Southern Africa on a Honda CTX 200

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by TechnomadicJim, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Southern Africa
    Trip Conclusion : 29,000 KM's, 9 Countries in 9 months.

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    Hi TechnomadicJim here. I have mostly been posting on the Wild Dog forum about my trip as its more local but I'm a member here too and wanted to share with you lot.

    Time : I have 3-9 months. (I arrived a month ago on the 25th September.)
    Where : Southern Africa. Maybe up to Kenya but definitely South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho.
    What : Honda CTX 200 (AG Bushlander)

    Here's my "Planning a ride" thread I started on the WIld Dog Forum : http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134555.20
    Here's my Big vs Small bike discussion in "General Bike Related Banter" : http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=135182.20

    I bought the Honda CTX 200 for 35,000 Rand (~£2150, ~€2500). Read the big vs small bike thread for more info on why I decided to go for the CTX. I'm keeping the bike mostly stock but I did visit PistonPete at Outriders and had some 50/50 enduro Mitas tyres put on the bike. I may tweak the back rack slightly to allow my luggage to sit lower.

    I'm taking the bike on a short 2-3000km round trip of the garden route and route 62 as a test to make sure I'm prepared. This is where I shall begin my ride report :

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    Cape Point on my first day heading out with all my gear.
    #1
  2. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I started out from Cape Town and headed to Cape Point (see above pic) where I had 3 ostrich's running just in front of me. They can run! Next if followed the coast on to Onrus camp site. Spent a couple of nights there quite bored to be honest. Saw some whales. meh...

    Onwards to Cape Agulhas to visit the obligatory most southern point of Africa. Was tempted to take the bike right up to the sign but there were a lot of tourists around so I just walked up.

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    I ended up in Swellendam where I spent 4 nights because it rained and I didn't fancy riding in it so I just holed up and got on with some work. Stayed at http://www.swellendambackpackers.co.za/ Nice place and you can camp or dorm bed it and have your bike parked safely round the back of the house next to your tent/dorm.

    Next I headed to Mossel Bay for another obligatory tourist thing of shark cage diving. The sea was rough and I was very sea sick and ended up spewing over the side and feeding the little fish. I still managed to get some photo's and did get a suit on to go in the cage while they dragged a fish head in front of the sharks as they bashed into the cage. I'm not sure how humane it is really as I'm sure I saw some lacerations on the shark's noses possibly from the cage :/

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    After 3 nights I headed up to Oudtshoorn and sat on an Ostrich. Bit weird.

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    Today I drove the Swartberg pass.

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    And then descended into "The Hell" and what a great ride! Really awesome twisty roads and small river crossings. I truly christened the bike and cut my teeth on some good off road terrain. The little CTX really performed well.

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    #2
  3. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    So I left Oudtshorn for http://www.warmwaterbergspa.co.za/ after having it recommended by two separate people. Its really good value for money. I'm paying 200 Rand for a room with a kitchen and I get my own private massive bath with a huge tap for the hot mineral water. So good I decided to stay two nights.

    The power was out so I headed the notorious "Ronnies Sex Shop" for my morning tea.

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    I then backtracked to Ladismith today so that I could ride some of the back (off) roads near the Swartberg mountains. There's a really nice road near Zoar that cuts through. Here's a couple of still's from the video (GoPro2 720p/30fps) I took today :

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    I didn't have time to follow the road all the way round so at this point I turned round and headed for a local bikers place. He kindly gave me some new directions and I took a mostly off road way back to warmwaterberg spa. Thanks mate!

    Really fun day zipping about without luggage.
    #3
  4. Radioman

    Radioman Moto rider

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    Hello TechnomadicJim,

    Was just at Flying Brick today and Chris was telling me about you! Have been riding around southern Africa for a couple months......

    I see you were right next to my sticker on the sign :loll (Jorg pointed out the photo for me)

    Will follow along ! Enjoy the travels!!

    Radioman
    #4
  5. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Southern Africa
    Awesome, thanks man! Yeah I saw your sticker and pondered getting some done of my own :) Really cool to get a message from you. Thanks man you enjoy your travels too. Will follow along yours as well.
    #5
  6. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I'm back in Cape Town until Tuesday to hopefully pick up my TRN so I can get my number plates. Then I'm heading up north to explore the Western Cape and then Namibia. :biggrin:

    I've been going through my video's and pulled out a few more from "The Hell" :

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    This little fellow was frozen as soon as I drove round the corner. There was a second or so when we both just stared at each other. Really cool experience.

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    Crossing through this stream was great fun. I imagine its pretty intense after heavy rains.

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    Taken at the pass near Zoar :

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    #6
  7. kalahari-k

    kalahari-k Kalahari-K

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Looking forward to following your trip - nice pictures.
    #7
  8. Radioman

    Radioman Moto rider

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    Here is my Video from Baviaanskloof Reserve (just after we rode Die Hel)

    <iframe width="860" height="610" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/z03x2b4zW6A?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #8
  9. fabriktr

    fabriktr Build it if you can.

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    This looks good. Great pictures too. I am along for this ride:freaky.
    #9
  10. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Southern Africa
    Still waiting for Honda to sort my number plate out. "Africa Time" again...

    Nice to meet you RadioMan . Here's that pic we took at the waterfront by the giant globe :

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    Hope to see ya at ciederberg this weekend!

    Thanks for your comments. Welcome on board both of you :)
    #10
  11. thecanoeguy

    thecanoeguy just a yobbo from oz

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    good to see its going well , that little honda will be great , i went up through the 3 valleys ,north from cape town and found some brilliant racks , popped out near springbok , have fun
    #11
  12. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Southern Africa
    Got my TRN and registration details that allowed me to finally head towards Namibia. Bit of a mission (4 weeks) for me to sorted but I'm finally on my way north!

    Nice! I'm looking forward to it all. Thanks for your advice by email. Much appreciated.

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    I left Cape Town on Friday and headed to Cerderberg nature reserve for a spit braai at cederberg oasis with some local (wild dog) riders.

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    Went for a really cool ride with some new friends and saw some impressive bushman paintings :

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    Spit Braai! Mmmmmm....

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    My camp :

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    Went exploring round the camp site and found this old bath. Had to get in it of course :

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    The ride out towards Clanwilliam. Nice winding road :

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    Just on the out skirts of Clanwilliam near where I am staying now :

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    #12
  13. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Southern Africa
    Just an update. No pics. I'm not finding too much interesting stuff to see or do the last couple of days.

    From Clanwilliam I decided to head to Elands Bay to get away from the heat. I passed "The Dunes" and thought I would have a gander but dropped the bike on the sand on the way so decided it wasn't such a good idea! I only stayed one night in Elands bay as it seemed like a pretty boring place. I get the impression it is busy at weekends and around holidays. I hit the road the next morning and decided to just drive north until I felt like I had enough which happened to be Garies on the N7. Its a tiny agricultural town. Seems quite friendly here.

    The driving today was 50% road 50% gravel / sand and a good learning curve. My off road riding skills do seem to be improving although I have to admit I nearly lost it a few times when I went from gravel thick sand.

    Before I head into Namibia I'm going to head to Upington to get my 4k service done as its the only Honda dealership between Cape Town and Windhoek. I'm liking the look of Augrabies Falls national park and may drive here tomorrow : http://augrabies.wozaonline.co.za/ Its 415 km's so it would be my longest drive yet. Will see what happens.
    #13
  14. X Banana Boy

    X Banana Boy stuck in the office

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    Lekker, keep it coming.
    #14
  15. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    From Elands bay I just headed north to see where I would end. Garies was where I decided I had done enough km's for the day. I stayed in a nice cheap self catering apartment for 280 rand. The next morning I decided to do the same and drove through Springbok which seemed like a nice place. I would have considered staying there but it was only lunchtime so pushed on. I read about some cathedral at Pella on someone's itinerary and decided to have a look. Pretty cool place. Pella is a very quiet town which some quite spectacular mountains in the background.

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    A local guy told me to just keep driving through to end up at Klein Pella where I knew I could find some accommodation. So I headed off where he pointed and ended up in some spectacular but challenging terrain. Managed to drop the bike in some deep sand. Wasn't going fast so no matter. It quite tough with when you hit that deep sand especially with all my luggage. Fortunately the small bike is nice and easy to pick up again. I ended up doing a bit of a loop for an hour or so and got back on the N14 and headed for Pofadder to try and find a room for the night.

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    Turns out they are building some massive solar farm near Pofadder so lots of contractor's have taken all the rooms. I was advised to carry on to Kakamas. The sun was setting so full throttle and I managed to find a room but ended up paying 400 rand for the night! Ohh well shit happens.

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    So now I'm staying at Augrabies Backpackers which will be my base while I explore the area for a few days.
    #15
  16. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Southern Africa
    Been hanging out in Augrabies the last few days. The backpackers is a nice chilled out biker friendly place to use as a base camp. I have been exploring the local grape farms and getting a few things sorted.

    Yesterday I drove a big loop to Riemvasmaak. There's some great 4x4 off roading to be done in the area.

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    I stopped off at the hot springs (50 rand) and chilled in the water by myself for an hour or so. Its really beautiful down there with two pools to choose from.

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    I got the bike serviced today in Upington. Its been 4000 kms so far. I also picked up a 10 litre fuel can which gives me a total range of around 450km's. Should be enough for Namibia ;) I also got the tracks4africa Namibian paper map as a backup to my GPS.

    I'm hoping to head to the Augrabies falls tomorrow.
    #16
  17. Radioman

    Radioman Moto rider

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    :wave Hello Jim. Was great to see you at Cederberg!

    I will be following along from half way round the world ! By the time your done riding in Namibia you will love sand :evil (maybe not)

    Enjoy your travels!! Ride safe!:deal

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    #17
  18. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    You too Mark! Was a great weekend. I'm starting to get on top of this sand riding. Acceleration and not fearing the wobble is key!

    Take Care and I hope to meet up with you again at some point.

    All the best!
    #18
  19. TechnomadicJim

    TechnomadicJim Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Southern Africa
    Augrabies Falls Gorge walk. Was a crazy hot day to go hiking but the views were very impressive :

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    Two balloons took off at 5:30am from the backpackers. Pretty cool to watch. The wind was up and it was touch and go whether they would make it.

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    Just south of the Namibian border crossing at Onseepkans. You leave the N14 by Pofadder and travel 50 km 's on gravel / sand to get there.

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    I made it across the border. The guys on the South African side were really sound. I was chatting them for about half an hour. I crossed at 2pm and I was their second crossing that day. Somehow I managed to loose my little disc along the way as it was attached to the swing arm. Fortunately the cape town municipality issued me two by mistake :)

    Goodbye for now South Africa! :)

    Hello Namibia!

    After crossing the orange river the Namibian's weren't so friendly and berated me for not quite filling out their form's. I was also asked if I was a spy and asked to explain why I wanted a 2 month visa. The small bike was also criticised as the only bikes I think they see are BMW's or KTM's. After stamping me through and reluctantly giving me change for the bike 140 Nab$ fee the guy came out for a cigarette and completely changed his tune. He was interested in my trip and even wanted to buy the bike from me when I was finished! Random...

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    There hasn't been much tar in Namibia. Its all pretty much like this. I drove to Warmbad and tried to get some accomodation but was told there's nothing as the hot springs has shut down. Pretty much a ghost town! I drove up the C21 to Karasburg and stayed in the Zebra B&B for 250 NAB. It's run by a nice old man who was more than happy to point out places of interest on my map.

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    After Karasberg I drove to the fish river canyon via Grünau where I stopped for a coke and got told a joke about the English leaving Namibia and promising to come back and then they did with land rovers of something. I didn't get it...

    This is my hammock camping setup where I have been for the last 3 nights.

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    Yesterday I went to visit Fish River Canyon via Hobas and parked by the edge of the furthest viewpoint. Very easy to bypass all the barrier's and road blocks with the smaller CTX.

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    Parked on the edge of Fish River Canyon :

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    Namibia is still waiting for it's rains so the river is running almost dry at the moment. This was taken with my Canon from the main viewpoint.

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    Same shot but with the GoPro2 :

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    After the canyon I headed down to Ai Ais camp site / resort for the afternoon and chilled by the pool as a day visitor (20 NAB$). Came across this old bullet ridden truck so had to stop for a photo or two.

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    Pretty cool so far! Off to Lüderitz tomorrow.
    #19
  20. capeklr

    capeklr Been here awhile

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    Namibia is awesome, enjoy your time there.
    #20