Ocean to Desert Tour
Cape Town - Windhoek
(Reverse tour Windhoek - Cape Town also available)
Copyright Great African Outdoors CC, 2008
BMW F 800 GS or BMW F650 GS
Good accommodation in hotels & lodges
Breakfasts & dinners
Activities, entrances & toll fees
Experienced motorcycle guide & driver
Support vehicle, trailer, tools and spare bike
Comprehensive motorbike insurance
Travel and medical insurances
Protective riding gear
Visa fees and taxes
Any personal expenses
Pre/post tour accommodation (can be arranged on request)
Fuel + Oil
Cape Point Nature Reserve
Champman's Peak Drive
Fish River Canyon
Sossusvlei + Sesriem Canyon
Etosha National Park
Day 1: Cape Town - Cape Town via the Cape Peninsula/180km (tar)
Meet the GAO tour guide. Transfer from your hotel to the GAO offices where we meet the rest of the team and receive our bikes. After completing the formalities and checking out our bikes, the route takes us via Sea Point and the trendy beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay further along the open and windy road into Hout Bay, the gateway to the spectacular Chapman's Peak Drive. It's an exhilarating ride taking us past some of the most beautiful views of the Cape coastline. The road leads us to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, a must for any Cape Town visitor. We stop off at the Cape of Good Hope to take photos and enjoy some of the sights. Continuing our ride along the False Bay coastline, we get to Boulder's Beach known for it's breeding colony of Jackass penguins. These quirky little creatures are endangered and endemic to Southern Africa. Our final stretch takes us back to the mother city, past Simon's Town, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg. We still have time to visit the Groot Constantia Wine Estate or the world renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Day 2: Cape Town - Stellenbosch/60 km (tar road)
Leaving the hotel, our first stop is Bloubergstrand. From here you can enjoy one of the most famous views of Table Mountain and the surrounding city and take some stunning photos. The scenery starts to change as we enter the Cape winelands via tree lined avenues and beautiful Cape Dutch architecture. Passing Durbanville Hills, we visit the historical and quaint towns of Paarl and Franschhoek before ending our ride in Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa. After parking off the bikes, we take time to stroll through this lovely university town admiring the elegant old buildings, wandering past sidewalk cafes and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Relax and enjoy some wine tasting on one of the many wine estates.
Day 3: Stellenbosch - Clanwilliam/250 km (tar)
Enjoy today's ride as it takes us in a more northerly direction and up quite a few mountain passes. But first we visit Mandela's statue and then ride via the town of Wellington up the amazing Baine's Kloof as well as Mitchell's passes on to Ceres where we stop off for lunch. Tackling the Gydo Pass we travel north via the Op die Berg and Middelberg Passes and on to Citrusdal. From here on we ride on full gravel along the Olifants River on to Clanwilliam which is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. The first Dutch farmers settled along the Olifants River in 1732. Today Clanwilliam is a flourishing town and the centre of South Africa's Rooibos tea (red bush tea) production which grows exclusively in the sandy valleys of the Cedarberg. Wine and citrus is also grown here. As a matter of fact, the fertile soil could only be used intensively after a dam was constructed at the lower Olifants River - it's water flowing through a widespread canal system on to the fields.
Day 4: Clanwilliam - Namibia/450km (Orange River)
It will be a long riding day. We ride via the towns of Klawer, Vanrhynsdorp, Springbok and Steinkopf and subsequently cross the border into Namibia at Vioolsdrift. The gravel road along the Orange River takes us to our lodge with swimming pool.
Day 5: Orange River - Fish River Canyon/280km
The beautiful ride along the Orange River provides gravel as well as a long climb, partly through thick sand. The view from the Fish River Canyon is spectacular and the lodge provides for a pleasant and relaxing stay. The Fish River Canyon itself, is the largest canyon in the world after the famous Grand Canyon. In places this canyon is 550 m deep and overall it is some 160 km long. It is one of the main tourist attractions in the south of the country.
Day 6: Fish River Canyon - Sossusvlei/350km
Today we travel via the towns of Helmeringhausen, Maltahöhe and the Tsarishoogte Pass. Maltahöhe is well known for it's local pub which could come straight out of a scene from a wild west movie. Form here we continue our journey onto our lodge which is in the Sossusvlei area.
Day 7: Sesriem, Visit the Soussousvlei and the Dune/200km (gravel)
The Namib-Naukluft Park is Namibia's largest nature reserve, about 50.000 sqkms in size. It includes a 100 to150 km broad belt of land that stretches along the coastline from the Swakop valley in the north, towards the road B4 to Luederitz in the south. Most parts of this enormous area are not accessible to man. One can only visit a small stretch north of the Kuiseb River: the Naukluft Mountains and the Sossusvlei in the central dune fields. At the entry to Sossusvlei is Sesriem Canyon, where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge about 1 km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down to 30 to 40 m, are pools that become replenished after good rains. Sesriem derives its name from the time when earlier pioneers tied six lengths of rawhide thongs (riem) together to draw water from the pools.
Day 8: Sesriem - Swakopmund/320 km (95% on dirt roads)/320 km (tar, gravel)
Swakopmund was of major importance as a harbor during the German colonial era even though the water at the coast is actually too shallow and the bay is unprotected. But Luederitz was too far away and the seaport of Walvis Bay was in British possession in those days. In August 1892, the gunship "Hyäne" under the command of Captain Curt von François, staked out a wharf north of the Swakop River mouth. A year later, 40 settlers from Germany and 120 members of the Schutztruppe were taken ashore on landing boats to embark upon an adventurous undertaking. The 325 meter long wooden jetty was only completed in 1905 and it was later replaced by a more solid iron construction. Swakopmund became the gate to South-West Africa and the entire supply for the colony was wound up through this little town. The narrow-rail train to Windhoek started operations in 1902 while at the same time, the station in the Wilhelminian style (equivalent to Victorian style) was built. It was completely restored some years ago and has become an entertainment centre, a casino and a luxury hotel. The appearance of the town, with its 30 000 inhabitants, is characterised by numerous colonial buildings with the Woermann House from 1905 as its landmark. The former trading house in Bismarck Street with its 25 meter high Damara Tower and its courtyard bordered by arcades today houses the city library, an art gallery and the office of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts.
Day 9: Swakopmund, Relaxing Day/150km (tar, gravel)
We take the morning to explore the dune belt of Swakopmund. This can be dangerous so it's very important to stick to the tracks. A local guide will lead you. The afternoon is at leisure and a good opportunity to rent a quad bike or take a sunset flight along the coast - an absolute highlight which needs to be booked in advance.
Optional: Quad Biking, Flights to Namib Desert, Balloonflights.
Day 10: Swakopmund - Twyfelfontein/350km
Today's ride takes us up the west coast of the Atlantic Ocean and then inland to the Brandberg Mountain. From here we ride on wide and open gravel road to Twyfelfontein. The landscape along the way is breathtaking.
Day 11: Twyfelfontein - Etosha National Park/320km
A long day on gravel awaits you passing wide open spaces and beautiful mountain scenery.On the way to the Etosha National Park we take in the Himba experience. After our arrival at Etosha Village, we settle in and enjoy a great evening.
Day 12: Etosha National Park No riding!/120km
Using the Absolut Vehicle enjoy a full days game viewing in the Etosha National Park. The pan itself is almost always dry, however in the southern parts there are waterholes scattered throughout the area and they form the basis of life for countless numbers of game. Be it lion, elephant, giraffe or zebra; almost all of the African animal species are present in this huge nature reserve,. There are an estimated number of 250 lions, 300 rhinos, 2 500 giraffes, 6 000 zebras and more than 2 000 elephants. The dainty springbok are especially numerous and at least 20 000 of them roam the reserve.
Day 13: Etosha National Park - Waterberg Plateau National Park/380km
Today we proceed on tar to the town of Outjo and then on back roads down south to the Waterberg Plateau National Park. Accommodation is in the park chalets.
Located in central Namibia and encompassing the Waterberg Plateau it lies 68 km east of the town of Otjiwarongo and was declared a Nature Reserve in 1972. The plateau is largely inaccessible so in the early 1970s several of Namibia's endangered species were translocated there to protect them from predators and poaching to extinction. The programme was very successful and Waterberg now supplies other Namibian parks with rare species.
The site is also home to one of the major turning points in Namibia's History. It was at Waterberg, in the foothills, that the Herero people lost their last and greatest battle against German colonial forces at the beginning of the 20th century. The graves of German soldiers who lost their lives at Waterberg can still be viewed near the waterberg rest camp at the base of the park.
Day 14: Waterberg Plateau NP - Windhoe/250km
Ride via Otjiwarongo and Okahandja on to Windhoek the capital of Namibia. This is the last stretch of gravel road and a perfect way to end the trip. With 15 000 inhabitants Windhoek is the biggest city in the country and lies at an altitude of 1650 meters. It combines the modern city architectural style with that of the German colonial era. The city is exceptionally clean and has a distinctly cosmopolitan flair. Despite this it retains a provincial atmosphere adding to it's charm. The German influence remains prevalent everywhere from restaurants to shops, schools etc. and German is spoken just about everywhere despite English being the official language.
The final routing depends on the availability of accommodation at the time of booking!