Southern Africa: Bike power to horse power

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by slideways, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    I have always wanted to do ZA on a motorcycle. Last November I got my chance. I made my way from Roatan to La Ceiba, to San Pedro Sula, to San Salvador, picked up my South African sweetheart and headed up to Washington DC for the night. The following morning we boarded the SAA flight to Jozi. Daryl, the owner of Sama Tours met us at the airport and took us through to his home in Pretoria. We booked a 16-day unguided tour to Cape Town on an R1200 GS. We were given maps and hotel vouchers and promptly sent on our way. We followed Daryl out to the N4 and blasted off for Hazeyview.

    Daryl and his daughter sort our bike out for us.
    [​IMG]

    Loskop Dam on our left

    [​IMG]

    Nice fast curvy roads with almost no traffic and no speed cameras (least none that we saw)

    [​IMG]

    We took the long, scenic route, got to a wet and misty Long Tom Pass (had to ride it again the next day just to enjoy the view and the many twists and turns. Being an off-road rider at heart, I'm always looking for dirt! We turned off the main road on route to Pilgrim's Rest and found a dirt road that twisted its way through the mountains and alongside a river. I don't think we saw another soul the entire time. It was remote and beautiful and we had it all to ourselves.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We drove into Graskop for lunch, chatted with some locals who were interested in our biking adventure. We found a logging dirt road which took us through Sappi Forest area and brought us out near Kipersol.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    more coming soon
    #1
  2. tenderfoot

    tenderfoot PRJ

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,454
    Location:
    Gauteng, RSA
    This looks like fun.!
    I must still do some dirt roads in the Eastern Transvaal.
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,694
    Such beauty you have in SA! Looking forward to the next installment. :thumb

    :lurk
    #3
  4. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    After 2 days of exploring the Mpumalanga area we headed south through Nelspruit and Barberton.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Before entering the remote Bulembu border crossing into Swaziland, we enjoyed a very picturesque dirt road that wound its way through mountains for more than 60 kms.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The border crossing was painless, the officer there was very friendly, gave us a map and offered us a handful of condoms for free (the Pope would not approve! :evil )

    The road through the forest after leaving the border station and heading towards Piggs Peak.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After getting back onto the tarmac, we traveled to Maguga Dam, where we stopped at a lodge for lunch, with a view overlooking the dam. Swaziland is absolutely beautiful and so are the people! We spent a wonderful evening at our hotel in Ezulweni.

    We found the roads in Swaziland to be very good but be careful there is a lot of livestock on the road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    more to follow
    #4
  5. Afrodog

    Afrodog Bosbefok.

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Corona del Hood. CA
    LAAT WAAI PAPAGAAI!:lurk:lurk
    #5
  6. Stuntman

    Stuntman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    677
    Location:
    Don't know...I'm lost.
    :lurk Keep it coming!!!
    #6
  7. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    We made our way through Manzini and headed for the border crossing at Lavumisa, stopping only to find fuel. The first station we stopped at could not pump fuel as they had no electricity so we headed on down the road.

    [​IMG]

    Our low fuel light had been on for a while when we rolled into this station near the ZA border.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Big smiles from the Swazi pump attendant. She was so nice I gave her a R20 tip and she went dancing across the parking lot.

    [​IMG]

    After living in Central America for 12 years you are always apprehensive about crossing borders but it was no problem at all in ZA.

    Waiting to clear back into ZA.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Coming next we ride through the Zulu Kingdom

    [​IMG]

    Watch for more
    #7
  8. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    Warthogs patrolling the game fence.

    [​IMG]

    You never run out of cool scenery in Africa

    [​IMG]

    Weaver bird nests. The sad thing is the male of the species builds these intricate nests and if he female does'nt like it she just flys away and tells him call me when you got something better to show me.

    [​IMG]

    We stopped at the Ghost Mountain Inn, Mkuze for a great lunch in a beautiful location.

    [​IMG]

    Riding into St. Lucia

    [​IMG]

    We had 2 nights accommodation in St. Lucia so we decided to back track and explore Sodwana Bay. On the way we saw a sign for a Game reserve so we decided to check it out. When we got to the gate the guard told us it was closed and motorcycles were normally not allowed. After a R20 tip he let us in and told us not to stop and be careful.

    Cool! Elephants, Hppos and Croc's.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stop for a Biltong break. Nothing better than eating Kudu biltong while waiting for one of his brothers to appear.

    [​IMG]

    The road into Sodwana Baai.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sodwana, what a beautiful beach it goes on for ever.

    [​IMG]

    Daar kom meer.....
    #8
  9. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,694
    :super
    :lurk :lurk
    #9
  10. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,223
    Location:
    Yellowknife, NWT
    Hat links, ry regs verby!! (Spelling may be a little off....)
    #10
  11. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Off route, recalculating
    Fantastic! More please!
    #11
  12. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    Then off to Oribi Gorge

    [​IMG]

    Checking in at the hotel, a fantastic place to stay at the top of the gorge complete with a giant swing into the gorge.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then more dirt for the day. One of the wonderful things about ZA is you can almost always find dirt roads to take you near to where you want to go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ZA is full of Jacaranda Trees that are in full bloom during Spring and Summer. I was surprised to learn that they were not indigenous to ZA but brought into ZA from Brazil.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Shortly after entering the Transkei, we saw diligent ZA residents lining up to register for the upcoming elections.

    [​IMG]

    We were blasting along through a fabulous mountain pass on route to Coffee Bay when the transmission shit the bed 20 kms outside of Port St. John!

    I knew I was ok because I had a stash of biltong in my tank bag. Sitting beside the road on a busted BMW, eating Biltong contemplating life.

    [​IMG]

    No worries, I have done many of these tours where I have rented bikes and I always make sure the renter provides backup support for broken bikes. Luckily we had cell and were able to contact Daryl. Within half an hour a bakkie (pickup) was there to pick us up.

    [​IMG]

    These two guys were "salt of the earth," a real treat, funny as hell and entertaining. They "tuned" us that we would be staying at one of the nicest resorts along the Wild Coast. We all piled into the bakkie and headed to Umgazi River Bungalows.

    [​IMG]

    The beach with the resort in the background.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They don't call this the Wild Coast for nothing!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Daryl from Sama Tours picked up the tab at the resort and was there early the next morning after driving all night from Pretoria with a new GS1200 gassed and ready to go.:clap :clap I will definitely use him again as his service is first class!

    [​IMG]

    more on the way.
    #12
  13. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    On our new bike and off to Coffee Bay. You see thousands of these Rondavel's dotting the countryside as you travel. There must have been a big sale on aqua marine paint at the local hardware!
    [​IMG]

    The road to Coffee Bay
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Coffee Bay
    [​IMG]

    This Xkosa lady had no problem carrying our heavy panniers to the room. You see them on the side of the road carrying huge loads of firewood on their heads. (These days while talking on their cellphones!)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Exploring the Wild Coast on route to Hole-in-the-Wall.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hiking down to Hole in the Wall. You have to leave the bike in the parking area.... watch out for the snot nosed parking lot gang. Hire one guy to watch your bike and tell the rest to piss off or they will all want to be paid!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Even the police are friendly in ZA! This chap wandered over just to chat about the motorcycle and wanted to know about our journey.

    [​IMG]

    hasta manana
    #13
  14. Jacpod

    Jacpod Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    283
    Location:
    Nashville
    Wonderlik!!!! Nog...nog....!!:clap:clap
    #14
  15. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    Eastern Cape/ Sunshine Coast

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All along the route there are game farms.

    [​IMG]

    This coast has many estuaries and lagoons.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looking for elephants in the Addo Elephant Park.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    No elle's yet but some great riding.

    [​IMG]

    On the way to Knysna we came across the world's highest bungee jump, the Storms River/ Bloukrans Bridge, 116mtrs

    [​IMG]

    Found some ADV Riders hanging out in the bush.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Visited with the elle's at the Elephant Sanctuary , Tstitsikama.

    [​IMG]

    More coming
    #15
  16. tenderfoot

    tenderfoot PRJ

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,454
    Location:
    Gauteng, RSA
    I'm realy enjoying your report, you're showing me a number of must-do's for future reference.
    :clap

    It's just a matter of time before someone takes you to task regarding the "highest bungee jump", so I might just as well refer you to Wikipedia's entry on "bungee jump".


    #16
  17. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    On to Knysna, to visit with a good friend of mine. I had never been to knysna before but when I got there I fell in love with the place.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Knysna heads, I am looking for some property in this area, what a view.

    [​IMG]

    This is looking down from the top of the head in the previous picture.

    [​IMG]

    Same location looking back towards Knysna.

    [​IMG]

    There are many nice beaches surrounding Knysna great for surfing,kite boarding, fishing or just hanging out on the beach watching bikinis!

    You must stop here for lunch at Keurboom Beach.

    [​IMG]

    A nice bungaloo on the beach.

    [​IMG]

    I went quad biking with my friends in the Knysna Forests what an awesome place to ride. Just be careful of the Baboons, they take no shit from humans!
    We rode all day and I don't think we rode the same trail twice. I had never cared much for quads but my friends YZ450 was a blast to ride.

    [​IMG]

    After three wonderful nights in Knysna it was back on the road for a 500K ride to Cape Town and it looked like it was going to be a wet ride all the way.
    So I donned my Frog Tog and off we went.

    [​IMG]

    We took the scenic route R62 to Oudtshoorn all the way to the Mother City.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bikers paradise the R62.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We stopped in Ladismith for a bite to eat. Little did we know the roads behind us and in front of us were being shut down due to flash floods.

    [​IMG]

    After lunch this is what we found less than a mile up the road.

    [​IMG]

    The police had the road blocked and said we may have to wait awhile for the floods to subside.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After about an hours wait the Police said that the road was still underwater but we could probably make it through if we wanted to try.
    So off we went.

    [​IMG]

    The bike was sliding a lot in the mud but we made it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We got passed the flooded area and came through this cool tunnel.

    [​IMG]

    The base of Table Mountain with its "cloth" hanging over.

    [​IMG]

    Riding up Signal Hill, with the city of Cape Town below.

    [​IMG]

    A trip up Signal Hill is a must not only for the great views but it is a fun twisty road to ride.

    [​IMG]

    There are great coastal roads hugging the ocean and rugged mountains.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Another lovely day in Africa comes to a close.

    [​IMG]

    Our accommodation for the night in Camps Bay was fantastic.
    [​IMG]

    A room with a view.

    [​IMG]

    Lots to smile about, this place is beautiful!

    [​IMG]

    We chartered a heli at the V&A Waterfront to get a better view. What the hell we are on vacation.

    [​IMG]

    The view of the Waterclub and the 2010 World Cup Stadium in the back ground.

    [​IMG]

    Next the wilds of Botswana.....
    #17
  18. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.
    Ok a few more shots of Cape Town then off to Botswana to see some big game.

    This is a shot of Camps Bay where I am staying now.

    [​IMG]

    Flying along the Atlantic Seaboard

    [​IMG]

    Heading towards False Bay

    [​IMG]

    Start of the Erickson Round the World Sailboat Regatta.

    [​IMG]

    Base 4 Helipad.

    [​IMG]

    Our ride to Botswana

    [​IMG]

    Once in Maun we hop on a Bush Plane for our flight to Camp Macatoo in the Okovango Delta.

    [​IMG]

    After a flyby to check that the strip is clear we land on the camps dirt strip.

    [​IMG]

    We say farewell to our pilot who says he will be back to get us in a week.

    [​IMG]

    Our guide and vehicle waiting to take us to our camp.

    [​IMG]

    We have not driven far when we run into a herd of Ellies.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Warthog

    [​IMG]

    We were met with a Tswana greeting song when we arrived at camp.

    [​IMG]

    Jo the stable manager brought out the new ride. Don't have to worry about any final drive or transmission failures here.

    [​IMG]

    You can get close on horseback.

    [​IMG]

    This Ellie was not amused at our close approach.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After 4 hours in the saddle we have to rough it and take our lunch in the bush.

    [​IMG]

    More game in the afternoon.

    [​IMG]

    Elephants are amazingly quiet they seem to appear and vanish in the blink of an eye.

    [​IMG]

    We rode up on this fresh kill, once the horses got a whiff of the lions and the dead buffalo it was time to go.

    [​IMG]

    We rode out to the kill the next day and the owners were there. Two male lions, they are the king of the jungle when they hunt in pairs, no animal is safe when they are on the hunt.

    [​IMG]

    The I would eat you if I were hungry look!

    [​IMG]

    Cooling the horses while checking the ponds for Hippo.

    [​IMG]

    After an all day ride we reach our fly camp.

    [​IMG]

    Complete with bucket shower.

    [​IMG]

    The view from the tent.
    [​IMG]

    Cantering across the flooded plains of the Delta

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More lion kills.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A full grown giraffe was brought down by the same two lions shown earlier.
    [​IMG]

    Another amazing day in Africa.
    [​IMG]

    MMMMMMMMMM breakfast

    [​IMG]

    Our Chef and guide. It was amazing how great the food was , everything was cooked over an open fire. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly.

    [​IMG]
    The pizza oven is a hollowed out termite mound.

    [​IMG]

    Our tent at the main camp. Two nights in a row there was an elephant feeding right next to our tent. He even left us a present. Ellies shit big.No problem for the dung beetles they make it dissapear rikki tic.
    [​IMG]

    All to soon our pilot is back to take us home. But first he must unload a Cessna crammed full of supplies for the camp.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A huge thank you to African Horseback Safaris and SAMA Motorcycle Tours for an AMAZING African experience.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope you enjoyed the ride
    #18
  19. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,429
    Location:
    The Bahamas Mon.

    I should have said highest bungee jump bridge. That is how they advertise it.
    #19
  20. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,886
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO., USA
    Great report and photos. Thanks for the rides! :thumb
    #20