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Destination: South Africa

Duration: 14 Day(s)

Group Size: 8

Pillion Friendly: Yes

Terrain: Tar – some accommodation approaches may be dirt and there is one dirt road into Swaziland

Support: Tour leader / First-aider / Support vehicle (if more than three riders)

Distance: 2950km



This is a great adventure, taking in astoundingly fine mountain, gorge and pass riding. We will travel to the beautiful Indian Ocean, visit the Kingdom of Swaziland, travel through the Zulu heartland to famous battlefields and admire the sights and roads of the Drakensburg Mountains. This tour also has a wildlife/safari element, with Kruger National Park and St Lucia Wetland Park on the itinerary. There’s super food and for those who like a tipple, fine wine and cold beer.
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As a participant in this tour you’ll fly to Johannesburg, to be met by Blazing Trails staff and transferred to your hotel, where there will be some paperwork to complete, a great bar and restaurant and where we will give you a briefing on the trip ahead. The following day we will head out into deep joy.

When riding there will be a lead rider and, if there are at least three participants, a sweeper/luggage vehicle travelling at the rear. 

The riding on this tour is nearly all on tarmac and despite some potholes in places, this tarmac is generally very good, with relatively little traffic, which makes for super-satisfying riding. We will be taking a few dirt roads on this tour, but never for any distance and they are usually pretty smooth. We would not describe any of the rides as ‘off-roading’.

There will be a maximum of nine bikes available on this tour. The bikes used will be Suzuki DL650 V-Stroms, or the BMW F700/800GS. The ‘standard’ tour bike is a V-Strom, which is fine for passengers. Upgrades (at extra cost) are available when booking. For further information on available bikes and the terms and conditions of hire, please hit the links.

The 'START DATE' (Day 1) date is the date of arrival at your destination airport. The 'END DATE' is the date on which you fly home.

Please make sure that on booking you select a tour date and bike.


Day 0


Fly on an evening flight from the UK to Johannesburg International Airport, to arrive the following morning. As the time difference is either one, or two, hours (depending on season), jet-lag is not an issue.

Day 1


Arrive in Johannesburg, to be transferred to your nearby hotel where the Blazing Trails staff will meet you and brief you on the adventure ahead. You will be introduced to your bike, before we will doubtless head off to a bar and the fine restaurant.

Day 2

Jo'burgh to Graskop

We mount up and leave the city behind. The ride out of town is initially a long, straight one, until we leave the main highway and head along a lesser road to take lunch in the charming little town of Dulstrom. From here, there is more sweeping countryside until the unspeakably good riding begins over the Long Tom Pass and down to Sabie. Another delicious 30km sees us at Graskop and our hotel. There are a number of restaurants to chose from for dinner and a fun biker bar.

Day 3

Graskop to Hazyview

Another riding day to die for. We quit Graskop and after a few kilometres stop off to take in the views at God's Window, a viewpoint over a spectacular gorge and the forest beyond. Back on the bikes again we're in for more bliss as we wend our ways down the amazing road to the Blyde River Canyon and one of the globe's most amazing geographical views. Next comes more top riding to the Abel Erasmus Pass and down to the Lowveld. We end the day in a smart Hazyview hotel.

Day 4

In Hazyview / Kruger National Park

Top activity (and a bit of a 'must do') after a very early awakening, will be a day's safari in Kruger National Park. This is one of the best places to spot 'The Big Five': elephant, rhinoceros, lion, leopard and buffalo. You are very unlikely to see all of these, but there is always plenty of game to view.

Day 5

Hazyview to Swaziland

Another day; another country. From Hazyview we will ride through Lowveld country and into the old gold-rush town of Barberton. We will now begin our ascent to the Kingdom of Swaziland, climbing via one of the best rides imaginable. After border formalities, we'll start towards the Swazi town of Piggs Peak. The road is rutted and dusty for the first 25km, after which it is superbly surfaced and super-fun. We'll spend the night at Maguga Dam, in smart huts looking out over a reservoir.

Day 6

Swaziland to St Lucia

This long ride begins in the heights of Swaziland and ends on the Indian Ocean. We begin by finding our way to the South African border and dropping down the twisties to Amsterdam. From here we'll use a combination of back roads and highways (including a road through a national park) to make our way through KwaZulu Natal and down to the coast. St Lucia is a small and thriving resort, with plenty of bars and restaurants from which to choose.

Day 7

In St Lucia / National Park

There are a number of activities on offer in this thriving coastal resort, including boat rides out to view crocodiles and hippos in the estuary, off-shore fishing and 4x4 trips into the beautiful St Lucia Wetland National Park, a World Heritage Site. A favourite of ours is an evening/night drive into the park for sunset drinks and hippos.

Day 8

St Lucia to Rourke's Drift

Another fabulous day's riding carries us via the lesser roads of KwaZulu Natal, through lovely scenery all the way. In the very heart of Zulu Land, are the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift (as depicted in the film Zulu). We will visit the latter in the afternoon, before heading back to our quarters.

Day 9

Rourke's Drift to Oribi Gorge

The first half of today's 400km journey begins again on the scenic rural roads of Zulu country. By lunchtime we will be enjoying our food back on the coast. More coastal views ensue, before we turn inland and enter the nature reserve at Oribi Gorge. After taking in some of the views, we will arrive at our colonial-style hotel, from which walks can be taken to the gorge's edge.

Day 10

Oribi Gorge to Port St Johns

Another day; another super South African ride. We will wind back down through the gorge and meet with a lovely little dirt road. Rejoining tarmac, we snake back towards the coast. The last leg of this ride is one of the most spectacular you will find anywhere – super-twisty, great tarmac, awesome views. The ocean again breaks into view as we descend towards Port St Johns, where we will be spending the night beside a beautiful estuary.

Day 11

Port St johns to Underberg

The ride from St Johns carries us away from the coast, again on epic roads. It's beautiful riding all the way, with the last leg of the ride especially so as we near the Drakensberg mountains and huge views up the escarpment to the Lesotho plateau. We end the day at a lovely colonial guest house, where the BT guide will cook on the fire.

Day 12

Underberg to Witsieshoek

Another fabulous half-day's riding carries us on the lesser roads of KwaZulu Natal, through lovely scenery all the way. Towards the end of the ride we'll be heading up again to the edge of the Royal Natal National Park. If the weather's clear, we'll be able to see The Drakensburg Amphitheatre, a spectacular wall of rock some 5km wide and over 1000m high. Our cottages are on a mountain's top, on the edge of the park, and have truly awe-inspiring views over the surrounding countryside. There's also a great bar/restaurant in which to celebrate our last night on the road.

Day 13

Witsieshoek to Jo'burg

Our last day on the road starts out as a belter, as we enter the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Carving through incredible rock formations it is possible to see large herds of game grazing at the roadside. Later we join the highway to begin the long, straight cruise back to our Johannesburg hotel. Bid farewell to "your' beloved bike and hello to a tasty last night dinner together.

Day 14

Fly home

Depending on flight time,there may be the chance to take in a few sights before your airport taxi. The flight home is an easy overnighter, perfect for dreaming of a return to this riders' paradise.


  • Twelve Days of Bike Hire
  • Luggage-carrying Support (if over three riders)
  • All Internal Land Transfers
  • Thirteen Nights Accommodation
  • Meals: 13 Breakfasts; 1 Dinner


  • Other Meals
  • Flights
  • Tolls, Entry Fees, Visas and Excursions
  • Fuel
  • Damage Excess on Bikes

The tours can be booked online, by email, or over the phone on: +44 (0) 7494 050404. To secure a place you will be asked to put down a deposit of £500 and payment can be made by card, cheque, or bank transfer.

Yes. We enjoy hosting riders from all countries.

Flights are not included in the price of your tour, but we can provide details of where to book an appropriate flight.

For many nationalities, a tourist visa is issued free of charge at your port of entry. It is, however, your responsibility to check current regulations.

You will need a valid certificate of travel insurance.

We own and manage our own fleet of bikes.

If you damage the bike, you will be charged for the damage up to the amount of your excess. On all our bikes, the excess is £1000, so in the event of a mishap you will not be charged more than this amount. If the damage is less than this amount, then you will only be charged for that damage.

If you have damaged the bike near to this total, we may ask you to place a further deposit before continuing.

Yes, you need travel insurance to cover you for the period of the tour. This insurance must cover you to ride the bike you have booked.

We would advise that you change some money on arrival at the airport. ATMs are widespread and an efficient way to get hold of cash. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere.

About 300-£400 should cover food, drink, petrol and sundries.

Yes, unless you pay a supplement. Even then, single rooms may not be available at some stops as the hotels we use are popular, or in some cases small, and we have to book our accommodation some time in advance.

It varies widely (and tour-to-tour), but is always clean and the best we can find in the area for a reasonable price in a suitable setting. We are always in clean, comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Yes, but you may need a travel plug adaptor.

We would recommend only booking a tour with us if you have a licence to ride your tour bike (compulsory) and have at least a year’s recent riding experience. The main criterion, however, is confidence.

Riding anywhere carries with it a degree of risk, as does riding in South Africa. However, with light traffic and good roads, we would suggest that riding in South Africa is no more dangerous than a tour in Europe. For more information on the riding side of things see ‘Riding’ in the ‘About South Africa’ section of this site. If any rider joining us rides in a manner we suspect will endanger themselves, or others, or indeed displays antisocial behaviour, they will receive one warning. If they continue to display a threat to the safety or enjoyment of others on the tour, they will be excluded from the remainder (with no refund given, see terms and conditions).

We will be riding ‘progressively’, at or around the speed limit and according to conditions. Most South African roads outside built-up areas have a 75mph speed limit – fast enough on the twisties. There are fixed cameras and mobile speed traps in towns…

No, you can’t ride independently of the tour group, sorry.

No fitter than you would have to be to tour Europe.

You are limited by most airlines, so check with the carrier. However, we suggest you pack as lightly and in as compact a form as possible. Bring only soft luggage to be carried on a support truck.

Keep it minimal. One set of riding kit for the tour and a few sets of clothes for the evening. There are usually laundry facilities at two-night stops – check your chosen itinerary. Leave some space for shopping you do in SA.

While South Africa has had some pretty bad press in recent years for violent crime, very little of this nature happens in the tourist areas through which we will be travelling. And, as ever, the media tends to sensationalise the bad and ignore the good. Being guided through the ‘right’ areas in a group greatly mitigates the chances of encountering unpleasantness. Petty crime – pick-pocketing and theft – happens, as it does in virtually all tourist destinations with a wide gulf between rich and poor. A few simple precautions, like keeping your wallet/docs in an inside pocket and leaving nothing unattended on the bike, should mean a trouble-free tour. You will be briefed on sensible measures prior to setting off.

If you’re wet, yes. They are provided throughout the tour.

Only some meals (check your tour for details). We prefer that where there are choices you make your own on what and where we eat. You will find South African food of a very high standard and good value.

It seems not, as we can no longer offer this experience…

They are, but not every night. Check the itinerary of your tour – you will be able to get clothes cleaned at two-night stops, so consider this when packing.

Yes. If your riding kit isn’t waterproof, then bring some light waterproofs.

Maybe, maybe not, but if you take part in a safari at Kruger, St Lucia, or Addo Elephant Reserve you will certainly see some interesting wildlife and landscapes.

Not really. There may be a few around, but you won’t be plagued. Bring some repellent. South Africa is pretty much malaria-free, but for advice on anti-malarials, please consult your doctor (take the itinerary with you).

Depends on whether there are any great whites around. We would advise you to ask locally – and then go and get a beer instead.

Consult your GP/travel clinic for immunisation and malaria advice. Bring enough of any prescribed medication you take regularly. A basic first aid kit is useful (plasters, antiseptic cream, bite/sting relief, plus insect repellent).

Gel or air pads add comfort on long days in the saddle, but are not necessary.


Find out more about the bikes available for this tour.


Everything you need to know about motorcycle touring in Africa


Frequently Asked Questions about touring in Africa.