Guided Tour by Motorcycle

15 Day Grand South Africa Motorcycle Tour

The Grand South Africa Motorcycle Tour covers some of the best routes in South Africa, in just 15 days. The thrill is immediate, but you’re left with a lifetime of memories to share.

South Africa boasts some of the world's most scenic passes that are ideal for touring by motorcycle, the most notable of which is Sani Pass (optional 4x4 tour). On the Grand South Africa Motorcycle Tour you will get to experience the country's renowned Kruger National park before crossing into the Kingdom of Eswatini (previously known as Swaziland) to experience the rustic and rural life in the Swazi nation.

The next major highlight on our grand tour is Greater St.Lucia Wetland Park, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to a large population of hippopotamus and a wide variety of bird and wildlife that call the estuary their home.

Ascend to high altitudes on the Drakensberg Mountains, visiting Zulu and Basotho communities situated in stunning valley's with an optional excursion into the country of Lesotho to visit the highest pub in Africa with a thrilling 4x4 ride on the Sani Pass.

Making our way down we visit Addo Elephant Park and the Tsitsikamma Coastal Park, for wildlife and nature experiences that are unrivalled with the opportunity to try the world's highest commercial bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge.

Entering the famous Garden Route region of South Africa, we visit Oudtshoorn's Cango Caves as well as one of its ostrich farms. Here we make our way south on the very popular Route 62 passing through the hamlets of Barrydale, Montagu and stopping at the iconic and oddly named, Ronnie's Sex Shop, selling plenty of beer (but no sex!).

Before we reach the city of Cape Town, we drive through incredibly beautiful passes such as the Franschhoek Pass, entering the Winelands region. We end our tour with the drive around the Cape Penisula visiting Chapman's Peak Drive, Boulders Beach, Cape Point and Table Mountain.

Highlights of the Grand South Africa Motorcycle Tour:

  • Kruger National Park Safari & Panorama Route attractions
  • Cultural experiences in Eswatini & Lesotho
  • Drive along with the country's most scenic passes and popular routes
  • Visit a wetland estuary and the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve
  • Drive along the country's popular Route 62
  • Amazing day tour of the Cape Peninsula & Table Mountain

Tour includes a support vehicle.
This tour includes a BMW F750GS rental motorcycle.
Upgrades to other models are available.

Summary

Breakfast & 7 Dinners

15 Days / 14 Nights
BMW F750GS or similar

South Africa, Eswatini & Lesotho

Day 1 – Arrival from Home – Johannesburg – Pretoria
Welcome to South Africa. Upon your arrival, you will be met at the airport by an employee from Ulysses Transfers & Tours and transferred to your hotel – try to find the guy with your name on a signboard. You will have the rest of the day at leisure to get some rest before our ride commence. We plan to meet early evening for an informal tour briefing and to do the motorcycle check out. The motorcycles will be delivered to our hotel which makes life a little easier. After the formalities we will have supper before for most, enjoying their first night of sleep on African soil.

Day 2 - Johannesburg – Sabie - 350km
After breakfast, we might have to navigate some peak hour traffic whilst making our way out of the city, but that should not take too long. We spend most of the morning covering some highway mileage, but after lunch, we join the rural roads which offer less traffic and nicer riding conditions. From Centurion we head out east along the N4 highway until we reach the town of Belfast. In Belfast, we join the rural roads which gently roll along the northernmost slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains. Tonight, we reside in the Province of Mpumalanga near the start of the well-known Panorama Route.

Day 3 – Sabie - Hazyview – 300km
Mpumalanga, or the Lowveld region as it is commonly known, is home to the internationally acclaimed Kruger National Park as well as a few other well-known South African natural wonders. After an early breakfast we head north along the Panorama route with its scenic and sweeping roads. We first ride to Pilgrims Rest from where we follow the R532 to Graskop before joining the popular Panorama Route. Our morning will be enjoyed soaking up the scenic views of the God’s Window and Wonder View, the potholes at Bourke’s Luck and lastly the breathtaking views at Blyde River Canyon. After enjoying the Panorama Route, we travel back to Lydenburg where we descend the escapement via the Long Tom pass enroute to our destination, Hazyview, for a two-night stay.

Day 4 – Hazyview – Kruger Park – Hazyview – 0km
It is going to be an early morning and after coffee, we grab our breakfast packs and embark on the full day safari in the Kruger National Park – your aim….to have fun and find the BIG5 as well as various other wildlife and birdlife. During your safari you will explore the southern regions of the park in an open safari vehicle and be in the capable hands of an experienced field guide with a good knowledge of the park and its variety of animals. Your guide will tell you all there is to know about the fauna and flora of the region. Late afternoon you’ll return to the lodge to freshen up and get ready for dinner later in the evening - DBB Kruger safari pick up 04h45 take breakfast packs

Day 5 – Hazyview – Mbabane (E’Swatini) - 300km
After breakfast, we travel towards the Swazi border while passing through many a hectare of tree and sugar cane plantations followed by the spectacular mountainous terrain near Malelane. We bid the bushveld farewell when we reach the border post to enter Swaziland, now called Eswatini. The landscape changes dramatically and become more mountainous whilst we pass several traditional communities. These communities depend on subsistence farming which is their primary source of income. To a large extent do these communities still practice and value the traditional structures of the Swazi culture as laid down over centuries of Swazi rule. The rustic life in rural Swazi gives you a taste a real African experience. Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III and a population of 1.3 million lives on 17000 sq km. We head for the Swazi capital of Mbabane where we stay on the outskirts in the Ezulwini valley. Enroute we visit the Ngwenya glass factory from where quality recycled glass products are exported worldwide. On the program is a visit to the Mantenga or Matsamo Cultural Village to enjoy a cultural show and learn more about the Swazi nation’s culture and to enjoy traditional African dancing – volunteers are welcome.

Day 6 – Mbabane (E’Swatini) – St. Lucia – 360km
After an early breakfast, we ride along the back roads of Malkern’s to Big Bend to reach Golela before lunch making some stops along the way. The total distance to the South African border is approximately 180km and Golela is where we re-enter South Africa. From here we continue along the N2 towards the towns of Hluhluwe, Mtubatuba and finally St. Lucia. Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounds the town of St. Lucia. A unique feature of the wetland is the wide variety of bird and wildlife found here, not to mention the hippopotamus that made the estuary their home. This is the most southerly located free-roaming pod of hippopotamus to be found in South Africa. Time permitting, we will join a two-hour boat ride to explore the estuary and surrounds.

Day 7 – St. Lucia - Underberg - 460km
Today is a long, yet enjoyable day in the saddle as we follow the KZN coastline southwards in the direction of Durban via the N2 highway. As you guessed, we have some highway riding to get behind us. From Durban we join the N3 and head inland to Howick. After lunch we traverse the scenic rural back roads of the KZN Midlands region making our way to the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. We slowly gain altitude as we follow the scenic route with its sweeping curves and endless views. Most of the terrain is community land which belongs to smaller Zulu clans and it is mainly used for subsistence farming. Our two-night stay in “The Berg” will bring welcome relief after a long day’s riding.

Day 8 – Underberg - 0km
You have the day at leisure with an optional guided tour up Sani Pass. This 4x4 route is not for the fainthearted and can be enjoyed this in the “comfort” of a 4x4 SUV. You will go all the way to the summit at 2842m, briefly visit a small Basotho community and have lunch. This is the setting for the highest pub in Africa with magnificent views to enjoy. Participating in this optional tour, you will add one more destination to your passport - Lesotho. It comes highly recommended by those past participants who survived to tell the story. Alternatively, you can relax at the hotel and enjoy a spa treatment, maybe enjoy a morning hike or try even go horse riding. Getting some rest is also a wise option. Tonight, we sleep under the watchful eye of the “uKhahlamba”, or barrier of spears as the Zulu’s aptly named the Drakensberg Range.

Day 9 – Underberg - Cintsa - 520km
Riding along the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg region remains a highlight on the Grand tour. May we add that mountain riding in SA and Europe is vastly different – here we have space, wide-open spaces? After all, this is Southern Africa well known for its abundance of open space and blue skies. Early morning, we depart riding via Kokstad to join the N2 route heading to Mthatha. We now enter the Transkei, a former homeland given to the Xhosa people as an area of self-governance during the apartheid era. This is the heartland of the Xhosa people and known as Mandela country. Nelson Mandela was a Xhosa, born at Mvezo he grew up in Qunu, an area south of Mthatha. Because of this famous statesman, the Xhosa people refer to the Transkei as Mandela country. We continue down the N2 to Chintsa, a quiet holiday destination on the Wild Coast, a few kilometres north of East London.

Day 10 – Cintsa – Colchester (Addo) – 380km
From Chintsa we enjoy a brief detour via East London before joining the R72 coastal route. This scenic route is less busy than the popular N2 and it takes you along numerous peaceful coastal villages and rural Xhosa settlements as we make our way down to Colchester near Port Elizabeth. Our lodge is in a small village called Colchester a few kilometres outside of the city. The southern entrance to the Addo National park is a stone throw away from where we stay for the night and the shorter distance for the day allows us to enjoy an optional afternoon safari to the Addo Elephant National Park. Alternatively, we can ride straight to the lodge and relax the rest of the afternoon.

Day 11 – Colchester (Addo) – Knysna - 300km
After breakfast, we head back to the N2 highway direction Port Elizabeth. We pass by the outskirts of the city and head for the well-known Garden Route which “officially” starts outside of Humansdorp. We enjoy a leisure stop at the popular Tsitsikamma Coastal Park for lunch and a short optional walk. From here we head to the bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge (216m) – this is for the adrenaline junkies who also happen to be motorcyclists! We continue along the N2 and pass by Plettenberg Bay before reaching Knysna. This laid-back town is the most popular stop on the Garden Route and the unofficial capital of the region. It has a variety of activities and “things to do” to keep one busy with. A variety of restaurants at the Knysna Waterfront complex along with the newly developed Thesens Island should offer us enough to remember Knysna for a while. The newly established “Motorcycle Room” museum displays several bikes from yesteryear and time permitting interested riders can visit the museum in Knysna.

Day 12 – Knysna - Oudtshoorn - 200km
After a brief visit to the Knysna Head’s viewpoint, we head back to the N2 highway which takes us out of Knysna and pass by Sedgefield and Wilderness. We enjoy postcard views of the Southern Cape coastline and the Outeniqua Mountains making our way to George. George is the regional capital of the Southern Cape region and here we cross over the Outeniqua Mountains to enter the Klein Karoo region. The Outeniqua Pass is a favorite with local riders because of the good road surface and ideal sweeping curves for motorcycles. Continuing towards Oudtshoorn we pass by miles of farmland occupied by the big birds this region is internationally known for. On our to-do-list we have a visit to the Cango Caves as well as an ostrich show farm. Riding towards the Cango Caves, which is located at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains, we enjoy Route 328 with plenty of sweeping curves and tight corners. After our caves visit, we are off to meet the big birds and for those carnivores among us, we can enjoy a taste of ostrich meat tonight. Our lodge is located a few kilometres outside of the town with a pool offering panoramic views of the Little Karoo and Swartberg Mountains.

Day 13 – Oudtshoorn – Cape Town - 480km
After an early start we journey through the heartland of the Klein Karoo as we make way to Cape Town. For most of the morning, we explore the well known and very popular Route 62 - commonly known as the R62. This route is frequented by riders over weekends and popular stops include the hamlets of Barrydale and Montagu. The R62 is home to the infamous Ronnie’s Sex Shop – an icon along Route 62 selling plenty of beer but no sex. After a coffee stop, we continue through Ashton and then Robertson, the latter famous or the quality brandy distilled here. Next is Worcester where after we head to Villiersdorp. This region is well known for the quality apples grown here. Time permitting, we traverse the Franschhoek Pass before descending into the Cape Winelands. Franschhoek is a popular lunch stop and another favourite of the local riders for their weekend rides. After relaxing over lunch, we head off to Cape Town via the N1 highway. Shortly after, Table Mountain in the distance welcomes us as we approach the Mother City. Our aim is to arrive early to avoid the hectic Friday afternoon city traffic, all on their way somewhere while we can still gently cruise along to our hotel in the bustling city centre.

Day 14 – Cape Town – Cape Town - 200km
After breakfast, our planned journey for the last day takes us in a southerly direction, away from the city centre along the False Bay coastline towards Simons Town. This route is commonly known as the Peninsula Route and the most popular tourist route around the Cape. We visit Boulders Beach which is where you find one of only two African Penguin breeding colonies on the Africa mainland. Our journey continues to Cape Point and the Cape of Goodhope. Both places are in the Table Mountain National Park which forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom – one of SA’s listed World Heritage Sites. The afternoon will be spent travelling along the Atlantic seaboard enjoying the scenic Chapman’s Peak route and back to the hotel via Camps Bay and Seapoint. Weather and time permitting we also plan a cable car ride up Table Mountain in the afternoon. From here you can appreciate what was once described as “the fairest Cape in all the circumference of the world”. Late afternoon all our fun comes to an end as we return our motorcycles to the rental agency.

Day 15 – Cape Town – Home - 0km
Some of you might have booked extra nights in town or have opted for a few more days in the saddle exploring the Cape. Sadly, we have to say our goodbyes today as we all head off in different directions. I hope all had a great time and will remember this ride and visit to South Africa for the rest of your lives. Bon Voyage!

Grand South Africa Motorcycle Tour

2021 Tours Rates in SA Rand
(fixed rate)
Rates in US$
(subject to change)
Rider Only
(Sharing Accommodation)
R 92,690 pp sharing US$ 6,180 pp sharing
Pillion
(Sharing Accommodation)
R 32,200 pp sharing US$ 2,150 pp sharing
Single Room Surcharge R 5,900 US$ 395

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Tour Departures
05 September 2021
24 October 2021
16 January 2022

Motorcycle Upgrade Options:
BMW 850GS - R 3,000.00
BMW 850GS Adv - R 5,900.00
BMW 1250GS - R 11,600.00
BMW 1250GS Adv - R 15,900.00
BMW 1250RT - R 14,800.00

Tour includes:

  • Motorcycle Rental– BMW F750GS
  • Comprehensive motorcycle insurance
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Top case only on BMW range and factory fitted luggage on HD’s as supplied by rental shop
  • Accommodation (3 and 4 star)
  • 14 Breakfast and 7 Dinners
  • Back up vehicle which will also transport limited luggage per participant
  • Road map per bike x 1
  • Personalized souvenir peak cap per participant
  • Toll fees and Eswatini road taxes
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Entrance fees to National Parks

Included Activities:

  • Cape Town Peninsula Route (Table Mountain Cable Car, Boulders Beach Sanctuary & Table Mountain National Park)
  • Tsitsikamma Coastal Park
  • St. Lucia boat trip
  • Zulu cultural experience
  • Cango Caves tour
  • Ostrich farm tour
  • Panorama Route entrances
  • Kruger Park day safari (incl. conservation fees)

Excluded:

  • Airfares from and to home
  • Optional activities & entrances
  • Helmets and other riding gear
  • Fuel
  • Lunches and unspecified dinners
  • Drinks
  • Refundable bike deposit
  • Refundable equipment deposit
  • Panniers
  • Personal insurance – travel insurance etc.
Prices are subject to change due to airfare increases, currency exchange, fluctuations and any unforeseen circumstances, without prior notice.
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