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Mystery tour 2022

Friday, September 2, 2022 | Ted Goslinga | Africa

Day 1 - Arrival day Mbombela ( Nelspruit)

A very good morning to everyone from South Africa ! Finally THE day where everybody was so very much looking forward to: the start of the Mystery Tour 2022! Yesterday already the majority of the group arrived at the small airport of Mbombela , former know  as Nelspruit near the famous Kruger national wildlife park. Of course everybody is very excited what exactly is going to happen, because Rainer, Edelweiss Bike Travels' CEO, who prepared this tour, kept everything very secret, what should be on a Mystery Tour. We had a nice warm welcome at the  beautiful tent lodge and had together a nice and animated dinner. Today we are waiting for the rest of the group to arrive and then we will have the motorcycle handover and the welcome briefing! Through this blog we will keep the world informed about all the mysteries Rainer will reveil. Stay tuned!

Arrival of the first group at airport
Nice welcome drink at the beautiful luxury tent lodge
Johann and Eva with the first Mystery drink!
Sarah and Gaby having also their first Mystery drink
Fantastic relaxing view from the tent lodge
Not the real ones yet, but nevertheless very beautiful!
Wildlife just walking around at the lodge
Our CEO at work !!
Our first ( but unofficial ) dinner with a big part of the group
What more to say when having an African sunset……
Handover of the bikes is done!
Will there ever be a more stunning place to have the welcome briefing??
…….and Rainer just finished the welcome briefing before the sunset !!
What is this…? Seems like another nice welcome drink again
Driving with the big jeep to the welcome briefing spot
….and driving back again to the hotel!

Day 2 - White river

And off we were! The first riding day of this wonderful tour.  Under a blue African sky we took off from our tent lodge towards the country side to make a nice and easy tour for our first riding day. Riding over beautiful mountain ridges and passes such as Robbers Pass, Long Tom pass we were able to get used to the roads, the trraffic and pick up  all the different smells of this huge country

In  morning we visited a very interesting place where they kept elephants and where we got a great explanation of the elephants habits. And amazing was that everybody got the chance to touch the elephants, feed them and took some pictures with them. An absolute highlight for today!

After a very big and tasty lunch the afternoon took us over and through some nice area's before we got back at our tent lodge. A relaxes bbq with a nice local beer or wine concluded this very nice day!

Relaxed breakfast with the sun coming in
Morning briefing by Rainer
Fearless Günter !
Sarah’s first elephant encounter!
Gottfried and Ingrid carefully petting his ears
Barre and Sandra in full admiration!
Eselweiss team next to Tembo……and he was huge…!

Day 3 - White river - second loop

The second and also last riding day from the tent lodge at White river is a fact. After having a nice BBq last night we woke up for a firm breakfast and some coffee's before we hit the road at 08.30 again.  Making a loop northbound this time and stopping for a coffee at a very interesting museum/ vintage shop where sime  of us even found there first mopeds! 
Swerving over some very nice passes, valleys with numerous wine tanks, citrus- and olive yards. What  a beautiful part of South Africa. After the northern part we had a relaxed lunch in Barberton and afterwards we did a southern loop through some  amazing agricultural areas. 
Back at the lodge a  very welcome boot beer waited for us and after having a nice outside dinner we called it a day! Tomorrow we will leave this beautiful place and see what more  mysteries Rainer will have for us

The route of today
Our funny waitress at the morning coffee stop
Super cool museum
Albert and John at the outside fire pit
A satisfied touring guide

Day 4 - riding day White river - Makalali game reserve

What a beautiful riding day we had!. We left our lovely tent lodge at White river to head north. Since this is the Mystery tour, the group really doesn't know where Rainer is taking us!. after some fantastic swerving roads through the mountian area's we stopped at a neat little village where everybody had the chance to buy some very nice looking souvenirs and tried some of the famous pancakes at Harrie's pancake restaurant. Even Walter went shopping with Gaby and Sarah and got himself a complete new look: a cool looking pair of sunglasses . After this we had again some ery nice and relaxing riding until we arrived at a place called God's window with breathtaking views all around. After that we set our course towards the the three Rondawels, a really astonishing place with absolute gorgeous view. There we met Albert, our unbeatable driver/mechanice/owner of the motorcycles for a picnic. Well done , Albert! After lunchthere was one more highlight planned: the Echo caves in Limpopo. They are considered one of the oldest caves in the world Most of us took a tour through the caves in which they found very old skeletons of tribes who lived there.

Then it was time to  head out for the next lodge where we will stay two nights. But first we had to sharpen our off road skills on a ong sandy road until we reached the main gate of the Makalali game reserve. We stalled the bikes at the main entrance where the safari jeeps took us for another 11 km through the game reserve. Finally in dark we reached the stunning resort which is an open resort, meaning that all the wildlife walks over the premises

After a very nice dinner set up outside everybody was heading out to their rooms because tomorrow it is time for a game drive: means wake up call at 5.30 am!

Day 5 - Makalali private game reserve

FIRST GAME DRIVE

Today is the day that a lot of us were looking forward to: a game drive in the beautiful private game reserve at Makalali resort. After everybody got a wake up call this morning at 5.30, we hopped in our safari suits and grabbed some coffee and tea and something light to eat. Then our three sturdy safari vehicles were ready with each a spotter/tracker at the seat on the front hood. Still a bit chilly since it is the African winter where the nights can be cool. 
but everyone in a very good mood and paved with binoculars, fotocamera' s and other media devices, we took off at the first safari ride of this day of three hours  see for gourself how nice it was on the pictures  

after a short coffee reak in the park we had a little half an hour to get back to the lodge where a nice and warm breakfast was waiting for us ! 

 

FIRST GAME DRIVE

Today is the day that a lot of us were looking forward to: a game drive in the beautiful private game reserve at Makalali resort. After everybody got a wake up call this morning at 5.30, we hopped in our safari suits and grabbed some coffee and tea and something light to eat. Then our three sturdy safari vehicles were ready with each a spotter/tracker at the seat on the front hood. Still a bit chilly since it is the African winter where the nights can be cool. 
but everyone in a very good mood and paved with binoculars, fotocamera' s and other media devices, we took off at the first safari ride of this day of three hours  see for gourself how nice it was on the pictures  

after a short coffee reak in the park we had a little half an hour to get back to the lodge where a nice and warm breakfast was waiting for us ! 

 

Day 6 - Riding day Makalali to Groblersburg

So already out last full riding day in South Africa !! Tomorrow we will have a couple of miles to go before we do the bordercrossing with Botswana. Today we did 410 km starting in Makalali and ended up in groblersbrug just before the border with Botswana. But what a riding day we had: A fantastic clear blue sky, about 25°C, some nice swerving roads And in the end in a long almost straight line to the open Africa fields. Our lunch stop was at a very chic restaurant and was almost a dinner and very good. And after we did another 20 km off road, We reached our five star resort which is just amazing. See for yourself on the pictures. Again very chic dinner in a beautiful setting. What more can a person wish for. Fantastic day!!

Morning coffee stop at an amazing garden centre
A curious kudu on our way to the lodge
Rainer with one of the waitresss….no Rainer, this one doesn’t count for the foto competition!
Amazing resort and spa
Your food manager for tonight !

Day 7 - Groblersburg to Orapa (Botswana)

What is more nice than wake up in the morning, step out your room and find baby giraffe Terry on your way to the breakfast
Goodbye to this stunning lodge and to South Africa
And immediately we have another highlight: our long time customer John has his birthday today! Congratulations John on behalf of the whole group
….and having a nice present!

Day 8 - riding day Orapa to Maun (Botswana)

And so we found ourselves in the middle of really nowhere, riding an endless Kalahari desert. A fbrisk wind was accompqnying us for quite some miles   With a lot of milea to overthink everything ......and then suddenly there is the town of Maun with the 'normal' life and traffic. After a nice and welcome lunch we had only 15'km to go to our lodge where we wil stay for the coming two nights. We are now very close to the Okavanga delta so everybody is pretty excited about the mystery' program of tomorrow!

After we had to plough our bikes the last 409 meters through liose sand, and sharpened out off road skills, we gonna relax and have a nice and cold welcome drink at the banks of the river

A very sandy fuell stop
The endless emptiness of the Kalahari desert
Günter with some local fans
And Gottfried too….!!
Empty Kalahari desert
The last offroad meters to the lodge….and:
….green and water again!

Day 9 - Day in the Okavango delta

What a blast ! What a day!!. One could not even wish for more than for a day like today!

As it is of course still a Mystery Tour and Rainer only tells what the program for the next day is on the evening before. But finally we took off this morning at the river in fromt of our lodge with three fast boats for a ride in the extremely beautifyl Okavango Delta. This UNESCO world heritage area is a very unique delta in the world since it doesn,t end in an ocean or a sea but in a desert. 

After a good warm up, we switched boats to a two person local canoe with a driver witha pole to carry us throught the low watersides . What a beauty and what a wildlife here! It is so quiet and peaceful that some even fell asleep! 

AFter this we were picked up again by the speed boats to do some further water safari: the photo's will speak for itselves!

Then we landed somewhere to have a bush picnic hosted by our happy boatguide named Happy!

Then after a little bit more boat riding we landed again and there was a big surprise to us: two helicopters tookus back to our lodge with a fantastic flight over the delta!

A last rivercrossing with local canoes again and everybody ended this day with big smiles on their faces

Great Day!!

Fantastic helicopter ride at the end of an unforgettable day in the Okavango delta
Güntet and John getting their special Edelweiss t shirts for doing a lot of tours with us! Congratulations both!!

Day 10 - Riding day Maun to Francistown

This morning we had tongo up a little bit earljer because it was going to be a long day of riding...and it was! We covered 520 km through Botswana! Good thing today: a very pleasant 22 degrees celsius throughout the morning and in the afternoon a little more and the sun in the back. So time enough to overthink the beautiful day yeaterday in the Okavango! We had a pleasant lunchstop near some big old baobab trees and a very funny coffestop in the afternoon where we had a lot of attention of the locals

17,30 arrival time at Francistown, time for a well deserved boot beer! Cheers!

Roadside morning briefing
Slogan of the day!
Günter under a goant baobab tree
Local fans during the afternoon coffeestop at the Crossroads bar
Yahoooooooo!!
Little roadside oarty at Crossroads jazz cafe

Day 11 Francistown to Matopo Hills

Today what’s the day of the border crossing from Botswana to Zimbabwe. And for those who know Africa, also do know The border crossings in Africa that can take a long time. And hours today was not an exception to that. So our lunch was a little bit later than planned around 3:30 PM but nevertheless a very nice one. And when we arrived at the gate of Matoba Hills Lodge, we quickly loaded to look at from our van into the four-wheel-drive and drove with two big safari cars another 20 km to the lodge. The lodge situated at a beautiful site In the Matoba hills. A nice outside dinner concluded our day tomorrow along activity day also here

Today what’s the day of the border crossing from Botswana to Zimbabwe. And for those who know Africa, also do know The border crossings in Africa that can take a long time. And hours today was not an exception to that. So our lunch was a little bit later than planned around 3:30 PM but nevertheless a very nice one. And when we arrived at the gate of Matoba Hills Lodge, we quickly loaded to look at from our van into the four-wheel-drive and drove with two big safari cars another 20 km to the lodge. The lodge situated at a beautiful site In the Matoba hills. A nice outside dinner concluded our day tomorrow along activity day also here

Charlie receiving his pilonshirt with 25 (!) Edelweiss tours. Congratulations Charlie!
Father John

Day 12 - Matobo hills

For today a pretty full activity day was planned and so after a very nice breakfast in the open air we took off with our two big safari cars trying to spot the so-called white rhinos. With two rangers we took a hike into the field and after about 20 minutes we supposed to white rhinos which was very exciting. After this we hopped on the Safari cars again or beautiful ride through the national park and we went off to see the cave drawings another climb up in the hills and the caves revealed us some very nice cave drawings. What a beautiful country it is! Coming down it was time for a very nice lunch at the Lakeside under a big tree. I know it was almost time for the sundowner which Rainer had planned on top of the hill where Cecil Rhodes is buried. With a nice glass of wine or beer and some explanation of the history of former Rhodesia now known as Zimbabwe we enjoyed the spectacular sunset on top of this hill. And if it was not enough yet, we were surprised by a dinner on top of a plateau under the stars with a campfire. A absolutely great day we had!! Tired but very satisfied everybody headed down for their cabins!

Tourguide Ted with the rangers who were leading us to the white rhino’s

Day 14 - riding day Victoria Falls to Kasane

Stunning early morning views at the Victoria Falls

Day 16 - final day Kasane ( Botswana)

And if you thought that a non riding  day meant that we have a rest day in Kasane, you don't know Rainer!
The final day of this amazing tour we took off in the morning for a last 4x4 safari. And one we had ! Immediately when we entered the Chobe national park, the rangers spotted a small group of

lions who were  obvious searching for a prey. And we were  witnesses of a real hunt by three lions! Although they have to let go the buffalo because of an elephant was disturbing their hunting party, it was amazing to see all this. After a three hour game drive we had an awesome bush breakfast along the Okavango river. And after we have left the park and a relaxed lunch at our lodge, the group was taken on the final event of today: a boat safari at the river on the border with Namibia. And again we witnessed some wonders of nature: a herd of elephants crossing the river. And with a sundowner in out hand we saw our final African blood red sunset and went back to the lodge for our farewell dinner. Vut not before there was a performance of African men and women with traditional dances and singing. Fantastic!!

 

And then it is finally time to say goodbye to each other. The Edelweiss team Rainer, Gaby , Sarah and Ted very much enjoyed the company of you all and hope that everyone of you can look back at a very special Mystery tour. We enjoyed it very much and hope to see you all at a next tour somewhere on the globe

Have a safe flight home and pole pole !!

Lioness getting ready for the hunt…..
Our last beautiful sunset at the Chobe river
Daisy dancing like a African queen!
Ingrid dancing with the Zulu Warriors
Elephant taking a bath
Rainers’ farewell speech
The four winners of the photo contest
Goodbye to everybody. Hopefully see you all again!!
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Add a comment Rate this post
Gerda+Stefan
Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 21:00

Hello to all Mystery Riders, especially Gabi+Rainer, Daisy+James, Martha+Alfredo, Diane+John, Walter, Günter and Gabi von Waldburg.
It´s nice to see you on a great ride in a marvelous landscape.
Greetings from Gerda and Stefan.
Alfredo - 2024 - do we have ride together again ????????
James and Daisy
Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at 15:42

We missed you Gerda and Stefan. This tour was HUGE! We hope to see you on the next Mystery Tour or sooner
Alfredo
Thursday, August 25, 2022 at 14:20

Servus! Gerda+Stefan
Yes!! We must see what is on the other side of the great wall in 2024!!
Alfredo
Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 02:38

Hello mystery tourers!
We have been enjoying the journey with you. It's great to see Gaby & Rainer and Daisy & James. So many good memories!
Big hug for all.
Martha & Alfredo
James and Daisy
Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at 15:44

This tour wasn't the same without you, Alfredo and Martha. Hope we see you on the next one!
Rainer Buck
Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 18:48

Hello Alfredo, we are missing you and Martha a lot. Hope you can ride with us next time. I still remember the famous cactus blossom cigar night in France . Stay tuned and 2023 is coming up. Big hugs to Martha.
Alfredo
Thursday, August 25, 2022 at 14:18

God forgive us... )
Monday, August 22, 2022 at 20:06

The song to kick off tomorrow morning's briefing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85rr5SqrCZI

Greetings from little Belgium to my very favourite part of the world! If one sound beats that of a motorcycle at full song, it is certainly that of an elephant rumbling (hm... or a hippo snorting... hard to choose now

Enjoy Africa everyone! It really is something else. And to have that combined with Rainer's pick from the winelist... whooo...
Von Waldburg Gabriele
Friday, August 19, 2022 at 13:39

Hallo Ted
Kannst du bitte Daisy u James fragen ob sie die Tradition vom Mystery Wein für Rainer in meinem Namen übernehmen? Ich denke , die beide wissen um was es geht
Gute Fahrt für alle und ganz liebe Grüsse Gaby
Wäre gerne dabei
Ted Goslinga
Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 19:00

Hallo Gaby, I will pass the word to James and Daisy!
Axel Schneider
Thursday, August 18, 2022 at 09:26

Happy birthday John
Angela de Haan
Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 23:20

Hey Jo, was it easier to pat the elephant than it was with the reindeer?
Have a great trip in South Africa.
Greatings from Angela and Arild
Claudia - Nicole Wenhart
Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 16:30

Hello to Africa,
I wish you all a nice and exciting tour, have fun and enjoy! And don’t fight with the lion
Ted Goslinga
Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 19:01

Thanks Claudia!
Michaela Achatzi
Friday, August 12, 2022 at 13:39

Hello at all,
Nice to see Diane and John , have fun .
enjoy the tour together
Best wish
Michaela
Michaela Achatzi
Friday, August 26, 2022 at 10:04

Hello Günther ,
schön dich zu sehen , geniesse die Tour.
Liebe Grüsse
Michaela
Angela de Haan
Friday, August 12, 2022 at 13:01

Hi Gaby, Sarah, Rainer, Ted, and the rest of the group
I wish you a lot of fun bringing the mysteries of this tour to light
Ted Goslinga
Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 07:23

Thanks Angela!
Sarah
Friday, August 12, 2022 at 16:17

Thank you
Dieter Arnoth
Friday, August 12, 2022 at 11:53

Hi Charly,

have fun buddy and best moments in Africa

see you somewhere on the road
Dieter


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