A FORMER film student from Solent University has travelled to 27 countries since September last year - and he did not reach those destinations by getting on a plane but by cycling.

Craig Buckland, a 33-year-old from Hampshire, left London just over a year ago with just a bike and a bag of items and travelled all the way to Cape Town - meaning he has covered almost 20,000km already.

His plan was to cycle from London to Cape Town, which he completed a couple of weeks ago, taking him and his bicycle through Europe to Athens and then onto Cairo, Egypt.

From there, Craig has cycled through the Sahara desert in Sudan, high mountains in Ethiopia, remote wilderness in Kenya, national parks in Uganda and amongst wildlife in Botswana.

He said: "Travelling by bike and spending time in nature allows you to focus on the things that are important. All I need to think about is where I get my water and food for the day, and where I'm going to sleep tonight. Mostly, this is camping in the bush, police stations, schools or with anyone who will take me in. I'm enormously proud of my achievement so far, I'd not done anything as big as this before and I had no idea when I left the UK over a year ago whether I'd make it to Dover, let alone Cape Town.

"However, even though I've faced challenges, tough days or weeks and learnt a lot about myself, I don't think I've pushed myself to limits just yet, which is why I've decided to continue my journey to cycle the Americas from Patagonia to Alaska. I'm also extremely motivated to continue raising money for my two chosen charities, who this is in aid of."

Craig plans to continue his journey around the world for another year and a half.

As part of the challenge, he is raising money for Re-cycle, who take unwanted bikes from the UK and re-distribute them to rural communities in Africa.

Craig is also fundraising for Cyclists Fighting Cancer charities, who provide bikes to children who have survived cancer to help improve their recovery, and in total he has raised £700 for both charities so far.

He hopes to reach a target of £1,000.

To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/travelling-on-tread.