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Motorcycle road trip South Africa & Rwanda - The Wild Odyssey

Motorcycle road trip South Africa & Rwanda

The Wild Odyssey

Francis

Francis, Travel designer

Francis is a biker always venturing out on the road to uncover new routes with as much passion as he has telling stories. He is an enthusiast and knows our itineraries like the back of his hand.

Leaving Durban, we mount our legendary Royal Enfields for an action-packed 1,700-mile road trip from the Indian Ocean to the incredible Sani Pass near Lesotho, crossing the mysterious Swaziland and enjoying an unforgettable safari experience spotting the Big Five in Kruger National Park. This South African adventure will bring you a change of scenery every single day: from the unspoilt beaches of Dolphin Coast to Kruger National Park's vast expanses, we’ll pass Swaziland's mountain hut villages, KwaZulu-Natal's sugar cane plantations, the impressive Blyde River Canyon and the Drakensberg's tracks, an exceptional introduction to the Kingdom of Lesotho if ever there were one. Appreciate the cultural mix the Rainbow Nation has to offer, relish the warmth of the Swazi people, encounter amazing wildlife up close and let your inner adventurer out. Three countries and 14 riding days equals an amazing adventure in the heart of South Africa!

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Useful information
Period April / May & September / October
Duration 17 days incl. 14 days' riding
Level Intermediate
English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Comfort and Superior Comfort
From €6,790/pilot
€4,540/pillion

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Your motorcycle tour in Africa 17 stages - 1,740 miles


beach south africa
D1 / Durban International Airport– Ballito

You're met at the airport and taken to your hotel in the small seaside resort, Ballito. You’ll also meet and have dinner with your tour leader today.

south africa with motorcycle
D2 / Ballito – St Lucia - 155 miles

Today's the big day! Our Royal Enfields take us inland and we head north over hills covered in sugar cane. In the early afternoon, we enjoy our first off-road experience on a beautiful forest track.

elephant south africa
D3 / St Lucia – Hluhluwe NP - 56 miles

In the morning, we explore a wilder region and ride on some beautiful, windy roads towards the foothills of Hluhluwe Game Reserve. In the afternoon, a Jeep takes us to the heart of the park.

motorbike trip africa
D4 / Hluhluwe NP – Pongola - 118 miles

We start the day on a perfect, smooth road that heads in the direction of Mozambique, bordering the huge iSimangaliso Wetland Park. We quickly fork west and cruise on an easy track. For almost 40 miles, the wild landscapes give way to traditional villages.

old stone house in africa
D5 / Pongola – Mlilwane - 143 miles

We leave in the morning and head for the Swaziland border, which we cross easily. As we head higher up, the arid lands make way for greener pastures. We pass many typical Swazi thatched huts and receive beaming smiles from locals that we cross.

royal enfield tour in africa
D6 / Mlilwane – Barberton - 124 miles

We spend the morning making our way to Middleveld's rocky mountains. After almost 20 miles of uneven track, we take the main road to the town Piggs Peak, which marks the gateway to the logging regions. A sandy track leads us to the Bulembu border crossing, at 1,200 m altitude.

central garage building
D7 / Barberton – Pilgrims Rest - 137 miles

An easy going leg today on beautiful tarmacked roads for most of the way. The road gradually goes up in altitude and we have lunch in an extraordinary 1,600 m altitude garden. We head back into the fir tree forests and admire one of the region's many waterfalls.

waterfall at kruger park
D8 / Pilgrim's Rest – Kruger National Park - 130 miles

Today, we tackle the famous Panorama Route, along the edge of Blyde River Canyon, enjoying breathtaking views of the plain to the east. We reach Lowveld, the vast plain belonging to Kruger National Park.

lions safari africa
D9 / Kruger National Park

We park up our bikes and focus on the wildlife and having a rest. A Jeep picks us up at dawn and takes us to the Manyeleti private game reserve. We set off for safari in the afternoon to try to get a closer look at some African big cats. We go back to the lodge as night falls.

a landscape sunset
D10 / Kruger National Park – White River - 137 miles

We set off early in the morning and head to the "Great Escarpment", separating central South Africa's high plateaus and the coastal regions to the east. Our bikes are the only hum that can be heard on the steep, uneven tracks of Mariepskop, one of the highest peaks dominating Kruger's plain at almost 2,000 m altitude.

royal enfield south africa
D11 / White River – Mhlambanyatsi - 155 miles

This leg is going to take us into the Swazi mountains on impressive tarmacked roads and some wild tracks. We have lunch next to Maguga Dam, the greatest engineering feat for this small kingdom.

motorcycle road trip africa
D12 / Mhlambanyatsi – Dundee - 180 miles

We cross the border and return to South Africa in the morning, where we cruise all day on smooth roads. We reach the Zulu Empire’s fertile highlands, which were violently disputed in the 19th century with many clashes between Boer farmers, British soldiers and Zulu warriors.

south africa itinerary
D13 / Dundee – Nottingham Road - 124 miles

This morning, our route is straight across the plateau for around 25 miles when the landscape suddenly takes on the appearance of the Wild West, opening out towards the Tugela River, 1,000 m below. We cross the river on an ancient, narrow bridge and fork off onto a track winding between rocky hills.

african roads
D14 / Nottingham Road – Himeville - 62 miles

After almost 20 miles, the tarmac roads give way to tracks that wind through the heart of the undulating, green Midlands. We stop for lunch in Himeville, a pleasant village, before heading to our comfortable guest house in the middle of the countryside, where we stay for two nights.

roads in south africa
D15 / Sani Pass - 47 miles

Today, we tackle the legendary Sani Pass, gateway to Lesotho, the "Rainbow Kingdom". After around 10 miles of tarmac, the fantastic track becomes steeper and more uneven as we near the pass. We’re really tested for the last few miles before arriving at the border crossing, at more than 2,800 m altitude.

royal enfield jungle africa
D16 / Himeville – Ballito - 162 miles

This is our last leg on the motorbikes. We ride all morning across the Midlands, between a beautiful desert track and perfect tarmacked road. In Howick, we visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site and visitor centre. After 15 days in South Africa, we are starting to gain a better understanding of this multifaceted country.

motorcycle and landscape in africa
D17 / Ballito – Durban International Airport

Depending on your flight schedule, you may have enough time to enjoy a few hours on the beach. You are transferred to the international airport in time for your flight.

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The riders' opinions

alan williams
Great Adventure

“Vintage Rides, are a great outfit, providing great bikes,fabulous itinerary, accommodation and crew, could not do enough to ensure we were all happy.This was my third trip, and not my last.”

Bengt
The best vacation with a great guide…

“The best vacation with a great guide and group”

Darren
Vintage Rides was Fantastic

“Vintage Rides delivered as they said they would, from the initial booking and liaising (which was all done via phone and internet as I am based in Australia) to the actual trip. There wasn't one thing that I could fault, the bikes were great and suited to the riding conditions, accommodation was great for the region, food was always plentiful and high quality. Our Guide, Mechanic and Support Driver were great and a fun part of the group and also very helpful and supportive. I enjoyed Vintage Rides that much that I am planning another trip in the future as it was that much fun.”

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Upcoming departures


From April 11th 2020 to April 27th 2020
From April 10th 2021 to April 26th 2021
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