"The Southern Africa Experience" Guided Group Motorcycle Tour
Day 1 Windhoek Namibia
Welcome to the Capitol of Namibia! With an arrival in Windhoek marking the start of your aventure, the long list of incredible experiences ahead is our pleasure to present to you. Windhoek itself was established during the mid-1800’s by Nama settlers from South Africa, and their influence still resonates from deep within the city. With a distinctly continental feel and a far more civilized infrastructure than other parts of the country, this picturesque town of Windhoek is encapsulated by low hills under a hot desert sun. Our first item of business today is to receive the tour bikes after lunch, signing all necessary paperwork. A pre-tour informational and safety briefing will take place at dinner, as we prepare to begin this unforgettable adventure!
Day 2 (460km) Etosha Park
We begin our ride by heading North after breakfast, following Namibian B and C roads into cattle country. Our first stop is the quaint town of Omaruru—the local Otjiherero language translates Omaruru to ‘bitter milk’, as the cattle used to graze on a local bush that turned their milk bitter. Afterwards, a visti to the Kristal Kelleri winery for a quick look and coffee break, where afterwards we head on to Outjo in the Cunene region and our safari camp just outside the park. Etosha Safari Camp is a cozy accommodation set just between the moping trees, an inviting swimming pool and ample character. Continuing with the theme of Etosha as being a ‘Place of Legends’, the lodge takes us a step further by bringing home the story and spirit of Africa…and the result is —legendary!
Day 3 Free day in Etosha Park
Today is all about the wild life, of which there is plenty to see in the beautiful Etosha National Park. The ‘Place of Mirages’, ‘Land of Dry Water’ and ‘Great White Place’, Etosha is an incredible, seemingly endless pan of silvery-white sand, upon which dust-devils play wildly and mirages blur the enticing horizon. The sand shines throughout the dry season when enormous herds of animals can be seen starring in some of the most startling and photogenic safari scenery in all of Africa.
You will have the opportunity to explore the National Park with experienced guides who know all of the best watering holes along with the animals who visit them. Your introduction to African wildlife will take place from the seat of an elevated safari game vehicle, accompanied by these seasoned guides! Typically, early mornings or late afternoons are the ideal viewing times, and your chance to see some or all of the Big Five. After your dose of Etosha enchantment, return to the lodge and dive into the cool waters of the swimming pool before we meet do dine under a dome of stars on the veranda. Imagine watching the blazing African sun fall gracefully from the sky, sinking slowly into the landscape before you…that is how you’ll end your last night in Etosha, and the adventure continues!
Day 4 (259 km) Damaraland
Day four begins our trek west toward the north-central part of Namibia, surrounded by vast desert plains, ancient valleys and the awe inspiring Brandberg Mountains in the distance.
This expansive, untamed, ruggedly beautiful region offers quite a unique cultural and adventurous experience. We stop on our route near the small town of Kamanjab to visit a neighboring Himba village and a Cheetah Rehabilitation center.
This opportunity to interact with the ancient indigenous tribe of Himba people is a rare experience that few travelers will be fortunate enough to have.
From Kamanjab it’s further West to the lodge on the Uniab River in Northwest Damaraland. Waving palms can be heard whispering in the wind with spectacular surroundings which harbor the famous desert elephant, the rare black rhino, giraffe, zebra, gemsbok and many other wild animal species, all which lie underneath sunsets you’ll be dreaming of months after.
For those with extra energy to burn, there are some well laid out walking and running trails to allow your own discovery of the surrounding area, or you can relax under the palm trees at the resort swimming pool.
Day 5 (215 km) Twyfelfontein-Khorixas-Brandberg
Today we ride between Palmwag and Khorixas with a stop at the petrified forest. This remarkable site is located in a dry riverbed where about 200,000 years ago a forest was washed downstream. Over time the tree trunks have fossilized and turned to stone, creating this magnificent and awe inspiring petrified forest. Growing amongst the logs are number of welwitschia plants, which are living fossils as they can live for more than 1000 years. Time permitting we will visit the famous Vingerklip rock finger after leaving the forest. From here it is on to our lodge at the foot of Namibia’s highest mountain! The stylish chalets and the bungalows are spread over an area in the river valley amongst large, shady trees and serene landscape.
In the late afternoon we will go searching for the elusive desert elephants.
The stone-age rock paintings of the San Bushmen give evidence of the famous desert elephants in the are many thousands of years ago and during the drier periods of the year, groups rove in the valley of the Ugab River.
Day 6 (230 km) Swakopmund
The day begins as we head further west before turning south towards Swakopmund. Time permitting we may stop at the Messum Crater. The Crater is an amphitheater of the desert where there was once an ancient volcano, over 22km across! Now two concentric circles of mountains ring the gravel plains here. It is possible to climb down to the salt pan at the bottom of the crater, where there are also rock engravings. Next stop is ‘The Cabo de Padrao’. The Cape Cross Seal Reserve on the Skeleton Coast, which is home to the largest breeding colony of these seals on the planet, with at times up to 210,000 seals present during November and December months.
From Cape Cross it’s onward down to Swakopmund, the adventure capital of Namibia! Where palm-lined streets, seaside promenades, fine accommodation, a pleasant summer climate and mesmerizing sand beaches await you! The area of the Namib Desert around Swakopmund is named the West Coast Recreational Area, where you’ll find adventure around every corner!
Day 7 Free Day in Swakopmund
Today is a full rest day to enjoy some of the many activities available in this bustling town! For those interested in adventurous activities, Swakopmund offers sand boarding, quad riding, dune carting, parachuting, hot air balloon rides, deep sea fishing, and beach angling…just to name a few!
For the more sedentary, there are restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums and an aquarium to explore. Needless to say, you won’t have a hard time finding something unforgettable to do on this rest day!
Day 8 (306 km) Namib Naukluft National Park
After breakfast we travel deeper into the shifting landscapes of Namibia, passing endless dune fields and rocky mountain ranges where free-roaming wildlife such as springbok and oryx can be seen amidst the stunning desert scenery.
We pass some of the most intriguing rock formations and moonscape scenery as we make our way into the towering sand dunes of Sossusvlei and the gateway to Africa’s largest conservation area— the Namib Naukluft National Park. The park offers some of the most stunning terrain seen anywhere on earth, which includes not only striking sandscapes, but golden grasslands which stretch as far as the eye can see, where you will likely witness herds of antelope grazing along the roadside.
Day 9 Free Day in Sossusvlei and Sesriem
Waking up with the sun, we will travel to the famous dunes of Sossusvlei on a guided excursion with the lodge’s professional staff and private vehicles, as motorcycles are not permitted into Sossusvlei. The early morning hours are the ideal time of day to admire the dunes in all their glory, as the contrast of colors is stark, making for a surreal landscape and wonderful photo opportunities. The ‘vlei’ is actually a circular, hard-surfaced depression in the land that is entirely surrounded by sharp-edged dunes, beyond which lies a formidable sea of rolling sand, stretching unbroken into the the distance, all the way to the coast.
The mere size of these giant walls of sand is impressive on its own, but what is perhaps more phenomenal is the desert-adapted wildlife that is able to survive in temperatures that surpass 40 degrees centigrade during the day and fall below freezing at night. Your guide will bring your attention to tiny tracks at the base of Sossusvlei’s dunes which provide evidence of their existence and survival. Desert-dwelling creatures drink droplets of the periodic fog or lick minute drops of water trickling down rocks and plants in order to survive. There are also larger tracks which you might come across during your Sossusvlei excursion, black-backed jackal, springbok, and ostrich tip-toe across the dunes frequently.
You will have the option to climb Dune #45 which stands roughly 170 meters high and is composed of five-million-year-old sand accumulated by the Orange River, originating in the Kalahari Desert. The climb to the dune’s summit takes about 30 minutes and affords those who endure the challenge, the most breathtaking desert views around!
After conquering Dune #45 we will take a short drive over to Deadvlei—a white clay pan formed when the Tsauchab River flooded and created temporary, shallow pools, where the abundance of water allowed camelthorn trees to once grow. When the climate changed and drought hit the area, sand dunes encroached on the pan, which locked the river from flowing through this area any longer. The camelthorn trees consequently died as there was no longer enough water to sustain life, and the remaining ‘tree skeletons’, which are now roughly about 900 years old, are an unmistakable, charred black due to being intensely scorched by the sun over so many years. With the sweeping blue skies above, the piercing red dunes, white clay pan and the contrast of deeply blackened trees, you will be in awe of this unforgettable and dramatic landscape.
We move on to explore the geological wonder of Sesriem Canyon— a natural canyon carved by the Tsauchab River in the local sedimentary rock. Eroded over centuries by waters flowing deep into the layers of schist and gravel deposited millions of years ago, the gorge is up to 30 meters deep and approximately 1.5 km long. The name Sesriem means ‘six belts’ in Afrikaans and comes from when settlers returning from the Dorsland Trek tied together six belts (made of Oryx hides) in order to reach buckets down into the canyon to scoop up water. Just two meters wide in some places, it has a portion that permanently contains water, which many animals drink from. A number of trees grow in the canyon and the permanent pools are inhabited by many different species of fish.
Day 10 (417 km) Aus
Jumping into the saddle this morning, we traverse the Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park, known as Namibia’s Namaqualand and the most bio-diverse desert on earth. You will have to be careful, keeping your eyes on the road today, as it is easy to be distracted by the beautiful array of colorful flowers and plant life surrounding you. To the east of the park is the Nama Karoo, and to the north, on the dune sea of the Namib, is where the Wild Horses roam—the origin of which nobody can be quite certain. You will ride alongside the Richtersveld National Park before arriving at your lodge, in Aus.
Day 11 (479 km) Fish River Canyon and Orange River (Noordoewer) Namibia
This morning, after breakfast we make our way through the enchanting Namibian landscape to one of the country’s foremost natural wonders, the Fish River Canyon. The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon, the immensity of this magnificent landscape is nothing short of overwhelming! We stop at the viewpoint for a break which affords marvelous views of the canyon, and great photo opportunities! Measuring 160km in length, 27km in width and 550m in depth, the canyon forms part of the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. It’s towering rock faces and deep ravines were formed aver 500 million years ago by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth’s crust. Depending on the time of year you visit, you could bellowing out one a dry riverbed or a a raging torrent.
Moving forward, we head for the Orange River camp in the early afternoon where you will be welcomed by Portuguese owner Carlos Perreira and time permitting enjoy some canoeing on the Orange River.
Day 12 (473 km) Namaqualand—Clanwilliam
After enjoying a bountiful breakfast, we leave the Orange River and cross the Namibia—South Africa border before heading further South through small towns like Vanrhynsdorp, Bitterfontein and Springbok towards the quaint town of Clanwilliam at the edge of the beautiful Cederberg Mountains and Cape Leopard country.
Day 13 (359 km) Cederberg—Cape Town
Our journey today takes us South through the Cederberg, where the Cederberg Mountains provide awe inspiring natural beauty, fascinating plant and animal diversity, unique rocky landscapes and blue skies.
The Cederberg Mountains and nature reserve form part of the Cape Floral Kingdom of South Africa, which is the most bio-diverse in the world! Towering mountains which glow with purple brilliance at sunset, watch over ripening citrus orchards in the valley laden with the pungent scent of orange blossom. Sharply defined sandstone rock formations, often reddish in color, characterize this area where important fossils have been discovered in argillaceous layers of shale which is also found here in abundance. The Cederberg’s mountain ranges are globally recognized for their Bushmen rock art created by hunter-gatherers some 6000 years ago. Also among these intriguing rock formations, farmers cultivate the world famous rooibos tea, grown nowhere else in the world.
Time permitting, we will break for lunch in the historic Cape Winelands town of Tulbagh before stopping briefly in Table View to get some photographs of Table Bay, where the glorious Table Mountain lays as the backdrop.
This unimaginably exciting and fun ride South, takes you right into the gorgeous Cape Town. capeThe breathtakingly scenic metropolitan city at the tip of Africa will simply amaze you, it is a fascinating melting pot, alive with creativity, colors, sounds and tastes, all surrounded by the allure and sparkle of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s hard not to be impressed by the Mother City’s impeccable beaches, award-winning wine estates, slick city centre and of course, the latest additions to the World’s Natural Wonders—Table Mountain. Beneath this grand and iconic landmark is a multitude of five star restaurants, curio and craft markets, compelling museums, art galleries and a vibrant nightlife.
After checking in and freshening up, you will be transferred to dinner at Posticino—a popular inner-city restaurant serving great quality, frill-free Italian far. Not only does this charismatic restaurant do all the classic dishes better than you’ve ever tasted before, but owners Gioacchino and Enricio are always seen mingling with locals and are there to ensure that every meal coming out of their busy kitchen is fit for a king!
Day 14 (178km) The Cape Peninsula
One of the trips most rewarding and unforgettable rides begins this morning. We start by taking Camps Bay Drive out to Chapmans Peak and follow the road as it winds it’s way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. Situated on the Atlantic coast at the south-western tip of South Africa, this is one of the world’s most spectacular marine drives, offering stunning 180-degree coastline vistas and many viewing points along it’s course. Nine kilometers inlength, the 114 curves of this road skirt the rocky coastline at 593 meters above sea level, offering a ride you will be talking about for years to come. Known affectionately as ‘Chappies’, this elegant piece of road is a paradise for sightseers, picnickers, runners, hikers, and of course, motorcyclists! You will have the opportunity to stop and take photographs from your privileged position above the ocean with exquisite views of Robben Island and the Sentinel off the coastline of Hout Bay.
We take Ou Kaapse Weg (Old Cape Road)— which although today is a highly modernized road, was an old wagon road to cart ore from the nearby silver mine in the 1800’s—all the way to Kommetjie with it’s unique blend of beach, mountains, sea and surf! Here we will break for lunch at Fisherman’s restaurant where you can eat under the shade of giant Milkwood Trees.
Our next destination is Cape Point, which lies at the tip of the Cape Peninsula, 60km south-west of Cape Town. This nature reserve falls within the Table Mountain National Park and is the half way point of your day’s ride! The Cape of Good Hope, just 2km away is a rocky headland which first was navigated by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488 and was a milestone in establishing direct trade relations with the Far East. On the trip back to our hotel, we pass Boulders Beach, which is not only one of the most sheltered beaches Cape Town, but also home to a huge colony of African Penguins which have lived here since 1982.
After arriving back at the hotel, you will have the opportunity to freshen up before gathering for our final dinner together as a tour group! The ride may be over, and the stories coming to a close, but the memories you make on this trip will last a lifetime.
Day 15 Depart Home
This morning after breakfast, your tour officially ends. For those of your going home—adieu—come back soon—for those of you extending the adventure…let’s ride!! We will return the motorcycles and a guide will be available to transport you either to the airport, your hotel, or similar guesthouse.
These trips are truly unforgettable. Browse our additional motorcycle tours in Africa here.
BMW F700GS (twin cylinder)
BMW R1200GS - Liquid Cooled
BMW R1200GS Adventure (2014+ Liquid Cooled)