Six Africa Twins to Cape Town

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joris van O, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. clax

    clax Been here awhile

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    Cool RR! thanx for sharing...some good information for my upcoming trip. Can I ask why you guys are already concern about the DRC visa when you seemed to be about 5 countries away?? Is it hard to get a visa in one of the neighboring countries to the north??

    thanx and good luck!

    Clay D




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  2. clax

    clax Been here awhile

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    Hey ATS30! Looks like we will be getting to SA about the same time. Where are you from and what bike are you riding??

    cheers,

    Clay D
  3. bajaburro

    bajaburro Ancient Adventurer

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    wonderful trip.enjoyed seeing Africa from a bike.some of the town's look like present day Paris.
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  4. ats30

    ats30 Adventurer

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    Hello Clay

    I`m riding on Ktm 990 ADV. At the moment plan is to spend some 3-4 weeks in SA (incl Lesotho and Swaziland), after that Namibia and up. Hope to meet local offroad community and ride places only locals know ...
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  5. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Yesterday morning I almost had an accident. I was riding on a gravelroad near Sossusvlei, doing about 110km per hour. And there is nothing around so I just had my eyes focused on the road and was concentrating on keeping the bike straight. In the corner of my eye I see this Oryx running. He is crossing the road diagonally and I realize he is heading directly into my path. And this is a big one, about the size of a cow but then running at 60km per hour. The moment I spot him he is already on the road seven meter away and closing in fast. I slam on the brakes, careful to not block the front but the rear is going everywhere. Adrenaline starts pumping and at that time I know I f*cked up. I manage to get it down to 60km per hour and for a moment we are side by side, with about one meter between us but still closing. He is giving it all to cross in front of me, it's a strong muscular animal I can see. At the very last moment he changes direction and that saves me from hitting the ground. Heart rate racing and adrenaline still flowing freely I coast to a stop and curse for a moment. I can only blame myself for it, I was going too fast and didn't pay enough attention to my surroundings. I got away with it this time but it was a good reminder that you always have to be 100% alert when riding.
  6. capeklr

    capeklr Been here awhile

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    I'm glad that you only got a fright.
    Also watch out for sand patches in a smooth gravel road or wash outs.
    Be careful.
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  7. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Thanks for following along! Well, about the DRC visa.. that one is not easy to get. There are only a couple of embassies and most of them demand a lot of things, invitationletter, with a official stamp from Kinshasa on it. And more of those idiotic things. So it is advisable to take any chance you get to apply for one. Otherwise you might get stuck somewhere.

    We met a Basque couple in Togo that did not get their Nigerian visa in Bamako. They were in Lomé for over a month trying to get the visa, even became residents but they got nothing. They could not get it in Benin as well. And they were running short on money, so going back to Bamako for the visa was not an option. They were thinking about canceling the trip and heading back home.

    Yes some countries are easy to get, some you can get at the border but couple of countries (DRC, Angola, etc..) are hard to get and you should use every opportunity you get.
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  8. Coen

    Coen Been here awhile

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    Don't skip the walk in the sesriem canyon! It's nice! And if you have the chance, the Namib Naukluft rest camp is nice (plus good hiking).

    Enjoy!
  9. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    We did not forget! I'm uploading the Namibia photos right now so the adventures are coming soon! I'm a bit behind because we had some long days and not enough 'wifi-time':D

    But from now on I have time to get up to date, because we are in CAPE TOWN!!!

    We rode in yesterday afternoon, needles to say I was pretty hyped when I saw Table mountain in the distance. Maybe even a bit emotional.. it took us three months, 21.000 kilometers over sand, gravel, mud and perfect asphalt, on bikes that are the same age as me.. whoo we are finally there!!
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  10. Mwendo

    Mwendo n00b

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    Welcome to the Fairest Cape in All the World!!!
    How long will you be around?
    I would like to meet up with you guys if you have the time.
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  11. David Lee

    David Lee Adventurer

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    Congratulation Joris, that's some achievement :clap:clap:clap
  12. capeklr

    capeklr Been here awhile

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    Welcome to Cape Town. :thumb

    Will you still be around on Sunday?
  13. Samanjo

    Samanjo Been here awhile

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    Welcome to South Africa.
    I am glad that you had a safe trip.
    Enjoy Cape Town.
  14. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Thank you! I'm flying out 7th of march! So I have two weeks left to enjoy Cape Town and the surrounding landscape. The rest of the guys have their own plans I believe. We're trying to find a place where we can stay for a bit longer but every backpackers is fully booked so we are dragging our stuff around from guesthouse to guesthouse. Hopefully after the weekend we (or I) can check in somewhere a bit longer.


    Thank you! Yes, but it doesn't feel that way, it's just a 3 month ride :D

    Thanks, it's a beautiful city! Really enjoy being here. I will be around somewhere on Sunday, not sure where though.

    Thanks, I too am glad that everyone got here in one piece. Cape Town is so nice, really cool place!
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  15. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    When you enter Namibia there are a couple of obvious changes. The language changes, from Portugese to English/Afrikaans/German and that they still have to figure out that you have to drive on the right (just kidding, but it takes some time getting used to). Also the landscape changes, as if it knows there is a border and adapts to it. Or maybe it is the way the land is cultivated, it is much more flat, and a lot of it is fenced off to keep the cattle in. Funny thing is that the local 'namibian' farmers let their cattle roam freely on and next to the road, were there is fresh and green grass.

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    From the border we rode straight to Etosha national park, where we learned that you can only enter the park with a car. Bummer but kinda logical, there are things there that can kill you.

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    We took the first campsite near the entrance, named Onguma. Bit expensive but you get your own shower/toilet/kitchen on your campingplace, swimmingpool and good restaurant with a watering hole to spot some animals, so not to bad! (It might get a little touristy and less motorcycleisty from here on) We signed up for the morning game drive and were up at 5am to down some breakfast before the tour.

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    Before you take such a tour they always tell tou that there is a chance that you won't see any animals, as they are wild animals. But man.. this tour was great!! First some smaller ones like Springbok, Gazelles, Dik Diks, but then some Giraffes. Pretty big, and very funny when they run, like in slomotion. Zebra's were also plenty available. Our driver spotted some lions in the distance, far away but still cool! They mate about 40 times a day, that's some stamina they got.

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    The park was also very beautiful, there was a lot of rain the last couple of weeks so a lot of flowers and bushes had some pretty colours on them! We saw some black rhinos just foraging in the scrubs. But the best part of the tour where the elephants. We first spotted just one, and he (or maybe she, as they get bigger I think) put up quite a show. At one moment she crossed the road just meters behind the car, stopped, looked at me and flapped her ears a couple of times but then wandered on. I was in the back of the car, separated only by a canvas cover, so if she had charged it would have not ended well. But so nice to see it upclose. A couple of minutes later the whole elephant family shows itself and crosses the road just in front of us. Big ones, followed by little ones, followed by bigger ones again.. Absolutely amazing, such beautiful creatures!

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    Back at the campsite I happily enjoyed a soak in the swimmingpool and booked the evening game drive as well. We went to Etosha to see things so better do it good then. This tour was not in the national park but in a private park owned and maintained by the lodge. So a bit less rules, and less marked roads. We didn't see big animals but plenty of small ones including two cheetahs, these cat-like animals look so friendly but are damn fast when after a kill. It rained for a while on this tour but we had a sundowner while watching the lightning in the distance. Cool tour as well!

    However, it is a sad idea that after 18.000km through Africa the only first 'real' wildlife we saw was in a national park in Namibia. Alright that is partly because we took main roads, and didn't go into the scrubs to find wild animals. But you would expect that at some time during those 18.000km something would cross the road or be feeding on the side of it. Other than cows, dogs, goats, chickens, the odd monkey or critter I have seen nothing. To me that says something about the remaining wildlife in Africa. Their habitat is decreasing rapidly, forest are cut down for wood and palm oil or rubber plantations. And the remaining animals are killed to feed the people. Which I can understand but it is still a sad thing. In the southern parts of Africa there is luckily more wildlife to be found. As my recent Oryx encounter proved :D

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    After two nights in Etosha we headed down south a bit to Africat. There they help, rehabilitate and raise orphaned or tamed cats like lions, cheetahs, leopards etc. and try to set them free again. They have beautiful camping spots, all very neat. We bought some braai-packs and a couple of beers from the restaurant and had a good night on our secluded camping spot on the hill. Again watching the thunder in the distance.

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    The next morning we went on a cheetah search trip. The animals they set free get a small collar to track them. The guide holds the antenna in the air and searches for any 'pings', eventually we track down a female cheetah just lazing about. We walk up to about 15 meters but she doesn't budge, she made a kill recently and has a full stomach for a couple of days. In the background there were some giraffes feeding from the trees. Pretty good way to spend your morning!


    Heading to the cape of good hope today, will be staying in Cape Town backpackers from sunday 'till atleast wednesday. So if anyone has some tips of what to do/see/experience around here shout out! Would be cool to meet some of you guys somewhere.
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  16. Mwendo

    Mwendo n00b

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    Joris, I sent you a PM.
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  17. Squily

    Squily Squily Supporter

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    Outside of game reserves and national parks, game is seen as not belonging to anyone, so a free for all (free feed) if you can get it.

    And there is a certain shortsighted tribal mentality that resents 'rich' people from locking up all the free food and stopping poor people from eating /accessing it.

    Conservation is a long uphill battle in developing countries
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  18. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    From Africat we headed north and then west for a bit to Palmwag and the Skeleton Coast National Park. First a couple hundred kilometers on a straight empty tar road but in Kamanjab our first ever real gravel road started. And I loved it! At first taking it easy but after a couple of minutes I felt like I was flying over it (alright it was only 100km per hour but nevertheless). Even after almost 20.000 kilometers it still was a new experience, feeling the bike moving around at high speed, using the throttle to get it through rough parts and to straighten it out when it got into a nasty wobble, perfect! In corners I would try to let the rear end step out a bit, to get into the real Dakar spirit. It gives you so much more reward to go fast in a straight line on gravel than on black top. But the rest of the guys didn't go that fast so that gave me a lot of time to take photographs.

    And then you notice that Namibia is so beautiful, there is nothing around. Just nature. Oh and Giraffes on the road, but by the time you have parked your bike, take of your gloves and reach for a camera they are long gone.

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    We expected Palmwag to be a real town, but upon arrival there was nothing. Well some shacks, a gate and luckily a fuel station. We rode ten kilometers in each direction but that was really it. However, hidden in a valley there was a super nice lodge. Indicated only by a small sign along the road. We just wanted to get dinner at the restaurant but since we were there we might as well use the rest of the facilities.

    There are a lot of tourists in Namibia, and we speak with a lot of them. They mostly ask if we shipped the bikes by sea or by air to Namibia and it is priceless when we tell them we rode them here. You then get the 'are there roads?' and 'isn't that dangerous?' questions but sometimes we are suprised when someone starts telling about trips they did themself. Riding in Patagonia, cycling half of the world etc.. Maybe it now sounds that I don't like talking to them or feel better but that is definitely not the case, I enjoyed speaking with all of them. Everyone has their own stories and listening to them can teach you a lot!

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    But onwards, to the Skeleton Coast! More gravelroads, more nothing and more beautiful views!! The whole day we only come across a handfull of cars, it is such a vast area. In Torra bay we kinda expected to get a late lunch or early dinner but the only thing there is a campsite that is closed 10 months a year and only opens in December and January. Great. 240 kilometers to Henties Baai, the nearest city. Luckily there was a restaurant at Cape Cross where we had our late lunch. Note to self: take enough water, food and fuel with you in Namibia.

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    We also had a nice flooding to cross at the southern entrance of the park. Bert volunteers to go first, and stalls his bike at the deepest point :D It fires up again but he got pretty wet. I go next and ride through at a steady pace that slings the mud all over me, but let's me reach the other side without problems. All smiles, covered in mud. Perfect!

    In Henties Baai we pitch our tents at a caravanpark and enjoy some beers at the Skubbe bar. Which was filled with local fishermen. Cool place!
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  19. MatthewC

    MatthewC n00b

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    Europe only drives on the right because they let a little Frenchman invade all of them bringing his new ideas like the System International and driving on the wrong side of the road. SI was a good idea. Not sure about the other. Your friends in Indonesia learnt to drive on the left from the Dutch when they were initially colonised before Napoleon. Not sure why America switched. Maybe because the French gave them a statue.:D Americans still mount their horses from the left. I don't think Equine sensibility has much to do with Human politics and so the whole world still mounts horses from the left. I believe a lot of horses wont allow you to approach them from the other side.

    So welcome to South Africa and enjoy riding on the right(correct) side of the road.
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  20. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Let's go back a bit. We were having lunch in Luanda in Angola and I was on the phone with my mom because they had wifi there. Suprise suprise, she told me that she and her friend would be flying into Windhoek the following week. Whoa how cool is that!! Afterwards I learned that they had booked this the moment I left home, so a bit of nifty planning they did.


    They would be staying near Sossusvlei from thursday evening untill saturday morning. We woke up in Henties Baai on thursday, so let's get to Sossusvlei then. We went around Swakop. Some people told us not to bother while others told us it is a nice city. We opted to just get lunch in Walvisbaai.

    Near the harbour there was a small restaurant which served pretty good pasta. While we were enjoying our lunch a man walks in, asking if those bikes outside our ours. Turns out Werner (if I remember right) is also on Advrider and recognized the bikes from pictures he had come across. How cool, was nice meeting you!! We talk bikes and trips for a while and then get back on the road.

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    After Walvisbaai there is a really long but nice piece of nothing all the way to Solitaire. Some nice mountainous bits in there to break the boring long straights. It took us the rest of the day to reach Solitaire. Which is exactly what it pretends to be, a fuelstation, hotel and restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

    Luckily the hotel and accompanying campsite were closed due to renovations. Luckily for me then, 'cause otherwise I would have stayed there. It was already past 6pm, about an hour of daylight left. The other guys had enough for the day and camped around somewhere but I knew that if I would wait a day I might miss out on meeting my mom and her friend that I hadn't seen in over two and a half months. So it was an easy decision, said temporary goodbyes to the guys and pushed on the last 80km to Sossusvlei. I had send a text at noon saying I probably wouldn't make it to them that evening but a couple of minutes after seven I spot the sign of the lodge they are staying and race the last couple hundred meter to the reception.

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    I wanted to suprise them but they had spotted me racing down the road with a big dust cloud trailing me. So we both walked into the reception at the same time. Seeing them there was a pretty good feeling!! Being a real biker a of course didn't show my emotions ;) No.. it felt fantastic to hugh them for a while. We shared stories and had some beers over dinner. Watched the zebras drink at the waterhole at night and looked at the stars and the Milkyway high above us. I was so happy I made that final push, even if it ment overtaking cars in zero visibility and dodging a lone wildebeast on the road. But everyone knows that feeling of riding home after being away for a long time (or to loved ones in this case), you won't stop untill you're there. It's like magnetism.

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    Before sunrise the next day I jumped in the back of their rental car and the three of us went to Sossusvlei. We tried to get into the park before sunrise but by the time the gate opened the sun was already steadily rising on the horizon. Oh well, you can't win them all. We rode the 60km to the parking at the end and hopped on a truck taking us the last bit over a nasty soft sand road to the valley. Some people take this road with their own rentals, and most of them make it but a couple of unlucky drivers got stuck and had to get pulled out.

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    We walked up the dune overseeing 'death valley'. It was such a beautiful moment, sharing it with them, because the views are amazing. Such a beautiful place!! We shared some water, some food, an amazing experience and some stories with a scottish couple and I then walked down the dune into the valley while they went back to find some shade. It gets pretty damn hot here, even in the morning. Maybe that's where the name comes from!

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    The actual Sossusvlei isn't that impressive once you've seen the Death Valley but it is still a nice walk and we saw an Oryx really close by. He was seeking shade under the same trees as we did, which was pretty cool.

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    The other cool place in the park is actually near the entrance. So we drove back the 60km and headed to Sesriem Canyon. The temperature was getting pretty high so it was great to descent into the canyon and cool down a bit. I think its up to 30 meters deep (about 100 feet) at some points.

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    Back at their lodge the wind had picked up and I actually saw my first sandstorm. I think being in the middle of a big one must be a great experience, maybe one day..

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    The next day I said goodbye to my loving company, not really looking forward to leaving but we had our own schedules. It was so good to meet them in this magical place on earth and to be able to share the experience with them, really loved it!!

    I rejoined the guys at a campsite on Sossusvlei and had my Oryx encounter that morning as well, maybe my head was still a bit cloudy. They packed their stuff and together we headed south in the direction of Helmeringshausen.
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