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Kruger & The Garden Route

Duration

18 Days

Ride Grade

4

Ride / Rest day

14 / 3

Sealed / Dirt

94% / 6%

Distance

4,350 km / 2,720 mi


South Africa & Eswatini: Go “on safari” and discover the epic wildlife, history and landscapes of Southern Africa

Discover some of South Africa’s most renown wildlife parks and riding routes as well as some of the lesser-known sights on this superb all-encompassing journey through South Africa and Eswatini (Swaziland). Encompassing some of South Africa’s most iconic destinations, including the Kruger National Park, the stunning Garden Route and the vastness of the Karoo, this tour highlights the beauty of Africa. Enjoy one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries on the planet, the Kruger National Park with its nearly two million hectares of un-fenced African wilderness, and the quintessential African experience of being on “safari”. If riding world-renowned coastal roads, visiting Anglo – Zulu war battlefields, crossing lofty mountain passes or 4-billion-year-old landscapes is your thing then this ride is for you.

Dates and Pricing

13th Oct 2024 to 31st Oct 2024
Tour code: KG/131024
from US$8,950.00
View prices
13th Oct 2025 to 31st Oct 2025
Tour code: KG/131025
from US$8,950.00
View prices

Tour Highlights


Itinerary


 

Day 1: Your Johannesburg airport transfer will take you directly to our joining hotel, in Pretoria, ready for the start tomorrow. Today you will meet your crew for your tour briefing and welcome dinner.

Day 2: Departing Pretoria, we ride east crossing into beautiful Mpumalanga and onto the Great Escarpment. We cross the former pioneer wagon route from Mozambique known as Long Tom Pass to our wonderful accommodation on top of the pass.

Day 3: It’s a shorter ride today as we ride the legendary Panorama Route crossing Robbers Pass before spending the afternoon on a boat trip on the Blyde River Dam deep within the stunning Blyde River Canyon, a landscape of towering cliffs that form part of the Drakensberg escarpment.

Day 4: A superb ride today as we again ride the renowned Panorama Route stopping off for incredible views of the Blyde River Canyon, Gods Window, and the surreal Bourke’s Luck Potholes. We arrive late afternoon into one of the world’s most iconic parks, Kruger National Park.

Day 5: We kick start the day in Kruger with a wonderful 5-hour morning game safari, it is the quintessential African experience, and we can expect to see lion, elephant, hippo, crocodiles and an endless list of other wildlife through this remarkable landscape.

Day 6: Leaving Kruger we ascend toward Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, along the superb Genesis and Geological Routes, one of the world’s oldest landscapes dating back to nearly 4 billion years old and the oldest signs of life on earth, it’s literally where it all began. We cross into Eswatini and ride amongst the endless mountains of this tiny nation.

Day 7: We visit King Shobuza II Memorial Gardens before returning to South Africa. King Shobuza II was responsible for gaining independence from the British and is revered in Eswatini. We reach the coastal village of St Lucia late afternoon after a wonderful ride through the bushveld.

Day 8: A day off the bikes as we go whale watching, weather permitting, and enjoy an afternoon boat cruise along the wonderful St Lucia Lake system, where you are guaranteed to see some of the 800 hippos that call St Lucia home. You might even see a hippo wandering the streets of St Lucia at night.

Day 9: Leaving St Lucia we ascend to 1,300m, riding the amazing Nomangci Mountains through remarkable Zululand. The ride through these mountains is thrilling and devoid of traffic or tourists. We arrive at Isandlwana, site of one of the greatest military losses ever incurred by the British, during the Zulu Wars of the 19th century. Our lodge is breathtaking set amongst the Nyoni Rocks that overlook the Isandlwana battlefields!

Day 10: We visit the Rorke’s Drift Museum, site of an incredible battle where 120 British soldiers held off over 3000 Zulu warriors in 1879. 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded here, more than any other battle in British history. We continue through Kwa Zulu Natal eventually reaching the majestic Southern Drakensberg by late afternoon.

Day 11: Riding south we cross into the Transkei and return to the Garden Route and into a wonderful region known as the Wild Coast, overnighting at Port St Johns scenically located on the mouth of the Umzimvubu River.

Day 12: Turning west we visit the wonderful, sometimes emotional, Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, near to where he was born. We get off the main road and again hit the wild coast overnighting in the tiny beach side village of Haga Haga where we may see whales and dolphins from our bedroom window.

Day 13: It’s a full morning’s ride to the superb Addo Elephant Park where a braai (BBQ) has been organized inside the park to be followed by a game drive of this wonderful park, it’s almost guaranteed to see elephants. We enjoy a night at the superb Zuurberg Mountain Village Lodge.

Day 14: We cross into the empty remote Karoo via a completely deserted road. Lunch has been organized at a tiny car museum in an equally tiny remote farming town. We then descend to the Garden Route via the Osteniqua Pass and ride the coast road to the stunning village of Knysna, beautifully located on Thesen island in the Knysna Lagoon.

Day 15: A full day is spent in Knysna allowing us time to explore this beautiful region, perhaps visit the motorcycle museum with over 150 bikes on display, go deep sea fishing or whale watching, the choices are endless.

Day 16: Back on the bikes we hit the dirt of the stunning Prince Alfred Pass, but that was just a warmup for the scenic overload that is the Swartberg Pass in the afternoon. We overnight in the Klein Karoo town and ostrich farming capital of Oudtshoorn.

Day 17: Leaving Oudtshoorn we ride the remote Klein Karoo on the renowned Route 62. We cross the short but sweet Trodouws Pass where the scenery changes completely as we ride through the farmlands of the Overberg then onto the Indian Ocean to our beach side hotel at Arniston.

Day 18: We visit the spectacular L’Agulhas, the southernmost point on the African continent before riding north along the Whale Route to Hermanus for lunch then ride around False Bay. This incredible journey will finish off with a ride along the spectacular Chapman's Peak Drive into Cape Town.

Departure Day: Spend a couple more days exploring Cape Town or fly home, the choice is yours.

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Included


  • Airport Transfers
  • Motorbike rental
  • Fuel & tolls
  • 18 nights’ accommodation
  • 18 breakfasts
  • 15 lunches
  • 12 Dinners
  • Services of Compass Expeditions leader and support staff
  • Access to Compass Expeditions App, chock full of tour info, route maps & what to expect
  • Pre-departure material
  • Access to satellite phone, pay per minute
  • Compass Expeditions tour shirt
  • Entrances to all attractions & excursions mentioned in the itinerary including game drives in Kruger and Addo national parks

Not Included


  • International Flights
  • Visas (if required)
  • Personal Health/Travel Insurance
  • Tips and gratuities
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Upgrades


If you require a low bike option we have a lowered suspension or lowered seat BMW F750 GS available: Free of charge

All accommodation is twin or double share, if you would like a single room there will be a single supplement: US$ 1,565
(please note, you may be required to share a bathroom at least once on this trip).

Our motorcycles are insured and have a damage excess of South African R35,000

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Ride Details


Ride Profile

95% of this drive is on pavement. South African roads are generally very good, however large sections of pavement, especially through the Transkei, will be rough, severely potholed, and narrow with tall and damaged shoulders with no warning. Some sections are winding and twisting with oncoming vehicles prone to cutting corners.

6% of this drive will be on dirt. 20km of this dirt, in Eswatini, will be particularly difficult as it travels over a very rough boulder strewn section with some dry washouts. This dirt road is used by ordinary 2-wheel drives. We will experience a couple of creek crossings on the Swartberg Pass, none of which are fast flowing or deep and some winding twisting dirt sections with loose gravel especially on the corners. All other dirt is easy flat dirt. As with all dirt tracks conditions change and the above is a guide only. In total it's only 250km of dirt.


Tour Start/End

Tour Start: Pretoria, South Africa
Tour End: Cape Town, South Africa

Climate

We visit South Africa in October offering us the best chances of seeing wildlife as the rainy season hasn’t started yet. Expect temperatures of around 20°C / 68°F in and around Cape Town and along the Garden Route. Temperatures will climb to approximately 29°C / 84°F in the interior and around Kruger. Little rain should be expected in the interior, however some residual wet season showers may be experienced along the Garden Route and Cape Town.


Important Information

  • All riders must have a valid motorcycle licence and at least two years riding experience. 
  • It is a requirement that all clients have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition.

 
Ride Grade
4
 

Ride Distance
4,350 km / 2,720 mi

 

Sealed / Dirt
94% / 6%

Accommodation


  • 18 nights of accommodation. 
  • Our accommodations range from lodges, villas and guesthouses to 3-4 star hotels. 
  • A flexible attitude is needed as 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 traveller. However, if you prefer single accommodation a single supplement is available: US$ 1,565
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Dining


  • On every day of the tour, we include breakfast: 18 Breakfasts 
  • On mentioned ride days we provide a restaurant / café or picnic lunch that we prepare ourselves: 15 Lunches 
  • We include mentioned dinners in reliable restaurants and lodges: 12 Dinners
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Bikes




 
BMW F750GS
  • 853 Parallel twin cylinder engine (de-tuned)
  • seat height 81cm (32in) approx
  • Inner leg curve 183cm (72in) approx
  • Heated hand grips
  • BMW style accessory power socket
  • 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
  • Engine protection bars
  • Bash plate
  • Dual purpose tyres
 
BMW  R1250GS
  • 1254cc boxer engine
  • Seat height 85cm (33.5in) approx
  • Inner leg curve 187cm (73.5in) approx
  • Heated hand grips
  • BMW style accessory power socket
  • Engine protection bars
  • Bash plate
  • Dual purpose tyres
 

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?...