Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Route Planning

Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 27 Dec 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Highlands
Posts: 2
Africa travel advice

Hi everyone

I am glad to have found the site and look forward to having a chat. This looks like the place I need to be at.

I am not new to touring in Europe last year I travelled 4,500 miles in 2 weeks for charity with 6 others in a group.

I now want to expand things and realise my abmition towards getting to Cape town and back. I hope to go down one coast and back up the other as far as the road net work allows.

If I am able to I would rather use my old battle scarred ZZR1100 but realise this would need reasonably good roads, Romania and Bulgaria were not a problem we had a couple of muddy tracks which we managed to survive due mainly to diversions.

I am looking to those who know Africa and who may be able to tell me if this is a reality or if I would need to buy something else maybe an African twin 750cc.

I have been dreaming about doing this for many years and want to plan it as the first thing I do when I retire which is not too far away. I don't have a time limit for the trip I would expect it to take me about 10 weeks from Highlands and back again.

Thanks in anticipation. I am not very hot on computers so hope this thread works and is in the right section.

Cheers H
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 27 Dec 2007
Gold Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Whistler, Canada
Posts: 56
10 weeks....!!!???

good luck with the trip but only giving yourself a measly 10 weeks is craziness! you're gonna be retired so take your time and enjoy. Africa is about the people and it's hard to meet anybody by flying thru the continent at that pace.
slow down and reap the rewards.....have a good one!
__________________
T&T
Todd Lawson & Christina Tottle
Whistler, BC, Canada

http://www.AgainstMalaria.com/motosagainstmalaria
http://www.sunfirefoto.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 27 Dec 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Highlands
Posts: 2
^Thanks for the reply what would be a realistic time limit. If the roads are good I am used to travelling 600 mile days on the ZZR but don't expect this in Africa so Highlands to South England would be done in one hit maybe 2 days at the most same with France and Spain.

I am looking forward to this. does anyone have a route plan already prepared for the West coast returning on East coast. I would love to have a definitive answer regards to the road network before starting any paper-working.

The ZZR is a Superbike for all types of road which are hard packed but it is hopeless on anything else gravel tracks are a pig to ride on unless at a crawl.

Cheers H
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 1 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 37
A rethink...

Highlander
- There is no 'definitive answer to road network'. A lot of it is made up as you go along.
- If you get stuck into this website you'll soon discover 10 months is a more realistic time scale than 10 weeks (were you serious?)
- I would suggest it is not impossible, but you would be creating serious hardship for yourself by taking a bike that heavy
- My website Home details my (present) trip down the West coast and back up the East - I'm holed up in Addis Ababa at the moment..
- But what I've learnt since starting the journey is that despite all the preparation and research, it really is just a matter of getting up in the morning, packing the bike, riding, eating, sleeping... and the same the next day. (There are certainly things that make life easier that can't be got en route.)
Best of luck. Enjoy the anticipation - part of it!
Hugh
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 1 Jan 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Shandong, CHINA
Posts: 654
Well, perhaps 10 months is a bit of "over the top"

However 10 weeks is definatly a "no - no"

10 weeks just going down C.T. is "do'able . . . . at a sprint.
You would have to organise many of your visas before hand though, as reading many of the threads, you can spend some thing like half as much time getting the paperwork sorted, as sitting in the saddle.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highlander1 View Post
The ZZR is a Superbike for all types of road which are hard packed
Mind reset ... you are thinking of roads where people expect vehicles at speed ...

What if the locals expect vehicles at max speeds of 30 mph .. everywhere .. where vehicles wander around as the driver is looking at the crop at the time .. Doing 50mph here is dangerous ... like doing 150mph in your part of the world.. all about expectations, and mind sets.

600 mile days .. in Africa think 200 mile days .. and plan on every 7th day off!

So 10 weeks of 600 mile days becomes 10*3 * 7/6 = say 34 weeks .. say 9 months ... 10 months was not far out?

What is the rush about anyway? Take 3 weeks off as a taster and do Morocco.. then see what you think? Takes me some time to adjust to the hoiliday mode - about 2 weeks .. to slow down .. relax .. forget about the timetable and go with the flow. It is not about getting somewhere by tonight .. but experiencing the place, including the bit you are now in.

10 weeks for Africa would be like Scotland in 3 days .. why bother...
__________________
---
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S

Last edited by Frank Warner; 2 Jan 2008 at 01:46.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kilkenny, Ireland
Posts: 37
Smile

[quote=uk_vette;165897]Well, perhaps 10 months is a bit of "over the top"

What do you mean "over the top"? On what are you basing that? Different folks have different approaches to overland travel. I suggest 10 months is a very 'realistic time limit'.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2 Jan 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dorset, UK
Posts: 143
Not the best place to mention this book, but take a look at Long Way Down, by Charlie and Ewan. I guess there are plenty of others but I'm reading it now and it highlights all of the problems and the frustrations of not having enough time. Although I've only been to Tunisia, so far, Africa is one of those places, if you don't give yourself long enough, you'll regret it forever, and.............

......... "Forever is a very long time".
Kevin
__________________
www.4x4-travel.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 3 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: La Spezia, Italy
Posts: 47
Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinrbeech View Post
Not the best place to mention this book, but take a look at Long Way Down, by Charlie and Ewan. I guess there are plenty of others but I'm reading it now and it highlights all of the problems and the frustrations of not having enough time. Although I've only been to Tunisia, so far, Africa is one of those places, if you don't give yourself long enough, you'll regret it forever, and.............

......... "Forever is a very long time".
Kevin
long way what? did u really just say what i think you said?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 4 Jan 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Shandong, CHINA
Posts: 654
[quote=kk2ct;166018]
Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
Well, perhaps 10 months is a bit of "over the top"

What do you mean "over the top"? On what are you basing that? Different folks have different approaches to overland travel. I suggest 10 months is a very 'realistic time limit'.
,
,
,
You are very correct 10 months is an ideal time to take, and enjoy the run down.
,
It was mentioned that the OP wanted to run it down in 10 weeks!
Just impossible, but if his mind is set on doing it as quickly as possible, then I thought it could be done in less than 10 months.
I quite agree, big mile days in parts of Africa just doesn't happen.
The only place I can confidently say he will do 800 miles in a day, would be South Africa,
I drive from CT to JNB fairly regular,
N1 all the way for best part of 850 miles, and the best times are around 13 hours, and more true'r times are 15 hours
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 15 Jan 2008
pockey's Avatar
Contributing Member
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: ashford kent
Posts: 14
time

one thing you must remember when you are in africa you are in africa time time takes for ever and hardly anyone wears watches, there is only day time and night time.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 16 Jan 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 185
Ask whinging Ewan and Bitching Charlie 4 months; Too short!

Kevin wasn't far off mentioning Long Way Down. (yeah yeah i know). With Their legion (i think the count was 26) of helpers organising visas, flying in parts from the Uk etc, etc, etc. They still Bitched and complained the whole time about not enough time and their trip took 4 months (give or take)

I know a lot of people shift to the lip of their chair very quickly and get rather feisty at the mere mention of LWR/D. But in my mind (ok so it's slighty twisted) They still did it. It may not have been in a way that you or I could have afforded or desired for that matter. but they still did it. In the process have rasied the profile of the sport(past-time? lifestyle?) of Adventure motoring. Bringing more money/research/bikes etc into the area.

However I understand the pain they bring though; After my new(ish) girlfriend watching LWR. I mentioned to her of my idea of heading through the 'Stans and Mongolia... Her reply...... "what about the support vehicles? You'll need support vehicles! you can't do it without them!" ...sigh..head shaking ... leave room....

And if i dare be perfectly honest.... (cringe) LWR caused me to dust off a long-ago shelved dream of doing "a big trip" I'd not seen or heard of anybody else doing such a thing. I watched LWR and thought ''WTF! If those two can do it, I sure the hell can!" I then found this website and can now go forward with the trip/planning well grounded and informed

Sorry it got a bit off topic but i guess i was trying to pad this statement...... LWD/R is still worth a read ( and pinch of salt)
And a donation to Riders for health while you're on the job
__________________
'99 R1100GS - In a suitable shade of black

It's not that life is so short, It's just that we're dead for so long....
"The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page." ~ Saint Augustin
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 16 Jan 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cornwall, UK
Posts: 68
10 months or 10 weeks? Never done the trip, but couple of folks I know did it in a speedy but comfortable six months. This included some time off and fun diversions.

Bike? Well in theory you could do it on anything. It depends on how much hard work you want and how good you are at maintenance and repairs and how much you like lifting and pushing. There's at least two characters who have done it on Harleys, one a full dresser job with tassles. But with some hard work and interesting times.

I would have thought that a ZZR would represent very hard work!, much frustration and ultimately, trashed bodywork. I wouldn't fancy it at all. But on the other hand, it's not compulsory to go for the full 'overland-kit-biker' mode in your choice of bike either.

A middle-weight road bike with a reasonable luggage system, a few mods and decent tyres would probably be more than adeqaute if you wanted to stick to a basic level of bike.

I've been as far south as The Gambia by road and although most main roads to get there are damn good, it would be lunacy to speed on these roads. They are variable at times, there are pot holes, debris, animals, people, diesel, checkpoints, sand berms and so on -- plus very bad driving from the locals at times.

A good day is cruising at an average of about 50mph, keeping an eye on the road ahead, enjoying the scenery.

An 'interesting' day is only a few miles over the entire day, wrestling with sand, in the middle of nowhere on an overloaded and heavy bike in 40 degree heat, with the wrong tyres.

From experience BMW's old GS650 is a good 'median' benchmark, the 1150/1200 GS range is better for loads, passengers and long mileage on good roads. Very manageable on/off pistes even if you're a crap rider like me.

Several Japanese bikes fit the bill perfectly as well. Small trailies are perfectly capable bikes as well.

It's difficult to avoid lots of time away from sealed roads, so leave the sports bike at home for fun times on tarmac and chose something else from the range of excellent bikes out there.

Oh, it's true what was said about African Time.

Keep your expectations to 250-300 miles a day max (on tarmac, on good days) and you'll avoid a lot of grief, fatigue and accident situations.

And: the simpler the bike, the easier it is to fix.

Craig
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 21 Feb 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 1
Epic Scooters Pizza Delivery

FWIW, these guys did Africa in 39 days!

The Epic Scooters Pizza Delivery

But that's a little crazy.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Travel Insurance - any recommendations? Em and Hame Trip Paperwork 28 4 Jan 2009 17:45
africa route advice please (border crossings) deebee Route Planning 8 29 May 2006 22:11
UK to N. Africa travel budget JulianVoelcker 4WD Overland TRAVEL 3 6 Apr 2006 20:42
Security in Niger roro Sahara Travel Forum 2 11 Jun 2004 22:47
travel companion in morocco/north africa Mary_Elston Sahara Travel Forum 0 15 Jan 2004 16:53

 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!






All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:49.