|Tour Price: CAD$12,995* (2017)||Tour Dates:||Tour Status:|
|Duration: 22 Days – 4,700 kms||2017 August 28 to September 18
|Road Conditions: 25% Gravel||2017 September 11 to October 02
|2017 September 25 to October 16
|*2018 Prices to be confirmed on January 1, 2018||2018 August 16 to September 06
|2018 September 10 to October 01
Note: Our prices are in Canadian Dollars (CAD$).
CAD$12,995 with BMW F700/GS
Meet in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Your flight will likely arrive by 1pm, and we’ll arrange your transportation to the hotel in the town of Victoria Falls. Our official duties for the day include getting to the Falls and the most fantastic dinner at the legendary Victoria Falls Hotel—a complete step back in time. If you can, it would be wise to arrive here a day early and take advantage of the many tourist activities nearby. Walking with lion cubs, elephant rides, helicopter rides over the Falls, zip-line or bungee jumping, and even white water rafting. Although these sound “touristy,” the lions, elephants and helicopter rides get wonderful reviews from previous riders.
No riding. Accommodation in Kasane
Our shuttle to Botswana will pick us up in front of the hotel at noon. We check into our hotel in Kasane, Botswana, and quickly get onto our houseboat that leaves in the early afternoon to prepare for one of the animal highlights of the trip: a sunset scenic river cruise on the Chobe River. Elephants coming to drink at the rivers edge, crocs, hippos, they’re all here.
381 kms tarmac. Accommodation near Divundu
We finish Botswana early and return to Namibia near Kongola. This long panhandle region is called the Caprivi and was added to Namibia (then called South West Africa) by the Germans who wanted access to the Zambezi River. Again, elephants and other animals may cross the road today, so careful driving today. Our lodge tonight is on the banks of the Okavango River, with hippos and crocs as your neighbours.
15 kms tarmac, 15 kms gravel. Accommodation in a tented camp in the Okavango Delta
After one day in Namibia we’re back into Botswana, this time to experience the grandeur of the Okavango Delta. The delta is formed as the Okavango River takes annual rainfall from Angola and drops it into Botswana where the water has no natural outlet. This creates an amazing maze of islands and water canals, forever in a state of raising or falling throughout the year. We take to the water in a traditional dugout canoe and sleep the night on a small island in the middle of the delta.
No driving. Accommodation in the Okavango Delta
With the flat desert and scrubland of the Kalahari still ahead of us, we return from the island and spend one more night on the river, this time on a houseboat and a bit more luxury.
506 kms tarmac. Accommodation near Grootfontein
Travel day. We travel south west along the basin of the Kalahari Desert to the northern entrance of Namibia’s most famous game reserve, Etosha National Park.
110 kms by motorcycle, then game drive. Accommodation bordering Etosha
Another early start gets us to the south gate of Etosha National Park, at one time the world’s largest nature reserve. Motorcycles are not allowed in the park, so we’ll leave the bikes at the lodge and use the safari vehicles to see the game.
No riding. Game Drive. Accommodation bordering Etosha
Up with the sun for a quick breakfast and out all day on the camera hunt for animals. In the past some riders have seen enough animals by this point (!) and they want to sleep by the pool, and you are most welcome to relax instead of doing another game drive.
416 kms tarmac. Accommodation in Windhoek
We’ll celebrate our first nine days on the road in the capital city of Namibia at one of our favorite restaurants. The drive today is an easy one and an early start will allow us to stop at Namibia’s largest craft market along the way.
95 kms tarmac, 237 kms gravel. Drive via Solitaire to Sesreim. Accommodation near Sesriem
Our appreciation of Namibia’s excellent gravel roads will start today. We exit the city and after a short spell on the highway, we say goodbye blacktop and hello dust. The famous apple strudel in the tiny town of Solitaire is on the menu for today.
No riding. Dune Tour. Accommodation near Sesriem
An early start has us to the sand dunes at sunrise. The dunes in the Namib Desert can rise 1,300’, and are among the highest in the world. We have a personalized tour of Sossusvlei and a walking tour of Dead Vlei, a surreal valley holding 900-year old standing tree skeletons, burned black from the sun and anchored lifeless in a valley that is too dry for them to decompose. The movie The Cell had several scenes shot here, allowing nature to deliver scenes of haunting solitude and isolation that not even Hollywood could dream up. We’re back to the lodge by early afternoon and get a well-deserved afternoon off to relax by the pool, read, or rest. If you’re still eager to get out, walking trails bring you into the small mountains nearby where you can enjoy the intimate sounds of the Namib’s bird and insect life that is normally blocked out by your motorcycle helmet. As the sun begins its fall onto the dunes to the east, the fire is stoked to provide another meal for us.
271 kms gravel. Accommodation in Helmeringhausen
Today is the only day where we do not touch a stitch of tarmac. From morning to night we are on natural surfaced roads. Part of the reason they do not tar these roads is because of low traffic volumes. It is not unusual to have hours pass by with no other vehicles on the roads. The group can stretch out and on this day more than most we get that wonderful feeling of riding somewhere very foreign yet welcoming.
250 kms tarmac, 105 kms gravel, Accommodation in Aus
Across the Namib desert we ride, keeping our eyes open for one of the last herds of feral horses left in the world. We arrive at the coastal town of Luderitz for a tour of Kolmanskop, a diamond mining town abandoned lock, stock, and barrel when bigger diamonds were found further south. The sand dunes are slowly reclaiming the town, but there is still a fascinating story that comes with the old buildings. This is a guided tour. After lunch we head back to Aus for fuel and our hotel for the night.
167 kms tarmc, 141 kms gravel. Accommodation near Fish River Canyon
Flora lovers will be fascinated with Namibia’s national tree, the kokerboom, which is actually a large flowering aloe, and exemplifies the beauty that can arise in such an arid place. We have a relaxed pace today as we continue to get used to watching for game while riding on both gravel and tarmac roads. Our morning coffee is at the old Seeheim Hotel, a wonderful old building hanging on to an era that has long left. Before we check into the lodge, we take a relaxed visit to the second largest canyon in the world, the Fish River Canyon.
168 kms paved, 127 kms gravel. Accommodation near Springbok
Our last few kilometers of gravel road brings us to the hot springs at Ais-Ais, and after a quick soak we continue on one of everybody’s favorite gravel sections to the junction with the tarmac road near the Orange River, the geographic border between Namibia and South Africa. The border crossing will go quickly, and we use tarmac roads to hurry us along our first few kilometers in South Africa and our simple hotel near Springbok, a quiet town known for it’s tough mining history.
387 kms paved, 100 kms gravel. Accommodation near Tankwa-Karoo Park
Long travel day. We are up early to get a start on moving south. After a long tarmac stretch we drop down and connect to the infamous R355, South Africa’s longest gravel road between towns as our private game reserve accommodation is smack in the middle of it on the edge of the Tankwa-Karoo Nature Reserve. This is our desolate, wide open, farm stop. An open fire feast will fill you up before we try to convince you to go into your large permanent tents and drag the beds outside and set them up in the desert. To be in Africa and not sleep under the stars would be a decision you would forever regret.
90 kms paved, 332 kms gravel. Accommodation at Oudtshoorn
A morning at Stonehenge is never complete without fresh, sunrise bread and fresh coffee before the proper breakfast. A warm up on the gravel brings us near the famous fruit town of Ceres, and then we are off to the east. Our destination is Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich capital of the world. It’s also famous for its cave system, which we will visit tomorrow.
Optional riding day. Accommodation at Oudtshoorn
Day off. You’ve earned it. There are wildlife centers to visit, ostriches to ride, or do nothing and sit by the pool and catch up with your blog and diary. If you are keen on more riding, we have a lovely loop set up that takes in fantastic little towns and the mighty Swartberg Pass, a tremendous and beautiful gravel pass that should really be experienced.
240 kms paved, 30 kms gravel. Accommodation in Arniston
There is a famous drive along Route 62 in South Africa, and we will hit the best parts of it today, ending up at the most southern tip of Africa – a fitting celebration point from where we began almost three weeks ago. Not far from here we find our rest for the night in the charming beach-side Arniston Hotel. Beside the hotel are the nationally landmarked Fisherman’s cottages with their whitewashed walls and thatched roofs set off against a turquoise sea and colourful fishing boats, a magnet for photographers and artists from around the world, spurred on no doubt by the proclaiming of Arniston as one of the World’s Ten Best Hideaways by Time Magazine (May 1996). By special arrangement we have organized a fresh, traditional, fish dinner from one of the old fishing families that still lives in the village.
Accommodation near Cape Town’s waterfront
Today is a busy day as we get to Hermanus for lunch, the self-proclaimed whale capital of South Africa. We lunch while spotting Southern Right Whales who calve here from July through November. There are plenty of beautiful roads to bring us into Cape Town and not nearly enough time to do them all in this one day. Consider staying a day or two after the tour finishes to catch up on all the passes and attractions that we are unable to squeeze into a three-week trip. This is our last night together and we will spend it in Cape Towns beautiful V&A Waterfront watching the harbor life and sharing stories.
Our last day, and after breakfast the final paperwork is gone over for the bikes, and our trip is officially complete.
If you are curious to stay in Cape Town or the surrounding areas longer to do more riding, wine tours, shark cage diving, bungee jumping… let us know and we can get you on the right track.