The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
sub-Saharan AfricaTopics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
We've had a code update on the HUBB that should fix any issues with the new right hand column. If the HUBB "looks funny" or is too narrow with the Forum description squished up, please force a refresh to get the latest code update. (Hold down the shift OR ctrl key, and click the refresh button on your browser, OR Ctrl R, OR on Macs, Command R). If you still have a problem please post it here.
I am new to this forum, but just from what I have browsed I can see that people who post here know what they are talking about.
I posted on the thorn tree about a trip I am thinking of doing, but you guys have the expertise. I'll paste:
Fellow travellers, I need your advice. I have a gap in my studies coming up, lasting from November this year to September next year. I was thinking of getting a couple of motorbikes, and with a mate travel from Cape Town to Europe (either Sweden or France). The trip would probably start in January or a little later. I give myself six months, as I want to linger in some of the nice places we'll encounter.
So a few questions:
East or West?
What about safety? One of my main sources of funding, my parents, will not like that I go somewhere dangerous. I have been doing a bit of research, and it seems to me that it is possible to reduce risk. But then, there is the argument of the "theory of the survivor": you only hear about the ones that got through. Any thoughts on this? I am leaving it a bit vague, I know.
I would also like to know about the logistics of this trip. Tricky visas, the carnet, buying a motorcycle in SA (how cheap can I get?), anything else you know and I forgot to ask.
I know this is very long, but I would appreciate any help, not matter how small,
This is indeed a good site to get all the info you need – most of the people here are genuine travelers and don’t just rant and rave about who’s bike is the best etc.
I’m planning a trip up the Eastern side in 2007. I’ve done almost exhaustive research on all possible routes and the reason why I decided on my route is the following:
1. Less borders to cross on the East (bigger countries) thus saving money on crossings.
2. All the countries up to Kenya are friendly to South Africans and most don’t require visas.
3. There is a (relatively) good road all the way up to Cairo (with the exception of a few stretches in Ethiopia and Sudan)
4. Zanzibar and the Red Sea are on my route!
1. Sudanese borders – I’m told that crossing into Sudan from Ethiopia and into Egypt from Sudan can be a nightmare.
2. Violence in Sudan (though the Northeastern parts are supposedly quiet)
3. Egypt can supposedly be a pain but it is doable if you persevere.
I spoke to a Sudanese guy who currently resides here in S.A. and he confirmed my opinions about the Sudan.
The West has too many unknowns for an n00b like myself – I have no desire to screw up on my first continental crossing! There may also be too much Sahara for my heavy bike and pillion on the Western routes.
I hope you get all the info you need – but not too much and spoil the surprises!
I was thinking of going West originally, but after looking at the political state of things thought about going East instead. I have done a bit of research, bought the new bradt guide on Sudan, and asked people questions, and although it looks like a pain, it looks doable. But then I asked someone else his opinion, which I paste just below. This guy rode (bicycle) through Africa for three years not so long ago:
I recommend travelinng via Angola, DRC and/or Rep. of Congo, Gabon,
Cameroon, Nigeria or Tchad.
The route became more common and actually safe within the last three
years, since Sawimbi, the leader of the opposition got killed and Angola
became a choice of real alternative. Quite a few people now do travel this
itinerary and they all, incl. me , speak positive about. More
adventurous...However, some say, that they didn't like Angola. It was one of
my favourites , after Cameroon.
But from information I currently have, it doesnt consist of any risk
involving getting close to civil wars or unrest. But of course, countries
like Rep of Congo, DRC, Angola, Gabon and even Cameroon right now are more
volatile i terms of politics. However, even on short notice, you can stay
out of trouble.
The route via Central Africa( no, not CAR, this is really more risky) will
bring you into some pristine lands of REALLY untouched Africa, tribal people
like the pygmaes and game like gorillas and elephants, hippos ... beyond the
borders of nat. parks... which is hard to find in this way in East Africa.
In Central Africa you will to some point encounter soldiers, who will try to
rip you off at the borders. If you are not the kind of person , who is in
for a little fling of argument, this might totaly put you off. But nothing
to worry, they will soon leave you alone, as long as you stay firm, see also
Another off-turn for you might be the fact, that French and not English is
widely spoken in Central Africa, and Portugues in Angola, Spansih in
But , respectively, national parks are easier to get access to in East
The danger in traveling East Africa is of a different gender:
There are waay more tourists, even or especially organised tourism, which
doesn't always spark good emotions among the Africans.
Muggings and violence against tourists or whites is a rather common thing on
the streets of Jo'burg, Nairobi, Lilongwe, Dar es Salam...
-Hey, Al , I don't know you, most likely you are fine! But just know how
many travelers already got mugged in East Adrica or lost all their
belongings is beyond any conception- me included in Zimbabwe 10 years ago!
Quite an extensive answer really, and one that goes against what I hear, but he may be right.
Luke, I have been looking at that site and found some good travelogues. By and large people don't have too many safety issues; the worst I read was someone driving past people with guns, passing them and hearing a gunshot. Don't know if it was at them. But what about general safety concern. How easy is it to get into trouble?
Cyril, you're right, the only way I'll get all the answers is by going, but I'll try to get as many as I can beforehand :-)
A German/Swiss couple passed thru Nigeria this past April. They came in thru Cameroon (Congo, Gabon previous to that) and said route was Ok. 2 weeks ago, they were in Ghana taking a rest before doing Bukina Faso, Mali and then across the Sahara to NA - Europe. Political unrest looks big from outside but from inside, you can have 20 people die in the next town and no ruffle in a town 10kms away. The German couple were in Togo during the elections- had to stay indoors for 2 days though.
Travelling by bike is inherently dangerous so best you can do is minimise the risk.
Like the person that replied you said, if you are not impatient and are ready to withstand some 5-10mins of argument per checkpost, you dont really have to part with money.
Bike is doable across Nigeria for now.
If you need an invite for a Nigerian visa and a place to stay, drop me a PM.
Welcome to the HUBB. You'll find a lot of information on this website which will help you to find your answers.
Take a few days-or even weeks and browse through all the information which Grant and Susan have compiled, then trawl through the past postings and you'll find yourself heaps more informed (which will probably result in heaps more questions)
Also follow the links to other travellers websites (and perhaps buy some of their publications)to get an idea of what decisions they made and how those decisions influenced their trips.
You need to do some more research and select a bike you are comfortable with (both riding and repairing). Sounds obvious but actually being on the road is not constantly as much fun as its pictured in books. My first trip by road (as a passenger in a commercial taxi) from Nigeria to Ghana, I lost half of my money at the Nigeria/Benin border to 'official' thiefs.
Check out the routes, see stories on this forum, check other sources and decide which way you want to go (you will bear all the problems when they come so its only right you have the pride of place in the decision making process).
I followed Geoff's advice: I have been browsing this site and I bought Chris Scott's AMH. Excellent book, my hat off to Chris.
Inyang, for the moment I am thinking of going East. I don't know yet which bike I am going to buy, since that will be largely dictated by my budget (not big).
As Geoff said, I'd have more questions after doing more research, so here goes:
Chris Scott reckons that for a trip like this, it is better to get to know the bike for a while before hand. My problem is that I am in the US right now, and that I will be in Australia in July until sometime around November. Then, I'll be somewhere else (don't know where) until I hit South Africa in January/February. I don't have a bike back home (Oz).
Should I buy one in Oz or in SA? My budget is tight, but I know that I need to be prepared. Any websites I should be looking at for prices and all?
There is a huge selection of dual-purpose bikes in almost any South African city or town. Unfortunately these types of bikes have become increasingly popular over the past few years and they are no longer the cheap scoots they used to be. (Africa Twins and 650 Thumpers are notoriously expensive)
Visit someone like www.mitaka.co.za for prices but bear in mind that while they are trustworthy, they are also expensive. Rather get a local to take you to the cheapest grey-importer. I would be happy to assist you if you decide to buy one in Cape Town.
Grey-imports are legal but the bikes receive no warranty from the manufacturer. The importer usually provides a 6month guarantee but you will be travelling and obviously unable to use it (use this excuse to get a further discount)
Check this thread again in a few days – I will contact my local AA branch and find out how hard it is for Aussies to get a Carnet and a bike registered in S.A.
I will also visit an importer of second-hand bikes (from Japan) and get prices (I will e-mail these to you). You can then decide if you want to bring your own bike or buy one here.
If I were you I’d like a few weeks on the bike before I attempt such a trip. Buying in Oz and shipping to S.A. would be wisest but the expense could be defeating.
buying a bike as a kiwi in South africa was easy - just some paperwork required to become a registered vehicle owner, & used my guest house address and NZ drivers license.
Not sure, but are the carnet requirements different for South African registered bikes? If so then buying here could save a lot...
However the recent appreciation of the Rand has not really filtered through to bike prices..
1. SA bike prices are up to 20% more than equivalent prices in Oz. For example, a new KTM 640 in Oz is about A$14k but in SA will set you back 80k Rand, about A$16K. This extends to the used market as well.
2. I found the second hand market in Cape Town to be a little scarce for good value single cyclinder 600 cc overlanding bikes. Plenty of Yamaha R1s but not a great selection for overlanders, and I tried all the dealers, Cape Ads and Bike SA. You can find them, but it takes time....just make sure you check into a good hostel or hotel in the meantime! Try Ashanti in Cape Town if you like to drink.
3. Carnet on Aussie passport is no problem, although you will have to post 200% deposit if you enter Egypt. Just remember that you get to value the bike to determine the level of the deposit. Sudan carnet doesn't have any special requirements from the AA. All this is ok with address from hostel and Oz driver's licence.
4. To fund your deposit, you can use cash, credit card or guarantee. To avoid handing over US$20k, I had to get an Oz bank to guarantee an SA bank to guarantee the AA. Took six weeks of hastle while I was riding the garden route, but all worked in the end. I have previously posted details of the AA and banking contacts in this forum if you want further info.
Cyril, thanks for the link and the tip. I'm looking forward to what you will find from the grey-importer. Thanks for offering to help me, I might take you up on that :-)
Lance, good to know that you didn't run in any problems. I was thinking of getting an international license. Do you know if they differentiate between bike and car licenses with them?
Matt, thanks for the price estimates. So SA is more expensive... If you were in my situation, with only a few months (maybe 1.5) in Oz before the African trip, would buying in Oz justify the hassle?
The carnet thing is good. I was a little worried about that. I think i'll try to arrange things with my bank and fingers crossed, with a SA bank before I leave.
As I research the trip more, I have new questions. Here are a few:
Sudan and visas -- the situation seems to be changing a lot. Where is the best place to get a visa for Sudan coming from the South? Are there any other visas I should be planning ahead for? I'd be travelling on an Australian passport (i do also have a French one)
I am an avid hiker. Any places I shouldn't miss on the East side of Africa?
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.
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
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!
Membership - Show you're proud to be a Horizons Unlimited Traveller!
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 such as this one (18 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.