Cape To Kruger: Motorbike Adventure through South Africa’s Top Game Parks

Two world renowned South African National Parks are part of this African motorbike tour that starts in Cape Town, a city voted one of the most beautiful to visit in the world. The 13-day tour takes riders through the Cape Winelands, exploring the breathtaking Cape Coast and Fold mountains, visiting the historic Matjiesfontein, traversing the stunning Garden Route, spending a night in Addo Elephant Park, riding over the Eastern Cape Highlands, seeing the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, and winding up at the Kruger National Park. A tour full of magnificent South African treasures, ranging from coastlines to mountain passes, an abundance of wildlife, history and stunning views, covering around 3500km on our Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L or Honda Transalp 750 motorcycles. 

Passes, Penguins and the Great Karoo

This South African motorcycle tour starts with one of the most scenic rides imaginable! Leaving from Cape Town riders make their way south along the shores of False Bay with a visit to a unique colony of African Penguins near Bettys Bay. We head over a breathtaking mountain pass through beautiful fruit farms, and a ‘must do’ coffee stop at a popular farm stall, and then two more spectacular mountain passes before heading to our night-time destination of Tulbagh, a quaint historic town surrounded by mountain beauty. Exploring the Cape Fold Mountains and Great Karoo on motorbikes is a one-of-a-kind experience, through Montagu’s stark landscapes, stopping at an old English Fort built in 1899. The famous Drostdy Restaurant in Swellendam is where we end this long day of riding. 

Route 62

Milkshakes, Sex Shops (not really) and Ostriches

As we ride over the picturesque Tradouw Pass to Barrydale, we stop for the obligatory milkshake break on the R62, before heading for the world-famous Ronnie’s Sex Shop (with a very interesting story as to how it got its name). Nowadays any biker worth his salt has to stop here for a picture or two and a t-shirt. The Huisriver Pass leads us on to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, and the Cango Caves, a spectacle on their own. For those wanting to experience one of the best gravel passes in South Africa we can take a detour over the Swartberg Pass.  

The Garden Route and Surf Heaven of Jeffreys Bay

The Garden Route is a stunning coastline with interesting and beautiful little towns all along the way. We head through the coastal mountain range down the Outeniqua Pass, which takes us to the town of George, riding through a natural phenomenon called the 'Map of Africa' near the town of Wilderness. Knysna, a forest area with a rich history, is a great place to stop for lunch, before setting off to get a unique view of the new Bloukrans Bridge from the old BlouKrans pass and a stop at the spectacular Storms River Mouth. After riding through beautiful forestry and farmlands, we end this day in the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay.

Ride with the Famous Addo Elephants

It is a relatively short ride from the surfing paradise of Jeffreys to the famous National Park destination that day, so there is time for an early morning surfing lesson or beach walk before we leave. As the tour heads inland towards the Eastern Cape highlands, we get to see the 'new' Van Stadens river bridge from the old Van Stadens river bridge. Our day ends in the Addo Elephant Park, where we are likely to come across an elephant or two. An early morning game drive in the park usually gives us the chance to see plenty of elephants and antelope, and possibly some of the local lion. We ride through the park when we leave, a chance to see more wildlife up close. After leaving Addo through the western gate we'll ride past game farms and beautiful open landscapes before arriving at our luxurious hotel in Graaff Reinet.

A Hotel at the top of a Mountain Pass

Leaving the lap of luxury this morning we ride through desert-like landscape, over the Wapadsberg Pass heading towards Cradock along the northern edge of The Mountain Zebra National Park. Today's riding is all about making our way through the south-eastern part of the Karoo, quaint little towns, and a couple of beautiful mountain passes including Cala Pass, that will leave you grinning from ear to ear! The final destination is our hotel, on top of Barkley Pass, a comfortable mountain lodge with beautiful views and a heartfelt welcome. The following stretch of road takes us over an escarpment around the Drakensberg Mountains, through rural Xhosa villages, ending with two nights at a tranquil guest farm at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains.

Up the Spectacular Sani Pass and the Highest Pub in South Africa

We have a non-riding day in this area with the option to visit the incredible Sani Pass on a 4x4 tour, or on the bikes if you're feeling up for an adventure. Enjoy lunch at the highest pub in South Africa and if the weather is right, spectacular views into Lesotho and the lowlands to the east.

A Golden Gate, an Arty Town and the Sunflower Capital 

Riding through small villages on hilltops and many valleys, the ever-present Drakensberg mountains (Dragon Mountains) are on our left and will mark our route all of this day. Passing the impressive Sterkfontein Dam,with high mountains to our left and rolling hills and valleys to our right, we ride through a Basotho Cultural village before entering the Golden Gate National Park, and on to Clarens, the picturesque arty town nestled in the mountains bordering Lesotho. On the outskirts of this little rural town is the Titanic Rock, a formidable sandstone cliff formation that looks like the bow of the massive famed ship. The South African Bethlehem is the next town we head through, the wheat and sunflower capital of the Orange Free State Province. Crossing the provincial border three times today, we ride through farmlands as the roads twist and wind us to our destination of Dullstroom, famous for its trout fishing and spectacular scenery.

The Panorama Route

We end our Cape to Kruger tour riding one of the most scenic routes in South Africa. We set out on a loop that takes us up the escarpment to stunning view points over the lowlands at God’s Window and the Three Rondawels. The riding here is a lot of fun on good, twisting tar roads with some magnificent mountain and forest scenery. After lunch in the historic gold-mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, we get to enjoy a dramatic ride over the mountains on Robber’s Pass. 

See the Big Five in Kruger National Park

Hazyview is a great base from which to experience the world-famous Kruger National Park. In our experience it has the best Big-5 game viewing in Southern Africa. We switch the motorcycles for a Land Cruiser and enjoy a guided safari, which increases our chance of seeing wildlife at its best. You can expect to see at least some, if not all, of the Big 5 animals along with a rich variety of birdlife, antelope and other animals. It is a once-in-a-lifetime visit, although you may want to book a return visit soon! This trip ends at the Kruger Mpumalanga airport (KMIA) where we say our final goodbyes. However, it is never really goodbye - more like “see you next time on another epic adventure ride.”

Let us know if you would like to join us on this fantastic 13-day Cape to Kruger trip around South Africa. Check out the route we take below.