Meeting at our accommodation at 14h00, we conduct a pre tour briefing before our guides do a detailed introduction to our Classic Military Style Royal Enfield motorcycles. Once everyone is set up we will enjoy a short ride in order to familiarize ourselves with the bikes and equipment. This evening we enjoy an own expense meal at a local restaurant and discuss the details of the adventure.
Setting off after breakfast, we enjoy a scenic ride around the spectacular peninsula – our route will take us through Muizenburg, to the Naval base in Simon’s Town. We then visit the Cape Point Nature Reserve followed by a spectacular coastal road up to Chapmans Peak and down to the fishing hamlet of Hout Bay. This afternoon we cruise the iconic boulevard alongside the Atlantic Ocean into Cape Town where our first stop will be at the historic Castle of Good Hope – Built between 1666 and 1679 as a maritime replenishment station, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. Then it’s on to the Rhodes memorial, constructed in recognition of Cecil Rhodes’ contribution to Cape Town and the colony. After taking in the views we descend to our hotel. This evening we enjoy dinner at the Waterfront. Lunch and dinner today will be enjoyed at local restaurants and will be own expense.
Leaving the Mother City behind us, we begin our journey into the interior – crossing the Cape Flats and then up into the heart of the Wine Lands – Stellenbosch, where we will stop for a coffee break. From Stellenbosch we traverse the scenic Hells Hoogte Pass and then make our way to Franschoek where we enjoy a lunch stop. This afternoon we ride through incredibly scenic mountain areas including the Franschoek Pass, then down to Theewaterskloof Dam before engaging our first 30km section of hard packed gravel road. Our stop for the night is on a working farm in the Robertson district – well known for its warm hospitality and award winning wines.
Starting the day with a healthy farm breakfast, we set off through the little town of Robertson and on toward Montague – en route we pass through the rock arch in the Cogmanskloof, a tunnel carved through the natural rock by legendary road-builder Thomas Bain – look out for the troop of baboons that inhabit the ruin of an old British fort on the ridge. From Montague its back into the mountains, crossing over to the Karoo plains, we then turn east onto a gravel district road which takes us up to the historic railway siding of Touws River. From here we have a few options to reach our overnight stop at Matjiesfontein.
Matjiesfontein was founded in 1884 and became renowned as a fashionable Victorian health spa. The entire Village was preserved as a National Heritage Site in 1975 and its classic architecture boasts of a colourful history that includes international cricketers, Olive Schreiner’s residency, fortification during the Boer war as headquarters of the Cape Command, refuge for Jamieson Raid reformers, and controversial war crimes hearings. This evening we will enjoy a talk covering some of the events.
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Today we venture off of the historic route to ride through an area of incredible scenic beauty and to enjoy the exhilaration of crossing the mighty Swartberg range. We will traverse a very remote valley and will then use the Seweweekspoort Pass – witnessing some of the most beautiful vertical rock folds in the country, that combine to form a narrow little pass through which a road winds for over 20km. After descending the Huisrivier Pass on the renowned ROUTE 62, the last part of our journey follows a gravel farm road along the foot of the mighty Swartberg Mountains to our overnight stop at a Game Lodge. This afternoon we will enjoy an open vehicle game drive in an effort to see the variety of plains game, giraffe, etc. that inhabit this reserve.
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Passing through the Ostrich capital of Oudtshoorn this morning, we then cross the Swartberg again via the winding Meiringspoort Pass where if the weather permits, we will stop to enjoy a swim in the crystal clear rock pools. Then it’s into the heart of the Great Karoo and the wide open gravel plains – we ride due north to re-join the historic route. We reach our accommodation near the little town of Beaufort West in the late afternoon and time and weather permitting we will enjoy another game experience (Own Expense)
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After a hearty farm-style breakfast we head off on good gravel road up De Jagers pass into the Nuweveld Plateau. De Jagers Pass was originally an ox-wagon route around 1830 and formed one of the oldest routes into the interior. Crossing into the Northern Cape Province we will take in the spectacular views of the great Karoo and hopefully the majestic Black Eagle soaring above the cliffs in search of their prey. Our destination this evening is on a game and working sheep farm home to numerous attractions and activities ranging from Bradysaurus fossil remains, an old diamond mine, game viewing in search of the endangered Riverine Rabbit endemic to the central Karoo, or soaking up the atmosphere inside the early 19th century buildings. Here we will spend the afternoon exploring the area with the various activities the farm has to offer.
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Today we head up the Treasure Route through Victoria West, a quaint Central Karoo town which boasts a unique collection of Victorian Houses and is home to the Apollo theater which is the last remaining Art Deco cinema in South Africa. From here we traverse a rugged section of the arid Karoo plains toward Britstown (named after Hans Britz who accompanied Dr Livingstone on a venture into the interior) The route also known as the Diamond Way crosses the Brak River toward the former Northern Frontier of the Cape Colony – Hopetown. The 83,5 carat diamond found in 1868 known as the Star of South Africa was discovered near this Historical town. Tonight we sample Karoo delicacy in good company with good wine and plan for the exciting day to follow.
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Arguably our most interesting day, we start with a visit to the site of a British Concentration Camp used during the Anglo / Boer war – here a local historian will give us an insight into the occurrences during that time. Later, we ride across the mighty Orange River using the original wagon bridge first built in 1871, blown up by the Boers in 1901 and then reconstructed soon after. We then proceed to Belmont, site of the first real 1899 battle – we will also visit the old station building that served as a field hospital. Following gravel roads through the barren plains, we then visit Magersfontein and a museum at the site of the great battle between Lord Meuthen’s British forces and Gen De La Rey’s Boer commandos.
Our last ride then takes us into Kimberley and to the “Big Hole”. This massive hand dug crater 214 meters deep with a surface area of 17 hectares and a perimeter of 1,6 km is surrounded by original buildings from the heyday of the mine. Diamond digging commenced at the Kimberley mine site in 1871. By the time mining ended in 1914, the mine had yielded 2722 kilograms of diamonds, extracted from 22,5 million tons of excavated earth.
Tonight we will stay at a local hotel and will celebrate our ride in memory of all of those early pioneers who traversed this route before us.
This morning we enjoy a sumptuous breakfast before bidding our farewells. Please allow time this morning to wander around the Big Hole and surrounding museum.
Kimberley airport offers regular flights to most major centers in South Africa.
The day by day descriptions published are intended as a rough guideline only. Adventure travel by nature is unpredictable, weather patterns, game migrations, road conditions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.
Please ensure that you are in possession of valid travel documents for all the countries (South Africa) that you will visit. If you have any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please ensure that you have proof of further travel arrangements if you do not have a South African passport, permanent residency permit, work permit or study permit. Although we will endeavor to assist, we do not accept any liability or obligation for your travel documents.
Make sure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to your home country. Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, Visas. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
Please note that all guests travelling to South Africa will require two blank facing pages in their passport.
Upon arrival in any respective country we operate in, you will be able to find a Bureau de Change OR ATM Facilities at the airport or in the Town/City the tour is departing from. It is advised to bring any major world currency (US Dollar, Euro or British Pounds) in small denominations and not dated older than 2009. It is advised to get a small amount of local currency upon arrival just to get around until your tour starts.
On Tour -Please be advised that our guides will inform and show you the best places to exchange any Major World Currency with the best possible exchange rates either before your tour starts or during the course of the tour. Our guides will brief you exactly on where to exchange and roughly how much you will need to exchange after discussing possible optional activities, own expense meals or possible curio stops. Drifters trucks have safe-keeping facilities for extra cash/flight tickets/passport.
The preferred currency for your tour is as follows:
• South Africa – ZAR; R2000 should be enough. (if you need more we can always stop and get more)
Suggested amounts required:
(Without use of credit card)
• Rand : +- R 500 – R 1000
Credit cards can be used throughout most parts of Southern Africa but it is advised to please ensure you have enough cash for personal expenses and possible gratuities.
Areas where you shall be able to use your credit card are as follows:
• Shopping; At most large supermarkets
• Cape Town- For Meals and in Kimberley
• Most Restaurants from the lodges and Hotels we stay at on tour
It is compulsory that all passengers make arrangements for adequate travel insurance to financially safeguard against unforeseen circumstances. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Drifters do not accept responsibility for any loss, injury, damage, accident, fatality, delay or inconvenience experienced whilst on tour. You will be required to complete and sign a full indemnity prior to tour departure.
The only necessary prophylaxis for Southern Africa is against Malaria, but on this tour there is no eminent danger as South Africa is regarded mostly as a Malaria free zone however prevention is better than cure, so we do advise to also use insect repellent on exposed areas after sunset. Please consult with your general practitioner regarding this. All Drifters guides have first aid boxes for use in emergencies, however we recommend that you bring along your own basic supply of medication, headache tablets etc.
All Drifters guides have first aid boxes for use in emergencies, however we recommend that you bring along your own basic supply of medication, headache tablets etc.
Please bring along any personal medication that you might need on your tour as specific medication could be difficult to find or might not be obtainable in most places we visit. General medication for headaches, colds and fever are easy to get.
Please also inform your guide of any medical conditions. This information will be received professionally and kept confidential.
Please note that Southern African weather conditions vary tremendously from season to season. During summer months temperatures of up to 40°C can be experienced. During the winter months of June, July and August the nights are very cold, temperatures may drop well below 0°C, although the day temperatures will be pleasant at around 20°C. Please take weather conditions into consideration.
Herewith a recommended guide of what to bring along:
Helmets and Protective gear- Drifters will supply each rider and pillion with an OPEN-FACE helmet. Please note that we don’t supply any protective gear (Jackets, Pants etc)
These are the exact helmets we supply you with on tour.
They are OPEN-FACE helmets and come in the following sizes: S, M, L, XL and XXL
For walking, hiking and Safaris
Sport Shoes / Sneakers
Smaller day pack
Books (Birds, Mammals, personal reading books, Optional)
For general travelling (to keep yourself entertained on the longer drives)
Personal Reading Books
A deck of cards or something similar
Battery chargers for your personal devices (Ipods, Ipads, E-Readers, Handy’s etc)
Our vehicles are well equipped with charging facilities while driving. A Two-pin charger is perfect.
Clothing and Toiletries
Long Trousers / Tracksuit Hat or cap
Shorts Swimming Costume & Towel
Waterproof Windbreaker Personal toiletries
Jersey / Jumper Insect Repellent
Socks & Underwear Shades/ Riding Glasses
T-Shirts / Shirts
Mosquito Net (Optional)
Malaria Prophylaxis (please inquire from your general Doctor at home)
Money (Sundry expenses, gratuities)
Torch / Flashlight / Batteries
Passport/Visa (If Applicable)
** Luggage should be limited to a maximum of 15kg’s HARD SUITCASES ARE NOT SUITABLE!!
*** Refreshments can be purchased en-route on the first day of the tour, and at regular intervals throughout the tour.
Meals are provided as indicated in the brochure/website. We do not provide meals on the first day of your tour. We do however stop en-route; therefore it is always possible to buy something along the way. Soft drinks, bottled water and alcohol are for your own expense; there is ample opportunity during the tour to buy refreshments. The guide will advise when you need to stock up for a couple of days.
A reasonable amount of personal spending money must be brought on our tours. This is to cover own expense meals as indicated in our Drifters Brochure, bottled water, soft drinks, alcohol, sundry goods purchased- such as suntan cream etc., curios, optional extra excursions, airport tax, transfers and tips.
In Africa things work a little different to the rest of the World. Tipping or gratuity, unless otherwise specified, is not included in the price you pay for services delivered. This accounts for restaurant meals, casual help and the services of the guide or guides that you will meet on your tour.
In Southern and East Africa it is classified as a common courtesy to TIP “casual help (guides)”.
This TIP is not something that is forced upon you by any means, but in many industries of tourism it is customary. It works as follows: if you believe your guide has lived up to your expectations and has performed his/her job in a way that you respect and are happy with the services rendered, an amount of R 50 per day or equivalent amount of R50 per day in any major currency per person per day would constitute a fantastic tip. Remember that this is just a guideline and is not by any means compulsory, but seen as common courtesy in Southern and East Africa.