Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: schalk vd merwe on December 20, 2011, 09:18:35 am

Title: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on December 20, 2011, 09:18:35 am
Just thought I will revive this tread that my son and I did in 2010-2011. On this trip I fell off the bike 16 times and my son fell 21 times. Enjoy the read.


My son Juan 31 and myself 60 at the time travelled through 7 countries along the 4 big lakes. We travelled through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, back to Tanzania on a different route and onto Mozambique and back to Johannesburg. On the trip we travelled along Lake Kariba, Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria. We also travelled past the Serengeti, Masai Mara, Ngoro Ngoro, and Kilimanjaro. We also visited the Island of Zanzibar. The total distance was 13 350 KM. I used the same bike on my trip to Egypt and back than on this trip, I only changed the colour from black to red before my across Africa trip.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Vis Arend on December 20, 2011, 10:59:54 am
Sounds nice, can't wait.

Enjoy your camping.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Snafu on December 20, 2011, 11:12:48 am
Schalk, you will need to brush up on "how to use the forum". Hopefully you will share the trip and lots of pictures with us :)
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on December 20, 2011, 01:20:35 pm
We took about 1000 photo's on the trip, hope to put as many as possible on, see you guy's cheers Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on December 20, 2011, 04:44:10 pm
To Snafu- Sorry I was born BC-before computers but I will try my best. Cheers Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Justin on December 30, 2011, 02:21:27 pm
Cannot wait. I'm planning a similar trip ,but would love to hear about yours.
How long in advance did you plan the trip?

Subscribed!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: MJS on January 05, 2012, 10:44:31 am
Subscribed!!    :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: KiloBravo on January 05, 2012, 10:49:51 am
Mooi so Schalk. Ek het gewonder of julle die trip sou doen. Nou weet ek. Sien uit na die fotos.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Fuzzy Muzzy on January 12, 2012, 09:29:35 am
You did an awesome trip, from Northern Malawi we cut across to Kili but you went straight up and hit lake Victoria.. You did it in a record breaking time as well shaving 20 days off our time and you only did 2000 odd km less.. that is very good riding.

I am suitably jealous and VERY keen to see your pics and route from Malawi to Kenya.

Did you go around lake Victoria through Uganda or did you just touch the southern tip.. how did you navigate through all the parks there?? All the parks around that area don't always let bikes in, actually I would love to see your route from lake victoria to Kili.

Muz
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 06, 2012, 03:44:04 pm
Sounds nice, can't wait.

Enjoy your camping.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: DirtRebell on February 06, 2012, 09:46:59 pm
Subscraaib!

Now where's them peechas?
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 07, 2012, 05:40:54 pm
Hi Guys and girls, I am back from overseas and would like to start to tell you about our exciting trip but I don't know how to download the photo's. I can help myself on Facebook but I don't know how to do it here, can anybody help please ? Schalk vd Merwe
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 11, 2012, 06:58:31 pm
Planning the Trip
1/Juan and I started to plan the trip about 6 months before we eventually left. What we were looking for was a real adventure trip. We both are adventurers. Juan was about 3 months old when I put him into the front of my jacket and zipped him up with just his head sticking out, we then went for a spin around the block on my XS 1100 Yamaha. I think that already got him hooked. OK now came the planning of the route.  First of all we had to decide whether to do the Joburg to Cairo route or to go from JHB to the equator and back on another route . If we go to Cairo we would have to ship the bikes back where if we go to the equator and back we don’t have that problem. To the equator and back is further than Cape Town to Cairo. We decided on the equator route. This route would also be more scenic as north of the equator it is more dry with a lot of desert. We both decided to stretch our leave to 40 days. That would be the longest that I ever took off from work in my working life. Juan could also not take off longer than 40 days. We decided to travel along the 4 big lakes. The route would take us to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya, back to Tanzania, Mozambique and back to RSA. We also wanted to do as much as possible off road or dirt road.
2/Now we had to decide on what bikes to take. I already had a Yamaha XT 660 R with about 23000 KM on the clock. A friend of mine had a KTM 950 Adventure which he wanted to sell as he imported the latest super enduro. He told me I can test drive it for as long as I like. I kept it for 2 weeks. On tar the bike was a pleasure but when you go off road  it was too heavy for me as I weigh in at only 78 KG and I am only 1, 72 meter tall. The bike was also too high for me although the ride even off road was nicer than the Yamaha. I also priced the service parts. On the KTM the two fuel filters were R6000. On the Yamaha I could service the complete bike myself for less than R400. Juan and I decided to get bikes that weigh not more than 165 KG. Juan had A BMW Dakar before but it was also too high for him although also a very nice and reliable bike. I then did a bit of research on the internet and there I read about a guy who would rent a whole lot of bikes in Europe and then take groups in to North Africa mainly into the desert parts.  All the bikes he would use was Yamaha XT 660 R. Although the Yamaha looks like a micky mouse little bike it had very advance electronics. You can adjust the timing and fuel injection on the little control panel next to your speedo if you know what you are doing or you can leave the bike to do it by itself.  If you go to a high altitude the bike would adjust the timing and fuel injection. The same if you put Africa fuel in (Super instead of unleaded or fuel mixed with paraffin).  So we decided on the Yamaha. I sold my 2004 bike to Juan at a good price for him and bought another 2008 XT 660 with 8000KM on the clock in PE. The bike was in immaculate condition.
3/Now comes the riding experience. I have been riding road bikes since 1965 and still have a Yamaha 1000 Genesis in the garage but adventure biking only for the 18 months before the trip. As you guys know it is two different things. You can almost forget what you know about bikes and start all over again. Juan had more experience on off road bikes than me. So we thought we would go and practice a bit. I did a bit of riding on rocky 4X4 terrain with friends and came right no problem. Then Juan and my younger son and I went to ride at Witsand (brul sand) close to Upington. From there we went to a farm next to the Orange River also close to Upinton to ride in the Kalahari sand. Although we fell a lot we came right to a fair extend. We then went to practice in the mud a bit south of Johannesburg. Now we thought we were ready to tackle Africa right. We only discovered on the trip later how wrong one can be.
4/Gear – Juan and I made a list of all the gear to take along and bought stuff every month.  I read both Ted Simons books namely Jupiter Travel and Dreaming of Jupiter and I knew that you must not take too much stuff along(Ted Simon travelled around the world twice. The 2 nd time he was 68 years old when he left and ended the trip when he was 72 years old. I also read Lodie de Jagers book called Noord van Naboom. He has by now travelled from Naboomspruit  to Germany a couple of times. On his first trip he send half of his stuff back. I think the book that inspired me the most was Riaan Mansers 705 page book called Around Africa on my Bicycle. I read that book with a map of Africa next to me checking every little village that he went to. Sometimes his bicycle would break down about 50 KM from the next town, he would then catch a lift on a truck and have the bicycle fixed and then pedal back to where he broke down and then ride back to the same town so he can prove that he cycled right around Africa.
I arranged a Carnet de Passages for every country and a Visa for Tanzania only. All this saved a lot of time and money on the borders. Our total luggage in the end was 40 KG each. All the stuff that we took along was used on the trip and the only mistake we made was tyres. I spoke to somebody who has travelled through Africa and he said dual purpose tyres are fine. Only a third into the trip I understood why he was using dual purpose tyres, it was because he was traveling only on tar. There is a fairly good tar road right through Africa.  With hind sight I would have taken a set of knobblies along on top of my luggage as there are no tar roads on the western side of Tanzania and December/January is raining season in Africa. We both saw a part of our anatomy quite a few times that I never saw before.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 11, 2012, 07:27:45 pm
The first photo was the morning we left with spanking clean bike.
The 2 nd photo on the Tropic of Capricon
The 3 rd photo was just across the border in Botswana at Groblers bridge
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 11, 2012, 07:33:02 pm
Across the border in Botswana at Groblers bridge
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: ChinaPete on February 11, 2012, 08:10:36 pm
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 11, 2012, 08:57:20 pm
Day 1                5/12/2010 Johannesburg- Groblers Bridge 471 KM
Finally the 5/12/2010 arrived. We got up early in the morning with the bikes already packed the night before. The adrenalin pumping as this was the big day and we don’t know what was laying ahead. We duly said bye to mommy and off we went leaving Johannesburg behind us. The air was fresh and smelled nice. We stopped at Kranskop at the Engen garage on the N1 North to have a Wimpy breakfast. From here we branched off towards the Waterberg. This route is always very scenic with some nice bends for a biker. From here we saw thousands of beautiful butterflies. Eventually we were pushing it up to 140 and 150 Kph. At that speed the bikes returned a fuel consumption of about 18 K/litre which was not good. Without luggage and at normal speed the bikes normally return a fuel consumption of 25-28 KM/litre. We filled up at Lephalale (Ellisras). We discovered that the 2 exhaust on Juan bike burnt two holes in his waterproof bag. We then found a plank which we installed between the bag and the exhaust. From here we stuck to 120 Kph. The fuel consumption improved dramatically. At the Tropic of Capricorn (this is where the sun will be 90 degrees above on the 21 of December) we stopped for photos. We made it to the border about an hour before sun set. We encountered no problems at the border at Groblers Bridge. Just across the border we found a beautiful campsite and lodge on the banks of the Limpopo river  little knowing that we will not see many more places like this on our way up further into Africa. We pitch our tents in the campsite while listening to all the beautiful bird sounds. As Juan was a hiker as well he brought along R 1500 worth of hiking food. This bailed us out many a time up in Africa. I in turn carried all the tools. We decided to eat at the lodge to save our food for later on the trip. We had dinner by candlelight on a beautiful timber deck overlooking the Limpopo River.  After dinner we went straight to bed as we wanted to be up at 6 am. the next morning. We had light rain during the night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 11, 2012, 09:44:32 pm
We came across these elephants in the northern parts of Botswana on the road from Nata.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Hinksding on February 11, 2012, 10:05:54 pm
Oom Schalk, ons wag virri res!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 11, 2012, 11:15:36 pm
Day 2           6/12/2010   Groblers  Bridge to 100 KM before Kasane    696KM
We got up at 6 am as planned made breakfast, washed the dishes, broke up camp and loaded the bikes. All this took us about an hour and a half. We then hit the road. Before Selebi Phikwe we hit our first rain storm of the trip little knowing that many, many more are to come along in the next 39 days. At Selebi Phikwe we drew money at the ATM. Their currency is called pula. Juan had a Master card and I had a couple of Visa cards. Visa cards work better in Africa and very few ATM’s in Africa take Master cards. We then filled up with fuel including the 10 litre can that we had on Juan bike. We had a cold drink and then we hit the road north towards Francistown. The road was nice.  The weather was semi cloudy with the sun breaking through now and then. At Francistown we turned more west towards  Nata. As the road was good we tried to cover as much miles as possible as we had to average about 350 KM per day over the whole trip. If we do more KM per day it will give us some rest days in between. At Nata the road turned more north again towards Chobe National Park. This road was under construction and we travelled long distances on gravel road. Once back on the tar road again we came across these elephants (see photo’s on top) next to the road. The one gave us a mock charge. As I know elephants it did not scare me too much. As it came close to sunset we looked for a camp site on the GPS. It showed one about 10 KM away. We arrived there in good spirit having done 696 KM for the day. The owner was an Austrian who was married to a South African Afrikaans lady. They stayed in Edenvale before and came to start this place after their house in Edenvale was burgled 3 times in a row. It was more of a Lodge than a camp site. We camped under a thorn tree a fair distance away from the bathroom. They had quite a nice bar and dining room. We had a couple of drinks and decided to save our food supplies once more and had dinner. There were about 8 directors from Nampack in Johannesburg. They were on a fishing expedition and when they heard of intended trip into Africa they paid for all our drinks although Juan does not really drink alcohol. They told us that there company has open a branch in Zambia due to the demand for packaging  material that was created by the Zimbabwean white farmers  now farming in Zambia. We had a couple of good jokes and drinks before we went off to bed. The lodge was only 2 KM away from the Zimbabwe border post and the Hwange National Park which we intended to travel through the following day.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 11, 2012, 11:30:02 pm
These photo's were taken at Vic Falls on the Zimbabwean side. We visited many water falls during our trip and I noticed that every one had a special flower growing nearby. This red flower got my attention
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 13, 2012, 04:10:16 pm
Some more photo's at Vic Falls and the bridge between Zimbabawe and Zambia
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 13, 2012, 07:03:57 pm
On the Zambian side First Photo Father and son having the time of their life. 2 Nd Photo A tree trunk lay where to water normally flow over. 3 Rd photo Juan caught a tiger fish with a fly line. 4 th Photo close up of the tiger fish.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 13, 2012, 07:08:25 pm
Day 3   7/12/2010     100 KM before Kasane –Victoria Falls Zimbabwe 136 KM
We got up early the next morning and had breakfast with the guys from Nampak. We filled up with fuel nearby and soon we arrived at Pandamatenga border post. On the Botswana side no problem. On the Zimbabwe side apart from the Carnet De Passage they wanted a carbon tax. I convinced the border official to wave the carbon tax. I checked there log book and saw that it was two days since people last travelled through. They told us that those people got stuck there in the Hwange National Park for 4 days as the road are extremely wet. We then proceed into the Hwange  National Park. As they said the roads were very wet. It was not long before Juan went farming. I got off my bike and helped him to pick up his bike. Although the bush was beautiful we saw no game, I think they were all eaten by the hungry Zim people. We eventually came to the tar road that link Bulawayo with wit Vic Falls. We turned left and here I saw an elephant bull with the biggest tusks that I ever saw. I still wanted to take a photo but it disappeared into the bush. We arrived early at Vic Falls and put up camp in a fairly large camp site. There were an overland 4x4 truck with a whole lot of young people. Some were sleeping in the truck and others were pitching two man tents. They were on an overland trip from Europe to Cape Town. There were a nice restaurant inside the camp site and Juan and I had an early lunch, once again saving our supplies for the more serious part of Africa. After lunch we were off to see the Vic falls. The last time I was here was about 40 years ago with an Australian friend and another old school friend. I remember we also camped then and when we arrived we hung our sleeping bags over the washing line. We then went to have beers at the old Vic Falls Hotel and when we came back all our sleeping bags was soaking wet. Being young at the time and don’t care we thought as we can’t sleep we might as well go to Mozambique. We drove through the night then in an old Austin 1100. The car were leaking at the exhaust manifold and my Australian friend was driving. The exhaust fumes came into the car and my friend dosed off for a second. Fortunate my friend at the back were sitting side ways with some luggage behind him against the door. We then hid a Calvert at the rear wheel. It tore the car into two pieces right between the back rest and seat. As the back wheels went with the back part we now had no brakes. My friend then battled to control the car as it was scraping on its chassis. When the car eventually came to rest I looked back and the whole back part was missing. My friend at the back then climbed through the hole where the boot was supposed to be. He only had a small cut on his leg. We then had to hitch hike back to Johannesburg. We got 3 different lifts.
Sorry I got distracted, as I said Juan and I went to see the falls. The falls were not full as I saw it the first time. According to the locals that will happen at the end of January as it was now only the beginning of the raining season. As I have been to Canada and America I have seen the Niagara Falls and if the Vic Falls are full of water from the one side to the other side then it is the most spectacular falls in the world to my opinion. The site seeing took up most of the rest of the day. As Juan is young and always hungry we then went to the Spur which was inside the Casino for dinner. As we were about to order the power went off. I ask the waitress how long it would take before it would come on ? She answered “O I don’t know maybe tomorrow or the day after”. We had steak by candle light. We knew that from here on we will be on our own food supplies. After dinner a street vender convinced me to buy a 50 billion Zimbabwean dollar note for R 10-00. I always wanted to be a millionaire never mind a billionaire. We went to bed early as we wanted to see the falls from the Zambian side the next day and still cover some road.
 
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 13, 2012, 07:27:35 pm
1 st photo was some guys at the bottom of the falls doing white water rafting
2 nd photo was a 2 meter deep pot hole
3 rd photo was a 2 meter deep pot hole
4 th photo was a wet rd on the way to Kariba dam
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SchalkL on February 13, 2012, 07:38:18 pm
 :happy1:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 13, 2012, 08:49:33 pm
Day 4                    8/12/2010      Vic Falls – Kariba Dam                       300 KM
  The next day we got up at 6 am. Made breakfast, washed the dishes broke up camp cross the border with no problems. On the other side (Zambian side) of the falls we parked our bikes close to the entrance. The guards with AK 47 s promised to look after our luggage, we in turn promised them a tip on return if all our open luggage are still there. We spend half a day next to the river. Some guides offered to show us around. In the end it was worth the tip. They showed us the top part of the falls and you can get trapped easily if you don’t know your way around. They then took us fly fishing up river where the tourist are not supposed to go. Juan brought along his fishing rod and R 1500 worth of fly bait on the trip. It did not take long before Juan caught his first ever Tiger fish. (See photos above) We then went back to the bikes, it was about 1 PM. All our belongings were still there and we made good on our promise. We left in the rain. The Zambian roads were excellent except after we branched off the main road towards Kariba dam. When there is a broken truck or problem in the road they put some branches in the road to slow you down. We saw a whole crowd of people on the road shouting for us to stop. We saw a hole in the road and first went past. As we went past we saw that the pothole was about 2 meter deep. We then stopped and went to see. There was only about 30 cm of soil left under the tar that we just rode over. The Chinese road builder did not put pipes under the road and the rain water worked its way through under the road where it was build up. The scenery in Zambia is beautiful and very lush green. Zambia is the country in Africa with the highest rain fall and we travelled 3 day solid in the rain. We got to a gravel road after we followed the GPS to be as close as possible to Kariba Dam. As everything was soaking wet we booked into a lodge right on the shore of Kariba dam. The white manager was not very helpful but we managed to get dinner as we never had lunch, something that would happen many a times later on during the trip. The manager told us that it was out of season and their season only started in June. Our room was full of mosquitos and it is malaria area all the way from Botswana and for the rest of the trip. I used an ointment called Herbal Armour to rub on which was very effective. It is only available at Cape Union Mart at          R 150 for a small bottle. I did not take tablets for Malaria but Juan did. We went to bed early again.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 13, 2012, 11:26:21 pm
Day 5              9/12/2010               Kariba Dam –Nyamphande            458 Km
The next morning early we had breakfast, it was raining throughout the night. When we left we battled to get out of the yard and we had to take turns to push each other out. Once on the road it was okay as it was sandy soil with puddles of water all over the show and still raining. We went back the same road towards Choma and we past our big pothole again. Juan saw something fall off my bike and stopped me a Km further up the road. We checked my luggage and found that my little 3 leg chair was gone. We went back but could not find it as the bush next to the road was too thick. Braam at Shimwells Yamaha in Springs told me before the trip it was the most important item to take along. O well if it is gone then it is gone. We joint the main road to Lusaka at Batoka. On the outskirts of Lusaka I got stopped for speeding, 80 KM/h in a 60 KM zone by a female traffic cop. She said it was a Christian country and the people here stick to the law. Funny the lady at the border also put a lot of empathist( sorry not sure about the spelling)on the fact that Zambia is a Christian country. Nothing wrong with that. Any way the friendly lady speed cop wanted me to pay the spot fine there and then. I spoke nicely to her and ask her to let me go with a warning as I am new to their beautiful and friendly country. She said what about the ticked that was already written out half way? I said to her just to give it to the next trespasser. She smiled and let me go. We stopped in Lusaka just for fuel and to draw money from the ATM. From Lusaka we turned east towards Malawi. We changed the card in the GPS at the border to the Tracks of Africa card as my Garmin Map only covered Southern Africa.  I used a normal car GPS in a tank bag and put it in a zip lock plastic bag every time it rain. The Tracks of Africa map was not as good as the Garmin Map and we battled many a times further up on the trip. I was looking for the entrance to the Lower Zambezi National Park but somehow missed it. I later saw a lake side camping site on the GPS about 50 KM away. At the designated point we turned off the main road onto a two spoor road. We saw a dam there with a thatch roof house behind it but could not see a camping site. We rode past the house and just saw some more traditional houses. It was still raining and Juan and I both fell. A helpful guy came to our rescue us and helped to pick up the bikes. We ask him where the camp site was and he said it was there at the dam that we past. He now became our guide and ran in front of the bikes to go and show us where to camp. He then went to call the owner who was a Zambian teacher nearby. We set up camp in between his house and the dam (see photos below). The setting was beautiful. The teacher by the name of Justin arrived and organised a charcoal fire for us. By now it was dark and Justin made us Puto pap on a charcoal fire. Any water that was needed was taken strait out of the dam. I gave our guide some money to go and buy us some beers at the shebeen. Juan made us some of his hiking food to go with the pap and we had a lovely meal around the fire and we did not even notice the occasional bit of drizzle. We went to bed with the frog choir around the dam and the lovely fresh rain smell taking us to dream land.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 13, 2012, 11:29:24 pm
These photos were taken at the Zambian teachers house
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: madmax on February 14, 2012, 06:51:06 am
sub
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 14, 2012, 05:23:59 pm
Day 6                 10/12/2010                 Nyamphande-Petauke       309 KM
The next morning I had beautiful hot shower. Although Justin had all the plumbing installed in his house with a shower and a tank on a stand outside there were no water in the pipes as he still had to buy a pump. So he made me hot water on the charcoal fire which I then poured into my 5 litre solar bag and hung it on the shower in his bathroom.   Juan made us breakfast, Weetbix with powder milk. After breakfast we paid our host for camping and the charcoal that we used the previous night. It was still raining as we left but it was a scenic ride with good roads. Half way Juan ran out of petrol as there was no petrol pumps since we left Lusaka. The red 10 litre container came to our rescue. We also met a charcoal vender on the way who made his whole cart from wood including the wheels (see photo below). We arrived at Petauke after 309 KM. As it was still raining we booked in to the lodge where we pitched our tents in between the rooms. The rooms were beautifully decorated on the outside walls with large paintings of the big 5. They had a bar combined with a dining room where we had dinner. We met a South African couple there Francois Visage and his wife Lindy, they were from Somerset West in the Cape. They were touring Zambia with a Land Rover and felt like sleeping in a proper bed again. We chatted a bit before going to bed. We were 2370 Km from home now with many Km’s ahead of us still. It rained all night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 14, 2012, 05:35:17 pm
The 2 nd photo is proof that the wheel has been discovered at last in Africa
The last photo is of Juan pouring petrol into his bike as there were no petrol pumps since Lusaka
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: XTZFegen on February 14, 2012, 06:09:50 pm
Hey Oom Schalk, glad to see you came right with the computer. Awesome trip hey...would love to doa similar thhing with my girls one day.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 14, 2012, 06:45:57 pm
Hi Fegen yes thanks for your help. I am only 20% through the story and the exciting part is still coming cheers.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: chicco on February 14, 2012, 07:04:41 pm
Lekker trip, wag vir die res.... :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 15, 2012, 05:55:06 pm
Day 7    11/12/2010   Petauke in Zambia—Senga Bay at Lake Malawi   463 KM
After breakfast and breaking up camp we lubricated the chains, like we did on a daily basis. Then off we went in the direction of Chipata. It was still raining, this was our 4th day riding in the rain (see photo’s below) From Chipata we turned South East towards Mchinji border post. Every time we crossed a border post I gave them a complete inventory of the contents of our luggage. This included Camera’s with their serial numbers, tools, camping equipment first aid kit and so on. This saved us from unpacking every time you cross a border. I made a separate list for every country before I left home. I then got customs to stamp it. The lady at customs then saw we had a certain medication and only wanted to check the quantity and walked with us to the bikes to check. As it was in my top box it was no sweat. This was the only time they checked on the whole trip. At all the border post or police road blocks we never paid a bribe and never will as it is against my principals and also not very good  for a bikers cash flow on an extended trip like this one. The only problem on the whole trip was at a road block on the island of Zanzibar but I will report about that later. To be honest it was plain sailing at all the borders. All I did was to say that we came to see their beautiful country and friendly people even before I put my passport down on the counter. This normally put a smile on their face and a chop of their stamp in our passports with no further questions ask. We had a Carnet de Passage for every country which had to be stamped at the borders as well. We also did not make use of any of these “agents” to help us through the borders. We also did not make use of the money changers at the borders and rather drew money at ATM’s. The only time we changed money with a money changer was in front of Shopright in Malawi. We had some American Dollars to pay for 3 rd party insurance. Although Africa don’t like the Americans they do love the American Dollar. From the border we went to Lilongwe.  Before we left home I googled Shoprite and printed out all their addresses and coordinates of their shops in the countries where we were going to. They had at least one shop in every country. This was the only place where you could buy decent food. So we went straight to Shoprite in Lilongwe and replenished our supplies. From here we were on the road to Senga Bay on Lake Malawi. It was a real bikers road with lots of bends and we pushed a bit as we wanted to get their before dark. At Salima we filled up with fuel and cleaned our visors as there were thousands of bugs after the rain. Even my jacket was covered with bugs. It was getting dark now and I was looking for a camping site on the GPS. Now I always had a picture in my mind of lovely luxury lodges and camp sites next to Lake Malawi but as we entered Senga Bay I had a culture shock. It looked like I was in the middle of Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. We stopped and a young man approached us and asked us if we were looking for accommodation? (I must say that all the countries that we visited the people were very entrepreneurial) I answered yes. He said he will go and show us and as in so many other occasions on the trip the entrepreneur ran in front of us to go and show us with my head light lighting up the dark alley. As we rode in between the shacks I still thought by myself that if the place is not acceptable we can always turn around and go and look somewhere else for a place to sleep for the night. We came to a big steel gate and our guide rang the bell. To my surprise after a few minutes an Afrikaans guy came to open up the gates, without wasting any time we rode into the yard. He introduced himself as Leon du Plessis and his wife as Ingrid. They had a lovely guest house right on the beach of Malawi Lake (see photo’s below). We booked in and off loaded all our luggage. They offered us a drink and dinner. As we had no lunch and 464 KM, a border crossing and lots of rain under the belt that was the most inviting thought of the day. After dinner they told us their life story. He is an ex Recce in the SADF and his wife is an Advocate. She gave up the profession after a criminal in South Africa approached her for the rd. 3 time to defend him after she successfully got him off the hook twice before. They then came to live here at Lake Malawi. He now does occasional security work in Iraq and neighbouring countries to Iraq. After a walk on the beach and a couple of beers we hit the sag.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 15, 2012, 06:33:35 pm
Photo 1/ Juan and some locals
         2/A Kenian Taxi driver with his paying passenger on the back
         3/A Grain Silo
         4/Some more rain coming
         5/The effect of lots of rain
         6/Taxi Rank in Malawi
         7/Wood collectors on bicycles
      
        
  
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: ChinaPete on February 15, 2012, 07:37:02 pm
Very lekker, what are those people doing in the water in the last pic? Looks like they're surfing.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Fuzzy Muzzy on February 15, 2012, 07:58:42 pm
Awesome stuff.. so far pretty much the same as we did but you covered many more km per day.. I am glad you experienced Senga Bay, most people go down to monkey Bay with all the other tourists.. did you perhaps come across Cool Runnings in Senga Bay, we enjoyed Senga bay so much we ended up staying 3 days. From your photo's you must have pretty much have been next door..

Get North, I can't wait to see lake Victoria.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 15, 2012, 08:58:18 pm
Photo 1/ The beach in front of the guest house
         2/ Leon du Plessis
         3/ View from the front garden of the guest house
         4/ View from inside the guest house
         5/ Leon, Ingrid,Juan and myself 
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 12:45:48 pm
Day 8                     12/12/2011                                          Senga Bay Lake Malawi
When we woke up the next morning and saw the beautiful lake and experienced the ambiance of the guest house we decided to have a day off and stay for a day. After all we have travelled 2833 KM total so far without a rest. Also by now it felled that something was wrong with the back part of our anatomy as the Yamaha’s must have the hardest seat of most bikes, although that is the only part that I can find fault with on an otherwise  a very reliable bike. The staff washed our washing as by now we were already wearing our cleanest dirty clothes. Also my “waterproof” boots were put out in the sun to dry after 4 days of rain riding. The only other pair of shoes was a space saving pair of sandals that I brought along. We had a lovely boere breakfast. After breakfast our entrepreneur guide arrived to offer us a bargain boat ride to go and see how a Fish Eagle would catch a fish. A photo shot was guaranteed. As we already agreed with Leon to ride to a crocodile farm to go and see some crocodiles we sadly had to turn him down. Leon had a little off road bike and off we went. It was nice to ride without luggage and the bike felt very light. At the croc farm there were more than a thousand croc’s. The croc’s were fed other chopped up croc’s. So they are basically cannibals. After the crocodile cannibal show we went to have a beer at a local hotel also on the beach. Juan does not drink alcohol or gas cold drinks so he was suffering on this trip with fresh fruit juice not always available. We went back to the guest house and while I was lacing around Juan went for a swim in the lake. Juan is like a fish in water and where ever we came to water he did not need any invitation to go for a swim. Writing down these memories a year later makes me want to go back and do some more traveling. That night Juan and I had a braai with the meat that we bought from shopright the previous day with beers and complimentary food supplied by Leon and Ingrid. There was only a low fence between our braai and the beach. End of day 8.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: TVB on February 16, 2012, 01:49:24 pm
Wat n lekker trip, gooi nog!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 04:48:55 pm
Day 9           13/12/2010               Senga Bay---Nkhata Bay                      329Km
The next morning we posed for photos with Leon and Ingrid (see photos on previous page) and left to tackle the road going north along Lake Malawi. Here are some interesting statistics on Lake Malawi.
1.   580KM long
2.   75 Km wide
3.   695 meter deep at the deepest point
4.   Is the fresh water lake with the most different species of fish in the world    +/- 1000 species
5.   Was formed 500 BC
In a small town on the way we saw a coffin shop on the street (see photo below). We also saw some guys with bicycles with unbelievable loads on (see photos). Later on we stopped on a beach and saw mini tornados on the water (see photos below) it is caused by evaporation. The ride was scenic and after 329 Km we reached Nkhata Bay. As we came around a bend with Lake Malawi on the background we saw a sign “camping and chalets”. We went past and went into the little town of Nkhata. The town was flooded with people and ladies with baskets on their heads. It was also a harbour town with fairly large boats in the harbour. We then turned around and booked into the campsite. The camp was 2 meter from the water edge with 2 small tents already there. Space was limited and Juan and I pitched our tents a meter away from the other 2 tents. We later met the occupants. The one young couple was from Canada and they have been hitch hiking through South Africa and was now on their way through Africa also hitch hiking. The other was an Italian guy, he has been traveling around the world for the last 10 years also hitch hiking. His favourite continent is Africa where he spent most of his time. He said that he has developed a cheap way to travel around as he was living of the income from a house that he rent out in Italy. He goes into town and has breakfast for R 5-00 so he really knows his way around. Then there were two guys in a chalet. They were Students at Stellenbosch University and came on public transport. Then there was 2 young guys from Holland, they were doing voluntary aid work in Africa. By that evening we were already good friends with the Italian guy and the two Dutch guys. I got them hooked on rooibos tee with condensed milk which we made on our little gas stove. As the stars were extremely bright I told them to watch out for satellites. They did not believe me that you could see satellites and I took them  a bet that if we see a satellite then they have to buy us a beer or if we don’t then I will buy them a beer. Juan and I went to have dinner on the stoep which was their restaurant. That was only about 10 meter away from where the Italian and  two Dutch guys were sitting on a timber deck next to the water. Just after Juan and I ordered dinner they shouted that they see a satellite, bingo they owe me a beer. The owner of the establishment was a British lady who was married to an Malawian man with Rasta hair locks. Her girlfriend who was visiting from England came to sit at the table just behind us also with a Rasta young man from Malawi . She ordered them some food. I could hear from their conversation that they had a ding the night before. She wanted more tonight but he wanted to go and have a jol with his buddies instead. Although I had sympathy with both of them we pretended to hear nothing as Juan and I spoke Afrikaans to each other. After dinner Juan and I went down to the timber deck to do more satellites watching with our buddies and more Rooibos tee that was by now in great demand with the 3 Europeans. After every one went to bed I still sat there on the deck watching the unbelievable bright sky. The last time I saw the sky that bright was in the Mashatu game reserve in Botswana in 2001. That night I fell asleep with the sound of small waves braking against the rocks just meters away from our tents.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 04:52:55 pm
Coffin Shop on the street
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 04:56:05 pm
Bicycle with a heavy load
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 04:58:58 pm
Wood bridge on the way north
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 05:02:05 pm
Doing our good deed for the day with our hand pump
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 05:06:20 pm
On the Malawi Lake beach with mini tornado's in the background which is caused by evaporation
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 05:09:08 pm
More mini tornado's
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 05:11:26 pm
Real Africa
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 05:13:47 pm
Some more real Africa
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 05:16:19 pm
The Boab trees make the bikes look small
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 16, 2012, 05:21:17 pm
Nkhata Bay camp site with our tents next to the trees with the timber deck in front
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 04:53:15 pm
Day10                   14/12/2010                                      Nkhata Bay  Lake Malawi
We woke up early the next day and decided due to the beautiful setting to stay another day. Little did we know that it will be many more KM before we were going to have a rest day again and little did we know that real serious riding would start in 3 days’ time. We went to have breakfast while the two Dutch guys joint the Italian to go and try the R5.00 breakfast in town. When they returned we decided to rent a boat together to go out on Lake Malawi and do some fishing, swimming and also the boat owner promised us that he will take us to see a fish eagle catching a fish down somewhere special. The boat had no ores but had a 2 nd motor lying on the floor in case of a breakdown. We went out about 5 KM and there we saw a fisherman with a dugout canoe. I took a photo of him and I think that was about the best photo of the trip. We went another KM in before we stopped and the guys switched off the boat. The boat owner and his friends started to fish and dropped hand held lines down. As the fish here are at the bottom they dropped a100 meter line down. Juan and the two Dutch guys started to swim while I was starting to feel Sea sick. I thought that if I swim as well the feeling will go away. I dived in and it was quit eerie to swim in 100 meter deep water. The last time I had that feeling was at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I soon got out and it is quit a job to get back in the boat as the sides are high. I then stated to feel even more sick and later fed the fish on the other side of the boat. I really did not feel well as the water was choppy. I later ask them to take me back and promised to pay again to take the rest out again to see the Fish eagles feeding. Once back the black Rooibos tee sorted me out. The guys in the boat now wanted a ridiculous amount to take them out again. Juan refused and they came back later with a lower price but Juan turned them down again. The 3 of them went instead to play with a dugout canoe and was playing in the warm Malawi water for quite a while. I in turn started to feel better and changed the brake pads on the rear wheel of my bike as it was metal on metal. Fortunately I brought a spare set along. That night Juan made us food and after dinner it was Rooibos tee time again with watching satellites again with our 3 friends.     
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 04:58:46 pm
Juan on the boat with our tents behind the timber deck
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:03:14 pm
Beautiful blue water at Nkhata Bay
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:04:58 pm
Beautiful blue water at Nkhata Bay
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:07:18 pm
Our skiper
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:09:00 pm
The Rasta Crew
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:11:11 pm
Nkhata Bay at the back. More photos on the next page.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:14:00 pm
Juan on the right with the Hollander on the left
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:15:51 pm
The other Hollander
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:17:57 pm
A Malawi fisherman
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:25:06 pm
A Malawi fisherman with a dug out canoe. He is about 5 Km from the side. At night they put parafine lamps on the front of the boat to attract the fish. The water is really this blue and this was probably my best photo of the trip. All my photos were taken with a mik and druk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 05:34:59 pm
From the left: Myself, Juan, the Italian that has been traveling around the world for 10 years, the 2 Dutch guys, The Canadian couple who is hitch hiking through Africa, last the Stellenbosch student who came on public transport. If you know him please let me know as I owe him this photo and I lost his Email address
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 17, 2012, 10:35:21 pm
Subscraaib!

Now where's them peechas?

There are plenty now
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 01:51:36 am
Day 11     15/12/2012                Nkhata Bay—Livingstonia                       482 KM
The next morning as we were packing up the Italian begged us for one last cup of Rooibos tee, we then all had tee before posing for a photo (see last photo). We then left, it felt good to be on the bike again. The Italian told us about a place called Livingstonia, he knew every little place in Africa as he has been right through hitch hiking and walking. So my GPS was set for Livingstonia. We rode for more than 140 KM before the GPS showed that we must make a u turn. We stopped and looked on the map and saw that we were way off track. We have been going west instead of north. Tracks for Africa did not work for me and it was also a problem having the GPS in a tank bag as you have to look down and sometime the sun would reflect on it. The next trip I would buy a proper bike GPS I thought with proper GPS maps. Going back the same route was scenic (see photo below). We were now going back to a little town called Mzuzu where we took the wrong turn off previously. At Mzuzu we stopped to draw money at the ATM. There I met an American and his wife on an old BMW, they were on a around the world bike trip. He did not have a GPS and was using only a map. I suppose he wanted to do it like Ted Simon. We did speak about Ted Simon and he told me that Ted Simon was in America at that moment promoting his two books. Ted Simon must be quite old by now as he was 72 when he finished his last around the world trip. After the chat Juan and I left. Our intentions were not to ride at night but it did not always work out that way. It was close to Sun set and I saw a broken down truck in the right hand lane right after a bend and a long downhill, at the same time another horse and trailer were coming down hill and around the bend towards us. The driver did not even slow down and just came into my lane as we reached the broken down truck. There was just about no space to go as there were concrete things close to the road. I had about 1 meter wide of gravel and by then I was in the wrong gear. As I went off the road and was wobbling as the empty truck and trailer came past me at about 110 KMH. AS my bags were sticking out on both sides of the bike I was worried that they would hook onto the trailer and pull me under. It happened so fast and I must say it really scared me. Little did I know that more of these would come my way on the trip ahead. It was getting dark by now and it was a pity as the scenery looked beautiful and looked like Meiringspoort close to Oudshoorn. Getting close to Livingstonia we set the GPS to take us to the Mushroom campsite. It was a 22 KM gravel road mountain pass uphill and it was much like the Sani Pass just longer with very sharp bends much like the last section of Sani Pass. On the one bend Juan bike hit a loose rock and jumped into the air and he came short. I stopped and helped him to pick up the bike. At the Mushroom campsite you have to park your bike at a little parking area right next to the road. They had a watchman for the night. You then have to carry all your camping gear down the mountain to the campsite. We only discovered the next morning what a beautiful site this was when it got light. I think this was the most beautiful camping site on the whole trip although there were a couple of good ones to come as well. The owner was an Australian guy with a British couple running it for him. As it was late the old man still made us some dinner after we had some beers at the bar. There was plenty of wood to make a bon fire while pitching our tents. See the photos that were taken the next morning.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:09:32 am
Coming back after taking the wrong road. The road was scenic though.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:13:20 am
The next morning just after sun rise. This photo was taken from our camp site.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:17:11 am
This was also taken from our camp site with Lake Malawi in the back ground.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:22:56 am
Just after sun rise with Lake Malawi in the background. As the leaves were just forming (see previous photo also) it was only spring here now with the sun now very close to the Tropic of Capricon.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:31:20 am
Lake Malawi early morning.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:33:54 am
Facing north over Lake Malawi.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:38:32 am
The little bridge you have to cross as you walk down from the road where the bikes were parked. It then leads down to our tents from there.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:43:42 am
Juan admiring the view  while the kettle is warming up for the first Rooibos tee of the day.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:47:30 am
Our camp site right on the edge of the mountain. No room here for people doing sleep walking.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 02:51:15 am
See the dry leaves on the tree. On 16 December it is only spring now as we move north now.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Sithe on February 19, 2012, 07:33:40 am
Great trip oom Schalk ... this old man is as tough as nails. Hoping I will be able to do stuff like this when I'm 60

Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: JMOL on February 19, 2012, 08:07:20 am
Lekker!!

Subscribed   :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 11:01:57 am
Great trip oom Schalk ... this old man is as tough as nails. Hoping I will be able to do stuff like this when I'm 60


Hi Sithe, thanks for the ride we had together over the Sani Pass and through Lesotho, I think you are a scholar and a gentleman being always the first to help and thanks for the beers at Katse Dam. You are also a champion rider with your big BMW. Follow the story as I am trying to write one day of traveling per day, so there is more to come over the next 28 days. Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 01:39:49 pm
Lekker!!

Subscribed   :thumleft:
Thanks Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 01:41:32 pm
Cannot wait. I'm planning a similar trip ,but would love to hear about yours.
How long in advance did you plan the trip?

Subscribed!
6 months Thanks Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 01:42:46 pm
Subscribed!!    :thumleft:
Thanks Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 19, 2012, 01:43:50 pm
Mooi so Schalk. Ek het gewonder of julle die trip sou doen. Nou weet ek. Sien uit na die fotos.
Thanks Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:04:47 pm
Day 12      16/12/2010             Livinstonia—Mbeya in Tanzania                277 KM
The next morning we went for a nice hot shower. The hot water get warmed by a donkey (that is a hot water system where a wood fire under a tank warms the water and then runs in pipes down the mountain with gravity to where the open air shower is). After the shower while making breakfast at the open air bar the lady told us that there is a very nice waterfall nearby. She said it was a couple of hundred metres away. You can either ride there or take a shortcut by walking. So after breakfast we decided to walk as we still wanted to make it across the border and into Tanzania. The lady said no need to explain how to get there, the dog will show us. It was a steep climb up the mountain and the few hundred meters became about 3 KM and 3KM back. The falls however was very nice (see photos). We returned about 10.30 am and packed up and left thanking the couple for really looking after us. We went down the same 22KM gravel pass that we came the previous night. The camp and the pass was one of the highlights of the trip. We then crossed the border close to the northern point of Lake Malawi. At the border we enquired about how to get to the Kalambo falls as it is the 2nd highest falls in Africa. The lady said that we have to travel to Tunduma and from there stick close to the Zambian border through villages. There were no roads and only foot paths where pedestrians walk and bicycles ride. I really wanted to see the falls as a friend of mine said he could not find it in his 4X4 and that you must take a boat on Lake Tanganyika to get there. So I had a point to proof. From the border we travelled in the rain to Mbeya. Halfway the cops had a roadblock and showed that we must stop. They had AK 47,s in their hands and Juan did not see that they wanted us to stop and rode past. Fortunately they did not shoot. We arrived just after dark in Mbeya and found the Monrovian Church who offered camping and even had a dining room with a menu. We camped close to the offices. The bathroom had a Muslim toilet and shower. I thought that to be strange for a church. Like in most places in Tanzania only the cold water worked if at all. I joked from there on that Africa is the place where you get hot beer and cold showers. Yes you have to specially ask for a cold beer and in 90 % of the time you will only get a warm one. At dinner we met a group of school children from Australia on tour that has been to Mahle Mountains National Park to see the Chimpanzees. You have to go to the park and then take a boat on Lake Tanganyika and get off and go into the bush from there the to see them. So our route over the next few day were to  first go and see the Kalambo falls then go and see the Chimpanzees and then to go and see the Gorillas at the southern part of Uganda. It worked out different in the end.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:10:36 pm
The top part of the falls
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:13:02 pm
The falls
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: CorCorlia on February 20, 2012, 04:16:15 pm
What a great trip!

Subscribed!   :drif:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:17:44 pm
As I said before every waterfall that we have been to has got a special flower or two.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:21:01 pm
A wooden bridge near the falls
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:24:09 pm
Where ever we went in Africa the children always waved at us.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:27:00 pm
On the way down from the mushroom camp to the main road
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:29:57 pm
On the way down from the mushroom camp to the main road with Lake Malawi on the left.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:32:38 pm
On the way down from the mushroom camp to the main road with lake Malawi in the background
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:38:24 pm
On the way down from the mushroom camp to the main road with lake Malawi in the background

Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:40:38 pm
The nice part of the road on the way down
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:43:23 pm
Saying good bye to Lake Malawi. What a beautiful time we had next to her.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:48:54 pm
Karibuni means welcome. The Monrovian church where we spend the night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 04:51:12 pm
What a great trip!

Subscribed!   :drif:
Thanks mate more to come tomorrow. Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: frans1 on February 20, 2012, 05:22:55 pm
Thanks for taking the effort do put this together for us!!!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 20, 2012, 05:32:06 pm
Thanks for taking the effort do put this together for us!!!
Thanks for the motivation, I do it for guys like you. The trip was only a year ago but the memories are like yesterday. Regards Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Ratt on February 20, 2012, 09:59:23 pm
Sub
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 09:16:53 am
Sub
Thanks Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 01:29:43 pm
Day 13         17/12/2010               Mbeya—Ilambila                            298 KM
The next day as early as 7 am there were staff at the church offices and when we enquired why they start so early they said that it was already 8 am. We then discovered that they use daylight saving. So in Malawi it is 7 am now and here in Tanzania it is 8 am. After a nice breakfast and settling the bill we hit the road. We then discovered that Juan had lost 2 bolts that hold the small front fender. No problem just down the road was an open air bike shop where they repair Chinese bikes in the street. (See photo) They spoke in Swahili and we spoke in English with finger linger and in no time they had 2 bolts for us. We put them back with Loctite. Off we went from here to withdraw some Tanzanian money at the ATM. From here we went to the town of Tunduma which is also a border crossing between Zambia and Tanzania. The trucks were queuing for 2 KM coming into town and after we turned right to go out of town again another queue of about 2KM. So there were trucks in two directions trying to get into Zambia from Tanzania. We managed to pass them by driving in between and over pavements with a lot of pedestrians walking across the road that we had to give way to. We soon got out of town and from here on it was all gravel roads as there are no tar roads on the western side of Tanzania. We later came to a beer truck that has turned over. (see photo) In Tanzania they build the centre of the road about 1, 5 meter higher than on the side in order for the rain water to run off quickly. This is a problem for a truck that is a little top heavy and if they keep to one side to let another truck past they just fall over. It was also a problem for us where the roads were wet as your bike would just slide down to the lower part and we came short quit a few time because of this. A bystander told us that a white guy on a 1200 BMW died the previous week just 100 meter away from there on the same road. The road became extremely bumpy from there on due to the rain water causing erosion. It look like big corrugations. After about 30 KM we stopped to see if the shocks were getting hot. The front one’s were normal but when I push my finger in between the coil spring to feel the mono rear shock I burnt my finger a blister. Lekker stupid ne’. We soon found the road that turned left. This road was much better and we never saw another vehicle again for the next two days. As the GPS showed no roads from here on (I think nobody from tracks of Africa has been on this road before) we then set the GPS on off road mode and pressed on the GPS the point where we thought the Kalambo Falls are close to Lake Tanganyika. It would then show a straight line. We then would stick as close as possible to that line on the GPS. We were still about 300 Km from the Kalambo Falls. The road soon ends when we came to the first village and from here it was just foot paths as the lady at the border told us. We quite enjoyed this and every 10 KM or so we travelled through a village where all the people would wave at us. This is the real Africa that we came to see. We travelled the whole day until close to sunset. We then came to a village called Ilambila which is not on the map (paper map). As it is proto call to always first ask the chief for permission to sleep over we did exactly that. Normally you would fill your name in a book and pay a fee. Apparently that fee goes to the government. I in turn bought the chief a beer and he never asked for money. Out of the whole village only one young guy could speak English. He automatically became our interpreter. He won a price from the government and was sent to America for a course and that is how he came to speak English. For the other kids I do not think they ever went out of the village in there live yet. As we pitch our tents on a piece of open ground in between the clay huts the kids formed a large circle around us. There were about 200 kids and a couple of grownups. They watched our every movement out of curiosity. I ask our interpreter if the kids have ever seen a white man as I pointed to a girl of about 17. He then asked them and all the kids said no never. This village is very remote. By now we had astronaut status as the kids have never seen a tent or a white man or a gas stove or any of the equipment we had with us. We then sat down to make food with 400 little eyes watching us as they moved closer and closer inch by inch sitting on their haunches. Juan lid the little gas stove and put a pot on and poured instant mash potatoes into the pot and all the kids went aha and when Juan put something else in the pot they go ooe. By now we not only had astronaut status but alien status as well as the kids have by now moved up real close and they were touching my hair one by one as they have never seen or felt something like this before. I just allowed it as I never have forgotten what it is like to be a kid. As a matter of fact my wife thinks I am still like a kid the way I carry on with motor bikes. We later called the kids paparazzi kids as they would crowd us and the way they took little photos with their eyes of every movement we made. After dinner Juan and I went to bed but the kids would not. I could hear them around the tents and I suppose they were hoping that we would come out again. We eventually fell asleep and I am sure I dreamed about the Paparazzi kids.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 01:37:12 pm
The open air bike shop in the street where we found two bolts for Juan front little fender.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 01:40:19 pm
Another ATM protected by an armed guard where we withdrew some Tanzanian money.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 01:42:25 pm
The beer truck that fell over.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 01:45:16 pm
The road became much better after we turned of. We never saw a car or truck for the next two days.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 01:47:39 pm
A vlei area with beautiful little flowers.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 01:50:12 pm
Where ever we stopped we got crowded by curious onlookers.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Gene on February 21, 2012, 01:52:27 pm
Jirre  - Schalk wat n awesome trip, wat het julle betaal om oor die grense te gaan, ek sien op "Voetspore" betaal die ouens R4000 plus, wat het jou totale som gewees vir so n trip, dis regtig baie insiggewend .
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 01:59:17 pm
The village chief having the beer that I bought him with curious kids looking at us. They have never seen a white man in their lives before.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 21, 2012, 02:15:28 pm
Jirre  - Schalk wat n awesome trip, wat het julle betaal om oor die grense te gaan, ek sien op "Voetspore" betaal die ouens R4000 plus, wat het jou totale som gewees vir so n trip, dis regtig baie insiggewend .
Dit het ons so plus minus R350 by elke grenspos gekos. Die totale bedrag vir die hele trip sal ek na dag 40 sê. Groete en dankie vir die belangstelling. Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:14:28 pm
Day 14       18/12/2010      Ilambila—Kasanga (on Lake Tanganyika)       139 Km
When we woke up the next morning at 6 am the paparazzi kids was already waiting about 20 metre away for us, sitting on their haunches. As I needed to go to the toilet I went to see what their long drop looked like. Although it had a neat concrete slab over I never liked long drops. As I grew up on a farm I instead took the bike and went out of the village. There was a nice big mielie    field with some thorn trees in the middle. I tried to miss as many of the 7 day old mielie plants as possible and reached my new found toilet without any hassle. Getting back from my relief cession I just brushed my teeth in front of 200 paparazzi kids. There were no washing facilities so we just washed our faces and put the same cloths on as the previous day. We packed up thanked everyone and said good bye (alamsiki) in our newly learned Swahili. The kids came to say good bye by running next to the bikes as far as they could keep up. Just out of the village the government was busy to make a new gravel road to this remote village. They don't make short stretches at a time but rather long ones, about 10 km at a time. As it was Saturday, only a grader was on duty. It levelled the soil that was tipped there to a thickness of about 300mm (30cm).  This was extremely difficult to ride on and Juan and I fell quite a few times. Eventually I rode in the Mielie fields next to the road, although the soil was soft it was better than the road. We enquired from someone who was passing by about the waterfall. He was quite clued up and drew a nice map for us in my diary. From there we rode to the next village. As we stopped some young men came running and asked us if we wanted to see the waterfall. Yebo we answered. For a fee they were prepared to go and show us, in the end it was a bargain. Again like our previous entrepreneur at Lake Malawi they ran in front of the bikes for about 3 KM. We rode until the road came to an end and from there rode on a foot path until we could go no further (see photos). We had to climb down the mountain for a kilometre or so. One guy stayed behind to watch our belongings. The falls which have a single drop of 235 metres were nice and I belief we proofed a point. The kids by now caught up with us and went for a swim just above these very high falls. Then we went back to the village to pay our fees to the chief and sign the log book. We then went back the same road that we came and stopped next to a huge Mango tree to pick up some Mangos. These mangos are very nice as they don't have any hair in. All over Tanzania Mango trees have been plated to feed the population, the same as in Mozambique where Palm trees bearing dates have been planted by the previous Portuguese government. We travelled a little further and stopped in the bush to make some Weatbix and water breakfast. ( see photo ) After a cup of Rooibos tea we were of again to Kasanga on Lake Tanganyika.  As we came over a hill and down a very steep downhill my bike started to run away as I was in a too high a gear and there was no time to gear down as by now the bike was in an erosion trench. I just closed the throttle and handled the bike until I was out of the trench. As we came over another very steep rocky downhill with Lake Tanganyika appearing on the right Juan fell off. As I was already at the bottom of the hill I turned around to go and help him. It was a hard fall and his gear lever was bent double and we could not get the bike out of gear as it was pushed against the engine. As the bike was stuck in 3rd gear I told him to just ride it in one gear until we can find a level place. We stopped next to a big rock and took the gear lever off. On the big rock and with another rock we managed to bend it back to its original shape. After fitting it back we went to look at the harbour as that is all that Kasanga is. I remembered that I saw a camping and accommodation sign just before the hill where Juan fell. We went back to the top of the hill and then turned left down another very steep and long downhill. Here we met Oscar the Tanzanian owner of a lodge and camping site right on Lake Tanganyika. Oscar was fluent in English and made us feel at home while pouring us a drink. He told us his life story of how he was a fisherman before and eventually got tired of that and pulled the boat onto the beach. The boat is now a dining room with a thatch roof over (see photos). His lodge then grew from there and he now has a couple of rooms with some permanent tents and a camp site on the beach. (See photos). Oscar told us about a big boat that comes into the harbour ones a week and then goes up all the way up. Lake Tanganyika is the longest fresh water lake in the world at 676 KM and second largest by volume and the second deepest 1,470 metre after Lake Baikal in Siberia. Juan wanted us to take the boat that was going to arrive there that afternoon and then get off at the Mahale Mountains National Park with the bikes to go and see the Chimpanzees. I in turn wanted to camp there for the night. Oscar's price was the same whether we use his permanent tent with a bed in or our own tent. We opted to stay in his tents for the night. With hind sight it would have been far better to have taken the boat because of things to come. So Juan was right. We had a good time there as it was still early. Our Washing was also being washed by Oscars staff as we were by now out of clean clothes. That night I went to bed at about 9pm while Juan, Oscar and some other guest from Kenia were swimming in the lake till 12 pm.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:21:46 pm
A guy selling pots and pans a long way from the closes town and just before the Kalambo Falls
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:24:42 pm
Beautiful bush just before Kalambo Falls
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:28:07 pm
We rode on a foot path till we could go no further to Kalambo falls.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:29:53 pm
We rode on a foot path till we could go no further to Kalambo falls.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:33:13 pm
The Kalambo Falls. Look at our guides next to the water.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:35:14 pm
Kalambo Falls.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:37:04 pm
Kalambo Falls.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:39:00 pm
View from Kalambo Falls.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:43:41 pm
View from the top.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:47:09 pm
Kids playing in the water at the top of the falls.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:50:10 pm
Our guides that ran for 3 km in front of the bikes.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:52:02 pm
The Falls.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:54:46 pm
As I said before every water fall that we visited had a special flower.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:56:41 pm
Breakfast in the bush.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 04:58:43 pm
First view of Lake Tanganyika.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 05:02:31 pm
View over Lake Tanganyika from Oscar's boat now his dinning room.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 05:03:59 pm
View over Lake Tanganyika from Oscar's boat now his dinning room.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 05:06:33 pm
My bike stuck in the sand in front of my tent.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 05:08:13 pm
My bike stuck in the sand.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 05:10:55 pm
The view over Lake Tanganyika from inside of my tent.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: cloudgazer on February 22, 2012, 05:34:41 pm
Loving it.
great pics.
what an awesome trip to do.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 05:50:30 pm
Loving it.
great pics.
what an awesome trip to do.
Thanks cloudgazer father and son really enjoyed it-Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: laurika on February 22, 2012, 06:38:04 pm
Schalk, i am on day 7 now, and in love all over again with africa, its generous and sometimes charmingly simple people. am going to read this in installments...i hope somewhere in this report, you also have some handy tips and insights in this amazing little bike that took you there and back.? (and you dont look your age at ALL....) :ricky: thanks for alerting me to this post. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 22, 2012, 09:03:16 pm
Schalk, i am on day 7 now, and in love all over again with africa, its generous and sometimes charmingly simple people. am going to read this in installments...i hope somewhere in this report, you also have some handy tips and insights in this amazing little bike that took you there and back.? (and you dont look your age at ALL....) :ricky: thanks for alerting me to this post. :thumleft:
Hi laurika thanks for your compliment I also dont feel my age, yes am going to write about the two fantastic xt 660 R towards the end, I am writing one day of traveling a day so I think you will soon catch up regards Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: XTZFegen on February 23, 2012, 07:35:03 am
Schalk, i am on day 7 now, and in love all over again with africa, its generous and sometimes charmingly simple people. am going to read this in installments...i hope somewhere in this report, you also have some handy tips and insights in this amazing little bike that took you there and back.? (and you dont look your age at ALL....) :ricky: thanks for alerting me to this post. :thumleft:

When I did Lesotho with Schalk last year I knighted him as the "Terminator Toppie"..."henceforth you shall be known as the Terminator Toppie"... :imaposer:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 23, 2012, 08:49:20 am
Schalk, i am on day 7 now, and in love all over again with africa, its generous and sometimes charmingly simple people. am going to read this in installments...i hope somewhere in this report, you also have some handy tips and insights in this amazing little bike that took you there and back.? (and you dont look your age at ALL....) :ricky: thanks for alerting me to this post. :thumleft:

When I did Lesotho with Schalk last year I knighted him as the "Terminator Toppie"..."henceforth you shall be known as the Terminator Toppie"... :imaposer:
Thanks Fegan you were a star on that trip, thanks for all your help and also thanks for your help to teach the toppie how to upload photos on this forum-Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SuperDavexlv750r on February 23, 2012, 10:17:37 pm
Great story so far Schalk.

You ride that XR660 like you stole it. Enjoyed our SANI trip last year.

I can hardly wait for the rest of your trip report.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 09:40:22 am
Great story so far Schalk.

You ride that XR660 like you stole it. Enjoyed our SANI trip last year.

I can hardly wait for the rest of your trip report.
Hi Dave nice to hear from you, yes all you guys were great on that Sani trip and thanks for your concern on the trip. I could see that you are also a very experienced rider on that noisy Suzuki. There is more coming today on the Africa trip. Keep on reading everyday as the good part is still coming. Kind regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 12:40:15 pm
Day 15         19/12/2010                Kasanga—Sumbawanga                        119Km
The next morning when I woke up my neck was sore as well as some of my muscles. I had to put my hands under my head to lift my head up in order to get out of bed. I was not sure if it was due to the many falls of the previous day or the riding as we have now done 4364 Km with only 2 days rest in between. Juan was also sore and was feeling about the same. Well cowboys don't cry and bikers even less. By now we had travelled 437 Km since filling up last at a pump and we each have also put the 5 litres in from our can as we have not seen a petrol pump since leaving Mebeya. We each had about 1 litre left in the tank. Oscar was prepared to send his helper with the boat to take me to the next village further up Lake Tanganyika to go and buy petrol from a store who keeps petrol in 200 litre drums. The only condition was that I also put some petrol in the boat. So off we went. I sat towards the front of the boat and the helper/skipper must have thought that he is Peter Lindenberg or somebody in the power boat fraternity as he just pulled the throttle open. The water was very choppy and it felt as if my back was going to brake and I quickly moved to the back part of the boat as there are no seats. After our race against time we arrived in a small village with a general dealer shop which reminded me of the Indian shop close to our farm when I was a kid. Even the smell was the same. The owner here was from the Island of Zanzibar originally. If you buy petrol from any other source than a petrol pump you pay double at about R 25/litre. I then filled the 10 litre can and another can for the boat. Petrol cost us on average R12/litre throughout our trip. As we were heading back I told the helper/skipper to take it easy as my body has not recovered from our gymnastics in the loose sand the previous day or days and also I would not be able to swim the 3 KM to shore should the boat turn over in the choppy water. It was by now late morning and after loading the bikes, filling the 5 litre each into the tanks and lubricating the chains we were off. After leaving we soon hid some rain. Now the gravel roads in Tanzania are actually not gravel but clay. In no time the clay would accumulate on the front wheel and when the clay gets thick enough to push against the small fender then it is like putting on front brakes and in no time it is man and machine down. (See photo). There was also not enough water on the road to ride through in order to wash off the clay. Sometimes the clay would accumulate on the back wheel and then without no warning the bike would do a 90 degree turn into the bush and you would have to try and avoid a tree or a bush. We eventually rode on the grass next to the road until the road became better. We had by now fallen off quit a few times that day and it looked like Juan and I have been competing to see who is the falling off champion. The only first price that you get by falling off is that the other rider must stop, get off his bike and come and help the falling-offer to pick up his bike. All the above takes time and for a half days riding we only managed 119 Km. We saw no cars on the road until we got to Sumbawanga  where we stayed over for the night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 12:42:49 pm
Oscars fishing boat now his dinning room.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 12:45:24 pm
Oscars Lodge.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 12:48:15 pm
As it is a fresh water lake the reeds grow right up to the water.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 12:52:59 pm
One of the rooms at his Lodge.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 12:55:06 pm
Oscars boat yard.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 12:57:38 pm
A fishing boat on the way to buy petrol at the next village.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:00:34 pm
Arriving at the village to buy petrol.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:02:31 pm
Arriving at the village to buy petrol.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:07:15 pm
Our skipper had to swim out a bit to lower the anchor.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:09:58 pm
Filling our 10 litre with much needed Africa fuel.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:14:03 pm
The open air shower next to my tent. A staff member would come early in the morning to fill it up with hot water. You would then turn the bottom part to open the water. It works quite well.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:16:07 pm
The entrance road to Oscars place.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:18:00 pm
My bike. One of many for the day.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:19:58 pm
Some more paparazzi kids on the way.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:22:02 pm
A hawker on the way in the middle of nowhere.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:24:27 pm
A charcoal hawker with about half a ton charcoal on a bicycle.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: mox on February 24, 2012, 01:26:35 pm
Wow, what an amazing write up and adventure! One day I tell you I will do something like this! You guys are an inspiration !

Ps. That hawker needs some chain lube and a tightening session. :)

Can't wait for the next update!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:33:51 pm
Guards at a ATM in Sumbawanga.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 01:48:03 pm
Wow, what an amazing write up and adventure! One day I tell you I will do something like this! You guys are an inspiration !

Ps. That hawker needs some chain lube and a tightening session. :)

Can't wait for the next update!
Hi mox yes you just have to do it. It is really an experience Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 24, 2012, 07:12:16 pm
Schalk, you will need to brush up on "how to use the forum". Hopefully you will share the trip and lots of pictures with us :)
Hi Snafu I have placed lots of pictures by now, I hope you will enjoy them- kind regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: JU@n on February 25, 2012, 09:46:53 am
Hi guys! I am Juan Schalk's son. Reading my dad's report and looking at the photo's again creates an even greater passion to get back in the saddle and ride to some unknown remote destination with all it surprises and interesting cultures and People and nature and and and..
I have been reading some other RR's and I am totally Intriqued! Wow the story's..
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:02:32 am
Day 16      20/12/2010                                                 Sumbawanga----Mpanda                             285 KM
The next morning we filled up first thing, it was now 556 Km since we saw a proper fuel pump. We used 1 full tank (15 litre) and twice 5 litres from the can to do to the 556 K’s. Sometimes you would stop at a petrol pump and they would just start to pump fuel when the power goes off. They normally can't tell you how long it will take before the power will come on again. Some petrol pumps have backup generators and others not. At one garage in Tanzania there were 3 Honda generators stacked on top of each other in a store room, all ceased up as they were run without oil. So here we were lucky as we filled both bikes and our red 10 litre can. Whenever we filled from the can or at a dodgy petrol pump we used a female stocking (sykous) over the nozzle to keep the dirt out.  Our plan for the day was to travel through the Katavi National Park to as far as possible towards the Mahale Mountains National park. About 50 Km out of Sumbawanga we saw a tremendous rain storm ahead (see photo below), it was passing from right to left at quite a speed. As it is raining season now we saw many more tropical storms and rode through most of them on our trip. We waited about 10 minutes and then proceeded. It was not long before we hid the rain and we just rode right through the storm. As we could see the Katavi National Park in a distance we stopped in the road to make breakfast (see photos). The soil was very wet but fortunately it was sandy soil on a little mountain pass with a very nice view. After Juan's instant breakfast and Rooibos tee we carried on toward the Park. At the entrance to the park there were no one and we just rode in. After about an hour into the park we started to look for the camp site that we saw on our paper map. We eventually found it about 2 KM off our muddy road. The road from the main dirt road to the camp was a very fine sandy road and Jaun and I came short a couple of times. At the camp we came across two guards with AK 47s. I don't know what they are guarding as the camp basically had nothing. No running water no shop just an empty building. They quoted us in US $. Wherever we went to a tourist place and were quoted in US $ it was always a rip off price. The same here 100 US $ (R800) for camping in our own tents (even the Kruger Park charge only R 180/day). We turned them down as I will rather sleep in the bush at that price. They then wanted to know if we had paid at the entrance and we said no. We apparently came in at the exit. The entrance fee was also some ridiculous amount and we told them that somebody should have stopped us at least at the exit and that we should at least have the opportunity to say yes or no to the asking price. He then got onto the radio and spoke to his superior on the radio. After his conversation on the radio he said it is OK we can go. After another light fall we were back on the main dirt road through the Park and saw some game (see photos below). The bush here looked really nice. Just out of the park we saw a camping sign and we went in to a site next to the river, it looked pretty here. The owner came and showed us a camp site and bathroom. Again no running water but that is still OK. What was not OK was the fact that there were hippos about 10 metre away in the river. Imagine sleeping in a 2 man tent and the hippo came out to graze at night. I am not a scared type of person but I have heard of to many stories about Hippo's so we turned his offer down. So we proceeded towards Mpanda 34 KM away. At Mpanda as we stopped we ask somebody about accommodation. He was on a bicycle and took us quite a few Kilometres to go and show us where the guest house was (the people of Africa are amazing). At the guest house the price was reasonable and we booked in. Here Africa honoured its reputation again. The beer was warm and the water was cold, I even had to open the tap with my Chinese Leatherman as there was no handles on the taps and there was a bucked to trap the leaking water from the tap. I had a warm beer while Juan and I made food on the stoep. The watchman who was guarding our bikes for the night still had a bow and arrow as a defence weapon. We also saw this later on at the coast on the Indian Ocean in Tanzania. He did a good job as all our belongings were still there the next morning on the bikes. Little did we know what was waiting for us the next day.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:06:36 am
Filling up at a petrol pump for the first time in 556 KM.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:09:09 am
The rain storm that we rode through.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:11:40 am
Breafast on the road.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:13:51 am
Breakfast time.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:16:17 am
Some game in the Katavi National Park.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:19:26 am
Some game in the Katavi National Park.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:23:04 am
The Hippo's that they wanted us to camp at only 10 metres away.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 12:25:47 am
Our host at the guest house with the warm beer and cold shower.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Bushcat on February 26, 2012, 10:11:59 pm
Hi Schalk, i am really enjoying your ride report, keep it coming.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 26, 2012, 10:17:20 pm
Hi Schalk, i am really enjoying your ride report, keep it coming.
Hi Bushcat thanks for the feedback, I will keep it going for guys like you, regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: WBro on February 26, 2012, 10:39:48 pm
Absolutely awesome ride report and photos.

On my bucket list.

Well done guys!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 01:32:19 pm
Absolutely awesome ride report and photos.

On my bucket list.

Well done guys!
Hi WBro thanks the for the compliment that is what keeps me writing every day regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:13:13 pm
Day 17        21/12/2012                 Mpanda----Karema                            166 KM
The next morning we headed north. We were riding for an hour or so on a fairly good road at about 100 Kmh in 4th gear as the thumper only likes 5th gear after 115 Kmh. All of a sudden I saw a fairly deep hole in the road that was formed the previous night due to the rain, there were no time to avoid the hole and I just managed to come on to the foot pegs. I still thought that I have ridden through worse holes than that before but my speed was too high. The whole bike became airborne and I landed about 8 metres further with the back wheel first but sideways as the bike was heavier on the one side because of tools in my right hand Oxford bag. (See Photos).I fell very hard with the bike falling on top of me and my helmet hitting the ground and in the middle of all this I saw my top box role past me that has just broken off from the bracket on the bike. Juan had slightly more time and managed to slow down a bit but also went through the same hole and then had to put his bike down side ways in order not to ride over me. (See skid marks of both bikes on the photo). My upper right leg was very sore where I hid the handle bar and I had slight concussion from hitting my helmet on the ground as I felt a bit bilious for a while. Then we had to access the damage. The front forks on my bike was twisted, the water pipe at the water pump were torn off. The right hand cover was broken to pieces, the rear brake pedal was bent, the Oxford bags with their life long warranty were torn. The front brake protector was twisted. We then started to repair the bike. The water pipe we shorten and stretched and put a new clamp on. The right hand cover we stitched together with cable ties from the pieces that was left over and put it back upside down as it fitted better due to some pieces being missing, I thought a cover there is important for the air flow through the radiator. The rear brake pedal we bend back to its original position with a shifting spanner. (Always carry one for this purpose under my seat). The front brake protector we put back into it position with Allen keys. The front forks we twisted strait against a tree. The Oxford bag we stitched together with cable ties. The top box from there on I had to tie down with bungee cords. The broken ego we could not fix and just had to except it as (skool geld). All this delayed us a while. We then got going again, hardly 10 Km further we saw a crowd of people. A dead person was lying on the ground and was covered with a cloth. What happened here was that he or she came with a bicycle from the side at a blind spot to cross the road and was hit by a small bike at high speed. The person on the bicycle was killed instantly and the guy on the bike was taken somewhere to a doctor (see photos). On our whole trip I never saw a hospital or a sign that said hospital. I could not help to think that maybe this accident was meant for us as it must have happened at about the time that we would have past there had I not come short. All of a sudden I felt better about our falling off. It happened many times during our trip that somebody would come out of a village like that in front of us and we always managed to take evasive action. As there are very little traffic in these areas the locals cross without looking. I have also learned not to hood when we approached a bicycle from behind as they normally just swerve in front of you. Goats are normally well trained and just carry on eating even if you pass them nearby. Pigs and cattle and guinea fowl are the worst. A pig will just run across with all her litter following her. A cow will wait till you are nearby and the just turn in front of you at the last minute. A guinea fowl will wait until you are close and jump up and fly in front of you at the last second.
From here we carried on for another 2 Km and stopped again to look at the map as the GPS was not helping.  We then realized that we were on the wrong road and we turned back, went pass the accident scene again until we found another young guy also on a small motor bike. He seemed to know the area and gave us directions to the Mahale Mountains National Park where the Chimpanzees are. The park should not be more than 200 Km away. We took his directions and ended up on a road with no turn offs. We travelled over a 100 Km. and ended up at a place called Karema which is not even on our map at Lake Tanganyika. They grow rice here and this place is really remote. About 300 people crowded us and even the village chief came to see us. We ask him if we could camp on the beach and he gave us permission. Juan then said that another guy just told him that there is a nice hotel nearby. We decided that he would go and look. I was tired and sore and sat down for a while. As the crowd was big I could not see Juan’s bike all the time. When Juan came back he said that the “hotel” was a reed building that they wanted R500 per night. Juan then checked his water proof bag and found that his R 8800-00 Canon camera with a photo lens was gone. You have to know how to open the bag and one guy saw Juan open the bag before he went to look at the “hotel.” I warned Juan before the trip not to take an expensive camera along but rather just a mik and druk like I had. Juan brought 3 cameras along, the Canon, a mik and druk and a movie camera, none of the 3 cameras survived the trip but that I will tell about a little later on during the trip. After we discovered that the camera was gone I was cross. I then told Juan that we should just ride a couple of K’s out of the village and camp in the bush. Just as we pulled off Juan’s clutch cable broke. Now the closes place that would stock a clutch cable for a Yamaha XT 660 R is 4934 Km away in Johannesburg. As it was now sunset I told Juan that we should just set up camp on the beach and make a plan the next morning as we both were tired. For the day we had a serious fall, my leg was sore, seen a dead person, were on the wrong road miles away from where we are supposed to be, lost a camera, have a broken clutch cable and have to set up camp with fast fading light with a crowd of people around us and one of them is a thief. We made food ate and went to bed. Long after we went to bed the paparazzi kids was still around our tents falling in the dark over the tent lines. It did not take much to fall asleep.      
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:16:44 pm
Look at my touch down point about 8 metres from the hole on the left and Juan's skid marks to the right.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:19:05 pm
A picture tells a 1000 stories.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:22:21 pm
Ditto. A picture tells a thousand stories.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:25:47 pm
After we fixed the bike, Juan sitting on my bike to show how deep the hole is
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:29:15 pm
After we fell off even the chickens came to give us their condolences.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:34:23 pm
The riders bike who has gone to the doctor, the dead person under the cloth and the mangled bicycle to the right. Sorry about these photos but they are the reality of what happens in Africa.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:37:50 pm
Again sorry about these photos but that was part of our trip. The dead person in front and the bend bicycle on the left.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:42:26 pm
The road that we thought would lead to the Mahale Mountains National Park but took us to Karema on Lake Tanganyika.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 27, 2012, 10:46:36 pm
Have you ever seen such a clean bike and look at the sexy small upside down cover behind the radiator tied down with cable ties.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 28, 2012, 01:16:25 pm
Day 18                22/12/2010                   Karema ---Mpanda               136 Km.      
The next morning when we got up the paparazzi kids were there already. There was one interpreter again among them. It came in handy. Juan and I now had to sort out the clutch cable problem. We first tried to convert the clutch to a foot clutch whereby we tied a stick to the lever where it comes out of the engine with cable ties but that was a problem as you have to have your feed on the ground when you pull off and the contraption was a bit floppy. We then checked the cable out, it broke right where it came out at the clutch lever. I found that if we adjust the nuts at the bottom part of the cable then it gives a little more slack. We then stuck it around the end of the lever where it is half split. Now we only need a piece of bale wire but in the whole of Africa north of the South African border there are no fences. Even here in Tanzania the Game Parks are not fenced in just open. I asked our interpreter if he knows of somebody in the village that would have a piece of wire. He said that there is a guy on the other side of the village that might be able to help and he gave me directions of how to get there. I jumped on my bike and rode there. As I got there the guy was still half a sleep as it was still early and he took some time to open the door. He looked like an Indian guy. He had a whole lot of old machines standing around that you could see would not start up in the near future. I explained our problem to him and he brought me an old piece of wire about 300 mm long. Just what we needed and the guy would not take any money. He offered to come and help solve the problem but I said we will be OK (fantastic entrepreneurs here in Tanzania). I went back and we tied the cable to the clutch lever with my Chinese copy of a Leatherman pliers. It worked perfect and just then our Indian entrepreneur also arrived with a pliers and some screw drivers but the job was done. We loaded the bikes, said goodbye to the paparazzi kids and left traveling on the same road that we came on. The trip back went without any incidence and we booked into the same guest house in Mpanda with the guard with the bow and arrow (see photo) and where you have to open the cold water shower tap with your Chinese Leatherman. We ordered a beer which obvious was warm and sat down as we had to re plan now as we are now way behind schedule of averaging 350 Km per day. This also meant no rest days for the foreseeable future. The last rest day was on day 10 and it is now day 18 and we only had 2 days rest so far for the whole trip. We then decided to cut out The Mahale Mountains National Park with the Chimpanzees and Uganda with the Gorillas. We decided maybe on the next trip we will do that together with the DRC and some other countries. Also the Gorillas will cost R 4000-00 to see. Instead we will pass Lake Victoria on the east side now instead of on the west side and also go past the Serengeti. We have now travelled 1349 Km on dirt roads  and when we looked on the map to see where the closes tar is, it was still 515 Km away. I think the only mistake we made with the planning was not to bring a set of nobblies along each. With the new route now worked out we decided to go for dinner around the corner and try the local cuisine at an African restaurant. Juan had a cold drink and I had to get a beer from across the road. I am actually not a beer drinker at home and normally rather drink wine with my food when we go out but here up north there are no wine. After dinner we sat chatting on the stoep with our night watchman and we tried to see who could have the most accurate shot with his bow and arrow.      
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 28, 2012, 01:19:07 pm
Our night watch man.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: wildside on February 28, 2012, 04:05:32 pm
What a great RR. You are very lucky to share that with your son.
With regards to the high camping prices in Katavi National Park, the more people that refuse their crazy prices the sooner they will learn to offer some value for money.
We also turned them down, as well as the accomodation at the hippo pools and went on to Mpande to a lovely little guest house.

Have so enjoyed following this route and look forward to more. Well done
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 28, 2012, 04:24:28 pm
What a great RR. You are very lucky to share that with your son.
With regards to the high camping prices in Katavi National Park, the more people that refuse their crazy prices the sooner they will learn to offer some value for money.
We also turned them down, as well as the accomodation at the hippo pools and went on to Mpande to a lovely little guest house.

Have so enjoyed following this route and look forward to more. Well done
Hi wild side yes it was a privilege to to it with my son. Have you done a RR on your trip as I would like to read it as well ? regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: eikeboom on February 28, 2012, 09:41:42 pm
Dankie Schalk dís nou 'n lekker stuk om te lees!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 29, 2012, 07:36:52 am
Dankie Schalk dís nou 'n lekker stuk om te lees!
Ek is bly jy geniet dit groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 29, 2012, 08:18:32 am
Oom Schalk, ons wag virri res!
Ek weet nie of julle nog by hou nie maar dit gaan begin intresant raak waneer ons in Kenya aankom groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: wildside on February 29, 2012, 09:36:27 am
What a great RR. You are very lucky to share that with your son.
With regards to the high camping prices in Katavi National Park, the more people that refuse their crazy prices the sooner they will learn to offer some value for money.
We also turned them down, as well as the accomodation at the hippo pools and went on to Mpande to a lovely little guest house.

Have so enjoyed following this route and look forward to more. Well done
Hi wild side yes it was a privilege to to it with my son. Have you done a RR on your trip as I would like to read it as well ? regards Schalk.

Hi again Schalk.
 Our RR is called RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
Such a pity that you didn't get to see the chimps. A good excuse to go back again ;)
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 29, 2012, 01:16:28 pm
What a great RR. You are very lucky to share that with your son.
With regards to the high camping prices in Katavi National Park, the more people that refuse their crazy prices the sooner they will learn to offer some value for money.
We also turned them down, as well as the accomodation at the hippo pools and went on to Mpande to a lovely little guest house.

Have so enjoyed following this route and look forward to more. Well done
Hi wild side yes it was a privilege to do it with my son. Have you done a RR on your trip as I would like to read it as well ? regards Schalk.

Hi again Schalk.
 Our RR is called RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
Such a pity that you didn't get to see the chimps. A good excuse to go back again ;)
Hi Wildside I am going to read your RR tonight Will commend on your RR with thanks Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 29, 2012, 04:09:57 pm
Day 19              23/12/2010                 Mpanda---Tabora                             385 KM
The next morning early we left. The map only showed dotted lines as a road towards Tabora. We wanted to go through the Ugalla River Game Reserve. As the GPS did not show these dotted line roads at least it showed the game reserve. So we had to use the GPS and the map together. We were traveling east and had to look on the GPS when we were lined up with the Game reserve in order to know when to turn left. The two worked well together and we eventually found the road where we had to turn left and north towards Tabora. The road through the Ugalla River Game Reserve was only about 50 KM long. As I am a bird watcher (of the feathered kind and Juan of the other kind) I noticed that although the bush before the game reserve were the same as inside the reserve there are no birds in the bush before the reserve. Inside the reserve again there were birds. The only explanation is that maybe they get hunted on the outside of the reserve. On the outside of the reserve it was very unpopulated and we travelled long distances without going through villages. Later on we came to a road under construction and got stop by the Tanzanian road Engineer only to find that he is stopping us to offer us some fried goat meat. I was still having visions of flies sitting on the meat and fish where ever we came and said no thank you. I could see the disappointment on his face and then changed my mind and had a piece. It was unbelievably nice and had another 2 pieces as we were quite hungry. The Engineer actually bought it for his grader driver. It just shows you again the hospitality of Africa. From here we had to ride in thick soil levelled out by the grader. Close to Tabora we hid some rain. We soon reached Tabora after 385 KM for the day. This was a bit better than the previous couple of days.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 29, 2012, 04:17:43 pm
As it was starting to rain we stopped under a tree to put our rain suits on. As we were traveling on dirt roads we used the same jeans for 5 days at a time as it would just take about 10 km before they get dirty and full of mud. Juan's jackets almost looked worse than his jeans.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:32:46 pm
Day 20         24/12/2010    Tabora-----Mwanza next to Lake Victoria
The next morning we left early, hopefully we will get back on tar today for the first time in 7 day, not that I mind the dirt roads after all that is why you come on a trip like this but the falling off was a bit to frequent due to the wrong tyres. At about 10.30 we got to a broken down bus in the road. The mechanic was busy to repair or change the diff there in the middle of the road. It looked like he was busy on this job for more than a day. Here in Africa a vehicle don't get towed in to a repair place no it gets fixed there next to the road in the rain while the passengers just have to wait. (See photos) Next to this bus was another bus stuck in the mud also right down to the axel. It was raining softly and the passengers of both buses were happily chatting to us wanting to know where we are from and where we are going to. Whenever we got crowded the conversation normally went something like this. “Where are you from?” “Johannesburg in South Africa” “on this picky picky?” “yes” “ How long did it take you to come to here ?” “20 days” “ O we are so sorry for your long trip”. We heard that phrase more than ones. The people were really friendly and really interested in what we were doing as you don't see any white people around here. The last time that we saw white people was a week ago and we have by now travelled over 1700 km since then. We managed to squeeze past the one bus and about 10 KM from there a truck which came from the front push me off the road. I was going to warn him about the problem ahead but seeing that he was so rude I just let it be, knowing that he is going to sit there with his horse and trailer for more than a day or so as it is impossible to turn a rig like that around at the 2 buses. After 1864 KM of dirt road we came to a tar road. Juan and I kissed the tar road (see photos). From here it was plain sailing and we booked into a Hotel as we entered Mwanza next to Lake Victoria the 4th big lake of our trip. Here they were really helpful as they washed all our luggage bags and the bikes and they made some lovely dinner as it was Christmas eve the 24/12/2010. We paid average R350/ night for hotel accommodation for 2 people where we stayed in hotels but they were not 5 star but rather cold shower jobs where you sometimes had to open the taps with a plier like told before. 
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:35:29 pm
The bus gets repaired there next to the road while the passengers wait.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:40:44 pm
The bus on the left is the one with the broken diff and the one on the right is the one that is stuck in the mud down to its axel while all the passengers wait patiently.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:42:57 pm
The picture tells the story.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:46:13 pm
Time for a Coke brake. Coca Cola cost half the price in Africa.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:50:04 pm
A good road to test your riding skills.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:52:59 pm
Very close to the first tar after 1864 km.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:54:59 pm
Very close to the first tar after 1864 km and which way now ?
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 08:58:10 pm
After 1864 km of dirt road and many falls we kissed the first tar road.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 09:01:08 pm
After 1864 km of dirt road it shows.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 09:05:04 pm
All over where we stopped they wanted to swop their Chinese picky picky's for our Yamaha's. Here Juan took one for a test drive.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 09:08:22 pm
They really do them up nicely with little tussles on the tank and seat with mags nogal.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 09:11:36 pm
Age before beauty.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 09:13:49 pm
A balancing rock on the way to Mwanza.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 09:15:50 pm
All our gear and bikes got washed by the hotel staff.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 09:19:10 pm
24/12/2010 Christmas eve dinner. The fish from Lake Victoria, head and tail complete.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2012, 10:29:17 pm
I will report on Lake Victoria tomorrow.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:10:46 pm
Day 21      25/12/2010        Mwanza—Speke Bay on Lake Victoria in Tanzania.
The next morning it was Christmas day, no rest for us as we were still behind schedule although we made good distance the previous day. After breakfast we were off as our plan was to try and get into the Serengeti National Park. The ride was scenic. On the way we came across 2 guys on a picky picky with a goat on the bike that they were going to slaughter for Christmas (see photo).  The Serengeti is a world heritage site and world renowned. As I expected a big entrance with a thatch roof or some special feature we completely past the entrance and ended up at a truck weight bridge. Here were some traffic officers on duty and as it was Christmas they thought the apes must also celebrate as they fed a young ape some beer until he was intoxicated (see photos). After we got some directions we turned back and found the entrance. Here we tried to negotiate to go into the Park with the bikes but they would have non off that. We even offered to sign an indemnity form but they would not have that. As we travelled through quite a few National Parks so far on our trip, it was not such a way out idea. There were some guys there with some old cars that were prepared to rent them out and yes guess what, the price again was quoted in US $ and rip off prices again. I thought that we will definitely have to come back one day maybe with a 4X4 with 2 bikes on the back to see all these places. As it was late we were looking for accommodation. Before we left on the 5th Dec I told Juan I don’t mind camping and will camp every day except old Christmas Eve and New Year Eve, then I would like to sleep in a proper bed.  So we got directions to a tented camp called Speke Bay on Lake Victoria about 10 km away. Arriving there at reception was a friendly young lady with an American accent. This was the first white person that we saw since Mbeya on day 13 eight day previously. As they cater for mainly overseas tourist she also quoted us in US $. Seeing that she was an American girl it is only fair to quote me in US $ I suppose. I explained to her that we are not rich overseas tourist that have lots of US $ or Euros and are on an extended motorcycle trip. After some more small talk and the best charm that Juan and I could produce she decided to charge us the local rate which was about half the original asking price. This place was 5 Star in comparison to the accommodation that we had so far over the last 3 weeks. Our accommodation was a nice big tent with 2 beds inside and some mosquito nets and some nice individual showers with hot water produced by a donkey heater. They also had a nice timber deck with a view over Lake Victoria where we saw a Fish Eagle with a baby in the nest in a tree above us(see photos). As we never had lunch and it was Christmas they made us a very nice dinner that night. They even had a wine list and I had my fist bit of wine in 3 weeks. The owner of the place was a Dutch guy and the American girl was his girlfriend. She told us that her boyfriend  was also a motor cycle enthusiast and that he will come and chat to us a bit later but he never came as I think he was a bit jealous as we chatted his girlfriend up a bit and Juan is not a too bad looking guy from a women’s perspective. After dinner we chatted to a Tanzanian road Engineer and his wife who was also staying over and were on their way to the Serengeti. Like the Engineer that stopped us next to the road this guy was also a tall intelligent and polite guy. After the chat and a drink on the deck we were off to bed little knowing that the next day would be the toughest riding day of the trip so far.   
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:16:29 pm
Two guys on a picky picky with a goat that complained profusely as he knew he was going to be Christmas lunch in an hour or so. The more north we went into Africa the more people or goods they loaded on a bike
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:21:20 pm
A Christmas drink administered by the weight bridge traffic cop. The little ape was eventually intoxicated.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:23:49 pm
The big male was not too happy to what they were doing to his son.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:26:31 pm
So they showed them what they thought about them.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:30:45 pm
The entrance to the world renown Serengeti National Park which is also a World Heritage Site. A very plain entrance.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:32:59 pm
The pub at Speke Bay on Lake Victoria.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:35:16 pm
The waiter opening our Christmas wine, the first in 3 weeks.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:37:07 pm
The tented camp.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:39:14 pm
Breakfast time the next morning at 7 am.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:41:47 pm
The fish Eagle nest with a baby inside just above the timber deck.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:44:56 pm
The fish Eagle sitting and looking for some food for the baby in the nest. The sound of the fish Eagle is one of the nicest bird sounds.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 03, 2012, 01:48:20 pm
Our washing that we washed the previous evening. As it was still wet we would tie it on the back of the bikes and it would dry with in an hour.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: TVB on March 03, 2012, 03:03:01 pm
Pragtig...skryf nog asb!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:10:54 pm
Pragtig...skryf nog asb!  :thumleft:
Hier kom hy nou net vir jou- Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:25:06 pm
Day 22       26/12/2010    Speke Bay----Masai Mara Game Reserve   259 Km   
Before we leave Speke Bay just a couple of statistics, Lake Victoria is the 2nd largest fresh water Lake by area in the world and was named after Queen Victoria of the UK by John Hanning Speke the first European to discover this Lake in 1858 hence the name Speke Bay.
We had a 7 am breakfast as we wanted to still cross the border into Kenya and also try to make it to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. After breakfast we were off with washing flapping behind the bikes which we tied to the bungee cords. We did some washing the previous day and it was not dry yet. The method worked well and whenever it dried out we replace it again with wet laundry. The road was nice and we made good time to the Isabania border post. If I remember right we did not need a Visa and only bought a 3rd Party insurance. We asked the lady at the border post if she knew the road to the Masai Mara Park. She said there is a short cut close to the border and that we must turn right as soon as we are trough the border and take the dirt road. After processing all the formalities we were through in no time and first stopped at the ATM to get some Kenyan currency. The guard at the ATM with an automatic rifle was very concerned about our safety and kept the local people from crowding us and warned us to find a place to sleep before dark and not to sleep next to the road. On the whole trip so far we never felt threatened and always felt safer than in RSA so we were surprised. The guard also knew about the short cut and gave us directions. It was about 4 PM now and it looked like we only had to cover about 100 Km or so of dirt road to the entrance of the Park so we should be there by sunset. First we started to ride through villages one after the other and eventually it was just bush next to the road. The road became wetter and wetter and we started to go through some bad patches. Eventually we came to a cross road. There were two Toyota 4x4 vehicles with Israeli tourist. They came from the direction that we wanted to go in and they told us in broken English, “road very bad very bad”. They got stuck at one point for 4 hour in the clay with the two 4X4’s with diff locks and all. They said to us “but you guys will be okay as you have good motor bikes”. Only afterwards did I realised that they must have been sarcastic. With them was a Masai Mara man. He was their guide through the Masai Mara reserve for the duration of their stay there and brought them to this point so they can travel from here by them self. He asked us if we wanted him to guide us to the Masai Mara as he has to go back there now. We thought it will cost us a lot of money again and turned him down. He rented a picky picky from there (a taxi motor bike) as the Israelis gave him a handsome tip. We started to ride in the clay not mud. It did not take long before the mud would build up and the front wheel would lock, I just had it up speed in 2nd gear when I fell. It was a hard fall and my right hand Oxford bag tore open and all the contents was laying all over the show. Guess who was there to help me, the Masai Mara man and his picky picky driver. They were in the same situation but much better off. When the going gets tough the Masai Mara man would just get off and push the picky picky. As they had no luggage their bike only weighted about 100 KG where the wet weight of our bikes were 181KG + 40 KG luggage each=221 KG. We eventually tried to walk next to the bikes while it was in gear but soon the clay would clog up under the front fender. You then first had to take a stick and work the clay out. My saddle bag I just tied up with bungee cord to keep it together and the contents inside. There was a bit of water at one place and Juan fell in the water with his luggage bags submersed partly, his movie camera was on that side and also got submersed. As we took too long to pick up the bike it was goodbye to that camera too as electronics and water don't go together. This was camera 2 that we said goodbye to.  As it was getting dark now and the ATM Guy's words still ringing in my ears that we should get to a place to stay before dark we now had a sense of urgency and we tried to ride again but would just come short again. The Masai Mara man was there again to help us. It would rain softly sometimes and as I had my rain suite on I was sweating as the fan on the bike would also now stay on due to the slow pace and just blow the hot air over myself. Eventually we decided to move one bike at a time. So Juan, myself and the Masai Mara man who by now was firmly part of the team and the picky picky driver would take one bike put it in gear and all 4 of us would push it while I would also work the throttle.  We would progress about 300 meter put it down on its side as it would not stand on the side stand due to the clay and go back for the next bike. It was pitch dark by now and Juan and I putt our little LED head laps on to see where we were walking every time we went to fetch the next bike. All this was extremely tiring. We then thought maybe we should ride next to the road but that was also not as easy as the road was in a 3 metre deep trench. We would then progress to a place where we thought we could get the bikes to the top but just as we almost had the bike out it would slide down the embankment to the bottom. We left the border at 4 pm and it was about 10 pm now and we have only progressed about 50 Km now in 6 hours. Eventually we managed to get the bikes out and were now riding through the bush. Initially we still slipped and slide as the soil was clay and very slippery and a couple of times the bikes had slipped out from under us. The Masai Mara man was an unbelievable guide as he knew the bush. I had the GPS in my tank bag and I could see that we have now entered the Masai Mara Game reserve. All these game reserves don't have fences and our guide by now said he would take us to an “African guest house”. As we progressed we started to ride through a morass where the water was about 300mm deep (30 cm). I think the morass was formed due to the heavy rain this time of the year and also due to clay soil and the water could not be socked in any more. You guys will think I have fallen off to many times on my head that night because what I am going to tell you now but out of the dark came two giraffe's a mother and her young one. They joint us and were running very close to my bike just to the right. The water that we rode through was crystal clear and I could see the foot paths under the water where the animals of the Masai Mara normally walk. There were many paths under the water and when it came to a bush it would go around and become strait again up to the next bush. We were riding at a constant speed in 2nd gear with the water splashing from the wheels and from the hoofs of the 2 giraffe's while our head lights would light up the area ahead of us in the dark. The giraffe is one of my favourite animals and I have a more than 2 metre carved out wood one in my house at home. It felled as if I were in a giant cathedral in a musical with the music in absolute harmony and the giraffe singing (a giraffe can't make a sound by nature). By now I have forgotten all about our fatigue and every sore muscle in my body and the words went something like this.
I have been waiting for you for so many years now,
To come and see the Masai Mara and us,
You stayed away but now you are here
So now I want to show you how we live and welcome and welcome once again.
The giraffe just continued there so close to my bike and I think this was the highlight of the trip for me and maybe even of my life, it was just an unbelievable few minutes that I will treasure for the rest of my live. The two giraffes eventually veered off to the right. Normally giraffes are very shy animals and would disappear quickly if you come to close but these two joint us purposely. I spent 2 years and 2 months of my life in a game reserve doing a contract there. We soon were out of this massive morass and arrived at our “guest house” at 11.30 pm that night. It took us 7 and a half hour to do 100 km from the border in Kenya. At the guest house I rented a room for the Masai Mara man and his picky picky driver and one room for Juan and myself. It was now 16,5 hours since we last had something to eat and Juan pulled some instant food out of his bag like a magician. I gave our guide a packet of rice and offered our little gas stove to him so he can cook it but he chose to go to bed instead and I only learned later why he did not eat and I will report on that next time. The guest house owner had some warm bear in true African tradition and it went down so well with Juan's food. After dinner and it was now 1 am by the time we went to bed little knowing that we were going to have a similar difficult day in Mozambique later on during the trip. I used my own sleeping bag that night on top of the bed and my own feather cushion which I brought along. I was lying in bed and I could hear the Masai Mara guide in deep sleep in the room next door trough the cow dung wall, Juan was by now also in a deep sleep due to the exhaustion of the day/night. The door was in line with my bed and there were a wide crack in the door. While I was relaxing every sore muscle in my body and then right in the centre of the crack in the door I could see the full moon rising in the east and I soon exchanged my giraffe dream and fatigue of the evening with a real dream.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:28:36 pm
Nice road from Speke Bay.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:30:30 pm
Filling up two very clean bikes.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:33:04 pm
Crossing a bridge in northen Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:36:00 pm
Some rain clouds building up.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:38:28 pm
Some nice winding roads for a bike in northen Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:40:15 pm
Beautiful Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:42:53 pm
Beautiful northen Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:46:56 pm
The nice part of the road, the road later became like the section on the right hand side and i could not take photo's any more as we fell off to many times.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 05, 2012, 06:49:50 pm
Our African guest house with cow dung walls where we had a well deserved rest for the night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: ChinaPete on March 05, 2012, 07:18:43 pm
This is a really enjoyable report and the pictures make me want to pack and leave, NOW.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 09:30:34 am
This is a really enjoyable report and the pictures make me want to pack and leave, NOW.
Thanks mate-Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: cloudgazer on March 06, 2012, 12:16:34 pm
This is a really enjoyable report and the pictures make me want to pack and leave, NOW.

Yup, me too.
 ;D

Except for all the mud you guys encountered.
I wouldn't be happy with that.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Biesie on March 06, 2012, 01:13:05 pm
I think I'm ready for early retirement.

Wat 'n toer  :thumleft: :thumleft: Dis mos waaroor die lewe gaan.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 01:57:30 pm
I think I'm ready for early retirement.

Wat 'n toer  :thumleft: :thumleft: Dis mos waaroor die lewe gaan.
Daar kom nog, nou eers net oor halfpad. Dankie dat jy dit lees. Groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 01:58:45 pm
This is a really enjoyable report and the pictures make me want to pack and leave, NOW.

Yup, me too.
 ;D

Except for all the mud you guys encountered.
I wouldn't be happy with that.
Thanks Mate-Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Kerritz on March 06, 2012, 03:31:06 pm
Man dit is nou 'n lekker trip die!! Gooi nog!

Julle kan gelukkig wees met daai crash in die gat.....ek dink as mens daar doer ver iets breek het jy groot stront op jou hande.

Sal graag wil sien as dit alles klaar is wat julle totale koste was ensovoorts.

Ek wag angstig vir die res.

 :happy1:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 05:11:05 pm
Man dit is nou 'n lekker trip die!! Gooi nog!

Julle kan gelukkig wees met daai crash in die gat.....ek dink as mens daar doer ver iets breek het jy groot stront op jou hande.

Sal graag wil sien as dit alles klaar is wat julle totale koste was ensovoorts.

Ek wag angstig vir die res.

 :happy1:
Ons het altyd 'n plan gemaak-groete Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 05:28:10 pm
Day 23            27/12/2010           Masai Mara Game Reserve--Narok  
The next morning we were up early, as there were no washing facilities we decided to go. The Masai man and his picky picky driver were going to guide us to the main gravel road coming from the Masai Mara game reserve. The road was much better than what we experienced the previous night. At the goodbye point we gave our guide a R600-00 tip, this was the biggest tip of the whole trip but I think he was really worth it. He said his nick name at the Game reserve was “the lion” and I think he was a real lion. Even though the Masai have very skinny arms he was very strong the previous night. The reason why they are so skinny is because they live with their cattle for long periods of time and only drink milk. That is also the reason why he did not cook the rice I gave him the previous night. We said our good byes and I promised him that we are going to look him up as we return to the Park in future. We travelled about 20 km from there and came across a game drive vehicle that just picked up some new tourist. They indicated that we must stop. Out jumped an Italian tourist with his camera and telephoto lens, this now was the real paparazzi as he took one photo after the other of us. Being Italian he was impressed to find somebody with a Valentino Rossi helmet on. He was also a motor cycle enthusiast and had 12 bikes back home in his garage. I told him that Yamaha xt 660 is made under licence in Italy and he was even more impressed. I suppose when he goes home he’s going to buy bike no 13 a 660 Yammy. From here we hit a very rocky road and I put a few smiles on my front rim. I got stuck in the mud again a little later and had to push the bike out with great difficulty. As we entered Narok I ran out of petrol. We could see the petrol pump about a km down the road. Shall we tow the bike or shall we fill from the 20 L can? The red petrol can won in the end. After that we booked into a cheap hotel (R 350) with the idea to wash off the “African guest house” a bit. For that we were going to need a hot and cold shower tap to work. The manager walked us to our room himself. As we opened the door we tried the shower first. In true African tradition only a bit of cold water came out of the cold water tap and non out the hot tap. The manager went down to reception and fetched keys for two more rooms. The next one was about the same and only in the 3rd room did we find a shower that worked. We both had a beautiful hot shower followed by a nice dinner.        
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 05:32:24 pm
The Masai Mara guide called "The Lion" with the picky picky driver on the right with a very clean picky picky that they washed early in the morning.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 05:34:36 pm
The Zebra of the Masai Mara
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 05:38:06 pm
Look at the clay on Juan's bike from the previous night's falls. Check at the handle bar and his panier's.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 06, 2012, 05:40:07 pm
My bike stuck in the mud.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:38:17 pm
Day 24                28/12/2010   Narok------Nairobi in Kenia
The next day we left early as we still wanted to find accommodation in Nairobi and see if we can find a Yamaha dealer as Juan's bike is still running with the same clutch cable which was tied down with a piece of wire in Karema on Lake Tanganyika many moons ago. We did buy a look alike cable from a Chinese bike shop on the way but it was much thinner and had no adjustment on, so we were not sure if it would work if need be. We rode right through save for stopping at a lookout point to look at the Rift valley. Entering Nairobi from the west was quite an experience, along the road was some nurseries and instead of having them in an enclosed area the beautiful flowering plants was stacked next to the road for a couple kilometres. We set the tracks 4 Africa to look for accommodation and it picked up an Italian guest house. The area must be a rather upper class area as all the different embassies were in this area. We arrived at the gate but there were no sign to indicate that this was indeed a guest house. We asked the security guard at the gate next door and he said yes that was the correct place and we rang the bell. A young Italian lady came out. We asked her the rate for accommodation but it turned out a bit stiff for a bikers budged. We then negotiated a more reasonable rate and it turned out great value for money. The owner of the establishment was a lady in her 90’s and her daughter was also there from Italy and the lady who opened the gate was from Tanzania and she had her baby there as well. So it was 4 generations present from different parts of the world together for Christmas to New Year. We just off loaded the bikes and got directions from our host to the Yamaha dealer in town. Here we hit the real Nairobi traffic and I got a wake up call and a culture shock and a real African driving lesson all in one. Here we saw minibus taxi's like in Johannesburg for the first time on our trip. As all traffic approach a red robot they just cross it and if you dare stop they hoot at you and nearly ride over you. At a circle it is free for all. I eventually kept extreme left at the many circles and always ensured that there are a car to the right of me to take the impact if need be. The mini bus taxi drivers in Jhb seemed to be angels with white wings all of a sudden. We made it alive to the Yamaha dealer in the City Centre and the workshop manager was extremely helpful. Although they don't keep any spares for our bike they allowed me to service my own bike in the back yard. Fortunately I brought everything along from JHB. 4 Litre Yamaha Lube, air filter, oil filter and a spark plug. Juan in turn did not service his bike. As they shared the wash bay with Toyota next door they washed our bikes with soap and a high pressure machine free of charge. The show room and workshop was on par with any Yamaha dealer I have seen in JHB quite a contrast to their traffic. They only stock 125cc and 200cc Yamaha's and spares, the one is made under licence in India and the other one in China. They sell 500 of these a month and I don't think there is a dealer in the RSA that sells so many bikes a month. Even a spaza shop on the way to the Equator was selling 5 a month and I wondered why our local population don't buy these time saving light on fuel bikes. Do they know something that our local population don't know? After servicing my bike we went next door to a spares shop much like Midas in RSA but much bigger as it was 2 floors high and we bought some chain lube as we were using oil for the last 1000 km or so. After the shopping we ventured back in the chaos of peak hour traffic. The traffic was like Spaghetti and it almost felt safer as all the cars and minibus taxis were entangled and could not move. We managed to ride around on pavements and in between the vehicles in by now true African and Kenyan style. As far as we rode people would hang out of the taxis and shout Mzungu (white man in Swahili) in a friendly way. We again made it back alive to the guest house where our host had the dinner ready and as we chose to sit around the same table than the family and for the rest of the evening they told us their very interesting family history in Africa from before the Second World War to date.             
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:40:25 pm
A butchery in Narok.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:42:17 pm
The Best egg seller in the streets of Narok.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:46:03 pm
A view point over the Rift Valley the longest in world as it runs from Jordon to Mozambique many thousands of Km.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:48:24 pm
At the look out point also a curio shop.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:50:45 pm
At the guest house outside our room.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:53:52 pm
Tell tale signs of the last two days riding. Mud like this would just eat up your brake pads.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:55:50 pm
A very neat Yamaha in Nairobi.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 06:58:56 pm
About 25 % of their stock. They only sell 125 cc and 200 cc bikes and they sell 500 bikes a month.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 07:01:06 pm
A free bike wash courtesy Yamaha Nairobi.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 07:02:59 pm
And a soap wash nogal ook.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 07:05:39 pm
Our guest house in Nairobi. Buone Feste meaning Happy Holidays.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 07:08:50 pm
4 Generations with the guest house owner in her ninety's and the youngest one a couple of months old.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: wildside on March 07, 2012, 10:10:55 pm

Magical stuff.  :hello2:
I actually got goosebumps when I read the part about the giraffes running next to you in the Masai Mara Reserve. They are my favourite animal as well.
So nice to read about this area as we were meant to take a route through there as well but changed it at the last minute and I shall always regret that decision.
Maybe it was a good decision after reading about all that aweful mud!!

Looking forward to reading some more.

Regards
Karen
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 08, 2012, 07:56:17 am

Magical stuff.  :hello2:
I actually got goosebumps when I read the part about the giraffes running next to you in the Masai Mara Reserve. They are my favourite animal as well.
So nice to read about this area as we were meant to take a route through there as well but changed it at the last minute and I shall always regret that decision.
Maybe it was a good decision after reading about all that aweful mud!!

Looking forward to reading some more.

Regards
Karen
 
Thanks Karen I enjoy your RR as well, I think you had your fair share of mud as well on your trip-regards Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 08, 2012, 01:06:02 pm
Day 25      29/12/2010     Nairobi to The Equator and back to Nairobi    533 Km                 
                   
The next morning we decided to stay one more night at the Italian Guest house and to take the opportunity to go and cross the Equator that day. So we would travel north over the Equator and then come back again all with no luggage and a distance of over 500 km. After a lovely Italian breakfast we were off to go and face the kamikaze drivers of Nairobi again. It took us about an hour to get to the outskirts of Nairobi. We past the town of Thika on the A2 towards Nanyuki where the Equator line of 0 degrees pass through. For the first time on the trip I felt cold as we approached Mount Kenya which was covered in cloud. Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya at 5199 metres and the 2nd highest in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at 5895 metres. I stopped and put my rain suit on and it really help against the cold. The sun would be close to the Tropic of Capricorn this time of the year and we are now close to the Equator. The sun would pass the Equator twice a year on the 21 of March as it moves north and again on the 21 of September as it move south towards the Tropic of Capricorn which it would reach on the 21 of December every year. The sun would be over the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere on the 21 of June every year. So as we went through the town of Nanyuki I never saw the signboard indicating that we crossed the Equator but as we were going to pass the Equator for the 2nd time on the other side of Mount Kenya it was no problem. Close to the town of Meru we passed some commercial farms much like you would see in South Africa and the first we saw since JHB. This area is beautiful and this is one place where I would like to come back to in future. Just after Meru we reached the Equator again and stopped for photos. At 6846 km from home we reached the halfway mark and the destination that we set as a goal for ourselves. We only had two days of rest on the trip so far with the last one at Nkata Bay at Lake Malawi nearly 4000 km  and 14 days of riding in between. We went to celebrate our arrival at the Equator at a take away restaurant nearby which was also the first that saw on our trip so far. On our way back we came across many Kamikaze drivers from the front. As we are now on a different road around Mount Kenya the scenery has now changed and we were traveling on some beautiful mountain passes. On the way back to Nairobi we saw many markings on the road where there had been some head on’s in the past. We reached our guest house after sunset alive and had another lovely dinner with the Italian family and some more interesting history stories of their family in Africa. We were sleeping in the room which use to belong to the young lady when she was still at school and she had stuck stars to the ceiling in those days. There was a mezzanine floor in the room with my bed just a metre from the sloping ceiling and the stars. As the light from outside would reflect on the stars it looked real impressive like a real milky way and I had a real “starry starry night” falling asleep experience that night.     
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 08, 2012, 01:11:22 pm
We met this Frenchman on the way to the Equator. He was cycling all the way from France to Cape Town. We met some more guy's like these the following day. I take my hat off to them as I think they are real adventurers.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 08, 2012, 01:14:09 pm
Although the sign said strait it actually was right on the way to the Equator.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 08, 2012, 01:18:13 pm
We reached the Equator after 6846 KM and 25 days of traveling. Only half way now.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 05:56:32 pm
Day 26       30/12/2010     Nairobi in Kenya-----Arusha in Tanzania.
The next morning we left and took the road to the Namanga border post to cross the border back into Tanzania as we wanted to get as close as possible to Mount Kilimanjaro. About half way to the border we met up again with 2 British guys who were cycling from England to Cape Town. At the border we had no problems even though we only had a single entry Visa and used it the first time we entered Tanzania. As we past Mount Meru on the left, we met up with another French man who was cycling from France to Cape Town. All of these cyclist as we chatted to them, I invited to come and stay at my place should they pass through JHB  in the end only Marc took up the offer and ended up at my place 10 weeks later. As it was raining he stayed for 3 days. We arrived at Arusha and it was a bustling place with lots of people in the street and lots of hotels as this was the biggest town close to Kilimanjaro (150 km away) and with and airport. The hotels were too expensive and an “entrepreneur” approached us and said that he would go and show us a hotel for about R 350 and as this was more in our budget range we took him up on his offer. Unlike at the other places where we have been to this guy did not run in front of our bikes but we followed him in his car. We met some Dutch tourist there at the hotel and had a nice chat to them in the dining room that night. 

Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 05:59:45 pm
A detour in the road in Nairobi.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 06:02:24 pm
Two brothers who is cycling from England to Cape Town.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 06:05:11 pm
A Masai lady at a fuel pump trying to sell us some souvenirs.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 06:09:09 pm
This is how they fill petrol from a truck into theirs tanks in Tanzania, look at the leaking fuel.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 06:11:11 pm
Mount Meru seen from the west.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 06:13:25 pm
Mount Meru seen from the South.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 06:16:36 pm
Marc the French man who was cycling from France to Cape Town. He came to visit me in JHB 10 weeks later.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 06:23:17 pm
Look at the car wheel on this wheel barrow. It is quite common around here.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2012, 06:26:36 pm
Some more human drawn transport. They look quite happy with their job.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:10:16 pm
Day 27                31/12/2010    Arusha------Swiss Farm

The next morning we left Arusha to go towards Kilimanjaro. Arriving at Kilimanjaro National Park Juan and I first went to see the little town before returning to the reception. Juan was waiting at the bikes while I went to enquire whether they would allow us to ride to the top of Kilimanjaro with the bikes and like at the Serengeti it was a definite no. Well at least I have tried, we did not have 5 days for climbing and not even one day for rest. I suppose we will have to make one separate trip to climb Kilimanjaro, see the Ngoro Ngoro Crater, see the migration of the Blue Wildebeest in the Serengeti and come and see “The Lion” our Masai Mara guide in the Masai Mara Game reserve. From there we took a ride on the dirt road going around Kilimanjaro and although the mountain was covered in cloud we could at least see it from different angles. From there we took the road towards Dar es Salaam although we would have to sleep over somewhere. We had lunch and a Kilimanjaro beer at quite a nice place next to the road. It was extremely hot and it felt like about 48 degrees. We later stopped for petrol at a place with just one petrol pump, a young attractive Muslim girl of about 18 years old came to fill our bikes. While filling my bike we chatted and she wanted to know where we are from. Johannesburg in South Africa I said. She said I must marry her and take her to this far of place called South Africa. I said to her that I am already married but will she mind to be my wife no 2. Yes she said that is OK. I said just one more question? She is Muslim and myself of the Christian faith will she adopt my faith? I could see the disappointment in her dark eyes while shaking her head and the possibility of moving to this far off fairy tale land disappearing. Little did I know that another Muslim girl would propose to me in 3 Day's time again. From here we hid the road again, it was a beautiful road with a mountain range on the left hand side with level ground on the right side of the road. This mountain range carried on for hundreds of kilometres. I think the scenery along this road was the most beautiful in Tanzania. As it was getting late again we started to look for accommodation on the GPS. It was the 31/12/2010 and as I said to Juan before, I don't mind to sleep in a tent for the whole trip but Christmas and New Year I want to sleep in a proper bed. So the GPS indicated that there is Swiss farm nearby. As I have been to Switzerland before I imagined that this place is against the mountain with beautiful green grass going up the hill just like in the Heidi movie. The GPS took us off the main road and we turned towards the mountain range. We soon were on a beautiful mountain pass with waterfalls and stone bridges where the road cross the water streams. I could see that these bridges were still build during the Colonial times as stone workmanship was perfect. The GPS said it was 30 KM from the main Dar es Salaam road but the track 4 Africa map works different as that is where you have to turn off and we probably had another 20 KM to go. It was all mountain passes and we passed through a village called Lushotoland and I could see that this was the place where the rich had visited during their holidays in the Colonial days with a couple of hotels still remaining. We went through informal settlements and then bush again and ended up at another informal settlement where the GPS indicated that the Swiss farm should be. There were people in the street and I indicated Swiss farm? Swiss farm?  They pointed at a gate nearby. The situation was very much the same as at Lake Malawi. We open the gate and rode in and to our surprise it was like I have imagine but even better with the green grass going up the mountain and 2 beautiful cottages. A real Swiss guy by the name of Sepp came out to greet us. The cottage had everything in including a bar fridge fully stocked, a fireplace, lots of woodwork a shower that really worked like a Swiss cloak and the finishes as good as you would find in Switzerland. We really found a jewel here for our special evening and the rate was also really reasonable. Sepp soon had the fire going and as he was the chef he went to prepare our New Year's Eve dinner while we relaxed in front of the fire by candle light with a drink in the hand. We had the most beautiful dinner and by 10 PM I was already fast asleep. When Sepp fired off his 375 at 12 O’ clock to welcome the new year I did not even wake up and I think it was the first time in my life that I slept through new year but the heat of the day and continues travel day by day took its toll.    
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:14:26 pm
Karibu meaning wecome. We have arrived at the Kilimanjaro National Park.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:19:47 pm
Everybody on their way home for New Year with their green bananas. Their staple food is made of this.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:22:05 pm
The road going around Kilimanjaro.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:25:34 pm
The road going toward Dar es Salaam with the Mountain range on the left for hundreds of kilometres.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:28:05 pm
Taking a break from the heat of the day, it felt like 48 degrees C.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:29:59 pm
The road going toward Dar es Salaam with the Mountain range on the left for hundreds of kilometres.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:32:39 pm
A thunder storm building up nearby, one of many.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:34:34 pm
Never ending beauty.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:37:34 pm
These mountains look almost like the mountains in the Cape but are many thousands of Kilometres away.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:40:27 pm
Here we turned off the main Dar es Salaam road and are busy going up the mountain passes to the Swiss Farm.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:42:27 pm
Lovely area.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:45:37 pm
Green green grass of Lushotoland Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:47:56 pm
What a view.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:50:02 pm
On the way to the Swiss Farm still.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:52:18 pm
Look at the house on the rock.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:55:08 pm
Valley on top of the mountain.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 06:58:37 pm
Our cottage at the Swiss Farm.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 07:00:46 pm
The Heidi green hills of the Swiss Farm.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 07:03:53 pm
Our fire on new years eve up in the mountains.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 10, 2012, 07:08:25 pm
Beautiful romantic old years evening.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:10:18 am
Day  28                   1/01/2011                   Swiss farm-----Dar es Salaam 
On New Year's Day we were up just after 6 am. Sepp made us an early breakfast as we wanted to get to Dar Es Salaam. Juan wanted us to go to the island of Zanzibar so we tried to get to Dar Es Salaam early in order to try and get on a ferry. We went along the A 14 south up to where it meet up with the A7 where we turned east towards Dar Es Salaam. This road was busy as it was the main road inland to the rest of Africa and Dar Es Salaam being a big harbour city on the Indian Ocean. We were not long on this road when I had another one of those near death situations. A horse and trailer was in the other lane coming like normal towards us but at the same time a big 4x4 was overtaking him at about 140 km/h and coming straight for me in my lane with his head lights flashing at me. My mouth was dry within one second and even though we were doing 120 km/h our self-there were no time to think and Juan and I just went off the tar onto the dirt while I could feel the wake left by the 4x4 passing me in my lane. There were upright concrete little poles near the road with trees behind and it was just a miracle that we did not crash. I was really shaken as it was so close. I felled like picking up a rock and turn back and chase him and smash his side window but in the end common sense prevailed. As it was New Year the guy was probably still drunk. We made Dar Es Salaam and made it straight to the harbour where the tourist ferries leave for Zanzibar. We wanted to get a price to go to the island with the two bikes and was immediately approached by some “agent's” in the street and given a price in USA $ which was a ridicules amount. We could not move in the street as “agent's” would approach you to sell you a ticket across. I told Juan that we should go and look for a hotel and come back in the morning at 5 am and buy tickets direct from the ticket office. The hotels on the beach front were all 4 and 5 star hotels and were very expensive. We ask some locals about some cheaper hotels and they gave us directions to one. We manage to get one at the normal R350 per room and had to do the same drill as before again where we check the shower first. It seems that the number 3 is the magic number in Africa as the 3rd room had a working shower. We left our luggage in the room and went to explore Dar Es Salaam a bit. We travelled along the beach front north and found the city much nicer than I have imagined the place before. In the northern suburbs there were up market houses like in Sandton north of Johannesburg and I had a good feel about the place. As it was close to sunset now and Juan and I had not eaten yet we found a South African Spur close to the beach front and had a good juicy steak for New Year as the menu and prices were the same as in the SA.   
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:24:26 pm
Day 29      2/01/2011    Dar es Salaam----The island of Zanzibar  
   The next morning we left all our belongings at the hotel where we stayed. We stacked our stuff about a metre high behind the reception desk and only took clothes for 2 days along. We were at the harbour booking office just after 5 am. They quoted us much better prices than the street agents the day before but it was too expensive to take the bikes across so we bought 2 tickets. As the ferry was going to leave at 6 am we got a taxi to follow us to our hotel and left the bikes there and came back with the taxi to the harbour again. The ferry was a nice big luxury ferry and it took us just over two hours to get to the Island of Zanzibar. Zanzibar falls under the jurisdiction of Tanzania but you have to clear customs again. After getting off at Zanzibar there was a tourist information table in the open. We wanted to hire 2 bikes as we brought our helmets along. All the bikes were unfortunately rented out but he has got a friend that will rent us a car. His friend would be outside in the street in 10 minutes time. Not long after this his friend arrived with a Suzuki Jeep which had about 500 000 KM on the clock. He checked my licence and I paid him cash for 2 days car rental. No paper work no writing down my name no nothing he just gave me his cell no. and said that I must phone him when I bring the car back. He gave us directions of how to take the road north as that is the more scenic drive. The car was completely empty and he told me where the filling station was around the corner. We first went to put some petrol in and the attendant just wanted to fill up the car but I said no only 20 litre as the Island is not all that big. I only understood later why he wanted to fill up the car. After fuel Juan and I went for lunch first at an Italian restaurant overlooking the sea. After we waited a long time for the food I went to look in the kitchen and found it empty. The food was being prepared somewhere else and then brought to the restaurant. After lunch we took the road north. About 30 km north there was a road block and the police man wanted to see my licence. He gave one look at my licence and said no it is no good. I then said to him I also have an international drivers licence and that was also no good. There was also a young Swedish couple and the lady driver's licence was already confiscated by the police man. It was obvious that they wanted a bribe and I don't pay bribes period. The Swedish lady was in tears by now and begged me to help them get her licence back as she could see I took no nonsense of the cops. She said another couple paid a bribe and was allowed to leave but like me they also don't want to pay a bribe. After a lot of arguing with the cop I said to him. “Am I under arrest because if I am under arrest by international law then he must give me a phone  to phone the South African Embassy” he then said no I am not under arrest and I can go but the car must stay and the same with the other couple. I managed to get the ladies licence back and they took a taxi north and we took one south. The taxis are 2 ton closed back Toyota Dyna trucks and they are so full the people hang out of the back. I was cross now and just wanted to leave the island. Juan was sitting in the back of the overcrowded truck. I was sitting in front and there were 3 seats. It was the driver then again a young Muslim lady and myself by the door. The Muslim lady started to talk to me again and I must say it cooled my temper down a bit. She wanted to know where I am from and I told her and again like the other lady 3 days back she proposed marriage to me. I was wandering if these young Muslim girls think I would be a good sugar daddy. I ask her the same questions that I asked the other lady and said to her that I am already married and would she be prepared to be wife no 2? That was OK with her and then I said that I am from the Christian faith and will she adopt my faith. She also looked disappointed and she said no she cannot leave her faith. After the 30 km we saw the Zanzibar police station and got off there. We went to enquire about my licence to see if it was legal for the Island. The high ranking officer said there is nothing wrong with my licence. I then said if he could send somebody along with us in order to get our rental car back but as it was Sunday he said we must come back the following day. I then went outside the police station and got a proper taxi and brought the taxi driver into the police station. I wanted the police to explain to the taxi driver that my licence was legal and then the taxi driver could take us back to the road block and explain to the cops that we are legal. We then went back to the road block and got the driver to talk to the cops who by now has changed shifts. I could see the taxi driver was embarrassed as he by now knew it was a scam. The cop also would not allow us to take the car and said the owner of the car was already there. So the scam works like this. The car is brought to you empty and you take the car to be filled up only to be confiscated 30 Km from there if you don't pay the bribe. The owner get a full tank of petrol and has the cash up front which he shares with the cops and that is why the cops phoned him to say that the car is there. If you do pay the bribe then they also share the spoils. We heard from 2 British tourists on the ferry back the following day that they took a taxi around the island and the driver had to pay a bribe at every road block but that was not going to happen to this vd Merwe. They can stick there romantic island up you know where. The taxi driver then found us the cheapest hotel possible and it was still over R 600 for a 2 star room. That night Juan and I went to the Freddy Mercury restaurant. They named the restaurant after him as he grew up on Zanzibar and was playing as a kid on the beach in front of the restaurant. The night there was about the nicest part of our stay on the island as we were going to go back to Dar es Salaam the next day due to the corruption and I was wandering of how much business they are losing because of this.              
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:28:11 pm
Juan on the ferry.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:33:15 pm
A smaller ferry next to us in the harbour.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:35:15 pm
Leaving Dar es Salaam.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:37:21 pm
Passing a tower in Dar.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:40:02 pm
Leaving some fishing boats behind.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:41:56 pm
Leaving Dar es Salaam behind.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:43:40 pm
Father and son.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:45:25 pm
Look at the small fishing boat on the open sea.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:46:51 pm
The Indian ocean.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:48:31 pm
Arriving at Zanzibar.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:49:55 pm
Zanzibar.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:51:30 pm
Zanzibar.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:53:21 pm
A container ship in Zanzibar harbour.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:55:26 pm
At Zanzibar harbour.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 12, 2012, 11:57:41 pm
Karibu meaning welcome. We did not feel so welcome later on.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 13, 2012, 12:00:07 am
This photo was taken from the Italian restaurant.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 13, 2012, 12:02:14 am
The container ship that was in the harbour earlier.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 13, 2012, 12:04:17 am
The Suzuki that we rented for 30 km.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 13, 2012, 12:06:18 am
Beautiful.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 13, 2012, 12:07:55 am
Cosmopolitan Zanzibar.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 13, 2012, 12:10:17 am
Just before the police road block.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Phillip Flap on March 13, 2012, 12:11:09 am
Thank you for a very interesting read and great Photo's.....
Keep it coming.....
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 13, 2012, 12:19:49 am
After our car was confiscated we went back in one of these jobs.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 13, 2012, 12:39:51 am
Thank you for a very interesting read and great Photo's.....
Keep it coming.....

Thank's mate, I will keep it coming till day 40. There are some very nice photo's coming when I report about Mozambique.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: wildside on March 13, 2012, 09:15:13 pm
 Me again  :D 
It really puts a dampner on ones trip when the locals start with their bribes and scams and it's a pity coz you start doubting all of there good intentions.
Have really enjoyed your RR. Looking forward to more.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 14, 2012, 04:14:34 pm
Me again  :D 
It really puts a dampner on ones trip when the locals start with their bribes and scams and it's a pity coz you start doubting all of there good intentions.
Have really enjoyed your RR. Looking forward to more.

Hi Karen I suppose one just have to handle that too, with hindsight maybe I should have just stayed another day. You guys have really been ripped off badly especially at the Zim border and I feel for you as one need every cent when traveling. Regards Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on March 16, 2012, 04:01:44 am
Wow, what a RR this is Schalk, I only stumbled on it 6hrs ago and have read every word !

Yes TIA isn't it ... it can be so inspiring at times with the honestly and joy in the eyes of 200 kids, and then the bastards that have rank and nothing but corruption on their minds. I can but imagine what the rest of this fine report has in store ... classic stuff !

Looking forward to the next 13 days.

Lekker.

 8)
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: White Rhino on March 16, 2012, 04:22:31 am
I feel zackly the same as you Schalk wrt bribery and payoffs. My desire to explore Africa is thwarted by the monkeys that abuse their authority to scam people. They will harm tourism, much like the Dakar moving to South America.

Great RR :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 16, 2012, 09:55:26 am
I feel zackly the same as you Schalk wrt bribery and payoffs. My desire to explore Africa is thwarted by the monkeys that abuse their authority to scam people. They will harm tourism, much like the Dakar moving to South America.

Great RR :thumleft:
Hi White Rhino this was the only place where we had a bribe issue and we went through all other borders and hundreds of road blocks with no problem. I think it also depends a lot on ones attitude. Although bribery is a negative thing dont let it keep you from seeing Africa, it still is a worth while experience to travel the countries north of our borders. I have been ask for a bribe many times in SA but never paid one and never will. If you refuse to pay a bribe they cant give you a ticket as you would have his name then and you can go and report him then. Thanks for reading, some more good stuff is coming-Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: White Rhino on March 17, 2012, 02:51:00 am
I feel zackly the same as you Schalk wrt bribery and payoffs. My desire to explore Africa is thwarted by the monkeys that abuse their authority to scam people. They will harm tourism, much like the Dakar moving to South America.

Great RR :thumleft:
Hi White Rhino this was the only place where we had a bribe issue and we went through all other borders and hundreds of road blocks with no problem. I think it also depends a lot on ones attitude. Although bribery is a negative thing dont let it keep you from seeing Africa, it still is a worth while experience to travel the countries north of our borders. I have been ask for a bribe many times in SA but never paid one and never will. If you refuse to pay a bribe they cant give you a ticket as you would have his name then and you can go and report him then. Thanks for reading, some more good stuff is coming-Schalk.
Thanks - good to hear that it's not pervasive. I'm dead keen to explore our African land :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 12:56:17 pm
Day 30                     3/01/2011                            Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam.
The next day we were up early as the same taxi driver was going to pick us up and take us to the harbour to catch the 6 am ferry. As promised he arrived on time just as we walked outside. While driving to the harbour I gave him the key for our rental car and asked him to hang on to it till I phone him from Dar es Salaam later during the day. The Muslim taxi driver by the name of Alf Sharif Ali was by now like a friend and an ally to us. He dropped us off and we took the first ferry which was identical to the one that we came with. The one day to the Island cost us 10 % of our 40 day budget and would have been worth the money if it was not for the rip off. When we arrived in Dar es Salaam we took a taxi to the hotel where we booked into the same room as before. We got onto the bikes set the GPS for the South African Embassy and off we went. After arriving at the Embassy they introduced us to an Ms vd Merwe who was extremely helpful and a immediately send emails to all the relevant parties including to the Tanzanian government. She made a phone available to us to phone the taxi driver in order to tell him to give the keys to the guy who “hired” us the car. It is at least nice to know that when you are in a foreign country help is at hand should you need it against unfair practices. From here we went to Shoprite to replenish our food supplies for the rest of the trip as it would be mainly camping from here on. We then went to look for a bike mechanic to shorten the chain on Juan's bike as it was a solid chain with no removable links. The chain was stretched to the point that we could not adjust it any more. We found a street mechanic and he did quit a good job by grinding three links out and bought us a removable link. I had a spare link but wanted to keep it in case of a break down further on our trip. From here we went to a bank to change our Kenyan shillings which we still had to Tanzanian money. That was the end to a fairly eventful day in Africa. 
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 01:01:04 pm
At Shoprite Dar es Salaam to replenish our food supply for the rest of the trip.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 01:03:21 pm
Juan who was always hungry like any young man on the trip.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 01:05:54 pm
Our street bike mechanic who shorten the chain on Juan's bike.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 01:07:53 pm
Street bike mechanic.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 11:43:25 pm
Day 31    4/01/2011   Dar es Salaam--Kilwa Masoko        Distance  417Km.
We were still about 5000 km from home and having done over 8000 Km to date it was time to hit the road. We first went to fill up fuel nearby. As we stopped a guy approached me and offered to buy my jacket. Throughout the trip people wanted to buy our gear as nothing is available in their countries. Some want to buy our boots and some wants to buy my body protector others want buy our helmet or even our bikes. As my jacket was strapped to my luggage and I hardly wore it as it was too hot, I then sold it for R 550 to this over the moon happy gentleman. I think if you ship a container of 2nd hand bikers gear up you will sell it within a week. As I wanted to make up time a bit in order to build a rest day in I told Juan that we will have to push a little bit. Throughout the trip we never had arguments except that I want to go a little faster on the tar roads. I wanted to travel at least at 120 Kph and Juan wanted to do 100 Kph. So in the end we agreed that today we are going to push a bit. We were about 100 km out of Dar es Salaam when I saw Juan falling behind again. I thought well today I am just going to keep my speed and after I could not see Juan's head light any more I just carried on for another one and a half hours at 120. I must have travelled 180 Km since the last time I saw his head light and I then stopped and left my bike on the tar road and walked to the garage just off the road to buy two cold drinks. I then went and sat under a tree drinking my cold drink while watching the road. An hour and fifteen minutes went past and no Juan. I started to get worried and as I had a Tanzanian Sim card in my phone I then phoned my wife in Johannesburg to tell her that I lost Juan. “What do you mean you lost Juan” she said. I then remembered that we forgot to tell my wife that if something like this should happen the ruling would be that we would both phone her and tell her where we are. She was now in a state because I lost our child and I must say I was also getting a bit worried. “What if he fell off?” played through my mind. By now I was waiting next to the road for one and a half hours and even if Juan was traveling at 80 Kph he should have been there by now. Just then a bus stopped and a Tanzanian man jumped out and said in broken English “O your friend had puncture there” I said to him “how far” and he said “O 15 kilometre's”. He then jumped back on the bus and off they went. This again amazed me as they are so helpful. As Juan carried the food and I carried the tools I knew that he is stuck. So I turned around and travelled back 15 Km but no Juan, so I travelled 20 km no Juan 30 Km no Juan 40 Km no Juan. The guy said 15 Km and I have done 40 now and I thought well I will try another 5 Km and then I don't know. As the 45 Km came up I saw Juan sitting in the heat under a tree with the bike on a piece of timber and the rear wheel already out. So the morel of the story on a trip like this is stay together. As we fitted the tyres our self's before the trip as a practice run we knew exactly what to do. We broke the beat with my bikes side stand and removed the one side of the tyre in order to remove the tube. We try to feel the tube then but there was no tube. I could not believe it. I then said to Juan let's take the tyre completely off the rim and see what is going on? What followed was unbelievable. It was about 48 degrees hot or more that day and the whole tube was melted including the rubber band around the spokes with the tube now just in a bundle. (See photos below) A nail was sticking into the tyre and what seems to happen is this. The expensive heavy duty Michelin tube have melted inside of the tyre before and sealed all the spokes as there was rubber around each spoke end, the rubber boll that formed by now had been sliding around in the tyre and only started to leak when Juan picked up the nail in the tyre. I heard after the trip from a tyre expert that heavy duty tubes are not meant for riding on tar as the friction build up and the tube gets too hot. We then managed to get a piece of bicycle tube from the locals and put it around and over the spokes and then fitted a new tube which I brought along. We carried Sunlight liquid which helped to slip the tyre over the rim and in no time we were mobile again. We arrived at Kilwa Masoko on the Indian Ocean after traveling through about 3 km of sea sand. We booked into a chalet right on the beach a few metres from the water. The owner was from Denmark and is married to a Tanzanian lady. The waiter brought us some cold ones (unusual for Africa) while we were sitting on the beach just after sunset. That night we had some really good Calamari and the prices for the food and accommodation was reasonable. We did 417 Km for the day and taking all the pelaba in account for the day it was not too bad.                
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 11:46:53 pm
The melted Michelin heavy duty tube, see the melted tube rubber on the spokes.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 11:49:08 pm
The melted tube close up.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 11:52:15 pm
The melted tube, see the rubber that sealed the spokes.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 11:54:30 pm
Last close up.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 17, 2012, 11:57:09 pm
An open air furniture factory. Al made from teak.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 18, 2012, 12:00:23 am
View from our chalet at Kilwa Masoko on the Indian Ocean.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 18, 2012, 12:02:32 am
View from our chalet over the Indian Ocean.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 18, 2012, 12:04:14 am
What a view.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: eikeboom on March 18, 2012, 12:17:54 am
Nice trip!
Not sticking together is the only stupid thing you did as far as I can see...
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 18, 2012, 12:26:39 am
Nice trip!
Not sticking together is the only stupid thing you did as far as I can see...
Juan made sure that he does not fall behind again after that episode.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Offside on March 18, 2012, 07:49:05 pm
Hectic stuff   :o .........but at least your day ended beautifully.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Firecoast on March 18, 2012, 07:51:04 pm
Wow! What a great read! Inspiring!

Thank you...
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Offside on March 18, 2012, 07:53:38 pm
Oops sorry........that's not Kingsley getting in touch with his feminan side ....its actually from Karen (wildside) ;D. I was on the wrong computer!!!! :-\
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on March 18, 2012, 08:14:43 pm
Today I've learnt two things: HD tubes are not for long distance on tar and Sunlight liquid is great for re assembling tyres.

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 09:33:15 pm
Today I've learnt two things: HD tubes are not for long distance on tar and Sunlight liquid is great for re assembling tyres.

 :thumleft:
Yes I believe HD tubes are only for off road where there are thorns etc. The Sunlight Liquid you use with water to get the tyre over the rim.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 09:34:19 pm
Wow! What a great read! Inspiring!

Thank you...
Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 09:36:18 pm
Hectic stuff   :o .........but at least your day ended beautifully.
Like so many other days after a hectic day.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:15:17 pm
         Day 32     5/01/2011     Kilwa Masoko------Msimbah Village  400 Km

The next morning in the dining room after breakfast we met a Belgium lady by the name of Erica Rottiers who have been hitch hiking all over Africa and has also been to South Africa previously. With her was a friend not her boyfriend Dieter Demeyer who just came to visit for a week also from Belgium. Erica knew every little place and thought that we are crazy to travel so fast through the continent. She lost her hart in Mozambique and even bought a little house there in a village. As I love to chat to adventurers we chatted till after 11 am where we said good bye at the dining room. Juan and I went to load our bikes and to our surprise they came to our chalet again before we left. Dieter hinted that Erica would love to go back to Mozambique but as our bike were really full there was no ways that either of us could give her a lift. She did however give us handy info on where to camp and cross the border into Mozambique. We wanted to try and cross the border still that day and the way you cross it is by loading your bike in to a little fishing boat and then cross the 2 km river mouth into Mozambique. The alternative is a 400 km detour. We then said our goodbyes for the 2nd time and left. We arrived at the river late afternoon and rode through the border control without knowing it as the border control is 3 km before the river. We tried to negotiate a reasonable rate but as usual the price was crazy. I said to Juan that we should go and look for a camp site and come back the following day and try to negotiate a better rate or if they don't want to budge then we do the 400km detour. We rode the 3 km back to the border control and apologised for riding through and told them we will be back the next day. We then went to camp right on the beach at a place that Erica had recommended. We pitch our tents and our host made us dinner and put a table for us on the beach with a parafine lamp on the table and I must say it was very nice. Our guard for the night also had a bow and arrow as a defence weapon just like the guard in Mpanda on day 16. I suppose there is method in their madness as all our stuff was still there the next morning.        
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:19:34 pm
After breakfast with Erica Rottiers and Dieter Demeyer from Belgium. Erica has hitched hiked all over Africa by her self.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:21:46 pm
The bar at the Danish camp site.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:24:18 pm
The camp site with Danish flag on the Indian Ocean.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:27:23 pm
Erica Rottiers the lady who hitched hiked all over Africa with Dieter who is visiting for a week.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:29:28 pm
On the way to the border.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:32:12 pm
The happy people of Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:34:22 pm
Boab trees of Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:36:34 pm
Indian ocean Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:38:50 pm
The Palm trees and traditional houses in Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:41:16 pm
Fishing boats with the Indian ocean in the back ground.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:43:46 pm
Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:46:40 pm
Beautiful Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:48:46 pm
Some more beauty.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:50:38 pm
The paparazzi kids.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:53:21 pm
3 people and 50 kg maize on a picky picky.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:54:57 pm
Sun set over day 32.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:56:31 pm
Dinner on the beach.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 19, 2012, 11:59:04 pm
Extended dinner and beer and chat.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 20, 2012, 12:01:17 am
Our night watch man complete with bow and arrow.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 20, 2012, 12:03:30 am
Morning has broken. 5.54 am.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:16:05 pm
Day 33    6/01/2011   Msimbah Village---Mocimboa do Praia in Mozambique  
The next morning we were up before 6 am and Juan made us some breakfast. We packed up and I took the equivalent of R 380 in Tanzanian shillings and one debit card and put it in a separate wallet as that was what I was prepared to pay for the fishing boat crossing. The idea was to show them my wallet so they can't demand more money and I then put the wallet in my tank bag. As we wanted to leave Juan's bike would not start as the battery was flat. On top of that there were about 3 km of sand that we had to ride through first. Pushing the bike also would not work as it is a thumper. One of the local people with a car offered to tow Juan's bike which in the end was successful. When we arrived at the border control the official were very friendly and invited us into his office. He said he has a friend who will take us across the river. I then told him that I am prepared to pay the equivalent of R 380 for the crossing. He then phoned his friend and it was agreed that he would do it for that amount. When you sit in his office the bikes are out sight. He chatted to us some more and after a while went out of the office and stayed away for quite a while. When he returned he duly stamped our passports and off we went. We travelled the 3 km to the river and found our skipper. He said the boat was on the Mozambique side and we must wait for high tide. They also warned us that the crossing is normally 20 % successful, in other words 80 % fall in the water. As I am a risk taker I said it is OK we will take the change as the boats looked OK to me. I then wanted to buy us some cold drinks as it was very hot by now and I opened my tank bag to find that my 2nd wallet with the R380 in Tanzanian shillings was gone. I just knew that the border official must have taken it when he went out of the office. After Juan's camera which was stolen at Karema on Lake Tanganyika this was the 2nd item taken in a very shrewd way. The boat only arrived at 3.30 pm and we started to load the two bikes and our luggage. I made it clear to them that I am not going to pay extra for unloading the bikes on the other side and that they must take enough people along for the task. I also told them that I only pay on the other side once the bikes have been off loaded. Fortunately I still had some American dollars which was in my other wallet at the bottom of my tank bag. It was quite an experience to cross the 2 km wide river mouth with the boat. On the Mozambique side there was a 2 metre high embankment that they had to lift the bikes over. I paid them in American dollars and they gave me change in Mozambique currency. The border control was nearby and we had to use a couple of Portuguese words that we knew as most of the countries we travelled through up to now we used the Swahili words that we learned along the way. The border official warned us that the road was bad. It was nearly sun set and little did we know that we were going to have a mother of a night. The road turned into a two spoor road with very thick sand. It was 1st gear and 2nd gear stuff. By now it was dark and difficult. We had to stay in one spoor as the middelmannetjie was very high and it was very difficult to cross over. As we were riding slowly the radiator fans stayed on and made it worse as the hot air would blow over your body with the outside temperature also very high. Juan's bike started to stall the moment he left it to idle and he had a flat battery. The only way now was to tow him in the loose sand until he is up to speed and restart the bike that way, it took great effort. After we got the bike going  Juan tried to go a bit faster but every time he would fall off. That meant another tow  to restart. The area was very unpopulated. It would have been very nice to camp there in the veld but I was scared of landmines. I remembered when I was in the army in the early seventies at 1 Military hospital at Voortrekker Hoogte where I did my 1 year army training we had a secret ward (Government secret) for the Portuguese soldiers that got blown up by landmines. Some of them had no legs, some no arms some were blind and most of them came from this area in the northern part of Mozambique during their civil war. So there was no ways that I was going to pull off this road as there are still some active land mines buried around here from the war time. Juan and I eventually tried to ride in first gear and sit on the bike and walk it. This was extremely tiring and sometimes Juan's bike would stall again and it was out with the tow rope again. In order to start his bike again I would have to go to 2nd gear in the sand revving high and Juan had to go into 3rd gear before his bike would start. After many falls, stalls and pull restarts we arrived at the next village but as we were extremely tired by now we did not want to camp any more. There were no accommodation and I said to Juan we will have to push through to the next town. We tackled the road again and at least the road improved from here. We eventually arrived at a town called Mocimboa da Praia by the sea. All the roads in town were full big pot holes. It was 11 pm by now a long day as we were up before 6 am. Juan's bike stalled outside a garage which was closed and I told him to wait there in the dark while I went to look for accommodation. I found a hotel and went back to fetch Juan and pull start him again. I thought we would sort the electrical problem out in the morning. The manager told us to park the bikes in the open pub. We were dead tied by now and it was 11.30 pm. The barman had some real cold ones for us and on the juke box the song “Today is gona be a good good day was playing.  I ask the manager to please make us something to eat as we had a tuff day and did not eat all day. “What would you like sir?” he said with a Portuguese accent. A nice steak I said. At about 12 am he arrived with the best steak a hungry man can wish for and indeed it was a good good day in Africa and once again the hospitality of Africa humbled me.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:18:53 pm
Low tied, we had to wait for high tied before our boat arrived.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:20:44 pm
Almost ready to go.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:22:16 pm
Time to go.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:23:52 pm
Leaving the shores of Tanzania.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:25:17 pm
Juan in high spirit.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:27:55 pm
Our skiper in a serious mood. Maybe he is thinking of the 20 % chance.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:29:22 pm
Nearly there.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:31:42 pm
Arriving on the Mozambique side.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:33:29 pm
Our bikes in the pub.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:35:54 pm
Our bikes in the pub where we left them the previous night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 21, 2012, 10:40:41 pm
We woke up to this view the following morning.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:36:54 pm
Day 34        7/01/2011          Mocimboa do Praia---Pemba         356KM
The next morning after breakfast we left and went to a nearby garage to sort out the electrical problem on Juan's bike. We thought it could be either the alternator or the battery. We unloaded his bike and checked the battery with a small multi meter that we brought along. It showed 8 volts so the battery had it. Down the road was a Chinese bike spare shop so I took the old battery along as a sample. Juan's bike had a dry cell battery and the Chinese shop only had wet cell batteries. I found one that was not quite the same size but at least it fitted under the seat and bingo the bike started first shot. Juan's rear brake pads were shot and from here he rode the bike only on the front brakes. We left for Pemba and on the way I had one of those near death experiences again where car came on my side of the road and at least this time there were a run off area next to the road. We reached Pemba after sun set and booked into a lodge owned by a South African lady. She told us that Kingsly Holgate often come and stay there and Riaan Manser also stayed there during his around Africa bicycle trip. This was really a nice lodge/camp site see photo's.             
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:39:03 pm
You can buy Teak wood planks these for about R 70 next to the road.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:40:31 pm
Our bedroom at Pemba.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:43:11 pm
Our bathroom at the loge/campsite at Pemba.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:44:58 pm
Our shower.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: subie on March 23, 2012, 04:46:30 pm
I greatly admire you okes traveling in Africa. I am not a "people" person and just cannot stand the "cultures" of Africa.
The thieving and corruption. I will maar travel alone here in SA but really like to read al the reports about touring in Africa.

 :ricky:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:51:18 pm
The dining room.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:53:13 pm
Dining room.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:55:21 pm
The lounge at our Pemba lodge.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:56:41 pm
Kayaks for campers.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 04:58:16 pm
What a lovely place owned by a South African lady.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 05:07:23 pm
The next morning Juan and I used 2 kayaks the paddle around the two yachts.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 05:16:06 pm
I greatly admire you okes traveling in Africa. I am not a "people" person and just cannot stand the "cultures" of Africa.
The thieving and corruption. I will maar travel alone here in SA but really like to read al the reports about touring in Africa.

 :ricky:
Hi subie I think if you do a 13 350 km trip through South Africa you will get more stuff stolen from you and more cops will stop you to try and get a bribe out of you. We never felt treatend except once and I felt much safer in all these countries. It is still worth while to travel up north, it is a real adventure. Thanks for reading my article. Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:24:54 pm
Day 35    8/01/2011         Pemba----IIha de Mozambique.
The next day we packed up and travelled through Pemba to look for a place to have breakfast. Pemba is basically a shanty town but on the outskirts of town we found a 5 star hotel. It had high walls to keep the local population out and was right on the Indian Ocean. Our clothes were dirty and Juan and I went to sit on the patio to have a 5 star breakfast for R120 each. I apologised for our dirty clothes to the manager and told him that we were on a long motor cycle trip. There were mainly overseas guest booked into the hotel. The breakfast was really 5 star and it was the best so far on the trip. After breakfast I was waiting for Juan at the bikes when one of the tourists came to chat to me. “On a long trip?” he asked. Yes I said. He was part of the world Moto GP team and was very interested in our trip. We left in the rain as we wanted to get to get to the island of Mozambique. The scenery on the way was beautiful (see photos). At the island of Mozambique there was a long bridge from the main land to the island across the sea. The island was also used from the early 1700 to export slaves to the rest of the world. Juan and I did not like the feel of the island and went to look for accommodation about 100 km north of the island where all the diving resorts are and ended up paying about R 600 for the night in a very nice lodge.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:26:31 pm
Pemba Hotel.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:28:11 pm
Rain clouds building up.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:36:00 pm
A 5 star breakfast.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:37:39 pm
Pemba Hotel.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:39:23 pm
Pemba 5 star hotel in the middle of a shanty town.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:40:46 pm
Hotel Pemba.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:42:44 pm
Beautiful Mozambique on the way south.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:44:45 pm
Beautiful scenery on the way to the island of Mozambique.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:46:32 pm
Some more beauty on the way.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:47:59 pm
Half way to the island.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:50:06 pm
One of many rivers.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:52:47 pm
Strange rock formations in northen Mozambique.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:54:13 pm
Traditional Mozambique.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:56:44 pm
Our accommodation for the night 100 km north of the island.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 07:58:50 pm
Our double story chalet for the night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 08:00:21 pm
Beautiful Palm trees.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 08:02:45 pm
Walk way from our chalet to the sea.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 08:04:06 pm
Divers paradise.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 23, 2012, 08:05:29 pm
Beautiful white beaches.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:21:56 pm
Day 36        9/01/2011        IIha de Mozambique-----Macuba         605 km
The next morning we left our very nice lodge. We were low on fuel and we saw a fuel pump on the GPS not too far away. By now we have already depleted our back up 20 litre as well. When we got to the garage there were no electricity and normally they can't tell you how long it will take before the power comes on again, it could take an hour or even days. So we hit the road again. Juan ran out of fuel first and we tied the rope, (see photo) by now I was an expert to tow Juan's bike. I know other people tie the rope to the foot pecks but we managed quit fine the conventional way and manage to pull his bike even up to 3rd gear which is not bad for a dirt road. We rode like that for about 20 km till we got to a village where we bought Africa fuel (sometimes mixed with paraffin) and bought fuel at R25/ litre. It was 10 am now and the fuel kept us going till 1 PM when we found the first working pump again. Mozambique was extremely hot and we prayed for rain and our prayers were answered 3 times that day. We did not even put our rain suits on and rather got wet just to dry out about an hour later again. The tropical storms are about 10 km deep before you come out on the other side. (See photos). That night we slept in Macuba having done 605 km for the day.   
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:23:48 pm
No electricity to pump fuel here.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:26:22 pm
So this is what happens if you don't put fuel in a bike, you have to tow it then.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:28:29 pm
We found the first working pump at 1 pm.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:29:53 pm
Rural Mozambique.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:34:03 pm
Beautiful Mozambique. Of all the countries we visit Mozambique was my favourite as far as scenery is concerned.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:37:34 pm
Storm approaching and some more beauty.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:40:56 pm
Storm no 2 approaching and some more beautiful landscape. Due to the heat we loved the storms and just rode through them without putting on rain suits.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:44:16 pm
Mozambique I love you.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 24, 2012, 06:45:57 pm
The end of a good good day in Africa.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 05:45:26 pm
   Day 37      10/01/2011        Macuba-----Gorongosa National Park     597 km
The next day we were on the road again. We travelled past a huge truck accident that just happened (see photos) by late afternoon we were looking for a camping site. I looked on Tracks 4 Africa and saw a caravan site about 50 km away. I had a vision of a nice caravan park with nice hot showers. The GPS took us off the main North South tar road on to a two spoor road which was very wet. After about 3 km I could not see Juan in my rear view mirror and tried to turn around but I got stuck with the bike hanging over the edge of the road. I could not get the bike back on the road and then started to walk back to see if I could see Juan. He was also stuck and some of the locals were helping him to get his bike out of a hole. When they eventually had his bike out they walked over to help me. After they pushed me back on the road I said oprigado which means thank you in Portuguese. They got violently upset and said oprigado, oprigado meaning all I say is thank you and I don't pay. I thought they were going to chop us up with their panga’s. Fortunately I had some change in my wallet and threw some coins at them and that changed their violent behaviour into a smile again and I must say that was the only time on the whole trip that I felt threatened. From here we rode to the end of the road and only found a mission church there, so that was Tracks 4 Africa's caravan park. We turned around and went back to the tar road. We travelled a further 50 km and found the Gorongosa National Park. There were people standing at the entrance and they told us as it was out of season the park is close but there is some accommodation about 5 km inside the park. It was very wet due to the rain and we rode in and to our surprise we found an Afrikaans family Piet and Ria van Zyl who own the camp. They had a lovely tented camp with hot showers about 200 metres away from their own house. Their house consists of reed walls and a thatch roof, a real unique house. That night around the dinner table they told us their life story. Piet was in the Portuguese civil war there and after the war he was missing Mozambique and they returned there as a family and started this place. The kids do home schooling and also take visitors on bird watching tours around the place as there is a bird specie that you can only find there and no where else in the world. People come all the way from America to see this bird. This is definitely one place where I want to come back to
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 05:47:12 pm
This means there are petrol available at the locals.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 05:50:33 pm
The accident that happened just before we arrived there.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 05:52:52 pm
The truck was totally overloaded and look at the tyres.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 05:57:19 pm
The Zambezi river on it's way to the sea. This is the river that goes over the Victoria Falls.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:00:15 pm
It is a very long brand new bridge with a toll gate but bikes don't pay.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:02:03 pm
Beautiful country side.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:03:26 pm
A pigeon cage.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:06:05 pm
Some more beautiful country side.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:07:50 pm
A branch that broke off due to a violent storm.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:10:55 pm
Ria and her maid in their reed house.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:13:01 pm
The kitchen and lounge of their reed house.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:14:17 pm
Dinning Room.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:16:50 pm
You can see a family lives here.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 26, 2012, 06:18:48 pm
The entrance to the Gorongosa National Park.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Offside on March 28, 2012, 09:23:50 am
Schalk
Many thanks for posting.
You re ride report has turned northern Moz. from a "perhaps one day" to an "absolutely have to, as soon as possible" for Karen and myself.
Enjoying the photos and the read.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 28, 2012, 05:41:22 pm
Schalk
Many thanks for posting.
You re ride report has turned northern Moz. from a "perhaps one day" to an "absolutely have to, as soon as possible" for Karen and myself.
Enjoying the photos and the read.
Hi Offside and Karen, Mozambique is really nice and not so over populated like some of the other countries. I want to go back and spend a month there. Zambia is also a very nice country. There are some more nice photos of moz coming, keep a look out as I should finish this RR within the next few days. Thanks for reading Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 28, 2012, 10:34:44 pm
   Day 38      11/01/2011    Gorongosa National Park----Inhassoro     408 km
The next day we travelled south and covered 408 km and booked in at a campsite at Inhassoro. See photos.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 28, 2012, 10:38:49 pm
Various rivers in Mozambique on the way to Inhassoro
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 28, 2012, 10:40:41 pm
And another river.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 28, 2012, 10:43:28 pm
Our campsite at Inhassoro with the Indian Ocean in the background.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 28, 2012, 10:45:57 pm
The restaurant at the camp site.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 28, 2012, 10:48:23 pm
The record marlin caught at Inhassoro weighing 590 Kg.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 29, 2012, 12:56:41 am
   Day 39      12/01/2011               Inhassoro----Pomene                    316 km
The next day we left with the intention to go past Vilankulos. I heard a lot in the past about Vilankulos from a friend of mine and the Dow boat that they take to their property about 15 km from Vilankulos as you cannot drive there. As we arrived in Vilankulos I was a little disappointed with the town as I expected more. After looking around we left again for Pomene. At Rio das Pedras we turned off the main road and hit a dirt road. After 25 km it turned into a two spoor sand road. It was after sun set by now and the sand just got thicker and thicker. We were once again battling in the sand in the dark just like the night we came across the border in a fishing boat. The fan on my bike came on continuously as it was again 1st gear 2nd gear riding. On Juan's bike the fan did not come on and a red light came on eventually. We knew that the wire to the fan must have come off but it was too dark to look for the problem so we just stopped for a while to cool the motor down. After 10 minutes we got going again and Juan tried to do some 3rd gear riding in the thick sand but it did not take long before he came short. We battled on for hours to do the last 25 km of sea sand riding, stopping to cool Juan's bike down now and then in the pitch dark and then go again. Eventually we were 5 km from the camp and still in a two spoor road and out of the thick sand into sand where we could go up to 3rd gear and then Juan's chain started to fall off. In the dark we had to battle that now as well and the chain came off once more before we finally reached the camp. I have been to Pomene before and knew it was a really good place as it belonged to South Africans. We booked in and ordered dinner strait away together with some cold ones. We were very tired as we have been traveling since Lake Malawi without a Day's rest. That is 9495 km of travel without rest. Imagine traveling to Durban from Johannesburg and then back again the following day and then carry on like that for 9,495 km. On the whole trip we only had 2 days rest so far after traveling 12,159 km from Johannesburg. Our muscles were sore and sometimes you don't know if it is from the riding or from the falling off. Juan fell off 21 times on the whole trip and myself 16 times. All the muscles on our fingers were also sore due to holding the bike tight on the sand and gravel roads. I suppose you can expect that from a 60 year old but Juan felt about the same at half my age. Any way bikers should not cry so the food arrived that we ordered. The waiter then said that they are going to switch off the generator now as that is the rule that at that time of night it should be switch off. I was not happy about that but at least we had some food by candle light. After dinner we went to pitch our tents on the beach using the head lights of the bikes in order to see. After a nice hot shower it did not take long to fall asleep with the waves breaking not too far away from our tents.     
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 29, 2012, 01:02:53 am
 At a petrol pump after Inhassoro. Look at the twin flex wiring feeding the pumps. In South Africa only a Master Electrician is allowed to connect a petrol pump.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 29, 2012, 01:05:26 am
At Pomene Lodge
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 29, 2012, 01:08:27 am
Some more photos of Pomene Logde.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 29, 2012, 01:11:13 am
On the next delivery some more photos of Pomene.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: White Rhino on March 29, 2012, 02:59:40 am
Stunning. The soft sand in Mozo can be a monster, especially with loaded bikes. Well done for only going down 16 times :ricky:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: goingnowherequickly on March 30, 2012, 06:33:51 am
Just read this report & its fantastic :thumleft:
The northern Mozam bit really brings back memories, it was the first bike trip I did in 2009/2010.
We stayed in the same places in Pemba, at Gorongoza, & Pomene...., although we were heading North...
I sympathize about the road ( sand track) to Pomene, it took us over 4 hours - we arrived at about 10PM with overheating bikes...
Looking forward to the rest :ricky: 
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 30, 2012, 01:29:28 pm
Stunning. The soft sand in Mozo can be a monster, especially with loaded bikes. Well done for only going down 16 times :ricky:
Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 30, 2012, 01:31:51 pm
Just read this report & its fantastic :thumleft:
The northern Mozam bit really brings back memories, it was the first bike trip I did in 2009/2010.
We stayed in the same places in Pemba, at Gorongoza, & Pomene...., although we were heading North...
I sympathize about the road ( sand track) to Pomene, it took us over 4 hours - we arrived at about 10PM with overheating bikes...
Looking forward to the rest :ricky: 
Only 3 days of riding left, will report soon, thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 31, 2012, 06:12:24 pm
        Day 40      13/01/2011              Pomene                                0 km
The next day we decided to stay an extra day as we have done good mileage the last couple of days. We only had to be back in Johannesburg on the 15/01/2011. After breakfast we checked Juan's bike and just as we thought it was only the wire to the fan that came off the lug so in two ticks his radiator fan was working again. Juan is a swim fanatic and went to swim in the sea for most of the day and I went to relax on the pool deck for most of my day. The following 11 photos have been taken with Juan's last surviving camera out of 3 for the trip.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 31, 2012, 06:14:13 pm
Our camp site on the beach.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 31, 2012, 06:18:12 pm
Our camp site on the beach. The thatch roof room on the 2nd photo was our kitchen.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 31, 2012, 06:19:57 pm
A good place to practice your sand riding.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 31, 2012, 06:23:11 pm
Beautiful Pomene lodge beach.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 31, 2012, 06:35:33 pm
Pomene Lodge.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 31, 2012, 06:38:43 pm
The pool from a different angle.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 31, 2012, 06:42:50 pm
The 2nd last day, all ready to go and packed up and ready for the same sand road back. At least we were going to do it during the day and with two radiator fans that is working this time.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on April 01, 2012, 04:50:56 pm
Excellent RR and photo's as we have come to expect ! ... and I have waited for this opportunity to do my 1000th post.   :thumleft:

Thanks for sharing this.

 8) 
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 03, 2012, 06:23:17 pm
Excellent RR and photo's as we have come to expect ! ... and I have waited for this opportunity to do my 1000th post.   :thumleft:

Thanks for sharing this.

 8) 
Congratulations on your 1000 post.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 03, 2012, 06:26:16 pm
Day 41      14/01/2011          Pomene---Praia do Bilene                      498 km
The next morning it was back on the same two spoor sand road. The previous night we had rain so it helped a lot in the thick sand and as it was daylight it was a good practice run. We managed to ride the 50 km sand section without falling but when we hit the mud section Juan fell off and the bike fell on top of him. I parked my bike about 80 metre ahead and walked back to release him of his agony. As I was taking my time he said “dad you better come quick as I am hurting”. I lifted the bike off him and that was his fall no. 21 and fortunately the last one of the trip for him. We joint the tar road at Rio das Pedras. We were just going nicely when Juan's clutch cable slipped out at the clutch lever where we tied it with a piece of wire. The cable lasted from Karema next to Lake Tanganyika 7300 km back where we fixed the cable the first time with a boer maak a plan method. We had the Chinese look alike cable which we bought along the way at a spare shop for Chinese bikes. The cable was the same length but was much thinner and had no adjustment nuts like the original Yamaha cable. We fitted the new cable and as there was an adjustment nut at the clutch lever it solved the problem and off we went again with the clutch working perfect. We covered the 498 km in good time and arrived at Praia do Bilene in the afternoon and still had some time for a walk on the beach as it was our last night of the trip. Don't miss the last delivery as something drastic happen on the last day of the trip.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 03, 2012, 06:28:39 pm
On the way to Praia do Bilene.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 03, 2012, 06:31:19 pm
At the lagoon at Bilene.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 03, 2012, 06:33:30 pm
At the lagoon at Bilene.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 03, 2012, 06:36:45 pm
The view over the restaurant from our room at 7.30 pm the last night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 03, 2012, 10:03:27 pm
Just read this report & its fantastic :thumleft:
The northern Mozam bit really brings back memories, it was the first bike trip I did in 2009/2010.
We stayed in the same places in Pemba, at Gorongoza, & Pomene...., although we were heading North...
I sympathize about the road ( sand track) to Pomene, it took us over 4 hours - we arrived at about 10PM with overheating bikes...
Looking forward to the rest :ricky: 
Mozambique is nice did you also enjoyed the above places.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 03, 2012, 10:07:07 pm
Stunning. The soft sand in Mozo can be a monster, especially with loaded bikes. Well done for only going down 16 times :ricky:
Yes I think with hind sight it was also good practice although not so enjoyable at night.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 06:43:50 pm
Day 42                 15/01/2011                  Praia do Bilene------Johannesburg
The next morning I woke up at 4.30, it was the last day of the trip. I was lying  in bed with my mind going through the trip thinking of all the things we went through. I was thanking God that he protected us through out. We had 3 real close encounters. I got up and woke Juan up. “Today we will have to push as I want to sleep in my own bed tonight” I told Juan. We took a last couple of photos and started to load the bikes. At 5.30 am we were off. We travelled the 33 km to the main EN1 which is the main road to Maputo. We were traveling now at a 130 kph on the speedo. The road was open and then after 30 km since turning onto main road I heard a klak and the next moment the rear wheel locked at full speed. I thought something in the engine broke and pulled the clutch in but the bike kept on skidding with smoke coming out of the tyre. The bike started to go sideways like a speedway bike on an oval track and just as I thought my knee is going to scrape on the tar I managed to turn the steering the other way. The bike was still traveling at high speed and started to go sideways on the other side with the front wheel almost 90 degrees to the sideways bike and the front wheel pointing in the direction of the road. Again just before I hit the tar I managed to turn the handle bar the other way and eventually I had two sideways to the left and two sideway to the right before the bike came to a standstill after 80 meters of skidding and it was just a miracle that I did not fall. The bike was now standing in the middle of the road with the back wheel locked. When we checked we found that the chain was broken and bend in three places and jammed in between the sprocket and the swing arm. The swing arm was also bend as well as the rear sprocket. O man what a disappointment. Just at that moment another miracle happened and a Kia bakkie with a GP number plate stopped in front of us. He was a Mozambiquen and on the way to Johannesburg to an address just 5 km away from where I stayed and is prepared to give me a lift. Man what a decision to make as I wanted to fix the bike. After such a trip a man must ride his own bike into his own yard. As the guy was in a hurry Juan said “dad if we let him go now we are not going to get another opportunity for a lift as this is the first GP vehicle that we saw in 42 days and the bike looked pretty much damaged”.  So we loaded the bike on the back of the bakkie. The owner of the bakkie  Vincent was on his way back to JHB after the December holidays as he is a building contractor in Johannesburg. His wife and two children were with him while the kids were sitting on the back with me. It started to rain and I put my rain suite on with my helmet on my head. The kids went to sit in front with the parents and I was watching how Juan was riding in the rain behind us. I must say I was sulking as this is not the way I envisaged the trip to end. We rode through Maputo and all the pot holes were filled with water and the streets looked like a river due to all the rain. Eventually we got to the border and it was extremely busy but after about an hour we got through. As an old biker I could not take it to ride home on the back of a bakkie anymore and I told Juan to get on the bakkie and I rode Juan's bike in the rain behind them. Juan was grateful and I was happy again. I could see Juan falling asleep on the back and we stopped at Malelane for a breakfast at the Wimpy where we bought our do good er and family a breakfast. Juan sat with the Menu and just laughed as he saw all the choices. Throughout the trip Juan wanted a milkshake and nowhere could he get one and here he had a choice of different flavours. It was also very strange to see so many white people as throughout the trip we only saw a couple. After breakfast we were off again and I rode home all the way in the rain on the bike and so a great 13 350 km 42 day adventure came to an end. To date I have travelled across America to many cities, have also been to Canada. My wife and I have travelled with rug sacks through 7 countries in Europe. We have also travelled through Israel. I have also travelled through half of Australia. I have been to just about every dorpie in South Africa and have also travelled extensively through all our neighbouring countries but this trip was the adventure that beat them all. As I said in the beginning we were looking for an adventure and I think we got what we were looking for. As I am pushing 62 years now I only have two items left on my bucked list. The first is a tandem parachute jump and the last one is a motorcycle trip around the world.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 06:48:24 pm
Just after 5 am on the last day.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 06:49:42 pm
Just after 5 am on the last day
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 06:51:34 pm
The restaurant early in the morning.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 06:54:13 pm
The photo was taken half way through the skid marks and the car is where my chain broke.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 06:56:23 pm
And the other half of the skid marks with my bike already loaded on the back of the bakkie.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 07:00:20 pm
The broken chain and the bend swing arm. The chain even broke the left flicker light about 500 mm above the sprocket.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 07:00:59 pm
 1/Statistics and cost of the trip on page 26 reply no 512 dated 16 May 2012.
 2/Info on the 2 bikes we used   on page 26 reply no 513 dated 13 July 2012.
 3/Advise to travel through Africa on page 27 reply no 536 dated 13 December 2012.         
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: subie on April 04, 2012, 07:16:27 pm
Endless chain or linked (master) ??
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 04, 2012, 07:19:38 pm
Endless chain or linked (master) ??
It was a endless chain but I think the tough conditions on the trip took its toll on the chain.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: subie on April 04, 2012, 07:24:46 pm
That is scary stuff.
I wish I had your woema and I am 52. Thank you for great RR

 :ricky:


Endless chain or linked (master) ??
It was a endless chain but I think the tough conditions on the trip took its toll on the chain.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SuperDavexlv750r on April 05, 2012, 06:31:25 pm
Brilliant RR Schalk

We should do the tandem parachute jump sometime and then convince my wife that I need toaccompany you on your round the world trip.
 :ricky: :ricky:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on April 06, 2012, 01:56:07 pm
Wow, what a ride !

I have no doubt that you will do both the adventures still outstanding on your Bucket List ... just take the photo's and do the reports is all we ask.

Thanks for the ride along on this.

Great !   8)
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Gene on April 06, 2012, 06:08:49 pm
Jirre Schalk, wat n trip en die kettang storie, die genade is met jou, sal laaik om saam te ry om die wereld....
Baie lekker trip, my gat jeuk omtrent..
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 10, 2012, 10:02:55 pm
Brilliant RR Schalk

We should do the tandem parachute jump sometime and then convince my wife that I need toaccompany you on your round the world trip.
 :ricky: :ricky:
Hi David I am sure the parachute jump should be no problem but the convincing the wife you will have to do. Kind regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 10, 2012, 10:07:23 pm
Wow, what a ride !

I have no doubt that you will do both the adventures still outstanding on your Bucket List ... just take the photo's and do the reports is all we ask.

Thanks for the ride along on this.

Great !   8)
Hi Ian I was right there in Groot and Klein Brak this weekend. Yes I am focusing on the round the world trip now. Kind regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 10, 2012, 10:09:26 pm
Jirre Schalk, wat n trip en die kettang storie, die genade is met jou, sal laaik om saam te ry om die wereld....
Baie lekker trip, my gat jeuk omtrent..
Ja die ouens wat wil saam ry moet nou praat want ek beplan al, groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: subie on April 11, 2012, 06:08:53 am
Moet nou nie die ouens se drome opneuk met reality nie. Dis onnodig   :mwink:
Vertel bietjie van hoe die bikes perform het as jy tyd kry.

 :ricky:


Jirre Schalk, wat n trip en die kettang storie, die genade is met jou, sal laaik om saam te ry om die wereld....
Baie lekker trip, my gat jeuk omtrent..
[/quote]Ja die ouens wat wil saam ry moet nou praat want ek beplan al, groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: wildside on April 13, 2012, 12:02:37 am

 :wav:

 What an amazing report. I have so enjoyed following your adventure.
Well done for handling that bike so well. It could have been a nasty mess.
With your adventurous spirit I have no doubt that you will be planning your next ride soon....looking forward to the RR  :mwink:

Take care.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 18, 2012, 04:11:51 am
Moet nou nie die ouens se drome opneuk met reality nie. Dis onnodig   :mwink:
Vertel bietjie van hoe die bikes perform het as jy tyd kry.Hi subie ek sal benekort vertel van die bikes, groete Schalk

 :ricky:


Jirre Schalk, wat n trip en die kettang storie, die genade is met jou, sal laaik om saam te ry om die wereld....
Baie lekker trip, my gat jeuk omtrent..
[/quote]Ja die ouens wat wil saam ry moet nou praat want ek beplan al, groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 18, 2012, 04:58:45 am

 :wav:

 What an amazing report. I have so enjoyed following your adventure.
Well done for handling that bike so well. It could have been a nasty mess.
With your adventurous spirit I have no doubt that you will be planning your next ride soon....looking forward to the RR  :mwink:

Take care.
Hi Karen thanks for the positive input, I am also enjoying your RR it brings back memories, I think you and Kingsley did very well regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: HB 9 on May 04, 2012, 12:00:39 pm
Schalk and Juan,

Respect for doing this trip which was written brilliantly and exceptional photos! Well done and thank you for sharing.

Good luck with your around the world trip!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on May 06, 2012, 09:28:58 pm
Schalk and Juan,

Respect for doing this trip which was written brilliantly and exceptional photos! Well done and thank you for sharing.

Good luck with your around the world trip!
Hi Has Been, thanks for reading and the compliment. You must try it one day as well, kind regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on May 06, 2012, 09:31:21 pm
I will still give the statistics of the trip and report on the bikes as promised, just watch this space.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: g1_ on May 06, 2012, 10:48:40 pm
sub
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Kelvin on May 08, 2012, 09:54:24 am
Howdy Schalk, if you remember the three guys (Jonathan - Loan Wolf; Pierre & myself) that chatted to you in Fraserburg I have been keen to read your ride report since then & glad I did, damn what an adventure and some really nice photos as well.
I figured that I would rattle together a few words on our most recent weekend ride, a Karoo Autumn, thanks for the inspiration!

Cheers
Kelvin
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on May 08, 2012, 09:37:37 pm
Howdy Schalk, if you remember the three guys (Jonathan - Loan Wolf; Pierre & myself) that chatted to you in Fraserburg I have been keen to read your ride report since then & glad I did, damn what an adventure and some really nice photos as well.
I figured that I would rattle together a few words on our most recent weekend ride, a Karoo Autumn, thanks for the inspiration!

Cheers
Kelvin
Hi Kevin yes it was nice to chat to you guys, did Loan Wolf get home OK with the broken clutch cable ? Cheers Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Nevar on May 09, 2012, 04:39:43 pm
What a nice trip + 1 to my bucket list to do.Thanks for taking me along the journey with your report.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on May 09, 2012, 05:09:29 pm
What a nice trip + 1 to my bucket list to do.Thanks for taking me along the journey with your report.
Hi Nevar I am glad you enjoyed  the RR, don't leave it for too long, do it if you can. I will still do a report on how much it cost us and the statistics. Regards Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on May 16, 2012, 06:15:46 pm
A/Africa trip Statistics

1/Price of trip--------------------------------------R 50 000 (R 25 000 each)
2/Total distance covered------------------------13 350km (was 1000km further than Cape to Cairo)
3/Sets of tyres used------------------------------- one set each
4/Duration of trip--------------------------------- 42 days
5/Days traveling----------------------------------- 39 days
6/Days of rest-------------------------------------- 3 days
7/Falling offs 
a/Myself----------------------------- ----------------16 falls
b/Juan------------------------------------------------21 falls
8/Countries visited--------------------------------7 plus the island of Zanzibar
9/Border crossings---------------------------------11
10/Number of high speed near head on’s where we had to go off the road ------3


B/Break downs

a/Juan’s Bike
1/ Clutch cable
2/ Battery 
3/Brake pads after riding through some bad clay-last 2500km was done with front                                 
    brake only
4/ Bending strait brake pedal and gear lever and handle bar protector –quite a few times after  some falls
5/1 Flat tyre

b/My bike
1/Only plastic covers after some falls
2/Chain on the last day
3/Bending strait brake pedal and handle bar protector –quite a few times after some falls


C/General
1/Stuff stolen from us –My walled at the Tanzanian border and Juan’s Canon camera in Tanzania.
2/Places where we felt unsafe--------------only once on the whole trip
3/Average price for petrol
a/At petrol pumps R12
b/In the bush from the local people R25/litre
4/Fuel consumption-----------------------20—28km/litre
5/Price for camping-----------------------R150 and sometimes for free
6/Price for hotel rooms for two--------R350 but sometimes the showers don’t work
7/Bribes expected-----------Once but we refused to pay.

                                                                                                                         
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on July 13, 2012, 01:00:32 pm
As promised I said I will tell a little bit about the bikes.  I bought the bike 2 nd hand in PE with about 8000 km on the clock. The bike has done 30 000 km to date and never missed a beat. Even with the petrol that we bought up in Africa it did not affect the bike that much. In Mozambique most pumps only had regular leaded petrol available. In the rest of the countries we sometimes bought from the locals and I am sure they sometimes mix paraffin with their regular petrol. When we came across the border from Tanzania into Mozambique I had some local fuel in the tank and during that night I had to tow Juan quite a few times in the sand as his battery had packed up and the bike had stalled quite a few times. My bike pinged a bit then under the strain but as soon as we put clean petrol in it was ok again. These bikes are extremely hardy. Juan drop my bike recently on a breakfast run at 140 kmh on tar and the bike skidded 78 metres and only the right hand tank cover was broken as well as the brake protector was shaven away and the rear foot rest as well. On our trip I fell 16 times and Juan 21 times and they are still ok. I recently dropped the bike in the Klipriver during a river crossing and the bike was completely covered with water for about 5 minutes. Now I know what they say that you should not try and restart without taking your spark plug out but I did try and start it and after about a minute it fired up and I rode the 20 km home with water still coming out of the bike when I reached home. Juan sold his bike after the trip and if I remember right it had between  45-50 K on the clock. The only thing that I can criticize the bike on is that the seat is very hard for a long trip and I think the bike leans itself more towards off road than to on road. I service my bike myself and with new oil and all the filters it normally cost me about R 350. With the fuel injection and electronic ignition the bike adjust itself no matter what altitude you travel or what fuel you put in. So all in all It is a very low maintenance, hardy bike that should do an around the world trip quite easily and it is also a very economical and light bike weighing in at 165 KG with plenty power even loaded. I hope you guys enjoyed our storey and don’t wait too long, Just do it.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on July 13, 2012, 01:10:28 pm
Moet nou nie die ouens se drome opneuk met reality nie. Dis onnodig   :mwink:
Vertel bietjie van hoe die bikes perform het as jy tyd kry.

 :ricky:


Jirre Schalk, wat n trip en die kettang storie, die genade is met jou, sal laaik om saam te ry om die wereld....
Baie lekker trip, my gat jeuk omtrent..
[/quote]Ja die ouens wat wil saam ry moet nou praat want ek beplan al, groete Schalk.
Hi Subie jy kan nou hierbo lees van die bikes soos belowe, groete
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: subie on July 13, 2012, 04:58:54 pm
As promised I said I will tell a little bit about the bikes.  I bought the bike 2 nd hand in PE with about 8000 km on the clock. The bike has done 30 000 km to date and never missed a beat. Even with the petrol that we bought up in Africa it did not affect the bike that much. In Mozambique most pumps only had regular leaded petrol available. In the rest of the countries we sometimes bought from the locals and I am sure they sometimes mix paraffin with their regular petrol. When we came across the border from Tanzania into Mozambique I had some local fuel in the tank and during that night I had to tow Juan quite a few times in the sand as his battery had packed up and the bike had stalled quite a few times. My bike pinged a bit then under the strain but as soon as we put clean petrol in it was ok again. These bikes are extremely hardy. Juan drop my bike recently on a breakfast run at 140 kmh on tar and the bike skidded 78 metres and only the right hand tank cover was broken as well as the brake protector was shaven away and the rear foot rest as well. On our trip I fell 16 times and Juan 21 times and they are still ok. I recently dropped the bike in the Klipriver during a river crossing and the bike was completely covered with water for about 5 minutes. Now I know what they say that you should not try and restart without taking your spark plug out but I did try and start it and after about a minute it fired up and I rode the 20 km home with water still coming out of the bike when I reached home. Juan sold his bike after the trip and if I remember right it had between  45-50 K on the clock. The only thing that I can criticize the bike on is that the seat is very hard for a long trip and I think the bike leans itself more towards off road than to on road. I service my bike myself and with new oil and all the filters it normally cost me about R 350. With the fuel injection and electronic ignition the bike adjust itself no matter what altitude you travel or what fuel you put in. So all in all It is a very low maintenance, hardy bike that should do an around the world trip quite easily and it is also a very economical and light bike weighing in at 165 KG with plenty power even loaded. I hope you guys enjoyed our storey and don’t wait too long, Just do it.

Dankie Schalk   :thumleft:
Jy is n man van jou woord   :ricky:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on July 17, 2012, 09:45:28 am
Dankie Subie, ek wil nog graag ook 'n bietjie raad gee vir ouens wat so 'n trip wil doen, sal weer 'n stukkie skryf wat dit betref. Groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: plugz1 on July 23, 2012, 09:45:16 pm
hey...just stumbled across this thread now, and....Brilliant!!
Spent the last (I don't know how long I've been at this computer) reading this RR from start to finish. Amazing stuff.

Respect.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on July 23, 2012, 09:55:38 pm
hey...just stumbled across this thread now, and....Brilliant!!
Spent the last (I don't know how long I've been at this computer) reading this RR from start to finish. Amazing stuff.

Respect.
Hi Plugz1 clad you enjoyed it, hope it helped you in some way regards Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SuperDavexlv750r on July 24, 2012, 08:57:15 pm
Hi Schalk - we doing the round the world trip in 80 days then?

Jy moet praat jomg. Ek belowe ek sal nie my XLV750 vat nie hoor. Maar hy is ook so laag op maintenance en geen KETTING nie!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on July 25, 2012, 10:23:55 am
Hi Schalk - we doing the round the world trip in 80 days then?

Jy moet praat jomg. Ek belowe ek sal nie my XLV750 vat nie hoor. Maar hy is ook so laag op maintenance en geen KETTING nie!
Hi Dave ek is reg as jy reg is groete Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Gérrard on July 25, 2012, 10:28:53 am
Hi Schalk, mooi trip wat julle gedoen het. Volgende maand doen ek en my seun 'n eerste trip saam wat hy sy eie bike ry en sien baie uit daarna.

Sien mekaar dalk weer later in die jaar as Mitch vir ons 'n trip kan reël ?

Groete
Gerard.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on July 25, 2012, 12:58:45 pm
Hi Schalk, mooi trip wat julle gedoen het. Volgende maand doen ek en my seun 'n eerste trip saam wat hy sy eie bike ry en sien baie uit daarna.

Sien mekaar dalk weer later in die jaar as Mitch vir ons 'n trip kan reël ?

Groete
Gerard.Hi Gerard ja ek dink dit is seker een van die belangrikste dinge in die lewe om dinge saam met jou kinders te doen, dit maak die band net soveel sterker. Ek weet ook jy is 'n ou biker en kan 'n bike ry, jou seun sal net van jou kan leer. Ek het die naweek wat verby is saam met Mitch gery en hy gaan weer die selfde trip reël, die keer sal ek darem nie kruppel poot wees nie. Geniet die trip saam met jou seun dit is goud werd, groete daar in PE Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Beltzer on August 17, 2012, 01:04:58 pm
Schalk,

Ek het eers gistraand op die verslag afgekom, en wat 'n verrassing  :thumleft:


Baie dankie vir die vermaak van gistraand en vanoggend, hoop net nie my baas vind uit nie.


Groete
Wynand
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on August 19, 2012, 04:42:06 pm
Schalk,

Ek het eers gistraand op die verslag afgekom, en wat 'n verrassing  :thumleft:


Baie dankie vir die vermaak van gistraand en vanoggend, hoop net nie my baas vind uit nie.


Groete
Wynand
Nou moet jy nog net so 'n trip beplan, dit is live changing. Dankie vir die lees van ons trippie.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on August 19, 2012, 06:23:01 pm
I changed the bike to red now, a change is as good as a holiday.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on August 25, 2012, 06:48:53 pm
Mooi so Schalk. Ek het gewonder of julle die trip sou doen. Nou weet ek. Sien uit na die fotos.
Hi Hein, ek het gewonder wie die post gestuur het, maar na ek jou en Heidi by die Outdoor show gesien het nou weet ek. Groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Noneking on August 29, 2012, 09:19:19 pm
Dit was nou lekker lees en kykstof :thumleft:  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: frans1 on August 29, 2012, 10:33:54 pm
Dankie. Dit was nou lekker lees die. Dit spoor mens aan na adventure trips toe. Sal eendag nog met vroulief onderhandel vir so trip. 
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on August 31, 2012, 03:19:39 pm
Dankie. Dit was nou lekker lees die. Dit spoor mens aan na adventure trips toe. Sal eendag nog met vroulief onderhandel vir so trip. 

As 'n mens begin dan kan jy nie stop nie, ek beplan nog 'n om die wêreld trip. Ek wens net ek kan 'n sponsor kry.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on August 31, 2012, 03:21:20 pm
Dit was nou lekker lees en kykstof :thumleft:  :thumleft: :thumleft:


Dankie Noneking ek is bly jy het dit geniet Groete.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on November 17, 2012, 12:32:34 pm
Dropped the red one 3 weeks ago while on a trip through ET and Swaziland with some WD members. It is taking much longer to heal than I thought it would take. Some torn muscles on the shoulder and swollen upper leg. Going for a scan of the shoulder muscles on Monday.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Vis Arend on November 17, 2012, 08:54:44 pm
Ai tog, dit lyk nie lekker nie.  Oud word is nie vir sussies nie, die lywe vat maar 'n knou en sukkel om te herstel.  Hoop jy herstel gou.   :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on November 17, 2012, 11:02:28 pm
Ai tog, dit lyk nie lekker nie.  Oud word is nie vir sussies nie, die lywe vat maar 'n knou en sukkel om te herstel.  Hoop jy herstel gou.   :thumleft:
Hi Vis Arend dit is vir seker en dankie, groete.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Nick BMW1200ADV on December 09, 2012, 01:27:37 pm
 :peepwall: Ek het vanoggend begin lees en kon nie stop voor ek klaar was nie, ek moet se dit was baie goed geskryf en om die fotos te sien ook van plekke wat ek by was. Dankie en lekker ry  :ricky:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on December 10, 2012, 08:09:17 am
:peepwall: Ek het vanoggend begin lees en kon nie stop voor ek klaar was nie, ek moet se dit was baie goed geskryf en om die fotos te sien ook van plekke wat ek by was. Dankie en lekker ry  :ricky:

Dankie vir die kompliment, ek is op die oomblik 'n bietjie buite aksie met die ryery. Ek was so 6 weke terug op 'n trip Mpumalanga en Swaziland toe met 4 ander WD's en het afgeval en die legimente van die been op my skouer los geskeur. Ek gaan more vir 'n operasie waar hulle dit weer met skroewe wat self weer later disintergreer vas sit . Die spesialis praat van 'n 9 maande herstel periode. Kan nie wag om weer die 660 of die 1000 se oor te draai nie maar sal die keer 'n bietjie geduldig moet wees, groete daar in die Kaap ek kom juis nuwe jaar soon toe. Groete Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on December 13, 2012, 05:46:48 am
As I said before I will give a bit of advice for people wanting to do a similar trip, well here goes.

1/ Get a Carnet de passages for every country you are traveling to.

2/Get a Visa in your own country for every country you are traveling to that require a Visa.

3/Put a new chain on your bike with 2 new sprockets before you leave and service the bike.

4/ Put new brake pads on before leaving and take at least 1 spare set along an especially if you are going to travel on muddy roads. Also take two spare air filters and one oil filter along.

5/Always be polite at the border post control points and don’t use the runners, they will rip you off.

6/ Don’t change money with money changers and rather draw their local currency at the ATM’s. Always have a bit of American Dollars with you as it is accepted everywhere.

7/ Get a Visa debit card if you are traveling through Africa even if your bank only have Master card. Also get about 3 cards and hide them in different places on the bike in case you lose one.

8/ Always have food and water for one or two days with you in case you get stuck or have to sleep in the veld.

9/ If you are going to travel a lot of dirt or off road then take a set of knobblies along on top of your luggage.

10/ Take the necessary tools along.

11/ Try and get a manual with all the part numbers onto your smart phone in case you have to phone your dealer to courier you some parts. You won’t find parts for your bike in Africa.

 12/ Buy a sim card for your cell phone in every country in order to stay in contact with your family, remember they think you are doing something extremely dangerous although it is much more dangerous in South Africa. Some sim cards work in three countries but you cannot top up in one of the other countries.

13/Allow enough rest days and don’t do like we have done to ride 39 days out of 42.

14/ Don’t overload your bike (we had about 40 kg of luggage each) allow space for weight shifting to the back in case you hit sand.

15/ Practice to ride off the road at the speed you are going to travel beforehand as you are going to be pushed off the road from the front in certain countries.

16/ Get up early every morning and try to shave every day to keep up the discipline.

17/ Get all the necessary vaccinations beforehand. Take something along for Malaria. Also take medicine for a stomach bug

18/Make an inventory of all your luggage and make a copy for every border crossing and have it stamped by customs, that way they don’t make you unpack every time.

19/Take a good mattress and pillow along, proper sleep is important on a long trip. I found the self-inflating mattress and a feather pillow the best. The pillow can be squashed into a small bundle.

20/Google Shoprite Africa before you go and make print outs of where their shops are in Africa, You will find decent food their similar to the ones in RSA.

21/ Google all the embassies to the countries where you are going to and make print outs as that can help you in many a difficult situation.

22/ don’t take expensive cameras along, they will get damaged. A small digital is good enough.

23/Try and not ride at night in Africa.

24/Take Loctite along for bolts that come loose all the time.

25/Take a shifting spanner along to bend strait brake and gear levers after some falls.

26/ Cool down shocks on bad roads after about 50 KMs or so.

27/Take the best GPS maps along as well as the A4 size Africa Road Atlas by Map Studio as well as a big map of Africa on one page. You need all 3.

28/Petrol can 5 liters per bike or long range tank.

29/ Female stockings (sykous) to pour your Africa petrol through.

30/Soft luggage if there is a change that you are going to fall off. Hard luggage is very nice but tends to break legs. (I know the Vendors are going to get on my case but it is my opinion.)

31 Take AGATT along.

32/Apart from your normal license get an international license

33/ If you feel the prices are a rip off, bargain until you are happy.

34/ Enjoy your trip and be friendly to the people of Africa they always are very friendly and helpful. Don’ t just take but also give back by answering all their questions as you are like an astronaut to them doing this trip and they can only dream about. Be patient it is Africa.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SuperDavexlv750r on December 24, 2012, 08:29:33 pm
Thanks Schalk for excellent advice. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on December 27, 2012, 03:03:45 pm
Thanks Schalk for excellent advice. :thumleft:
See you in JHB next year
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SuperDavexlv750r on December 27, 2012, 06:23:55 pm
Thanks Schalk for excellent advice. :thumleft:
See you in JHB next year

We should plan a ride in September - when your arm is healed. :thumleft:

I hope you going to take it easy until then. ;D
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: frans1 on December 29, 2012, 05:08:35 pm
Hi Schalk.
Ek het nou weer jou hele RR gelees vir 'n 2 de keer en weer van vooraf geniet!
Well done !

Hoop jy herstel gou, maar dit gee jou darem nou genoeg tyd om die volgende trip rondom die wereld goed te beplan.

Dankie vir al die stats!

Groetnis
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on December 31, 2012, 10:16:00 am
Hi Schalk.
Ek het nou weer jou hele RR gelees vir 'n 2 de keer en weer van vooraf geniet!
Well done !

Hoop jy herstel gou, maar dit gee jou darem nou genoeg tyd om die volgende trip rondom die wereld goed te beplan.

Dankie vir al die stats!

Groetnis
Hi Frans1 ja dit gee my tyd om te dink. Ek moet ook met een hand op die keyboard werk. Groete
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 25, 2013, 08:17:16 pm
Just want to say, my planning for my solo around the world trip is going well, should be leaving in about a years time and pushing 64 by then. I am still recovering from a fall last year where the tendons tore loose from the bone on my shoulder, till next time Schalk.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Vis Arend on February 25, 2013, 08:26:27 pm
Just want to say, my planning for my solo around the world trip is going well, should be leaving in about a years time and pushing 64 by then. I am still recovering from a fall last year where the tendons tore loose from the bone on my shoulder, till next time Schalk.

Jis Schalk, live the life, jy kry net een kans.   :thumleft:

Herstel gou en geniet die beplanning, die rit self is net nog 'n ervaring in jou lewe.   :deal:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 25, 2013, 08:30:27 pm
Just want to say, my planning for my solo around the world trip is going well, should be leaving in about a years time and pushing 64 by then. I am still recovering from a fall last year where the tendons tore loose from the bone on my shoulder, till next time Schalk.

Jis Schalk, live the life, jy kry net een kans.   :thumleft:

Herstel gou en geniet die beplanning, die rit self is net nog 'n ervaring in jou lewe.   :deal:

Dankie Vis Arend, dit was net die geld wat my terug gehou het maar dit lyk nou of dinge by mekaar uitkom. Sponsors stel nie belang nie so dit is maar self finance, kan nie wag nie, groete.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on May 30, 2013, 08:42:17 pm
Departure date for my around the world tour is 25/05/2015. It may sound a long way away but that's what it takes cheers Schalk
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Gérrard on May 31, 2013, 12:47:31 am
Hello Schalk, ek sien nou eers die storie van jou tripbeplanning. Weet jy hiervan http://jupiterstravellers.org/

Voorspoed en geniet.

Gerard.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SuperDavexlv750r on May 31, 2013, 04:52:17 pm
Just want to say, my planning for my solo around the world trip is going well, should be leaving in about a years time and pushing 64 by then. I am still recovering from a fall last year where the tendons tore loose from the bone on my shoulder, till next time Schalk.

Solo - Jis man nou wil jy nie meer saam my ry nie?

Ek is jammer - vergewe my asb...

Ek wil ook saam ry jong :imaposer: :imaposer:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on June 01, 2013, 06:19:45 pm
Hello Schalk, ek sien nou eers die storie van jou tripbeplanning. Weet jy hiervan http://jupiterstravellers.org/

Voorspoed en geniet.

Gerard.

Hi Gerard dankie vir die web adress, ek het altwee sy boeke gelees en lees nou op die oomblik "Dreaming of Jupiter" vir die tweede keer. Ek het die datum solank vas gestel want dan sal my geld sake reg wees, ek kan nie wag vir die dag nie. Groete
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on June 23, 2014, 09:24:53 pm
Just want to say my around the world trip planned for next year is still on schedule
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: mox on June 24, 2014, 08:38:56 am
Just want to say my around the world trip planned for next year is still on schedule

 :biggrin: That is going to be super epic! Will there be a prolouge? Cant wait for the RR!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: g1_ on June 24, 2014, 11:24:13 am
Schalk, I'll see you on the road!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: TVB on June 24, 2014, 11:32:24 am
Just want to say my around the world trip planned for next year is still on schedule

Wonderlike nuus, ons kyk uit na n lekker laaaang rr!!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on June 24, 2014, 09:55:45 pm
Just want to say my around the world trip planned for next year is still on schedule

 :biggrin: That is going to be super epic! Will there be a prolouge? Cant wait for the RR!
There definitely will be a prologue
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on June 24, 2014, 09:57:08 pm
Schalk, I'll see you on the road!
See you on the road mate
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on June 24, 2014, 09:58:17 pm
Just want to say my around the world trip planned for next year is still on schedule

Wonderlike nuus, ons kyk uit na n lekker laaaang rr!!
Ek kan ook nie wag vir die laaaang ry nie
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SuperDavexlv750r on July 03, 2014, 04:19:58 pm
Ek Wens ek kon saam...
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Vance on July 05, 2014, 10:25:40 pm
Inspiration...  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: TWE-TWE on January 08, 2015, 02:58:15 am
Hi Schalk
ek is nou deur die eerste 9 bladsye....sal more weer verder lees..
dis n ongelooflike verslag van n Afrika-trip, waarvan die meeste van ons net kan droom !!

Ons het die ontbyt saam met julle  in Groot Brak en die "sundowner" by ons in Reebok terdee geniet...dit was lekker om jou vrou,Lientjie en jou seun Juan te ontmoet....jy is super "gebless" dat jou vrou jou ondersteun op jou bike avonture.....

Jy is defnitief n ware avonturier !! ek kan nie glo ek het iemand ontmoet wat solo om die wereld gaan ry met n motorfiets nie !!! dit inspireer my en almal wat jou laasweek ontmoet het !!

AWESOME !!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on January 08, 2015, 01:08:25 pm
Hi Schalk
ek is nou deur die eerste 9 bladsye....sal more weer verder lees..
dis n ongelooflike verslag van n Afrika-trip, waarvan die meeste van ons net kan droom !!

Ons het die ontbyt saam met julle  in Groot Brak en die "sundowner" by ons in Reebok terdee geniet...dit was lekker om jou vrou,Lientjie en jou seun Juan te ontmoet....jy is super "gebless" dat jou vrou jou ondersteun op jou bike avonture.....

Jy is defnitief n ware avonturier !! ek kan nie glo ek het iemand ontmoet wat solo om die wereld gaan ry met n motorfiets nie !!! dit inspireer my en almal wat jou laasweek ontmoet het !!

AWESOME !!

Dankie vir die compliment, die beste van die trip kom nog. Groete
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: skydiver on January 08, 2015, 01:35:35 pm
Tick Tock, Tick Tock....Mei 2015 is om die draai.
Sterkte met die beplanning.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on January 11, 2015, 01:55:56 pm
Hi Schalk
ek is nou deur die eerste 9 bladsye....sal more weer verder lees..
dis n ongelooflike verslag van n Afrika-trip, waarvan die meeste van ons net kan droom !!

Ons het die ontbyt saam met julle  in Groot Brak en die "sundowner" by ons in Reebok terdee geniet...dit was lekker om jou vrou,Lientjie en jou seun Juan te ontmoet....jy is super "gebless" dat jou vrou jou ondersteun op jou bike avonture.....

Jy is defnitief n ware avonturier !! ek kan nie glo ek het iemand ontmoet wat solo om die wereld gaan ry met n motorfiets nie !!! dit inspireer my en almal wat jou laasweek ontmoet het !!

AWESOME !!
Hi Janita Dankie ook vir die lekker kuier en dit was 'n voorreg om jou vriende te ontmoet as ook Kevin Leo en Adam Tas en weer eens dankie vir die kuier, groete
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Louis Photo on January 11, 2015, 02:12:29 pm
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 28, 2015, 09:58:25 pm
8 weeks to go before I start my solo around the world trip. First part Joburg to Egypt and from there to Italy.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SchalkL on March 01, 2015, 11:35:33 am
8 weeks to go before I start my solo around the world trip. First part Joburg to Egypt and from there to Italy.
This is going to be GREAT!
Schalk please start  a separate thread for you world trip and post the link here: Or how are you going to do  updates while you are travelling, blog, website ?
I would love to see everything you have done do this trip including arrangements before the time, preparing, packing, documentation etc etc
I am planning a similar trip in a few years and can learn a lot from this..........

Lekker ry ou maat, ek hou jy fyn dop  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 01, 2015, 02:40:44 pm
8 weeks to go before I start my solo around the world trip. First part Joburg to Egypt and from there to Italy.
This is going to be GREAT!
Schalk please start  a separate thread for you world trip and post the link here: Or how are you going to do  updates while you are travelling, blog, website ?
I would love to see everything you have done do this trip including arrangements before the time, preparing, packing, documentation etc etc
I am planning a similar trip in a few years and can learn a lot from this..........

Lekker ry ou maat, ek hou jy fyn dop  :thumleft:

Hi Naamgenoot
Yes I will start a new thread, you must please show me how to put a link in. I will post on this forum as well as on Facebook. I am going to use the same bike that I did the equator trip with and the same equipment. There are not all that much preparation. It is basically just visa's and Carnet de passages for the bike. On the bike there is also not that much preparation. To Egypt it will be             12 500km and by the time I get there it will probably the same distance than what I travelled to the Equator and back. The total around the world trip will be about 90 000 km. I am not sure if I am going to do it in stages. If I do it in stages then the first stage will be up to Italy first stage and stage 2 six months after that. If I do get a sponsor in Europe then I will do the whole trip in one go.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: SchalkL on March 01, 2015, 04:55:00 pm
8 weeks to go before I start my solo around the world trip. First part Joburg to Egypt and from there to Italy.
This is going to be GREAT!
Schalk please start  a separate thread for you world trip and post the link here: Or how are you going to do  updates while you are travelling, blog, website ?
I would love to see everything you have done do this trip including arrangements before the time, preparing, packing, documentation etc etc
I am planning a similar trip in a few years and can learn a lot from this..........

Lekker ry ou maat, ek hou jy fyn dop  :thumleft:

Hi Naamgenoot
Yes I will start a new thread, you must please show me how to put a link in. I will post on this forum as well as on Facebook. I am going to use the same bike that I did the equator trip with and the same equipment. There are not all that much preparation. It is basically just visa's and Carnet de passages for the bike. On the bike there is also not that much preparation. To Egypt it will be             12 500km and by the time I get there it will probably the same distance than what I travelled to the Equator and back. The total around the world trip will be about 90 000 km. I am not sure if I am going to do it in stages. If I do it in stages then the first stage will be up to Italy first stage and stage 2 six months after that. If I do get a sponsor in Europe then I will do the whole trip in one go.
:thumleft: Great, will ride with you on the forum, enjoy!
(Just copy and paste the www adres on you new thread into you post here, highlight it and click on the "world" icon next to the image icon above - Done!)
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 18, 2015, 09:39:34 pm
With all the xenophobia we gaan aan . Still leaving on 2/05/2015 with maybe a slight alteration.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Gene on April 24, 2015, 07:14:05 am
Voorspoed Schalk en lekker ry ,sal jou thread met belangstelling volg... :thumleft:
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on August 30, 2016, 10:48:27 am
Hi Guys just thought I will revive this tread as I had a lot of guys asking me about a route to the Equator and back. This trip will give you a good indication of what to expect in the rest of Africa. If you however want to travel right through Africa read this tread and my other RR "   Living the dream solo around the world trip"

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=172982.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=172982.0)
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on September 10, 2016, 08:41:19 pm
Hi Guys just thought I will revive this tread as I had a lot of guys asking me about a route to the Equator and back. This trip will give you a good indication of what to expect in the rest of Africa. If you however want to travel right through Africa read this tread and my other RR "   Living the dream solo around the world trip"

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=172982.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=172982.0)
I see quite a few people are reading this tread. Thanks for the support
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on September 12, 2016, 09:51:02 pm
Thanks guys, I see you are following both treads
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on October 04, 2016, 04:58:37 pm
The bike I did this trip with has turned over 76 000 now. 150 000km to go on my around the world trip.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: Baches on October 17, 2016, 05:26:02 pm
Wow Schalk wat 'n fantastiese trip report om te lees. Jy doen wat baie wat van ons net droom om eendag te doen. Veilige reis !!
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on October 17, 2016, 05:32:12 pm
Wow Schalk wat 'n fantastiese trip report om te lees. Jy doen wat baie wat van ons net droom om eendag te doen. Veilige reis !!
Hi Baches bring daai eendag 'n bietjie vorentoe. Groete
Title: Re: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: V-twin on October 18, 2016, 07:30:44 pm
More mini tornado's
Thats not mini tornados..you wont believe it but its actually millions and billions of flies. Google it.

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on October 18, 2016, 09:58:00 pm
More mini tornado's
Thats not mini tornados..you wont believe it but its actually millions and billions of flies. Google it.

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
Hi V-twin I think you could be right. I also experienced thousands of green Midges last year on the south side of Lake Malawi at sun set when I traveled to Egypt. They completely clogged up my visor then.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on August 14, 2017, 04:36:59 pm
As I see some guys want to travel to Rwanda and back I thought I will revive this thread 
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on February 09, 2019, 06:00:57 pm
I see some guys want to travel to Malawi so I thought I would revive this RR as it would help them.
Title: Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
Post by: schalk vd merwe on June 24, 2019, 12:30:50 pm
Thought I will revive this tread for some of my friend staying with me now and they are going to do Africa now.