Cape Town to Malawi
via Namibia, Okavango and Victoria Falls
24 days, 6500km
Join the Ride Down South crew on the tour of a lifetime from Cape Town to or from Malawi with hop on/off points at Windhoek, the Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls
Cape Town – Fish River Canyon – Aus – Kolmanskop – Sossusvlei – Swakopmund – Spitzkoppe – Erindi Game Reserve – Windhoek – Okavango Delta – Victoria Falls – Zambia's Great East Road – Lake Malawi – Liwonde National Park
Includes: Bike rental + fuel; accommodation in 3-star lodges; breakfasts; cross border fees; tour guide; airport transfers.
Too long, too short, or not quite the right route?
We'd be happy to build a custom route for you.
Route Details and Itinerary
This is a one-way ride and can be done in either direction. Itinerary is customisable.
Day 1: Cape Town to Cederberg
375 km: We begin our ride from Cape Town along a beautiful stretch of coastline over Franschhoek pass and then through 5 mountain passes into the Cederberg Mountains
Day 2: Cederberg to Papkuilsfontein
190km: Today we explore the dirt roads of the Cederberg mountains and then head into the Karoo for an overnight stay in some magical stone cottages at Papkuilsfontein Farm.
Day 3: Papkuilsfontein to Orange River
420km: Today we ride through the northern Cape and Richtersveld to Springbok. We cross into Namibia and spend the night on the banks of the Orange River.
Day 4: Orange River to Fish River Canyon and Aus
450km. We ride along the banks of the Orange River and on to the Fish River Canyon along some beautiful gravel roads. After lunch at the iconic Canyon Roadhouse we head north and west on some lovely, easy riding dirt roads to Aus
Day 5: Visit Kolmanskop Ghost Town & Luderitz
0km. Today we visit the fascinating Kolmanskop diamond mining town. On the way back we visit the coastal town of Luderitz and see the local wild horses. We stay overnight in a remote cabin at Klein Aus Vista
Day 6: Aus to Sesriem
375km. Today we tackle the gravel roads as they cross the incredible desert landscapes of the Namib desert and head north to the famous dunes at Sesriem and Sossusvlei.
Day 7: Explore the Dunes at Sossusvlei
Today we head into the park to explore the famous sand dunes at Sossusvlei and visit the iconic deadvlei
Day 8: Sossusvlei to Swakopmund
Back on the bikes today as we cross the Namib desert to the coastal town of Swakopmund. We ride through the spectacular Kuiseb canyon and stop for the best apple pie at Solitaire.
Day 9: Explore Swakopmund
Today we get to explore the area around Swakopmund. Activity options include the famous Sandwich Harbour, riding the local dunes on quad bikes, or just enjoying this attractive coastal town.
Day 10: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe
180km: A short ride along the southern part of the skeleton coast to Henties Bay before we turn inland and cross the Namib desert again to the breathtaking Spitzkoppe rock formations. We have the chance to explore these rock formations in the afternoon.
Day 11: Spitzkoppe to Erindi Private Game Reserve
Another shortish day as we ride a mix of tar and good gravel roads to Erindi game reserve. There are game drives available in the evening and morning - and an active waterhole next to our accommodation.
Day 12: Erindi to Gobabis
380km: After an optional morning game drive at Erindi we ride on a mix of gravel and tar roads to Windhoek and on to our overnight stop at a game farm near Gobabis.
Day 13: Gobabis to Maun
590km: A longer day today on good tar roads as we cross into Botswana and head through the northern parts of the Kalahari to Maun
Days 14 & 15: Exploring the Okavango Delta and Moremi
There are lots of ways to explore this incredible area. Recommended is a 2 night stay at Oddballs camp in the Delta, or a visit to nearby Moremi game reserve
Day 16: Maun to Livingstone
650km: After a good break we get back on the bikes and head east and north through Botswana towards the Zambezi. We usually get to see elephants, giraffe and other wildlife on this fun route. We end the day in Zambia on the banks of the Zambezi river.
Day 17: Exploring Victoria Falls
There are lots of ways to see the falls: walks along the Zambian and Zimbabwean banks, a helicopter ride or a full or half-day rafting trip.
Day 18: Livingstone to Lusaka
480km: Today we begin the last stage of our ride to Malawi with a ride north through rural villages and scenic countryside to the Zambia's capital city, Lusaka.
Day 19: Lusaka to Chipata
560km: Our ride today takes us through one of Zambia's most scenic stretches as we ride the Great East Road to the Malawi border.
Day 20: Chipata to Cape Maclear
350km: We cross into Malawi and ride east towards Lake Malawi and our overnight stop at Salima. Our route takes us through the scenic western highlands before we descend into the Rift Valley and the shores of Lake Malawi.
Day 21: Explore Lake Malawi
Cape Maclear is one of our favourite spots in Africa and we get to spend two nights here exploring the lake and local culture. Activities include snorkeling, scuba diving and exploring the lake with the local fishermen.
Day 22: Cape McLear to Liwonde National Park
220km: A short ride today takes us along the shores of Lake Malawi south to Liwonde National Park. Here we have the chance to see elephants close up inside the camp and go on a game drive to see the local wildlife,including lions.
Day 23: Liwonde to Lilongwe
310km: After an optional morning game drive we depart for the short leg to Lilongwe.
Day 24: Lilongwe
0km: Af final rest day in Lilongwe to relax and get ready for the journey home
Lilongwe's international airport provides flights home via Nairobi, Addis Ababa or Johannesburg.
Honda XRV 750: ZAR 130000
Honda CRF1000: ZAR 140000
1) Prices in South African Rand. Click here to convert to your currency.
2) Prices are for minimum of four riders for the full tour. Please contact us for rates for smaller groups.
Included in the price:
Honda Africa Twin XRV 750 or CRF1000 motorcycle
Fuel & Oil
Support vehicle with spare bike and trailer
Breakfast and some dinners
Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance
Motorcycle border fees
Emergency evacuation to local medical center
Excess luggage storage
Activities – e.g. game drives
Accommodation at origin and destination outside of tour dates
Lunches, drinks and some dinners (details on request)
Reserve and sightseeing entry fees
Personal Insurance (Accident/Medical)
Accommodation includes comfortable 3-star lodges (usually twin rooms). For those who prefer lodge accommodation or single rooms we will happily upgrade these for you. Contact us for details.
Ride one of our Honda Africa Twin XRV 750 or CRF1000 motorcycles.
The Honda Africa Twin 750 is an excellent all-round motorcycle that can handle anything that Africa presents us. Strong, reliable and fun to ride, our bikes are fully owned and expertly maintained. Read more about our fleet here
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."
Ryan - Kelowna, Canada
Medical & Emergency
In the event of a medical emergency our tours are supported by:
1. A level 3 first aider on tour
2. An on-call doctor provided by SATIB
3. SPOT satellite emergency evacuation
4. If required we can arrange to have a medic on tour
Your Tour Guide
All our rides are led by our lead guide and company owner Andrew Vaughan. Andrew is a qualified adventure tour guide licensed in South Africa and has about 105000 km (65000 miles) of motorcycle guiding experience over the last 12 years. Andrew is a qualified mechanical and materials engineer and has been riding adventure motorcycles since 2007 when he and friend rebuilt two Kawasaki KLR650's and then rode them from Vancouver to Cape Town via Siberia, the Middle East and Africa.
Andrew and Greg aren't just great guides, they're also just really great people
-- a joy to ride with and also a joy to hang out with. They ran my tour without a hitch and made sure we stopped at all the best secret spots. When I booked this motorcycle trip I wanted the trip of a lifetime. I got it and then some. Wow. What an experience!
Will Elliot // San Francisco
A motorbike tour in Southern Africa wasn't on my list of priorities...
... but when invited by a friend to join him on a Cape to Kalahari tour I decided to give it a go. It turned out to be a very memorable experience, which has left me with the burning desire to see more of Africa. If you want adventure, mateship and a real sense of achievement; just do it! The bikes are classics, strong, and well maintained. The food is sensational, whether it be at restaurants or by the campfire. Andrew is the perfect tour leader, cool, calm and very knowledgeable about the country and things in general. Thanks Andrew, Drew and the team, looking forward to doing it again..
Owen Holcombe // Cambodia
Contact Us to Explore Your Ride