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In southern Africa, unfortunately, motorcycles are excluded from most parks and reserves. In part it's a result of anti-bike prejudice. But also, when you're inside a vehicle, predators don't recognize your human form. On a bike they do.
There are a couple of places where you can ride on "transit" roads that pass through big game areas (Chobe), but they tend to be less interesting routes with few opportunities to view game. Also, in the remote areas of Namibia and Botswana (outside of parks) there is big game, but the chances of seeing it are quite low.
The best option is to stay in private camps and hotels on the edge of parks, and go on 4x4 safaris into the park. Etosha and Chobe have some great camps and hotels just on their edges.
Do Safari Parks in Africa allow motorcycles to visit or access to pass through.
I have seen a few in Namibia that have campsites can these be visited by motorcycle.
I rode through in the 1970s so I can tell you what happened then - don't know if it is true anymore. Most game parks will not let you in on bikes, but in many instances (e.g. in Tanzania) the main roads go straight through the middle of the park so in essence they can't / don't stop you (providing you don't go off the main road) but you still can see lots (and lots) of animals.
The most interesting experience I had was in Uganda in 1978, I crossed over from Zaire into Ruwenzori. The game park operators were so unused to seeing western tourists of any kind (I was travelling solo and this was in the middle of Idi Amin's reign of terror) they just ushered me straight in and gave me free rein to do whatever I wanted. This of course, gave me a a false sense of security as to the risks.
Being my then naive self, I ended up getting myself into all sorts of trouble (nearly gored by a charging hippo) by riding through the bush tracks inside the game resort and busily snapping photos of the local fauna.
After that little experience I was far more hesitant in deciding where to ride and would encourage you to maybe ride into the resort but take the game park tour bus if you want close encounters.
WRT to camping in game resorts - I did this once, and once only in Ruwenzori. I was the only camper in the camp ground and the snorts and growls of the nocturnal beasts, combined with the occasional thunder of hooves, was enough to make me not wish to repeat it.
Probably the biggest change since the 70's (or even early 90's when i started going to Africa) is that most parks have become rather better at extracting large amounts of cash from tourists (legally in the good countries, illegally in the bad countries). Rights to operate safaris get sold off to private companies at great cost, who then charge tourists even more. £500 a night is becoming common!
It's still possible to camp independently at official camp sites, even in Chobe and the Okavango (probably the most expensive safari locations). But the governments are not interested in making it easy for us. Getting to remote camp sites in interesting places is hard, even in a 4x4.
Anyone been to Hwange recently? That used to be the easiest place in southern Africa to camp wild. But last time i went, poachers etc were encroaching in the park.
There's also been a dramatic decline in game outside of protected areas.
Location: On our bicycles, probably pushing up a hill!
Originally Posted by DarrenM
Thanks for your responses. Bet it was so much more fun in the 70's.
I have read a few reports of up to $100 being charged for vehicle entrance to some parks.
Yes planning a trip but at the moment I am unsure what to do. Had planned to go on a motorcycle, then thought about a 4x4 and now thinking of a 4x4 camper Truck with motorcycle on the back.
Most expensive game parks are in Kenya and Tanzania. Costs for entering masai mara and Serengeti for example will cost about US$200 for 24 hours with a foregn registered vehicle for 2 people. This will include camping at dedicated camping sports. Bigger trucks are even more expensive to get into the game parks.
Zambia, namib, Bots and RSA will definitely be cheaper for game parks. There is a great spot in Zambia - the South Luangwa national park, with a great campsite called Croc Valley (about 1km from the park gate) and across the river from the park. Hippos and elephants come through the camp every day, and you also spot some other wildlife across the river i.e crocs, kudus, giraffes, lions etc. We even heard 2 leopards the one night on our side of the river bank...
Am pretty sure any of the more "developed" countries will, like Namibia and RSA, not let you in on a bike. Fair enough really, the publicity should you get eaten would be pretty negative.
On our way through West Africa we stopped at Etosha in Namibia at Onguma game ranch (S18°43.873 E017°02.898). It's just outside the park perimeter but has its own game too. From our tents we could hear big stuff roaring and growling in the park, and when we left we found ourselves riding along a dirt road alongside a galloping herd of zebra - one of my most memorable motorcycling experiences ever...
Senegal - National Parque du Langue du Barbarie allows vehicles into the various campsites and you can take a pirogue (boat) from there.
Senegal - Nikolo-Kobo National park in south east Senegal does not allow motorbikes - covered vehicles only.
Ghana - Mole National Park in north east Ghana allows all vehicles into the visitor centre/campsite. It's a walking Safari from there.
Ghana - Kakum National Park in south east Ghana allows all vehicles to the visitor centre.
when you're inside a vehicle, predators don't recognize your human form. On a bike they do.
There are a couple of places where you can ride on "transit" roads that pass through big game areas (Chobe)
That´s exactly how a ranger described the danger to us at Kruger National Park (where we were not allowed entry on bikes in 2002 - they laughed we´d be MEALS ON WHEELS !!)
Later on I did ride through some big game park in the Caprivi strip or Botswana (Chobe, maybe?) where the main road passes through... they just made me sign a paper on entrance to free them from any responsibility. It was maybe 100 kms inside the park, and didnt see many animals in the midday heat.
The route through Chobe to Caprivi is fine, but you don't see much game. Amazing how 80,000 elephants just disappear into the bush. The game is concentrated along the water front and further inside the park, where there are bore hole fed pans. Stay at Chobe Safari Lodge, take the Fish Eagle boat along the river, see 500+ elies going for an evening drink. Very nice.
Also - Botswana is definitely the most expensive safari destination in Africa. Not sure what it is now, but last time I camped in Chobe, I think it was around £100 per person per night including entrance fees and vehicle fees. The facilities are minimal at the public campsite. No fence, which is fun. And the baboons will use the roof of your tent as a toilet.
Some of the Kruger staff have to use motorcycles and even bicycles to get around. Not a popular option! There are however some nice cycle tours available, including one out of Olifants. You get a mountain bike and a guide.
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