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slideways 04-16-2009 11:23 AM

Southern Africa: Bike power to horse power
I have always wanted to do ZA on a motorcycle. Last November I got my chance. I made my way from Roatan to La Ceiba, to San Pedro Sula, to San Salvador, picked up my South African sweetheart and headed up to Washington DC for the night. The following morning we boarded the SAA flight to Jozi. Daryl, the owner of Sama Tours met us at the airport and took us through to his home in Pretoria. We booked a 16-day unguided tour to Cape Town on an R1200 GS. We were given maps and hotel vouchers and promptly sent on our way. We followed Daryl out to the N4 and blasted off for Hazeyview.

Daryl and his daughter sort our bike out for us.

Loskop Dam on our left

Nice fast curvy roads with almost no traffic and no speed cameras (least none that we saw)

We took the long, scenic route, got to a wet and misty Long Tom Pass (had to ride it again the next day just to enjoy the view and the many twists and turns. Being an off-road rider at heart, I'm always looking for dirt! We turned off the main road on route to Pilgrim's Rest and found a dirt road that twisted its way through the mountains and alongside a river. I don't think we saw another soul the entire time. It was remote and beautiful and we had it all to ourselves.

We drove into Graskop for lunch, chatted with some locals who were interested in our biking adventure. We found a logging dirt road which took us through Sappi Forest area and brought us out near Kipersol.

more coming soon

tenderfoot 04-16-2009 09:12 PM

This looks like fun.!
I must still do some dirt roads in the Eastern Transvaal.

GB 04-17-2009 03:40 AM

Such beauty you have in SA! Looking forward to the next installment. :thumb


slideways 04-17-2009 01:28 PM

After 2 days of exploring the Mpumalanga area we headed south through Nelspruit and Barberton.

Before entering the remote Bulembu border crossing into Swaziland, we enjoyed a very picturesque dirt road that wound its way through mountains for more than 60 kms.

The border crossing was painless, the officer there was very friendly, gave us a map and offered us a handful of condoms for free (the Pope would not approve! :evil )

The road through the forest after leaving the border station and heading towards Piggs Peak.

After getting back onto the tarmac, we traveled to Maguga Dam, where we stopped at a lodge for lunch, with a view overlooking the dam. Swaziland is absolutely beautiful and so are the people! We spent a wonderful evening at our hotel in Ezulweni.

We found the roads in Swaziland to be very good but be careful there is a lot of livestock on the road.

more to follow

Afrodog 04-17-2009 02:40 PM


Stuntman 04-17-2009 06:02 PM

:lurk Keep it coming!!!

slideways 04-18-2009 03:50 AM

We made our way through Manzini and headed for the border crossing at Lavumisa, stopping only to find fuel. The first station we stopped at could not pump fuel as they had no electricity so we headed on down the road.

Our low fuel light had been on for a while when we rolled into this station near the ZA border.

Big smiles from the Swazi pump attendant. She was so nice I gave her a R20 tip and she went dancing across the parking lot.

After living in Central America for 12 years you are always apprehensive about crossing borders but it was no problem at all in ZA.

Waiting to clear back into ZA.

Coming next we ride through the Zulu Kingdom

Watch for more

slideways 04-19-2009 04:18 AM

Warthogs patrolling the game fence.

You never run out of cool scenery in Africa

Weaver bird nests. The sad thing is the male of the species builds these intricate nests and if he female does'nt like it she just flys away and tells him call me when you got something better to show me.

We stopped at the Ghost Mountain Inn, Mkuze for a great lunch in a beautiful location.

Riding into St. Lucia

We had 2 nights accommodation in St. Lucia so we decided to back track and explore Sodwana Bay. On the way we saw a sign for a Game reserve so we decided to check it out. When we got to the gate the guard told us it was closed and motorcycles were normally not allowed. After a R20 tip he let us in and told us not to stop and be careful.

Cool! Elephants, Hppos and Croc's.

Stop for a Biltong break. Nothing better than eating Kudu biltong while waiting for one of his brothers to appear.

The road into Sodwana Baai.

Sodwana, what a beautiful beach it goes on for ever.

Daar kom meer.....

GB 04-19-2009 04:53 AM

:lurk :lurk

squonker 04-19-2009 07:55 AM

Hat links, ry regs verby!! (Spelling may be a little off....)

Dessert Storm 04-19-2009 01:13 PM

Fantastic! More please!

slideways 04-20-2009 11:38 AM

Then off to Oribi Gorge

Checking in at the hotel, a fantastic place to stay at the top of the gorge complete with a giant swing into the gorge.

Then more dirt for the day. One of the wonderful things about ZA is you can almost always find dirt roads to take you near to where you want to go.

ZA is full of Jacaranda Trees that are in full bloom during Spring and Summer. I was surprised to learn that they were not indigenous to ZA but brought into ZA from Brazil.

Shortly after entering the Transkei, we saw diligent ZA residents lining up to register for the upcoming elections.

We were blasting along through a fabulous mountain pass on route to Coffee Bay when the transmission shit the bed 20 kms outside of Port St. John!

I knew I was ok because I had a stash of biltong in my tank bag. Sitting beside the road on a busted BMW, eating Biltong contemplating life.

No worries, I have done many of these tours where I have rented bikes and I always make sure the renter provides backup support for broken bikes. Luckily we had cell and were able to contact Daryl. Within half an hour a bakkie (pickup) was there to pick us up.

These two guys were "salt of the earth," a real treat, funny as hell and entertaining. They "tuned" us that we would be staying at one of the nicest resorts along the Wild Coast. We all piled into the bakkie and headed to Umgazi River Bungalows.

The beach with the resort in the background.

They don't call this the Wild Coast for nothing!

Daryl from Sama Tours picked up the tab at the resort and was there early the next morning after driving all night from Pretoria with a new GS1200 gassed and ready to go.:clap :clap I will definitely use him again as his service is first class!

more on the way.

slideways 04-21-2009 02:22 PM

On our new bike and off to Coffee Bay. You see thousands of these Rondavel's dotting the countryside as you travel. There must have been a big sale on aqua marine paint at the local hardware!

The road to Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay

This Xkosa lady had no problem carrying our heavy panniers to the room. You see them on the side of the road carrying huge loads of firewood on their heads. (These days while talking on their cellphones!)

Exploring the Wild Coast on route to Hole-in-the-Wall.

Hiking down to Hole in the Wall. You have to leave the bike in the parking area.... watch out for the snot nosed parking lot gang. Hire one guy to watch your bike and tell the rest to piss off or they will all want to be paid!

Even the police are friendly in ZA! This chap wandered over just to chat about the motorcycle and wanted to know about our journey.

hasta manana

Jacpod 04-21-2009 04:08 PM

Wonderlik!!!! Nog...nog....!!:clap:clap

slideways 04-22-2009 04:59 AM

Eastern Cape/ Sunshine Coast

All along the route there are game farms.

This coast has many estuaries and lagoons.

Looking for elephants in the Addo Elephant Park.

No elle's yet but some great riding.

On the way to Knysna we came across the world's highest bungee jump, the Storms River/ Bloukrans Bridge, 116mtrs

Found some ADV Riders hanging out in the bush.

Visited with the elle's at the Elephant Sanctuary , Tstitsikama.

More coming

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