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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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)!
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,...
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)!
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!
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!
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!