We understand that booking an expedition is a big commitment both financially and in terms of time and preparation. Here are some of the most common questions we are asked before riders book. If you wish to meet with us prior to booking to ask more questions, do not hesitate to contact us
What type of bike do I need?
We recommend that you use a medium to large capacity dual purpose / adventure style bike. We support any make and model. Our Support Crew ride the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro or Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro. We also have lots of experience with the BMW GS range, having previously been a Partner with BMW Motorrad. The most important aspect is that you have a reliable and robust bike that you are comfortable riding and has been fully serviced prior to the start and has new tyres.
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.
You also need to have some experience of riding your motorcycle on unpaved surfaces such as gravel and dirt. Around 20% of the expedition route, particularly in Namibia, uses these types of roads. In addition, if there any roadworks on our route, normally diversions will be on temporary dirt roads.
It remains your responsibility to ensure your motorcycling skills are up to the requirements for this trip. If you need to improve your off road riding skills, attending a training school such as Adventure Bike Training , Triumph Adventure Experience or BMW Off Road Skills is highly recommended.
How does motorcycle freight work?
Included in your expedition price is freight to and from the UK, but no matter where you are based in the world, we can facilitate freight of your motorcycle. Freight outside of the UK may incur additional costs – please ask us for a quote, or you are at liberty to organise your own freight and we will provide you with a price that excludes any motorcycle freight costs.
You must take your motorcycle to the appointed freight depot on the given date. Our freight agent will crate your motorcycle and do all the necessary documents. Your motorcycle will be air freighted to Nairobi, Kenya. At the other end, the GlobeBusters Team facilitate the customs clearance of your motorcycle. All riders should be physically present with us at the cargo depot in Nairobi to collect their bike.
When the trip finishes, you will need to ride your bike to our freight agent, who will sea freight your motorcycle back to the UK, unless you have made alternative arrangements with us.
What about servicing & tyres?
Your motorcycle must arrive having been fully serviced and with new tyres. As this expedition is around 6,000 miles, we do not organise any servicing of your bike en route. Tyre choice is the responsibility of the rider. We will provide tyre recommendations at our pre-departure meetings, but it is normal for us to change to knobbly tyres (such as Continental TKC80) when we reach Namibia. We will pre-plan the purchase of these tyres on your behalf, but the costs of new tyres is your responsibility.
Is it difficult to get fuel?
In certain regions, once en route, we have experienced some fuel shortages. We will warn you in advance of any possible fuel shortages or if there is a route with a key fuel stop, where everyone must fill up with fuel to get to the next destination. It is not necessary to fit any after-market large fuel tank or carry fuel bottles, although some riders chose to do so. Our support vehicle also carries spare fuel for emergencies.
What is the average group size?
Our groups are normally between 8 – 16 riders (some have passengers). Our groups are often very international and whilst the majority of riders come from the UK, we also get riders from USA, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and so on. Groups are predominantly solo male riders, but it is normal for us to have riders with pillions on tour as well.
Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
On every Southern Africa Expedition, we have had other riders successfully complete this ride with a pillion passenger. Your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer, used to long distance riding and riding on unpaved roads. Your passenger must ride the motorcycle each touring day – there is no option to sit in the support vehicle, as it’s primary purpose is for participants who are ill or injured, unless the road conditions are too difficult for a rider and passenger to attempt two-up.
Is there a support vehicle?
All our motorcycle expeditions have a dedicated GlobeBusters Support Vehicle, driven by a GlobeBusters Support Driver. It is capable of carrying two motorcycles and two passengers. Our support vehicles carry a satellite phone, mobile phone, medical bag and spinal board, spare fuel, water, tools, some spare parts, some spare tyres. Our support vehicle provides temporary assistance to you if you have a mechanical problem or have had an accident and are injured or if you are ill.
This is not a luggage vehicle – you must carry your own luggage on your motorcycle. For more information, please see our Support Vehicle section.
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 and hotel information. You can use this to self-navigate. If you prefer to ride with our Expedition Leader, then you can do this. Occasionally we will ask you to ride in a group when we are crossing a border or if there is a security issue.
What documents do I need?
You will need your original documents as follows: Passport, Motorcycle Registration Document (and Title if your country issues one), Driving Licence, International Driving Permits (1949 & 1968). In addition you must have travel/medical insurance and 3rd party motorcycle insurance (where available). Your motorcycle will need a Carnet de Passage. The Carnet de Passage is facilitated by GlobeBusters, using the only UK carnet issuer, but it is an additional cost to you. They cost around £250 each plus an indemnity insurance fee based on the value of your bike, so this can range between £200-£900. If your bike is not UK registered, you must purchase a Carnet de Passage from your the carnet issuer in your own country. We will provide advice to you about this at our pre-expedition meeting.
Do I need visas for travel?
As visa requirements are dependent on your nationality and are complex with constantly changing requirements, we would direct you to a specialist visa agency for advice.
Most nationalities need visas as follows :
- Kenya (an e-visa) – http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html. Cost for single entry is US$51.
- Tanzania (an e-visa) – https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/. Cost for single entry US$50.
- Malawi (an e-visa) – https://www.evisa.gov.mw/Index Single entry / 30 days US$77
- Zambia (an e-visa) – https://eservices.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/#/home Single Entry US$50
- Botswana, Namibia and South Africa generally don’t require visas for EU citizens, USA, Canada
The above information is general information and provided in good faith. It is your responsibility to have the correct visas in place prior to travel.
Are these countries safe?
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) monitors overseas destinations and provides destination travel advice for UK nationals. GlobeBusters monitors the advice from the FCDO and any decisions taken regarding a Tour’s safety and security will use the vast experience of the company’s 16 years of operating as well as the FCDO advice. In the interests of your safety and security, changes may be made to your Tour based on any FCDO warnings given.
We strongly recommend that you read the information about the country you are planning to visit to be fully informed – each country has a summary and general information as well as advice on safety & security, local laws & customs, entry requirements and health, and road conditions.
Due to COVID-19, there continue to be more procedures and paperwork associated with travel. Proof of vaccination status, negative PCR or antigen test certificates pre-departure, on arrival and on return, passenger locator forms are now common for travel through the countries on our itinerary.
If you are not a UK national please make sure you have checked your own country’s travel advice for your destination/s: The US Department of State: http://travel.state.gov Canadian Foreign Affairs: www.voyage.gc.ca Australian Government Travel Advice: www.smartraveller.gov.au NZ Government Travel Advice: www.safetravel.govt.nz.
What will the weather be like?
This ride is timed to coincide with the dry season, with day time temperatures generally between 20 – 35C degrees. As we head into South Africa, it becomes cooler and the possibility of rain will increase. It will also become less humid as we travel south although this will vary with the terrain. You will not experience any freezing temperatures. You can find out more information on temperatures and rainfall on worldclimate.com or www.weatherbase.com.
What about my health when I am abroad?
You need to be physically fit and healthy and also take the necessary health precautions. It is essential for you to consult your doctor or travel clinic for up-to-date medical travel information prior of travel, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. For up-to-date medical advice you may wish to use the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad “MASTA” https://www.masta-travel-health.com/, the NHS website http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx or NaTHNaC https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/.
You will be obliged to disclose any medical condition or medication that you are taking to GlobeBusters in advance and to your Tour Manager at the start of your Tour, for health and safety purposes. We provide you with our Emergency Details Form for this purpose and to collect information about who to contact for you back home in the event of an emergency.
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. Please do not book this trip if this unduly concerns you.
First Aid Training
It is not a requirement to be first aid trained to participate in this expedition. However, we do strongly recommend that you consider doing a motorcycle first aid course. Some sections of this trip are remote and hundreds of miles away from medical treatment. If you, or a rider you are with, are involved in any accident, whilst not riding with or not close to the support team, having first aid skills may make a significant difference to an injured party.
Disease from Mosquitos
In tropical countries, mosquitoes can spread diseases such as dengue, malaria, yellow fever and Zika virus. Whilst travelling there are several simple measures you can take to reduce your risk of infections spread by mosquitoes: wear suitable clothing and cover up at times of day when mosquitoes are active and use insect repellent on exposed skin. You must also seek advice from your medical practitioner about malaria in particular and what malaria prevention tablets they recommend.
All riders and passengers will require a current Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate (or exemption document). This is an entry requirement for several countries en route and you will not be allowed to cross the border without it.
If during the Expedition you become ill, are injured or feel fatigued, it is your responsibility to inform us immediately. We can then decide the most appropriate action for you and the Expedition group.
Travel / Medical Insurance
It is a condition of you travelling with us that you are adequately insured. Your insurance policy must cover you for the costs of any medical expenses, medical treatment or repatriation needed, due to injury or illness on this trip, including those that occur whilst motorcycle touring, either as the rider or a passenger. It is important that your insurance company understands that the MAIN PURPOSE of your trip is motorcycle touring, using your own large capacity cc motorcycle or a rental motorcycle. Your insurance must cover you for the full duration of the trip and for all countries we travel through. You must also select a policy that provides COVID-19 cover.
In addition, we strongly recommend that your insurance policy has cover for loss or damage to your personal belongings, delay at your outward or homeward point of departure, personal liability, overseas legal expenses and cancellation and curtailment.
We also strongly recommend that you take out your travel insurance at the time of paying your deposit for your trip as cover will commence for pre-departure cancellation from the policy issue date. This will therefore provide cover should you have to cancel your trip for an insured reason such as illness or serious injury. We do not refund your deposit simply because you failed to take out insurance in sufficient time.
What about local currency?
The base currency for this trip is the US Dollar. The US Dollar is readily exchangeable for the local currencies. When you bring US Dollars, it must be in MINT condition or locals will not readily exchange the notes. The websites below will give you the current rates of exchange.
We require a minimum number of 8 riders on this tour. If we do not have this number of bookings, then we reserve the right to cancel the tour.