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Thrilling Motorcycle Tour South Africa

This ride is mapped to take in some of the greatest and little known big gravel passes KwaZulu-Natal has to offer. The tour is mostly staged in a very remote backcountry and mostly on exceptionally good gravel with little to no motor vehicle traffic. Amid the great gravel passes and long carving gravel roads, there is some thrilling as well as challenging single-track riding. The northern rim of the middle Tugela valley is the home of the greatest vistas in KwaZulu-Natal. This tour is Adventure Bike Safaris' guides favorite.

Key Information

  • Terrain: 30% paved road and 70% gravel / country road
  • Bike: rental or personal bike (Kawasaki KLR 650 dual sport/adventure bike)
  • Mileage: 730 kilometers / 450 miles
  • Daily rides: 243 kilometers / 150 miles
  • Meals: breakfasts and dinners


  • Starts and ends in Westville
  • Ride through breathtakingly beautiful vistas
  • Ride some exciting single track and river crossings
  • Ride through the Karkloof to reach the John Goodman Household memorial of flight
  • Cross a vintage steel girder bridge over the Tugela River
  • Have an exciting technical climb up over 'Little Sani'
  • Pay a visit to a dinkum African trading store
  • 2 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Advanced


3 riding days
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The accommodation is specifically selected as being biker-friendly in order to augment your adventure experience.

The chosen accommodation for this tour for both nights is Zingela, a rustic but comfortable river camp situated on the banks of the Tugela River. This is a very special place indeed, utterly unique, and run by the most amiable family, the Calverlys, who have owned and operated camps through the KwaZulu-Natal for over 30 years.

The cuisine is scrumptious and hearty, usually accompanied by great fireside tales by the owners. The setting is unrivaled and the ambiance is more restful than you can imagine, perfect for winding down and relaxing after a challenging day of an adventure riding.


Day 1: Durban to Zingela

Depart from Durban and stay briefly on the motorway in order to quickly reach the gravel, then go through the scenic midlands agricultural country and up over the Karkloof range. This is all on nontechnical and good gravel as an ideal warm-up for some challenges ahead.

The day culminates in an exciting technical climb up over 'Little Sani' and the final five-kilometer descent into camp. This is a delightfully technical trail with diverse surfaces and even with a giraffe or two to be seen if you are lucky.

Day 2: Zingela

This is the big day, starting immediately with the climb out of Zingela, then joining some easy riding big gravel roads to Colenso where you cross a vintage steel girder bridge over the Tugela River through some farmlands and then along a stunning single track and then interacting with the Durban / Johannesburg main rail line for many kilometers.

While not an intended battlefields historical ride, it passes a few battle sites and monuments and one cannot help but be moved by the magnitude of the Anglo / Boer War battles. You pause for a brief look at some of the history. Then, have some exciting riding 'freestyle' using cattle tracks to the wet crossing of the Klip River. This is not a big deal, being just deep enough to wet the boots but a little daunting from point of view of the river's width. Within one-kilometer downstream of your crossing is a short walk among the aloes to the awe-inspiring sight of the Klip falls.

An adventure biking outing would not be complete without a visit to a dinkum African trading store and the treasures which lie within. The balance of the afternoon is spent riding the most beautiful big country passes and back into the camp via the same Little Sani.

Day 3: Zingela to Durban

The ride home takes in the beautiful Middelrus territory with its aloes, enormous space, sparsely vegetated paperbark trees, making this a beautifully scenic ride and all on gravel which is as good as a tar road. Then, go up and over or through the Karkloof to reach the John Goodman Household memorial of flight. Have a brief stop at the local country club and finally on to the home base.


  • If you're old enough to hold a valid motorcycle rider license, then you may ride with Adventure Bike Safaris. Those under the age of 21 years will need to have their Waiver of Indemnity co-signed by their parents. The rigors of adventure biking would prohibit the elderly or infirm from participating.
  • Pillion rider option is not available on this tour due to the terrain.
  • The 30% paved road component excludes the initial positioning ride from Durban to the trailhead in the vicinity of Pietermaritzburg.

Rental bikes - Kawasaki KLR 650 dual sport/adventure bike

The bikes are specifically made bush ready, with crash bar protection on the engine and sides, with rubber bumpers on the crash bars, engine bash plate, and bark buster lever guards.


  • can ride for 5-6 hours
  • extensive riding experience
  • assistance on demand (if required)
  • experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions


This motorcycle tour will take place in South Africa including Durban, Karkloof range, 'Little Sani', and Colenso.


The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Abseiling
  • Birdwatching
  • Paintball
  • River fly fishing
  • White water kayaking (seasonal)

What's included

  • Fuel with bikes
  • South Africa Department of Tourism registered guide
  • Bike insurance for claims of 10,000 ZAR
  • 2 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfasts and dinners
  • Booking and administration fees

What's not included

  • Optional activities
  • All beverages
  • Daytime snacks / lunch on the trail
  • Fuel and insurance (own bike)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at King Shaka International Airport (DUR). Please contact Adventure Bike Safaris for additional information regarding airport transfer.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 21 days before arrival.
3 days / 2 nights
from --
Pricing information

Rental bike

  • 3 riders: 31,740 ZAR
  • 4 riders: 39,340 ZAR

Personal bike

  • 3 riders: 16,580 ZAR
  • 4 riders: 19,120 ZAR

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