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Rene

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Spectacular South West Africa Safari

Spectacular South West Africa Motorcycle Safari Highlights:

  • 60% paved roads, 40% gravel roads
  • Ais Ais hot springs
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Hermanus whale watching,
  • Most southerly point in Africa
  • Guided walk in Sossusvlei sand dunes
  • Namib-Nauklft Park
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Cape Town tour
  • Kolmanskop Ghost Town tour
  • Option day in Stellenbosch open to ride mountain passes, do a wine tour, or dive in a shark cage
  • 3200 km/2000 miles

Feedback from previous groups indicated a desire to see more animals. We now offer a three-day truck safari from Windhoek to Etosha National Park, allowing us a full day game drive and also a half day game drive led by guides in 4×4 safari vehicles. This optional safari is timed to occur between the northbound route and the southbound route. For those on the northbound tour this safari would be after their tour, and for those on the southbound tour they would come to Windhoek 4 days earlier for the safari after which we grab the bikes and head south. Pricing depends on the number of participants, but is normally between $750-$800, all inclusive except for alcohol.

Read Spectacular South West Africa ride review by Motorcycle Mojo Magazine – Part 1

Read Spectacular South West Africa ride review by Motorcycle Mojo Magazine – Part 2

 

Spectacular

 

Tour Summary:

Tour Price: CAD$7,995 *(2017) Tour Dates: Tour Status:
Duration: 15-days, 3,050 kms 2017 March 30 to April 13 FULL
Road Conditions: Etosha Safari: 2018 April 13 to April 15
60% paved roads, 40% gravel roads 2017 April 16 to April 30 FULL
2017 October 10 to October 24 FULL
Etosha Safari: 2017 October 24 to October 27
2017 October 27 to November 10 5 bikes Left

 *2018 price to be confirmed January 1, 2018 2018 March 30 to April 13 OPEN
Etosha Safari: 2018 April 13 to April 15
2018 April 16 to April 30 OPEN
2018 October 5 to October 19 OPEN
Etosha Safari: 2018 October 19 to October 21
2018 October 22 to November 5 OPEN

 

[ reserve your spot ]

Includes:

  • 14 nights accommodation
  • All dinners and breakfasts
  • Most lunches
  • Guide on motorcycle
  • Guide in chase truck
  • Trailer with spare bike
  • Park entrance fees
  • Tolls
  • Airport transfers
  • full list here

Prices for 2017:

Note: Our prices are in Canadian Dollars (CAD$).

CAD$7,995 with BMW F700/GS

  • Lowered F700/GS bikes available for solo riders only
  • BMW  F800/GS add CAD$595
  • BMW R1200/GSW add CAD$1,195
  • Pillion (passenger) add CAD$4,995
  • Single Room Supplement add CAD$1,195
  • Etosha Safari add CAD$800
Trip Difficulty: Half of this trip is on gravel roads, and as such is not ideal for 2-up riding, although it is possible on the bigger bikes depending on the driver skill level. Experience on gravel roads is required. Gravel roads will have sandy sections and sections of loose gravel. Riders should be relaxed and comfortable driving at least 80 kph on well groomed, natural surface roads. Tarmac national highways have a speed limit of 120 kph and riders should be relaxed and comfortable riding at least 100 kph on these roads, including under windy conditions.

 

Itinerary for Spectacular South West Africa Motorcycle Safari:

 

2016_Rene-WebMaps_SWA_v2

[Day 1]

No riding. Accommodation near Cape Town’s waterfront

Arrive at Cape Town International airport. We’ll be awaiting your arrival at the airport to take you directly to your hotel in Cape Town. You’ll be able to relax after your flight and get comfortable with South Africa’s beautiful springtime weather. At noon you’ll meet the other members of your group and we start a casual city tour of Cape Town and guided tour into a local township. At our first group dinner we’ll debrief you about your trip, go over the special rules regarding riding motorcycles in Africa, hand out map books, and review the routing.

[Day 2]

175 kms paved. Accommodation near Stellenbosch

After breakfast we gather the motorcycles and after a proper introduction to them, take on one of South Africa’s most scenic ocean-side roads—Chapman’s Peak Drive. Our continued route through the Cape Point Nature Reserve offers quiet roads and panoramas of green fields, rocky cliffs, and the legendary Cape of Good Hope. This outcropping of south-west Africa has made sailors nervous for 500 years (and remains the mythical home of the damned Flying Dutchman), but from our land-side approach, we can admire the Cape without discomfort, staring out from the beach to the south where 4,000 kilometers of Atlantic Ocean separate us from Antarctica.

[Day 3]

175 kms paved. Accommodation near Stellenbosch

We continue along the coast of False Bay arriving in mid-afternoon to a private tour of Monkey Town, a primate sanctuary. We spent the next two nights in South Africa’s second oldest city—Stellenbosch, famous also for its university and wineries.

[Day 4]

Optional Riding Day. Accommodation near Stellenbosch

The best part of this day is the flexibility you have in making it your own. The keen riders will head out with a group that is set on hitting all the nearby mountain passes and scenic roads. If instead you want to sit at a coffee shop and people watch, you are more than welcome to do so. We can help arrange other activities for the day, such as a day-long wine tour, or a day trip out to swim in a cage with the great white sharks—both recommended.

[Day 5]

240 kms paved, 30 kms gravel. Accommodation near Arniston

A morning detour through the charming town of Franschoek starts us off on the right foot as we crest the Franschoek Pass and continue 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. We work our way to the most southern point on the African continent, Cape L’Agulhas. 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 and colourful fishing boats set off against a turquoise sea. It’s 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 live in the village. Not to be missed!

[Day 6]

267 kms paved. Accommodation at the Aquila Private Game Reserve

Our tarmac day ride brings us up through wine and fruit farms of Bredasdorp, Bonnievale, and Montague, and through the well-named Valley of Wine and Cheese. South African road builders at the turn of the century must have been motorcyclists, as the number of passes, their locations, and their views are so finely tuned for us. There could be no other explanation. Today our two major passes are Kogmanskloof and Burgers, with many smaller ones in between. We rest that evening at a private game reserve where it is possible to join an optional afternoon safari to try your luck at spotting Africa’s big five: Elephant, Lion, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, and Rhinoceros (afternoon and morning safaris included).

[Day 7]

125 kms paved, 107 kms gravel. Accommodation near Tankwa Karoo Park

A warm-up on the tarmac brings us through the famous fruit town of Ceres, and then we are off to the north and along the valleys of apple farms. A sharp right turn takes us on our first lengthy dirt road, crossing plateaus of rock and brush and leaving us on the edge of a massive viewpoint with the Karoo desert far below us. 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 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.

[Day 8]

387 kms paved, 100 kms gravel. Accommodation near Springbok

A morning at Stonehenge is never complete without fresh, sunrise bread and fresh coffee before the proper breakfast. We continue north on R355 to Calvinia and turn west to meet the National Highway N7 that brings us quickly to Springbok, a quiet town known for it’s tough mining history.

[Day 9]

171 kms paved, 145 gravel. Accommodation near Fish River Canyon

We use tarmac roads to hurry us along our last few kilometres in South Africa and deliver us to the Namibian border crossing at Noordoewer. The borders are normally quick and efficient, and we will take care of all the paperwork for the motorcycles. Our first stop in Namibia is the hot springs at Ais-Ais, and after a quick soak we carry onto our lodge near the second largest canyon in the world, the Fish River Canyon. We park the bikes and get into the truck that brings us to the lookout at the edge of the Fish River Canyon for sunset.

[Day 10]

170 kms paved, 90 kms gravel. Accommodation near Aus

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 odd Seeheim Hotel, a wonderful old building hanging on to an era that has long left.

[Day 11]

250 kms paved, 110 kms gravel. Accommodation near Helmeringhausen

We cross the Namib desert 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 then north on an excellent gravel road to Helmeringhausen.

[Day 12]

365 kms gravel. Accommodation near Sesriem

Today is our first all gravel day, you can lower the air pressure a bit in your tires if you wish. We skirt the western border of the Namib-Naukluft National Park that houses part the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. Motorcycles are not generally allowed in national wildlife parks, but if the road bisects the park, then we can stay on the road and continue slowly and keep our eyes open. We have favourite roads here that have been very good for game viewing.

[Day 13]

No riding. 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. Our group takes a personalized tour of Sossusvlei and a walking tour of Dead Vlei, a surreal valley holding 500-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 not even Hollywood could dream up. We are back to the lodge by early afternoon and get a well-deserved afternoon off to relax by the pool, read, or rest. If you are 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, 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. Our accommodation gives you another opportunity to sleep under the stars, this time on the roof of your chalet. No bugs, no chance of snakes, and no wind makes this the perfect place to sleep outside.

[Day 14]

100 kms paved, 244 kms gravel. Accommodation in Windhoek

We begin the ride to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. But we are not ready to give into the asphalt highway just yet. Our special route keeps us on Namibia’s splendid gravel roads the entire day, staying away from the busy traffic and keeping us close to the scrubland that has been our companion for a week now. After checking in and washing up, we head into Windhoek to eat at Joe’s Beer Garden in Windhoek.

[Day 15]

Fly out

Before the sun rises, the bikes are on the trailer for their trip back to Cape Town. Until your shuttle leaves for the airport, the day is yours to wander the historic city of Windhoek or relax at the lodge.


Read first-hand accounts from guests who have traveled with us on this tour: