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Gorillas and Game Parks

Duration

45 Days

Ride Grade

5

Ride / Rest day

31 / 14

Sealed / Dirt

69% / 31%

Distance

8450ks / 5280mi


South & Central Africa: From the southernmost tip of the African continent to north of the Equator, this exploratory expedition delves into the hidden Africa

This tour is the “call of the wild” where we go on safari in iconic national parks seeing the Big -5, search for chimpanzees in remote, only accessible by boat, reserves, and trek to come face to face with the rare mountain gorillas (possibly the most amazing wildlife experience on earth). But it’s not only wildlife that takes our breath away; we also ride a plethora of ancient landscapes of vast pans, epic desert landscapes, towering sand dunes, lofty passes, mountain ranges peppered with volcanoes and deep jungles. It doesn’t end there though, listen to the roar of lions overnight or the endless grunting of hippos from our lodges, dine with us from atop an escarpment mesa overlooking ancient valleys far below or from a restaurant perched high above Lake Tanganyika. This experience rich expedition dares to travel off the well beaten tourist path and explores the very best of Africa.

No info kit available

Dates and Pricing

Tour Highlights


Itinerary


Week 1: We start the expedition at the spectacularly located Cape Town, under the gaze of Table Mountain, then ride north and into the stunning Cederberg on a series of exciting remote dirt tracks and visit an amazing private collection of around 150 dust covered motorbikes lying in a farm shed. We enter the spectacular Namaqualand area in the Northern Cape province before crossing the Orange River and into Namibia. More dirt will see us visit the wonderful Ai Ais hot springs before we arrive at the renowned Fish River Canyon to explore the canyon rim at what is claimed to be the second largest canyon on earth. Our overnight accommodation is at the amazing Canyon Roadhouse. We ride into the spectacular & empty Namib Desert seeing the week out at the wonderful Burgsdorf Farm.

Week 2: Leaving Burgsdorf it’s a short ride, via the remarkable Duwisib Castle, to the remote Namib-Naukluft National Park where we take the trip into the national park to visit the famous Dune 45 at sunrise and the staggeringly beautiful Deadvlei in this remarkably scenic desert region. Our next stop is Swakopmund, sandwiched between dunes and the Skeleton Coast before we turn inland and stay overnight at the wonderful Vingerklip with a clifftop restaurant that must be seen to be believed! We visit the iconic Etosha National Park where we can enjoy a magnificent game drive. Next stop is the former gun running corridor known as the Caprivi Strip where we stay at a lodge scenically located on the Kayova River, the other side of which is Angola. The week is seen out at one of the accommodation highlights, Lianshulu Lodge, overlooking a small lake where we can hear hippos during the night and see literally hundreds of elephants, it’s a remote boutique lodge close to the Botswana border.

Week 3: From Lianshulu we continue into Botswana and visit the legendary Chobe National Park where we will take an evening / sunset game cruise on the Chobe River, hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the 70,000 plus elephants in the park amongst many other animals such as Cape Buffalo and crocs. Departing Botswana, for now, we cross into Zimbabwe at the wonderfully remote Pandemantenga border for a dirt track ride to the incomparable Victoria Falls; a sight you will not forget in a hurry, you will have a chance to visit the park and enjoy these amazing falls, and you will see why it is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. You will also have the chance to partake in some of the many adrenalin activities in this great town. Seeing the week out we cross the Friendship Bridge and into Zambia riding north to the excellent Forest Inn, as the name suggest deep within a forest, in Central Zambia.

Week 4: Continuing north through Zambia we spend two nights at the refreshing Kapsihya Hot Springs, visiting the amazing former English aristocracy estate of Shiwa N’Gandu before riding further north, well off the beaten track to the Zambia - Tanzania border. Leaving Zambia, we turn west before reaching the spectacular Lake Tanganyika. This is a remote and wild region of Tanzania well off the beaten tourist trail, often referred to the “real Africa”. We spend 2 nights at the superb Lakeshore Lodge where we can enjoy a Birdseye view of the lake and nearby Congo in Africa’s only float plane or go tiger fishing, snorkelling or enjoy an awe-inspiring sunset cruise. We again hit the dirt tracks of Western Tanzania passing small pools of water full of hippo or dodging roadside elephants as we ride through national parks. We eventually reach Kigoma, where Stanley uttered those immortal words “Dr Livingston, I presume”.

Week 5: We start the week off visiting the legendary Gombe Stream Reserve, formally the home of the equally legendary Jane Goodall, who studied Chimpanzees for 5 decades, her studies made her a wildlife icon. We take a private boat along the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika to the Gombe Stream National Park and meet our ranger / guide and trek into the forests until we find a Chimpanzee group, it’s a remarkable experience seeing these creatures that share 98% of our DNA. Crossing into Rwanda, a country Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. We spend 2 nights at the capital of Kigali where we have the option to visit the incredibly sombre Genocide Museum. The week is seen out as we cross into Uganda and experience perhaps the greatest wildlife encounter on earth, a gorilla trek in the Bwindi National Park, we trek in groups of 8 people only, until the gorillas are found, once found we spend an hour sitting with these magnificent beasts, it really is something special, even emotional, and is an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life, guaranteed.

strong>Week 6: Turning east we cross the equator before reaching the Ugandan capital of Kampala where we escape the city craziness in the superb Latitude Zero Hotel. We continue onto Jinja located on the source of the Nile, Lake Victoria and take a boat out to explore the very mouth of where the waters empty out of Lake Victoria to start the epic journey of the Nile. We cross into Kenya and spend 2 nights at the spectacular and unique Lake Nakuru National Park, on the floor of the Great Rift Valley and enjoy an early morning game drive. Riding south we arrive on the shores of beautiful Lake Naivasha, still in the Rift Valley and site of the old home of Joy Adamson, of Born Free fame. We have a rest day to visit Joy Adamson’s old homestead, some of the local wildlife and enjoy the sounds of the hippos grazing at night only a short distance from our lodge.

Day 7: Our final week starts off with spectacular views of the Great Rift Valley, as we ride onto the Kenyan capital of Nairobi where we spend our final nights, giving us a chance to relax, refresh and prepare our bike for shipping home, if riding your own bike.

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Included


  • Airport Transfers
  • 45 nights’ accommodation in safari lodges & predominately 3 - 5 star hotels
  • 45 breakfasts
  • 26 lunches
  • 14 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

69% 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 in Uganda. 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.
 
31% of this drive will be on dirt. These dirt tracks range from rough wheel tracks up lofty passes, limited muddy sections in Northwest Tanzania (if rain has been experienced) to good dirt tracks across a desert landscape. As with many dirt tracks, particularly in Namibia, corrugations and washouts are present, some severe. A very limited amount of sand is to be expected, mostly gaining entry to our accommodations and where there has been recent truck traffic, again mostly in Namibia. As with all dirt tracks conditions change and the above is a guide only.

 

Tour Start/End

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

Climate

It will be cold in Cape Town with a max of 20°C / 38°F however it is the best time for travel north into Namibia / Botswana / Zimbabwe / Zambia where we can expect clear blue skies and little to no rain. The further north we travel the warmer it becomes with average temps of 30°C / 86°F. We reach Uganda just before the start of the wet season, perfect timing for the gorilla trekking, where we can expect average temps between 25°C to 30°C / 77°F to 86°F


 

Important Information

You will need to be in Cape Town, 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 Nairobi
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
8450ks / 5280mi

 

Sealed / Dirt
69% / 31%

Accommodation


  • 45 nights of accommodation.
  • Our accommodations range from small family run Lodges, 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 Travellers: We endeavour to pair you up with a fellow solo traveller 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: 45 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: 26 lunches
We include mentioned dinners in reliable restaurants or lodges that we have used before: 14 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?...