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The beauty of Africa is seemingly never-ending. With our southern Africa motorcycle tour, you’ll ride to the Equator, traverse the width of Africa from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and reach the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas. With all its frustrations, “This is Africa!”, natural wonders, wildlife and tribes.
Amidst the emptiness of the Skeleton Coast, the thunder of Victoria Falls, the roar from the National Parks, the scent of Zanzibar spices or playing football on the shores of Lake Malawi, African roads will be as unpredictable, inspiring and challenging as African life itself. It is a continent of huge contrasts; the expansive moonscape plains of the Kalahari, the tiny cells of Robben Island; from Kenyan lions to whale spotting and South African penguins; Africa has it all and so much more.
At a glance
Here are just some of the incredible experiences you will have on this southern Africa motorcycle tour:
View Southern Africa in a larger map
This is a 36 day expedition and covers around 6,500 miles. The start point is Nairobi, Kenya and the finish point is Cape Town, South Africa.
Week 1 – Kenya & Tanzania
Collect the bikes in Nairobi. Cross into Tanzania. Karatu. Ngorongoro Crater. Arusha & Kilimanjaro.
Week 2 – Tanzania & Malawi
Dar es Salaam. The Spice Island of Zanzibar. Mikumi National Park. Iringa. Mbeya. Cross into Malawi. Chintheche and Senga Bay, of the edge of Lake Malawi.
Week 3 – Zambia, Botswana, Namibia
Enter Zambia. Chipata and the capital, Lusaka. Livingstone & Victoria Falls. Cross the Zambezi to Botswana. Chobe National Park. Namibia & the Caprivi Strip.
Week 4 – Namibia
Etosha National Park. Damaraland. Skeleton Coast & Swakopmund. Sesreim Canyon & Sossusvlei. Fish River Canyon.
Week 5 – South Africa
Cross the Orange River into South Africa. Upington. Calvinia. Cederburg Wilderness area. Stellenbosch. The southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas. Cape of Good Hope. Cape Town & the iconic Table Mountain
For a day by day itinerary, with daily distances and rest days, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riders are often surprised at the high quality of the accommodation on this trip. We stay primarily in 3* or 4* hotels and game lodges, of good 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 some small towns, the accommodation is more simple, but still with en suite bathrooms.
Please note that if you have wish to book single supplement, we are unable to offer this for most of the Namibia section of the expedition (except Swakopmund), due to the constraints on accommodation and this has been taken into account when you pay your single supplement price.
Before you go
Please note that international passenger flights are not included in your price. We advise you of the inward and outward dates and potential flight options for your Tour.
*For non-UK riders, please contact us for your own bespoke freight arrangements. We can facilitate freight from major freight hubs in USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere. For EU riders, we ask you to bring your motorcycle to London for freight and if necessary, we can organise a bike collection and drop off with your nearest dealer. Some extra fees may be chargeable for different freight arrangements
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 800XCA or Triumph Explorer XCA. We also have lots of experience with the BMW GS range. What is important 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.
How does motorcycle freight work?
We organise the freight of your motorcycle with our appointed freight agent. You must bring your motorcycle to our freight depot. We crate your motorcycle and do all the necessary documents. You bike is air freighted to the start point. In Nairobi, we do the Customs Clearance of your motorcycle. In South Africa, you must ride your bike to the warehouse for sea freight back to the UK. If you are based outside of the UK, we can still facilitate the freight of your motorcycle, but some extra charges may apply. Please ask us for a quote.
What about servicing & tyres?
Your motorcycle must arrive having been fully serviced and with new tyres. As this expedition is around 6,500 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.
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 – 12 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, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and so on. Groups are predominantly solo male riders.
Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
On every Southern Africa Expedition, we have had riders who successfully completed the ride with a pillion passenger. We strongly recommend that your passenger is an experienced tourer.
Is there a support vehicle?
All our expeditions have a dedicated GlobeBusters Support Vehicle, driven by a GlobeBusters Support Driver. It is capable of carrying two motorcycle 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 an accident and are injured. 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 Permit. In addition you must have travel/medical insurance and 3rd party motorcycle insurance (where available). Your motorcycle will need a Carnet de Passage. As visa requirements are dependent on your nationality and a complex with constantly changing requirements, we would direct you to our appointed visa agency for advice. www.thevisamachine.com