Our motorcycle tour of the Garden Route in South Africa is simply sublime in every way… The riding, the accommodation, the scenery, food, locals and weather… If this trip doesn’t leave you feeling warm and fuzzy at the end of it, we don’t know what will..
The Garden Route is World-famous, and for very good reason. It’s home to spectacular scenery, stunning coastal roads (and stunning roads inland too!) and eclectic landscapes. You’ll ride the immense ‘Route 62’, Chapman’s Peak Drive, a whole range of mountain passes and even stop off at Cape Agulhas – the southernmost tip of Africa.
If a motorcycle tour of South Africa’s Garden Route isn’t already on your bucket list, we strongly suggest you add it – it’s certainly worthy.
…Then book this epic adventure with us so you can tick it off!
A fantastic first day of your holiday awaits as you touch down in Cape Town. We will send a driver to collect you from the airport for the short journey straight to your hotel in the city. Once checked in, you’ll have a chance to relax by the pool before meeting your fellow riders and the Ride team for a briefing on the ride ahead.
We’ll collect the motorcycles later in the afternoon before venturing out to the V&A Waterfront for a welcome dinner overlooking the harbour.
Helmets on! Your first riding day awaits and what a way to kick off the ride… We start the day with a ride along stunning coastal roads around the Cape peninsula, riding the world famous Chapman’s Peak Drive down to the Cape of Good Hope.
From there we will head to Simon’s Town for a picnic lunch with the local penguin colony at Boulders Beach, before climbing into the hills for an exhilarating ride past Silvermine Nature Reserve.
We’ll finish the day taking a ride through the Cape Winelands as we head for our destination for the day.
Our wheels will barely have started rolling before we start climbing Franschoek pass – a simply sublime ride both on the way up and the way back down the other side. With joyous twisties and incredible views, this road is a great way to start day!
Our ride through to Ceres will see us ride over Bainskloof pass – another 18km of twists and turns through a rugged landscape of rock formations.
We’ll head out the back of Ceres through yet another stunning pass (yes, we found them all!) and make our way to our accommodation for the evening. We finish off on the Koo Valley road with nice long bends, beautiful scenery and generally epic riding.
A viewpoint along Tradouw Pass is the order of the morning. This is a stunning valley that is cut through with an immensely fun road that leads us out to Route 62 – South Africa’s take on US’s Route 66.
We’ll stop at Ronnie’s Sex Shop for the obligatory group photo before continuing along this beautiful road through the Klein Karoo. Pressing on towards Ladismith and Calitzdorp, we’ll ride across the Huis River pass which is a serious amount of fun (we often find an excuse to turn around so that we ride this stretch of road 3 times – it’s that good!).
Tonight we will ‘camp’ in style at a beautiful lodge. A luxury safari tent is your home for the night, equipped with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms.
Before dinner, we’ll jump into the safari 4x4s and take a game drive around the surrounding hills in search of hippo, zebra, buffalo and giraffe.
There are a number of optional activities (at an extra cost) this morning which include visiting the elephants, an early morning heritage walk or the spa. Alternatively, you can simply relax and take in the views of this beautiful setting.
Back on the bikes, we’ll hit the road for a joyous ride south towards the coast. Spectacular views and twisty roads are the order of the morning as we make our way on to the Garden Route.
Tonight we stay on Thesen Island within the Knysna estuary – an absolutely beautiful place with plenty of excellent restaurants and bars. We’ll arrive early afternoon but, for those who wish to continue riding, we have the option to take an afternoon ride out to the beautiful Nature’s Valley.
It’s a fairly relaxed ride this morning as we cruise along a gorgeous, slow paced mountainous route along the coast, through Sedgefield and up the mountain into Wilderness. From there we will ride over a little mountain pass into the town of George. All in all these are some of the best coastal roads in the country!
From George, we ride past the Klein Brak River – this is absolutely lovely riding so we will take our time and enjoy the views.
After Mossel Bay the road will open up a little and we can pick up some speed to Heidelberg.
After a relaxed lunch we’ll ride on to Struisbaai where the scenery will change to more open farmland (corn, wheat or canola fields depending on the time of year). There are some really nice open roads, beautiful scenery and vast open spaces as we make our way down to Cape Agulhas.
Before we get to our accommodation for the night we will visit the Cape Agulhas lighthouse and of course the famous spot where the two oceans meet – the southernmost tip of Africa!
As always, we will have a good sized breakfast to stand us in good stead for the final day of riding that lies ahead. We will double back for a short stint as we make our way inland a little, before turning west and heading back towards some more stunning coastal roads.
This is a pretty interesting day’s riding. One of the first small towns we’ll be riding through is a little local community (also a Moravian mission station) that used to specialise in thatched roofs. A quirky little town with awesome friendly people.
We will then make our way to Baardskeerdersbos, enjoying some beautiful open, winding roads through rolling hills all the way down to Pearly Beach – we just love the riding here!
We stop at a nice little coffee shop and join the Whale Coast. There is a good chance (time of year dependent) that around Betty’s Bay area we might spot some Southern Right whales as we are riding along! We’ll then ride from Rooi-els up to Gordon’s Bay… This riding is just ridiculous – easily one of the best pieces of road in the world, never mind the country!
Just before we reach Gordon’s Bay we will stop off for a delicious lunch at the Grill Shack. From there it’s just the last little stretch along the coast, following the beach road as we make our way back to Cape Town.
Back to the beginning, it’s the perfect place to end your South African motorcycle adventure!
Sadly the riding is over but that doesn’t mean your adventure has to be. Why not stay in Cape Town a few days more to really get to know the city, it’s shops, restaurants, nearby vineyards & beautiful beaches?
We’ll say our farewells here and provide transfers to the airport for those that must leave today.
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.
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 and a game drive at Oudsthoorn 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.
Since the day Ride Expeditions started running tours in Cambodia back in 2012, we have been dedicated to supporting the local community.
Part profits from every motorcycle tour are donated to M’Lop Tapang – a local Cambodian charity dedicated to bettering the lives of young children & their families.
A Ride Expeditions riding jersey with your name printed on the back.
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 book a return flight to Cape Town (CPT) on or before the morning of Day 1 of this trip. You can then fly out of the same airport on the last day 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.
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.
We’d like all of our riders to have at least two years of active riding experience before booking up. Should you have any doubts, please give us a call and we can talk you through it in more detail.
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.