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Thread: South Africa...Ever been there?

  1. #1
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    South Africa...Ever been there?

    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?

  2. #2
    Ooh me Chalfonts Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Dave

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  3. #3
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    trousers

    there are places in capetown that do 1150's
    not cheap
    where r u flying 2

  4. #4
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    Re: trousers

    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.

  5. #5
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    Cape Town as a base mate ~ Brill

    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!

    http://winelands.hotelguide.co.za/le...-francais.html

    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).

    http://www.gosouth.co.za/glenshee/

    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.

    http://www.africantravel.com/cca/phinda2.html

    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...

  6. #6
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    Hi Dave, Try www.gooseontheloose.com they went there two up.
    Keep it Fluffy...
    Honda Varadero 2001..
    check out my way of life http://www.balooz.com
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  7. #7
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    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?

  8. #8
    Tokoloshe
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    Dave,

    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.

    Cheers

    Tok

  9. #9
    pint6x
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    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 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

  10. #10
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    Cool Some info, sorry about the pic sizes..

    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...







    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!!





    Maverick Disclaimer: This thread is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s)named above and may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this thread is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word bsquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this thread, however, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have read this thread in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing.

  11. #11
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    more

    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 "Gamkaskloof"







    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.







    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?!!?





    Maverick Disclaimer: This thread is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s)named above and may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this thread is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word bsquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this thread, however, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have read this thread in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing.

  12. #12
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    and more

    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.







    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!!

    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.







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

    for the big world outside...







    The School masters house a mere 10 second walk from work. Lucky chap!







    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.







    Maverick Disclaimer: This thread is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s)named above and may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this thread is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word bsquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this thread, however, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have read this thread in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing.

  13. #13
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    And the rest

    The top of the Swartberg Mountain Pass. It was no GS but the Landy served us well!









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







    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







    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 Cango Caves







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







    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.

    To book or view more information click here Dennehof





    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.







    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 Contact me

    Maverick Disclaimer: This thread is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s)named above and may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this thread is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word bsquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this thread, however, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have read this thread in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing.

  14. #14
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    I have been put off somewhat by `horror` stories regarding the security situation in SA but those pictures have got my juices flowing.

  15. #15
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    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!

    Cheers
    Maverick Disclaimer: This thread is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s)named above and may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this thread is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word bsquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this thread, however, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have read this thread in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing.

  16. #16
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    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!

    Cheers
    Right...a bit more research needed.

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