Mark Bristow on one of his motorbike journeys across Africa
by Jon Yeomans
By his own admission, Mark Bristow likes to have “fun”. His latest scheme is to spend 30 days motorbiking across central Africa, from Mombasa in Kenya to the mouth of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo – a 5,000-mile odyssey that is not, he says with relish, technically possible. “Trying to cross the equator that way – you can’t really do it because of all the rivers in the DRC. It’s never been done before.” Bristow and his teammates will have to take a roundabout route. “It’s going to be hectic,” he says.
“Hectic” adventures around Africa might be a fitting summary of Bristow’s career. Trained as a geologist, he co-founded Randgold Resources in 1995 and has been chief executive of the gold miner ever since, pursuing deals across west and central Africa and building it into a £6bn business. It listed on the FTSE in 1997.