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  #1  
Old 17 Feb 2013
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Africa for beginners winter 13/14....

Hello everybody,

I've just bought myself another F650GS after a long break and I'm sooo excited! After getting my groove back in the saddle at weekends around France (I live here) this summer I am thinking about taking my first proper long scary trip this winter - and being a sun worshipper (and a bit of a wuss having lived in the tropics for years) Africa, being on my doorstep as it were, seems to fit the bill.....

As long as I can get the job I want this season (and hence the dosh) I plan to head out in November for about 4 months.... at least. I do actually want to see stuff on the way though, not just hare down as far as possible as fast as possible! I'm thinking awesome views, safari type stuff, mountain gorillas, scuba diving with giant manta rays in Mozambique etc - it's not ALL about the riding (although I may well be in a minority here )

I have no idea how far I will get, but I do have friends in SA, Namibia and Angola so would like to make it all the way if that's even possible in my time scale, given that I want to stop and hug elephants on the way if they'll let me!

All advice and fellow travellers welcome....

Anna

Last edited by annakm; 18 Feb 2013 at 22:24.
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  #2  
Old 19 Feb 2013
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schedule

Hi Anna,

We did the west coast by car but travelled with bikes frequently. If you want to enjoy like you describe, 4 months is awfully tight! the route to RSA is about 25K km, so you will be looking at 200km/day, every day! no rest days, no time for breakdowns or de-tours.
I would say, if you want to enjoy, take at least 6 months and if you want to take it really easy, you need 9 months.
See also Youtube (search "noel + crossing africa") for reference how the roads are, and they have not improved since!
ciao,
Noel

www.toyotaoffthemap.blogspot.com
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PS; if I continue to be pissed off with my work, I might join you
on my AT
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  #3  
Old 19 Feb 2013
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Hi Noel,

Thanks for your advice about the timescale needed, it's a good place to start and very kind of you to help! I just watched the first part of your journey on youtube - it's so beautiful, you've inspired me! How long did it take to plan your trip?

Anna
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  #4  
Old 19 Feb 2013
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Hi Noel,

Thanks for your advice about the timescale needed, it's a good place to start and very kind of you to help! I just watched the first part of your journey on youtube - it's so beautiful, you've inspired me! How long did it take to plan your trip?

Anna
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  #5  
Old 20 Feb 2013
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Planning

Hi Anna,
As noted, that trip was by 4x4 which requires a whole lot more preps and mods than a bike. I had the car already for 3 years and had most structural mods already in place, that is the most time consuming part on a car. From the actual moment we decided to go until day of departure was actually about 5 months. That was mostly spend on reconnaissance of the route, paper work, visa, health issues, reading the Hubb, etc.
In hind side, we may have been over prepared but on the other hand, we had a trouble free journey (technically and bureaucratically). No fun in being send back at a border because your paper work is not OK and having to make a 2000km detour only to get back at the same border a week later! It happens, you know, due to ill preparations. But that is with a car. It is different (easier) on a bike. You probably don't even need the Carnet de Passage. Read on the Hubb about the people who have crossed Africa without it, and had no major difficulty, that would be very difficult in a car!
As for a bike trip, it is entirely subject to the amount of technical and bureaucratic preparation you feel comfortable with! When your bike and equipment are good to go, so are you . And along the way there are also plenty opportunities to get informed about the road ahead, with the Hubb at hand in Internet Cafes and fellow travelers. Well, its all very personal, really

Ciao,
Noel
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  #6  
Old 20 Feb 2013
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ottawa Ontario Canada
Posts: 63
Annakm, I like your style . Quite true that it's not all about the riding. Scenery, gorillas, diving with Mantas ... oh yeah. It's the combination that I like.

Noel - I just watched all of your overland adventures through Africa on YouTube. Well done! The more i see on Africa the more I know I will ride there in the not-to-distant future.

Last edited by SprintST; 20 Feb 2013 at 20:04.
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