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Online GRyPH

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18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« on: February 17, 2012, 03:47:10 pm »
Living in the Garden Route, we have some of the best DS routes available in SA. With routes like Baviaans, Montagu Pass, Prins Alfred Pass,
Swartberg Pass, Gamkaskloof (Die Hel), Seweweekspoort to name but a few, all within a days ride from home, we really are spoilt for choice!.

But even with all these great routes, there was something that I have been missing for a while. The reason allmost of us ride DS bikes, to ride new routes, explore new areas, see new places....ADVENTURE!.

This was one of those trips to me, and it once again reminded me why I love to ride!

Horsepower organised this trip for 3 guys that wanted to do some riding in Southern Africa and invited me to help out, but more importantly, tag along.
a 18 days, 6500km trip?  how could I say no?

So on this trip was:
Myself      Honda Africa twin
Eric           BMW F800
Jeremy    BMW F800
Mark          BMW F800
Horsepower   Ford  (Backup Vehicle)
Elias          (Backup Vehicle)

I'm not much of a writer, and they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so this RR will have more photos than words.

The complete route:


Day1 - George to Robertson
Day2 - Robertson to Citrusdal
Day3 - Citrusdal to Aquacade
Day4 - Aquacade to Aus
Day5 - Aus to Sesriem
Day6 - Sesriem to Swakopmund
Day7 - Swakopmund to Toshari
Day8 - Etosha Rest day
Day9 - Toshari to Tsumkwe
Day 10 - Tsumkwe to Maun
Day 11 - Maun rest day
Day12 - Maun to Gobabis
Day13 - Gobabis to Keetmanshoop
Day14 - Keetmanshoop to Canon Roadhouse
Day15 - Canon Roadhouse to Hondeklipbaai
Day16 - Hondeklipbaai to Cederberg Oasis
Day17 - Cederberg to Robertson
Day18 - Robertson to George.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 05:26:45 pm by GRyPH »
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Online GRyPH

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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 03:48:21 pm »
DAY1 - George to Robertson

The goal for day one was just to get from George to Robertson so we could pack the support vehicle that Horspower would be driving.
I could only get away from George in the afternoon, so I just hightailed it all the way to Robertson via the N2.



DAY2 - Robertson via Capetown to Citrusdal
On day 2 we had to get the 3 guys from the Airport in Capetown, get them some gear and get their rental bikes, so the end destination for the day was just to get out of the traffic and on the road. Citrusdal was where we made our camp for this night.


DAY3 - Citrusdal to Aquacade

Now this is where the trip really started!
Because we wanted to get to the border ASAP and leave the riding in South Africa for the last leg of the trip, we stayed once again on tar (N7) all the way to the border at Vioolsdrif.This also gave the guys on their F800s a chance to get to know their new bikes before we crossed the border to Namibia.

Near Clanwilliam:


Springbok:


Between Springbok and Vioolsdrif:



We set our camp quite early at the desert oasis called "Aquacade". And decided that we had to check out the pool (and bar) first as the temperatures peaked at 39C that day.

Chilling in the pool:



Later that evening when the heat died down a bit, we helped ourselves to a couple of drinks, while Horsepower cooked us a meal fit for kings!

View over the Orange river:


Myself and Horsepower:


Horsepower cooking up a storm:
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 04:16:01 pm by GRyPH »
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Offline JMOL

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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 03:48:47 pm »
Subscribed  :thumleft:
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Online GRyPH

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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 03:49:31 pm »
DAY4 - Aquacade to Aus

We left on day 4 as soon as they opened the gate to let us out of the camp. Crossing the border into Namibia and FINALLY onto dirt!

Welcome to Namibia:


Getting onto Dirt:


We took the dirt road leading roughly west from Noord Oewer, through the "Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park"  and it is here that I was reminded about what DS riding is all about!  This is why we don't stick to the tar!.

Desert:





The road runs alongside the Orange river for quite some time, and the landscapes and scenery was spectacular!  We did not have a long way to go for the day, so we could take it easy and enjoy our surroundings. But we had so much fun riding this road, that we barely stopped for photos at all!

Riding next to the Orange river. Namibian side:



Richtersveld:


finding shade in the desert is a massive feat:


Gravel:


Checkpoint between Sendelingsdrif and Rosh-Pinah:


Playing in the sand:


After a great days riding, and not too tired, we arrived in Aus where we first made a stop at the hotel for some refreshments.  From there we headed out to our accomodation for the night, which was at "Kleine Aus Vista"

Community nest:



Mountain Cabin at Kleine Aus Vista:


Historical car:


The historical car at kleine Aus Vista has a story behind it.  Apparently it was two guys that stole some diamonds in the restricted area and tried to make a getaway in this car,  the police shot at and wounded them (bullet holes in doors) and they made it to this spot here where they died in the car. True or not, it makes a cool story.

Views at Kleine Aus Vista:






Nighttime:
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 04:18:30 pm by GRyPH »
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 03:51:56 pm »
DAY5 - Aus to Sesriem

Early morning we headed out from Aus again on our way to Sesriem.

Road from Aus to Helmeringshausen:


At Helmeringhausen we heard that the road we intended to take was completely washed away after the heavy rains, so we had to take the alternative route, all the way from there to the C19 and west to Sesriem.  All of it Namibian gravel Highway!

After riding for about a hour, we stopped next to the road and Horsepower made us a breakfast to kill for right there!
Having breakfast next to the road:

or in the middle of it:


Gravel:


This really is beautifull area and a great place to ride!

Camping at Sesriem:


Chilling in the pool:


After setting up camp, we headed into the park at Sossus-vlei to what they call the caves, its more a canyon though.

Sesriem Canyon:




Baboon jumping over the canyon:
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012, 03:53:16 pm »
DAY6 - Sesriem to Swakopmund

Day 6 saw us heading out from Sesriem and we took the highways (gravel) to Walvisbaai and from there the tar that took us to Swakopmund.

Rest stop next to the road:


It was a beautifull day for riding, but first we had a stop at Solitaire for their famous Appel Strudel and a refuel.

Solitaire:




Begging for some Appel Strudel:


On our way again I almost missed the sign for the tropic of capricorn, but we quickly stopped for the photo oppertunity.

Tropic of Capricorn:



Gravel:









 
Just before Walvisbaai we had a quick stop to take a Photo with Duin 7 in the background.
Duin7


And when we got our camp set up for the night, we decided that the beach bar would be the best place to spend the rest of the afternoon.

Beach Bar:

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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 03:53:55 pm »
Kom tjom , jy't my partie gemis hiervoor , ek soek hierdie RR en vinnig ook !  :pot:

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 03:57:38 pm »
DAY7 - Swakopmund to Toshari Lodge

Day 7, and we took the road from Swakopmund, heading north past the town of Wlotzkasbaken to Hentiesbaai.
Wlotzkasbaken:



From here we headed east towards Spitskoppe where the guys had a look at all the semi-precious stones thats up for sale there.
We then headed north again, to get to our accomodation for the night, Toshari Lodge just south of " Etosha"

Our first water crossing:

Cow Crossing:
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2012, 03:59:41 pm »
DAY8  - Etosha rest day
Day 8 was our rest day and we took a gamedrive through Etosha where we saw some beautifull scenery and got really (frighteningly) close to a couple of lions.

here are some of the shots I took there.





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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2012, 04:00:44 pm »
DAY9  - Toshari - Tsumkwe
On day 9 we headed roughly east, on the lesser known roads,(read lots of gates) through Grootfontein to Tsumkwe lodge, wich would be our stop for the night before crossing into Botswana at the Dobe border post.

Gravel road toward Tsumkwe:






Coming into Grootfontein though, I was wishing praying for a bike shop, as my chain was nearing the end of its life. As luck would have it, even before I could search for a bike shop, we stopped right next to one at the first petrol station we pulled into.
I asked the owner of the bikeshop whether he could help me with a chain, and not only did he have the right chain, but he fitted it for me as well, at no charge. (only paid for the chain) . Anyone passing through Grootfontein would be welcome to pop into this bike shop, really friendly people!

Our camp in Tsumkwe:


We set up camp on the only piece of dry ground that we could find in the whole camp area. A little precurser of what was to come the next day..
After setting up camp, we got a fire going, and opened the cooler box......   the rest of the night...well...  lets just say what happens in Namibia stays in Namibia. I was asked nicely by all parties involved not to tell the story of the nights happenings.
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 04:01:49 pm »
DAY10 - Tsumkwe  to Maun
This was a day that I would not soon forget...

we started the day quite easily.  Got to and through the Dobe Borderpost  without any hassles and then the FUN started!

The night before we were warned about this little route that we want to take, but not wanting to go the long way round on tar, we decided to stick to the route and see it out.

At first it was easy going, slow 2 track but hard ground,  Beautifull riding area.

Somewhere in Botswana:





After a while however the hard ground started to turn to mud and the slipping and sliding started.
Mud:


Mud Tracks:


Walking the bike:


Slipping and Sliding:


and Falling:


At the beginning of the day, we decided that Horsepower would be riding today and I would drive the support vehicle, but after a bit of a struggle in the mud, we decided again that it would be best if Horspower drives his own bakkie (as he knows it much better than I) and I once agian would be on the bike!   Happiness!!

Just as we got into the groove of riding the mud, we got drenched by a downpore! which made the mud even more difficult to manage.

Getting through this road though was not easy,  the bikes managed quite good, but the bakkie (not 4x4) struggled in the mud that as I counted, claimed 3 other 4x4s (broken axles, screwed wheels ect).
In the end we managed to do the 80 odd kms of mud in about 10 hours!! IMHO if we did this trip on bikes alone, it would have taken us about 3 maybe 4 hours.

At a stage I thought we would have to stealth camp next to this road,  but just as I thought about that, a massive Elephant crossed over the road,(and my logic said if theres Elephants, there would be lions as well!) and it was quickly decided that we would have to get off this road and into town.

We got out of the mud just as the sun was starting to set, and we decided that as we only have about 180km to go on tar, we would still make our end destination.
However the roads of Botswana proved us wrong. Traveling when its dark in Botswana is not advisable, I have never before seen so many Donkeys on a road.
It was so bad that when we were about 100km from Maun, we decided to look for accomodation there as it would be foolish to continue on these roads at night.

We quickly found a lodge that advertises conference centres, swimming pools ect.  and booked in, but to our surprise this is what we got! hehehe!

Ditoro Lodge:
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 04:03:19 pm »
DAY11 - Maun rest day
Day 11 was once again planned as a rest day where the guys could venture into the " Okovango Delta" but as we did not make our destination the previous night, we still had to catch up on those k's.   Luckliky we only had about 100 to go, so we got out of our "star rated" lodge as early as possible and headed to Maun.

For the rest of the day, myself and Horsepower relaxed next to the pool (close to the bar) while the other 3 guys took a airplane trip over the delta.

Chilling in the pool:
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2012, 04:04:12 pm »
DAY12 - Maun to Gobabis

Waking up refreshed from the previous days rest, we took the road back to Namibia.

At this stage we had it with the roads and all the livestock on the roads in Botswana, so once again we took tar, about 650kms all the way to Gobabis where we made our camp for the night at a great camping spot right next to the dam.

Botswana highway:
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2012, 04:04:33 pm »
Paar mooi foto's verGRypH. :thumleft:
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2012, 04:05:06 pm »
DAY13 - Gobabis - Keetmanshoop

The plan for day 13 was to take some dirt roads, that would lead us to Keetmanshoop, where we would stay the next day, but unfortunately it seemed that we got some dodgy fuel in Botswana and one of the BM 800s was acting up.

Unfortunately we had to make the decision, and we stuck to tar to Windhoek, so we could get the bike to Motorrad where they very promptly sorted it out for us.

Windhoek Motorrad


Kudos to Windhoek Motorrad, as they had the bike ready for us again, in the time it took us to have lunch.

Unfortunately our detour through Windhoek meant that if we wanted to reach Keetmanshoop, todays total distance would be close to 750kms, so once again it was tar,all the way!

Rest stop next to the road:


filling up:


When we got close to Keetmans, we started riding into thunderstorms, but as luck would have it, everytime we got to them, it already passed over the road. In the end we didnt get a drop of rain on us, but it sure made for some SPECTACULAR riding!   theres just something about riding a bike into a thunderstorm that makes one worry...  just a little bit..  hehehe.

Rainy forecast:




Sun through the rain:


sunset:


The rain also created some great sunsets and we set our camp at the quiver tree forrest just outside of Keetmanshoop.
Horsepower got some amazing photos of the lightning above the quiver trees, but Ill let him post that.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 04:08:30 pm by GRyPH »
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2012, 04:07:30 pm »
DAY14 - Keetmanshoop to Canon Roadhouse

The next morning, all rested, we had a bit of time to kill so we checked out the quiver tree forrest.
Quiver trees:




Bar:

Imagine this bar in high season, packed and full?  can it really happen?

This is not where we stayed but some of the accomodation at the quiver tree forest:


They also have a cheetah camp here so we went to check that out as well.
Cheetahs:





From here we headed towards Canon Rocks, where we wanted to spend the night and what a great choice this turned out.
The camping at Canon Roadhouse was great and we spent the afternoon once again by the pool (close to the bar)
Dry riverbed of the Lowen River:


Canon Roadhouse:


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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2012, 04:09:27 pm »
DAY15 - Canon Roadhouse to Hondeklipbaai

Filling up at Canon Roadhouse:


on Day 15 we headed from Canon to Hobas and after a quick visit to the fish river canyon we headed back. Back to RSA!

Gravel road towards Hobas:



Fish river Canyon:








Myself and Eric at Fish River Canyon:


Namibian Gravel highway:


We crossed the border back into RSA!  and headed towards Hondeklipbaai.

Gravel to Hondeklipbaai



Wildeperdehoekpas:





There are some really great riding routes here as well, and once agian horsepower was wishing that he was on a bike instead of in the backup vehicle.

Hondeklipbaai:

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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2012, 04:10:30 pm »
DAY16 - Hondeklipbaai to Cederberg Oasis

From Hondeklipbaai we headed back to the N7 and down to Clan william where we had lunch.

From there we took gravel again through Algeria towards Cederberg Oasis, where we would spend the night.

Cederberg gravel:




Cederberg Oasis:


This was my first trip through Cederberg, but definitly not my last...  I would love to come back to this area agian soon!
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2012, 04:11:16 pm »
DAY17 - Cederberg Oasis to Robertson

On day 17, one of the guys was scheduled to get back on the plane, so Horsepower had to leave early morning to get from Cederberg Oasis to the Airport.
2 of the 800s with us was rental bikes, and Horsepower had his Harley "fugly" with him, so we put both rental bikes on the trailer and took off fugly so that Eric could finish the trip on the Harley.

Unfortunately about 2 kms into our ride, disaster struck, and the belt from the Harleys belt drive broke.

Luckily Harley Honda support was there to help..  hehe

Harley Honda Support:



This meant that I would have to pillion Eric to Robertson, so we decided that we would take the fastest (tar) road to Robertson from here.
In Robertson, we had a nice dinner on a boat cruise on the Breede river and spent the night at Horsepower's place for the last night.
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Re: 18 days RSA Namibia and Botswana trip!
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2012, 04:12:07 pm »
DAY18 - Robertson to George
After a 17 day trip, I was really tired, so on day 18, I once again stuck only to tar, all the way back home!


This was a great trip!  and the whole trip was without incident! (well, sort off anyway)
It was also my first trip to Namibia, but definitly not my last!   
I will be back again to discover all the roads we missed on this trip!.
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