Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Xpat, May 1, 2019.

  1. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Introduction

    Simpson desert is probably the most iconic dual sport ride in Australia, crossing the biggest parallel sand dunes desert in the world - at least that is what my google-fu says. Depending on track the ride is about 550 to 700 km long.

    The rest of Australia - at least from what I have seen on interweb - cannot match the riding we have available here in Southern Africa. But then all I have ridden in Oz is tar road from Sydney up to Blue mountains on GSXR1000 and riding 180hp bike up the most speed trapped road on the planet patrolled by one of the most overzealous police force and pegged mostly to 60 - 80 kmh is a true mystical experience, as by the end of it one is hallucinating from excruciating frustration. But that Simpson desert kept me awake a night or few, slurping up whatever youtube videos of its crossing I could find.

    Here few images of Simpson desert I stole from interweb:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    So over the years I have kept my eyes open for something similar down here (I should probably say up here as I think we may be above Australia actually). Now there are candidates here that can probably at least to an extent match Simpson desert - the most obvious being Kalahari and Namib desert, but most of them are off limits for riding due to being on private property or part of protected areas off-limit to bikes.

    But eventually I stumbled upon south-west Botswana and my focus shifted there. It started many years ago when I was trying to figure out interesting dirt worthy route from CT back to Joburg. I just happened to read something about annual Desert run going from Kuruman to Swakopmund, initially following the Molopo river along the Bots border. They even had a ‘red’ route (that is the one following the Molopo riverbed), so I thought what a heck, rode up to Molopo lodge and took the Molopo track next day east. It turned out to be massive disappointment - basically riding in very shallow dull riverbed along the Bots border fence and most of the time within 70 meters from perfectly good tar road on the Botswanian side. In other words, it was like riding 200 km on a tar road shoulder - not sure why that was deemed to be ‘red’ by Desert run organizers by any stretch of imagination.

    To add insult to injury, the boring riverbed was running in a valley of beautiful Kalahari red dunes for most of the ride - but those were off limit as the ones to the south were on private property, and the ones about 100 meter to the north in a different country. But I filed away image of those dunes in my brain.

    That image got triggered few years later when one of the inmates here said something to an effect that there is ‘no good riding around Kathu’. WTF, I thought as Kathu is right in the middle of Kalahari, cranked up my google satellite images and sure enough struck gold straight away. I knew there was no point looking at South African side due to private property. But I also knew that Botswana - one of the last outposts of freedom in this increasingly incorporated world - with its predominantly public land is my better chance. And sure enough, what I found on those images looked very promising. Here some random examples:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    What was seen couldn't be unseen and within a month I was heading there. The problem was the 690 with rally kit was way too heavy for proper exploration in unknown territory and I ended up failing miserably (that failure is documented here: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=211633.0). On the positive side, the failure gave me the final push to get real dual sport bike - enter KTM 500 - as the big bikes became liability way too quickly while exploring unknown and potentially risky territory.

    Well, I had to go back. So, when my plan to go ride Lesotho with few mates over Easter fell through mostly because last minute they opted for more exciting stuff (plumbing - heya Tony), I immediately switched my attention to Bots and after day or two of plotting whatever tracks I could see on the satellite images, I was ready.

    And boy, have I struck gold! How comes nobody rides there is just incomprehensible to me. This place is just magic and as far as I’m concerned easily matches the best riding places in Southern Africa like Kaokoland or Makgadikgadi. Yes it cannot match the size of Simpson desert - it is about 250 km across from Bokspits to Tsabong. But - unlike Simpson which I think is a park and one has to stick to tracks), you can ride wherever you want, i.e. completely off-piste (as long as you stay out of Kgalagadi NP to the north of course). So you can zig zag all over the place and I have done over 750 km of proper sand riding in three days of riding.

    On another note it rates favourably to Simpson at least on my ‘adventure’ scale in one aspect: ever since Crocodile Dundee, Australians cannot stop talking about what dangerous animals one can bump into down there. Now, while I think their Salties are marginally bigger than our Nile-iis, I’m not sure what else are they referring to. Are those jumping goats they have poisonous, or have electric tail? Or are those stoned tree teddy bears masters of death touch? Really not sure.

    What I do know though, is that there are stray cats running all over our version of Simpson as the Kgalagadi park is right to the north and of course there are no fences around Bots parks. So one may come over the dune and be greeted by something like this:


    [​IMG]


    In my deranged mind I actually hoped to bump into one or few of these.

    The location of the treasure:


    [​IMG]


    And few teasers to whet the appetite:


    #1
    FishHunt and Saso like this.
  2. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Commute Midrand to VanZylsrus


    Annoyingly I was feeling under weather for about week with some kind of bronchitis or something that wasn’t letting go, so I self medicated with some probably expired antibiotics I saved up in one of my prior brushes with death, packed up and set-off in bakkie day before Easter holidays heading for Van Zylsrus. I have made it only to Kuruman by the time it got dark, and still feeling sick decided to sleep over and get to start next day.

    Next day I was feeling even worse, so I decided to move over to Van Zylsrus, take a rest day there (rest day even before I started - pathetic!), get all mybike luggage sorted and ready for departure the following day, as at home I just threw anything that I might possibly use into the car with the plan to sort out the real stuff at Van Zylsrus. I also got two Coke bottles to carry spare petrol as petrol availability is a problem in parts where I was heading. The only reliable petrol is in Tsabong, which I wasn’t going to get to until day 2 or 3 and I was hoping that I may be allowed to Two River camp in Kgalagadi to refill. If not I would have to jump the border and fill up in Molopo lodge, as Bokspits is completely dry.

    I spent lazy day in Van Zylsrus picturesque hotel and finally felt that the bacteria or virus or whatever was eating me from inside is starting to lose against the Indian generic antibiotics - a good omen for next day.

    No pretty pictures of N14 unfortunatelly :biggrin:
    #2
  3. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Day 1 - Middelpits - Two Rivers - Molopo Lodge
    (240km, 180 km of sand)

    I woke up feeling better and finally fully keen to hit the desert. During the night there was a heavy storm, which I took as a good sign as the sand would be compacted and easier to ride.

    I settled the bill, jumped into the car and drove 30 or so km to Middelputs border post, where I arrived just as they opened for business at about 7:30 am. I crossed the border without too much hassle and drove into the Middleputs town looking for the police station which I found after an enquiry or two. Police chief kindly agreed that I can leave my car there for the next few days and I parked under awning in the fenced police parking lot. The reason I took the car into Bots was the lack of petrol available in the area west of Tsabong (if you get lucky you might get petrol in Middelputs - but it's not guaranteed, so I decided to leave my car with two ful jerry cans positioned roughly in the center of my area of interest, which gave me convenient temporary base for the exploration.

    Cops helped me to unload the bike and I geared up and set-off. I was quite chuffed with my progress so far as it was still before 9:00 am, and in all mu chuffness forgot to take my bike documents, which I realized withing first 10 km just as I was to turn off tar and into dunes. Grudgingly I turned back - I needed the papers with me in case I may need to cross back to SA to get petrol in Askham or Two Rivers - gunned it back, grabed the papers and was on my way again about 20 minutes later.

    The objective for the day was Two Rivers, which is a big camp at the entrance of the Kgalagadi NP, about 180 - 200 km away over the dunes. The camp is part of the NP so off limits to bikes, but I hoped to be able to sweet talk my way in for an overnight, and more importantly to fill up at the petrol station they have there. It was a long shot, but worth a try.

    Here is the route I ended up riding - the blue line in the map:


    [​IMG]


    Here is it again on satellite image:


    [​IMG]


    First 10 - 15 km from Middelpits was on tar until I came to village named Khuis, where I turned off tar and onto a dirt road, that very quickly morphed into sandy double track. I settled very quickly into the swing of things and cruised comfortably heading west. The track run across low dunes and flat plains, and the sandy landscape alternated between light red and yellow/white, with scrub bush providing spatterings of green:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    About 20 km in I came upon cattle post, which I diligently marked in my GPS for an emergency - the guy there had water available. For some reason all the cattle posts I found were situated on big sandy plains - I suspect that for some reason that is where the water is easily available.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #3
    Tinker07, LC8TY, Saso and 1 other person like this.
  4. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    At the cattle post I have to decide on direction. When I plotted the routes I could only see track running north from the post eventually taking me to Khawa, which is a village in the center of this area. I have been to Khawa before and was going to ride through it next day, so for now I was keen to rather push west. I couldn't see any track heading west on the sattelite images - most of the tracks here head north/south, because the dunes are situated in the north/south direction and the tracks usually run in the valleys between the dunes. But I knew that sooner or later I will hit one of the north-south tracks I have seen further west, and suspected that there is double track going that way anyway.

    You see, this satellite image plotting business is not that straighforward. On some colour of the sand - lide deep red - it is very easy to follow the tracks, while lighter sand hides them really well and one has to more or less just intuit them. On top of it some of the areas have very high level of resoltion while all of a sudden the adjacent tile is very low definition. Here two examples - first of highly visible track in red sand (which actually wasn't there when I arrived there next day :)), and second of contrast between high definition and low definition tiles in the images:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Anyway, I decided to push west off-piste if necessary. And while I floated over the plains free form for first few km, sure enough eventually I bumped into double track heading west and took it for another 10 - 15 km until I hit the north/south track I wanted to connect to:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Eventually I came upon the path I was after and turned north. Further north the dunes gradually grew with vegetation became more sparse and the sand more pronounced. It was amazing how the scenery changed every few kilometers:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    The riding was just sublime, I was smiling like the happy idiot I was all the way:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. FishHunt

    FishHunt slow poking...

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,860
    Location:
    Randolph N.C.
    Nice views. Thanks for sharing.

    <>< Fish
    #6
  7. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    The dune sections were alternating with flat areas where I often went bundu bashing just for the heck of it. It was great fun except for one thing - the dugouts, some of which would easily swallow whole wheel. Especially in vegetation these weren't easy to spot and I had to gas it through one or two just to make it to the other side with clenched butt-cheeks.

    Here is an example of porcupine dugout waiting in hiding to break my leg:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #7
    bomose likes this.
  8. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    When the track I was turned decisively north east towards Khawa, I just turned left and sailed across increasingly higher waves of dunes off-piste for the next 20 or so km. The freedom of riding this place gives you is unparalleled anywhere I know of. Yes, one can ride freely in Lesotho as well, but the terrain there will very quickly limit one to very few options, which is fun in its own way as one has to solve the puzzle of terrain to get wherever he wants to go.

    Here, one can ride in whichever direction he wants, without any limitation (apart from strategically concealed hyena dugout of course 8).

    The off-piste dune section:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After dozen or few dozen km of that I have arrived at yet another completely different set of dunes and at that point connected to the main track between Khawa and Two Rivers. There was another cattle post with water there, where I greeted the two herboys there and marked the spot in GPS to know where to head to should I run into trouble.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #8
    FishHunt, sages and Suncoaster like this.
  9. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    By now it was getting afternoony and I still had about 40 km of dunes to navigate to Two Rivers. I didn't know when they close the gate, but judging by other border posts (the entrance to Kgalagadi NP is also a border post), I suspected they may close at 16:00. So I jumped on the main track and pushed on to make it there before that time.

    I knew I am being somewhat stupid and should have rather ease up as by now I was nursing proper headache from dehydration and heat. It was pretty hot and I was riding apart from few photo stops more or les nonstop since 9:00 am. Since then I have done about 140 km of sand and dunes and - because 500 made it deceiptively easy - I stupidly drank probably less than liter of water (I was carrying about 7 liters). I know dehydration when I feel one, and I knew I am being stupid, but I was keen to get to Two Rivers before the gate closes so after few gulps from my camel bag I just pushed on.

    The rest of the track sailed up and down sets of paralled dunes all the way to the Two Rivers - the more west I got the more reddish tint they became:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Few km shy of Two Rivers I came upon my first fence and gate. I found gate in 180 km of sand and dunes an acceptable score, though of course I would have prefered not to find one at all.

    I have made it to the gate at about 5 to 4pm. My original plan was the following: the top priority (minimum) was to talk them into letting me in to fill-up my bike at the camp petrol station. Second priority was to talk them into letting me sleep in their campsite, as that way I would also have access to the restaurant in the camp - bingo. If I could get petrol and but not be let to camp there, I was to backtrack into the dunes and bushcamp.

    Hasty enquiry at the reception desk confirmed what I expected - the campsite was full, so no go. They wouldn't let me go on the bike to the petrol station either, but they offered that if I have a jerry can of a kind I can walk there to get petrol. I didn't - I took one of the Coke bottles with petrol in the morning as spare, but it fell off somewhere in the dunes. Plus, it would take quite a few trips there and back with 2 liter bottle to fill up my bike. No bueno.

    My head was killing me by know, so I went into full autopilot mode - i.e. my inner gastro tourist took over. He argued that without petrol I'm toast anyway as I wouldn't risk trying to get over dunes back to my car and possibly running out, so the only option was to jump across the border and ride down to Molopo lodge, where they had petrol. Of course there was another option - backtrack to Struisedam about 20 km south, buy some bottles there (or even better, just buy bottles at the camp), fill-up and go sleep in dunes as planned originally. But there was one massive problem with that plan - no medium rare steak to be had this side of the border. I eat only once a day in the evening, but then I have to eat properly and while I came prepared with variety of possibly expired cans (as I have been carrying the same cans for past 2 years or so) in my bags, I felt that it may not fully satisfy the gastro tourist after 180 km of sand.

    In other words, I went full tourist retard mode, thrown away any adventurer/outdoorsman pretenses and begged them to let me through the border, which they were about to close. Nice people they were they obliged and at about 16:05 I have made it across the border and after short break I rode remaining 50 km of tar south to Molopo lodge, where they were out of petrol. But not out of steak, so I booked into an A frame challet and rushed into the restuarant for a 4 course dinner of variety of meats and cold beverages. Petrol will have to wait till morning - I knew there is petrol station in Askham about 15 km away, so that should take care of that.

    Molopo lodge ground:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #9
    kiwial and mbanzi like this.
  10. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Day 2 - Molopo lodge


    Plan for the day was to get petrol in Askham early in the morning, cross the border at Bokspits as soon as they open at 7:30 and then hit the dunes this time starting near Bokspits and making it through Khawa all the way to Tsabong about 250 km away.

    It didn't work out. I didn't manage to sleep much because of that headache and - worse - because of swarms of mosquitos in the challet. In my minimalistic packing I forgot to take the insect repelent stick and the buzzing around my head ensured that I got at max 3 hours of sleep. In the morning I felt pretty raw and decided that I wasn't in the shape to take on 250 km of lion infested sand. So a rest day it was - at the end of the day I was right at the source of the high quality meat and cold drinks.

    I have managed at least to go to Askham and fill up so that next day I would be ready to hit the road right away.

    Throughout the day there were big clouds and storms passing by making for some nice scenery:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #10
    kiwial, mbanzi, sages and 1 other person like this.
  11. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Day 3 - Molopo lodge to Khawa to Middelputs (291km, 5 km tar, 35 km dirt road, rest sand)


    This time I wised-up, got Tabbard insect spray at reception and the used almost all of it to spray my chalet inside out before I went to bed. It worked and I slept like a baby through the night. In the morning I settled, packed up and set-off. I have made it to the border post at Bokspits about 4 km away just as they opened for business at 7:30 and as the only customer made it through without a glitch.

    The plan for the day was to hit the dunes just north of Bokspits, free-ride over the dunes north east to Khawa about 130 km away and from there continue east for the sleepover in Tsabong. The first bit to Khawa I felt confident about, but I wasn't sure whether I will be able to make it to Tsabong, as I was told tha there are few ranches somewhere west of Tsabong, with fences, so I didn't know if I will be able to find my way around those (I didn't have a clue where those ranches are).


    [​IMG]


    I was particularly keen on the initial dune section starting just above Bokspits as I knew from satellite images, that this is the home of the big rolling red dunes. Further east the dunes recede gradually a bit and became lighter in color. Further west and north the real red dune sea starts, but that is unfortunatelly on private land in SA or in Kgalagadi NP. So this was as good as it was going to get.

    I was worried a bit about the weather as the forecast expected storms around the area and indeed there were clouds covering the sky for most of the day. But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it kept temperature in check (actually riding in T-shirt, body armor and Leatt jacket, I was quite cold for most of the day and drank again probably less than liter of water, and yet didn't suffer and heatstroky/dehudration symptoms), and the rain ahead of me compacted the sand nicely which made for great and easy progress over the dunes.

    The coulds and sand made also for some stunning scenery and I have way too many pictures for this day. Yes, I have selected the best ones, but there are still too many so you will have to deal with it 8).

    Here we go: from Bokspits I have taken dirt road north heading to Two Rivers on Bots side of the border. The landscape looked very promising:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After 15 km I came upon turn off to a track that I plotted at home. There was actually an end of fenced off area, but no track to be seen. So I just turned East and followed roughly the fence free riding (rather sailing) across the undulating deep red sand sea of dunes. The dunes were running mostly in the north-south direction so I was hitting the mostly straight on as any sailor worth his salt would.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #11
    kiwial and mbanzi like this.
  12. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    The fenced area eventually ended after few km and I just continued free-style east. The track I have plotted seemed to be long gone. Almost each valley though had track following the valley in the north-south direction, so should I get into trouble it would be easy just to turn south and make it to the tar road running to the south along Molopo river from Bokspits to Middleputs and Tsabong. But there was no need. I was flying and this was the best riding I had done in a very long time.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I was free-riding in whatever direction the vegetation opened up best without a care in the world, except for this one:


    [​IMG]


    And onwards East I flew:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I made it up all the dunes without a glitch, until this one, where I had to dodge and grass knoll and didn't make it all the way. But nothing that another try wouldn't sort out:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After about 20 km of this pure nirvana, I have came upon the track I wanted to join heading up one of the dune valleys and turned north:


    [​IMG]
    #12
    kiwial and mbanzi like this.
  13. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Soon after I turned north, the scenery changed once again. It was still heaps of sand, but this time of much more orangy hue. No idea why there are so many different varieties/colors of sand in this relatively small area, but they make for very scenic riding for sure.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    There were lots of horses running around. Initially I though I bumped into one of the last herds of wild mustangs, but no - they were just early sign of a nearby cattle post:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After km or two I came upon quite sizeable post - it even has a name in T4A - Drieboom. I marked it on GPS as another source of water and then rode up to the huts with about 10 locals sitting around for a bit of chit chat. Surprisingly most of them spoke very good English and I enquired about the track to Khawa and such. After short exchange I bode my farewell and was on my way again:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After another dozen or so km I came upon yet another unique set of dunes and stopped for few pics. The colorful sand in combination with low clouds provided for some delicious scenery (yes I know, I'm repeating myself - get used to it, it's going to get worse):


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After that the track turned more north east and I was yet again going mostly across the dunes, instead of following the valleys:


    [​IMG]


    The rain - or rather the electric storm - ahead made me a bit nervous, but it seemed to be moving away so I pushed on keeping and eye on it. It was actually blessing, as the rain was keeping the sand wet and heavy, making for much easier progress:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #13
    mbanzi likes this.
  14. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    630
    Location:
    San Diego & Stanley, ID
    Wow! What fantastic riding. Love that terrain, and the damp sand was frosting on the cake!

    What MY is your 500? It looks like you set it up well.
    #14
  15. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    This path took me to yet another set of spectacular dunes:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    At these dunes I re-connected the the main east-west path running from Khawa to Two Rivers/Stuizedam, which I have rode yesterday in the oposite direction. I turned east and pushed on towards Khawa:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After another couple of dozen km I arrived at the cattle post where I have connected to this trail two days ago, that time coming from Middelputs in the south east:


    [​IMG]
    #15
    mbanzi likes this.
  16. Xpat

    Xpat Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Thanks :thumb

    My 500 is 2016. Had it lowered for technical riding (rocks) a bit, sprung and valved correctly and got couple of aftermarket tanks. Apart from that I just swap sprockets for open desert and heavy tech riding, and all is good.:super
    #16
  17. 340hp

    340hp Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Desert Beach SoCal
    Great photos. Great dead reckoning too.

    It reminds me of riding in parts of the California desert and Baja after a good overnight rain (except with red dirt and less rocks), and quite different than northern Botswana.
    #17
  18. IndianRider

    IndianRider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    SF, California area (San Ramon & Castro Valley)
    Fantastic ride report. Very fortunate to have visited Johannesburg and the pilaanesburg park area / rustenburg during the football World Cup in 2012
    #18