We mix challenging dirt riding with elegant accommodations.
-This IS the Ultimate Backroads Adventure in South Africa!
40% of the itinerary is dirt surfaces ranging from smoothly grated roads to jeep trail. 60% is world class pavement with great curves and no traffic. This is a GREAT COUPLES trip for accomplished riders.
Lodging ranges from 5 star bungalows, 4 star hotels, remote farm houses and one night of rustic housing with shared bath.
Highlights for this motorcycle tour
- Cape Town
- Ride the Cape Peninsula
- Route 62
- Visit Addo Elephant National Park
- Stand at Cape Agulhas, the most southerly tip of Africa
- See Kudus, Ostriches, Elephants, Zebras, Tortoises, Baboons, Whales, Penguines, Dung Beetles....
- Ride the Baviaanskloof, A World Heritage Site with three stunning, precarious passes - all dirt.
- Visit "The Hell" at Shwartberg Pass - A World Heritage Site
- Explore the famed Garden Route
- Ride through the majestic Cederberg Mountains - desert landscape to infinity
- See and taste the Winelands at Franschhoek
- Experience the Real South Africa, on and off the beaten path
South Africa Backroads Adventure Itinerary
Arrival in Cape Town
On arrival off your international flight, you will be met by the MotoQuest team and transferred into Cape Town. After checking in at the hotel, your day is at leisure to unwind after the long flight.
In the evening, over “sundowners”, meet the participants and guides while we run through the logistics of our planned adventure. This will be followed by a welcome dinner. After dinner, feel free to explore some of the watering holes around the city, or return to your hotel for a well-deserved rest!
Day in Cape Town
After breakfast, we head out on an orientation tour of the “Mother City” as she is affectionately known. This includes a cable car ride to the top of Cape Town’s famous 1,000-meter (3,000 feet) backdrop, Table Mountain. For those who are interested, take a trip to Robben Island, which is best known internationally as the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 19 of his 27 years of incarceration. Spend the rest of the day and evening at leisure.
Cape Town to Simonstown -120 km paved
After breakfast we check out, collect our bikes and ease into our first days riding with a leisurely trip down the visually stunning Cape Peninsula. This is an unforgettable journey to the mythical meeting place of the two great oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic. Breathtaking scenic beauty contrasts with the harsh rugged conditions of the most southwesterly edge of the African Continent. After a visit to the Cape of Good Hope, we continue to Simonstown where we spend the night.
Simonstown to Arniston - 350 km, dirt 20% paved 80%
After breakfast we travel east, hugging the False Bay coastline via the seaside towns of the Strand, Gordon’s and Betty's Bay. We meander through vineyards famous for producing world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wine, to a point overlooking the town of Hermanus, which amongst other things is considered to be one of the best land based whale viewing areas in the world. Enjoy lunch in this quaint village before we continue east, mostly on dirt, to the Southern tip of the African Continent at Cape Agulhas.
Overnight in Arniston, which has some of the Cape’s finest swimming beaches.
Arniston to Knysna - 320 km, dirt 50% paved 50%
After bidding this beautiful fishing village farewell we continue by good quality dirt roads through wheat fields, sheep farms and unusually large flocks of blue cranes. We cross the Breede River at Malgas, a truly unique river crossing and continue via Heidelberg and Mossel Bay, along the Garden Route to Knysna. From the quiet beauty of its evergreen forests to the soaring beauty of the Heads, Knysna is beauty in abundance.
Stay in Knysna
Free day in and around Knysna - up to 250 km, dirt 50% paved 50%
We are planning an adventurous route into the mountains this day. Ride through wild elephant territory into the Outeniqua Forest to Uniondale and descend down epic Montegu Pass. Or, simply relax and enjoy activities in and around Knysna. Discover the galleries and flea markets, workshops and buskers on foot. Other adventurous activities include abseiling, canoeing, creeking, deep-sea fishing, diving, hiking, horse riding, whale watching, quad biking, paint balling....
Stay in Knysna
Knysna to Jeffrey’s Bay - 200 km, dirt 10% paved 90%
Continue along an extremely picturesque part of the Garden Route taking in Plettenberg Bay, Natures Valley and the Tsitsikamma National Park. Our destination this evening is the world-renowned surf spot, Jeffrey’s Bay, home to Endless Summer.
Stay in Jeffrey's Bay.
Jeffry’s Bay to Zuurberg - 160 km, dirt 20% paved 80%
We bypass Port Elizabeth en route to the Addo Elephant National Park. Addo lies deep within the shadows of the dense valley of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape. We head for the high ground through the old pass to the spectacular location of the Zuurberg Mountain Village.
This afternoon we will join a qualified ranger for a safari game drive into the national park. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Black Rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. Lion and Spotted Hyena were reintroduced to the park recently.
Stay near Addo.
Zuurberg to the Baviaanskloof - 250 to 300 km, dirt 60% paved 40%
Riding southwest, this is where the backcountry comes into its own as we head into an area known as the Baviaanskloof. The road leads through the rugged beauty of the "Grootrivier" Gorge on its winding path through this pristine conservancy. It rises and descends very steeply in places and encompasses a number of passes including the Combrinks, Holgat, Grasnek and Nuwekloos. These were the last of many passed constructed by Thomas Bain, between 1880 and 1890. It is the longest of the 24 roads he built. The road has concrete causeways in places to keep the road in place during flash floods. In other places it just follows the river. The area is a World Heritage Site, and is characterized by extremely diverse landscape due to the region's high geological, topographic and climatic diversity. The beauty of the Baviaanskloof is hard to describe. For the adventurous, this vast mountain kingdom offers a unique wilderness experience through stunningly beautiful landscapes found only in the Eastern Cape.
Our resting place this evening is an oasis set deep in the Baviaanskloof Mountains.
Baviaanskloof to Prince Albert - 230 km, dirt 75% paved 25%
Today we continue west, through the Baviaanskloof and exit via Willowmore along the northern edge of the Groot Swartberg Mountains. We continue through the Great Karoo via Klaarstroom and Meiringspoort and on to the charming town of Prince Albert. Prince Albert lies 650 meters above sea level and has 8,000 inhabitants. The main commercial activity is Merino sheep farming; however, fruit and olives are also cultivated on the mountain slopes.
Stay in Prince Albert.
Prince Albert to Rooiberg Lodge - 130 km, dirt 70% paved 30%
After a sumptuous breakfast we start our day with a journey through the last of Thomas Bains creations, the Swartberg Pass. For the adventurous, we descend into "the Hell" a small community 52 kilometers off main road. It's history is unique: a group of "Voortrekkers" (Pioneers) got lost and lived for over 100 years in solitude before being discovered! Due to its history and bio-diversity, "the Hell" has been designated a World Heritage Site.After lunch we continue via the dramatic Rooiberg pass to Rooiberg Bosch Game Lodge, an oasis in the wilderness. Here we will be spending two nights with an opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the multitude of activities available and even have some laundry taken care of!!
Stay at Rooiberg Game Lodge.
Free day at Rooiberg Game Lodge - up to 200 km, 50% dirt 50% paved
After breakfast enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. Relax and unwind in awesome surroundings or take an out-ride it any direction, the options abound. For the energetic, perhaps take an early morning walk into the gorge. Enjoy an afternoon nature / game drive in open 4X4 vehicles. Return to the lodge for a traditional South African bar-b-que or “braai”.
Stay at Rooiberg Game Lodge.
Rooiberg Game Lodge to Ceres - 320 km, dirt 60% paved 40%
This morning we bid farewell and travel through Van Wyksdorp, and onto the Route 62. There are similarities between Route 62 and America's Route 66. Then, we turn north through the Sevenweeks Pass - an epic dirt road through a towering layered sandstone canyon. From here we make our way to Ceres, which is nestled in a fertile valley at the base of the Witzenberg Mountains on the edge of the Warm Bokkeveld, Ceres is the perfect base from which to explore the Cedarberg area.
Stay in Ceres.
Ceres to Cedarberg Mountains - 230 kms, (dirt 90% paved 10%)
After juicing up the bikes we travel North into the Cedarberg Mountains which stretch for approximately 100 km. The highest peaks are around 2,000 meters (6,000 feet). Of special interest are the many weathered sandstone formations, which create a spectacular stage. The Cedarberg derives its name from a species of cedar trees, which grow at an altitude of between 1,060 and 1,370 meters. Today the mountain range is a proclaimed wilderness area. It is a superb recreational area with caves, bushman painting, waterfalls, stunning view sites and astonishing formations such as the Wolfberg Arch and Maltese Cross. This is some of the best riding terrain in the country. A real treat for those who love uninhibited wilderness riding and awesome views.
Stay in Oudrif.
Oudrif to Franschhoek - 320 kms, dirt 40% paved 60%)
We travel south along the Olifants River and as we move closer to Cape Town, we leave the rustic wilderness feel of the country and enter the equally beautiful Winelands of South Africa. We pass through many small farming towns and heavily cultivated areas as we travel en route to Franschhoek or the French Glen as it was originally referred to. More than three centuries ago about 200 French Huguenots, having escaped religious persecution, settled in the Berg River Valley and founded the community of Franschhoek. With its fine balmy summers and the majority of its rainfall in winter, the French Huguenots recognized the potential of the region for wine production and fruit growing. Today it is considered the food and wine capital of the Cape.
Stay in Franschhoek.
Franschhoek to Cape Town - 120 km, dirt 0% paved 100%
As the end of our trip approaches we take the day to explore the area at a leisurely pace. There is something for everyone in and around these Winelands towns. Apart from the natural beauty and host of activities on offer, the region is also steeped in history and museums and art galleries abound. It also has a great café culture where you can sit out on the street corner and watch the town go by. After a relaxing day we return to Cape Town and deliver our motorcycles. After that we check into the hotel and freshen up in time for our farewell dinner.
Stay in Cape Town.
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, check out of the hotel and if time permits, spend time doing last minute shopping, relaxing or whatever takes you fancy before transferring to Cape Town International Airport for your flight home.
KRUGER SAFARI ADD-ON Just ask us for details.
Add the following safaris to your schedule before or after the ride:
Kruger Walking Safari 4 Day/3 Night and 5 Day/ 4 Night
Lion Sands 4day/3 Night
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To Book This Tour:
To secure a spot for our Baviaanskloof Adventure, please register and pay $1,000 deposit.
Arrive and depart from Cape Town South Africa (CPT)
To arrange your air fare, contact our travel agent Sally at: Sally@alaskatravelsource.com, or (907) 562- 2213. Just tell her you are part of the MotoQuest South Africa Tour.
Want to Add any Safari to your package, before or after?
Lonely Planet South Africa
South African Rand
Please note that some meals are not included in the tour price. We recommend that you budget about US$50.00 per day for food (this is just an estimate of expenses and is not including adult beverages.)
Send us your travel information so we know when and where to meet you. Please be prepared to show your current motorcycle driver’s license and international driver’s license.
A Visa is not required for entry into South Africa. Your passport must not expire 6 months from the date of entry.
Riding in South Africa:
Left side of the road.
Watch out for animals: baboons, kudus ect!
Keep you face shield down! Big Bugs.
6 - 10 riders
Bring riding gear that is warm and waterproof (a riding suit with pads is best). We recommend Olympia Moto Sports (AST Jacket Mens/Womens and Ranger 3 Pants for Men, Promax Pants for Women). Also bring: Stout water-proof boots, rain gear, a warm hat, rain-proof gloves (2 pair), hiking shoes, bug spray, lots of underwear, fleece layers, full-faced helmet, swim suit (if there are hot springs), and a good camera are the things you need on the trail.Back to Top
South Africa was a stunning country on all levels. The scenery was terrific. The food and accommodations were first class. Our tour leaders were insightful and very capable. The Baviaanskloof was high point for me and was challenging and memorable. I won't forget this ride!
John Posey, USA”