can buy print and ebooks on Amazon and others. See below.
Please advise name for signing if the book is a gift.
Timeless On The Silk Road is also available online at:
It’s Joanna Lumley here: just to say that I have only just been able to get round to reading your book, Timeless on the Silk Road which you so kindly sent me, so warmly inscribed…. and I am reeling from the impact of a sensationally brave adventure undertaken by someone facing up to the worst hand you could possibly be dealt.
Heather, I loved it: Australians are always known to have guts, but you broke the bounds with your invincible attitude and sheer bloody-minded determination and courage.
Brava!! Bravissima! Re-visiting the Silk Road with you was a particular thrill and I send a thousand thanks and congratulations, you wonderful woman xxJoanna
'It's more than just a long motorcycle trip; as well as battling with endless bad roads and, often worse, endless bad bureaucracy, Heather is also fighting a killer disease. That in the end she overcomes them all, roads, bureaucrats and the killer disease, feels like a miracle in all sorts of ways.'
Tony Wheeler, author, travel writer and co-founder of Lonely Planet
Heather Ellis weaves a raw and thrilling adventure tale that is exciting, inspiring, and refreshingly honest in its telling.
–Lois Pryce, author of motorcycle adventure travel books
‘The road may be silken but it’s far from smooth. Heather Ellis delivers a devastating punch and that’s even before the going gets tough. If you want a taste of life on the road, though nowhere, this is as good as it gets.’
–Ted Simon, author of Jupiter's Travels
'Ubuntu is an inspiring memoir about an extraordinary journey taken by an exceptional woman. Heather Ellis writes about her most daring adventures and deepest struggles with humour, heart, guts and grace. I was enthralled by every page.’ —Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
Ubuntu is a story that goes way beyond one woman motorcycling through Africa. It's a detailed and descriptive account of Heather's travels through the beautiful but dangerous landscape of one continent, and it will surely inspire the beginner or awaken the adventurer in the most experienced motorcyclist. She makes it possible to believe that anyone can do it. Beautifully written and a pleasure to read. Heather's enthusiasm for Africa, her motorcycle and the journey itself is very infectious. Mary Dobie, AMCN (Australian Motorcycle News - July 2016)
Heather Ellis is the newest entrant to the field (of motorcycle travel writing), with Ubuntu, her story of a ride across Africa. She's young, blonde and alone on her Yamaha TT600 - what could possibly go wrong? Read it and you'll find out, but it's not exactly as you'd imagine. Grant Roff, AMCN Australian Motorcycle News - April 2016)
'Most of us wouldn’t take a motorcycle solo through Africa. Or remember much about what we were saying, smelling, believing or hoping twenty years ago. Heather Ellis did that, and has written a remarkable book about it too. She tells her story vividly and honestly, taking us through fields, national parks, into towns and down red-mud tracks, meeting other travellers and working with locals, eating rice and fish, honing her self-belief and increasing our respect for her with every day on the road. This is a really fascinating and compelling tale, told well. For anyone who has ever doubted themselves, Ubuntu has a message: there is a way through, down a road you haven’t travelled yet.’ —Kate Holden, author of In Her Skin
'No two big journeys are alike, and Heather Ellis’ could not have been more different to mine, but certain fundamental similarities seem to unite us all, from the prosaic –‘My bike was dangerously overloaded’ – to the sublime awakenings that such journeys engender. Hers was a great adventure into the soul of Africa, a thrilling story of endurance and self-discovery, told with care, intelligence and deep humanity. It is beautifully written and a pleasure to read. So read it.’ —Ted Simon, author of Jupiter’s Travels
'Ever wondered what your life would look like if you chose to trust rather than fear? Heather Ellis does just this as she rides a motorbike across Africa. She discovers a land torn apart by war and poverty but also a land rich in beauty and kindness. Reading this book is challenging and inspiring. Heather’s journey will stay with you long after you finish her story.’ —Maggie Mackellar, author of When It Rains & How to Get There
'The next stage of our evolution is how are we to live together. Through Heather’s motorcycle journey across Africa, and the African people who embrace her, we learn what is possible – this is ubuntu.’ —Father Bob Maguire AM, RFD
'Ubuntu is the story of a motorcycling adventure that goes way beyond the physical journey. It takes you to other places too. This story has wide appeal and I reckon it will inspire both men and women, especially women motorcyclists.’ —Damien Codognotto OAM
'In the 1990s Heather had an impulsive idea to ride a motorcycle through Africa and, through perseverance, made this come true. Her story is not just a very detailed, descriptive account of the countries she rode through but also of the problems she faced and overcame. It reveals her ability to communicate with people of all nationalities and walks of life, learn from them and find that if you have faith in the Universe, it will provide. Very well written and immensely readable.’ —Linda Bootherstone-Bick, author of Into Africa with a Smile