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Absolute Africa

Duration

37 Days

Ride Grade

5

Ride / Rest day

27 / 10

Distance

8770ks / 5480mi


South & Central Africa: Go on safari as we visit world renown national parks teeming with wildlife all the while we exploring the mountian passes and coastal roads of Africa

This ride focuses on the quintessential African experience where we go on "safari" through iconic national parks seeing the Big -5, listening to the roar of lions, laughing of hyenas and trumpeting of elephants at night. We share time with the meerkats, walk amongst seals and watch whales breaching in the waters off South Africa’s stunning Garden Route. We ride some of Africa finest mountain passes and ride to the southernmost tip of the African continent. This ride perfectly encapsulates all what has made the African continent so alluring.

No info kit available

Dates and Pricing

Tour Highlights


Itinerary


Week 1:Leaving the lights of Nairobi behind we cross into Tanzania before arriving at the spectacularly situated Arusha, in the shadow of the volcanic Mt Meru. Arusha is also the gateway town for the iconic Serengeti National Park. We will park the bikes and climb aboard our safari vehicles spending the next 2 days “on safari” in the Serengeti and the incredible Ngorongoro Crater, a virtual who’s who of the “big 5” Elephant – Rhino – Lion – Leopard and Buffalo, all living in the caldera of an extinct volcano. This first week exposes us to the essence of Africa, being “on safari”.

Week 2: We start the week off, back on our bikes, riding south to the wonderful Iringa Farmhouse, a still working 100-year-old Tanzanian cattle and sheep station with superb accommodations. Our last night in Tanzania will be spent south of Mbeya amongst the coffee plantations at some equally epic accommodations. The road out to the border is a stunning single lane dirt track, through a verdant forest high in the mountains, this is remote riding at its best. Crossing into the beautiful Malawi we reach the shores of Lake Malawi where we spend a night in the rustic cabins at Chitimba Beach Camp, enjoying a beachside bar and restaurant, a legendary location amongst the overland fraternity. We hug the shoreline of Lake Malawi before reaching the superb Rafiki Lodge where we spend 2 nights enjoying the relaxed pace of Malawi and enjoying this stunning tented accommodation. The week is seen out as we cross back into Zambia via an exciting ride through the Nkhotakota Game Reserve where we may encounter elephant on the track, with special permission this is one of the only wildlife reserves motorbikes can ride through.

Week 3: It’s a quick ride to the outskirts of Lusaka before we cross into Zimbabwe and spend a night at the scenic Lake Kariba, one of the world’s largest man-made reservoirs that stores water from the mighty Zambezi River, sunsets from here are epic. We continue south to the wonderful Gweru Antelope Reserve where we can get up close and personal with some resident lions or simply relax at the superb wilderness lodge. Our next stop is the otherworldly granite landscape of Matopos National Park, with huge granite boulders seemingly defying gravity, this is also the burial place of Cecil Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia, before it gained independence and became Zimbabwe, Englishman Rhodes wanted to be buried atop a huge granite rock where he could see the world. We cross into Botswana and ride onto a region of salt flats, or pans, staying at the wonderful Planet Baobab, a quirky location surrounded by baobab trees with the average age being around 4000 years. Located on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans it’s here we can experience a unique Meerkat excursion out on the pans.

Week 4: We cross into South Africa via the wonderful Goo Moremi Gorge amongst the Twaspong Hills, the tented accommodation here is unbelievable. We will visit the Blyde River Canyon and take a boat trip deep within the canyon to see amazing towering peaks and escarpments that glow a stunning red as the setting sun reflects off them. We then ride one of South Africa’s most scenic rides known as the Panorama Route that offers stunning views or this ancient landscape of escarpment weathered over millennia. No visit to Africa is complete without a visit to the legendary Kruger National Park. We will spend 2 nights here allowing us time to enjoy a safari in this most iconic of parks. Departing South Africa, if only for a day, we enter the kingdom of Eswatini, formally known as Swaziland, and ride up to Pigg’s Peak and overnight just south of the capital of Mbabane. Leaving Eswatini we cross back into South Africa and ride south onto the world-famous Garden Route where we spend the next 2 nights at St Lucia, where it isn’t unreasonable to see hippos wandering the streets at night. We will enjoy a sunset cruise on the lake systems that forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park where it is almost guaranteed you will see hippos, 100s of them.

Week 5: Riding the Garden Route, we turn inland towards Rorkes Drift, in Zulu warrior land, it is here that 150 English soldiers held off 3000 – 4000 Zulu warriors in the Anglo – Zulu war, 11 VCs were awarded during this battle, the highest number ever awarded for one battle. We have the great, great, great grandson of the Zulu leader who led the first battle with the British, give an informative presentation of the iconic region. We continue to Himeville, scenically located at the foot of the Southern Drakensburg Mountains, before returning to the Garden Route, via Port St Johns, beautifully located on the mouth of the Umzimvubu River. We will visit the moving Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha and continue to the tranquil beachside village of Haga Haga where we may see whales from our bedroom windows. We will ride one of South Africa’s finest mountains passes of Swartberg and Prince Albert Pass and of course the famous Ronnies Sex Shop, these days are filled with some of the best canyonlands and mountain pass riding of the entire expedition.

Week 6: Our last few days will see us reach Cape Arugulas, the southernmost point of the entire African continent and where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. This epic trip finishes off in Cape Town, but not before one more awesome ride around False Bay, via the Simonstown penguin colony, and into Cape Town via the famous Chapmans Peak Drive, what a way to end this magnificent ride in Africa.

Departure Day: Spend a couple more days in Cape Town or fly home

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Included


  • Airport Transfers
  • 37 nights’ accommodation in safari lodges, permanent tented camps (with en-suite) & predominately 3 - 5 star hotels
  • 37 breakfasts
  • 27 lunches
  • 8 Dinners
  • All Shipping included
  • Incomparable list of sights and inclusions (see client info kit for the full list)
  • Support vehicle with passenger carrying ability
  • Services of ride leader and support vehicle driver
  • Pre-departure material and route maps complete GPS waypoints and routes
  • Access to satellite phone, pay per minute
  • Compass Expeditions polo shirt

Not Included


  • International Flights
  • Fuel & tolls
  • Carnet (if riding own bike)
  • Compulsory bike insurance (if riding own bike)
  • Visas (if required)
  • Personal Health/Travel Insurance
  • Tips and gratuities
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Ride Details


Ride Profile

96.5% of this drive is on pavement, that ranges from superb, smooth highways in South Africa to a barely discernible thin ribbon of deformed asphalt connected by massive potholes. Some sections of pavement can be punctuated by massive foot deep potholes, with zero warning, and have 2-foot-tall shoulders and suffer from deformations from grossly overloaded trucks.
 
3.5% of this drive will be on dirt. These dirt tracks range from rough corrugated sections with loose gravel heaves to good well formed dirt sections through farmlands. One 20k / 12.5mi section in Eswatini is extremely rough with large boulders in the roadbed and deep washouts and another 7k / 4.3mi section is sand that can be deep in sections (depending on recent traffic volumes). As with all dirt tracks conditions change and the above is a guide only.

 

Tour Start/End

Tour Start: Nairobi, Kenya
Tour End: Cape Town, South Africa

Climate

We should expect average temps of 25°C / 77°F and generally blue skies in Tanzania, Malawi & South Africa where it will be at the very end of the dry season offering the best chance to see wildlife.


 

Important Information

You will need to be in Nairobi, two days prior to start of expedition, for your joining day (a bonus nights’ accommodation is included)
Riders, (riding their own bikes), will need to allow 1 full day to prepare bikes for shipping at tours end in Cape Town
All riders must have a valid driver’s license and at least two years riding experience.
It is a requirement that all clients have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition 
 
Ride Grade
5
 

Ride Distance
8770ks / 5480mi

Accommodation


  • 37 nights of accommodation.
  • Our accommodations range from small family run Lodges, tented safari camps & 3-, 4- & 5-star hotels.
  • A flexible attitude is needed as, on some occasions, standards are not always what we are accustomed to.
  • All accommodation is on a twin share basis. If you are traveling alone, we will pair you up with another solo traveler. However, if you prefer single accommodation a single supplement is available: US$ (please note on a very few number of occasions due to lodge size limitations a single room may not be available.)
    • Solo Travelers: We endeavour to pair you up with a fellow solo traveler however if numbers are limited you may be required to pay a single supplement.


 
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Dining


On every day of the tour, we include breakfast: 37 Breakfasts
On mentioned ride days we provide either picnic lunches, that we prepare ourselves from our mobile kitchen, prepacked lunches on border days and some excursion days or café lunches: 27 lunches
We include mentioned dinners in reliable restaurants, safari camps or lodges that we have used before: 8 Dinners 
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Bikes



 

 

BMW R1300GS
  • 1300cc Twin cylinder boxer engine
  • Seat height 85cm (33.4In) Approx.
  • Inner Leg Curve 190cm (74.8in) Approx
  • Heated Hand Grips
  • BMW style accessory power socket
  • Top Box
  • Engine protection bars
  • Bash plate
  • Dual purpose tyres


 

 

BMW F850GS
  • 853cc Parallel twin cylinder engine
  • Seat height 86cm (33.8In) Approx.
  • Inner Leg Curve 190cm (75in) Approx
  • Heated Hand Grips
  • BMW style accessory power socket
  • Top Box
  • Engine protection bars
  • Bash plate
  • Dual purpose tyres 

 
 
BMW F750GS
  • 853cc (de-tuned) Parallel twin cylinder engine
  • Seat height 81cm (32In) Approx.
  • Inner Leg Curve 183cm (72in) Approx
  • Heated Hand Grips
  • BMW style accessory power socket
  • Top Box
  • Engine protection bars
  • Bash plate
  • Dual purpose tyres
  • Low seat option available

Insurance


Accidents happen, luggage is lost and tour or flight cancellations can occur, so it is our policy that all participants of Compass Expeditions tours have an appropriate level of travel insurance to cover the unforeseen. This is not only compulsory when joining our tours, but it makes sense.

If choosing your own insurance – for motorcycle tours it is crucial the insurance policy you choose will offer a policy for riding a motorcycle OVER 250cc (including our bikes). This is a critical point to ensure when purchasing a policy.

Our experienced In-house travel team are happy to help with getting you the right insurance for your tour and for any other travel you might be doing before or after. Contact our in-house travel team.

So you’ve read all the info and think you’re ready?...