Day 1: Cape Town.
On this your arrival day in Cape Town you will be met by a company representative at the airport and then be transferred to our hotel situated in Camp’s Bay, 20 minutes drive away by car. During the day you will be free to explore Cape Town and surrounds at your leisure or simply just relax around the hotel. For those who choose the former, Cape Town offers a wide range of sights, sounds and activities to keep you busy. Late afternoon and we meet up to be transferred to the BMW Pavilion at the V&A Waterfront to receive our bikes, a 10 minute drive away from Camp’s Bay. In the evening we all meet up in the bar for a welcome drink, tour briefing and a chance to get to know the other members of the tour and the Moto Adventures staff. Evening meal in the hotel's pleasant restaurant after which you can either indulge in the abundant night life of Camp’s Bay or simply retire to your room for some rest before the start of your adventure.
Day 2: Cape Town – Franschhoek (total 325 km - 295 km asphalt, 30 km gravel).
On this our first riding day we aim to have breakfast at 08:00 and leave at about 09:00. Today’s route will start us off heading south along the Atlantic Seaboard along the famous Chapman’s Peak drive and then on to the Cape of Good Hope, the most south-westerly point of Africa and a suitable start to our journey. The beautiful coastal roads we follow are squeezed in between the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains of the peninsula, offering you some spectacular views along the way. Our route carries us on around the peninsula heading back north towards Cape Town, this time along the shores of False Bay. We pass through the scenic Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek before reaching the popular beach resort of Muizenberg. From Muizenberg it’s on across to Gordon’s Bay where we once again hug the coastline, carrying on towards Hermanus the point where we finally leave the ocean and start heading inland into the beautiful Cape Winelands.
The Cape Winelands have long been famous for producing some of the world’s finest wines. Our first night on the road will be spent in the town of Franschhoek, home to the Huguenot Monument and by many believed to be situated in the most beautiful valley of the Winelands. Arriving during the late afternoon you should have plenty of time to take in some of the stunning mountain views and the endless rows of grape vines. There are many famous winery’s situated around the town, most offering wine and cheese tasting to visitors. Supper is served in the hotel restaurant looking out over the valleys.
Day 3: Franschhoek – Clanwilliam (total 345 km - 135 km asphalt, 210 km gravel).
Leaving around 08.00 and continue north through the Winelands, eventually reaching the end of the asphalt road at the country town of Ceres. The gravel track we now take to winds its way through the beautiful Cederberg mountains. We arrange to meet up for a snack lunch in a beautiful “oasis” on the track. We are now entering the southern parts of the region known as Namaqualand. It is a semi-desert environment, however in the spring (August to October) depending on the amount of rains that have fallen, flowers emerge in a phenomenal explosion of color transforming the landscape.
On this your first introduction to gravel tracks your guide will be available at all times to give you help and advice should you want it. We will be passing through Wuppertal one of the very quaint Mission villages found in this area. On through valley after valley covered by flowers, the tracks a little bit rocky in places, over a pass and down into the small rural town of Clanwilliam to our country inn, our accommodation for the night.
Day 4: Clanwilliam – Springbok (total 490 km - 215 km asphalt, 275 km gravel).
After breakfast we retrace our route back up over the pass and continue on gravel roads winding through farmlands until we reach the tarmac and our refueling point. From here you have the option of doing the remaining total 275 km on tarmac to our guest house in the center of Springbok, or a combination of tarmac and a 75 km off-road section on beautiful twisting tracks with several farm gates to pass through, and repeatedly crossing the shallow river that winds through the same hills and uninhabited valleys. As with the previous day you should be treated to a wonderful display of wildflowers. Our accommodation is a pleasant privately run guest house located in the center of this small provincial town. We will be going “out on the town” for our evening meal, but Maggie offers full English breakfast in the morning.
Day 5: Springbok – Noerdower (total 190 km - 140 km asphalt, 50 km gravel).
After breakfast we rejoin the main highway to the South Africa, Namibia border at Noordoewer, formed by the mighty Orange River. After passing into Namibia (set your watches back an hour) we refuel, turn left and it’s a further 50 km on good wide gravel tracks, following the river downstream, to reach our nights’ accommodation at the Norotshama River Resort where you will be staying in small chalets right on the banks of the river. We will be arriving early afternoon and you have the possibility of canoeing on the river, taking a guided walk or just having a drink and relaxing in the typical thatched main building of the lodge while looking out over the river.
Day 6: Noerdower - Vogelstrausskluft (total 450 km - 30 km asphalt, 420 km gravel).
Its back on the gravel for today’s ride which will take us past one of Namibia’s premier natural wonders, The Fish River Canyon. During the day we will visit the hot springs at Ai-Ais and take in the breathtaking canyon views from the various viewpoints along the way.
The Fish River is, at 650 km, the longest river in Namibia. Its source lies in the eastern Naukluft Mountains and it runs south-west of Ai-Ais into the Orange. The canyon, situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River, is one of the most impressive natural beauties in the southern part of Namibia and with a depth of up to 550 meters it is one of the largest canyons in the world. The enormous gorge meanders along a distance of approximately 160 km through the fissured Koubis massif all the way down to Ai-Ais.
Our nights’ accommodation is at the Vogelstrausskluft Lodge situated approximately 150 km from the main lookout point of Hell’s Bend. Depending on when you arrive during the afternoon there are a number of optional activities on offer. Those include nature and game drives, sunset drives down to the canyon and quad biking to name but a few. The lodge which opened in spring 2006 offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and to end the day a delicious buffet dinner is served looking out over these vast Namibian plains.
Day 7: Vogulstrausskluft - Sesriemt (total 390 km - 35 km asphalt, 355 km gravel).
From one natural wonder to the next: deep canyons to vast sand dunes. To make the most of this day we will leave fairly early in the morning. Having enjoyed the vast views of Fish River Canyon the day before it is now time to head towards another of Namibia’s natural wonders, the famous red dunes at Sossusvlei. To get there will take us along tracks bordering the massive Namib Naukluft Nature Reserve and the private Namibrand Reserve. The Namib-Naukluft Park is one of the largest and most varied national parks in Africa, covering much of the central Namib Desert and the Naukluft Mountains. It offers some of the most beautiful landscapes we travel through with plains of golden grasslands stretching as far as the eyes can see with herds of antelope species grazing by the side of the road.
We should be arriving at our planned accommodation during the early afternoon to allow you to take part in the optional sun downer drives that depart for the dunes situated inside the park. Alternatively you can choose to take an early flight across the dunes to see the sunrise. Seeing the massive dunes changing color in the morning is a truly awesome sight not to be missed. Situated within the Namib Naukluft Reserve the lodge was completed in 2007 and has been built in a traditional African-village style. An excellent restaurant and the possibility to enjoy the total tranquility of the Namib Desert.
Day 8: Sesriem - Swakopmund (total 500 km, including optional 120 km round-trip to dunes, 150 km asphalt, 350 km gravel).
Early departure after breakfast. Destination Namibia’s premier beach resort, Swakopmund. The track we follow, sandy in places, continues on from the previous day just outside the border of the nature reserve so still lots of chance to spot wildlife. We climb two windy mountain passes and pass bizarre rock formations. A detour of about 120 km to visit the dunes at Sossusvlei should you wish, and then on to the coast passing Namibia’s highest sand dune, “Dune 7”. Take a short detour to Walvis Bay to admire the attractive townhouses painted in all the colors of the rainbow.
Swakopmund has been described as a little piece of Germany in Africa so don’t be surprised when you come across German bakeries and breweries along the streets. This is where we have decided to have our day off so we will spend the next two nights at Rossmund Lodge. Evening meal will be in a converted tugboat on the seashore – excellent cuisine and local wines.
Day 9: Swakopmund.
Your well earned day off. For those wanting to play there is an excellent 18 hole golf course where one can normally see springbok grazing on the greens. Alternatively Swakopmund – a short taxi drive away, is one of Namibia’s main seaside towns, with many attractive old buildings. Check out the local penitentiary which could be taken for a Bavarian chateau! For your evening meal we will take you to the restaurant in the Swakopmund Casino, a beautiful old colonial style building where you can lose some money!
Day 10: Swakopmund – Vingerklip (total 310 km - 72 km asphalt, 238 km gravel).
Namibia’s Atlantic coast is renowned for its morning sea fogs. These usually burn off by mid morning so not too much to worry about as long as you carry your extra jacket. From Swakopmund we follow the coastal road north towards Henties Bay passing through terrain that can only be described as barren. At Henties Bay we leave the Atlantic and turn inland. Rising over the horizon in front of us will be the Brandberg Massive and on a clear day one can just make out another of Namibia’s famous mountain peaks the Spitzkoppe some 100 km to the South east of our track. We are entering Damaraland.
Damaraland is another of Namibia's very scenic areas, and we should be able to see plenty of wildlife along the way. At the small mining town of Uis we stop to refuel and have lunch. Namibia’s most famous rock painting “The Brandberg White Lady” lies within this mountain range, but does require a 1.5 hour guided walk. If you choose to do it its well worth the effort and you will also get a nice view of Namibia’s highest mountain, the 2573 m high Königstein.
Our next night’s accommodation is at the stunning Vingerklip Lodge. This lodge is set on a slight rise overlooking the strange geological feature known as Vingerklip, or Finger Rock, a 35 meter-high striking pinnacle of rock and natural obelisk balancing vertically on its own. It is built to blend in with the surrounding landscape, has two pools and a spectacular restaurant called The Eagles Nest, set on a cliff top some 600ft above the lodge. We usually climb up there in time to sit on the deck and see the sun set over the Finger Rock while having an aperitif, followed by supper looking out to the horizon and the lodge below.
Day 11: Vingerklip – Etosha (total 405 km - 80 km asphalt, 325 km gravel).
An early start from Vingerklip and make our way due north towards one of the world’s largest and most spectacular Nature Parks, The Etosha National Park. This is yet another of the highlights in Namibia. Its center is dominated by the vast Etosha Pan, an enormous dried up lake, now a vaguely greenish-white salt pan which from a distance looks like the sea. You can opt to do the whole day’s riding on asphalt if you prefer.
We have to reach our accommodation at Mokuti Lodge before 14.00 hrs to join the sunset game drive. This is an excellent way to see all the wildlife that Etosha has to offer. As you arrive back at the hotel after your drive, sit down to a delicious buffet supper followed by sundowners at the poolside bar.
Day 12: Etosha – Grootfontein (total 290 km - 75 km asphalt, 215 km gravel).
Your day can start with an early morning game drive if you wish. On your return and as soon as breakfast is finished we set out once again. Along the way today we drive through dense bush studded with giant Baobab trees, the tree god apparently planted upside down. The biggest one in Namibia is on our route. Watch out for warthogs and Springbok crossing the road.
We reach Roy’s Camp Lodge during the early afternoon which should allow time for an optional visit to a traditional San bushman village out in the Kalahari savannah. Roy’s Camp offers very unique “hobbit” type cabins, a small pool, outdoor bar and a thatched restaurant which serves delicious meals. After supper why not gather around the open bonfire for a few drinks and maybe a sighting of the camps tame Eland who likes to eat carrots from the guests hands.
Day 13: Grootfontein – Ndhovu (total 420 km - 200 km asphalt, 220 km gravel).
Another early start immediately after breakfast to get to our destination in time for the optional sunset river cruise which is highly recommended and starts at 16.00 hrs. We lose an hour today as we go on to Botswana time. A 200 km stretch of tarmac heading north east up through the area known as Kavango Land. A definite change of landscape – with attractive little villages of small rondevals - round thatched cabins surrounded by fencing, to the town of Rundu where we refuel. Here we join up with the Kavango River. From here you can chose to go off-road and follow the river’s edge for about 220 km on its way down to the desert plains in Botswana.
There are various points where you can rejoin the asphalt if you chose to. The river forms a natural border between Namibia and Angola and is the lifeline to the Kavango people who live on its banks. The area is considerably greener than the rest of Namibia. Our nights camp Ndhovu sits right on the banks of the Kavango River bordering a nature reserve. You will be staying in luxury en suite safari tents, all looking out over the river. Hippos are the order of the day in this area so expect to be kept awake well into the night by their barking. It is also not uncommon to have them grazing on the lawns around the tent, so watch your step. It’s hard to imagine a better way to end the day than cruising on the river, beer in hand, spotting hippos, crocodiles, herds of as many as 40 elephants and hundreds of species of birds.
Day 14: Ndhovu – Mazambala (total 260 km - 230 km asphalt, 30 km gravel).
The Caprivi Strip - the wettest part of Namibia, and until the road was built, virtually impassable during the wet season, makes up most of today’s drive. The most difficult bit is the initial couple of kilometers of sand and ruts when leaving the lodge to get to the gravel track. An unremarkable part of the country and a very straight road. The final 30 km are again off-road down to our accommodation – The Mazambala Island Lodge. Situated on an island in the Kwando River amid lush tropical vegetation, the lodge offers accommodation in 12 traditional reed and thatch en suite bungalows. The thatched restaurant - bar - lounge building, on stilts, provides stunning views of the vast flood plain while enjoying excellent meals and ice cold drinks. This lodge is an unspoilt African experience with luxurious facilities in a very scenic setting.
Day 15: Mazambala - Victoria Falls, Zambia (total 305 km - 275 km asphalt, 30 km gravel).
After breakfast we return back up the track road to the main Caprivi highway. We are aiming for the border post at Katima Mulilo which as with the South Africa, Namibia border is marked by a mighty river, The Zambezi. Once custom formalities have been cleared, its 190 km straight down the road to Livingstone and The Victoria Falls, "The Smoke That Thunders". Watch out for those famous Zambian potholes along the way though! The Victoria Falls are situated on the Zambezi River, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and are roughly 1.7 km (1 mile) wide and 128 m (420 ft) high. They are considered a remarkable spectacle because of the peculiar narrow slot-like chasm into which the water falls, so one can view the falls face-on. It is described by the Kololo tribe living in the area as "Mosi-oa-Tunya" - "the Smoke that Thunders" and in encyclopaedia as "the greatest known curtain of falling water".
We also like to consider it the adrenaline and adventure capitol of Africa with a range of activities aimed at your wilder side. This our last night on the tour is spent at The Zambesi Sun a lodge with it’s own private entrance to view the falls. Excellent buffet supper in the open air restaurant, and then a well earned drink in the poolside bar to talk over all our experiences during the tour.
Day 16: Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia.
On this your final day of the tour breakfast is served as usual at the lodge. Depending on your travel arrangements you are then free to explore the falls and surrounding area. Transfers to the Livingstone airport are included and will be arranged for you. We are offering you, free of charge the option to spend a further night at the Zambesi Sun Lodge.
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