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Huge blue skies, gravel roads into endless horizons, spectacular desert, remote game lodges, classic dune-scapes, a harsh but beautiful coastline and the shimmering salt pan and waterholes of Etosha National Park. This is an incredible route through one of the world’s least populated regions. You may see a giraffe cross your path, you’ll look over the world’s second largest canyon, you’ll blast alongside the Orange River, enjoy grilled meats cooked on local braai (BBQ) and as the Namibia motorcycle tour crosses to South Africa, you’ll head to one of the top’s top wine producing regions, Stellenbosch, before stopping at the southern most tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas and a final great night out on the waterfront in Cape Town.
This ride gives you the opportunity to join the final stage of our Southern Africa Expedition. So if you love the wilderness, the feeling of just you and the road, and find gravel roads the perfect “off the beaten track” adventure, then this is the ride for you!
At a glance
This is a 18 day, 17 night itinerary, with around 45% gravel roads. It starts in Windhoek, Namibia and ends in Cape Town, South Africa.
This is a 18 day adventure tour and covers around 2,500 miles. Please note that approximately 45% of the route is on gravel roads and so you must have some experience of riding gravel roads before you come on the tour. The start point is Windhoek, Namibia and the finish point is Cape Town, South Africa.
Day 1 & 2 – Windhoek
Arrive into Windhoek no later than 2pm. Collect your motorcycle and have a group evening dinner. You have a day to relax and sight see in Windhoek. (There is the option to commence our ride north early to stay at a small village en route).
Day 3 & 4 – Etosha National Park (330 miles)
Leave the capital behind and ride north to the edge of Etosha National Park. Have a day off to enjoy an morning game drive out on to the famous Etosha Pan. You’ll see giraffe, elephant and many more. Our hotel has a great veranda overlooking a waterhole. A perfect place at sunset to watch for more animals and have a cold beer.
Day 5 – Month Etjo (210 miles)
Plenty of gravel tracks today! Ride through the highlands, plateaus, escarpments and follow the tracks of a dinosaur.
Day 6 Swakopmund (201 miles)
More gravel roads to the Brandberg Massif. Reach the Skeleton Coast and enjoy the cool ocean breezes, then ride the salt road south to “Little Germany” – Swakopmund.
Day 7 & 8 – Sossuvlei (224 miles)
Vast open landscapes and gravel roads to the famous sand dunes of Sossuvlei. A day off to take a 4×4 jeep tour deep into the dunes and climb famous deep orange Dune 45.
Day 9 – Aus (170 miles)
It’s all gravel roads today and watch out for some pockets of sand. Stop at Duwisib Castle. Aus is a small village on the edge of the Namib Desert, famous for the wild desert horses.
Day 10 – Ai Ais Springs (210 miles)
Lets get an early start to give us time to enjoy the Richtersveld National Park and the Orange River and then the stunning views of Fish River Canyon, the worlds second largest!
Day 11 – Upington (249 miles)
Border crossing into South Africa. It’s the final throws of the wild flower season in Namaqualand.
Day 12 – Calvinia (257 miles)
South across the Orange River and the small town of Calvinia.
Day 13 & 14 – Stellenbosch (232 miles)
Head through the Cederberg Wilderness. Great dirt road across the Kipfonteinrant Pass. Take a break in Clanwilliam and take the dirt road south to Citrusdal. Then the great Michel’s Pass and Bains Kloof Pass en route to the heartland of South Africa’s wine region. Two nights in an historic mansion hotel and a day off to enjoy a tour of the many vineyards and go wine tasting or just relax.
Day 15 – Cape Agulhas (124 miles)
A milestone! The most southern point in the African Continent.
Day 16 – Cape Town (235 miles)
We divert to the Cape of Good Hope and take the fabulous Chapman’s Peak Drive into Cape Town. Our hotel is adjacent to the V&A Waterfront. Return the bikes to the rental agency.
Day 17 – Cape Town.
You have a day off. You can take an optional tour to Robben Island or take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. Group Evening Group Meal at a great Waterfront Restaurant to celebrate.
Day 18 – Cape Town to Home
Transfer to the airport and flight back home.
Riders are often surprised at the high quality of the accommodation on this trip. We stay primarily in 4* hotels and game lodges, of high standards, with en suite bathrooms. In remote locations, rooms do not have televisions and there may not be internet access or it is slow speed. In one or two small towns, the accommodation is more simple, but still with en suite bathrooms.
You have the benefit of booking with a UK tour operator who has in place Financial Payment Protection Insurance with Towergate Stevens & Chapman, so that your money paid to us in advance is protected in accordance with The Package Travel Regulations 1992.
Before you go
When you book a tour with us, we provide you with Tour Specific Guidance Notes that give you detailed information about what you need to know to prepare and plan your tour, and what to expect when on tour. Here are some of the questions that we often get asked before a rider makes a booking. If you wish to meet with us prior to booking to ask more questions, do not hesitate to contact us
What riding experience do I need?
This trip is not suitable for novice riders. We generally recommend that you are an experienced motorcyclist, who has ridden overseas before and is used to touring. You will enjoy the experience more if your riding is of an advanced standard and by that we mean you have a good command of slow control (ieg you don’t dangle your feet or paddle at slow speeds and can U-turn your bike), you are assertive on the road and have good forward planning and hazard perception, you are able to perform safe and precise overtakes and are able ride to the legal speed limits. In addition, please note that 45% of the route is on gravel roads and so you must have some experience of riding gravel roads before you come on the tour. If it has been a while since you have ridden off road, we recommend you do a training course. Please see Adventure Bike Training or Off Road Skills.
Do I have to ride in a group?
No! We do not make you ride in convoy. We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride. We give you a road book, GPS co-ordinates, a highlighted map and hotel information. You can use this to self-navigate. If you prefer to ride with our Motorcycle Leader, then you can do this.
What is the average group size?
Our groups are normally between 8 – 12 riders (some riders will have passengers).
Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
We have had other riders successfully complete this ride with a pillion passenger. Your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer.
Is there a support vehicle?
Yes, this tour operates with a local support vehicle and driver. The support vehicle will carry one piece of luggage per person, up to a maximum of 60 litres each. Your luggage should be dustproof and waterproof and we recommend soft bags such as Ortlieb. Hard suitcases or baggage with wheels are not recommended.
Tell me about motorcycle rental
We organise your motorcycle rental with our approved local rental agency, in accordance with your selection. Your rental includes your motorcycle, equipped with side panniers. Further accessories are available at an additional charge. Your rental covers unlimited mileage and the insurance is third party liability with CDW, up to an excess of £1,500. On arrival, you are required to sign the local rental agency terms and conditions of hire – please request these, if you require sight in advance. You will also have to leave a credit card as a guarantee against damages. We advise you to check your rental motorcycle carefully and to take photographs on any pre-existing damage when you collect it.
Please note that on rare occasions we may need to substitute you choice of motorcycle for something similar.
What documents do I need?
You will need your original documents as follows: Passport, Driving Licence, International Driving Permit.
What about flights?
You must book your own passenger flights to Windhoek and from Cape Town. Do not book your flights until we confirm that your tour is a guaranteed departure. When we do give you confirmation, please make sure that your flight arrives in Windhoek before 2pm on the first official day and you can fly home from Cape Town at any time on the final official day. We will pick you up from the airport, provided you arrive on the official start date. We drop you off at the airport, provided you leave on the official end day.
What will the weather be like?
Namibia will also be dry and hot, with temperatures up to 30C degrees. As we travel south, the weather becomes cooler. In Cape Town, it will be more like what you get in a Northern Hemiphere spring time, and possiby light showers and temperatures of 18C – 22C debgrees.
At time of writing, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most EU Citizens do not need any visas in advance for travel. This information is provided in good faith. It is your responsibility to have the correct visas in place prior to travel. Please check what requirements are necessary for your nationality.
Travel Health / Medical
It is a condition of your travel with us that you have in place travel / medical insurance to cover you for medical treatment and repatriation if you suffer any illness or injury when on the expedition, including any injury sustained from riding or being a passenger on a motorcycle.
Before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit your GP or a specialised travel clinic to get advice on the recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures needed for the countries on this trip. As background, the websites listed below may prove useful.
Please note that many countries on this route do not have the same level of medical infrastructure nor consistent medical standards that you may be used to. In particular, emergency services often may be a long distance away, with no co-ordinated response, or sometimes no medical response available within reasonable times.
Namibia uses the Namibian Dollar. South Africa uses the Rand. The Namibian Dollar is pegged to the South Africa Rand. You can spend Rand in Namibia, but you cannot spend Namibian Dollar in South Africa. You can readily exchange US Dollars, Euros and Pounds Sterling. The websites below will give you the current rates of exchange.