Actually it depends on the airlines whether you have to crate your bike or not. I flew my bike from Johannesburg to Perth with Quantas and had to crate the bike (plus fumigation for OZ). Whereas from Munich to S.A. the airlines offered a free pallet.
Try the M/C shops for a free crate. Nowadays the new bikes usually come in oneway crates and the shops are happy to get rid of the crates. You might even persuade them to give you free straps
Shipping your bike isn't much cheaper than airfreight. The pros for air are
a) better timing
b) much safer than ship (lots of stealing going on in the ports
c) airports are way better organised than seaports.
d) many fees come as a surprise at the final seaport which are NOT listed in the quote of the freightforwarder
Oh, before you rack your brains about the destination: Cape Town airport is much safer than Johburg airport (and surroundings). Besides that: CT is smaller, laid back and offers far more scenery than Johburg area.
If you need any more infos, feel free to PM or email me.
Only when we pause to wonder
do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.