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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 1 Mar 2011
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Trans Africa shake down

Hi

My partner and I are planning to do a trans Africa trip in 2013. In June and July 2012 we want to do a really long shake down of all out systems and bikes. The purpose is to test this in all terrains Africa will give us.

So we are thinking of South Africa but are not sure this is too first world.

All we want to find out is does South Africa have all types of off road terrain that we can ride on or will we need to go up into Namibia as well.

I do not want to start a comparative discussion of the relative merits of different areas, just peoples thoughts on where might be suitable to go.

Oh one point to note we are green at this adventure motorcycling though I have 20 years of road riding and outdoors walking/camping in Europe and Australia.

Firstlight
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Old 2 Mar 2011
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In South Africa and also Namibia it will probably be hard to find the sort of conditions you will encounter in the tropical belt of Africa, e.g. wet muddy roads, overgrown roads, pelting down rain, extremely humid and hot climate etc. Guess you can get close to it in northern Namibia around January / February but it wont be the same.
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Old 2 Mar 2011
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BikingMarco

Yep agreed for the mud bit as I am in the UK I will be doing some off road coaching here and also in Morocco for sand this year and very early 2012. There is no where near by where I can easily get the hot humid conditions I will meet in Zambia, Malawi in these regions. So we will just have to wing this bit.

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Old 2 Mar 2011
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South Africa has a lot of hidden spots, that you can only get to with a bike, it's a mystical country off the beaten track.

You could find tropical conditions in Kwazulu Natal anyday, or desert like conditions and freak flooding up near the botswana border.
There is plenty, not to mention the different cultures and wild animals.

One has to love Africa to really enjoy South Africa, it's not a tourist park attraction, it's real harmony of all the elements together.



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Old 2 Mar 2011
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Thanks

Ta-all-the-way

Thanks for this, do you have any suggestions on where to find these hidden places so we can look into where to go for the shake down.

We are looking for as many of the below as possible in, or close (relative statement) to South Africa.

Muddy tracks
Sandy tracks
Rocky loose tracks
Compacted piste
Washboard piste
Water crossings
Steep with any or all of the above

Firstlight.

Looking forward to all the pain of falling off and picking up my Serow again and again
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Old 2 Mar 2011
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Sorry but it's so vast, you're better off getting a really good map, marking all the elevated points, ie drakensberg mountains, hottentots holland, lesotho. From there you'll find the rivers, and flat lands, ie colesburg, the Karoo, Even the Garden route from Cape Town to Port Elisabeth, is alive with adventure, Tstistikama, A good place to look for secret spots would be the Western Province / Eastern Province border line, it runs from the coast up into the mountains with some very rough terrain, mountain roads, goat tracks.

As I say, you're better off getting a really good map and get stuck into a deep adventure mission.

And thats only the western province, there is so much more further north....
Where does one start to explain...

Good luck.
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Old 2 Mar 2011
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Good place to start, map was already on the list

ta-all-the -way

This will be enough and as you say get a detailed map, already on the list. It gives me somewhere to start and also falls inline to where I was looking at. I intend to get the trails4Africa sd card to help with this further but map first.

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  #8  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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Found this on the net seeks good

All

To generally help others who may be following this I found the below on the net might be useful might not

Southern African Adventure Motorcycling Routes - 100% Adventure Riding - Routes, Maps, GPS, Accommodation, Travel Info.

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  #9  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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Enough to ride

Hi,

I think to ride in Mozambique like Ponta de Oura the sandy track with a packed Adventure bike is a good training. If you handle that with ease you should handle the rest of Africa a well. Also in the Nothern Cape is some nice sand to ride. In Walvis Bay you can buy a permit and can ride big fat dunes. In the Transkei you find lots of mud if you choose the right time. Dont forget Lesotho if you want to learn riding on rocks !

So I guess South Africa has enough terrain to learn riding. And if you break your bikes you can at least buy spares for them.

Cheers
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  #10  
Old 2 Mar 2011
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Thank you Moto Zulu

We thought about Mozambique and have not made a decision, I believe southern Mozambique has mostly been cleared of mines form the wars there. But this country worries my partner a bit and this is supposed to be fun as well as a shake down.

Your point about spares is the reason I was thinking your country. We were thinking of northern Cape and may be Namibia to practice all the stuff with carnets.
Lesotho I have wanted to go to for a while (10 years plus) just never found an excuse, having my girlfriend suggest a trans Africa a few months ago is a great excuse.

Last but not least as we are both small (AKA short) we have picked Yamaha Serow 250 EFI bikes. As you are local do you see us having any more than the usual issues for novices?

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