A Taste of The Cape – A Bit of Everything

A Taste of The Cape – A Bit of Everything

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This tour has been designed to offer riders an exciting, off-the-beaten-track adventure around the Cape Peninsula, without breaking the bank. Mountains, coast and desert come at no extra cost and the scenery and riding are spectacular. It also has an epic trail ride, a wildlife/safari element and great eating.

Accommodation is at the budget end of the market, with some venues that we would describe as 'basic'. However, the rooms and facilities are always clean and the locations carefully chosen. If you are looking for upmarket hotels, please choose another tour. If, however, sitting around a camp fire, with a sky full of stars appeals, then this is for you.

There will be a maximum of 7 bikes available on this tour. The machines used will be Suzuki DL650 V-Stroms (2014-models) which are gutsy, economical, comfortable for passengers and capable on dirt roads with the right tyres. As an upgrade we also offer the Triumph Tiger XCX, a top-spec dual-purpose machine and the BMW F700GS. For further information on BIKES, and the terms and conditions of hire, please go HERE.

 

ToC - 1 2

 

As a participant in this tour you'll fly to George in the Western Cape and be met by Blazing Trails staff. We will transfer to your guest house in Mossel Bay (around 40 minutes by road) where we will give you a briefing on the trip ahead. The following day we will hit the wonderful road.

When riding there will be a lead rider. On-bike luggage will be provided. Tour participants will navigate using a 'marker' (also known as a 'buddy') system, whereby the rider behind the leader drops off and waits to guide those coming behind.

The riding on this tour is a mix of tarmac, graded dirt roads and some fantastic and remote trails. As far as is possible the tour has been designed to avoid major routes.

For more general information on South Africa, please see About South Africa

a taste of the cape - itinerary

Cormorant1Day 1: Fly

Fly overnight from the UK to JHB and on to George Airport.


flight-inclusive

legss  2872Day 2: Arrive & transfer to mossel bay

Arrive at George, where you will be met and transported (40 mins) to your overnight accommodation, where the Blazing Trails staff will brief you on the adventure ahead and introduce you to 'your' bike. The afternoon can be spent exploring the surrounding area, or sampling the local Cape wines and beers, before we gather for a BBQ. 

ToC - 1Day 3: mossel bay to Cape agulhas

Following a mix of highway and lesser rural roads, both tarred and gravel, we will head for the southern tip of Africa. There should be the opportunity to view local wildlife as we go, with blue cranes and sacred ibis among the avifauna; springbok and blessbok representing the four-legged beasties. We will cross the Breede River on the famous hand-pulled ferry at Malgas, before a visit to Agulhas Lighthouse and the point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.

R621

DAY 4: Agulhas to mossel bay

Following a hearty breakfast we'll be off heading for the mountains and the spectacular Tradouw Pass, which carries us over the mountain ridge that seperates the Klein Karoo Desert from the coastal Cape. From Barrydale we will follow a riding classic – Route 62. This road is a combination of straight scrub-desert cruise and pass-climbing nadgery, as it carries us swiftly through the open spaces, past ostrich farms and timeless colonial villages. Just before the town of Oudtshoorn, we turn west, towards the coast. The last pass of the day, the Robinson, is a beauty and then down we go to the culinary pleasures of the coast.

 

 

sharkDay 5: in mossel bay

There is plenty to do in and around this small coastal town. Options include 'walking with lions', cage diving with great white sharks (conditions permitting) and coastal walks. Less adventurous types might like to hang out in the numerous bars and restaurants instead.

 

garden r  2873Day 6: MOSSEL BAY to addo

Today we ride the whole of the Garden Route (some 400km, sticking mainly to the old road, not the main highway). We will take in beautiful coastal views before turning inland, destination a funky backpackers in the small town of Addo – that has its own brewery! 

AddoDay 7: in addo national park

We have the whole day in which to explore the National Park. Elephant, kudu, warthog, eland, jackal and zebra-sightings are near-certainties. Observations of Cape buffalo, spotted hyena, back rhino and lion are also possible. The Addo flightless dung beetle occurs nowhere else!

ToC - 1 1Day 8: ADDO to POrt Alfred

A super day of riding begins with a ride over Secret Pass, a steep climb through a private reserve brimming with game. The dirt track is a little challenging, but more than worth the effort. A regulation graded dirt road then takes us to Fort Beaufort from where we ace the twisites along the edge of the Great Fish River Reserve. We end the day on the Sunshine Coast.

Alfreds - 1

DAY 9: PORT ALFRED TO PRINCE ALFRED's PASS

The journey to our next over-nighter will be mainly on the old Route 62 through the Langkloof, a beautiful, quiet, swooping road through farms and pastureland. The main event begins when we leave the 62 and head over the deliriously beautiful Prince Alfred's Pass. The day ends on the mountain's downside in a fun and characterful stop, with beer and great food.

Alfreds2 - 1Day 10: prince alfred's pass to mossel Bay

There's plenty more epic Cape riding as we head back to the coast, for lunch at the fashionable beauty spot of Knysna. And again when we pick up the Seven Passes route, for a mix of tar and gravel back to George and then on to Mossel Bay, where you and your steed say your fond farewells. We will again cook on the fire, doubtless recounting overblown tales of what we have just experienced.

sealDay 11: Mossel bay to george, to home... 

You are leaving today, so will be transported to the airport for the flight home. Goodbye and keep your chin up as you face the expectation of a cold country, with crowded roads, expensive booze and steaks the size of tupenny bits.

 

a taste of the cape - What the Tour Price Includes

Included

  • International Flights (optional)
  • Bike Hire
  • All Internal Transfers
  • Nine Nights Accommodation
  • Meals: 9 breakfasts; 2 dinners

Not included

  • Other Meals
  • Tolls, Entry Fees and Excursions
  • Fuel
  • Damage Excess on bikes

a taste of the cape - flight INFORMATION 

Tickets will be emailed when booking.

a taste of the cape - Useful Information

Documentation

You will need a passport and appropriate travel insurance. Currently UK citizens (and those from many countries) will be granted a tourist visa upon arrival. It is, however, your responsibility to check that you can legally enter the country. Most 'western' driving licences are also valid, but please also check your status before travelling. 

Currency

You should be able to get by on around £350 spending money if you don't do a lot of shopping. Cash and travellers' cheques can be changed at the airport and in the larger towns. Cash points are widespread and most vendors accept credit/debit cards. Cash is best for fuel stations as it speeds up what can otherwise be a lengthy process. Depending on what bike you choose and how you ride it, expect to part with aound £50 for fuel.

Climate

At the time of year we will be visiting, South Africa should be nice and sunny, but not too hot, even at the coast. Obviously, though, we can't guarantee this and you should be prepared for the possibility of a couple of wet days. If it does rain in the mountains it can be a bit chilly, but not really cold. The maximum temperature is likely to be around 30ºC on the coast; the minimum 8ºC (at night in the mountains, if it has been overcast during the day). On the coast, especially at The Cape, it can be pretty windy. 

Bike Kit

We advise riders to consider their kit in terms of layers, so you can adjust to be comfortable during the course of a varied day. Clothing as you would wear on a tour of Europe is perfectly suitable, whether leathers, or textiles. Heavy boots are advised. Some kind of waterproofing is a very good idea. Good gear can prevent a minor spill causing a trip-ruining injury, so we require that you ride with no exposed skin (except your face). 

Luggage

Your luggage will be carried in panniers and top-box on the bike, though items not needed on certain legs of the trip can be stored at our base in Mossel Bay. Your main bag must be 'soft' and not a suitcase.

Fitness

You need not be any more fit on this tour than if you were riding in Europe. However, if you have any existing medical condition that may affect you during the tour, please consult your doctor and Blazing Trails before booking.

Riding Skills

While we insist those joining us have a full motorcycle licence, and recommend a minimum of a year's riding experience, time in the saddle and miles ridden are of more relevance to an adventure like this. You must be happy to ride on gravel, conduct water crossings, etc., though we do not exceed 80kph on the dirt. There are some fairly long days in the saddle, up to a maximum of around 450km (280 miles) in a day. We do, though, try to design the tours so you get an easier day, or down day, after a long ride.

Health & Hygiene

South Africa is a very clean and hygienic country (we'd say more so than the UK), with clean ablutions in abundance, and safe tap-water, so the chances of getting even a 'holiday tummy' are low. South Africa has a very low incidence of Malaria - unheard of on this route), but we still recommend that you ask your physician for advice on inoculations. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, it is essential that you consult both Blazing Trails and your physician before booking.

Eating & Drinking

South African restaurant food will be familiar to those coming from the West. Food is of a high standard and is very good value (especially meat and seafood dishes), being around half the equivalent cost of the UK. One of the world's premier wine producers, South Africa is a great place to sample the grape, which is also good value for money. Decent beers (mainly lagers) are available everywhere. 

On our tours, food will only be inclusive where there is little or no choice, or where we have arranged something special (barbeques etc). For the number of meals included in the trip, see 'What The Tour Price Includes' (above). We have arranged the tour like this, so participants can explore for themselves. Not everybody wants to eat in a group every night, eat the same thing, or at the same time. We will, however, be happy to advise on eateries.

excursions

As with eating, we do not want to prescribe what non-riding activities you chose to participate in. In many places there are several options, so we will be happy to advise, put you in touch with the right people and let you decide.

Personal Safety

While South Africa has had some pretty bad press in recent years for violent crime, very little of this nature happens in the tourist areas through which we will be travelling. And, as ever, the media tends to sensationalise the bad and ignore the good. Being guided through the 'right' areas in a group greatly mitigates the chances of encountering unpleasantness. Petty crime - pick-pocketing and theft - happens, as it does in virtually all tourist destinations with a wide gulf between rich and poor. A few simple precautions, like keeping your wallet/docs in an inside pocket and leaving nothing unattended on the bike, should mean a trouble-free tour.

medical facilites

Unlike our Asian tours, we feel South Africa has developed enough emergency services and an efficient private health-care system (along with European standards of driving) to mean that we don't need to travel with a fully-qualified medic. Travel insurance, including medical cover, is compulsory on this trip.  

Don't Forget!

To check out our suggested packing list.


How To Make A Booking

Holiday bookings can be made by phone, via email, or over the internet.


Contact us by any of the means above.

Upon deciding to book, please pay a deposit of £700.00 into our bonded account (or the full balance if within two months of the departure date). This can be done by credit/debit card through our website or over the phone, by bank transfer, by over-the-counter payment, or by sending a cheque to our UK representative.

Having booked with Blazing Trails, you will be sent all the necessary information on timings and meeting points. You may also like to use our website, or Facebook group, to liaise with others.

PLEASE NOTE: A maximum of one week (seven days) will be allowed for your deposit payment to reach and clear in our bonded account. Should this not happen, we can suspend your booking and may have to give your place on tour to somebody else.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions - South Africa

 

ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?

Yes, (if you are booking from the UK) all flights, international and domestic, are included in the price of your tour.

 

How do I book?

The tours can be booked online, by email, or over the phone on: +44 (0)5603 666788. To secure a place you will be asked to put down a deposit of £700.00 and payment can be made by card, cheque, or bank transfer.

 

CAN I BOOK FROM OUTSIDE THE UK?

Yes. If you are booking from outside the UK, please contact us and we will provide you with a non-flight price.

 

CAN I TAKE A DIFFERENT FLIGHT?

You can, but we may have to add a surcharge if you are not on the group flight. Please contact us for details.

 

Where do I get a visa?

For most nationalities, including EU citizens, a tourist visa is issued free of charge at your port of entry. It is, however, your responsibility to check current regulatuons.

 

What other paperwork do I need?

You will need a valid certificate of travel insurance.

 

WHERE DO the bikes come from?

We own and manage our own fleet of bikes.

 

WHat happens if i damage the bike?

If you damage the bike, you will be charged for the damage up to the amount of your excess. On all our bikes, the excess is £1000, so in the event of a mishap you will not be charged more than this amount. If the damage is less than this amount, then you will only be charged for that damage.

If you have damaged the bike near to this total, we may ask you to place a further deposit before continuing.

 

DO I NEED INSURANCE?

Yes, you need travel insurance to cover you for the period of the tour. This insurance must cover you to ride the bike you have booked. Blazing Trails has an agreement with Endsleigh Insurance who provide reasonably priced policies with the requisite cover.

 

Where should I change money?

We would advise that you change some money on arrival at the airport. ATMs are widespread and an efficient way to get hold of cash. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere.

 

why did the mexican push his wife off the cliff?

Tequila.

 

How much spending money will I need?

About £300-£400 should cover food, drink, petrol and sundries.

 

Will I have to share a room?

Yes, unless you pay a supplement. Even then, single rooms may not be available at some stops as the hotels we use are popular, or in some cases small, and we have to book our accommodation some time in advance.

 

What standard is the accommodation?

It varies widely (and tour-to-tour), but is always clean and the best we can find in the area for a reasonable price in a suitable setting. We are always in clean, comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

 

Will we have electricity?

Yes, but you may need a travel plug adaptor.

 

How much riding experience do I need?

We would recommend only booking a tour with us if you have a full licence (compulsory) and have at least a year's recent riding experience. The main criterion, however, is confidence.

 

Is riding in south africa dangerous?

Riding anywhere carries with it a degree of risk, as does riding in South Africa. However, with light traffic and good roads, we would suggest that riding in South Africa is no more dangerous than a tour in Europe. For more information on the riding side of things see 'Riding' in the 'About South Africa' section of this site. If any rider joining us rides in a manner we suspect will endanger themselves, or others, or indeed displays antisocial behaviour, they will receive one warning. If they continue to display a threat to the safety or enjoyment of others on the tour, they will be excluded from the remainder (with no refund given, see terms and conditions).

 

How fast will we be riding?

We will be riding 'progressively', at or around the speed limit and according to conditions. Most South African roads outside built-up areas have a 75mph speed limit - fast enough on the twisties. There are fixed cameras and mobile speed traps in towns...

 

Do I have to book my own flights?

No, we do that for you and forward the ticket by email.

 

Can I use the bike in the evenings?

No, you can't ride independently of the tour group, sorry.

 

How fit do I need to be?

No fitter than you would have to be to tour Europe.

 

Can I take a pillion?

Yes.

 

How much luggage can I bring?

You are limited by most airlines, so check with the carrier. However, we suggest you pack as lightly and in as compact a form as possible. Space may be tight, we insist you bring soft luggage.

 

How much luggage should I bring?

Keep it minimal. One set of riding kit for the tour and a couple of sets of clothes for the evening. You can always pick up cheap clothing locally and there are laundry facilities at two-night stops. Leave some space for shopping you do in SA.

 

Isn't south africa A Dangerous crime hell?

While South Africa has had some pretty bad press in recent years for violent crime, very little of this nature happens in the tourist areas through which we will be travelling. And, as ever, the media tends to sensationalize the bad and ignore the good. Being guided through the 'right' areas in a group greatly mitigates the chances of encountering unpleasantness. Petty crime - pick-pocketing and theft - happens, as it does in virtually all tourist destinations with a wide gulf between rich and poor. A few simple precautions, like keeping your wallet/docs in an inside pocket and leaving nothing unattended on the bike, should mean a trouble-free tour. You will be briefed on sensible measures prior to setting off.

 

Do I need a towel?

If you're wet, yes. They are provided throughout the tour.

 

Is food included in the price?

Only some meals (check your tour for details). We prefer that where there are choices you make your own on what and where you eat. You will find South African food of a very high standard and good value.

 

Is it safe to enter a cage full of cheetahs?

Not really, but it's quite exciting and they are very pretty.

 

Are laundry facilities available on-tour?

They are, but not every night. Check the itinerary of your tour - you will be able to get clothes cleaned at two-night stops, so consider this when packing.

 

Do I need waterproofs?

Yes. If your riding kit isn't waterproof, then bring some light waterproofs.

 

I want to see a lion, will I, will I, go on, please?

Maybe, maybe not, but if you take part in a safari at Kruger, St Lucia, or Addo Elephant Reserve you will certainly see some interesting wildlife and landscapes.

 

Will there be a mozzie problem?

Not really. There may be a few around, but you won't be plagued. Bring some repellent. South Africa is mainly malaria-free, but for advice on anti-malarials consult your doctor (take the itinerary with you).

 

what's the difference between a gnu and a wildebeest?

You can't paddle a wildebeest.

 

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?

No.

 

IS IT SAFE TO swim in the sea?

Depends on whether there are any great whites around. We would advise you to ask locally - and then go and get a beer instead.

 

What medication should I bring & what inoculations are required?

Consult your GP/travel clinic for immunisation and malaria advice. Bring enough of any prescribed medication you take regularly. A basic first aid kit is useful (plasters, antiseptic cream, bite/sting relief, plus insect repellent).

 

Should I bring a seat pad?

Gel or air pads add comfort on long days in the saddle, but are not necessary.

 

I HEAR THAT ELEPHANTS ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL IN NEPAL - IS THIS TRUE?

Yes, but you're going to South Africa.

Touring Map

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Tour Overview

In ten words

Great dirt/tarmac riding in a superb setting. Top value.

Riding Level

Most of the riding is fairly easy going, with some great twisty passes. There are a lot of graded dirt roads and one short tougher trail.

Tarmac: 60%; dirt 40%.

The Adventure

Overall: approx' 2500km

Shortest day: 150km

Longest day: 475km

3 days travelling

7 days riding

1 off-bike day


Pillion Rating

On the whole, this tour is good for pillions. Mainly smooth dirt and tarmac roads, but the ride is a bit of a challenge in places.

Accommodation & Meals

This is a budget tour. All breakfasts and a couple of evening meals are included. If you're after fun, rather than four-star, this is for you. The food is cheap and good everywhere.

Highlights

The Cape coast, Cape Agulhas (most southerly point in Africa), Tradouw Pass, Route 62, Robinson Pass, Outiniqua Pass, Baviaanskloof, Addo Elephant Reserve, Langkloof, Prince Alfred's Pass, Seven Passes route.



Book Taste of the Cape Tour now:



Departure day

Fly to

Flight Inclusive (Flight Exclusive)
 20th September 2017  (Wednesday) George On Tour
 05th February 2018  (Monday) George 2495 GBP (1845 GBP)
(6 places left)
 26th September 2018  (Wednesday) George 2495 GBP (1845 GBP)
(6 places left)