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
Ride not only the most scenic roads in South Africa, but discover the vastness and beauty of this amazing country from the back roads. Ride with a local guide who can show you out-of-the-way places, learn about the culture and the history of this vibrant country. Enjoy an itinerary of 40% dirt surfaces, ride through mountain range after mountain range, and experience the real South Africa!
Arrival in Cape Town
Upon arrival of 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.
Stay at the Holiday Inn Express in standard rooms with en-suite facilities
Cape Town to Grabouw -120 km paved
After breakfast we check out, collect our bikes and ease into our first days riding with a 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 south-westerly edge of the African Continent. After a visit to the Cape of Good Hope, we continue along the coast and over sir Lowries Pass to Grabouw area where we spend the night. Dinner Included. Lunch will be for your own account.
Stay at the Old Mac Daddy Luxury trailer park in trailers with en-suite facilities
Grabouw to Breede River Region - 350 km, dirt 20% paved 80%
After breakfast we travel east, 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. Hopefully spot a whale or two from the top of the mountain, then down into the town we go to get up close and personal with these gentle giants. Continue east, mostly on dirt, to the Breede River region. Dinner is included this evening.
Stay at the Tides River Lodge at Zebra lodge and flat in standard rooms with bathroom facilities.
Breed River to Knysna - 320 km, dirt 50% paved 50%
After bidding this beautiful fishing village farewell we continue by good quality dirt roads through wheatfields, sheep farms and unusually large flocks of blue cranes. After stopping en route for breakfast, 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 for your overnight stay.
Stay in the Cuninghams Island Guesthouse in standard rooms with bathroom facilities.
Free day in and around Knysna - up to 250 km, dirt 50% paved 50%
The Garden Route region is a perfect base from which to explore the Garden Route. Take outrides to the surrounding hot spots like Plettenberg Bay, the Outeniqua Forest, etc or simply relax and enjoy activities in and around Knysna. Discover the galleries and flea markets, workshops and buskers on foot. The Knysna lagoon attracts with cruises to the Heads and Featherbed Nature Reserve - a natural heritage site. Visit the beautiful private beach of Noetzie with its magnificent Page 5 castles, located just east of Knysna. Or how about an ocean safari to view the diverse and plentiful sea life just beyond the breakers. Other adventurous activities include abseiling, canoeing, creeking, deep-sea fishing, diving, hiking, horse riding, whale watching, quad biking, paint balling and much more.
Stay in Knysna again.
Knysna to Jeffrey’s Bay - 200 km, dirt 10% paved 90%
Check out and continue along an extremely picturesque part of the Garden Route taking in Natures Valley and the Tsitsikamma National Park. For the brave or crazy, stop off at the Bloukran's Bridge and undertake the worlds highest commercial bungy jump at whopping 216 metres !!!! Our destination this evening is the world renown surf spot, Jeffrey's Bay, considered by many to be the home of the perfect wave.
Stay at the African Perfection in standard rooms with en-suite facilities
Jeffry’s Bay to Zuurberg - 160 km, dirt 20% paved 80%
After an early surf at Supertubes (for those who are in the mood), we go in search of Africa's Big 5 wild animals. Heading north east from Jeffrey's bay, we bypass Port Elizabeth en route to the Addo Elephant National Park. Addo lies deep within the shadows of the dense valley bushveld 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. The original Elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area. 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 over 420 elephants, 450 Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. Even more exciting is that for the first time in over 100 years, lion and spotted hyena were reintroduced to the park recently. Here, the evenings are punctuated by the strident howl of the black-backed jackal. A Game drive and dinner are included.
Stay at Zuurberg Mountain Villiage in standard rooms with en-suite facilities.
Zuurberg to the Baviaanskloof - 250 to 300 km, dirt 60% paved 40%
Riding south west, 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 some of the last mountain passes constructed by Thomas Bain, between 1880 and 1890. The Baviaanskllof is the longest of the 24 roads he built. He died in 1893. 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 characterized by extremely diverse landscape due to the region's high geological, topographic and climatic diversity. The colorful cliffs and rock formations are characteristic of the predominant hard sandstone, which is part of the Table Mountain group of sediments. 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 a gem set deep in the Baviaanskloof mountains, the Sederkloof Lodge in standard rooms with en-suite facilities
Baviaanskloof to The Great Karoo - 230 km, dirt 75% paved 25%
After breakfast we pick up the trail and ride west, exiting the Baviaanskloof 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 metres above sea level and has approximately 8000 inhabitants. It is both, relaxed and lively, with many beautifully restored Cape Dutch and Victorian houses lining the streets. The main commercial activity is Merino sheep farming, however, fruit and olives are also cultivated on the mountain slopes. Many Page 6 years ago farmers in the area specialized in the farming of Angora goats. Today, the Mohair produced in Prince Albert is known to be of the highest quality and is very much in demand.
Stay in Prince Albert at the Dennehof Guesthouse in standard rooms with en-suite facilities.
Prince Albert down to the Little Karoo - 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, which leads us down into the ostrich capital of the world, the town of Oudtshoorn. En route we stop for lunch (included) and then continuefor a visit to the magnificent Cango Caves. After the caves, spend a bit of time in the town and visit an ostrich farm, before proceeding to our accommodation for the evening in Oudtshoorn. Dinner which is excluded can be enjoyed in the many restaurants available in the area.
Stay at Hlangana Lodge in standard rooms with en-suite facilities.
Oudtshoorn to Montague - 200 km, 50% dirt 50% paved
After breakfast depart Oudtshoorn and head along the Route 62 via Calitzdorp and Barrydale to Montagu. There are similarities between Route 62 and America's Route 66. Both were developed to link rural towns and villages to major centres and both were replaced by highways diverting traffic along more direct roads. Route 62 is now emerging from hibernation to delight the discerning visitor wanting to explore the best of the Western Cape. No biking trip would be complete without a visit to Ronnie's Sex Shop. Ronnie painted the name "Ronnie's Shop" on this cottage next to the R62, planning to open a farm stall to sell fresh produce and fruit. His friends played a prank on him by changing the name to "Ronnie's Sex Shop". Initially angry about the involuntary name change, Ronnie left the name and continued fixing the dilapidated building. His friends would stop by for a chat, having a few beers. During one of these evenings, someone suggested: "Why don't you just open a pub?" Ronnie's Sex Shop has had visitors from all over the world, judging by the graffiti and business cards, it has also become a regular pitstop for bikers, the local farmers and the many travelers who choose to drive the R62.
Stay at The Victorian Hotel in Standard rooms with en suite facilities.
Montague to The Fruit Capital of the Cape - 320 km, dirt 60% paved 40%
After breakfast and check out, we continue along the Route 62 and make our way to Ceres, which nestles 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 attack the Cedarberg area. Dinner included at the lodge this evening.
Stay in Ceres at Mount Cedar in standard rooms with en-suite facilities.
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 2000 metres (6000 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 grows at an altitude of between 1067 and 1372 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. Dinner at leisure.
Stay at the Mount Cedar in standard rooms with en-suite facilities.
Ceres to Franschhoek - 320 kms, dirt 40% paved 60%)
We travel south through scenic citrus country 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 Page 7 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 at the Plumwood Inn in standard rooms with en-suite facilities.
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 safely back to the rental agency. After that we check into the hotel and freshen up in time for our farewell dinner which is included.
Stay at the Cape Town Holiday Inn Express in standard rooms with en-suite facilities.
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).
Riding suit, top and bottom, with pads. Have something that is waterproof, or bring an outer waterproof layer for rainy days.
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, 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”