Riding BMW adventure bikes, this motorcycle tour across South Africa will take you on incredible roads with perfect tarmac through achingly beautiful landscapes…
Experience the vast wilderness of the Cederberg and the Tankwa Karoo.
Visit the penguin colony at Betty's Bay.
Ride the world famous Chapman's Peak Drive... If this is not the most beautiful coastal road you've ever ridden, please do let us know where we can find better!
Arrive a day early and ride the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain and enjoy the spectacular views across Cape Town and the Atlantic ocean.
Whale spotting in Hermanus - the best land based whale spotting location in the world.
Explore the Cederberg Wilderness with its rich and ancient rock art heritage.
Ride the epic gravel road down into 'The Hell'.
Spot giraffe & ostrich at our beautiful lodge.
Ride the challenging roads through adventure riding heaven: 'Baviaanskloof'.
The BIG FIVE! We'll go on safari at Addo National Park in search of Lion, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Elephant and Leopards!
Riding BMW adventure bikes, this motorcycle tour across South Africa will take you on incredible roads with perfect tarmac through achingly beautiful landscapes on the way to the remote and rugged Cederberg Wilderness and into the Tankwa Karoo.
We’ll climb epic mountain passes, carve along astounding dirt roads and witness some of the most wonderful scenery you’ll ever encounter. We’ll visit nature reserves, safari parks and spot whales in the Indian Ocean. Did we mention the 50km long trail on the way to ’The Hell’ in the Swartberg mountain range? Yep – that one’s special. Forget bucket list – this is dream motorcycling for sure.
We’ll stay in plush hotels, luxury game lodges, remote farmhouses – a whole range of beautiful and interesting accommodation to really make your evenings as good as your days.
The first day of the tour starts with your arrival at Cape Town International Airport. You’ll be met at arrivals and transferred directly to your waterfront hotel. Once you’ve checked in you’ll have a chance to relax at the pool after your long flight. In the afternoon we’ll get all the riders together to meet the team and give you a full briefing of the exciting adventure ahead.
We’ll collect the motorcycles before venturing out to the V&A Waterfront for a welcome dinner overlooking the harbour.
Please note that the contract for the motorcycle rental is between you and the motorcycle rental company, not Ride Expeditions. The motorcycles have an insurance excess of approx £1000 – £1800 (depending on the model) and the rental company will require this amount to either be paid as a deposit or held on your card as a security against damage/loss. Please contact us if you require any further information.
It’s the first riding day of this South African motorcycle tour and today the real adventure begins! So, hop on and thumb the starter… We’ll start the day with a trip down the fantastic Cape peninsula, following stunning coastal roads down to the historic Cape of Good Hope.
We then follow the coast east through picturesque coastal towns and villages all the way to Hermanus for our first stop. We will stop to visit a penguin colony at ‘Betty’s Bay’ along the way!
Hermanus is on the Whale Coast route and is reputed to be the best place on earth for spotting whales while still on the land. Get your binoculars out and you could see a Southern-right whale before breakfast – now that’s a pretty special way to start the day.
Please note: the best whale viewing months are July – November. While it is still possible to spot them outside of these months, sightings are less common.
We’ll saddle up and leave the Whale coast to spend the morning on joyful sweeping tarmac and gravel roads. We’ll stop for photos at Theewaterskloof dam before riding the incredible twisting roads over the top of Franschhoek Pass. After a coffee break in this beautiful town we’ll continue north, crossing over Bainskloof Pass and stopping for lunch at ‘The Bush Pub’.
We climb Mitchell’s Pass into Ceres and loop round to join the R355 – a pencil straight gravel road that we’ll ride for 50km before turning west and crossing over the incredible Katbakkies Pass that drops down into the Cederberg.
This is one special and incredibly varied day of riding! To top it all off, we stay in a beautiful lodge in the middle of nowhere. One of our team will man the ‘braai’ (a South African BBQ) and cook up a massive feast, South African style!
It’s a fantastic day on the gravel today and we start by riding north to see the ancient cave art and Stadsaal rock formations.
We continue north, riding the rugged gravel tracks up to Wupperthal – a quaint little village that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time!
Looping around the top of the Cederberg we’ll stop at the most random little ‘pub’ you’ll have ever been to… they even have a #46 Valentino Rossi dentist chair!
We finish the day at an incredible and quirky camp in the Tankwa Karoo (we’ll be staying in ensuite chalets). This place is seriously cool. The vast landscape is dotted with ingenious sculptures and we’ll enjoy a perfect sunset with cold drinks in hand. The campfires will be lit and we’ll enjoy a candlelit dinner under stars. Another perfect end to a perfect day!
We’ll start the morning by passing through the old ‘Afrika Burn’ site. This is a vast desert type landscape that was the location of an annual arts & music festival. It’s certainly an impressive place and there are some leftover sculptures that make for some great photos. The area is also home to an international airport, which is nothing more than the runway, a sign and a couple of fire buckets! Drag race? Well we really shouldn’t, but…
The rest of the day is no less impressive, with a whole host of gravel and tarmac roads that lead us down to Montagu – an area that has hosted the world famous BMW GS Trophy (so the riding must be good, right?!).
We’ll start the morning with some twisty country roads through lush green valleys before turning north to ride the ‘Tradouw Pass’ – an incredible twisty canyon road that’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear! This leads us onto the famous Route 62 – only four down from Route 66 so it must be good! We’ll stop at an American style diner for an American style (BIG) milkshake before hitting the gravel to ride through a game reserve. This game reserve has the full Big 5 – so keep your eyes peeled and you could spot anything from rhinos to lions from the seat of your motorbike!
We’ll rejoin Route 62 at ‘Ronnie’s Sex Shop’ where we’ll stop for a coffee and obligatory group photo!
The next section of road is amazing. It’s fast, it’s smooth, it’s flowy and the scenery is just incredible!
But if it’s one road that will define your tour it’s the next one. The roads on the way up the Swartberg range are stunning, clinging to the side of the rocks through endless hairpins to reach the start of the road to ‘The Hell’. It’s a 48km dirt track that traces an achingly beautiful valley over all surfaces from hardpack dirt to rocks, sand and water. When we get to our overnight accommodation you’ll have earned a drink as we spend the night around a roaring fire miles from anywhere. It doesn’t get much better than this.
If you enjoyed the trail the day before, it’s good news as we have to retrace our steps back up the 48km before hanging a left and over the top of the Swartberg Pass. The view at the top is stunning, so don’t forget to send a selfie to your mates.
The road down is pretty epic too, with more of those hairpins dropping down into a deep valley.
From here we’ll ride further into the Karoo and straight into ostrich country.
We’ll stay in a beautiful lodge where giraffe and ostrich roam. This is Africa! And this will surely be the most luxurious tent you’ll have ever stayed in!
Spend the morning relaxing in this incredible accommodation, feed the giraffes or explore the ostrich farm.
Then we’ll hit the road for an incredible afternoon of riding. We’ll ride a mix of gravel and tar roads down the Montagu Pass and over the Seven Passes – you’ll be grinning from start to finish!
Tonight we stay on Thesen Island within the Knysna estuary – an absolutely beautiful place with plenty of excellent restaurants and bars.
This little place is so pretty it’s a great location to catch our breath for the morning and take in the scenery around this stunning coastal lagoon. Conveniently, there is a motorcycle exhibition on the island with over 100 classic bikes to drool over!
Leaving Knysna and the Indian Ocean behind we head back towards the country’s interior. We’ll climb through lush mountain passes in the exquisite Diepwalle Forest as we head up to Uniondale.
On this road you’ll have to be careful not to pick up the famous ghost of the Uniondale hitchhiker who apparently climbs aboard passing motorcycles before jumping off at the next T-junction. As long as she can do the corners correctly – it shouldn’t be a problem!
We’ll power on through twisty, dirt tracks and finish our day in Baviaanskloof, which is Dutch for Baboons Ravine. If you’ve not yet seen a baboon up close, this may be your chance, but away from the town they are quite nervous of people so don’t worry – they are not going to run off with your Alpinestars!
Have you ever slept in a cave? …
This morning we continue our journey through Baviaanskloof and head east towards the Addo Elephant National Park. It’s the final day of riding on this South Africa motorcycle tour and we’ve saved the best til last! It’s a big final day of riding, but so worth it… we like to finish with a bang!
Baviaanskloof is an incredible place – the riding is challenging but so much fun and monkeys, baboons and buffalo roam free.
We then follow the path of the Gamtoosrivier for mile after mile before tracing the borders of a host of nature reserves to end the day at the appropriately named Addo Elephant Park. Wonder what we’ll see here…
We finish at an incredible luxury lodge situated within the borders of the national park and the restaurant overlooks a watering hole frequented by elephants. It’s the perfect place to end your South African motorcycle adventure!
Today is all about the animals rather than the bikes and watching herds of majestic elephants lingering by the waterholes should be a good way to start the day. If we are lucky we will see the odd lion, rhino, cape buffalo and leopard, so make sure to bring your Box Brownie and binoculars for this one. This is Africa in the raw and it makes a fantastic end to a fantastic adventure.
We’ll finish the tour with cold beers and cocktails followed by a farewell dinner. What a trip!
So with the riding done, our team will begin the long drive back to base in Cape Town, but what do you want to do next? With flights from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, Cape Town & Victoria Falls to name but a few you can keep your adventure going if you’re not ready to fly home yet. For those who would like to fly from Port Elizabeth, we can assist in arranging transfers to the airport.
Twin-share accommodation is included as standard – see ‘Optional Extras’ below for single room pricing.
On this trip we stay in a mix of 4-5*hotels, luxurious safari tents, game lodges, guesthouses & a cave!
Please see the daily itinerary info for more details on each nights accommodation.
You’ll be collected from Cape Town International Airport (CPT) on the morning of the first day (you are of course welcome to arrive a day or two earlier, but there will be an extra cost for airport pickup).
All entrance fees during the tour & a 4×4 safari at Addo National Park are included in the tour price.
Your tour will be led and managed by a highly experienced member of the Ride Expeditions team (trained as a wilderness first response medic).
Ride Expeditions Ltd is committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. At no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ‘The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018’, all passengers booking with Ride Expeditions Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form.
The policy also includes repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Ride Expeditions Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Travel through Evolution Insurance.
During the COVID-19 crisis, every rider that requested a refund was issued a cash refund.
All fuel for your motorcycle is provided by us.
This motorcycle tour is accompanied by a GPS tracker that displays our live location and track history on an online map. We will provide you with the link and login details which you can then share with your family at home so they can track your progress throughout the trip.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided on most days.
Please see the daily itinerary to see what meals are included on each day.
At least one member of the support team will have been trained as a Wilderness First Response medic.
An extensive medical kit including a defibrillator (AED) & stretcher is carried in the support vehicle.
We also have consulting doctors on call, 24/7, who are always ready to assist in the case of an emergency. Our doctors are fully briefed on all riders medical info prior to the tour, they know what we do, where we are riding, exactly what we have in our medical kit and what training our medics have.
Tours are accompanied by GPS trackers and a satellite messenger device so our doctor and office can see exactly where we are and can maintain communication.
If you have you your own suitable & reliable motorcycle at the start point, you are quite welcome to use that for this trip. If not, we will provide a rental motorcycle for you… Please see the Dates & Prices section for available bikes.
We organise your motorcycle rental with our preferred rental provider in South Africa. Your contract for the motorcycle rental is direct with the provider and you’ll be required to sign their contract when receiving your motorcycle. You must comply with the terms & conditions of the rental provider. Upon request, we can provide you with a copy of these terms & conditions in advance.
Playing our part in rainforest & wildlife conservation and in an effort to off-set our carbon emissions, we donate part profits to World Land Trust.
Our South African motorcycle tours are accompanied by a Toyota Hilux 4×4. This will be towing a twin-axle off-road trailer capable of carrying 7 bikes.
The backup vehicle & trailer will carry all of your luggage, essential spare parts, a spare motorcycle, tools, extensive medical kit (in addition to the kit carried by the tour medic), defibrillator (AED), stretcher, cold drinks and lunch. There is always a spare seat in case any of the riders want to sit in the truck for a rest.
Our support truck will follow behind the riders throughout the ride. When we are eating lunch ‘on the road’ the driver will prepare a picnic with fresh local produce, cheeses & meats, fruit & snacks etc.
Once we reach the accommodation at the end of the day the driver will hand out cold beers from the coolbox and have your bags sent ahead to your rooms.
We’ll welcome you with a bag of Ride Expeditions goodies which will include:
You’ll need to book flights to arrive in Cape Town (CPT) on or before the morning of Day 1 of this trip. You can then fly out of Port Elizabeth (PLZ) on the last day of the trip. Riders often find it easier to book a return flight to Cape Town and then just book a domestic flight from PLZ to CPT at the end of the trip.
It is important you either:
Comprehensive motorcycle insurance is included with the motorcycle rental, however the insurance excess is approximately £1000 - £1500 (depending on the model). Please note that this amount will either be 'held' on your card or paid as a deposit.
It is a condition of booking that you obtain appropriate travel insurance that covers you for riding the same capacity motorcycle that you’ll be riding on this motorcycle tour.
The insurance must cover emergency evacuation, medical bills, repatriation etc.
Adventure style kit with decent ventilation is the way to go on this motorcycle tour, rather than enduro or road leathers. So that means a good helmet, protective riding jacket and trousers, ideally with CE or equivalent approved armour on the pointy bits – elbows, knees and shoulders.
You are also going to need good riding gloves, a neck tube and a sturdy pair of motorcycle boots.
Please bring waterproofs if your kit doesn’t keep out the wet stuff.
Yes, please do. You can obtain these upon arrival at Cape Town airport. You will need your passport in order to purchase a sim. We would recommend the ‘Cell C’ network.
South Africa is more developed than most first time visitors will anticipate, so the idea of vegetarian menus is not new. Most of the places we stay at will cater for a meat-free / vegan meal, and we will of course do our best to ensure that any allergies are catered for.
We’ll do our best to work around any specific requirements, but if you are going to go into anaphylactic shock if a peanut looks at you, please let us know and have a fully loaded epi-pen somewhere readily accessible…
Drop us an email and we can discuss any concerns you may have.
Yes, you must be licensed to ride the same capacity motorcycle that you’ll be riding on this motorcycle tour.
Please check with your local Foreign Office if an International Driving Permit is required from your home country.
This depends where you are from originally, but visitors from the UK, USA and Australia can enter the country for up to 90 days without any visa or additional costs (you will need a proof of return flight and 2 blank pages in your passport. Please double check this before travelling just in case they’ve recently changed their minds!)
Follow this link for South African entry requirements. This link to the UK foreign office website – if you are not a UK resident, please search for the equivalent info from your home country’s foreign office.
Visa costs, if applicable, are not included in the tour price.
To secure your place we simply need a 20% non-refundable deposit (subject to a minimum of £500). The remainder does not need to be paid until 60 days prior to the tour start date.
As this is a largely inclusive tour, you won’t need much. You will only need money for the items not listed as inclusions, which is mainly just alcohol and any other personal spending. Unless you go mad with the wine list and gift shops, around £100 – £150 should be quite adequate.
Yes. Here at Ride Expeditions, we take the necessary precautions to ensure that we protect both ourselves and you as the customer, with insurances covering financial failure, public liability, professional indemnity and employers liability (you will need your own travel insurance).
To obtain this insurance we must meet strict safety standards and local regulations. We must also carry out thorough risk assessments about all aspects of a tour before tyres can hit tarmac (…or dirt!).
Yes. All passengers booking with Ride Expeditions Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy also includes repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Ride Expeditions Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Travel through Evolution Insurance.
Not riding the motorcycle, no (although this will of course depend on the extent of your limited mobility). However, we may be able to accommodate you in our support vehicle. We advise you to give us a call and we can discuss.
There is decent wi-fi at all but 3 overnight accommodations.
For the most accurate and up to date info, we advise you visit the ‘Travel Health Pro’ website.
Please also consult with your own doctor at home at least 8 weeks before your trip.
Average group sizes are 8-9 riders and we limit the groups to 12 riders.
If you cancel your booking before departure, cancellation charges will be applied as follows:
Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for further info regarding cancellations, changes and transferring your trip to a friend.
The local currency is the ‘Rand’. You can either pick up some Rand back home or bring USD, GBP or EUR with you – you’ll easily be able to change these for Rand in Cape Town. Alternatively you can simply withdraw from ATMs when you arrive. (There are ATMs in the towns, but not in all of the remote areas).
Don’t forget to tell your bank you are heading to South Africa as without this information they will most likely think some rogue hacker is dipping into your account and promptly block your card.
Ideally, we want confident and experienced riders on our tours in South Africa, so for this reason we want you to have at least two years active motorcycle riding experience. And by this we mean that you have regularly ridden during that period, rather than just passing a test on the test centre’s bikes and not ridden a mile since.
We will send a pre-booking form to gauge the level of your riding experience.
Following on from this, as this motorcycle tour is both on and off-road on adventure bikes, it is more than preferable if you have had a good amount of adventure riding experience before booking up. Should you have any doubts, give our tour leaders a call or email and we can talk through any queries you may have.
The minimum required number for this trip to run is 6 riders. We reserve the right to cancel the tour if this number is not met and we will provide you with a minimum of 56 days notice. Please know that this is an absolute last resort for us and we will always do everything in our power to avoid this happening.
We accept GBP payments by Visa, Mastercard & American Express and direct bank transfers. Please get in touch if you would rather pay in another currency – we’ll do our best to accommodate!
For South Africa there are four associated plug types, types C, D, M and N. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins, plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug types M and N both have three round pins.