View Full Version : South Africa...Ever been there?

Dave Hall
15-11-03, 21:34
I fancy a biking tour of South Africa next year. Theres a company that rents the 1150 GS.
Anyone ever been?.
Are there any dodgy bits to avoid?
Will I have lots of fun with my trousers on?

Keith Chapman
15-11-03, 21:37

It is only a hunch, but give Maverick a shout:D

The Foolish Fellow
16-11-03, 03:08
there are places in capetown that do 1150's
not cheap
where r u flying 2

Dave Hall
16-11-03, 08:38
Originally posted by The Foolish Fellow
there are places in capetown that do 1150's
not cheap
where r u flying 2

Capetown looks to be where its at...unless anyone knows different.

17-11-03, 08:33
You've probably got a huge list but while your in SA you must do:-

I wish I could of hired a bike while I was there, the roads are brill

B and B in Cape Town in the mulsem quarter fantastic and cheep.. Go to V and A Blue Dolphin resturant for live jazz evening

Franschhoek ... Le Quartier Français hotel I came over all romantic ~ pricey but marvellous! (50 miles from Cape Town fantastic drive). Where all the local bikers meet in the main drag on a Sunday morn!


Knysna - I know a brill B & B...Glenshee over looking the Forest fab views and a really nice elderly couple amazing breakfasts, then go walking with Elephants @ 5 am just Marion, me a guide and three elies (Harry, Sally and Duma) one of life's brill moments walked for two hours through the Knysna Forest then sat on a patio and had breakfast. (3/4 days drive along the Garden route).


If your Safari-ing check out Phinda in Kawazulu Natal been there twice now, stay in forest lodge its - I can't explain its that good.


Keep in touch if you want to talk more bollox about SA. I'm off there for the third time next June wishing my life away waiting to go.

I'll shut up now and do some work...G..

O and the Penguins and .... And and...

17-11-03, 08:43
Hi Dave, Try www.gooseontheloose.com they went there two up.

Dave Hall
17-11-03, 08:57
Thanks for the feedback chaps....I`m looking to fly to Cape Town and rent a bike (GS preferably) and ride out onto the graded roads I`ve heard about. I`ve heard some scary stories about security in SA. Is it confined to cities? or will I be at risk in the countryside?

17-11-03, 19:20

I'm South African but living in the UK these days. In terms of riding, well, it's brilliant.

I cut my teeth riding numerous bikes and doing extensive touring in SA. The best ride was from Jo'burg to Cape Town and back on a DT125.

I also used to do a lot of enduro racing for fun too.

In terms of riding, be very careful of the local transport machines. Mini cab taxis. They are generally Toyota Hiaces and are even affectionately known as "High Impact African Culling Equipment". These things are deadly and you must give way to them or you will always come second.

Apparently the road network is starting to deteriorate now as not much money is being put back into the roads although toll roads are springing up faster than weeds.

Safety is an issue everywhere in the world so be slightly streetwise in major cities, Jo'burg' Durban, Pretoria but apparently Cape Towns still ok.

I'm going over for 4 weeks over Christmas & New Year. I'll be hanging out with my old biking buddies and I'll try to get you the lowdown on the current situation as well as any good info on GS hire over there.

Check out www.bmwmotorrad.co.za there is always good info available on that website.

In terms of value for money it's pretty nigh unbeatable with £££ to Rand exchange rate. Oh, and don't mention rugby. It's a touchy subject at the moment!
If you need any more in depth info, please feel free to PM me & I'll try to help out.



22-11-03, 19:47
Capetown - great place - spent 3 months out there.

You must do the Cape Peninsula - on the East side through Muizenberg, Kalk Bay (stop at the Deli) Simonstown, down to Cape Point, back up the west side - Scarborough, Kommetkjie, Nordhoek, then (if Chapman's Peak Drive has re-opened) round to Houtbaai, then back to Cape Town.

Know where you're going after dark and either stay at home or in the big city. Long Street is a great place for cheap restaurants, live music, lively bars, discos etc. they seem to take a very liberal view on :spl1f: if my experiences were anything to go by.

The Waterfront is a good shopping centre, try the sushi bar in the fish market. Superb, and very cheap.

And if you can find a bar called "A touch of madness" in a district called Observatory, you've done OK :beerjug:

10-12-03, 15:23
<b>The Swartberg Pass road between Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn, the pass was built by Thomas Bain,

who was government engineer with the Cape Colonial Government for 45 years from 1848-1893. Most of

the road were built by prisoners and the image belows shows the ruins of the prison on the Prince

Albert side of the pass. Check the left bottom of the page...<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof01.jpg"></img>

Following the road up for a few miles will bring you to the turnoff to Gamkaskloof or better know as

"The Hell" or "Die Hel". This gravel road travels for 50 km's towards the west and lands you in the

stunning valley of the hell. This is the only road in and the only road out. I of course visited

this for the first time in my 32 years of South-African life and was awestruck by the serenity,

beauty and contrast of this hidden place. If it was not on you "to do list" put it on there!!<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof02.jpg"></img>

10-12-03, 15:25
The road dropping down to Gamkaskloof is steep and if there is more than 2 vehicles on the road you will be worried about getting pass each other. The history and discovery of "Die Hel" is documented on some websites and the two days I spend there tried to absorb all the information possible but between the vast species of fauna and flora and then still history it is probably easier to point you in the right direction. Check this link for some more information <a href="http://www.diehel.com/">"Gamkaskloof"</a><br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof03.jpg"></img>

There is a kiosk down in the hell and serves some of the best home cooking I have had in a very long

time. The food is prepared by the last living owned farm residents of Annetjie Joubert(Mostert) who has moved back after leaving the hell a couple of years ago. You can get several home made items produced in the hell from fresh jam to "I have been to hell and back" bumber stickers. It is luckilly not your average tacky souvenir shop found on Brighton Beach so don't fear the possibilty of running in any comercialism in this hidden valley. Nice cold beer and even ice if you ask nicely will be offered.
Besides the one family still living there you will find towards the far west side the local nature conservation office where a very friendly gentleman called Zanie Van Der Walt is being living the
last 12 years. Himself and his wife decided they need peace and quiet after retiring from farming and has found their Nirvana in Gamkaskloof. Now my Michelle's maiden name is Van Der Walt so it was with great joy that I could inform my inlaws that you can't even escape the Van Der Walt's in hell.

Zanie will answer all you questions about the nature and history regarding Gamkaskloof and you will be lucky if you leave there without a cup of tea or coffee.<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof04.jpg"></img>

Two of the original bodies of transport still lying about although the old ossewa(oxwagon) seemed to be built a bit better than the car wreck next to it. Those were the days when.....comes to mind. I was very impressed by the one of the local vehicles I saw there as it had "HELL 1" as a number plate. This is not custom bought but will be issued if you are resident in the valley. Don't think I saw more than 2 cars about?!!?<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof05.jpg"></img>

10-12-03, 15:26
It was so hard leaving the valley after a day in the scorhing heat, yes it does hover around 38-42 degrees celcuis so pack your sunblock and loads of water. At the top of the valley you are torn
between leaving this heaven and returning to your average crazy life between millions with no space.
If you have lost yourself along the road as we sometimes do in life, pretty positive you will find something familiar down there again to kickstart the old spirit.<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof06.jpg"></img>

Could not stop wondering how nice it would of been on my bike and hope to travel this awesome road on my next holiday in Sout-Africa. Next time I am camping down in the valley for a night or two as there is so many activities to do and things to see. Hell it's a nice place!!<br>
You of course have to take precation as the mountain hosts a variaty of snakes, spiders, antelope and loads of bird species. The Boomslang, Puffadder and Cape Cobra snakes is found there and we came across at least one of each crossing the road at some point on our trip. As always these reptiles will try and get away from you before attacking you so be aware and watch out for those sunny spots in the hiking trails where they bake. Additional accomodation is also done in some of the old homes.<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof07.jpg"></img>

The school in Gamkaskloof still had 13 students untill 1981 when the last families decided to leave

for the big world outside...<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof13.jpg"></img>

The School masters house a mere 10 second walk from work. Lucky chap!<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof14.jpg"></img>

It was with a heavy heart we left Gamkaskloof on the 3 hour ride back. As far as you can see the gravel road twists and turns into the horison. It gave me a better understanding why people managed to stay there for nearly a century before moving out. The place has a magical feeling and gives you that peacefull karma you have been looking for. I was lucky enough to return a couple of days later helping with a tour to hell and back and was great sharing the history and information I gained on my precious trip with our travellers. Noticed the same look in their eyes when you see the valley for the first time (can this really be hell?) and it was different people travelling back again very quiet and happy.<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof08.jpg"></img>

10-12-03, 15:28
The top of the Swartberg Mountain Pass. It was no GS but the Landy served us well!<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof09.jpg"></img>

Prince Albert 19km's back on this stunning scenic road.

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof10.jpg"></img>

This is the drop into the Klein Karoo which leads to Oudsthoorn and also a gateway to the Cape Garden Route. In Oudsthoorn you can visit various Ostrich farms and of course the mystical and
brilliant caves I have ever witnessed - The Cango Caves<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof11.jpg"></img>

The entrance to the Cango Caves. You can do two types of tours one of which takes you through the first six chambers and the "Adventerous Tour" that will make you squeeze through narrow passes into some more chambers. Brilliant and don't let the tour busses or tourist put you off. These caves are big enough to host concerts in them as they have done in the past years. We were a modest group of about 30 people and well worth the money we paid for it. For some more info <a/href="http://www.cangocaves.co.za/">Cango Caves</a><br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof12.jpg"></img>

Of course another picture of the valley just to remind myself of what nature has to offer us outside our city routine!<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof15.jpg"></img>

Somewhere to stay on your trip in the Great Karoo feel free to book at the Dennehof Guesthouse and stay in this lovely home built in 1845. Your hosts Ria and Lindsey will accomadate and recommend any tours and places to visit. As lady luck would have it Ria is my mother-in-law and the absolutely spoiled us on our stay. Their prices is so low that you need to book in advance and well worth the food, rest and views in this part of the world.<br>
To book or view more information click here <i><a/href="http://home.intekom.com/dennehof">Dennehof</a></i><br>
<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof16.jpg"></img>

The Swartberg Mountains in the far background and myself and Michelle had a truly restfull week in the Great Karoo. The road back to Johannesburg was ahead and needless to say not closely as satisfying as the scenery we enjoyed the last few days.<br><p>

<img src="http://members.lycos.co.uk/dirklottering/2003/gamkapics/gamkaskloof17.jpg"></img>

There is a company in Cape Town who offers bike rental i.e. 650GS or 1150GS's. Awaiting their response about contact details,price and availability before I post it on the board. If you guys have any questions or need some information would gladly try and help as far as I can. Alternatively post you comments on the BB as always. My email adress <a/href="mailto:dirklottering@hotmail.com">Contact me</a></b>

Dave Hall
10-12-03, 16:44
I have been put off somewhat by `horror` stories regarding the security situation in SA but those pictures have got my juices flowing.

10-12-03, 16:55
Dave the security situation is as it is in the rest of the world. We have been mugged/robbed more in London than in my whole life in SA.
You go places where you not suppose to you get in trouble. We spend 2 weeks there without any hassle or problems.
At this point in time think it is safer over there than here over xmas with all the talk of terrorism. I can also put you in touch with a tour guide who will collect you from the airport and drive you where ever you want with full history and information of places he will take you around on. Very good and you are looking at R3.50 p/km + his food + accomadation.
Else if you can get about 6 interested parties who can cover my cost let me know and I can take you on a guided safe tour places where normal South-African's don't even go on bikes or mini-bus - your choice. The reason for six is it will spread the cost and more people more fun!

You will probably enjoy a safe wonderfull holiday on your own as does the other thousands of visitors who flock to our country the last couple of years. If you need any help or advise let me know mate!


Dave Hall
10-12-03, 19:34
Originally posted by maverick

You will probably enjoy a safe wonderfull holiday on your own as does the other thousands of visitors who flock to our country the last couple of years. If you need any help or advise let me know mate!


Right...a bit more research needed.

11-12-03, 09:50
Right Dave,

Was forwarded this two websites last night and tel number if you want to get an idea of prices and these folks also do guided group tours in which you will be perfectly safe.

<a href="www.adventureriders.co.za">Adventure Riders</a>

<a href="www.motoberlin.co.za">Moto Berlin</a>

And BMW HQ's telephone in Johannesburg is +27116902600 who I am sure will give you details about dealers etc who hire motorcycles.


Dave Hall
11-12-03, 10:56
Cheers Maverick

This`ll give me something to do over the crap weather period

22-12-03, 20:40
have a look at bikeshareworld.com
It may not be everybody's cup of tea but I've no complaints so far. I lent my GS to a guy from SA in june this year and made a great friend. Some say they wouldn't lend their bike to a stranger but sure life's too short. There's people living and dying on the pavement and it's only a machine, albeit one that we become quite attached to. Only a thought but have a look anyway.

12-11-13, 20:16
Thought I'd add a few pics of a recent trip to Die Hel /Gamkaskloof being talked about above:




More here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.451779218179115.107349.199290046761368&type=3 :beerjug::bounce1

13-11-13, 14:03
Hi Dave,

My name's Alex, I'm British and have been living here for the last three years. I work for a BMW Motorrad dealership in Johannesburg (Auto Alpina) and have ridden around almost every single place in the country on more than a few occasions

If you need any help at all in any way with regards to bikes or anything else for that matter, please give me a shout. alex.reid@bmwdealer.co.za

Ciao for now,

Alex :tarka

13-11-13, 15:29
Hi Dave,
My name's Peter, I'm a Saffer recently returned to SA from the UK, and I met the mad bugger - Alex - above in the previous post.... :beerjug:
........... he's a bloody top notch chap who managed to sell me my GSA while still in the UK..... :clap

http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s499/GoosePix/Goose%20on%20the%20Loose/Day1/IMG_3818_zps64a17761.jpg (http://s1054.photobucket.com/user/GoosePix/media/Goose%20on%20the%20Loose/Day1/IMG_3818_zps64a17761.jpg.html)

I flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg to collect the bike from Alex and then took a few weeks to ride back down to Cape Town ........ and what a fantastic ride it was.

Depending on where you fly into SA............ in other words - if in JHB - give Alex a call............ if Cape Town - then a good mate of mine, Joerg Vogel, owns CAPE BIKE TRAVEL, rentals and he's your man (he was selected by Charley Boorman for supplying the bikes for his SA tours)

http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/s499/GoosePix/Goose%20on%20the%20Loose/Day5/P1030605_zpsc43db774.jpg (http://s1054.photobucket.com/user/GoosePix/media/Goose%20on%20the%20Loose/Day5/P1030605_zpsc43db774.jpg.html)

No matter where or when you come ride......... make the effort to join up with the South African's favourite two Adventure Riders websites/forums. A heap of info and help will be available and a lot of Ex-pats on the forum that would bend over backwards to help....... everything from accomodation to routes to travel......

(Both forums are 100% free to join!)




looking forward to welcoming you to SA :thumb

13-11-13, 19:12
Depending on where you are staying, day trips – rides to a lunch spot might be good.
So here is a list:
1. Pubs – foresters arms in Newlands especially on a rugby day. Close to the stadium. This could be linked to a visit to kirstenbosch botanical gardens and then up to the top of Constantia nek and back through the waterfront area to wherever you are staying.
2. Pubs – La med between Clifton Beach and Camps bay (again both worth seeing and then drive along the coast towards Cape Point over Chapmans Peak
3. The waterfront for a day. Plenty to see and eat and then get the trip to robben Island
4. A ride along the eastern coastline through Kalk Bay – must stop at the Brass Bell pub for lunch (http://www.brassbell.co.za/wmenu.php ). Must.
5. Then on to Fish Hoek for ice cream on the beach. Nice promenade walk and next to train line.
6. Then go further round the mountain driving along the coast to simonstown (navy yard) and old harbor. Go to the waters edge and get the best fish and chips in Cape Town from Salty Dog – Best!
7. Go for a drive to Long Beach and Kommetjie to watch the surfers at Long Beach and look at the old colonial hotel and lighthouse further around from Long Beach http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g1214290-d611480-Reviews-The_Last_Word_Long_Beach-Kommetjie_Western_Cape.html . Great place for a local pizza or sundowner is either the red herring in kommetjie or the toad in the village (owned by Bobby Skinstad the springbok rugby player and commentator on Sky now). http://www.safarinow.com/destinations/kommetjie/restaurants.aspx

8. Blue Peter Pub come restaurant Blouberg. This is away from Cape Town side so book an afternoon for a walk on the beach and then head across at about 4pm for the cold drink and pizza. A must. A must for sundowners and cheap pizza – it gets crowded…! Just across from the sea, nice cold wine and sunset, http://eatout.co.za/Restaurants/3080/Cape-Town/Pizzas-Seafood/Blue-Peter
9. If you go to the Nature reserve way past Simonstown, enjoy the drive. No real need to visit the top of the visitor cente unless you want to look at the 2 currents meeting each other
10. Book the cable car and go up to the top of the mountain
11. Go to the Gardens in Cape Town. Can be combined with your day of the cable car (near our parliament - http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/parks/facilities/Pages/CapeTownGardens.aspx this is a nice flat stroll and you get a good feeling for the old cape town. I used to love going there and it was always relaxing …hope it still is.
12. Hells Bells, it’s a beautiful place, just find a coast road and ride around it. Can’t say more than that!

Rory McKellarBasset
22-11-13, 09:35
I fancy a biking tour of South Africa next year. Theres a company that rents the 1150 GS.
Anyone ever been?.
Are there any dodgy bits to avoid?
Will I have lots of fun with my trousers on?

Hi Dave.

Charles Edwards and I run an adventure bike-tour operation out of Cape Town. We can give you extensive information on touring South and Southern Africa. We have bikes to hire (R 1200 GS, F800 GS, etc) and I am willing to part with my own R 1150GS if you really want to ride a good one. Why not check out our website www.africa4adventure.com and give us a shout? We have plenty of options from self-guided tours to guided tours with back-up vehicles etc. Oh, and security is not an issue for us. We ride country-wide regularly without incident.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Rory McKellar-Basset
Cape Town

30-11-13, 21:07
If you fancy ZA - JUST GO!!! It is an amazing country and the roads can't be beaten :) We were there for 3 1/2 weeks last November and went on a 2 week tour with Afria4Adventure. Did the Garden Route and Karoo tour (just 5 of us with guide and back up vehicle) and couldn't have wished for better - hire bikes, roads, mountains, beaches, wildlife, safari, scenery, people, banter, laughs, accommodation, food, drinks:beerjug: ...... Fantastic! Just have a look at their FB page or website to see what you are missing. Definitely will be making a return visit asap!

01-12-13, 11:24
errr.....am I missing something, this original post is 10 years old:rob

01-12-13, 11:49
errr.....am I missing something, this original post is 10 years old:rob

You are right - its taken a strange morph from a few pictures of the routes being talked about 10 years before to what we have here now.

But hey! Never too late to have a happy childhood :jager