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Author Topic: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020  (Read 1598 times)

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Offline nicolasbahm

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South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« on: February 05, 2020, 04:21:11 pm »
Hello eveyone, thank you very much for making me a part of this group!
My name is Nicolas, 29, originally from Argentina but also lucky to have a German Passport. Almost 4 years ago I left home searching for adventure and moved to Sydney to save some money to travel. One of the pros of living (and earning money) in a first world country was that I could save enough to purchase a Harley and ride across Australia. About a ago I decided to move to Europe, but wanted to make my way there mostly on a bike. Not even 10 days ago I finished my 7 months through SEA (on a 125cc chinese cheap bike), Nepal and India (RE), but it was all part of the adventure.
In a way, Africa has always been for my sort of an ultimate challenge and feels like all these experiences during the last years were a preparation for this one. I arrived in Cape Town on the last days of Januay, and so far everyone has been more than welcoming (I might have even met some of you guys at #TheMotoSocial on the 30th!). With the help of an acquaintance I managed to submit my application for a Traffic Register Number just yesterday, but I was told that it might last up to 8 weeks (hopefully won't) because it goes first to the Home Department for a background check.
In the meantime I'm searching for my ideal partner for the long trip, planning the upcoming steps once I leave CT and also trying to get to see the area.
Because my budget for the bike is limited (about R 50,000), I've been looking for second hand Honda Transalps or 2000-2003 Africa Twins, because they are reliable bikeas and also want to make sure spare parts can be found almost anywhere. Hopefully I'll find one soon and get it ready for when the TRN comes out, so that I can transfer the bike into my name, get the export clearence and hit the road.
The route that I have been working on during these last years of preparation would be the following:
-CT throught the coast towards Durban
-Couple of days in Lesotho before getting back into SA to visit Joburg, Pretoria and keep oon heading north.
-Zimbabwe, Zambia (Lower Zambwesi NP) and head towards the Vic Falls.
-Loop in Botswana and head west towards Namibia.
-Follow the coast north through Angola, DCR, Congo, Gabon (I believe the border between Congo and Cameroon is closed for the moment), Cameroon, Nigeria.
-Head west for Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso (skip Ghana because it is not included in the Visa des Pays del Entente combo), Ivory Coast, Guinea (perhaps Liberia & Sierra Leone depending on money and time left).
-Last stretch through Senegal, Tha Gambia, Mauritania and Morocco until Tangier, where I plan to cross the bike on a ferry to Spain.

I intended to be in Spain by mid July but unfortunately it took me longer than expected to finish my ride in Asia and now being stuck in CT does not help much, but I'll try to make it anyway.
I've been taking a look to other post in the groups and some other research, and seems that for the road that I'm taking the Carnet du Passage would not really be necessary.
Do not want to steal any more time for you, but any piece of advise from any of you who already been in these countries is more than welcomed, specially as regards up to day status on border crossings (as far as visas go, the german passport is similar to the SA one, but any particular hints to make the trip a bit cheaper are more than welcomed, taking into account that over 1200 USD are destined on visas!)
Thank you very much for your time!
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2020, 08:02:38 am »
Hi Nicolas,

Wow, that sounds like it is going to be an awesome trip!

If you pass through Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, give us a shout. There are quite a few Wilddogs here, and all are a great bunch of guys and girls.

I hope the paperwork doesn't take too long, and that you can hit the road soon!  :ricky:

Offline Ri

Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 12:46:47 pm »
Hi and all the best with your plans, hope everything works out.
 

Offline Numsch

Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 12:51:22 pm »
Good luck with your Africa adventure, keep us posted here with updates where and when you can.
2019 KTM 790 Adv R
 

Offline EssBee

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2020, 10:27:39 am »
Hullo Nicholas, welcome to the forum and I wish you all the best with your plans. I am in the Durban area if you ever need a place to stay for the night while you are here.
 

Offline kwatali

Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2020, 10:22:05 am »
Nicolas ,
if you in Northern Botswana and need a hand give me a shout .
have accommodation and workshop for you in Maun ( hopefully don't need the workshop  :biggrin: :biggrin:
Safe travels ...
Cheers
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2020, 05:53:56 pm »
Welcome to the forum, no doubt you will get some helpfull info here soon. Sound like a great trip you have planned.

 8)
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

Old bike: '82 Eddie Lawson Replica Replica.
Other bike: '05 Honda Varadero 1000
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Offline maria41

Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2020, 06:54:18 pm »
Hola Nicolas.

When are you planning this trip? I am in the very early stage of planning to ride the west coast of Africa, from London to Cape Town. WE will start late next year with my other half and a friend. 
Will you be keeping a blog? I will be very interested in your experience there. Not many people cross the west side, so not huge amount of up to date info!  ;D
And  if  you start next year we may bump into each others on the road!

cheers,

Offline Hermit

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2020, 10:22:50 pm »
Hi Nicolas. Welcome to SA. I hope you get all sorted soon.

When you exit Lesotho, give me a call. I have a place to stay and a workshop if needed for a service near Bethlehem. Zero 8.2.800. 13.86.

Take care and enjoy the ride.
An' here I go again on my own
Goin' down the only road I've ever known,
Like a "drifter" I was born to "ride" alone
An' I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time = Whitesnake
 
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Offline nicolasbahm

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 11:34:56 pm »
Hello everyone again!
First of all, Iíd like to thank you very much for all the post and messages Iíve received in the last days! I look forward to meeting some wild dogs along the way, and already more than grateful for everyone who has offered me accommodation (even if itís just a small space in the backyard to set up my tent, for me itís already luxurious).
I would also like to introduce everyone to my new other half ĎCharlizeí, that will keep me company in this adventure! On the other hand, I was lucky to get my Traffic Registration Number in just over a week, so Iím already itís official owner. During this week Iíll be doing the police clearance in order to get an export permit, work a bit on the bike and sort out the rest of the equipment that I might need for the trip, but hopefully will be leaving Cape Town next Friday morning!
Iím not really into social media but I try to keep people posted on my Instagram account (mainly my mom and grandma 😂, but it works), so youíre welcomed to follow my trip (specially for visas & borders status if someone is planning to do the same soon). Itís @nicolasbahm
Thanks again for the support, Iíll try to keep you guys posted!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 11:45:28 pm by nicolasbahm »
 

Offline Kaboef

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2020, 05:06:45 am »
Riding Africa on a Africa Twin.

The stuff dreams are made of.

I cant offer any route advice, but I wish you best of luck.
And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

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Offline tulips

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2020, 05:46:42 pm »
Good luck  :thumleft:
 Dont forget to collect your chicken in the Ivory Coast   :biggrin:

PS if you have any issues with the bike get hold of superfoxi on the forum
Very funny Mr Geller can i please get my bike back
 

Offline nicolasbahm

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2020, 12:04:59 pm »
Hello everyone! After a compulsory stop at Cape Agulhas I spent my first night camping in Swellendam.
Yesterday did a long stretch through the Garden Route with a few stops along the way and finally onto Jeffreyís Bay, where hopefully Iíll be able to catch some waves.
Tomorrow might drive to Grahamstown, so excited to meet some Wild Dogs if theyíre available.
Iíll keep you guys posted!
 

Offline nicolasbahm

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2020, 08:36:38 pm »
Hello again Wild Dogs! Iíve been reading some riding reports lately and wanted to share a bit of my experiences, hoping some of you might find it helpful.
After a failed attempt to make it into Lesotho through Sani Pass (fully loaded, my rear brake pad wore off, the road was mostly loose rocks and altitude did not help either), me and my Charlize hitched for a ride for the last 800 metres, and enjoyed my first Maluti beer with an amazing view.
Lesotho was quite a surprise. Friendly people, stunning landscapes and extremely green! (Iím South American and before coming here I was expecting it to be dry!).
Back into SA our fellow Wild Dog Hermit hosted me for a few days in Bethlehem, sharing some advice for the upcoming routes and interesting stories, as well as introducing me to some of SA Wild (and not so wild) life! I would have taken one of the puppies if I had room on the bike!
Next stop: Pretoria.
 

Offline nicolasbahm

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2020, 08:41:43 pm »
My stop in Pretoria turned also better than expected. Not only I got new brake pads and new Haidenau K60 tyres, but also managed to get my DRC and Republic of Congo visas in only 24 hs each (not that easy with a German Passport and none SA residence permit or whatsoever). This was a huge relief and will probably buy me some time that I could use further up north.
Botswana also received me warmly, not only itís people but also found one of the best burgers Iíve ever tasted at Itumela Camp in Palapye. Only one payment of 217 Pulas using my card included Toad Taxes, TIP and Insurance for multiple entries. As you can see, my bike loves laying in the sand 😂.
After stopping in Nata for the night (Eselbe Camp makes it worth the stop), I met two Chinese-born fellow riders who live in Kenya and speak Swahili (odd combination, right?) who were also heading towards the Vic Falls, so we decided to ride together. This turned out to be extremely useful considering we had the Kazungula border ahead!
 

Offline nicolasbahm

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2020, 08:51:12 pm »
The elephant corridor did not disappoint and we bumped into a big one having breakfast who certainly did not like the exhaust noises and quickly showed us whoís the boss, forcing us to keep the distance.
Kazungula border was challenging. To start with, they took 1 Pula = 1 Kwacha so we were constantly losing money. 50 Kwacha for the ferry, 50 USD for the Kaza Univisa (Zam & Zim), 84 Kwacha for Carbon Tax (used to be 70 until January), 20 more for Council Levy, 162 for Insurance and an extra 20 USD cash for Road Tax. The worst thing, it took 3 hours. At least we maŮa fed to do it by ourselves and kept all the touts in line despite their attempts to make some money out from us.
Made it to Livingstone already at night, but never too late for a Mosi beer!
 

Offline Ri

Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2020, 09:53:51 pm »
I like your collection of international beer photo's :laughing4:
 

Offline Kaboef

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2020, 06:54:44 am »
Fantastic.

Keep posting please.
And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

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Offline GravelFox

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2020, 07:57:46 am »
Nice report. Will be following with interest. About normal time for Kazangulu crossing...also like your beer pics


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Offline landieman

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Re: South Africa to Europe via West Coast - Feb 2020
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2020, 08:08:45 am »
Living the life


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don't worry about things you can't change,change the things you can.