RIDING IN SOUTH AFRICA
We have fantastic riding weather for almost all 12 months of the year! Our Seasons are
- Summer: October - April
- Autumn: April- June
- Winter: June - August
- Spring: August - October
The condition of our roads are favourable for motorbikes, with National Highways in excellent condition. Note that we ride on the right left side of the road with the "Fast" (or overtaking) Lane being the Right hand lane. We refer to our Traffic Lights as 'robots' here and they operate as Green for go, Orange for caution and Red for stop. Route, traffic and road warnings and notices are well sign posted. Speed regulations: We work in kilometers per hour and our national roads speed is 120 km/h. It's normally 60 to 80km in towns and cities citites, and changes are well signposted.
- Currency: • Currency: We trade in South African Rands (ZAR) which right now is favorable to the Europeans and Americans traveling to South Africa on holiday. You can currently work on around R7.50/$ (currency converter)
- The major cities with International Airports in South Africa are:
- Johannesburg (Gauteng province)
- Durban (KwaZulu Natal )
- Cape Town (Western Cape)
- Our International Dialing code is 0027 when dialing South Africa and each region has their own dialing code. You can call 1023 off any telephone and get further telephone information
- Food: we are infamous for our meat in this country and generally we have fantastic food all round including seafood, Portuguese, Italian and of course take-away places. A decent steak with chips and salad will cost about R80.00 per person ($10)
- Drinks: Bottled water (500ml) can cost you R5.00 and a Millers Beer can cost you R12.00. A can of coke will cost you R8.00. We do not believe in drinking and riding in this country but we advise you to drink plenty of water to stay rehydrated. The tap water is good enough to drink in South Africa.
- Cigarettes: We sell most European and American brands here. A box of 20 will cost you about R30.00
- Curios: There are curio stops all over the country and you are able to bargain with the seller.
- Cellular Networks. You can purchase pre-paid cellular cards at the Airports, hotels, fuel station shops and supermarkets. The Network Operators are Vodacom, MTN; Virgin and CELL C. Rates are competitive but not expensive.
- Taxi Buses: Taxi's are privately and mostly unregistered, "people carriers" and they frequently move in and out of lanes to pick up and drop off people. If you see a Taxi bus stay behind the bus and only overtake when completely safe. They also like to overtake in the yellow emergency lanes on the left, or up verges Should you need to go anywhere by taxi, please ensure that it is a registered carrier.
- Helmets:we do have a Helmet Law throughout South Africa and do not endorse the “beanie” or “Pisspot” style helmets. We supply DOT approved helmets with our Rental Bikes.
- Tollgates on major inter-city routes are frequent and are payable by cash or credit card.
- Emergency: In case of an emergency you can dial 082 911 off your cell phone or the HOG ASSIST number which is International SOS and is a 24 hour roadside assistance and accident number.
Mosquitoes are found in all areas across South Africa, However, the risk of Malaria is common mainly to the North Eastern areas such as Mpumulanga. For protection in these areas:
- Cover your arms and legs towards evenings with light coloured clothing to cover exposed skin areas and especially the ankles. Wear long sleeved shirts, long trousers, socks and closed shoes.
- Apply insect repellents to exposed skin areas every 4-6 hours.
- Burn insecticide coils or electrically heated insecticide tablets in the bedroom at night.
- Spray knock-down insecticide for flying insects inside the bedroom in the early evening with windows / doors closed.
- Screened mosquito proof windows and doors and mosquito nets guard against mosquito bites.
- Another way of preventing Malaria is to take additional preventative drugs when visiting an endemic Malaria area, especially in the warm and rainy months from October to May.
The preventative medication of choice for visitors to the Mpumulanga region, which includes the Kruger National Park and surrounding areas, is a combination of Chloroquin and Paludrine. Chloroquin is taken on a weekly basis and Paludrine daily. The first dose of Chloroquine should be taken a week before entering a Malaria area to see if there are no serious side effects. Paludrine can be taken 2 days before entering the Malaria area.
It is important to continue to take the medication during your stay and for four weeks after leaving the Malaria area. It is advisable to take the medication at night with food to reduce side effects like nausea. If the Chloroquine / Paludrine combination cannot be used Doxycycline on a once daily basis can be taken after meals as a preventative drug. Please contact your general practitioner or chemist for the correct dosage according to age and weight. Discuss if any of the medications are contraindicated (i.e. in infants, young children, pregnancy, patients with psoriasis, porphyria or epilepsy).
The above precautions should be noted when booking for the 7 day Mpumulanga Tour, specifically during the months of August through to May.
The African sun, even during winter from (May to July) is harsh. The greatest risk of serious sunburn is during the period of 10:00 - 14:00. Sun block cream and sunglasses are necessary requirements if you want to enjoy your trip. Aside from the long term risks of skin cancer, sunburn could affect your comfort levels while riding.