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10 Days Cape Town Safari and Self-Guided Motorcycle Tour in South Africa

The Commodore Hotel, Portswood Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town 8002, South Africa

Motorcycle Tour in South Africa

Enjoy South Africa's rich cultural heritage and abundant hospitality with this motorcycle tour! You don't have to be rich to travel well. With this tour, Harley's Safaris will tailor-make your perfect journey that exceeds your expectations and creates unforgettable memories. If you yearn for spectacular mountain scenery, mystical cultural destinations, spectacular game-viewing, or to pass through landscapes of tropical forests, this tour is perfect for you!

Key Information

  • Terrain: asphalt
  • Bike: rental bike (Harley Davidsons)
  • Total mileage: 1785 kilometers / 1109 miles
  • Daily rides: 208 to 560 kilometers / 129 to 348 miles
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts

Highlights

  • Guided game drives
  • Entry fees throughout tour
  • Starts and ends in Cape Town
  • Harley Davidson rental with full road insurance
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


8 activity days
Airport transfer available:
Cape Town International Airport (US$31 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
08:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

During the tour, you will be staying for two nights (first and last nights) at the Commodore Hotel in Cape Town, one night at Protea Hotel by Marriott Worcester Cumberland in Worcester, one night at Drostdy Hotel in Graaff Reinet, one night at Southern Sun Hemingways in East London, one night at Kuzuko Lodge in Addo Elephant National Park, one night at Tsitsikamma Village Inn in Tsitsikamma National Park, and one night at Agulhas Country Lodge in Agulhas.

Program

Day 1: Commodore Hotel, Cape Town

Arrive into Cape Town International Airport (CPT) at your own arrangements or book through Open Road Safaris at additional cost. You will be met by your tour guide from Harley's Safaris and transferred to the Commodore Hotel, near the waterfront.

At 2 p.m., your guide will return to the Commodore to collect you for an afternoon tour of the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood on Signal Hill (also called the Malay Quarter). Here, you will hear the stories of the Cape Malay slaves of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as their descendants who built this district.

Return to your hotel to freshen up. Meet your tour guide in the hotel restaurant at 7 p.m. for a welcome dinner and introduction to the tour, as well as meeting your travelling companions.

Day 2: Protea Hotel by Marriott Worcester Cumberland, Worcester (208 kilometers / 129 miles)

Today is the official start of your bike journey from Cape Town to Durban. Your guide will meet you at the Commodore Hotel and transfer you to the start point of the trip. Collect your Harley Davidson and ride to Table Mountain, via the coast road through Green Point, Sea Point, and Bantry Bay; then continue to the cable car station. Take the cable car up to Table Mountain to take in the magnificent view of the Fairest Cape.

Return to your bikes and continue, via Chapman's Peak, to Cape Point, (where the two oceans meet). Call in at The Cape of Good Hope for a group photo before continuing your ride to Worcester. You head off to Franschhoek and enjoy a stroll around the quaint town, stopping for a lunch at the Allora restaurant.

You then take the R45 leading out of Franschhoek over the Franschhoek mountain pass, looking down back into the valley, enjoying the scenic ride looking

over the fruit farms and wine farms all spread out in the valley below, with photo stops along the way on the Du Toitskloof Pass on the R101 to Worcester.

Riding the Du Toitskloop Pass on the R101, connecting Paarl and Worcester may be 11 kilometers longer than the newer Huguenot Tunnel (N1), but it makes for a stunning, scenic road trip regardless of the season and time of day.

You stop at the beautiful views overlooking the Paarl valley below to look out for troops of baboons that patrol the region (please don’t feed them). The pass is named after Francois Du Toit, a French Huguenot Waldensian, who settled in the Cape after fleeing religious persecution in France.

Day 3: Drostdy Hotel, Graaff Reinet (560 kilometers / 348 miles)

Driving distances from Beaufort West to Aberdeen is 146.5 kilometers where you stop for lunch. From Beaufort West, the N1 highway continues north-east gradually ascending the high escarpment towards the village of Richmond; some 183-kilometers from Beaufort West.

The Great Karoo, a natural wonder of endless plains and intriguing rock layers, is one of the world’s most unique and arid zones. You stop for lunch at the Red Canyon Spur in Beaufort West, which lies at the crossroads of the Great Karoo. Distances are vast and the closest towns and villages are all more than 100-kilometers distant.

Leaving the N1, you snake east to Aberdeen, which is dwarfed by the vast Plains of the Camdeboo stretching from the mountainous escarpment to the north across an infinity of open space to the south. Aberdeen has well preserved architectural heritage with a spectacular array of Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Gothic Revival and Flemish Revival styles cheek by jowl with the typical Karoo style cottages interspersed throughout the town.

Aberdeen has an invigorating and healthy climate, an unpolluted environment, the atmosphere of a quiet and restful country town, and at night, some of the most spectacular views of the southern skies with the great splash of the Milky Way providing soft illumination across the surrounding plain.

Just across the N9 highway from Aberdeen, the 1500-hectare Fonteinbos Nature Reserve situated along the banks of the seasonal Kraai or Crow River, is home to a variety of wildlife and birdlife at home in the Karoo.

Day 4 to 5: Kuzuko Lodge, Addo Elephant National Park (276 kilometers / 171 miles)

Today, you leave Graaff Reinet on the R63 towards Somerset East where you stop for lunch at the Somerset-on-Main pub and grill. You continue to Fort Beaufort, located on the banks of the Kat River, in the Kat River Valley. The town has a number of buildings dating back to the Frontier wars.

In Spring (October to November), the orange trees of the surrounding citrus farms are in full blossom. Stopping for lunch in Grahamstown at the Red Café, this amazing historical town is known by many as the "Settler City", or the "City of Saints", due to the many churches in the town. Its Victorian charm and beautiful unspoiled countryside is a retreat from the awe-inspiring N2 route to Port Elizabeth.

After lunch, you ride to King Williams Town before spending two nights at the famous Addo National Park. Although King William's Town is a small rural town, it is considered one of the most interesting towns to visit in the Eastern Cape Province. Lying about 50 kilometers west of East London, King William's Town is renowned for its beautiful stone buildings, many of which also date back to the Frontier Wars.

The Amatole Museum is interesting, as it boasts the world's largest collection of mammals, including the body of the legendary Huberta - the much loved hippo who in the early 1900's walked more than 1500 kilometers from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape, only to be shot dead by hunters one month later!

Days 6: Kuzuko Lodge, Addo Elephant National Park

Your second day in Kuzuko, you enjoy more game drives to look for the Big Five and night drives in to the bush to discover whole new world. The lodge offers guided bird watching. The wellness center on site provides relaxing treatments for guests who want to relax after a day of outdoor activities (extra cost). All meals are included as well as two game drives per day at Kuzudo Lodge.

Day 7: Tsitsikamma Village Inn, Tsitsikamma National Park (214 kilometers / 133 miles)

Today, you begin along the Garden Route to Storm River, stopping at Jeffrey’s Bay for lunch at the Brewhaha Craft Beer Restaurant. Shortly after arriving at Storms River Village, you depart into the indigenous forest. Your two-hour tour includes a visit to the Big Tree. The tour is fully guided and refreshments are served halfway.

For the more daring among you, there is the Tsitsikama Canopy Tour, a unique eco-wilderness adventure that takes place in the magnificent Tsitsikama indigenous rainforest. The canopy tour involves traversing from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor.

Helmets are provided. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes as well as sunscreen. This excursion is included in the price of your tour, although drinks and lunch are not. Dinner will be at Marilyns 60’s Diner and you pass the night in Storms River’s quaint Tsitsikama Village Inn.

Day 8: Agulhas Country Lodge, Aguhlas (475 kilometers / 295 miles)

This morning, Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa, calls you back towards Cape Town. Agulhas’ southern tip of the African continent is the beginning of the dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

You stopover for lunch in Mossel Bay at the Café Gannet to see Bay of Attraction in Mossel Bay which is a picturesque sandy shore that stretches along the Indian Ocean. If you are lucky, you will see whales from Mossel Bay.

Travelling through Swellendam, regarded as South Africa's third-oldest town, Swellendam contains over 50 provincial heritage sites and well-preserved examples of Cape Dutch architecture. The town owes its existence to the Khoi people-nomadic pastoralists who helped the Dutch build trade posts and develop a mercantile industry.

Day 9: The Commodore Hotel, Cape Town (328 kilometers / 204 miles)

This will be your last riding day before flying to Durban to continue your epic ride. You ride north through Gansbaai towards Hermanus, where you stop for a coffee. Continuing on to Scarborough, where you eat lunch at the Whole Earth Café.

Then, you ride through Chapman’s Peak Drive toll road, winding your way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast on the south-western tip of South Africa. Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world. Chapman’s Peak Drive is affectionately known as Chappies.

Continuing to Hout Bay, or the Republic of Hout Bay as it is affectionately known by locals, is a quaint fishing village known for its scenic harbor. Surrounded by mountains and offering access to a picturesque bay, the town and harbor, teeming with fishing boats, offer a bustling dining scene, hailed for its freshly caught seafood.

Besides fishing and lounging on the sandy beach admiring the Cape fur seals on a nearby island, you can find a "Big Wave Spot"; off the village coast, where waves can swell up to 14 meters (47 feet).

Riding on to Camps Bays, known for its fine white sand, natural rock swimming pool and views of the Twelve Apostles mountains. Behind the beach, classy seafood restaurants, mellow cafes and cocktail bars with patios overlook the promenade. Nearby, Promenade Mall has boutiques selling fashion and beachwear, while the intimate Theatre on the Bay stages drama, musicals, and comedy.

Your last stop is Green Point, a central suburb of Cape Town, located to the north west of the central business district. It is a popular residential area for young professionals and for the Cape Town gay and lesbian community, alongside the gay village of De Waterkant. Many new mid-rise apartment and mixed-use

developments have gone up in recent years.

Somerset Road forms the main thoroughfare lined by restaurants, cafés, deli's, boutiques, and nightclubs. It is also home to the Cape Town Stadium. This evening is not a farewell dinner but an introduction to the next part of your tour through Kwa-Zulu Natal. You get the opportunity to exchange photos and addresses as you tick your tremendous journey off your bucket-list.

Day 10: Departure

Say farewell to sunny Cape Town before you continue your riding in Durban. You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Cape Town airport for your flight to Durban.

Skill level required for this tour

Intermediate

  • can ride for three to four hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Included excursions

This is a self-guided tour. All activities have professional guides.

Location

Cape Town

Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, sandwiched between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Some cities boast rich culture, vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan atmosphere, and extraordinary architecture, while others boast breath-taking landscapes and extraordinary natural wonders.

Cape Town is lucky enough to be blessed with all of these attractions and so much more. With its bustling harbor, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna, Cape Town consistently captivates the hearts of all who visit.

Worcester

Worcester is the largest town in the Western Cape's interior region, it serves as the administrative capital of the Breede Valley Local Municipality and as regional headquarters for most central and Provincial Government Departments. The town also serves as the hub of the Western Cape's interior commercial, distribution, and retail activity with a shopping mall, well developed central business district, and infrastructure.

The blend of historical Worcester, nestled in a golden valley has a selection of hidden gems including the Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens, the Worcester Museum; the only living display museum, depicting early agricultural practices between the early 1800’s and mid -1940’s art at The Hugo Naudé House and Jean Weltz Art Gallery.

Graaff Reinet

Arguably the principle town of the Great Karoo, Graaff-Reinet is beautifully situated in the midst of the foothills of the Sneeuberge, or Snow Mountains, with its historical heart encompassed by a broad horseshoe bend of the Sundays River. Graaff- Reinet has become an elegant and beautiful town evolving from a collection of mud and daub huts from the late eighteenth century.

Its broad streets lined by elegant historical homes, many of which date back to the mid nineteenth century. To truly appreciate the atmosphere of Graaff-Reinet, take a stroll along these elegant streets and savor the varied architecture set against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains and the bulk of Spandau Kop in the Camdeboo National Park.

The town boasts more than 220 national monuments, more than any other town in South Africa. The town boasts fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture together with Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, and typical Karoo-style square shaped flat-roofed cottages which are often the oldest residences in town.

Route 63

Travelling on Route 63 is a quiet journey, especially once you leave Graaff-Reinet. You can drive and drive and drive for ages and it feels like you own the tar, which is in rather good condition. There’s no one else around to argue with you on that. And when a truck does come barreling over the horizon, the driver parps loudly and you wave madly, and you just know he was thinking the same thing: ‘I’m the King of this Road’.

As you drive through the small Karoo towns looking for a piece of biltong, a tsatske to take home, or a loo stop; they could look a little bleak to the untrained eye. The poverty, the occasional litter, the faded glory of grand old buildings left to their own devices. But don’t be fooled, you’ll go for a stroll around the historic old towns before heading out, and you will see its heritage and history all the way.

You stop at quirky pubs and delis meeting some of the friendliest local residents you could ever hope to meet on your travels. There are wide open spaces for bikers and landscape lovers with a good, quiet road with minimal traffic. You will feel a sense of being in an undiscovered region.

Bo Kaap Museum

The Bo Kaap Museum showcases local Islamic culture and heritage. Initially a house that depicted the lifestyle of a nineteenth-century Muslim family, the building has become a social history museum which tells the story of the local community as they went through colonialism and apartheid.

Table Mountain Cableway

A trip up Table Mountain is quite rightly one of the first things a tourist wants to do when arriving in Cape Town. Once on the top, a 1000 meters above the city below, you are rewarded with spectacular 360 views. Take your time and enjoy this unique environment, go for a walk, or have a bite to eat at the restaurant with arguably one of the best views possible.

Cape Point

At the tip of the Cape Peninsular, 60 kilometers south-west of Cape Town, lies Cape Point, a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park, a World Heritage Site. Cape Point encompasses 7,750 hectares of rich and varied flora and fauna. Abounding with buck, baboons, and Cape Mountain zebra as well as over 250 species of birds, Cape Point is a nature enthusiast paradise.

Rugged rocks and sheer cliffs tower more than 200 meters above the sea over the ocean providing a spectacular background for the parks rich bio-diversity. Further along the coast at the southernmost point is the famous Cape Agulhas / Cape of Good Hope, where the currents of the Indian Ocean meet the currents of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Karoo

The Karoo is home to the largest variety of succulents on earth. Here, you can find the richest desert floras in the world, and 40 per cent of these species are not found anywhere else on earth. The Succulent Karoo has about 5,000 species and the Nama Karoo: 2,200.

Over the years, many natural herbs from the Karoo have their way into medicine chests and have become part of tried and tested traditional recipes. This ancient semi-desert area, which is rooted in Gondwanaland, lies on the largest plateau of its kind outside Asia. It covers almost 40 per cent of South Africa’s land surface and straddles four of the country’s nine provinces: the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Free State.

The Karoo is an odd place. You either love it or you hate it. Rich fossil beds, spanning over 600 million years set the Karoo apart from any other place on earth and make it the curator of many secrets of evolution.

Eastern Cape

As South Africa’s ‘wild’ province, the Eastern Cape features magnificent stretches of untouched beach, peaceful river estuaries, lush forests, breathtaking mountain vistas, and the arid Karoo Desert landscape. Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) serves as the province’s primary commercial and industrial center as well as a gateway to the popular Garden Route where visitors can enjoy ancient forest walks, surfing in the world-renowned surf spot of Jeffrey's Bay, and even bungee jumping from world's highest bridge bungy above the Bloukrans River.

Beyond the Garden Route lies some spectacular malaria-free wildlife reserves including the remarkable Addo Elephant National Park, now the only place in South Africa where you can see the big seven, which are the elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, leopard, whale, and shark. Don’t miss the Wild Coast region which, as it is far less developed than the rest of South Africa, offers visitors a glimpse of rural African village life. For travelers seeking an authentic, off-the-beaten-track, African experience, the Eastern Cape makes an unforgettable vacation getaway.

Addo Elephant National Park

As South Africa’s third largest national park, the Addo National Elephant Park offers a truly unforgettable safari experience. This finely-tuned ecosystem provides a sanctuary to large numbers of elephant, lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, antelope, zebra, and over 400 bird species; to name but a few.

The park is unique as it is the only park in the world to boast the “Big 7”; the Big 5 as well as the southern right whale and great white shark off the coast of the Algoa Bay.

Spend your days marveling at the extensive knowledge of the park’s experienced guides who offer exhilarating 4x4 safari adventures, exciting horse riding excursions, and wonderful night drives where you are likely to spot some fascinating nocturnal wildlife. Famed for its large herds of elephant, Addo provides an ideal, tranquil retreat for those looking to escape the stresses of big city living.

Tsitsikamma National Park

Much of the indigenous forest in this eastern part of the Garden Route falls within the Tsitsikamma National Park. The park is not only a breath-taking haven for indigenous flora and fauna, but also for marine life. A marine conservation belt forms part of the park, stretching five and a half kilometers out into the ocean.

Tsitsikamma Big Tree

Out of all the beautiful yellow-wood trees that flourish in the Tsitsikamma Forest, there is one that has special status. Known as the Big Tree, this towering specimen is 36.6 meters tall and takes eight adults holding hands to circle it fully. The tree is between 600 and 800 years old, but it once had sisters that were over a thousand years old before they were destroyed.

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours

Storms River Adventures is a rurally based eco-adventure company situated in the heart of the majestic Tsitsikamma Forest region aptly named “The Garden of the Garden Route”.

The company boasts adventure activities which include the world renowned Tsitsikamma treetop canopy tour, Tsitsikamma forest tour (Woodcutters' Journey), hiking trails, team building, local crafting facility, and a catering facility or restaurant. The Tsitsikamma Treetop Canopy Tour is the first of its kind in Africa.

Safety is paramount and the system has been built to civil engineering standards. Imagine the Tsitsikamma Forest 30 meters above, as you gently glide on 10 slides to 10 platforms high up in Giant trees. The platforms provide an unbelievable view of this enchanting new world.

Spend a few minutes relaxing while your guides enthusiastically explain the ecology of the forest; pointing out different trees and magnificent giant ferns way below. You may even sight the Knysna Loerie and Narina Trojan.

The region Tsitsikamma lies between the sea and the Tsitsikamma Mountains and stretches from the Bloukrans River in the West to Clarkson in the East. Beautiful indigenous forest, protected by the State, is home to centuries old trees such as Yellowwood, Stinkwood, Hard Pear, Ironwood, Kamassi, and many others.

Tsitsikamma is a Khoi word meaning "place of abundant or sparkling water". The region stretches from the Bloukrans River in the west to Eerste Rivier in the east, is bordered on the north by the imposing Tsitsikamma Mountains and in the south by the Indian Ocean.

Agulhas

Historically, the cape has been known to sailors as particularly hazardous; notorious for winter storms and huge rogue waves that can reach a spectacular height of 30 meters, so it’s no surprise that it's littered with wrecks, one of which: the Meisho Maru, lies in the Agulhas National Park.

North east of the official meeting place of two oceans are the little towns of L'Agulhas and Struisbaai. The two seaside villages seem to melt into one another providing a string of seaside cottages from which to experience the warm and beautiful sandy beaches. Cape Agulhas and the combination of incredible beauty, beachside holiday fun, and major nature reserves, is hard to beat.

It's also the spot at which to have your photo taken at the official southernmost tip of Africa, where there is a stone plaque that marks the place; right on the beach. The plaque forms part of a wooden boardwalk that is easy to stroll and which offers incredible views over the crashing seas.

Glencairn or Black Hill Pass

A scenic suburban pass near Cape Town that connects the Peninsula villages of Sun Valley and Noordhoek with Simonstown via a wide, safe, and modern road, better known as the Glencairn Expressway which carries the M6 route tag. The 5.39 kilometers long road descends 139 vertical meters, producing an average gradient of 1:39 with the steepest sections being at 1:14.

The road is popular with cyclists as a hill training route and offers wide safety shoulders. Simonstown is the most southerly town on the Cape Peninsula and boasts a host of scenic attractions.

Scarborough

Scarborough, which lies just beyond Kommetjie, is one of the few suburbs of Cape Town that remains far from the madding crowds, despite its proximity to the city and a recent property boom that has sent even properties here in Scarborough into the stratosphere.

In fact, Scarborough is a conservation village and essentially a random scattering of houses and beach homes that lie embedded in the steep mountains of Slangkop and Red Hill, overlooking the thundering Atlantic waves.

It is a nature lover's haven, seems miles from traffic jams and makes the crime of suburban living seem irrelevant. The rustic charm of the Scarborough village is further enhanced by the fact that it offers some of the most awesome sunsets and wonderful windswept walks.

Food

Harley's Safaris will provide you with seven breakfasts during the whole tour.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Spend a night as a game ranger at Gondwana Nature Reserve

Jump out of a plane over Mossel Bay

Stay at Ebb and Flow Campsite and canoe to the waterfall

Go paragliding over Wilderness beach

Hike Robberg Nature Reserve and spot a great white shark

Commit to the void at Bloukrans Bungy

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours

What's included

  • Excursions and activities as per itinerary
  • Guided game drives and cultural experiences
  • Entry fees throughout the tour
  • Harley Davidson rental with full road insurance (riders must leave a deposit to cover any excess)
  • Riding gear
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Internal flight from Durban to Johannesburg
  • Visas
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Other meals not listed in the itinerary
  • All drinks
  • Fuel
  • Toll fees
  • Refundable deposit for motorcycle
  • Curios
  • Any other activities and services not listed

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Transfer from and to the airport is available at extra cost.

Airport: Cape Town International Airport Airport transfer available: Cape Town International Airport (US$31 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
10 days / 9 nights
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Pricing information

Please treat all pricing as a guide only – all rates are subject. Please send a request for a quote to one of the travel experts for the current best rates available.

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