Day 16, Citrusdal - Cape Town
Today we reached our final destination, the beautiful Cape Town! And it was another full day of riding, with lots of curves and amazing sceneries. We would like to thank this wonderful group for these two beautiful weeks that we spent together, and a special thanks also to our most assiduous reader, Pearly from Colorado! Goodbye everybody, have a safe trip back home and ride safe!!!
Bikes ready to leave for the last ride of the tour
the unpaved Middelberg Pass
Last few metres of gravel
The curvy Gydo pass
the three tenors
Pizza for lunch!
On the Bain's Kloof Pass
we could already see Table Mountain!
The Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl
Last picture stop before entering Cape Town
we had to face some traffic...
the goodbye dinner
Day 15, Springbok - Citrusdal
Starting with a little cake for Richards birthday
Peakocks in our lodge in Springbok
After some rain in this region, the last days: flowers were blooming along the roads
The area around Springbok is famous for the "blooming desert" in the months of august and september, so we were quite lucky
Coffee break in Garies
Wonderful weather and changing landscapes were perfect conditions
Lunch in a lodge at Vanrhynsdorp
Our beautiful lunch spot
On the way to Lambert's Bay
We could see the ocean again!
Maria & Maria
Wonderful landscapes between Clanwilliam and Citrusdal, on the last part of today's ride!
The Cederberg mountains
Guess why the town is called Citrusdal?
Well, the name "Citrusdal" already tells the story (this region is named after the citrus fruits)
Ending with two big cakes for Richards birthday
Day 14, Fish River Canyon - Springbok (ZA)
Time to say goodbye Namibia after a fantastic week! Today we left our beautiful lodge and headed south to Ai-Ais for a nice break. After that, the gravel road continued until we almost reached the border to South Africa, then we finally used the highway to reach Springbok. Keep following us!
Group picture before leaving the Canyon Lodge
Old and modern
The last stretch of gravel...
The Orange River, that marks the border between Namibia and South Africa
The water of the Orange River makes grapes growing possible also here...
Entering South Africa
Day 13, Keetmanshoop - Fish River Canyon
A quite cold morning, so we posponed the departure of around 30 minutes to let the sun warm up the air a little bit more... and today one of the biggest highlights of the tour was awaiting us! Fish River Canyon, the second biggest canyon in the world, what a majestic site! And the lodge where we will sleep tonight is not less beautiful!
The Naute dam
Coffee break, here David
The flag of Namibia
Lunch at the Canyon Roadhouse
Reaching Fish River Canyon
We got a lot of time for taking pictures
Time to go!
The beautiful Canyon Lodge was waiting for us
Let's go to see the sun go down
Ramona and Uwe
dinner almost ready!
Day 12: Mariental - Keetmanshoop
The day started with a visit at the Hardap dam, near Mariental (and 11 degrees celsius)
Richard, gazing at the horizon
A big difference in transportation along the long and straight road, which took us south
Near Keetmanshoop, there is "Giant's playground" - a bizare former volcanic area with natural erodet stones, that look, as if giants would have placed them on top of each other
Btw, it was still not much warmer (14 celsius)
Also in this region, there is the "Quiver tree forest", with its beautiful plants, of which the bushmen use the branches, to make quivers for their arrows
At the entrance of the park, where the playground and the forest can be found, we also visited the place, where some Cheetahs are taken care of (here, you see a 3 months old one)
Each day, at 5 pm, they get fed...
... and this gentleman is telling some information about those wild cats
This domesticated warthog also lives here
Another wonderful sunset
Day 11: Namib Naukluft - Mariental
Another long "gravel session" today!
The landscape around Zarishoogte Pass
"social housing" - birds nest for more, than just one family
What a beautiful lodge in Mariental
Sights of the local fauna
Day 10: Sossusvlei and Sesriem
Early morning, the tar road that takes tourists from Sesriem to Sossusvlei
Heike and Marco
Richard climbing Big Daddy, the biggest sand dune of the area.
Marc does his best to take a great shot
Tired? Soon we'll go down...
The three gringos in Deadvlei
How old these footsteps might be? Water wasn't here for a veeeery long time...
Picnic in Sossusvlei
Not everybody can make it here!
Karl at the Sesriem Canyon
Inside the Sesriem canyon
Day 9: Swakopmund to Namib Naukluft
Before leaving Swakopmund, we had a little tour.
First, we stopped at the light hose...
...then at the pier, that was built by the germans, when they had their colony here (end of 1890 until WW 1).
Beautiful view onto the coast at the atlantic ocean.
Next stop: Walvis bay, with flamingos
Coffee break at dune 7, where we also got some water and snacks for the long offroad ride through the "desert"
Wondering, what the "x.wife" on this menu is...
Vögelfederberg - a bizarre rock formation...
...with some picnic spots IN the rocks!
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly... not necessarily in this order!
Later, the3 road became curvy, while we passed some other pass and canyons
The two capricorns
German almost everywhere, here in Namibia
On the way, the van got a flat tire, but Stephen could fix it (almost) within a blink of an eye!
In Solitaire, we stopped for gasing up...
Solitaire is also famous for this bakery...
...where they make the super delicious apple pie!
Finally, we arrived at our destination: the Namib Naukluft Lodge, with a breathtaking view (from the restaurant terrace as well, as from our rooms!).
Birds, ground squirrels, a domesticated springbok and more.
Domenico couldn't resist, feeding them.
the little springbok was so cute!
and "kissed" everybody
Day 8: Windhoek to Swakopmund
Another long day! Leaving Windhoek, we first stopped in Okahandia for a coffee break and then had lunch in Usakos. And after that we finally got a taste of riding in Namibia, by reaching (on gravel) the Spitzkoppe, one of Namibia's most beautiful landmarks.Tonight we are sleeping in Swakopmund by the Atlantic coast. Enjoy the many pictures of today's ride!
First stop for a coffee in Okahandia
Across the street, they sold handycrafts, including big wooden animals
Lunch stop, where Biltong (beef jerky) is a speciality
Food is served
What a "golden smile" of our waitress
The old (and first) owner's shoes
after a "refreshing" picture in the swimming pool, we were ready to ride again!
Finally, we headed off to Spitzkoppe, which is a remarkable rock formation in the desert.
To get there, we had our first real gravel road.
We couldn't resist, to take an extra loop around Spitzkoppe
what a beautiful place!
What a beautiful sight
Sometimes, the right angle makes a good photo
Some parts were a bit challenging
After the extra loop, we had a short rest and a cold drink.
Interesting, of what chairs can be made...
Some action! Here David...
Going back to asphalt and the last 120 km to Swakopmund
Dinner in an old german hotel
...and this is, where we stayed.
Day 7: Ghanzi (Botswana) to Windhoek (Namibia)
Today was the longest riding day on this tour (distance 540km), with border crossing from Botswana to Namibia
Herero tribe woman
Some nice and curious kids at the last gas station in Botswana, where we spent our last Pulas (Botswana currency)
Children loved climbing on the bike of Karl!
Waiting in the shade for everybody to finish the border crossing procedure
Coat of arms of Namibia
Still a looong way to go (in 32 celsius)
Control post, near Windhoek
Windhoek (capital of Namibia) is quite modern
We deserved that delicious dinner in Windhoek
Day 6: Maun to Ghanzi
After the jeep safari of yesterday, we decided to take a look at the Okavango delta also from the sky! After flying, we went back to the hotel to have breakfast (better not to fly on those small planes with a full stomach!)... and then back on the bikes! Another long a straight road took us to Ghanzi, the most important town of the "cattle region" of Botswana, but we still had time for a picture stop at the Ngami lake!
Before starting with the bikes, we had a flight over the Okavango Delta
These colors are simply amazing
Buffaloes (one of the species of the "big 5" )
Find the hippo
Right now, there is dry season. The only source for water here is the delta.
All sorts of animals are coming here (on land, air and water)
"Peaceful" co-existance: Elephant, antilope(s) and crocodile
"Sandmute" (real name: Erdmute) on gravel - to...
... the lake Ngami
The GS is a beautiful model
Another group picture - everybody enjoying the tour!
Long, straight and hot road to Ghanzi
Day 5, Jeep tour in the Moremi Game Reserve
A great river that flows not into the sea but the harsh Kalahari Desert, this is the Okavango Delta! Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014, this is a very important wildlife area of Botswana, because a myriad of species can be found here, especially during the dry season, when this is the only place where animals can find water. African Elephant, African Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Crocodile, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Zebra, Baboon... take a look at the pictures to see what we could spot!
Quick instruction to the reserve: by one of the jeep drivers
At this water hole, there were groups of elephants, zebras, antilopes and wild hogs
Yesssss, we found him: the only lion, we could see
While stopping, we could take nice photos from the open roof
Lunch picnic in the wilderness
These elephants were passing by quite close
"Kaiser", preparing our lunch
The shade was really welcome
360 degree sight in this car
If you are quiet, you can enjoy different kinds of animals...
So - enjoy!
Our 50 year old jeeps had no problems at all - this newer car, apparently had some bad luck
What a day. Thank you Botswana!
Day 4, Nata - Maun
The day started with a good warm-up ride in the Nata Bird Sanctuary, just a few kilometres away from our lodge. What a beautiful place, but wildebeests did not like our company very much! After that, a "coffee break" back at our lodge and we finally headed to Maun. Along the road, we stopped at the "Baobab Planet", a cozy lodge, where we had lunch and could admire some of these huge trees. We are in Maun now, and eager to explore the Okavango Delta!
Before starting the actual daily route, we had a quick "offroad training" towards the birds sanctuary
we love these footprints!
It was not just gravel, but also some sand.
This is, what also awaits us (partly) in Namibia.
That was fun!
Baobab tree at our lunch stop at "Baobab Planet"
It is huge and almost 1000 years old
Waiting for lunch. In Africa, there is no hectic at all Ramona, our "photo expert"
Cattle in Maun: the animals were crossing the intersection legally (the traffic light was green! )
Day 3, Kasane - Nata
Today we decided to leave around one hour later to enjoy the lodge a little longer, and because of some "paperwork" to do, of course the motorcycle handover! So, the motorcycle journey has officially started, stay tuned!
Caution: elephants coming...
The austrian owner and his staff prepared a delicious meal
We were lucky again and saw our first giraffes
at the gas station
so nice to take a shower under the Botswana sky. The lower part of this picture is censored!
Day 2, Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) - Kasane (Botswana)
After marvelling at one of the largest waterfalls on Earth (what a fantastic sight!) for a sufficient amount of time, we went by bus so Kasane, where we had enough time to eat something before going on a boat safari on the Chobe river! We could see elephants, crocodiles, giraffes, hippos and so on...
Definitely a good day, even if we did not get to ride our bikes yet!
Our group - just our van driver Stephen is missing; we will meet him in Kasane.
After a good breakfast, we went to see the famous waterfalls between Zimbabwe and Sambia
Whilst the surrounding is dry, the nearer environment of the falls lives of its water and myst/moisture - and built some sort of jungle-ish area
the main fall
One can get right to the edge - no safety net...
Victoria falls bridge, where some quite brave ones also do bungee jumping
Well, we didnt take a train, but with a bus, we had a transfer of about 1.5 hours, crossing the border from Zimbabwe to Botswana, where we will get our bikes and start riding tomorrow.
View from our room in Kasane
Better do not swim in the Chobe river
In the afternoon, we went for a boat safari on Chobe river
Wild elephant (males)
Also Domenico is enjoying this excursion
Impalas and monkeys at the beach
Try to find the crocodile...
...heeeeere we go!
One of a group of hippos.
Around 5 pm, the sun starts to go down
Maria and Manuel
Day 1, Arrival in Victoria Falls
Bienvenidos, Wilkommen, Welcome to another very international group! Soon another great adventure, from the heart of Africa to the shores of Cape Town, is starting. Follow our blog!!!
Some local entertainment at dinner