Bloke arrives in Mecca after trekking 13,000km from South Africa for three years

A man who embarked on a 13,000km pilgrimage from South Africa has finally reached his destination after walking for three years.

Saheed, from Cape Town, arrived the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia earlier this week and finished the task he started in August, 2018.

He trekked through several African countries including Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya before he reached Palestine, where he was forced to pause his journey due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

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Sharing his experience to the media, the South African, who dresses in a white rope and carries a bag, said: "I stayed in Palestine for one year and eight months.

"After they re-open the border, I continue my journey via Jordan, then Medina before arriving in Mecca."

Saheed joined another hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to Mecca after the holy city reopened for the biggest influx of hajj pilgrims since the pandemic began.

He said he will take the same journey back on foot to South Africa just as the way the came.

Around one million people, including 850,000 people from abroad, will be allowed at this year's hajj, one of the five religious duty for Muslims to carry out at least once in their lifetime.

The hajj, which costs at least £4,200 per person, is expected to generate a huge revenue for Saudi Arabia as white-robed worshippers were flocking to souvenir and barber shops across the city of two million.

Business owner Mekhlafi, 30, told AFP: "We had few customers (during the last two hajj seasons), but today business is back, thanks to God.

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"It's the same as before, and even better."

Amin, a perfume shop owner, was bullish about his prospects, said his losses could be recovered this year.

"There is a huge difference between this year and past ones. This year we can see a lot of pilgrims who are bringing back the glory to the Grand Mosque," he said.

"The losses were big, but now things are better."

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