4Corners tour - South Africa

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Hellhound, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Hellhound

    Hellhound Rider

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    4Corners Tour - South Africa

    Orginally, the idea was to take a tour around the borders of South Africa following dirt roads where possible. But due to time constraints, we decided that we will shorten the tour to visit the four outmost corners of South Africa, obviously taking the shortest route between them, taking gravel roads where possible of course. The group consisted of 3 BMW Dakar's, a Honda XR 650 and a BMW 1150 GS Adv.
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    The first day of the tour took us from Pretoria on the Highveld, to the Eastern part of South Africa. We met up with family and friends in Ntendeka, an inland rain forest near Ngome. From the road conditions, we could see that it rained pretty much everywhere. The roads were still wet and muddy in some places.
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    From Ntendeka we did a one day away and back trip to visit the most easternly corner at Kosi Bay. The road changed from rocky gravel to thick sand as we entered the coastal flats.
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    We packed our bags on day 3 for the rest of the trip that will take us to the other three corners before meeting up with family and friends again in the North. The road took us from the Kwazulu-Natal bushveld to the mountains near Lesotho. The day ended in a 50 km dusk ride, with rain bucketing down. Visibilty was poor and stray animals were a constant hazard. The campsite was flooded so we opt to dry out in the local hotel in Ficksburg.
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    It was a crisp and clear day that greeted us on day four, but we soon found out how slippery and muddy the roads have become. Most of the rivers were in flood and we had to take alternative routes. We travelled from Ficksburg to Graaff-Reinet, the terrain changing from rolling mountains and hills to arrid and rocky Karoo plains.
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    Once again, a beautiful day greeted us on day 5, as well as a swarm of very big locust in the first 30 km. Smelled like a braai (barbeque) when roasting on the airhead. Destination for the day was Oudtshoorn. First day on the trip that we actually experienced dust, but you can see that it rained in these dry parts of the world. We had to fit a long distance seat to match the long distance tank the previous night on the XR, because the rider was starting to complain:rofl
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    Day 6, we headed through the dry Karoo for our second point. Cape Agulhas is the most southern destination in Africa. On the way there we met a group of riders on their way to Cape town from Johannesburg.

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    Day 7 was a rest day - sort of. We headed to Stellenbosch the previous night, and spent the day fitting tires and doing repairs at Stellenbosch Bikes. We also tried out future adventure bikes.:lol3

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    Day 8 started out very wet and cold. We took the road north to Ceres, where we joined up with a very long and straight road up past Calvinia to Loeriesfontein. The wind was almost blowing us off our bikes. We reached our destination late the afternoon, just in time to celebrate a rugby match with the locals. Hospitality is not something you see in the bigger cities anymore.
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    We road through some of the most beautiful scenery on day 9 to reach our third poit - Alexander Bay. Situated on the most western point of South Africa, is this daimond mining town.
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    Day 10 must have had the most spectacular scenery, as we made our way through the Richtersveld. A short days riding because everyone was half of the time taking pictures.
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    A long days riding awaited us on day 11, as we headed up to Van Zyl's Rus. We were fondly looking forward to our watering hole :freaky at the local hotel (see Kalahari Desert ride report). We also got a take-away on the way there strapped on the back of one bike:dg( was unfortunately killed when crossing road in darkness in front of bike - nothing goes to waste in these parts of Africa).

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    Disaster!! Day 12 started out good enough, but soon turned into a nightmare when one of the Dakar's was swept along a river in flood. After recovering the bike and rider, the bike had to be drained as water filled up everything from exhaust to air intake. A couple of hours later the bike started up but we could see that the water bypassed the rings and contaminated the oil. Fortunately we found a small shop in the middle of nowhere that had oil and we did an oil change. We covered about 150 KM instead of our average 500 km, but fortunately we came upon an unforgettable place where we could stay - and not too mention the excellent hospitality!! www.soetvlakte.co.za
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    We headed up north to Thabazimbi on day 13. A long days riding, plus we had a hard time getting a place to camp because of the local festival, but fortunately no incidents. It was becoming more like real Africa again.:D

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    Day 14 - We made for the last and most northenly and last point of our tour, which is next to the Limpopo river near Musina. We are now truly back into the bush of Africa, with communities and their stray animals scattered everywhere. [​IMG]

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    The way home - After 7200 km of mostly gravel riding, we return home. South Africa must be one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. Already we are looking forward to our next trip!:D

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    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Looks great... :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. CBejbl

    CBejbl Long timer

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    Look forward to seeing more pics. I was in SA in February and rode a 12GS from Cape Town to Joburg. 2 weeks of great riding and scenery. A truly beautiful country!
    #3
  4. Hellhound

    Hellhound Rider

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    Rest of the pictures and report now added.
    #4
  5. kejago

    kejago Kev. Haute Savoie, France

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    Nice one boys! :thumbup
    #5
  6. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

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    Great report!!
    #6
  7. X Banana Boy

    X Banana Boy Long timer

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    Lovely report okes. Lekker bokkie in the last pic. :evil
    #7
  8. wagonpilot

    wagonpilot Freeeeze

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    I don't know what that means... But I know what you mean!:wink:
    #8
  9. CBejbl

    CBejbl Long timer

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    Uhmmmm.....nice photographer on the right side of the last pic! :wink:
    #9
  10. scottr

    scottr Banned

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    Need more pics. :lurk:norton
    #10
  11. Uzay

    Uzay Adventure Dreamer

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    Yeah more pics needed, what about the wild life?
    #11
  12. mistercindy

    mistercindy In a state of equilibrium

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    Wonderful! I lived in Johannesburg in 1984-85 and I sure wish that I had done some motorcycle touring. That country is made for motorcycles.
    #12
  13. Hellhound

    Hellhound Rider

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    More pictures added
    #13
  14. Joyseeker

    Joyseeker a biking sweetie

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    any pics of you guys cooking this? :clap
    #14
  15. Colemanfu

    Colemanfu King of all manfu

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    Great pix - SA looks great. I plan to visit during World Cup 2010. Have to find a way to check out some of those places.
    #15
  16. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    spectacular - nice job there fellas
    #16
  17. Watty

    Watty Guest

    Moerse lekker trip! Pity you could not find the time to make a detour via the Eastern Cape and travel one of the best adventure rides, namely the Baviaanskloof.
    Next time perhaps?
    #17