Johannesburg - Western Cape
A round trip departing from Johannesburg approximately once every two months. We take in most of the popular tourist sites offered along the West Coast before spending some time in the Cape Peninsula. We head back home via another scenic route, ensuring that you see and experience as much as possible of the diversity of this part of South Africa
This province is the commercial heart of South Africa containing the important cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Despite the urbanisation of the Johannesburg region, there are plenty opportunity for getting back to nature. Game farms, dams lakes and rivers (for watersports and fishing, hiking trails), and picnic spots are plentiful and the Hartebeespoort Dam and Vaal River area are a particularly popular recreational spots.
The province is described as "The Heartbeat of Africa". Johannesburg, known as the "City of Gold" or Egoli, is the commercial powerhouse of South Africa.
Pretoria is about 30 miles north of Johannesburg is the country's administrative capital, is known as the 'Jacaranda City' after the purple-blossomed trees which bloom in such profusion in late September-October, the South African spring time. It is a fascinating melting pot of different culture - South Africa is one city. Outside the city are bushveld game farms as well as more than 100 nature reserves and bird sanctuaries of which the Rietvlei Nature Reserve is the largest
This landlocked province between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south is an area of wide, open spaces - an immense rolling prairie, checkered with farmsteads and windmills.
Hospitality is one of the province's prized assets and a Free State farm holiday offers a unique opportunity to get to know the friendly people who inhabit this region. One of South Africa's major rivers, the Vaal flows through the province and there are attractive holiday resorts near two of the river's largest dams.
The mountains of the eastern highlands harbour romantic hideaways and rugged hiking trails. The Golden Gate National Park in the north-east, with its spectacular sandstone formations, an area of scenic beauty, has a network of nature trails and provides the opportunity to see antelope and bird life.
The adjoining Qwaqwa (pronounced KwaKwa) National Park is sanctuary to rare species of vulture. Other protected areas include the Mount Everest Game Reserve at Harrismith and the Seekoeivlei Nature Reserve, a birdwatchers' paradise near the small town of Memel. Qwaqwa and many other parts of the Free State are home to the South Sotho people and their culture can be appreciated at the Basotho Cultural Village.
Capital of the Free State is Bloemfontein, known as the 'City of Roses'
The Tsitsikamma Forest runs into the Eastern Cape, a province steeped in history as well as blessed with beautiful beaches and rugged mountain scenery. This is the birthplace of President Nelson Mandela and is the melting pot of three cultures, Xhosa, Brit and Afrikaner. It is here that battles took place between the early English settlers and the Xhosa.
The country's longest and most magnificent coastline runs from the rugged Tsistikamma Forest area through the famed surfing spots of Jeffreys Bay to the golden beaches of the Sunshine Coast and the Wild Coast.
Inland are the forested Amatola Mountains, a paradise for hikers, climbers and trout fishermen, as well as the brooding Karoo Desert. Visitors to the East Cape can experience scenic beauty and the life of villages. Unwind in a rural retreat or explore the bustling city life. This region includes the major seaport of Port Elizabeth, known as "The Friendly City".
Sir Francis Drake described it as "the fairest Cape in all the circumference of the World." Situated at the foot of Table Mountain, Cape Town is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, offering outstanding interest and variety to the visitor. Blending the old with the new, it has a relaxed, almost continental atmosphere that will charm even the most sophisticated jet-setter.
East of Cape Town are the famous wine lands, around the towns of Stellenbosch and Paarl. The old manor houses are built in the attractive Cape Dutch style and there are plenty opportunities for sampling the vintages.
Travelling east along the coast from Cape Town is the Garden Route. Indigenous. forests, lakes, golden beaches and mountains contrast with semi-arid expanses. This enchanting area stretches along the South Cape Coast from the town of Heidelberg, eastwards to the Tsitsitkamma Forest and Storms River.
Riverdale, Still Bay, Albertina, Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are some of the towns that are included in this area. Inland from the Garden Route is the semi-desert Little Karoo, the location of ostrich farms, particularly around the town of Oudtshoorn. In the Swartberg Mountains are the spectacular Cango Caves, with their limestone formations
You are collected from the Johannesburg International Airport * Transferred to City Lodge in Morningside, Johannesburg, where you will spend your first night recuperating from your flight. * Once settled in, you will be taken out for a traditional South African dinner.
Total Distance: 480km
You are collected from City Lodge at 08h00 and taken to collect your bikes. * After signing all the necessary indemnities etc., we depart on the first leg of our journey via the N3 motorway for an experience of a lifetime * This first stage take us out of Johannesburg, with the first fuel stop in Villiers * From there, we head past Warden to Harrismith * Here we branch off the main route into the Drakensberg Mountains ("Dragon's Mountain") * We ride through the magnificent area of Golden Gate, arriving at the little village of Clarens * Here we stop for lunch and give you time to stretch your legs and browse throught the antique shops. * We are now be in the Free State Province, so named after it gained independence from the British after the Boer Wars. * After a short break, we get back on the road past Fouriesburg and Ficksburg, into Ladybrand, where we settle in for the night.
Total Distance: 520 km
An early start, as we have a bit of a haul down to the coast. * From Lady Brand, the route takes us around the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho * We branch off through Hobhouse (named after Emily Hobhouse, a nurse who performed miracles during the Boer Wars) * Next is our first fuel stop in Wepener * From Wepener, we move past Zastron, Rouxville, Lady Grey, Aliwal North * We stop for fuel and a short coffee break in Queens Town * The final leg takes us through Stutterheim * Ending in East London for our overnight stop.
Total Distance: 340 km
09:00 departure from East London, down the East Coast of South Africa. * First fuel stop is in the quaint village of Port Alfred. By now you will notice a total change in flora and fauna. * We hop down the coast past Jeffreys Bay, host to the world surfing championships * We stop for lunch in St Francis Bay * After lunch, a short 85 km ride to Storms River where we overnight. * The Storms River bridge over the gorge is the highest bridge in SA, and also the venue for the highest bungee jump in SA. You have the afternoon at leisure, and are welcome to try your hand at this!!
Total Distance: 105 km
Another 09:00 departure, into the Tsisikama Forest - home to 100 year old Stinkwood trees, and some of the most gorgeous scenery you could ever wish to see! * A short photo stop in Natures Valley * Then on to Plettenberg Bay * Our overnight stop for this leg is the beautiful village of Knysna
Total Distance: 200 km
Because this area is breathtaking and has so much to offer in terms of things to do and see, we make Knysna our base for 2 nights. * We do a circle route around the area * Then down to Sedgefiled, Wilderness, with numerous short hops down to various resorts on the coast such as Ou Baai, holiday home of Ernie Els, world No. 2 golfer. * We are close to Fancourt, one of South Africs's famous golf estate and Knysna is also the home of the Knysna Oyster beds, so indulge yourself!
Total Distance: 490 km
We move on to Hermanus, home of the Blue Whale * Before stopping for fuel in Riversdale we the towns of pass George, Mossel Bay and Albertina. * We stop for lunch in Hermanus and check out the whale sites for possible viewings in the bay * After lunch, we head along the coast line past Betty's Bay and Gordon's Bay * We overnight in the Strand
Day 8, 9 & 10
We are now in the famous "Cape of Storms" area, tourist capital of South Africa. Cape Town will be our base for 3 days, giving us time to explore all that it has to offer. * The sky is the limit! * Tours are arranged to famous Cape Winelands, * Out rides to Hout Bay; * A ride on the cable car to the top of Table Mountain; * A ferry ride to Robben Island, infamous prison which hosted Nelson Mandela for 27 years, * Trips up the West Coast etc.
Total Distance: 460 km
Unfortunately, it is time to kiss the glorious Cape goodbye as we start our home leg. * But if you thought you have seen a diversity in scenery before, watch this space, you ain't seen nothing yet! * Today's route takes out on the N1 motorway, through the Strydom Tunnel, to the town of Worcester. * Here we branch off the main route, on to the famous Route 62 to Montagu where we have a fuel stop. You can also purchase your Route 62 pin here. * We are now entering the semi-desert area known as the Little Karoo. This is a harsh, stark bit of countryside, which hosts its own beauty. * We also stop off at Ronnie's Sex Shop, a small bar in the middle of nowhere * Then on to Oudtshoorn, centre of ostrich farming in SA, and one of the largest exporters of feathers world wide. * After a quick stop in Oudtshoorn, we take a short hop to the little village of De Rust, where we overnight. De Rust is also on the fringe of a geological phenomena known as Meirings Poort. * We have time to spend some leisure time in this area.
Total Distance: 455 km
Early start from De Rust via Kaalstroom * In Beaufort West we stop for fuel * We rejoin the N1 motorway north, past Three Sisters, Richmond and Hannover where we make another fuel stop * Another short ride brings us to Colesberg. * Colesberg is famous for two specific things - it was the final frontier for the English forces during the Boer War, and thus has lots of historical battle sites, and some magnificent examples of early 1800 architecture.
Total Distance: 620 km
Early start, as it will be the longest leg of this tour to to get us back to Johannesburg. * We stop in Bloemfontein (235Km), * Then on to Kroonstad and Johannesburg. * Not the most scenic part of our tour, but again, just another example of the diversity South Africa has to offer. * You will probably be too tired for any excitement after this ride, so we drop you off at City Lodge in Morningside for a well deserved rest.
Depending on flight times, we will collect you from the B&B for a short trip out to Hartbeespoort Dam, * Back via the village of Magaliesberg for a "goodbye" lunch. * Once back in Johannesburg we will arrange for your airport transfers * Leaving you with some wonderful memories of South Africa.back