Guided Tour by Motorcycle

17 Day Victoria Falls & Beyond Motorcycle Tour

Most motorcycling enthusiasts fantasize about exploring Africa. On our Victoria Falls & Beyond Motorcycle Tour, we have created an exclusive journey through Southern Africa to suit nearly all types of riders. This trip takes you into the “real” Africa – where you won’t find luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants but will have the most inspiring, breathtaking and heartwarming experiences of your life.

The Victoria Falls & Beyond Motorcycle Tour starts near Johannesburg from where we ride north and cross into Zimbabwe at the Beitbridge border post. Our first stopover is at Lake Kyle near the Great Zimbabwe ruins. Continuing along the back roads, we cross the Save River via the impressive Birchenough Bridge, heading to the remote Vumba Valley on the outskirts of Mutare town, which is where we spend our second night. Zimbabwe is a baobab country, and these giant trees are our companions for most of our stay in Zim! After a short ride we enter Mozambique and head further north, towards Catandica and then Tete, where the wealth lies beneath the soil and the coal mining industry is booming. Tete is a typical African city: hot, dusty, bustling, seemingly chaotic. And that is precisely why you’re here: to experience Africa at its most challenging, warts and all. As we enter Tete, we cross the mighty Zambezi, marvelling yet again at the expertise of the engineers who bridged the great rivers in remote parts of Africa.

From Tete we ride the scenic Golomoti escarpment, crossing into Malawi at the Dedza border post and travelling through numerous traditional villages. More than two-thirds of Malawi’s 12 million residents live in rural farming areas. Our three-night stay at Cape Maclear on Lake Malawi is a highlight. It offers superb snorkelling and diving opportunities, with over 600 species of fish. The laid-back atmosphere and relaxing sunset cruises are just what the weary rider needs at this stage of the tour! From the shores of Lake Malawi, we head to landlocked, mineral-rich Zambia. After a brief stopover in Chipata and Lusaka we make our way to Livingstone and Victoria Falls. The winding roads are in good shape, complementing the smooth curves of the landscape. The ride from the Luangwa River to Lusaka seems to have been designed for motorcycles. Again, riders are greeted warmly in the many traditional villages. Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, announces itself with a roar! We enjoy a dinner cruise on the Zambezi River and a guided tour of the falls. The array of activities available ranges from white water rafting and bungee jumping for the adventurous to scenic helicopter rides for the more sedate.

A short ride from the Victoria Falls takes us back across the Zambezi River, this time by ferry to a part of Botswana well known for its variety of wildlife, not least the Big Five. A cruise on the Chobe River gives us the opportunity to spot hippos and elephants and more. Safari vehicles take us through the Chobe National Park, where there’s a good chance of finding those animals that aren’t so keen on water. We continue our ride south, with Nata our next stop. We’re quite likely to encounter wild animals on the main road between Kasane and Nata, so we proceed with caution, on the lookout for elephant and giraffe crossing the road.

We cross the border into South Africa at the Martin’s Drift border post and spend our last night in the town of Lepahale, before our journey ends in Centurion. The final days of the ride give us time to reflect on more than two weeks packed with new experiences, new places and new friends.

Highlights of the Victoria Falls & Beyond Motorcycle Tour:

  • Tour through rural and historic regions of Zimbabwe.
  • Visit the city of Tete in Mozambique a typical African city.
  • Cross the mighty Zambezi River via the impressive Samora Machel Bridge.
  • Snorkelling and diving opportunities on Lake Malawi.
  • A scenic drive from Luangwa River to Lusaka .
  • Visit Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
  • Game viewing cruise on the Chobe River.

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

See also our 15 Day Grand South Africa Motorcycle Tour

Summary

14 Breakfasts & 7 Dinners

17 Days / 16 Nights
BMW F750GS or similar

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia & Botswana

Day 1 – 0km – Home to Pretoria
All participants arrive in South Africa during the morning. A transfer service will bring you to your hotel in Pretoria, the latter being the executive capital of South Africa. An informal tour briefing will be conducted in the late afternoon once everyone has settled in whereafter we will do the motorcycle check out between 16h00 and 17h00.

Day 2 – 485km - Pretoria to Musina
Early morning after breakfast we bid city life farewell and start our journey to the Limpopo Province, it being the most northern province in SA. We have some highway mileage to cover and when we reach the city of Polokwane, we are nearly halfway to our end destination for today. We reside near the Zimbabwe border in a small town called Mussina. This is the most northern town in SA and it also has the reputation of being one of the hottest towns in the country. This is the closest we can get to the border post to ensure an early crossing tomorrow, hopefully offering us a hassle-free experience with customs and immigration.

Day 3 – 340km – Musina to Lake Kyle near Masvingo
After an early morning border crossing into Zimbabwe at Beitbridge, our ride in Zimbabwe starts. This is the only border post between the two countries and one of the busiest in Africa. We thus require some patience and smiles to get thought. Once past the nearby town of Beitbridge, we head northeast to Masvingo. We reside a few kilometres outside of Masvingo near Lake Kyle at Norma Jean Lakeview Lodge. This tranquil venue with its lush gardens is near the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and time permitting a visit to this ancient site might be enjoyed. The visit does involve some walking and climbing a hill where the ruins are to be found.

Day 4 – 435km – Lake Kyle to “The Vumba” near Mutare
Once done with breakfast, we head back to Masvingo and embark on our journey to Mutare. The roads become less congested as we head out of town towards the rural settlements. One cannot but take notice of the sudden abundance of big Baobab trees lining the roadside and the picturesque rocky hills lining the horizon. The locals call the Baobab trees the “upside-down trees” because of the weird shapes with the massive trunks. We cross the rather impressive Birchenough Bridge over the Save River. It was designed by the same people who created the Sydney Harbour Bridge - one must admire this unique structure in the middle of nowhere. We have an optional detour via the Chimanimani Plateau soon after crossing the bridge – time permitting we will enjoy the extra miles. Our hotel outside Vumba takes us back to the colonial era when the White Horse Inn was the place to be seen at. Surrounded by the mountains we follow the only windy and narrow road there is to lead us to the inn.

Day 5 - 470km – The Vumba to Tete (Moatize)
Early morning we make our way back to the town of Mutare from where we exit Zimbabwe and enter Mozambique. Forbes border post is the main port linking the Beira harbour corridor with Zimbabwe. We ride towards Manica and then we turn due north to Catandica and then the long way to Tete. This area is known as the Chimoio plateau and the distant mountains lining the landscape forms part of the plateau. Late afternoon we ride into the bustling mining city of Tete. It is a beehive of activity and not always what outsiders expect to see. Our “industrial lodge” – Hotel Moatize, is a welcome oasis to arrive at in the humid afternoon heat which Tete is notorious for. The town of Tete can be seen when we cross of the mighty Zambezi River to Moatize.

Day 6 – 390km – Tete to Cape Maclear (Lake Malawi)
After breakfast, we continue north towards Malawi. Expect some heavy trucks and potholes along the way, but our motorcycles make for easy navigation come these craters.... one cannot say the same for the poor truckers! Shortly before Zobue we turn to Villa Ulongwe and follow the Golomoti escarpment as we ride towards Dedza border post where we cross into Malawi. Malawi and its people are always a welcome sight. So are the views when crossing the Dedza Mountains overlooking Lake Malawi in the distance. The Dedza pass is a great road with tight twists and very little traffic, making us feel at home as we navigate the steep descent down the plateau to the lake’s region.

Day 7 & 8 – Cape Maclear
Cape Maclear is one of those places that works magic for a tired bum and weary soul. It makes you feel lazy, no relaxed, you feel at home and one contemplates staying longer. Due to the relaxing vibes at Cape Maclear, we opted to stay three nights at this idyllic spot to rest after a few long days in the saddle. We enjoy two days of doing nothing - this includes late afternoon boat trip with the locals to one of the islands to enjoy some snorkelling and feeding the fish eagles as well as a short village tour. Paradise is how most describe it at Cape Mac Lodge followed by the promise to come back one day. Sit back, relax and enjoy the slow pace and tranquil atmosphere.

Day 9 – 400km – Cape Maclear to Chipata
We say goodbye to Cape Mac with its hardworking yet smiling people. Our next stop is Salima near the western shores of the lake and then we are off to Lilongwe. This a big city where we enjoy a light lunch. We continue due west and eventually say goodbye to Malawi. We pass by numerous villages where people work hard on the farms to make a living. Malawi is one of the poorest countries on the African continent and the locals are surely doing their bit to create their own wealth and not wait for “handouts”. After the border formalities, we enter Zambia and say goodbye to Malawi. Late afternoon we reach Chipata and head to our hotel outside of town.

Day 10 – 580km – Chipata to Lusaka
Chipata featured on Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor’s Longway Down route and is still a popular stop-over for over-landers, albeit it trucks or bikes. It’s another busy African town and we do not spend too much time idling around - we have our own “long way down”, this time Vic Falls. On our ride to Lusaka we pass through numerous small settlements, encounter lots of friendly people and lush green landscapes once we cross the Luangwa River. The newly constructed road is a joy to ride and only when we near Lusaka, the Zambian capital, will the presence of city traffic give us a reality check. The Cairo Road Protea Hotel is just another city hotel, but it has some good Thai chicken curry on the menu and its located in the heart of the city.

Day 11 – 480 km – Lusaka to Livingstone
We say goodbye to Lusaka’s morning traffic shambles and continue south along the vast savannah plains and rural towns of southern Zambia. Again, we experience numerous rural settlements before arriving in Livingstone. During our first two hours of riding we must navigate some rush-hour city traffic and then some potholes, but behold, the road gets better! The rest of our day should be lightened up again by the friendly locals waving, shouting and smiling as we pass by on our big machines, something which they are not used to except the old pushbike and small Chinese manufactured scooters. For those who suffer from sleepwalking, keep the doors locked the next two nights as you might wander into the Zambezi River here at the Waterfront Lodge in Livingstone.

Day 12 – 0 km - Livingstone
Today is to relax, to sit back and chill on the banks of the mighty Zambezi, this time it’s the Zambian version we see. We also enjoy a walking tour of the mighty Victoria Falls and should anyone feel like it, an optional helicopter ride. This comes highly recommended by all who has seen the falls from the air...in a helicopter. There will be an early evening dinner cruise on an old river cruise liner and weather permitting we can expect the usual stunning African sunset. Do not expect 5-star cuisine, but the drinks are included and the food, well it’s a bonus.

Day 13 & 14 - 100km – Livingstone to Kasane
Today we cross the mighty Zambezi River for a second time via the ferry at Kazangula. The ferry service will not be here for much longer and once the bridge is completed, all traffic will cross by bridge, hopefully, we are not too late. After a short road trip, we enter Botswana where we spend two nights outside Kasane at the Garden Lodge overlooking the Chobe River. Our two-night stay includes two 3-hour safaris to the Chobe National Park and a boat safari. This is one of the few places where you can get up-close and personal with both the hippopotamus and the elephant while cruising the Chobe River. Relaxing gets a whole new meaning when you chill on the banks of the Chobe River and enjoy yet another African sunset.

Day 15 – 330km – Kasane to Nata
We traverse the eastern plains of Northern Botswana and ride south to Nata. Parts of the region we ride through are in the Chobe National Park, this means that we need to be on the lookout for “wild animals”, real ones and the numerous road signs warn road users about the dangers. Riders often encounter elephant, buffalo, giraffe and various antelope along the road and crossing. We will take it easy and enjoy the scenery and surely bring back the photos of us on the bikes and Mother Nature all around. Nata Lodge is always a welcome sight and the pool more so after a ling day in the saddle.

Day 16 – 530km – Nata to Lephalale
We enjoy our last few hours in Botswana passing by Francistown and Palapye before arriving back in SA via Martins Drift border post. Once back in South Africa we head for Lephalale. This bustling little town is home to one of SA’s largest coal-powered electricity plants and with sections still under construction, there are a lot of people and movement in and around town. The Palm Inn Hotel is our last stay under the Africa sun.

Day 17 – 360km – Lephalale to Pretoria
The last day of our tour will give us enough time to reflect on our Victoria Falls & Beyond Tour before city life and traffic sets in. The last stretch of the open road is part rural road part highway and the relaxed ride will allow one to relive the experiences we enjoyed, and bonds formed over the last few days exploring and experiencing Africa. We should be back in Centurion after lunch to return or motorcycles and say our goodbyes. After freshening up and getting ready for your flight, a transfer service will bring you to the OR Tambo International Airport for your evening return flight.

17 Day Victoria Falls & Beyond Motorcycle Tour

Rates in SA Rand Rates in SA Rand
(fixed rate)
Rates in US$
(subject to change)
Rider Only
(Sharing Accommodation)
R 98,500 pp sharing US$ 6,565 pp sharing
Pillion
(Sharing Accommodation)
R 44,900 pp sharing US$ 2,995 pp sharing
Single Room Surcharge R 13,500 US$ 900

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Tour Departures
26 March 2021

Motorcycle Upgrade Options:
BMW F850GS - R 1,750.00
BMW F850GS Adv - R 5,300.00
BMW R1250GS - R 12,400.00
BMW R1250GS Adv - R 17,600.00

Tour Includes:

  • Motorcycle – standard base model included BMW F750GS
  • Comprehensive motorcycle insurance
  • Top case + panniers
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Guide on motorcycle
  • 5 x Dinners & 1 x Lunch
  • Accommodation - inclusive of 16 x breakfast (3 and 4 star)
  • Transfer costs between airport and hotel
  • Personalized souvenir cap and road map

Included Activities:

    • Chobe Safaris - land-based x 2 in an open vehicle
    • Chobe River safari & sundowner cruise
    • Zambezi River sundowner & dinner cruise
    • Victoria Falls guided tour on foot
    • Lake Malawi traditional boat cruise
    • Cape Maclear local village walking tour

Excluded:

  • Airfares from and to home
  • Helmets and other riding gear
  • Fuel, toll fees and road taxes
  • Border taxes, carbon taxes and council levies (see below)
  • VISA fees at the border crossing
  • Lunches and unspecified dinners
  • Support vehicle services
  • Drinks
  • Refundable bike deposit
  • Refundable equipment deposit
  • Personal insurance – travel insurance etc.

Additional expenses to budget for:
Cross border taxes and toll fees - $ 300.00 per bike (funds to be handed to tour guide)
VISA costs at respective border crossings (to be paid at borders)

Prices are subject to change due to airfare increases, currency exchange, fluctuations and any unforeseen circumstances, without prior notice.
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