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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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  • 2 Post By mark manley
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Old 24 Mar 2016
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Africa Woman Solo - Safety/Buying/Accommodation/GPS

Hi guys,

I plan to travel from South Africa to Kenya, starting April or May 2016.

My last journey with motorbike was 5 years ago, and that time i was with partner. This is gonna be my first solo motorbike trip and i'm very nervous now.. I'd very appreciated if you give me any tips

* Safety
Little worried about safety in Africa. I've read story about some brave woman who already traveled with her bike alone. it make me feel better but still have concerned. Any advice would be very helpful and appreciated!

i read this thread and it was very helpful to me : http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...t-africa-83875

* Buying
I'd like to buy small second hand motorbike(Max. 250cc) in Cape Town. Could you recommend the good store/dealer in Cape Town?

* Accommodation
Is there a enough accommodations from SA to Kenya? or do i have to bring my tent? I searched a lot about Africa accommodation, but i couldn't find right answer. I like to do camp but i prefer to sleep in cheap hotel(hostel) due to my safety..

Do i need to have GPS way up to South/East Africa? or google offline map is enough? Is it very difficult to find a road without GPS? (I don't have good sense of direction)

Sorry for many questions..

Any advice and comment would be very very helpful.
Thank you very much in advance!

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Old 24 Mar 2016
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I think that thread actually answers your question particularly if you read what women like Tiffany and Lorraine have to say as they have actually been there on their own. I know Lorraine is currently travelling in Uganda on a bike and on her own again, I am sure either of them would answer any of your questions if you were to PM them, they are very approachable.
You should find hotels along the way without a problem, if you have room for a tent and sleeping bag all the better, some campsites are walled and have security so are fairly safe.
There is absolutely no need for satnav or GPS, Michelin map 746 Africa Central and South will get you there or be a back up to your Google map and roads are sign posted.
I cannot recommend a particular bike shop but there are several on Waterkant Street in Cape Town as well as accessory shops and servicing.
A 250cc bike would be perfect, I do know someone by chance a woman who made that trip and back on a Honda XR125L and said it was fine for the job, I would avoid any of the Chinese makes of bike.
Have a great trip.

Last edited by mark manley; 24 Mar 2016 at 03:55. Reason: More info
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Old 24 Mar 2016
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Hey Gwi, couple of points.

You'll find accommodation along the way in most sizable towns, most of it inexpensive. Nevertheless, it's always a good idea to carry a tent and sleeping bag in the event something goes south towards the end of the day and you need to bush camp. And of course to tent in real campgrounds among other travelers or just amid nature.

For GPS, if you are going without one, download maps.me to your smartphone and maps of the countries through which you'll be riding. Maps.me is a free app based on open source data that will show you not only routes and routing, but hotels, camping, restaurants, attractions, etc. -- and it's all usable offline, with no data or wifi connnection needed.

I would think about a good smartphone mount for the handlebars, so you can follow turn by turn directions. I disagree with Mark Manley on the value of Michelin maps... I've just ridden South Africa to Egypt and my Michelin maps didn't get a lot of use. Good for overview, but so-so otherwise.

I also have Lonely Planet ebook guides on my smartphone, very handy for selecting accommodation, figuring out sights and destinations, etc.

Hope this helps, I'm sure Lorraine will chime in!
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Old 24 Mar 2016
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Hi Gwi,
as another source of informations I am recommending you Wild Dog Adventure Riding - Index . Local knowledge and seems that there are some very helpful info.
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Old 27 Mar 2016
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Thank you so much

Really helpful & useful response! So happy to got great reply! Thank you so much

@mark - I will send PM to them and thank you for information of hotel, GPS, Watherkant street!

@Ride Far - Downloaded map.me & lonely planet just today! and yes, good to carry tent just just in case! i decided to buy it in SA. Thanks again!

@Petre - I read many helpful info in wilddog! Thanks for let me know!
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Old 2 Apr 2016
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Need Help! Anyone who live in South Africa

Hi guys!

I really need help from someone who lives in South Africa.. I arrived SA to buy a bike few day ago. I planed to travel with bike around Africa. But unfortunately it seems not possible to register a bike in my name with tourist visa.

I read and searched a lot about register a bike in SA on this forum, wilddog forum. Found information that some guys did it in Cape town and Johannesburg. But it seems they had fortune..

Today i went to civic centre in cape town and asked to register a bike for foreigners. They said that it's only allowed with working/student visa. not tourist visa.. So much disappointment..

But i found another best option that register it in residence name. After registering, all i will need is a letter from residence(legal owner of bike) granting me permission to drive a bike. The letter must be signed by the police (Affidavit). That's it. Very easy and fastest way.

* reference: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...le-south-80508

Could someone who lives in South Africa help me to register it in your name, please? If i need to come back to SA with a bike which stays it in residence name, i can change the route to back SA.

I know it is kind of not polite to ask on forum, but this forum is my last hope to keeping travel.. Sorry if someone feel uncomfortable with my thread.

For your reference, i'm still looking for a bike in shops and gumtree.co.za. Didn't buy yet. After solving a registration, will buy a small bike.

I'd appreciate to get any help, advice, comments..
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Old 3 Apr 2016
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Hu community CT

Hi Gwi,

contact the HU community CapeTown, I had great help from them in 2004+2008.

In 2008 I registered a Toyota Landcruiser in my name (on a tourist visa) in Cape Town, so it was possible back than, and very easy ... but as you found out, you can ride the bike with the Afidavit.

Just one advise, dont buy a Chinese bike. (As Mark Manley already said)

Good luck
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Old 5 Apr 2016
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try Africa Overlanders in Stellenbosch
they may be able to help.

good luck

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Old 12 Apr 2016
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@mika - Thanks! I got good information from HU community Cape Town!

@kp - Thank you for your inform!!

Last week, I finally bought Honda XR125 from local person in Cape Town. Bike is registered in his name and i got a affidavit granting me permission to ride a bike. He wrote my name and passport number on the affidavit. also his signature and stamp from police station. Anyone have traveled with bike which registered in other people name and affidavit?
He gave me 1) registration paper 2) affidavit 3) copy of his passport - just in case. I hope there is no problem when i cross the border.

I plan to start my journey in 2 weeks and not gonna come back to SA. I know it would be difficult to sell a bike in other country cause it's not registered in my name. But i could avoid lots of paper works and uncertain situation.

Thank you all of you guys to help me! Really appreciated!

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Old 13 Apr 2016
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Never git a pm Gwi, but looks like you're forging ahead well! Good luck! If you need any more thought, I'm always here. Still in Uganda, the land of cheap everything and where you can ride in game parks.
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Old 14 Apr 2016
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Originally Posted by lorraine View Post
Never git a pm Gwi, but looks like you're forging ahead well! Good luck! If you need any more thought, I'm always here. Still in Uganda, the land of cheap everything and where you can ride in game parks.
Hi Lorraine! Thank you for saying that! I just sent you PM yesterday! =) Really hope to see you in Uganda!!!
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Old 17 May 2016
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Hello from Swakopmund

It’s been three weeks since my solo motorcycle trip started in South Africa and currently traveling in Swakopmund, Namibia after riding 2,600km! Having beautiful days on the road
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Old 19 May 2016
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WOOOHOOOO! You look great. Ride slow and then I will catch up. ;-)
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Old 20 May 2016
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Awesome! I rode the same road 3 years ago, Namibia is great to ride

Nice bike btw. Does the size of the fuel tank become a problem on stretches with low gas station density, or do you have extra canisters? Would you buy the same one again if you had the choice?

Last edited by r3pl4y; 20 May 2016 at 19:19.
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Old 10 Jun 2016
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lorraine - sent you PM.
r3pl4y - I'm still traveling in Namibia for 6weeks so far. too beautiful to ride fast this awesome country. My bike fuel tank size is about 10 liters but i have 5 liters extra fuel canisters. never have fule problem so far fortunately! If i had the choice, i'd like to ride 250cc. Would be nicer to have more power to go uphill! haha. But 125cc is still good to travel in africa. slow riding and slow enjoying
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accommodation, africa, safety, solo, woman

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