Guided Tour by Motorcycle

14 Day Magical Garden Route Motorcycle Tour

Your Magical Garden Route Motorcycle Tour starts and ends in Cape Town. The Mother City wraps an African welcome up in a cosmopolitan vibe and colonial ambience that might, for a moment, make you forget that you’re in Africa. Then there is the sheer natural beauty of the Western Cape. This Garden Route tour offers the perfect mix of motorbike ride and vacation. We have fine-tuned the days so that you get the best of both worlds as you explore South Africa’s coastline and get to know all about the country’s glorious cultural and natural diversity.

Next on the Magical Garden Route Motorcycle Tour, we have set aside a few days to explore Cape Town and its surroundings. It is a truly cosmopolitan city that will delight and surprise you with its range of sights, sounds and experiences. From Table Mountain we travel to the southern tip of Africa, L ‘Agulhas, via Hermanus, the South African whale watchers’ Mecca. Along the way we visit the penguin sanctuary near Betty’s Bay. Going east, we explore the Garden Route, crossing the Bloukrans Bridge, which has the highest commercial bungee jump operation in the world – a drop of 216 metres! We visit the Tsitsikamma region before leaving the Garden Route. Next, we arrive in Port Elizabeth, the major city of the Eastern Cape province and the first home of the British settlers who arrived in 1820.

Participants also enjoy a full day safari in the Addo National Elephant Park, giving you a chance to spot the Big Five – lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo, after which we ride inland to Graaff-Reinet in the vast, semi-arid Great Karoo. The Valley of Desolation is our next “bucket list” stop before heading to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the universe. Here we learn more about these big birds and explore the world-renowned Cango Caves and Little Karoo region. Then to the Winelands via Route 62, stopping briefly at Ronnie’s Sex Shop (so-called – it sells plenty of beer, but no sex) and along the northern slopes of the Langeberg Mountain Range to Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second-oldest town, in the Cape Winelands. Route 62 is said to be the longest wine route in the world.

Highlights of the Magical Garden Route Motorcycle Tour:

  • Travel along South Africa's most scenic coastal route as well as the popular Route 62 through the Klein Karoo.
  • Guided group motorcycle tour visiting game parks, wine valleys and coastal resort towns.
  • Safari experience in the Addo Elephant Park
  • The Valley of Desolation
  • Experienced local guide
  • Private itineraries on request

See also our 15 Day Grand South Africa Motorcycle Tour

Summary

Day 1: Cape Town - arrival
All the participants are to arrive in the Mother City today. Let us know your flight details in advance and we will arrange for your transfer from the airport to your BB. Should you prefer to make your own travel arrangements or be in the city prior to the tour, then the following will apply. Take the day to relax and find your way around the city. We have no formal plans for today but plan to meet early morning on Monday to collect our motorcycles and get to know one another. A tour briefing is scheduled for tomorrow to discuss the domestics on the tour.

Day 2: Cape Town - Peninsula Route – Cape Town - 150kms
After breakfast, you meet with Ludwig at the BB at 08h30 and head off to collect your motorcycles. Once done here you are off to explore the well-known Cape Peninsula Route. Our route for the day takes us in a southerly direction, away from the city centre along the False Bay coastline towards Simons Town. This route is the most popular tourist route around the Cape if not South Africa. We visit Cape Point Reserve where we also find the Cape of Good Hope. This reserve forms part of the Table Mountain National Park which is part of the well-known Cape Floral Kingdom. Not only is the Cape Floral Kingdom one of SA’s listed World Heritage Sites, but it is one of the most diverse plant biomes on the planet. 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 Sea Point. Our program also includes a trip up Table Mountain in the late afternoon – if not done yet. From here can one appreciate what was once described as “the fairest Cape in all the circumference of the world”?

Day 3: Cape Town – L’ Agulhas - Struisbaai - 280km
After breakfast we follow Route 44 (Clarence Drive) to Hermanus via Betty’s Bay. Other than Chapman’s Peak Drive, which we did yesterday, Clarence Drive is in our view the 2nd most scenic coastal route of all of South Africa. Along the way enjoy plenty of opportunities to do photo stops. In Betty’s Bay we visit Stony Point penguin reserve. This protected reserve is unique and one of only two penguin breeding colonies on the African mainland. Hermanus is rated as one of the top whale-watching destinations internationally. After lunch we follow a slight detour along the Walker Bay coast before heading inland via Elim. This former missionary station tends to take visitors back in time when visiting the settlement. The road via Elim takes us to L’Agulhas. The peaceful little town of Agulhas is where we find the southernmost tip of the Africa, aka the place where the two oceans meet. Our accommodation is a few kilometres back in Struisbaai.

Day 4: L’ Agulhas – Knysna - 390km
We continue along the rolling plains of the Overberg region and head towards Knysna – located in the heart of the Garden Route. We cross the spread-out wheat and barley fields of the Overberg and stop in the historic town of Swellendam along the N2 before making our way to Mossel Bay. Mossel Bay is normally a good lunch stop. En route we enjoy frequent stops to indulge in the scenery and the coastal towns along the Garden Route. After lunch we continue to Knysna, famous for its quality oysters and tranquil scenery. Knysna is a favourite destination with tourists because of its scenic location at the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains. The mirror like Knysna estuary, which is central to the town, adds to the laid-back atmosphere visitor’s love. It offers us a variety of places to visit including amongst others the impressive “Knysna Heads”. Dinner can be enjoyed at a local restaurant.

Day 5: Knysna - 100km
After a well-deserved night’s rest, we enjoy a relaxing day in and around the George/Knysna/Plettenberg Bay area. Today you can choose between a few optional activities such riding the well-known Outeniqua Pass or visiting the well-known Monkey Land and Birds of Eden sanctuaries on the outside Plettenberg Bay. You should also consider the afternoon sun downer cruise on the John Benn paddle cruiser. There is also the smaller, but equally enjoyable Knysna Waterfront complex down the road from the hotel. Please ensure you include a ride up the Knysna Heads to enjoy the views from the top for a panoramic view of Knysna and the coastline. A newly established motorcycle museum called the Motorcycle Room recently opened in Knysna on Thesen’s Island. This will be a first for our Garden route tours and we included the entrance in your tour price. We recommend an afternoon visit and to stay afterwards for dinner at one of the restaurants on the island or waterfront complex.

Day 6: Knysna – Addo via Port Elizabeth: 340km
After yet another good night’s sleep, we enjoy a relaxing day in the saddle following the rural back roads where possible. Our journey joins the N2 through what is described as the heart of the Garden Route. We ride through parts of the indigenous Tsitsikamma Forests and stop at the impressive Bloukrans Bridge. Some might be tempted to jump at the world’s highest commercial bungee jump - 216m. After enjoying lunch and a short hike, if you wish, at the Storms River National Park, we continue to Port Elizabeth. During the early days of SA as we know it today, the city was known as Algoa Bay and today locals still refer to it as the friendly city. This is where the 1820 British Settlers first landed when they arrived in Southern Africa – all 4500 of them. We enjoy a brief city tour before we head to Addo near to the Addo Elephant National Park. Tonight, dinner will be enjoyed at the lodge and is included.

Day 7: Addo - 0km
After breakfast at around 09h30 you will be picked up for your full day safari into the Addo Elephant National Park. You will be in the capable hands of an experienced ranger to tell you more about the fauna and the flora found here in the Addo Park. The park is home to the Big 5 and today might be your lucky day to spot some or all of the Big Five – lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant and the elusive leopard. Addo is the only reserve in SA, if not the world, which is home to the Big Seven as it incorporates a huge marine reserve where the Southern Right whale and great white shark are to be found. You should be back at the lodge by 18h00 or latest 18h30. Dinner will be enjoyed at the lodge and is again included.

Day 8: Addo – Graaf Reinet: 380km
We bid the coastal region farewell and head inland. Most of our day will be spent riding the wide-open roads with hardly any traffic in sight as we traverse the remote Eastern Cape countryside. We enter what is commonly known as the Great Karoo, a semi-arid vast region that reminds us of the “American wild west”. We pass through the frontier town of Jansenville before we finally descend on the historic town of Graaff Reinet. The town, with its numerous national monuments and museums, is South Africa’s 4th oldest town and has a lot to offer the visitor. We pass through town and head to Nieu-Bethesda. This remote hamlet was made famous, although not planned, by Helen Martins who is also known as the “owl lady” with her Owl House. She created this 300-piece museum of mostly owls which became synonymous with the village. This is a good lunch stop before heading back to Graaff Reinet where a late afternoon ride to the Valley of Desolation is part of the plan. Here one can enjoy the tranquillity and natural beauty while overlooking Spandau Hill and the plains of the Great Karoo.

Day 9: Graaf Reinet - Oudtshoorn: 390km
Another pleasant day awaits us as we continue our journey across the southern plains of the Great Karoo heading towards the Swartberg Mountains in the distance. These mountains subtly change colours as the day progress while only the occasional passing car or truck reminds us that there is “other life out there”. After 175km of flat Karoo plains we arrive in Willowmore which is famous for the coffee and cakes enjoyed at Sophies Choice coffee shop, truly an oasis in the desert. From here we head to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world. We take a short detour to explore the scenic Meiring’s Poort Gorge, one of only two natural passageways through the Swartberg Mountain Range before we set of to our overnight venue. Climatic conditions can be extreme in the Karoo and the swimming pool at our lodge will bring welcome relief to tired bums.

Day 10: Oudtshoorn - Oudtshoorn: 120km
Today is an optional rest day if you want OR we can take a short ride to explore the Cango Caves and visit Highgate Ostrich farm at our own leisure. Another option for the more adventurous among us, is to traverse the Swartberg Mountain Pass which is also a national monument...it is scenic to say the least, but this is a gravel road and gravel riding experience is needed. The weary can just relax next to the swimming pool at the guest house and relax in this scenic and tranquil environment.

Day 11: Oudtshoorn – Robertson: 320km
After breakfast we join the R62 and explore the famous and ever-popular Route 62 as we travel to Robertson. Riding along the R62 we do a photo stop at the infamous Ronnie’s Sex Shop where they sell plenty of beer but no sex. Next is coffee in Barrydale and we recommend Diesel & Crème, and then stopping in or around Montagu for lunch. The R62 and Little Karoo valley comes to an end when we enter the Breede River Wine Region. The ride through the Breede River valley meanders along the sea of vineyards at the foot of the Langeberge Mountains (Long Mountains). The impressive rock formations of the Cape Fold Mountains at Cogman’s Kloof indicate the end of the Karoo region as we have seen it for the last two days. This “natural rock-arch” with an historic English Fort on top, welcomes you to the Breede River Valley. A pleasant farm stay awaits us outside of Robertson on a wine farm in the Breede River Valley. You will also be treated to a wine tasting covering some of the farms history and wines before enjoying dinner.

Day 12: Robertson - Franschhoek: 210km
No motorcycle journey is complete without its share of picturesque mountain passes. Today is the day we enjoy our share thereof as we head towards Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Franschhoek celebrates the contribution made by the French Huguenots after their arrival in the Cape in 1688. Franschhoek was originally where the Huguenots settled and established themselves as the pioneers of the Cape wine industry as we know it today. The town still annually celebrates Bastille Day in typical French tradition. As avid bikers we endeavour to travel every possible mountain pass that we can en-route to every destination. The Franschhoek and Wellington region offers the rider a fair share of mountainous roads. Hellshoogte Passes and Bains Kloof are favourites rides with local riders, and we will add both to our “bucket list” for the day. We stop in both Franschhoek and Stellenbosch for coffee and lunch respectively. The latter is South Africa’s second oldest town and a prime example of typical of Cape Dutch architecture with tangible influences from old Europe to be seen everywhere. A pleasant stay awaits you in Franschhoek.

Day 13: Franschhoek – Cape Town: 120km
In the distance Table Mountain awaits our return to Cape Town. From Franschhoek we traverse the popular Franschhoek Pass before heading over Viljoen’s Pass and set off to Grabouw and finally we make our way down the Sir Lowry’s Pass. Around 15h00 we need to make our way to the rental shop to return our rental motorcycles. We ride back into town on a Friday afternoon and we need to do our utmost to avoid the late afternoon rush hour traffic. Once we return the motorcycles, the rental shop will arrange for a cab to take riders back to the BB to reunite with their luggage. Ludwig will say his goodbyes once the motorcycle has been returned and you are on your way to the BB.

Day 14: Cape Town – Home: 0km
On the last day, some participants might still have some last-minute shopping to do whilst in town. Should you have any other places of interest you would like to visit, speak to Ludwig to get some local insight and advice to best use your time before your departure. Some might extend their stay in town. Please confirm your departure flight details with Ludwig as well as the pick-up time, place and date of the transfer service.

Days at leisure and preparation to head back home – Bon Voyage!

Magical Garden Route Tour

2021 Tours Rates in SA Rand
(fixed rate)
Rates in US$
(subject to change)
Rider Only
(Sharing Accommodation)
R 61,700 pp sharing US$ 4,115 pp sharing
Pillion
(Sharing Accommodation)
R 24,900 pp sharing US$ 1,660 pp sharing
Single Room Surcharge R 6,900 US$ 460

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Tour Departures
03 October 2021
 27 February 2022

Motorcycle Upgrade Options:
BMW 850GS - R 1,350.00
BMW 850GS Adv - R 3,950.00
BMW 1250GS - R 9,250.00
BMW 1250GS Adv - R 13,250.00
BMW 1250RT - R 10,550.00

Tour includes:

  • Motorcycle – BMW F750GS
  • Comprehensive motorcycle insurance
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Top case and panniers on BMW range and factory fitted luggage on HD’s as supplied by the rental shop
  • Accommodation (3 and 4 star) - inclusive of 13 x breakfast, 1 x picnic lunch and 5 x dinners
  • Road map
  • Personalized souvenir peak cap
  • Toll fees
  • Guide on motorcycle
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Park entrance fees to –
    • Tsitsikamma Coastal Park
    • Camdeboo National Park
    • Stony Point Penguin sanctuary
    • Table Mountain National Park (Cape Point Reserve)

Included Activities:

  • Table Mountain ticket
  • Knysna Motorcycle Museum
  • Wine tasting
  • Cango Caves tour
  • Ostrich farm tour
  • Addo Elephant National Park day safari

Excluded:

  • Airfares from and to home
  • Helmets and other riding gear
  • Support vehicle and driver
  • Fuel
  • Lunches and non-specified dinners
  • Drinks
  • Refundable bike deposit
  • Refundable equipment deposit
  • 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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