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14 Days "The Great SA Odyssey" 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!

Key information

  • Terrain: gravel and tar (70% on road and 30% off-road)
  • Bike: rental bike
  • Riding gear not included
  • Mileage: 2,493 kilometers / 1,554 miles
  • Daily rides: 180 - 550 kilometers / 112 - 342 miles
  • Meals: daily breakfast and dinner

Meet the guides


  • Enjoy majestic views of the Sani Pass
  • Visit the scenic 'Madonna and Child' waterfall
  • Starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town
  • See elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park
  • Explore shops and restaurants at Knysna
  • Ride via the famed Route 62
  • 13 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


9 riding days in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 15
Airport transfer included: O. R. Tambo International Airport
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Your accommodation during this tour will be a mix between lodges and hotels in shared rooms. Private single rooms are also available with a surcharge.


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 1800s. 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: Arrival in Johannesburg

You are suggested to arrive a day or two earlier to have a bit of a rest and shake off any jet lag that might be lingering, before being transferred to your hotel, where you will be staying for the first four nights of this tour. Today, you will be fetched either from the airport or the hotel where you might be staying and transferred to the hotel. Here, your motorcycles will be handed over to you and you will get to enjoy your first dinner together and get to know one another a bit better.

Day 2: Training

You'll have one day of training with Jo Rust as your instructor. Jo is an intentionally-accredited off-road instructor and the training will take place at Jo Rust Adventures' own off-road academy. This is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with your bike and to address any fears you may have when it comes to off-road riding. Don't be shy to ask questions!

Day 3: Rest day

After your training day, you will have a day off to explore the Cradle of Humankind - renowned as the place of origin of humankind. The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage sites in South Africa. It's home to about 40% of the world's human ancestor fossils. The Sterkfontein Caves were the site of the discovery of a 2.3-million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed "Mrs. Ples"), found in 1947 by Robert Broom and John T. Robinson.

Day 4: Johannesburg to Nottingham Road (550 kilometers / 341.75 miles)

Your adventure starts in Johannesburg where you'll travel from your accommodation in the Cradle of Humankind, heading towards the Natal Midlands in Kwazulu-Natal and your first stop over - Nottingham Road. A beautiful village with old-world country taverns and traditional old family farmlands with green rolling hills and dotted with fly fishing dams, only 20 minutes away from the Drakensberg Mountains.

Day 5: Nottingham Road to Sani Pass Resort (180 kilometers / 111.8 miles)

Today will be an epic riding day with more breathtaking sights and terrain for you to test the skills you've now learned from Jo on your bikes. You will be heading to the little town of Himeville to refuel, via some awesome twisty gravel roads and magnificent views. After refueling, you head straight for Sani Pass Resort, where you will be spending the night. Here, you have the choice of either just relaxing at the resort, or tackling the famed Sani Pass (which is a bucket list item for most adventure motorcycle riders) and riding up to enjoy a beer in the highest pub of Africa and then back down again to have your passport stamped in and out of Lesotho. Trying the the local 'Maluti' beer is a must!

Day 6: Sani Pass Resort to Rhodes (340 kilometers / 211.3 miles)

Today, you cross into the Eastern Cape province and head to the town of Rhodes, 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. This 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 hopes that he would bless the town with his beneficence.

Day 7: Rhodes to Hogsback (348 kilometers / 216.2 miles)

You will leave Rhodes behind and head to Hogsback, a magical town of mountains and forests. It is 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 8: Hogsback to Addo (219 kilometers / 136.1 miles)

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 9: 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 10: Addo to Knysna (454 kilometers / 282.1 miles)

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 11: 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 12: Knysna to Arniston (396 kilometers / 246.1 miles)

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 13: Arniston to Cape Town (354 kilometers / 220 miles)

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.

Day 14: Departure from Cape Town

As your tour has come to an end, you will depart from Cape Town.

Skill levels required for this tour


  • 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


  • 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

Included excursions

  • 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


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.

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)

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.

What's included

  • 13 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

What's not included

  • 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
  • Single supplement
  • Sleeping bags
  • Third party insurances
  • Unscheduled game park visits

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

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

Airport: O. R. Tambo International Airport Airport transfer included: O. R. Tambo International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

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 30 days before arrival.
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