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Hi all.. Seems a bit strange that there aren't more threads in the Sub-Saharan Africa section. A friend of mine and I are planning a trip beginning 2003 starting in South Africa. Riding from Cape Town along the coast to PE, then up through the Transkei, along the wild coast through to Durbs, then up through Kwa Zulu Natal to Swaziland.
From there on to Mozambique (some diving and beach lounging) all the way up to Malawi, then down through a bit of Zambia, down through to Vic Falls, then through Botswana (hopefully a nice trip to Okavango Delta) and across to and through Namibia and then back down along the west coast to Cape Town.
The trip is still very much in the planning stages and I'm pleased to say that this bulletin board is providing great info. My friend who is in London at the moment (I'm in US- shortly he'll be in S.A and I'll be in London) has bought Chris's book and I will too.
We hope to get good cond. pre 90's XT Tenere's (apparantly they are the shit for this type of thing) and will most likely adopt the less is best approach and rough it out, except for the must haves. So much planning involved and it seems like it's going to be very expensive to get kitted out. I hadn't thought of cooking stoves (assumed camp fire would do it) but obviously after a hard days driving you want to get some food in yer mug ASAP. The list goes on about things I hadn't thought of and all I can say is thank God for all you crazy mofo's whove attempted these kinds of things before and are now able to impart your great wisdom.
I am happy though that we still have a year to get things in order. Going to be flat broke and unemployed after this but one could argue that the life experience is well worth it. I hear many Amens and grunts of approval from you all.
So.... you will most likely hear a lot more questions from Martin or myself about this upcoming beast of an adventure. Here's to experiencing the life without the Discovery Channel.
ps.. oh.. the original idea of posting this thread was to ask for any info you might have to help us plan.. thanks!
I am the the other bugger who is going to attempt this little Southern African oddessey.
As Jonathan says, there does not seem to be a great deal of info on the Southern African countries. Granted as tourist destinations, there are countless publications and what-not regarding the area, so there should be some good info to obtain if neccessary.
Being locals originally, we obviously have a decent knowledge of the area to a degree. But a few years away from Mama Africa and my memory has become somewhat jaded. I cannot even remember what a can of coke and a dodgy chicken pie costs now?!
A lot of talk goes on about the perils and the romance of the Sahara. The Kalahari seems to be neglected a little. The fact that it lies on the doorstep of South Africa, and considering the possiblity of setting off from there, it would seem to me to make an ideal destination for adventure bikers, whilst offering the chance at least for being "reasonably" close to spares, decent medical assistance and large quantities of good cheap ganja.
I was hoping that someone has made a trip along the west coast of Namibia through to South Africa.
As Jonathan mentioned, this is in the early stages of planning, but I am hoping to be able to visualise the entire trip in advance and have done sufficient recon to understand what lies ahead.
When I was living in SA a few years ago, I recalled a lot of old XR 500's and XT 500's but I dont really remember a great deal of Tenere's on offer. Does anyone in Cape Town or SA have any indication what the cost levels are generally. I was under the impression that it would cost in the region of around R10 000 to R15 000. Does this sound realistic? I would imagine that it is a bitch getting any parts for just about any motorbike in SA, with the Tenere being no exception.
There is a story from Alex Munro from SA who seems to have undertaken a similar journey, but did it in two weeks!! I was looking at a bit more like three months (I am in no rush!) and I intend on seeing as much as possible.
If anyone has any tips or advice, I would be more than grateful. Especially local knowledge from a Cape Town perspective. I will be moving back to Cape Town in January and I will have a year to plan and sort things out, but any info in advance will be of a great assistance, as I am hoping to get a lot of the details out of the way whilst I am still living in London.
oooh ooh, one more question.
Would anyone suggest the purchase of riding equipment whilst over in London, or is the availability and costs in South Africa acceptable enought to be purchased there?
back to the drawing board again me thinks!
Hey Martin.... I posted that info you sent me on the Tenere' in the Yam Tech board. Interesting stuff, thought others might appreciate it too... oops if any copyright broken.
Jeez man, if you read through the tech pages it sounds like getting a good cond. bike and being able to maintain it is going to be a challenge. I really hope you are successful in getting some good contacts in S.A for the kind of bikes we need. Otherwise I read that someone said you could get great Tenere's in Europe and then ship them over... We might have to do something like that to ensure getting a good quality machine each. Anyway... lets keep checking it out.. From the sounds of it 1988-1990 models would be ideal.....
I was thinking..... we should chronicle our trip in writing and pictures as best as possible.... who knows.. maybe our next one will have a few sponsors?
Oh, I ordered that book yesterday and it'll take a few days to get here.
Good points about the Kalahari...... for desert riders it would be the ideal place to get some real experience before attempting the Sahara. Don't forget the sunblock...
Hay, I also read somewhere that the Caprivi Strip should be avoided and so we might have to take another route to the Okovango. Maybe it would be best to avoid as much as possible of Botswana... it's horrendously expensive...
Well , I never went up the east side of Southern Africa , but only to Namibia ( from Egoli !) and another time from Upington to Capetown .
I don't know if this is any use to you but here goes .
Namibia was very easy cruising although I should mention I had a VF750 ( sabre/shaft thing ) and thus stuck mostly to the excellent quality tarmac except where I had to go onto dirt . Places like Sossusvlei and Fish River Canyon are accessibly only by dirt . That was OK because it was hard packed and recently graded dirt . Just look out for the many dips which are dried stream beds with a sand base . Whoops !!!
For a two week trip to Namibia I spent 2000 Rand but that was with eating out drinking in pubs and generally enjoying life . I recorded that around 700 rand of that was on petrol , and as you probably know , most of that was needed just to get to and from the namibian border from Egoli .
This was all in 1997 so add a few rand here and there of course . All in all one of the more memorable places I have ridden .
Forgot to say I had also ridden around SA from Capetown to PE then Lesotho and have also been to East Transvaal ( sorry don't know the new name ) so if you have general questions about SA from motobiking viewpoint I might be able to help .
Hey, thanks for the info! We've actually been thinking that it is a good idea to take the bikes on a two week trip around South Africa to make sure that everything is in order before setting off on the longer adventure. This way we'll know if the baggage works, how reliable the bikes will be, practise puncture repairs, etc. And there are plenty of places to take the bikes onto dirt to double check that side. Also, there is the added bonus that only after I left S.A did I realise how much is there worth exploring.
My main concern right now is whether we'll be able to find good cond., economical dual sport bikes for our trip. We really want dual's instead of road bikes as the opportunity to take advantage of a nice piece of dirt is part of the appeal. Unfortunatly with all the mines in Mozambique it would probably be wise to stick to well driven roads. Some roads are less travelled for a reason. Sounds like you had a blast on your street bike.... mmm maybe it is worth considering if we cant get Tenere's for cheap.....
Thanks again for the info. Any places in S.A you feel that definatly cannot be missed>? I know the Eastern Transvaal in one place I need to go to, as is the Wild Coast, Swaziland, Lesotho, Kalahari, Drakensburg Mountains, Kwazulu.. In fact I bet the whole of S.A makes for great adventure biking. I look forward to posting info about our travels as I feel that Southern Africa isn't being properly represented. Chris's excellent excellent book even goes so far as to say that from Kenya South can be an anti-climax. I hope that we will be able to record some exciting stuff on our travels to dispute that claim. There is a lot of wild Africa between Kenya and the Cape... we just have to find it.
Yeah SA is quite good for biking as the scenery is quite dramatic in parts . There are many sections of wide open straight roaded riding to do , but after a while I got used to the parts some riders would call boring and appreciate them for what they are .
Not to be missed ? Probably everyone will say the Cape Province esp the cape itself . I would add East Transvaal ( Mpumalanga now I think ) , Natal Drankensberg . What I enjoyed the most was the North West Cape Province as I hadn't been to a desert before . Must be beautiful in Spring when the flowers make the desert bloom ! I guess Lesotho is also worthwhile esp if you're on a dual purpose bike , but I would expect much more mud and less dirt on the roads if you know what I mean . I wonder if that hydro project is finished ?
SA is quite easy travelling with top quality camping sites and good selection of food available , cold etc etc so its probably a gentle introduction to life on the road in Africa .
Namibia is not quite as luxurious but well wicked scenery and definitely worth while visiting .
It has great information on S.A, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya etc etc. With currency, entry requirements, maps, political climates, accomodation and much much more. Definatly a great site to plan routes.. Enjoy.
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