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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 3 Jan 2010
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Tour of South Africa

I was lucky enough whiles holidaying in the the UK last year (I'm currently living in SA) to organise a short bike trip into France/Belgium. Whiles on the trip I realised that I havn't really explored much of my home country and was really keen to experience a wider variety of the South African culture.

...so...I'm hoping to organise a bike tour for next year (hopefully feb/march which is summer over here). The plan is to take 14-20 days and visit every province along the way.

My initial plan (route attached):
- Starting in Cape Town heading east along the coast.
- Still bay
- Plettenberg bay
- Jeffrey's Bay
- East London
- Durban
- then up to Kruger National Park
- Jo'burg
- Clarens
- Kimberley
- back to Cape Town

However, as mentioned, I havn't done much touring around South Africa. So if you have any experience of touring in SA I'd love to hear from you:
- Which roads to avoid
- Which roads to try and include
- Which places to visit (I want to try and include a wide variety of South African culture)
- Things to do in each place
- How much time you reckon I'll need

I'm planning on taking a small tent and wild camping when possible. Also looking for other people to join me for the whole trip or part of it.

Otherwise, I guess if no-one here has any input then I'll just use this thread to post pictures / updates


Last edited by gone; 3 Jan 2010 at 19:26.
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  #2  
Old 3 Jan 2010
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Hi,

A few years ago, I went to family who live in Clarens and did some touring on my uncle his Harley Lowrider.
They run a lodge in Clarens (http://www.rehobothlodge.co.za/)

I visited J-burg, The Krugerpark and Lesotho and had a wonderfull time.

A trip report is on my website:
Jan Krijtenburg homepage (Travel pages)
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  #3  
Old 3 Jan 2010
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You have not mentioned what type of bike that you will be riding. Tarmac vs gravel.
How about visiting Cape L' Agulhas - most southern point of Africa, on your way to Still Bay.
I am also based in Cape Town, nothing wrong with a short trip. Keep us posted as the plans become clearer.
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  #4  
Old 3 Jan 2010
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I've got some friends in Clarens which is why it's on the list.

I reckon this trip is going to happen in August. I'm going to try and do a few 2 day trips before then though. My bike is currently not running. I've spent some time trying to repair it myself but it will probably go to a garage this week sometime. I've got a relatively knacked GS500. I was considering looking at upgrading, but for now it's not a possibility.

Some places I'm considering visiting:
- khayelitsha
- Cape Agulhas (south most tip of SA)
- Tsitsikamma bungee
- Kruger Park
- Zimbabwe border (north most tip of SA)
- augrabies falls

But am looking for more ideas, once I have a longer list I'll probably adapt my route.
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  #5  
Old 4 Jan 2010
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You can find lots of bike related information on this SA site: Wild Dog Adventure Riding - Index

Kayalitsha is rather a no-go area, unless you enter in the company of locals - or on a guided tour.

The western Cape has the most heritage sites since it was first colonised by the Dutch. Around Cape Town see Cape Point, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek pass, Tulbagh. If you're ready for gravel roads don't miss Wupperthal. When travelling eastwards do not stick to the Garden Route - rather boring after a while. Instead, take the Route 62 via Montague to Calitzdorp, cross the Swartberg pass to Prince Albert. Magnificent!

Further east visit Graaf Reinet, Nieuw Bethesda, Lady Grey, Naudes Nek pass (highest SA pass). You could enter Lesotho from the south near Lady Grey and travel to Quachas Nek. But take it easy there, animals on the road...

When near the Kruger Game reserve there is the scenic route along Gods Window etc. Get some information on that. Very rewarding.
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Old 4 Jan 2010
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Thanks, that's quite a lot to add to the list.

I live in Cape Town and am quite familiar with it's surroundings. I'm more interested in getting to other parts of South Africa.

I don't think Kayalitsha is inherently dangerous. I've been there a number of times before. I've got a number of friends that live in townships around Cape Town. I just included in my list as I want to try and experience a wide verity of South African culture.

Don't think I really want to get off-road.
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  #7  
Old 5 Jan 2010
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Some really good pointers there Vaufi, most of the places mentioned are tar roads with gravel alternatives. Route62 goes as far as Port Elizabeth.

The smaller roads allow for easier/ slower travel, less trucks and commercial traffic makes it a bit more relaxed.
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  #8  
Old 11 Jan 2010
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Try BMW Motorrad South Africa they have a lot of trip reports which should fill you in.
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  #9  
Old 11 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martman View Post
Try BMW Motorrad South Africa they have a lot of trip reports which should fill you in.
That is a also a good address - besides that, BMW Motorrad in Pretoria also host the local Beemer club.
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  #10  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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Some comments:
Must do the Oudshoorn road, more interesting than coastal.
The road from Piet Retiref north is badly potholed, and plenty road works, so expect slow progress. I suggest you spend more time riding the Hazyview, White River, Pigrims Rest, Graskop area (Eastern Mpumalanga) the most beautiful in SA. Avoid BushBuckridge - bad roads, animals, people. Go through Dulstroom rather than Polokwane.
When in Clarens ride the Fourisburg road - beautiful.
If you have time I suggest you return to CT via the West Coast.
Enjoy
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Old 12 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilton Ashton View Post
Some comments:
Must do the Oudshoorn road, more interesting than coastal.
The road from Piet Retiref north is badly potholed, and plenty road works, so expect slow progress. I suggest you spend more time riding the Hazyview, White River, Pigrims Rest, Graskop area (Eastern Mpumalanga) the most beautiful in SA. Avoid BushBuckridge - bad roads, animals, people. Go through Dulstroom rather than Polokwane.
When in Clarens ride the Fourisburg road - beautiful.
If you have time I suggest you return to CT via the West Coast.
Enjoy

Yes,have to agree.We did it two years ago trough Dulstroom and Fourisbourg from Johannesbourg down to Durban,Mpumalanga is stunning.Also, try to ride through Golden Gate,absolutely not to be missed.


Regards,

Simon
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  #12  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gone View Post
Thanks, that's quite a lot to add to the list.

I live in Cape Town and am quite familiar with it's surroundings. I'm more interested in getting to other parts of South Africa.

I don't think Kayalitsha is inherently dangerous. I've been there a number of times before. I've got a number of friends that live in townships around Cape Town. I just included in my list as I want to try and experience a wide verity of South African culture.

Don't think I really want to get off-road.
.
.
If your going as far as Durb's then take a short spin up to ''Battle Fields''
Dundee, Rourkes Drift, Blood river etc.
Battlefields Travel Guide

There is a good crocodile park just outside Durban,
Riverbend Crocodile Farm, KwaZulu Natal

Will you do the Steam train between George and Knysna ?
The Official Outeniqua Choo tjoe and Transnet Heritage Museum web page - Online Sources

'vette
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  #13  
Old 21 Jan 2010
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I've done a trip in SA in August last year.
Was there for 3 weeks. Didnt ride everyday, but still put on about 5500 Km.

I started in Pretoria en went east to Graskop, then down through swaziland to St Lucia and along the coast until Port Elizabeth, then to Oudshoorn and then decided to turn back going via the Sani Pass. But as a cold entered the Drakensberg, it was no longer an option. Snowing and freezing cold jeopardized my schedule. Went straight back to Pretoria.
Spend a couple of days around Pretoria as well.

Its quite a distance you want to cover. So unless you dont want stop over for a day or more at some place to look around, I suggest you shorten your route
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  #14  
Old 28 Jan 2010
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Hi Gone.

(Apologies for not reading the entire thread). I see on your profile that you ride a road bike. If ever that changes - and I can't emphasize this enough but will try - YOU MUST DO CAPE TOWN TO JHB ON GRAVEL ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME!

I did it 2 Decembers ago and it was probably 5 of the BEST consecutive days in my life. True, you have to do a bit of tar here and there but you'll never get an idea of what this country has to offer as long as you remain on the black stuff.

There's also the so-called "Dagga Trail" from the Eastern Cape/Province to Cape Town, but I'm not sure of the details.

On tar the southern Freestate and Clarens (careful how you program your GPS!) is a beautiful ride and don't forget the Natal Midlands' sweeping curves.

Have fun & post reports! All the Europeans seem to know the road from Vioolsdrift down to Cape Town, but there's SO MUCH MORE!

Kobus
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  #15  
Old 9 Feb 2010
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Thanks for the info everyone.

There's a lot of info there!

Unfortunately my bike went into Suzuki South (in Cape Town) and they have messed me around a bit. It's been in 3 times and spent most of the past 6 weeks there. Having charged me the first 2 times and not fixed the problem they finally put together a quote to overhaul the top end

So I've taken it elsewhere to get it repaired. Hopefully it will b cheap enough to allow me to keep the bike, otherwise I'll have to sell it after the work.

I'm still really keen to do this trip but may need to find a new bike as well

but thanks again for the help!
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