Itchy Boots’ South Africa and Namibia Motorcycle Tour

With nearly three million followers on YouTube, 800 000 followers on Facebook, and half a million on Instagram, Itchy Boots has made a name for herself when it comes to adventure motorcycling in Namibia. If you want to watch great videos of a motorcycle tour from Cape Town, South Africa all the way to Namibia, Itchy Boots is your go-to channel. Noraly Schoenmaker or Itchy Boots rides motorbikes where some have feared to tread, and most certainly, not alone.

We are fans! While many of her followers are armchair travelers who voyeuristically join her on her journey around the world, we are fellow adventurers in whose paths she has followed. We love riding in South Africa and Namibia and share her love for these amazing countries.

Itchy Boots Season 5

Itchy Boots gave her entire Season 5 to Southern Africa. She hits South Africa and Namibia on a bike in a brave and compelling way. Whilst there is so much within sub-Saharan Africa that could have enticed her for longer, she certainly clocked up some kilometers as she chased the sun in places we love. Noraly thrived on being in South Africa and Namibia – shared effusively about it, from the views and mountain passes she traversed to the delicious food she enjoyed, like vetkoek, rusks, and bobotie. Watch this space for our next edition of Following in the Path of Itchy Boots, as we see Noraly riding over some of South Africa’s most exquisite mountain passes on her way to Cape Town. She is so excited to be in the Mother City!

She hopes to head up one of Cape Town's greatest attractions, and a UNESCO Cape Floral Region heritage site, Table Mountain, but is turned back, nothing unusual in the windy Western Cape. Why is Table Mountain Flat, she asks? 

After leaving Cape Town, she hits the road in much the same way we would, in absolute awe of the unusual beauty of the surrounding scenery. Winding her way up into the dry spaces of the Northern Cape through the Namaqualand, the other worldliness of the scenery makes her ask, is this another planet? 

Namaqualand and Karoo

One of the most magnificent and unusual places in South Africa!

Our riders have expressed similar awe. When Noraly hits the arid Karoo, the wide-open spaces and arid landscape reminds her she is very alone on this motorbike adventure. Whilst the rides are great times of solitude while on our motorbike adventures, the evenings are enjoyed together around a fire, catching up about the day, and more. 

Namibian Border and the Fish River Canyon

Border crossings are nothing new to Ride Down South. No bike tour in Africa is without some kind of border crossing drama! Read some of our tips about cross-border travels here. However, the Namibian Border is pretty simple and easy, as long as you have your paperwork in order, which we do. And so does Itchy Boots. 

Driving into Ai Ais, which means ‘burning water’, at the end of a hot day and a border crossing, is a relief for any weary traveller, Noraly included. Whilst the pools are very hot mostly as it’s a home to a famous hot water spring that sits at temperatures of around 60 C, there are ones to cool off in too. 

The main highlight of that area though is the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. Quite a remarkable sight!

And of course, a must-stop at the famed Canyon Roadhouse, where both our riders and Itchy Boots stop for lunch!

Aus to Luderitz and Kolmanskop

As one rides through the Namib desert, if you are lucky, you will see the only herd of feral horses in Africa, made up of around 250 to 300 magnificent, mostly dark, horses. Their history is not certain although there are a few theories. They are not indigenous to the region, but have been allowed to stay due to their historic connection to the area as well as their lure of visitors. Noraly was one visitor who missed out on this treat as the horses were not at the usual drinking hole when she was there. Just another reason for an Itchy Boots revisit of this fantastic motorcycle ride in Namibia.

One of our most fascinating stops is at the old mining town, Kolmanskop, which is slowly being reclaimed by the desert sands. Abandoned in the 1950s, this town is a slightly eerie peek into a time gone by. Noraly says ‘creepy’. And we kind of agree! It is a haunting and fascinating visit.

The Desert Apocalypse

A Namibian Apocalypse, as Itchy Boots calls it, Sossusvlei is one of the most stark and unusual places we visit on our Cape Town to Namibia motorbike tour. A salt and clay pan that has gone without water for centuries at a time, Sossusvlei is other-worldly. It is surrounded by soaring sand dunes, and the dead trees scattered on the red sand floor, look like a giant artist left in a hurry, leaving half-finished wood art dotted around the moonscape-like land.

Cape to Namibia Route

We know why she set off on this route. It is one of the most interesting, fun tours on offer with Ride Down South, on our Africa Twins and Transalps, with excellent guides. While we highlighted a few of the favourite spots on the way, there are a whole lot more to discover with us. We have been doing this route since 2015. Itchy Boots braved these roads in 2021. So, when are you going to enjoy your African motorbike adventure from Cape Town to Namibia?