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Old 12-30-2008, 01:38 PM   #1
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South Africa 2008

Before I start my first Ride Report on this forum I have to warn you that English is not my first language, so be gentle with the comments.

South Africa 2008

My friend Ivan, invite me on a trip to South Africa. So, what can I do? Take the helmet, riding gear, goodwill, and wait for the airplain in Split, Croatia. 23.11.2008.

Ivan is half South African, half Croatian. First time he come to Croatia in 1992., and fall in love to our country. Threeten years after Ivan and his familly come to live in Croatia. They opened Tourist Agency, witch among other, organize motorcycle tours in Croatia and Europe. Ivan is ex motocross - enduro racer and off road instructor for a many years. In short, Ivan is exelent rider, very good man and even more better friend. If You want to explore Croatia or the rest of the Europe by motorcycle this is the place:

So, my version of LWD has started. LWADM - Long Way Airplane Down Motorcycle. All together, ten days of Africa and two days in a plane. Ten days of beautiful country, good people and crazy riding.


My first touch with Africa. Johannesburg, also known as Joburg, is the largest city in South Africa. The population of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Area is almost eight million. Big town. Johannesburg is the source of a large-scale gold and diamondtrade, due to its location on the mineral-rich range of hills. The city enjoys a dry and sunny climate.
I said to Ivan when we arrive, take me to the old city. So, he does that. His father came, and we visit the old part of Joburg on our way home.

Old town

Market “Mai Mai”
You can’t see white people here often.

For this you can go to jail even in Africa. They don’t care because the police don’t come here.

Dry tails from the animals. I didn’t ask what they are for, cause the owner look at me a little bit strange.

Joburg today

City nightlife takes place in a guarded shopping malls. You will see why in the next section.


The dark side of Joburg, and the country, is crime. Thousands of poor, mostly black people, who had been forbidden to live in the city proper, moved into the city from surrounding black townships like Soweto and many immigrants from economically beleaguered and war torn African nations flooded into South Africa, with Johannesburg the most Northerly major city and there in a logical choice. Crime levels rose, and especially the rate of violent crime. By the late 1990s, Johannesburg was ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Big business in Joburg.

In some parts of town even pigeons look scary.

Even the police have big walls with electric fence.

The Bike Hospital

On our way home we come to one more interesting place.

Ivan’s farm

What can be better after almost 24 hours of traveling.

Ivan get the 1200GS, to use it on our trip, from his friends in BMW. Thanks BMW friends!

At Dirk’s place taking the Transalp.

Dirk du Plooy. Ivan’s best friend. Many years SAR champion in motorcycle racing and the MotoGP racer in the year 1980. At 1989., Dirk start with his riding school and today they are the biggest in SAR. Michelin Superbike School. Dirk is also very good man and a friend for whole life. Thanks to him I get Honda Transalp from Honda South Africa to use it there. Thanks Dirk!

Dirk & Ivan

Here they are. Our motorcycles. Ups, wrong photo.

Dirk’s place

We are ready!

next............ on the (off) road to Durban

picoda screwed with this post 12-30-2008 at 03:40 PM
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:08 PM   #2
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Fantastic intro! That Bike Hospital is quite a sight!

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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On the road to Durban

Distance from Joburg to Durban is 520 km. But, not for us. We do the same distance in almost 900 km because Ivan’s story is: “on the road only if you must”.


The river

Yes! Gravel road. That is what we want.

Blue farm with happy people.

Again, few hundred meters on the road. Big signs. Very good for the sun.

We need some fuel. He need some money.


Let’s go!

Wrong way. Let’s go back. If you can see, we have GPS, but we are not good with that things. We are trying to find Ivan’s friend farm.

This is our GPS.

We ask again.

Jan’s farm

This sign in the middle of nowhere. BMW off road academy on the farm from the stories. The owner is Jan, Ivan’s friend, farmer and off road instructor. More about the farm and the academy from the photos.

The farm

There is no gold here like before. So, you must try some new methods to find it.

BMW Off Road Academy

More Academy

Can you come to the off road academy and not try the tracks. No,no.

We are playing few hours. After the lunch and cold beer we are ready to go. It is already afternoon and still long way to go.

Let's go!

In a small town Wakkerstroom we meet John. He is the butcher, property manager and tourist guide. I think that nobody buy properties here and there is no tourists. So, meet John the Butcher.

One more beer. It is really hot here.

Kwa Zulu Natal. The land of Zulu people.

Typical village

Typical house

Modern type

I am somewhere near Amsterdam. Hallucination.

Stop. Powered by Black Label.

The place where was big battle between Holland and Zulu people.


The police. Where are you from? Croatia. What? Croatia. Hmm? Let’s take photo!

On the end of the day we have rain, night and fog. Good combination. Last 50 km we decide to ride on the highway. My fuel is low and there is no gas station, so we come out from the highway to find one. Transalp is empty. You don’t want to run out of fuel in the night. Especially in some of the strange small towns in Zulu Land. I shake the Transalp few times and somehow we came to some small scary gas station. Half in the dark with ten young Zulu people in the front. When we come they look at us like we are coming from space. After few moments they are start to smile and you can see that first impression is not always right.

So, after long day and almost 900 km we come to Umhlanga near Durban. Small tourist town on the coast of Indian Ocean. We will sleep in the apartment of Ivan’s family and that will be our base next two days.

next................ Durban and Amanzimtoti

picoda screwed with this post 12-30-2008 at 03:41 PM
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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Great report so far! Keep it coming.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:58 PM   #5
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Awesome report, great adventure. Africa is full of surprises and startling beauty.

Hope there is more!
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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Thanks! It will be more.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:08 PM   #7
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Very interesting. Thanks.

OK, I'm going to ask a stupid question that everyone will give me shit about.

What about the wild animals, in particular the carnivorous ones?
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:24 PM   #8
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Sweet Looking forward to more pics.

Are you guys going the garden route to Cape Town?


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Old 12-30-2008, 05:07 PM   #9
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Very cool!!!
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DeputyTom
Very interesting. Thanks.

OK, I'm going to ask a stupid question that everyone will give me shit about.

What about the wild animals, in particular the carnivorous ones?
The wild animals are in "Parks". Unfortunately throughout Africa most of the wild animals are in Game parks.

Spent the 1st 23 years of my life in Jo'Burg & what strikes me the most is the contrast between wealth & poverty. You'll see the latest Ferrari & 100 yards down the road you'll see such poverty.
Thanks for a great ride report...brings back many fond memories...THX
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:19 AM   #11
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Bravo majstore!
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
---Mark Twain---

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Old 12-31-2008, 01:47 AM   #12
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Excellent report... love the photo's and your mastering of "english" is excellent... I have enjoyed "traveling with you!"

Pat in NH (USA)
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:05 AM   #13
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Very cool!

I was born in Vryheid... grew up around Ladysmith, and spent a lot of time on the Natal coast.

Looking forward to the rest of your report.

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:37 AM   #14
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Umhlanga - Durban - Amanzimtoti

Welcome to Miami of South Africa. Everything here is made for tourism. Beautiful houses, big hotels, apartments, sandy beaches, shoping centers and mutch more. Just few hundred kilometers away people still live in the tribes.

After visiting Ivan’s friend Perry and his Yamaha shop we are on the way to Durban.


Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa. It is the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal and is famous as the busiest port in Africa. It is also a major centre of tourism due to the city's warm subtropical climate and beaches. The city has a population of almost 3.5 million.

When we come to Durban Ivan want to show me the old market. It is a place where you can’t see white people and you can feel the real Africa. I love this place. Ivan said me before that I put everything in my front pockets. When we came there one Indian man asked us do we need somebody to look after the bikes. Do we have a choice? OK, you can do it.

Apothecary, what ever you need.

Market inside.

One of the "best" butchery shops inside.

You have fish here also, so don’t worry.

Public phone, the Dentist and the Doctor. Whole in one.

After one hour we are outside. The bikes are still there. Indian man gets his reward. Let’s go to the other part of Durban.
Indian Ocean. Cloudy day. There is no a lot of people on the beach.

Zulu people are very talented artists.

Durban in a couple of pictures more.

Shaka Marine World

We are on the road again. Our next destination, Amanzimtoti. 50 km from Durban. When you run out with money you must try to find some job.
In the butchery..............

...........or in the Pub


On the dinner at Ivan’s cousin place. Bruno is big fan of Alfa and Ferrari.

It is time to go. Back to Umhlanga by night. Tomorrow will be a long, long day.

The best part of our trip is coming. The real Africa.

next.......... Sani Pass, Roof of Africa, Lesotho, Drakensberg

picoda screwed with this post 12-31-2008 at 02:43 AM
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:49 AM   #15
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Very good impressions!

Thank you very much!

Best greatings from Germany
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