An unforgettable 10-day motorcycle tour through the scenic Western and Northern Cape of South Africa, from Cape Town to Kimberley.
This exhilarating South Africa Motorbike Tour explores the rugged Cape Peninsula, tracing the dramatic coastline and visiting highlights in Cape Town. Then the route travels into the picturesque Cape Winelands, traversing spectacular mountain passes and stopping in at famous towns. From there we ride into the Small Karoo and along the Historic Route, via semi-arid plains, towering mountain passes and quaint towns. Then we head north into the Great Karoo and Kalahari, up along the Treasure Route, taking in historic highlights and remote landscapes.
The motorcycle road trip of a lifetime, this incredible journey combines the thrill of riding a Royal Enfield with famous and lesser-known historical gems and breathtaking scenery of South Africa. This affordable motorbike adventure offers comfortable accommodation and is suitable for motorbike enthusiasts of all levels, from novice to seasoned biker. A 4x4 safari vehicle tows the back-up equipment, extra supplies and luggage in a trailer and most meals are included along with entry fees, permits and group equipment.
Today we get ready for the road ahead and take our first short ride to become accustomed to the motorcycles.
Meet up with the guides at 14h00 for an introduction and overview of what to expect on the tour. Then the guides take you over the ins and outs of the Classic Royal Enfield Motorcycle, a vintage military-style motorbike. After getting up to speed on the details it is time to hop on and take a short ride to test out the motorbikes and our riding equipment.
Tonight we eat out at one of the Cape’s excellent restaurants (own expense) and run over the adventure-filled journey in more detail.
An incredibly scenic day in and around Cape Town, one of the world's most beautiful cities, lies ahead.
After breakfast we ride to False Bay joining the coast at Muizenberg and continuing along the rugged Cape Peninsula. Passing through the naval village of Simon’s Town our dramatic coastal route takes us to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, on the tip of the peninsula. From the nature reserve we trace the sheer cliffs along one of the most beautiful coastal roads in South Africa – Chapman’s Peak Drive.
Emerging from the other side of Chapman’s Peak, we dip down into the pleasant seaside village of Hout Bay. Next we head up and over to the Atlantic Ocean on the Table Bay side of Cape Town, enjoying breathtaking coastal views along the way. Riding along the famous beachfront promenade on the Atlantic Seaboard, we enter the city centre and head to the landmark Castle of Good Hope, one of the historical highlights of Cape Town. Built by Dutch Commander Jan van Riebeeck for the Dutch East India Company over a period of 13 years, during the 17th century, this big fort is the oldest building in South Africa. From the star-shaped fort we ride up the eastern slopes of Table Mountain to Rhodes Memorial, from where we admire the city, plains and distant mountains. The Rhodes Memorial was built at the base of Devil's Peak, in honour of the influential British colonialist, mining magnate and businessman, Cecil John Rhodes.
Tonight we have dinner (own expense) at the renowned Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, featuring a fine selection of restaurants.
On day three we make our way out of Cape Town, riding across the flat coastal plains and into the picturesque Cape Winelands region. First stop, Stellenbosch, the second oldest town founded by the colonial settlers in South Africa. After a coffee and stretch in leafy Stellenbosch, we ride to Franschhoek, passing over the beautiful Hells Hoogte Pass. We have lunch in the charming town of Franschhoek known for its fine cuisine and French Huguenot influences.
Then we head for the hills again, traversing Franschhoek Pass on the R45 and descending to Theewaterskloof Dam. From here it is time for a 30km stretch of hard-packed gravel road, bringing us to our overnight accommodation near the small town of Robertson. We spend the night on a working farm in this pretty wine-growing region.
Day four begins with a hearty farm-style breakfast before we hop back onto our motorcycles and ride to Montagu, passing through Robertson and then the tunnel of Cogmanskloof Pass, in the Langeberg Mountains. The Cogmanskloof tunnel was constructed on the R62 by famous road engineer, Thomas Bain between 1873 and 1877. Emerging on the Little Karoo end of this impressive tunnel there is an old British fort up on the hillside, built in 1899 during the Anglo Boer war, and today a favourite hangout for baboons.
Leaving the quaint town of Montagu behind we travel up into the mountains again and out across the flat terrain of the semi-desert Karoo. Turning off onto a gravel road we make our way to the old railway stop at Touws River, before continuing to the historic hamlet of Matjiesfontein in the Small (Klein) Karoo. Founded in 1844 by James Douglas Logan, a renowned Scottish railwayman, the tiny town served as a British outpost and health spa, built in Victorian era style. The whole of this one-street village was declared a National Monument in 1979. Visiting Matjiesfontein is a quirky journey back in time, to the days when South African writer Olive Schreiner lived here, aristocracy and politicians visited and the Jamieson raiders took refuge here. Matjiesfontein also became the headquarters of the Cape Command during the Anglo-Boer War and hosted war-crime hearings.
Tonight we listen to a talk about the historic highlights of Matjiesfontein and stop in at the novel pub.
Today is the day for a spot of game viewing, after a morning of scenic riding.
A thrilling ride takes us over the lofty Swartberg Mountains, through a secluded valley and the spectacular Seweweekspoort Pass. We ride through the rugged pass on a narrow, winding road at the base of towering cliffs that reveal layers of exposed rock.
Continuing on the much-loved Route 62, we come down the Huisrivier Pass and turn onto a gravel road for the last stretch of today's ride. Riding through farmlands we reach our destination, a private game lodge at the foot of the towering Swartberg Mountains.
In the afternoon we embark on an open 4x4 game drive in a private game reserve located at the base of the mountains. We explore the nature reserve in search of antelopes, giraffes and other wildlife found here.
Today we traverse the Swartberg Mountains via Meiringspoort Pass, riding east through Oudtshoorn, which is famous for the Cango Caves and ostrich farms. If it is a warm day we take a dip in some of the cool mountain pools as we make our way north to Beaufort West, back on the historic travel route.
Later in the afternoon we cross the wide open plains of the arid Karoo plateau, reaching our overnight stop, near Beaufort West. If there is time we take a game drive in a local wilderness area, experiencing the still silence and wide blue skies.
Beaufort West, is a quiet and remote place, yet it is the biggest town in the Great Karoo and is as such considered the Capital of the Karoo.
Tuck into a tasty farm breakfast before setting off for the Nuweveld Plateau in the Northern Cape Province.
We ride on the well-kept gravel road of the De Jagers Pass, one of the first roads inland, built as a wagon crossing in about 1830. Our drive provides sweeping views over the sparsely populated Karoo veld (bush) with its open horizons.
We stay on a sheep and game farm, in an old farmhouse, dating back to the early 1800s. In the afternoon you can enjoy activities in the area or sit back and relax. There are a handful of things to do here, including looking for the most endangered animal in South Africa, the Riverine Rabbit. There are also fossils and a historic diamond mining site in the area.
On day eight we join the N12 Treasure Route, which traces the historic path of pioneers and fortune-seekers in search of mineral and natural riches in South Africa.
Riding north we visit Victoria West, a charming Victorian-era village founded in 1843. Victoria West hosts an interesting mix of architectural styles, with Dutch and Victorian buildings, as well as one of Africa's oldest movie theaters, a museum and landmark Anglican church.
Then, it is on to Britstown located on the deserted plains in the middle of nowhere. The outpost town was established as a pit stop on the road from the Cape of Good Hope to the diamond fields of the Northern Cape, also known as the Diamond Route. We cross the Brak River en route to Hopetown, famous for its diamond boom after the discovery of the first diamond in South Africa. This evening we enjoy warm Karoo hospitality accompanied by good wine and delicious food, in a region renowned for its lamb.
Taking a somber step back in history, we visit the site of the British military concentration camp where Afrikaans (Boer) women and children were imprisoned during the Anglo-Boer War. At the memorial a local historian reveals the dark history of the concentration camps where about 27000 civilians died.
Moving on we ride up to the Gariep River, formerly the Orange River. We cross the longest river in South Africa via an old bridge first built for ox-wagons in 1871, and then rebuilt shortly after 1901 when it was destroyed by the Boer settlers. Our next stop is the old railway station in Belmont, the place where the Second Boer War began in 1899, in what is known as the Battle of Belmont. Then we ride our motorcycles across stark gravel plains to Magersfontein, the site of the famous battle between British and Boer soldiers, lead by Lord Meuthen and General De La Rey.
Next, we embark on the final leg of our motorcycle odyssey – the road to Kimberley, capital of the Northern Cape Province. Kimberley is famous for its prosperous diamond mining days which left behind The Big Hole and a scattering of original old buildings. This is also where Boer and British forces battled for control of the diamond industry, during the bitter 124-day Siege of Kimberley in 1899.
On our final night we celebrate the completion of our epic motorbike journey along the beautiful historical route once travelled by famous figures and intrepid pioneers.
After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, our South African Motorbike Tour comes to an end.
The Big Hole of Kimberley was originally dug down to 240m deep, covering an area of 17 hectares and yielding a staggering 2722 kilograms of diamonds. Miners started digging in about 1871, using picks and shovels to create this gaping crater that today only holds some water. Be sure to spend time exploring the Kimberley Hole and Museum, before catching your onward flight.
Leaving your trusty Royal Enfield behind, you can fly to most of South Africa's top destinations from Kimberley.
See the Full Pricing above for the excluded costs of bike rental, fuel and the refundable deposit.
For more details please contact African Budget Safaris.
This tour does not take children.