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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 9 Sep 2008
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South Africa Trip

Hi, I'm looking into going to south Africa in feb.,march for about 2 weeks = 10 days of riding . I've decided to rent a bike vs. a tour , I still have no other takers on this ride so my wife may have a problem with me going alone , so a tour may still be in the cards but for know I'm planning on renting .
I have a few ?'s. Being an American or any outsider is there a serous threat to life and safety ?
I'm an ironbutt guy and do like to cover a lot of miles and ride all day long ( no night riding on this trip) , any suggestions on a route that would cover a good portion of S. Africa. I would like to include a safari and any other must see things or locations.
Any and all replies will be greatly appreciated
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  #2  
Old 9 Sep 2008
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There are quite a few options to rent a bike: eg. BMW in Pretoria, Alfie Cox (try google.co.za ). IMO the best bike for travelling vast distances is the big BMW GS. This allows you to do dirt roads as well. They are usually well kept and easy to ride, and often are much more interesting & scenic than the main roads. As usual

The north and east of Pretoria are beautiful riding regions. To the east you'll get to the province of Mpumalanga where the escarpment breaks off from 1600m to 300m lowveld. That's near the Kruger NP. Unfortunately all gameparks are no-go areas for motocycles.

Another option would be to start off in Cape Town. The vicinity is very scenic, abd riding eastwards from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape is quite rewarding. Just don't think of riding the "Garden Route". It gets boring very quickly. Rather go zig-zagging more inlandish, like crossing the Swartberg Pass and many other exceedingly beautiful mountain ranges and passes.

My choice would be to travel as above from Cape Town eastwards, nip a bit through Lesotho and end up somewhere in KwaZulu-Natal in dthe northern parts and visit the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.

If you travel at day-time (never at night!), keep away from dark corners, avoid Johannesburg, you'll be fine. Oh yes, and when drawing money from an ATM: NEVER EVER do it in that place where you'll be staying for the night. Always "on the road" and leave that town after getting the money. Otherwise I felt very safe there. Esp. the rural areas are very laid back and IMHO not dangerous at all if you stick to the above rules.

Enjoy your trip!
Hans
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  #3  
Old 9 Sep 2008
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I've been riding around South Africa for 3 months now - some excellent riding.

Paved? or off-road? Lots of great riding either way.

If you start in Cape Town:
1) yeah, do the Cape Ride, ride around the Constantia wineries - 1 day),
2) Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek wine areas to the east - do a winery or two, have a nice lunch at one of the great restaurants, enjoy the scenery.
3) Route 62 - starts around Robertson, ride it to Oudtshoorn - takes you past Ron's Sex Shop east of Barryton.

If doing dirt
4) At Oudtschoorn, do the Swartburg Pass - at the top, there's a side tour to Die Hel - maybe stay the night in Prince Albert.
5) the Baviaanskloof - a river/canyon area- from Willowmore east - you come out near Port Elizabeth.

If not doing dirt
4 & 5) from Oudtschoorn, south to the Garden Route - coast road which is mainly N2 (yuck) but there's places to get off and explore. Nysna, Stormsriver, Port Jeffries, Port Elizabeth.

6) do the Wild Coast - stay at Port St. John, especially if you need a day of rest or two

7) Ride up to Underberg - but don't do the Sani Pass alone or carrying gear. 8) If you want, ride around the east of the Drakensburg Mountains, come down from the north (Bethlehem) to Lesotho (worth seeing)
9) That area had a lot of Boer War history - read up on that before you travel -
10) maybe do the Battlefields, drop down into Zululand on your way to the coast around Durban,
11) back up through Swaziland, up to the Blyde River Canyon area - great paved motorcycle roads around Pilgrims Rest, Sabie, Graskop.
12) Then back to Jo'burg and you're out of there.

South Africa is one place you can do ironbutt type riding (or rather, as much riding as you can squeeze in between sunup to sundown). Some great scenery, especially KwaZula-Natal, the Transkei (wild coast and inland), the Drakensburg.
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  #4  
Old 9 Sep 2008
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Just to confuse you I would say go the other way... Start in Cape Town and go up north to Namibia and consider returning via Botzwana. I did this with a rented vehicle a few years ago and it was a great trip!
You can choose dirt or tarmac after your own choice and have the opportunity to cover a lot of miles.

Have a nice trip!
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  #5  
Old 10 Sep 2008
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Pricy

Hi,

Ironbutt means lots of km, but most rentals have only a certain mileage free per day. So to ride the hole day will end up quite expensive. I would rather advise you to go more interessting gravel roads, start in Durban go up to Lesotho and further to the Transkei, could fill you also a hole days of riding with less milage and if you only have 10 days a trip like that would be perfekt. And you get an real african expierience in the transkei.

enjoy

Thomas
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  #6  
Old 10 Sep 2008
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Don't forget Chapmans Peak drive.
Start off in Town (CT) out towards GreenPoint, Sea Point, Clifton etc, 'till eventually you get to Noordhoek.
You want to start heading east then, perhaps a ride over Red Hill, Boyes drive, etc.
All the Cape Tonians (Kaapies) will know these places like the back of their hands.
Oh, and while your near Kalk Bay harbour, cross over the level crossing, pop in there and get to "Kalkies" the best fish and chips you could ever imagine.
God, Im'e home sick !



.
Quote:
Originally Posted by quastdog View Post
I've been riding around South Africa for 3 months now - some excellent riding.

Paved? or off-road? Lots of great riding either way.

If you start in Cape Town:
1) yeah, do the Cape Ride, ride around the Constantia wineries - 1 day),
2) Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek wine areas to the east - do a winery or two, have a nice lunch at one of the great restaurants, enjoy the scenery.
3) Route 62 - starts around Robertson, ride it to Oudtshoorn - takes you past Ron's Sex Shop east of Barryton.

If doing dirt
4) At Oudtschoorn, do the Swartburg Pass - at the top, there's a side tour to Die Hel - maybe stay the night in Prince Albert.
5) the Baviaanskloof - a river/canyon area- from Willowmore east - you come out near Port Elizabeth.

If not doing dirt
4 & 5) from Oudtschoorn, south to the Garden Route - coast road which is mainly N2 (yuck) but there's places to get off and explore. Nysna, Stormsriver, Port Jeffries, Port Elizabeth.

6) do the Wild Coast - stay at Port St. John, especially if you need a day of rest or two

7) Ride up to Underberg - but don't do the Sani Pass alone or carrying gear. 8) If you want, ride around the east of the Drakensburg Mountains, come down from the north (Bethlehem) to Lesotho (worth seeing)
9) That area had a lot of Boer War history - read up on that before you travel -
10) maybe do the Battlefields, drop down into Zululand on your way to the coast around Durban,
11) back up through Swaziland, up to the Blyde River Canyon area - great paved motorcycle roads around Pilgrims Rest, Sabie, Graskop.
12) Then back to Jo'burg and you're out of there.

South Africa is one place you can do ironbutt type riding (or rather, as much riding as you can squeeze in between sunup to sundown). Some great scenery, especially KwaZula-Natal, the Transkei (wild coast and inland), the Drakensburg.
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  #7  
Old 11 Sep 2008
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price

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto Zulu View Post
Hi,

Ironbutt means lots of km, but most rentals have only a certain mileage free per day. So to ride the hole day will end up quite expensive. I would rather advise you to go more interessting gravel roads, start in Durban go up to Lesotho and further to the Transkei, could fill you also a hole days of riding with less milage and if you only have 10 days a trip like that would be perfekt. And you get an real african expierience in the transkei.

enjoy

Thomas
most i've checkout offer unlimited milage
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  #8  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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S.A.tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by garyp138 View Post
Hi, I'm looking into going to south Africa in feb.,march for about 2 weeks = 10 days of riding . I've decided to rent a bike vs. a tour , I still have no other takers on this ride so my wife may have a problem with me going alone , so a tour may still be in the cards but for know I'm planning on renting .
I have a few ?'s. Being an American or any outsider is there a serous threat to life and safety ?
I'm an ironbutt guy and do like to cover a lot of miles and ride all day long ( no night riding on this trip) , any suggestions on a route that would cover a good portion of S. Africa. I would like to include a safari and any other must see things or locations.
Any and all replies will be greatly appreciated
Hi,

I've been there with my son last August for 10 days motorbike tour(called Around the Delta), organised by touring company GS Adventures - Motorcycle touring company through S.Africa,Botswana,Namibia,VicFalls and back to S.Africa,where I extended the tour through Mpumalanga,KwazuluNatal,Free State(Golden Gate).Fabulous really.
So I can recomend this company not only for the professional managing,but for the sake of price as well.I rented 1200 GS unlimeted mileage for 1200 ZAR per day.During all this thime we never rode at night.Try to have a cash,some gasstations didn't accept credit cards.
Enjoy your trip and ride safe!

Simon
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  #9  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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There's no problem driving or riding at night in South Africa on major highways and urban areas. It's comparable to Europe in this regard.
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  #10  
Old 13 Sep 2008
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Exclamation Like Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by kakpraat View Post
There's no problem driving or riding at night in South Africa on major highways and urban areas. It's comparable to Europe in this regard.
I would question that !!!

Maybe on the garden route its like europe !!!

Also at night there are to many animals, humans und drunk humans on the roads.

I don´t travel at night in RSA.

regards

Thomas
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  #11  
Old 24 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto Zulu View Post
I would question that !!!

Maybe on the garden route its like europe !!!

Also at night there are to many animals, humans und drunk humans on the roads.

I don´t travel at night in RSA.

regards

Thomas
I second Thomas. Don't ride at night unless you are in a well lit urban area. Be careful even there as drunk driving and speeding are two of the average South African's favourite hobbies. Not to talk about vehicles in "stealth" mode and drunk pedestrians wearing dark clothing trying to cross the freeway.

Don't do it Iron Butt style. You'll rush past things and will miss everything. 10 days is a good time frame for the Cape Coast and Little Karoo or the Cederberg, Little and Great Karoo. The daily distances on the tours I run are between 200km and 350 km on as much dirt as possible and partially mildly technical stuff (depending on weather and time of year).

BTW: 200km to 350km will translate to 3 to 7 hrs of riding on the type of dirt roads mentioned above and you will be VERY tired after a 350km day as the riding is much more demanding than cruising down a tarmac highway.
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