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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 7 Jul 2007
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Riding in Swaziland Parks?

Anybody know if you can ride a motorcycle through Swaziland's Hlane National Park?
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Old 7 Jul 2007
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Hi there,

if you don't get a satisfactory answer here, try the following South African MC forum:

Wild Dog Adventure Riders - Index

Unfortunately I haven't any experience with Swaziland NPs, but in South Africa we weren't allowed to enter any NPs with wild animals. Botswana officials on the other hand didn't mind whether you're travelling by car or by bike.

Hans
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Old 8 Jul 2007
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I was in southern Africa some 5 years ago, so not sure if this is valid anymore...

But we werent allowed into Kruger Park (they were strict about it, and said if they would, we´d be MEALS ON WHEELS!!!) but we were allowed into Chobe NP in Botswana, just had to put our names on some paper that will release the park authorities from any responsibility. I believe it was something like 80kms, just a straight paved road thru the park, and we saw very few animals, as it was around noon... probably wouldnt ride thru there on sunset.

I also remember riding thru some wildlife area in Swaziland, even took a picture of a warning sign, which says there may be animals coming onto the road. Sorry, I cant remember if it was actually a national park, or even its name.

I remember speaking to one of the safari guides in Kruger Park, who said that when your inside a (4-wheeled) vehicle, even with a very light roof or none at all, the predators cannot "see" you correctly, to identify you as their potential prey. But that´ll be very different, if your sitting on a bike.
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Old 8 Jul 2007
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Ok this is sooo wierd.

Was just about to make a post about traveling in parks (in general) on MC. Thanks for the info, those of you who have replied.

By the way..."Meals on wheels". Haha...good one .
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Old 8 Jul 2007
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I think riding through a game park which has the big five is risky business.
The hlane reserve has lion, rhino, elephant, cheetah etc etc.
I would seriously suggest taking a spare pair of underpants just incase your bike breaks down.
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Old 8 Jul 2007
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This does go a bit off-topic...... but I had an encounter with 2 elephants in Victoria Falls, in the village on Zimbabwean side. I was riding back to my guesthouse after dark, and first I saw one elephant by the side of the road, eating everything it could reach from the other side of the tall fences of the houses. People were furious, they said there are 2 of them, and they keep coming there every night, and theres nothing they can do to stop them wiping out their gardens. They tried to make loud sounds with cooking equipment, etc., but those animals weight up to 5 tons, so they are not scared.

The one that I´d seen first, was now blocking the road up to the place where I stayed, so (not remembering they said there were 2 of them) I got a brilliant idea to take a "shortcut" through some bushes as I remembered there was a footpath... luckily some local shouted "hey, where the hell you going" as I just realised Im in this totally dark bush-trail, and VERY close, probably some 3-4 meters from the second elephant - which was now getting seemingly angry because I´d come too close with my KLR. I can tell you theyre not to be messed around, when they start to shake their ears and make those short bursts of sound, telling you to take several steps back QUICKLY! I really needed some new underpants after that, even managed to drop the bike into the bottom of a ditch while I tried to make a superquick U-turn... never had such huge powers to just dig it back up from there in a matter of seconds!! Luckily I got away, but if it had attacked me, anything could´ve happened.

Vic Falls is a magic place... I´d strongly recommend to anyone whos travelling in southern Africa, the one place thats more than worth all the hype! But being there at the right time, when the Zambezi´s waters are high, is also important.
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Old 8 Jul 2007
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How fast is your bike ?

I was there a few years ago , from what I can remember ,you should be able to ride into the camp area .From there you can take a minibus tour of the park or drive if you have a car .
I didn't see any motorbikes when I was there ,but according to this website you can hire cycles :
An MBendi Travel Profile: Hlane Royal National Park - Simunye, Swaziland

Now I don't know whether they have a "safe" route or whether the cycle riders are a source of entertainment for the locals and cheap food for the lions .
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