half of the tour "around africa" is done, we made it to cape point after 25000km through the black continent
The first question we’re confronted with while at the South African border is „What do you have?“ Having no clue what to answer we just say: “nothing”. Apparently that’s the right answer. We can pass and nobody is interested in our (not paid) road tax.
Its 10th of June, bright blue sky and no signs of the rain which was bothering us the last few days. Despite the sun shining down on us it is mid winter in this part of the World and we’re freezing badly. Our cloth bags are almost empty as we’re wearing several layers of shirts and jumpers. At the few petrol stations along the way we’d try to stop shivering while having a hot mug of coffee.
The cold obviously doesn’t bother the countless flowers as they’re blooming in various colors along the super straight highway.
It only takes us 2 days to reach Cape Town. WE’VE MADE IT!!!!
25000km through the African Continent are behind us. The battered bike urgently needs some maintenance and several parts being replaced.
the good old africa twin in AFRICA!
few days in cape town
Following an invitation of Michael we’re riding straight to his house and are warmly welcomed. Not only we can stay with Michael in his cute house, he also helps us to find spares for the bike and adjusts the carbs and valves for us. Michael becomes a friend during our stay and it is really hard for us to leave… Michael we’ll miss the time with you and Pretzel!
Newly adjusted and maintained the bike runs like new, its hard to imagine that its 20yrs old and has about 240T kilometers on the clock, hehehe.
We’re having some spectacular rides around the Cape, down to Cape Point and, of course few times along the Chapman’s Peak Drive! Within 3 days in Cape Town proper we’re visiting quite a few sights, many more bars and the jaw dropping Table Mountain.
Our next stop is Somerset West. Here we catch up with fellow travelers Siggi and Gerty and enjoying the luxury of their friends B&B. Long nights and many beers only interrupted by an awesome wine tasting in Stellenbosch.
with our friends gerty & siggy on the table mountain
waterfront cape town
kalkbay, western cape
the bike is being "refurbished" in micha's garage
darwin's theory seems to be true...
at the southernmost point of the African Continent
Again it is raining cats and dogs with temperatures around 10 degrees. As soon as the first sun rays strike through the clouds, we’re up on the bike heading for the southern most point of Africa – The Cape Agulhas.
Here we need to take our compulsory pics with the bike! According to our GPS there are 9220km’s straight line to my home town Burghausen and from here on we’ll be getting closer to home with every day of riding.
visiting Ronnies SEX SHOP
in outshorn... not only for the ostrich!
BUT... mainly for the ostrich!
We’re spending a freezing night at a caravan park in Swellendam and enjoy the Route 62 despite the cold air. In Outshorn finally we can challenge ourselves riding the Worlds largest bird – the Ostrich. There is a limit on the participant’s body weight of 75kg but they still let me ride. Jane rides first and just by the sight of her taking off I’m about to cancel the ride. The guys are planting a bag on the birds head so it would keep still while the rider is positioning himself on its back. As soon as the rider confirms to be OK, the guys are ripping off the bag and screaming as loud as they can. The bird takes off immediately and extremely fast, wanting to kick me off his back. Jesus, the ride only takes 12 seconds but it is definitely worth it!
Jane is riding the beast first
and then ME...
in the train-hostel in mossel bai
In Mosselbai we’re given a room in an original train carriage, which is parked directly at the beach. From the window of our small compartment we see the sun rising, slowly turning the oceans colors from violet to blue.
meeting buggy in knysna
bridge in port alfred
we are in Grahamstown just right for the ART FESTIVAL
Due to a bad weather front we skip most of the Southern coast with just a few overnight stops. Accidentally we find out about the International Art Festival in Grahamstown and stay for several days. The Artists are extremely creative. It is amazing how garbage can be transformed into earrings, radios, sculptures or furniture!
Crossing into Transkei (or nowadays Wild Coast) is like being transformed from South Africa straight into the Centre of this Continent. Suddenly there are animals on the potholed roads, busy markets on the pavement and little BBQ stalls in every village. There is no lack of Tsssssssssssssstt, whistling and screaming while we’re passing people – had it all before!
To get a sausage served on a piece of oily paper we first need to buy it at the butcher and bring it to the attached BBQ place. All very tasty and cheap, just like in the Congo!
In Port St. Johns we find a cozy place to stay at the second beach. The both owners of the “Ikaya” definitely joined the Woodstock Festival decades ago and keep on smoking anything growing in their garden while listening to the Trance beat. Nice and helpful dudes they are though. The laid back atmosphere and great possibilities for walking are keeping us in the little place for a while.
"beachlife" in port st.johns
the German built soccer stadium in durban
hippos in St.lucia
Big cities aren’t really what we’d look for and after only 2 nights in Durban and visiting its Sea World, we find ourselves quickly in lovely St. Lucia.
It doesn’t take long for us to find out about the Hippos in town. Apparently they’re strolling through town occasionally! Well, they’re not during our stay and we decide to find them instead. We can get as close as 20 meters before receiving warnings from the biggest bull. I try to get just a bit closer still but need to retire quickly as the bull lifts his body accompanied by heavy grunting. Unbelievable but these fat animals can outrun any human being…
in a roadside cafe
We see Merlinda only for a few minutes on the road in Cameroun. She is traveling through Africa on her own in a Landcruiser. Tough one we think! We exchange email addresses and are invited to Pretoria to Merlindas home.
Few months later we pay Merlinda a visit and are warmly welcomed by Merlinda and her lovely family.
During couple of days we are warming up the remembrances of our trips and become friends. Sadly our visa shopping turns out to be rather a disaster… the Zimbabwe and Malawi Embassies moved their offices to Jo’burg and there is no way we could get the Ethiopian visas in Pretoria. At first it seems possible to apply here. We are asked to produce some paperwork like hotel bookings, travel itenary, several photocopies but, having it all ready, we’re told that we can’t apply for the Ethiopian visa as we’re not SA residents… All for nothing again! Our last chance is to talk to the Consul himself. He arrives 1,5 hours late and really doesn’t want to waste his time talking to me! “Be quick, I have not much time!” You can’t expect a guy like this to be reasonable.
We’ll need to try it somewhere else and hope that Ethiopia is welcoming us a bit friendlier.
at Merlinda's private game reserve
Merlinda and her husband Johnny are giving us the opportunity to visit their private game farm and stay for a few days. Apparently there are no predators on the farm and it is ok to get there by motorbike or even walk around the 2000 hectares farm.
We’re being given the Family Cottage on a hill over viewing a waterhole. We can watch the sunrise right from our bed and follow the action at the waterhole while having breakfast. During the day we would sit at the waters edge, and wait for the animals to come, or walk around the farm. There are Zebras, Giraffes, Warthogs, Springboks, Eland Antelopes, Kudus and many more in the farm.
In the evening Chris, the farm Manager, would invite us for a real South African Braai.
It can’t get any better! Merlinda, many thanks again for this one and only experience you gave us!
hiding in hope for good shots...
at shannon's bikers bar in Graskop
It doesn’t take long for us to experience another example of South African hospitality. We discover a local biker’s bar in Graskop with an Africa Twin parked right outside it. Few beers later we learn to know the owner of the AT, Mannie. He likes our story and offers us his bakkie, a SA expression for a pick up truck, for a trip to the Krüger National Park.
It is just unbelievable. We only know Mannie for half an hour at most and are offered his beloved truck! Come here South Africans, we’ll hug you all!!!
Next morning we say good bye to our bike leaving it behind in Mannie’s garage. Bakkie is a 32 years old Toyota Hilux single cab. He is actually a really cool looking one. Mannie resprayed the beast recently and fitted big wheels on it. Bakkie doesn’t show his age… We make it to Hazyview still and want to enter the park at its opening at 6am the next morning.
view from the "gods window"
at the "potholes"
in the Krueger National Park
Mannies Bakkie proved to be perfect for the park!
5am next morning we’re ready to go. It is raining, it is dark and cold. Normally no problem if only Bakkies wipers would work. His lights are pretty dim and the windows are permanently open. We make use of our motorcycle raining gear and stop every now and then for clearing the view. Luckily no cops around and we can make it to the gate by 6am. From now on we’d wake up early and drive all day through the Krüger National Park and get to our tent as soon as the sun goes down.
We spend 5 days in the park, drive about 700km, see many animals up close (sometimes a bit too close) BUT NO LIONS!!! Bugger! Happy but not fully happy we’re leaving the park and pick up our beloved bike.
The next country is Mozambique and we’re looking forward to explore it.
Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.
"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."
"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.
Next HU Events
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- France Mini: Sep 5-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!