Cape Town, coastal byways, the Great Karoo, and Safari
Cape Town was voted the 4th most popular tourist destination in the world.
With this in mind we have developed a 7 day motorcycle tour during which you spend every night at a quality hotel of your choice in Cape Town and each day visit a different part of the Western Cape. From the semi desert interior with its huge, unending vistas to thrillingly scenic coastal drives, a day on 'safari', each is totally different, sometimes challenging and others relaxing.
If you are coming from Europe or the Americas we can arrange a second week for you in the Kruger National Park game viewing from a mini bus. You will then have had the very best South Africa can offer.
At about 9.30 am we collect you from your hotel and convey to our base in the delightful rural part of Cape Town known as "Constantia". We issue bikes, make sure you understand yours and are happy with it.
We head off past Cape Town University and Groote Schuur hospital (where Prof. Barnard did the world's first heart transplant), pass just above the down town area. Then climb Signal Hill for an amazing panoramic view of all Cape Town and the hinterland. Descending again via Kloof Neck we pass Camps Bay (where the 'upwardly-mobile'' disport themselves) and along magnificent rocky coast line past Llandudno and to Hout Bay with its picturesque yacht and fishing harbour.
Across the bay you will be able to trace Chapmans Peak Drive, literally dug into the sheer rock cliff hundreds of metres above the sea. In a few minutes you will do this drive and never forget it ! Next we pass the Kommetjie light house and then the huge surf and translucent greenish sea around Scarborough.
A few kilometres farther we enter the Table Mountain National Park, pass a memorial cross to Bartholomew Diaz who first landed at the Cape and thence to Cape Point itself where a knife edge walk from the old to the new light houses affords some of the finest photo opportunities you will ever have. When dining in the open don't let the baboons steal your lunch from your hand!
Returning to Cape Town on the False Bay (eastern) side of the peninsular we stop at Boulder Beach near Simonstown to view (or swim with ) the penguins , have a brief look at Groot Constantia (the oldest wine farm in South Africa with magnificent old Cape Dutch style buildings) and pass the world famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.
Total distance 123 km.
View Discovery Tour - Day 1 in a larger map
The coast and the winelands
Today is rather longer than yesterday but hardly more exacting since we are mainly on country roads with precious little traffic.
Initially we leave Cape Town in a southerly direction to Muizenberg on the False Bay coast and then we track along the mile upon mile of perfect sandy beach until joining the N2 for a short while before leaving it for Gordons Bay. From Gordons Bay to RooiElse is one of the finest drives in the world which BMW has used to launch their new bikes. The views are just stunning and the curves just right for bikes.
We usually lunch in a restaurant in a cave just over the sea at Hermanus which is a fashionable and interesting resort town for folk from all over South Africa. Between June and November you are almost guaranteed to see the Southern Right Whale very close inshore here.
Our route dives inland after Hermanus, crossing rolling wheat fields until the mountain barrier which Franschhoek Pass takes us over. The French Hugenots first settled this exquisite valley and today the tradition of wine and table grape growing flourishes here as do a multitude of really good restaurants.
Our return to Cape Town is via the flowing Hellshoogte Pass and famous old town of Stellenbosch
Total distance 308 km.
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In contrast with yesterday, today concentrates on the inland areas and high mountain passes. In particular we first do the historic Bains Kloof Pass with its 206 distinct corners and dramatic views of some really wild mountainous country. This is followed by Du Toits Kloof Pass which is the result of superb modern road engineering. We avoid the toll section through an 11 kilometre tunnel and go over the top and stop at a Swiss mountain restaurant on the descent. The return to Cape Town is on the N1 road opposite all the commuter traffic leaving town.
Total distance 240 km.
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So far you have explored the East coast. Today we travel up the West coast to the huge and tranquil bay of Saldanha Bay. This is such a natural and secure anchorage for ships that had it had fresh water when the first Europeans settled at the Cape , Cape Town would have been situated here. In the north is the fishing harbour and iron ore jetty and in the shallow south of the bay a nature reserve and bird sanctuary.
The spit of land between the bay and the sea with Churchhaven on it is incredibly beautiful and just across the water at Langebaan is the centre of the tourist industry with a yacht club, disco, gambling, good restaurants and overnight accommodations.
Leaving Cape Town on the R27 coastal road through Milnerton, we pass the fastest expanding part of Cape Town near Blaauberg. Here you should stop for the now famous picture of Table Mountain from across the bay. Half way along the R27 a quick visit toYzerfontain on the coast is worth while where a small harbour supports the local fishing fleet.
Total distance 229 km.
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Table Mountain and Vrede en Lust
We imagine that after four days riding, today a few hours less in the saddle and more sampling the finer things of life may be called for.
A short ride early in the morning brings us to the lower cable station on Table mountain from where we take the cable car to the top and feast on possibly the finest view in the Western Cape. This is followed by a relaxed ride through magnificent vineyards to Stellenbosch, up the Hellshoegte pass again and on to "Vrede en Lust" on a famous wine farm for lunch and wine tasting.
Total distance 87 km.
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Before leaving Cape Town you really ought to see something of the real South Africa- the Great Karoo. This is the vast interior, dry and barren, huge vistas, fine clear air, crisp cold mornings and sweltering hot days. Here only sheep, ostrich and the jackel thrive.
We leave Cape Town on the N1 road (which terminates over 1600 kilometres away in Johannesburg) , do DuToits Kloof pass again probably via the tunnel, pass through the immense Hex River Valley wine producing area which is towered over by the 7000' Matroosberg mountain, climb the Hex River pass and suddenly emerge 3000' higher in the Karoo. In just a matter of minutes we leave behind the green and fertile valley and enter the arid Karoo climate.
Our destination is the Aquila private game reserve where a sumptuous lunch is followed by a game drive in open top vehicles. In 2003 Aquila started the re-introduction of lion, buffalo and crocodiles but you are also likely to see rhino, giraffes, zebra, ostriches, widerbeest and numerous types of buck and Black Eagles.
This being a long day we do not return to Cape Town but overnight on a famous wine producing farm not far from Aquila where the accommodation is in traditional Cape Dutch farmstead type buildings.
Total distance 422 km.
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After a two hour drive back to Cape Town, we leave this as a "request" day. Depending on your onward arrangements or flight times, you can revisit any where already seen and found particularly attractive, spend the time doing last minute shopping in Cape Town's famous 'Waterfront' area or quietly exploring the beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. It is up to you what you do even if it is nothing more than relaxing on a sun soaked beach.
Having returned the bikes to our Cape Town base, we transport you to your next destination be it a local hotel or airport.
Included in the price:
- Motorcycle rental for 7 days
- Bed & breakfast for 6 nights
- Airport transfers
- Wine tasting on day 5
- Safari & Lunch at Aquila day 6
- Guide on a bike where specified
Not included in the price:
- Lunch & dinner (other than where mentioned)
- Park entry & road tolls