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Africa, where anything can happen, and it will…
For anyone considering a tour through Africa on Motorcycle, look no further. Andrew and his support crew provided a trip of a life time for Tiffany and I. We customized our tour by providing Andrew with a general idea of timeline, things we’d like to see, and of course budget. The trip that Ride Down South created for us couldn’t have been more perfect. We rode through vast deserts, tropical climates, and lush jungle like surroundings on our adventure through South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. We experienced the cultures and people in a way that can only be done when traveling on two wheels. We were lucky enough to see lots of wildlife, including the “Big 5” and most of the “Ugly 5”. A highlight of the trip was coming across a pride of lions feasting on a giraffe kill. The accommodations arranged by Andrew far exceeded our expectations especially given the overall affordability of the trip. These accommodations ranged from a luxurious cottage on a remote sheep farm with night time views of the milky way to tent camping inside a game park listening to lions and elephants in the distance. The proverbial icing on the cake for this trip was the food. We were treated to numerous potjiekos (Translation: Small pot food) prepared by Andrew and the support crew, which after a days ride couldn’t have been more perfect. I have never eaten so well while camping! On several occasions we ate at that evenings lodge or a local restaurant, which allowed another opportunity to experience local cuisine including lots of game meat.
The Honda Africa Twins were everything a person could need to travel the rugged terrain. I own a BMW F800gs, and was still blown away by the maneuverability of the AT and it’s ability to tackle a variety of conditions. Andrew’s knowledge of the mechanical aspect of the bike and riding expertise provided a completely worry free traveling experience.
I write this review approximately one month after returning home and in doing so have been reviewing our photos and videos. I have been left with experiences of a lifetime and new friends on a continent far away from my own. I have recommended Ride Down South to my friends and family, and if you are reading this I’m obviously recommending them to you!
– Ryan Law and Tiffany Pretty
A big thank you to you and your team for what turned out to be a memorable and very enjoyable experience. As a long time tour organiser and operator, this was actually the first time I’ve ever gone on a tour as a customer and you far exceeded my expectations. It wasn’t just the riding or the bikes, it was the whole package, the choices of accommodation, the great meals but above all the enthusiasm and willingness to go that extra mile (or 100 km) that shone through in you and your team. I somehow think I haven’t seen enough of Africa.
To anyone who reads this, if Africa isn’t on your bucket list put it on now! And there’s nobody better to experience it with than the RideDownSouth team.
I’ll be back for more. Thanks again.
Owen Holcombe (Paleriders.com.au)
What an experience!!! I did the “Cape to Kalahari” 16 day ride with the crew from “Ride Down South” in July 2016. Africa is truly an amazing part of the world and to see it on a motorbike made the trip a real adventure. I didn’t know what to expect having never been to Africa or done a bike tour before, but would now say without a doubt, if you are competent on a bike and have the desire to see Africa, this is a “must do experience”!!! The wildlife was amazing, the food was great, accommodation / camp sites were first-rate and I was pleasantly surprised with the standard of the roads both bitumen and dirt that we travelled on, noting we travelled in some very remote locations. I take my hat off to the team at “Ride Down South”, they truly went out of their way to make the trip as hassle-free as possible. A big thanks to Andrew, Drew and Grant for making the trip such a memorable experience. I’ll be back!!!
Geoff Boyle, Laos
The Cape to Kalahari ride was all I expected and a lot lot more. It was a true adventure, absolutely brilliant. I had a great time & will certainly be back for more. The tour was really well put together & offered so much, from lively Cape Town to the remote areas of Namibia & Botswana, giving me the opportunity to see & do things I could not imagine a few weeks before. The Africa Twin – what a bike – a joy to ride whatever you throw at it. The team did a superb job throughout the whole tour ensuring everything went to plan. Many thanks to Andrew, Drew, Grant, Nick & Kirsty and a big thank you to my fellow riders who were a great bunch of people, I hope to ride with you in the future.
Graeme Taylor, United Kingdom
There’s an expression that Africa gets “under your skin and into your blood” and I can’t wait to go back for another two-wheeled adventure with Andrew and Ride Down South.
Jonathan Page, Vancouver
Ode to Africa.
Its never ending land and blue skies. Its rich colours and earthy tones and red sand. The sea of stars and tranquil, peaceful calm.
Africa, with its historic and cultural traditions. And the people…friendly, genuine and sincere.
Thank you Andrew and the gang from Ride Down South. The experience was phenomenal. I will not say, of a life time, because I can see myself going back.
The meals and traditions of Africa that you showed us made it special and more than simply going to Africa and looking around. You shared the things that you enjoy most. The experience made me a stronger rider.
I experienced delicious coffee, wine and food. Met a number of great people. I saw all of the animals that are indigenous to Africa that I wanted to see, and none of the ones that I did not…like spiders and snakes. I even caught a tiger fish in Botswana.
What a ride!
Until next time…
Steve Chin, Vancouver
I decided at the last moment to join my son and cousin on an adventure motorcycle trip with Ride Down South. My wife said ‘you’ll probably regret it if you don’t go’. She was right – I’m so glad I went. What a trip.
South Africa totally exceeded my expectations. The beauty and varied geography of the country was fascinating. There were so many highlights, but perhaps the best was travelling the road into Gamkaskloof or the day we spent at Kruger National park, or perhaps the stay on the Wild Coast where the boys body-surfed with dolphins.
I had heard that maybe South Africa wasn’t the safest travel destination, but my preconceived ideas were wrong. We never had any issues, everywhere we went the South African people were friendly, hospitable and interesting to talk to.
It was an absolutely wonderful trip, and from Cape Town to our final destination in Johannesburg we felt we were treated just wonderfully by ‘Andrew and Drew’.
Just an amazing lifetime adventure!
This was a new route for our guide Andrew Vaughan (best guide ever) so every day was a new adventure for us and him. Andrew was absolutely great, from the knowledge of his country and history of each place we visited, giving us the little travel tips we needed, making sure he never lost us. And when we ran into some unexpected surprises, he just calmly solved it. I was very impressed.
I highly recommend the guys from Ride Down South, It was a great ride and very reasonably priced. Thanks so much to Andrew and Drew and everyone else that made our trip so memorable.
Peter Seiler, Vancouver.
If you ever decide you want to ride through Africa, let me tell you, you’d better take Andrew Vaughan with you. There are many reasons for this, from his extensive knowledge of the local birdlife and his great way of lighting a fire [here’s a tip. Soak half a toilet roll in petrol], to his ability to laugh at almost anything. But first and foremost, you need him around for emergencies.
Like for example when your front brake locks up in the middle of one of Windhoek’s busiest intersections.
We had replaced the broken brake lever and were just riding away when the new one decided that without any help from me, it wanted to show just what it could do. Cue screeching locked front wheel, skid marks of various kinds and serious burning smell. Fortunately I was just coming to a halt at a traffic light so it wasn’t terminal. But it did mean I was stuck in the left turning lane unable to move the bike, with a lot of irate drivers making clear their displeasure in some very imaginative ways.
But cometh the hour, cometh the man. Andrew leapt from his bike. Diagnosing the problem in a split second, he ran back across the road, got his tool kit and whipped off the brake lever in 60 seconds, allowing me to get across the intersection and park up, so that he could put the old one back on in another 60 seconds. It was a full on Formula One Silverstone pit stop and I half expected two guys to run out and change my tires, while another gassed me up.
This is the same guy who, as we walked to the nearby gas station for breakfast bent down in excitement to pick up a nut and bolt on the side of the road “It’s a number 10 Andy. Never pass up a very usable nut and bolt”. Somehow I think he’ll find a use for it before the trip ends.
Andy Harrington, Vancouver