December 09, 2007 GMT
Driving on the Correct Side of the Road Again


Touch down, all arrived safe and sound. All being a bit strange to be driving on the left after two and a half years in the Americas, not having to speak Spanish and reading road signs in English.

We were met at the airport by Robin who took us for a 10 cent tour of Cape Town, a beautiful city perched by the sea with a whacking huge mountain smack dab in the middle of it (Table Mountain).

The advantages of having a mountain as the centre piece of a city is the beautiful shady countrified drives to get from one place to the next. The disadvantage is that you cannot go from one place to the next in a nice straight line. We like the mountain with the whispy clouds that roll over the edge, making the famous Table Cloth.

Table Mountain with a lumpy, un-ironed tablecloth!

We stayed a few days with Robin and Rinda at their Hought Bay home, enjoying their company and planning our Southern African journey. Robin's trip planning expertise includes detailed information on the locations of good coffee shops and where to get the best apple pie!

Robin, Rinda, Val and Grant - Hought Bay

One of our favourite tourist attractions,to date, has been the supermarkets! It is here that we have been able to find long missed but not forgotten grocery items such as Baked Beans, Marmite (not quite Vegemite but a passable substitute), Thai cooking ingredients and Ryvita biscuits. It was almost 7th heaven.

Not Quite Vegemite

Visiting Suzuki South, we placed an order with James for some odds and sods for our beloved Piggy and headed out of town along the coast to Hermanus and breakfasted with the whales.

Oddly enough we hooked up with Allan, World Rider whom we had met some 2 years ago at the Creel HU meeting. He is riding a BMW 650 GS Dakar and had travelled a similar route to us through the Americas.

Riding along

World Rider, affectionately known to us as Wine Rider due to his passion for good wine, was keen to visit some of South Africa's famous wine districts and our first point of call was Franschoeck.

Overlooking the Valley of Franschoeck

The picturesque valley was laid out before us from the look out above. Our companions Wesley, Celeste and Shamil had brought us along a scenic drive to this town settled by the French Huegunots (Presbyterian Refugees). Franschoeck is a quaint village thriving on the juice of the grape and the countless visitors who come to wander through the vines and sample the nectar.

A delightful afternoon of Wine and Cheese tasting at Mt Rochelle Winery

Cape Agulhas is the southern most tip of Africa and where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.

The Bottom of Africa

Light House, Cape Aghulas, Africas only working Lighthouse/Museum

The town of Struisbaii greeted us with two days of heavy rain. In between showers and downpours we were able to explore the ruggedly beautiful coast, eat fish and chips by the sea and visit the lighthouse come museum come coffee shop and sample their delicious chocolate cake.

Piggy's Blanket in shreds.... not keeping the rain off anymore

Grant took the opportunity, once again, between showers to service Miss Piggy by changing her oil, spark plugs and clean the clogged up air filter.

Allan, Grant and Karen
Thanksgiving Dinner

A tour of Route 62 (the famous Klein Karoo) is not complete without visiting more wineries, sampling their fare and a lunch stop at the iconic Ronnie's Sex Shop.

Ronnies Sex Shop

Legend has it that Ronnie set up a general store aptly named Ronnie's Shop, however, nobody every shopped there. Ronnie's mates decided to help him out by changing the name and spray painting the word Sex onto his sign and thus attracting more trade.

Farm House - Near Ronnies

Ronnie painted it over, they painted it back. This back and fourth continued for some time until Ronnie decided the sex could stay, he turned the shop into a bar, as they say in the classics, the rest is history.

Overberg Wheat Fields

Switching between the coast and the Klein Karoo we were attempting to avoid the havock caused by the recent storms. Many roads, including the N2 (a main national highway) had been cut by flash flooding in the arid desert.

Road Closed - Montagu

Klein Karoo Saloon

Mist on the Klein Karoo

Skirting around the damaged and closed roads we eventually end up in the hamlet of Addo. Here lies the Addo Elephant National Park and the Orange Elephant Backpackers. We put up tent and waited for Allan's arrival with a glass of wine under the stars.

Pay Day in Addo

The Olange Erephant (as it has been known by many an inebriated patron) is run by John and Cheryl. It is a locals watering hole and offers camping, dorms and cottage accommodation to weary travellers as well as pub, restaurant and fantastic company. What more could you ask for?

John kindly lent us his vehicle for a Game Drive in the Elephant National Park as they do no allow motorcyles in the park(something to do with dangerous animals in the park and eating people not in cars!!).

We sure is in Africa Now! Near Addo

All aboard the mighty Toyota we headed off on our first African Safari.

Z is for Zebra (Burchills Zebra to be exact)

Addo Elephant National Park was proclaimed in 1931 to protect the last 11 remaining Eastern Cape Elephants. In 1954 Graham Armstrong invented an elephant proof fence (to stop those little blighters getting out and poachers from getting in). Some of this orginal fence is still in use today.

W is for Water Buffalo

1970 saw the first offical tourists drive through the park and today the park is 164,000 hecares in size, the elephant numbers reach over 450 and other animals have been introduced, such as hyena and lion, to balance the ecology.

R is for Red Heartbeast

The park also is undertaking protection work of the almost extinct Black Rhino.

We had the most amazing day, one that will be truely treasured for the rest of our lives. From the outset we were treated to a fantastic display of wild animal life in thier natural habitat.

Within minutes of entering the park gates we saw a plethora of Warthogs and even a Black Backed Jackal eating a hare.

T is for Tortoise (Leopard Tortoise)

But what we came for was the Elephants. We had been driving around for most of the day, and had seen a group of Elephants in the distance, however now we were stopped at a watering hole. Coming down the hill was a family of Elephants walking towards the dam. We sat in silence and awe as the approached and walked in front of our car to the water. At the waters edge the family drank deep from the cool, refreshing waters, before turning around and walking straight past the bonnet of the Toyota. We sat there as the big Bull looked in to see what we were up to before following his family back off into the bush.

E is for Elephant

Not five minutes down the road, again we stopped to marvel at these huge creatures. Another family of Elephants were feeding on some scrubby bushes. We sat so close to one large male who made a feast of the foilage and soft branches of a particularly thorny bush. Elephants eat for up to 18hours per day, their body mass is so great that they rarely lie down to sleep, lying down for too long could result in thier body weight crushing thier internal organs so generally they nap standing up.

F is for Flippin' Huge Elephant
Notice our cars mirror in the left hand corner of the picture

It was also decided to stay on for the night game drive run by the park. Here we were treated to seeing some of the noctornal animals such as Hyena with their cubs and a female Bat Eared Fox (an insect eating fox) fighting with a Black Backed Jackle to protect her litter. Unfortunately we did not see any Lion (there are five in the park) on this safari, but Africa is a big continent and we have long journey ahead of us and we are sure more opportunity.

Jules, John, Cheryl, Grant
Orange Elephant Backpackers

Our first impressions of South Africa is that once again we are travelling in a country where the peoples friendliness and hospitality is generous and inspiring.

Comfortable public transport - near Addo

Posted by Julie Rose at December 09, 2007 11:13 AM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

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

contest pic

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!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

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, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

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.

Susan and Grant Johnson 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.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

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 ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

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!