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15 Days Adventure Motorcycle Tour in South Africa

  • Cradle Boutique Hotel, The Cradle of Humankind Visitor Center, Mogale, South Africa

Motorbike Tours in South Africa

Ride with Jo Rust and her team on this exciting motorcycle adventure in South Africa. Jo is the first woman to have ever ridden around Africa solo on a motorcycle and the first internationally accredited female off-road instructor in Africa, so you'll be in good hands! It's a chance for you to get on your bike and ride on the terrain designed to be ridden on. Get ready to pack your bags and join this exciting South Africa motorcycle tour!

Highlights

  • 2,922-kilometer mileage
  • Enjoy majestic views of the Sani Pass
  • Visit the scenic 'Madonna and Child' waterfall
  • See elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park
  • Explore shops and restaurants at Knysna
  • Daily delicious breakfast and dinner
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • 11 riding days
  • English
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For your two-day training, you will stay at the cozy Cradle Boutique Hotel which offers panoramic views of the Highveld and surrounding valleys. On your fourth day, you will stay at Katse Lodge where you can enjoy the magnificent sunset overlooking the impressive Katse Dam. During the tour, you will stay in comfortable lodges and hotels occasionally with great views of the South African landscape.

Cradle Boutique Hotel

The Cradle Boutique Hotel is the latest addition to the Cradle Nature Reserve, situated in the spectacular Cradle of Humankind. The luxury hotel boasts of eight luxury “hip-eco” timber and thatch rooms and a beautiful owners cottage. All rooms have private viewing decks offering you the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular African landscape. They are fitted with air-con, en-suite bathrooms, plasma TV, DSTV, laptop safes, mini-bar fridges, hairdryers, complimentary guest amenities, tea and coffee making facilities, and free Wi-Fi.

The boutique hotel also boasts of a 220-seater restaurant and conference venues with unparalleled views of the majestic Highveld - an ideal wedding venue! The executive room sleeps one to two people with amenities such as king bed, luxury bath, shower, lounge, working station, minibar, coffee and tea station, air-con, free Wi-Fi, electronic safe, flat screen TV, DSTV channels, large private deck, and chill zone.

The luxury room sleeps one to two people with amenities such as 2 x 3/4 beds or king, shower, workstation, air-con, minibar, coffee and tea station, hairdryer, electronic safe, flat screen TV, DSTV channels, free Wi-Fi, and a private viewing deck. The owner's suite sleeps one to two persons with amenities such as king bed, luxury bathtub, double shower, private outside shower, air-con, room amenities, hairdryer, electronic safe, and private viewing deck.

Katse Lodge

On the fourth day of the tour, you will be accommodated in Katse Lodge. Nestled amidst the Maloti Mountains, Katse Lodge is set along the water's edge and offers panoramic views of the Katse Dam. It features a terrace with outdoor seating, the main lounge area, and a nice restaurant. The modern rooms and cottages all come with a seating area, heating, and satellite TV. Each comes with tea-and-coffee-making facilities and an en-suite bathroom equipped with free toiletries. The cottages also include a well-equipped kitchen.

The nice restaurant serves a variety of la carte meals. Free of charge Wi-Fi internet connection is available in public areas. Guests can enjoy activities such as hiking, village walking tours, and fishing in the surrounding area. Katse Lodge is located within 225 kilometers from Moshoeshoe Airport and South Africa’s Golden Gate Highlands National Park.

Skill level description

Beginner

  • Assistance required
  • Basic experience with unsurfaced roads
  • Can ride for two to three hours
  • Comfortable with curves and leans
  • Minimal riding experience
  • Short distance ascents and descents

Intermediate

  • Average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • Average riding experience
  • Can ride for three to four hours
  • Comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • Little assistance required
  • Steep ascents and descents

Advanced

  • Assistance on demand, if required
  • Can ride for five to six hours
  • Comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions
  • Experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • Extensive riding experience

What you will learn in this course:

  • Bike set-up
  • Body position on the bike
  • Clutch and throttle control
  • Crossing the central ridge on a trail
  • Discussion on protective clothing
  • Downhill braking
  • Emergency braking
  • How to negotiate ruts
  • How to pick up your bike
  • How to steer your motorcycle
  • Pull away on the bike
  • Sand riding
  • Theory
  • Uphill recovery
  • Uphills and downhills
  • Water crossing

Tour itinerary

You'll start in Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, known as the city of gold because of its wealth and gold rush during the 1800's. The city was named and established in 1886 following the discovery of gold on a farm called Langlaagte. From there, you'll make your way down towards Lesotho through the Free State province which is one of the top ten maize producing areas in the world.

You'll then cross the border into Lesotho, the land of the “blanket people” who ride their sturdy ponies, build picturesque houses, and greet visitors with a dignified salute. Having arguably some of the best and most scenic riding roads in Southern Africa, you'll traverse Lesotho alongside Katse Dam and across the Maluti mountains towards the famous Sani Pass also known as “The Dragon's Tail.”

From the mountain kingdom, you'll make your way through the Eastern Cape Province, catching a glimpse of the southern tip of the Drakensberg mountain range and the fairies in the Hogsback forest situated in the Amathole Mountains. From there, the route leads you to visit the majestic gentle giants that are elephants, in the Addo National Park.

After saying goodbye to Addo, you'll head to the coast and ride all along the famed "Garden Route" of South Africa, sampling Knysna's renowned oysters, basking in the tranquility of the little fishing village that is Arniston, and then finishing off the epic adventure with views of one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Table Mountain in Cape Town, mother city of South Africa.

Day 1 - 2: Training

You'll arrive in sunny South Africa a day ahead of the actual tour. This way, you'll have some time to settle in and shake off any jet lag. Airport transfers will be taken care of. You'll be taken to the picturesque Cradle Hotel situated in the famous Cradle of Humankind for your first night's stay. Jo will welcome you and you'll be given you motorcycle here.

You'll have some "me time" just relaxing or spotting some of Africa's beautiful wildlife from the deck of your luxurious room. You'll get together in the evening for a relaxed dinner and to know one another a little better. The next morning, you'll start with the first day's training at the Jo Rust Adventures Training Academy which provides one or two days training before the start of the tour.

Jo Rust Adventures understands that for some, this might be their first visit to Africa or South Africa and not everyone is familiar with the road conditions. You'll be doing some off-road riding on this tour so the courses are meant to help you feel more comfortable and at ease, on the bike, before you head out on the tour.

Day 3: Rest day

This is your rest day to recharge and get ready for the tour.

Day 4: Johannesburg to Katse Dam (558 kilometers)

Your adventure starts in Johannesburg where you'll travel from your accommodation in the Cradle of Humankind to head south towards the little town of Clarens which will be your lunch stop on day one. You'll head off the tar to some awesome gravel roads near Frankfort, which are well maintained. You'll be excited for what’s to come in Lesotho! From Clarens, it will be a short ride on good twisty tar to the border with Lesotho.

Customs at the South African and Lesotho border posts are easy. It takes only about 20 minutes to get stamped in! From there, you have a 70 kilometers ride to Katse Lodge, the hotel where you'll stay for the night. There, you can enjoy the magnificent sunset overlooking the impressive Katse Dam, which is 70 kilometers long and five kilometers at its widest!

Day 5: Katse Dam to Sani Top (225 kilometers)

Today will be an epic riding day with more breathtaking sights and terrain for you to test the skills you've learned from Jo on your bikes. You will be heading to the little town of Thaba-Tseka to refuel via some awesome twisty gravel roads. Then you'll head to Sani Top overlooking the magnificent Sani Pass and the province of Kwazulu Natal below, where you'll spend the night. On a really clear day, you can actually see the ocean some 200 kilometers away! You'll also enjoy the local beer named "Maluti,", at the highest pub in Africa!

Day 6: Day off at Sani Top

You'll take a day's rest at Sani Top. You'll relax and take in the majestic views over the Sani Pass. You can go on a short hike of the area or explore the area on the back of a donkey. Donkeys are the "working horses" of Lesotho and traditionally used to transport goods food supplies and building materials.

You'll kick back and relax, enjoy the sights, and takes a lot of photos. You'll still have a lot of adventuring planned for you on the days to come with even more amazing sights and loads of fun.

Day 7: Sani Top to Rhodes (368 kilometers)

Today will mark just one of the highlights on this tour. After breakfast, you will start your descent down the famous Sani Pass also known as The Dragon's Tail. The route down Sani Pass starts at 2,876 meters and descends 1,332 vertical meters to an altitude of 1,544 meters in eight kilometers.

You'll cross into the Eastern Cape province and head to the town of Rhode situated next to the trout-rich Bell River and near Ben Macdhui, the highest mountain in the Cape region at the southern end of the Drakensburg mountain range.

The little town is filled with history. Legend has it that the town was named after the mining magnate and then Prime Minister of the Cape Cecil John Rhodes in the early 1900's in the hope that he would bless the town with his beneficence.

Day 8: Rhodes to Hogsback (348 kilometers)

You'll leave Rhodes and head to Hogsback, a magical town of mountains and forests situated in the Amathole Mountains in the Eastern Cape Province. It is surrounded by centuries-old indigenous Afro-montane forests where you can hear the call of the Knysna Loerie or the chatter of Samango monkeys. A highlight in town once you've arrived is a short hike down to the picturesque "Madonna and Child" waterfall.

Day 9: Hogsback to Addo (219 kilometers)

Today, you take more of a leisurely ride passing through the Great Fish River Nature Reserve via both tar and fun gravel roads to bring you to Addo. Don't be concerned if Jo might get a bit emotional today as you'll have the opportunity to see some elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park. Jo's obsessed with elephants which are her favorite animal.

The Addo National Park is the third largest park in South Africa and boasts not only of elephants but also a variety of wildlife.

Day 10: Day off

You take a day off to explore and enjoy the beautiful Addo National Park. You can have a lie-in and a lazy breakfast and just kick back and relax. There's certainly no better place to do it than in the place which is surrounded by absolute beauty and magnificent elephants.

Day 11: Addo to Knysna (454 kilometers)

Today, you will cross over into the Western Cape province and head towards Knysna, a town situated on the famous Garden Route via the famed Route 62. You'll also ride some of the area's best gravel roads. The town is best known for its oyster festivals, lagoon, and magnificent forest. Dolphins are often spotted offshore, so look out for them.

Day 12: Rest day

You'll have a day off in beautiful Knysna. Have a rest and take a stroll around the town exploring its shops and restaurants. Test out the local cuisines or take a walk on the beach and dip your toes in the Indian Ocean. You can take a leisurely ride around the area or choose to take part in one of the many activities the area offers like boat rides out on the ocean or an adventure canopy tour through the Tsitsikamma Forest area.

Day 13: Knysna to Arniston (396 kilometers)

Arniston is a small seaside settlement and fishing village situated near Cape L'Agulhas, the southernmost point of the African continent. Today you'll travel on some good gravel roads along the Garden Route coast before turning north. Lunch stop will be in Barrydale, a well-known town on Route 62 along with the Tradouw Pass (which means Women's Path in the old Khoi language) where you will have majestic views over the Langeberg. After lunch, you will turn south and head towards your stop-over for the night.

Day 14: Arniston to Cape Town (354 kilometers)

After breakfast, you will first head to Cape L'Agulhas to visit the famous landmark that is the southernmost tip of Africa. Your final day's riding will take you along some of the best motorcycle riding roads and scenery in Southern Africa and some of the most quaint seaside villages of the Cape Region. You will end your tour at your hotel in the famous Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

  • Explore the Sani Top area on a donkey
  • Explore the town of Knysna
  • Hike down to the picturesque 'Madonna and Child' waterfall
  • See some elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park
  • Jo Rust

    Jo is an avid adventurer, speaker, author, tour guide, and a professional off-road motorcycle instructor. She was the first ever female brand ambassador for BMW Motorrad South Africa and qualified as the fourth internationally accredited female off-road instructor in the world. The first in Africa. Jo is the founder of the International BMW GS Girls and also the mastermind and driving force behind the idea of including a female team in the international GS Trophy.

This motorcycle tour will take place in different places in South Africa namely Johannesburg, Katse Dam, Sani Top, Rhodes, Hogsback, Addo National Park, Knysna, Arniston, and Cape Town.

You have daily breakfast and dinner included in the price.

On your free time, you may take part in one of the many activities Knysna has to offer like boat rides out on the ocean or an adventure canopy tour through the Tsitsikamma Forest area.

  • 14 nights accommodation
  • Back up vehicle with trailer
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Jo Rust as your instructor and guide
  • Motorcycle hire
  • Qualified medic on the tour
  • Airport taxes
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • All fuel and oil for your vehicle
  • Border fees
  • Departure taxes
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Lunch and soft drinks
  • Optional excursions
  • Park entry fees
  • Personal and medical insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal visas
  • Portages
  • Restaurant meals except where specified on non-camping trips
  • Sleeping bags
  • Third party insurances
  • Unscheduled game park visits

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB).

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Gauteng, South Africa

Jo Rust Adventures offers a superior experience in both adventure touring and off-road motorcycle training.

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