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South Africa Tour - Final Day Cape Town SAT1601

Saturday, February 6, 2016 | Marko Bauer | Africa

Hout Bay
The mandatory picture at the Cape of Good Hope

The last riding day has arrived - as usual a gorgeous day! We left Cape Town behind and rode towards the Cape Peninsula.

The small tip of land offers enough beautiful scenery for a whole week - or maybe even a lifetime!

Clifton, Hout Bay, Scarborough...breathtaking!

And then we were there: the famous Cape of Good Hope!

After more than 4000km of different impressions from Jo'burg to Cape Town, we had finally arrived!

But even the last hour back to Cape Town offered more highlights: the penguins, and finally the magnificent 360 degree view from Signal Hill.

Now the bikes are returned, the tour is almost over.

No bike problems, no accidents - but 1000s of new impressions of a wonderful country...I think we can call this a successful tour!

Thanks to everybody, and I hope to see you all again, somewhere on this planet!

Charlene and Mark at Cape Agulhas
The group at False Bay
Volker, Leo and Bob cruising along
Table Mountain
Charlene and Mark, enjoing the sunset cruise

Cape Town - after more than 4000 km, we are almost there! But before we got there, we had to do one mandatory stop: Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa, where Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet.

We also stopped in Hermanus - the town where you can watch the whales from the shore...if you are here during the right season. Not today, but the food was good anyway!

And then we could see it: Table Mountain and Cape Town!

To top the views, the whole group took the chance to go on a sunset cruise on a sailboat! What a perfect end to a perfect day!


Leo enjoying Meiringspoort
Leo, Volker and Rolf on top of the Swartberg Pass
Lunch in Montagu
1% fat...
The mandatory stop

Without a doubt - this was one of the most scenic days of the whole tour! The whole group left Oudtshoorn in the morning, enroute to the Swartberg Pass.

The colors today were incredible - clear-blue skies, red rocks, brown mountains, green pastures and wineries, the red Proteas,...

The ride up to the top of the Swartberg Pass is definitely a highlight of this tour - challenging gravel and incredibly beautiful landscape!

After a great lunch at the Montagu House in Oudtshoorn, where we tried the local Ostrich meat, we took Route 62 to Montagu! 

We got here just in time for another special treat: a wine tasting. After a few bottles we can confirm: the South African wine tastes great! Thanks, Michelle!

Charlene, Mark, Volker and Axel above the Indian Ocean

After 10 days of riding we have seen a new side of this beautiful country: it can actually rain. And all the rain that we haven't had over the last few days seemed to come down in just a few hours. In other words: it started to pour down!

Unfortunately the rain hit us just before we reached the world's highest bungee bridge, where Charlene had planned to jump...

Instead we continued to Knysna, located on the famous Garden Route. A few oysters, fish and calamari later, we followed the Indian Ocean and its magnificent coast line.

Oudtshoorn, our destination for tonight, is normally hot and dry - today it was perfectly pleasant, a good omen for the ride that we have planned for tomorrow.

Rolf and Volker at the Big Pineapple
Lunch in Kenton-on-Sea

After about 3000km in a bit more than a week, we have deserved an easy day. We slept in a little bit and enjoyed a good breakfast under the palm trees.

"Then we continued along the coast, before we turned inland, along the former border between British settlers and local Xhosa.

We climbed South Africas "Big Pineapple" and then continued to Grahamstown. We lost Leo for a few minutes - but found him just in time for our mandatory morning Cappuccino!

On our way to the coast again we passed a few Ostrich, Zebras and Buffalo...we are in South Africa after all!

A great lunch above the Indian Ocean, and then we were on the way to Port Elizabeth, our destination for tonight!

Last stop in the Transkei
I love February in South Africa
The old Kei bridge
Axel at the German Settlers Monument
Close to heaven!

Today we had one big goal: reach the destination as fast as possible. But before we got there, we had a few interesting points on the way.

Temperature changes from 25 to 50 degrees and back, a monument for German settlers in the middle of South Africa (Buffalo City), a Mercedes plant,...

And eventually we reached our destination: a wonderful hotel, right on the beach.

Tonight, the waves of the Indian Ocean will provide the background music!

Charlene and Mr. Mandela
Leo on a "maintained" road
Volker and Rolf in front of the Drakensberge
Transkei - almost like the Colorado river

450km ahead of us, blue skies and magnificent scenery - all the ingredients for a great day on the motorcycle!

First we stopped at the spot, where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962.

But the Drakensberg mountains were waiting, so we left this remarkable place and headed for Underberg.

Next on our Agenda: the Transkei, a very poor but also very scenic region.

We found probably 100 animals walking alongside the road - but avoided all of them and reached the hotel in Mthatha in time for pool and bar!



Rolf and the Zulu chief
The Indian Ocean
The whole group - and Mr. Gandhi

Day 7 took us deep into the land of the Zulus. We stopped in a traditional village, where we were introduced to all kinds of Zulu traditions.

As it was getting hotter every minute, we decided to stop at the Indian Ocean to cool off a little bit - and to try another South African tradition - the Braai!

A final stop in Pietermaritzburg, and then we were ready for a cool beer (or Gin Tonic)!


Look closely - that's a crocodile!
Bob and Volker in Richards Bay

OK, today's emphasis was more on nature than on riding the twisties...

But nature provided us with a lot of things that you don't see in an American, Canadian or German January:

Lots of sunshine, the Indian Ocean, crocodiles, hippos, pelicans,...



Swazi candles
Volker in Swaziland
Another great lunch
Zulu scenery
Watch your step

We left our gorgeous hotel at a very comfortable temperature of 24 degrees this morning. Our first stop was a Swazi candle factory, where we could watch the manual creation of a beautiful elephant candle.

We had about 100 more kilometers in the breathtaking mountain scenery of Swaziland before we reached the South African border again.

After a great lunch in Pietretief, we started to visit the land of the Zulus. As the temperature went up quite a bit in the afternoon, everybody was looking forward to the hotel pool (and bar)!

Charlene and Mark, waiting for the Hippo
Lunch in Swaziland
Rolf, Axel and Volker enjoying the Royal bar

From Krugerpark to Swaziland - that was the theme for day 4.

Huge banana plantations lined the way to the kingdom of Swaziland, where we were greeted by hundreds of schoolkids, a beautiful countryside and a wonderful restaurant for lunch.

Our hotel tonight is also quite a treat - Royal!

An Edelweiss rest day usually means that you can sleep in a little bit. Not here in Krugerpark - unless you want to miss the animals!

We took off at 5:15(!), but were rewarded with a huge variety of South African animals:

Lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, buffalo, zebra, warthogs, crocs,...

Now we are back at our comfortable hotel, enjoying the pool and the bar, which also offers great views of the park!


The group in the Misty Mountains
Charlene, Mark and Marta in Pilgrim's Rest

Our second day started like the last had ended - with a great ride on Long Tom Pass.

And then the highlights just kept coming:

Pilgrim's Rest, Blyde River Canyon, God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Three Rondaveels,...

Another highlight was the iced coffee - but at 37 degrees C, anything cold would be a highlight...

Two more hours and we arrived at the Kruger Nationalpark - let's get ready to see the Big Five!


Bob in Middleburg
Volker and Leo - ready for coffee
Long Tom cannon and the whole group!

We are on the way - we leave Johannesburg Sunday morning and soon the city disappears in our mirrors. We cross the Highveld and after a great lunch in Middleburg we reach the mountains.

One more stop for coffee and we are ready to climb up to 2150m on Long Tom Pass. After the mandatory visit of the cannon we arrive at our hotel - where more spectacular views wait for us!


Everybody has arrived and the bikes are ready - including three brand new GS1200s!

It's time to start the journey!


Johannesburg, 25 degrees and sunshine - what a great place to begin our African adventure!

The bikes, all BMW GSs, are just being prepared for the 4000km ride ahead of us!

Now we are just waiting for everybody to arrive...and off we go!

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Bob Zeliff
Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 06:49

This was a fantastic tour! Great roads, an eclectic collection of hotels,( good, different and fun), a great tour guide ( Thanks Marko), and a new set of friends.

This is my second tour with edelweiss, and I am extremely satisfied.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 05:21

Wonderful to be able to follow my brother Leo through South Africa, thanks for putting up this blog. I am checking every day and I am pleased to see him smiling, sometimes even beaming with joy! Sending you all the very best for an awesome trip, stay cool!
Caitlyn Cameron
Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 19:05

This looks like such an amazing trip!!! Love you guys hope you are having fun!
Monday, February 1, 2016 at 06:02

Thanks honey. Bit is amazing. Lots of pics to show you. Love you too
John McMahon
Friday, January 29, 2016 at 20:14

Hi Marko,
Is that the same concrete crocodile we saw in November?
Looks like a good time. Wish I was there.
Friday, January 29, 2016 at 21:21

Damn John,
Now you gave it away
No, this one actually moved, and there were quite a few more around. But we didn't see the shark this time!
Another great tour with a wonderful group - life is good! And my next tour will be Andalucia again...small world!
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 12:18

Marko, is the k1600 option a viable option for this tour, or are we best to stick to a gas, riding 2 up?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 14:06

In my opinion, it is no problem at all to ride the 1600 on this tour - but:
I would prefer the GS, because the road surface is not always perfect (potholes), short sections like hotel access roads may be unpaved and there is one gravel pass (Swartberg), which you can't ride on the K1600.
We have on 1600 on the current tour, the rider has no problems with it! (The blog, SAT1602, will be up later today).
Best regards from Kruger Park!
John McMahon
Friday, January 29, 2016 at 22:53

Andalucia sounds like fun. Life is good. I'm going to try the Costa Rica trip next week to escape Maine's cold, grey winter. We'll see what magic Alan has in store.

All the best and as always keep the shiny side up!
See you down the road.
Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 06:22

Have fun down there!
Bob Zeliff
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 20:20

Good to hear from you. Having a great time.
I've forgotten, was your home here in Cape Town?

Dietrich Look
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 22:52

Bob, I lived in Welkom from '67 to '73. Hoping to go back with my daughters family possibly end of this year.
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 19:00

Bob, great to follow you along. Wish Karin and I were there too. Enjoy the tour!
Ursula Peter
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 00:04

Hi Charlene, hi Mark,
Luggag arrived? Nice to see you again. Hope you enjoy your tour
An of course greetings to Marko
Charlene butler
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 06:45

Hi Ursula. Yes we got luggage this time!! A nice surprise).
Peter ursula
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 23:41

Swasi underwear might be exciting too
Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 18:22

Your right but it would be hard to beat the morroco experience!!


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