The lure of exploring Southern Africa by motorcycle always makes for interesting conversation, but it’s the unique idea of riding through a Game Park that sparks the most enthusiasm, as I discovered at Overland Expo in Arizona earlier this month.
Talking to visitors to the Overland Junction booth about the kind of riding vacations offered by Kaapstad Motorcycle Adventure Tours, many of whom had either visited South Africa before or had it high on their bucket-list, when the topic of a motorcycle safari cropped up the first reaction was invariably, “wow, can you really do that!?”
To which the answer, of course, is yes – thanks to Alex Jackson being the only motorcycle tour guide with permission to take a group of riders into one of the Moholoholo Reserves as part of the Kudu Tour. Over the course of 18 years, Alex has made 50 trips to South Africa and for the past 11 years has trained as a professional Bush Guide (he’s now qualified to Track & Sign ‘Level 3’).
Concerns about the safety of such an enterprise are quickly set aside once riders understand they’re not going to be lunch for lions or tigers. The Game Reserve offers the chance to ride up-close-and-personal with the likes of rhino, zebra, hippo, giraffe, and a variety of antelope, but nothing that will eat you. After all, that would be bad for business and makes a terrible mess of the motorcycles.
The affordability of a fly/ride motorcycle safari (or other tour) in South Africa was the other big surprise for the riders from the USA I spoke to in Arizona.
For example, at the time of writing, the 10-day Kudu Tour costs around US$3,475 per rider, with accommodation and motorcycle hire all included. Return flights from the Western USA to Johannesburg are between US$1,500 and US$2,500, depending on time of year, number of stopovers, and the airline you fly with. Add on some spending money for the duration of your vacation (which goes a very long way thanks to the current exchange rate of around 15 South African Rand to 1 US Dollar), and you might expect to budget no more than US$7,000 all-in.
As well as the once-in-a-lifetime chance of a motorcycle safari, the Kudu Tour also features a visit to Rorke’s Drift, the site of the famous battle of 1879 between British and Zulu forces, and a two-day excursion into breathtaking Swaziland.
To make the awe-inspiring experience of a motorcycle safari in South Africa more than just another thing on your bucket-list, check out the current Kudu Tour dates and make a booking.