Cape Town to Malawi
25-day Motorcycle Adventure
via Namibia, the Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls

Cape Town to Malawi
25-day Motorcycle Adventure
via Namibia, the Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls

Join us on the ultimate motorcycle tour of Southern Africa as we explore Cape Town, Namibia, the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls and Malawi on this 25-day motorcycle adventure

Route Highlights
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

Total Distance: 6500 km
Riding Days: 19
Rest Days: 6
Average distance: 340 km per day
Riding Time per day: 4-6 hours
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate 

(good tar roads with gravel roads of varying quality in Namibia)

Too long, too short, or not quite the right route? We'd be happy to build a custom route for you.

Dates & Itinerary

Click here to view our tour calendar

Detailed Itinerary

click on the arrows to see the full day's description

Day 1: Cape Town to Cederberg, 340km

We begin our adventure to Namibi with a taste of some of the best motorcycle riding in Africa. Our ride north from Cape Town today is filled with coastal roads, vineyards and four breathtaking mountain passes. We begin with a ride along the east side of False Bay with great views of the coast before turning inland towards Franschhoek through a beautiful fruit farming region. We then get to experience the famous Franschhoek pass (which you will probably want to go back and do again). We continue north through the town of Wellington and then enjoy a ride on another famous pass through Bains Kloof. Our final leg takes us up two more mountain passes as we ride through more fruit farms and enter the gentle hills of the Kouebokkeveld and our overnight stop in some lovely farm cottages.

Day 2: Cederberg to Great Karoo, 240km

Today we get to explore the rugged Cederberg mountains as we ride through the heart of the backcountry on good gravel roads. There are caves and ancient San paintings to explore, or you could just marvel at the rock formations and wilderness landscapes. After passing through the town of Clanwilliam we cross over the mountains on a fun, winding tar-road pass before connecting with the gravel roads again. We ride into the Great Karoo and up an escarpment before arriving at one of our favourite places to stay, in comfortable stone cottages on a working sheep farm.

Day 3: Karoo to Orange River, Namibia, 465km

Our ride today takes us all the way through South Africa's Northern Cape region into Namibia. First though, we get to explore some local canyons carved out by ancient glaciers, and a fun ride down the famous Van Rhyns pass. We then head north through some beautiful semi-desert landscapes through the Northern Cape before crossing the border and arriving at our overnight stop on the banks of the Orange River.

Day 4: Orange River to Fish River Canyon, 280km

After the tar roads of yesterday's ride, we switch back to some good gravel roads as we encounter Namibia's breathtaking landscapes. We ride past miles of lush vineyards before going on an optional ride along the banks of the Orange River - which is one of my favourite stretches to ride in all of Africa. After that we head north through vast, wide open landscapes towards the Fish River Canyon - second only to the Grand Canyon in size. After a stop to take it all in we have a short ride to our overnight stop at the iconic Canyon Roadhouse.

Day 5: Fish River Canyon to Luderitz, 390km

Today we have a mix of good gravel roads and tar roads that take us to the coastal town of Luderitz. Heading out from the Canyon Roadhouse we ride on some lovely, smooth gravel roads through more of Namibia's big-sky country and vast landscapes. There's plenty of time to stop and simply gaze at the breathtaking scenes that keep unfolding as we ride. The last bit of riding is on a good tar road that descends to the coast past Namibia's famous wild horses and through the old diamond fields.

Day 6: Luderitz to Maltahohe, 380km

It's good to get an early start today so we can catch the sun casting its morning light on the old diamond mining ghost town of Kolmanskop. We'll have some time to walk through this fascinating settlement and get some photos of the buildings slowly being overtaken by the drifting sand. We then head back out on the tar road before turning north through yet more breathtaking landscapes on good gravel roads. After a break for coffee and apple pie in the small town of Helmeringhausen we continue on to our overnight stop in some comfortable cottages at Maltahohe.

Day 7: Maltahohe to Sesriem, 260km

We have a shorter ride today to Sesriem, which is where we'll get to explore the famous dunes at Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei. On our way we have the option of taking a detour to visit Duwisib Castle built in the early 1900s by a German settler. On our way to Sesriem we descend an escarpment with beautiful views and ride on some more challenging gravel roads before arriving at our comfortable lodge for the next two nights. 

Day 8: Explore the dunes at Sossusvlei, 0km

It's our first rest day today and we'll have the chance for an early morning drive to see the famous dunes and dry lakes with ancient dead trees at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. After that we have the afternoon to relax in the comfortable lodge with a pool, bar and outdoor restaurant with the best views you'll have over dinner.

Day 9: Sesriem to Swakopmund, 360km

We get back on the bikes today for a ride across the Namib desert to the coastal resort town of Swakopmund. We'll stop for gas and possibly the best apple pie in Namibia at the historic settlement of Solitaire before setting out across the scenic Kuisib canyon and across the desert. You'll feel the cooler air as we approach the coast and enjoy a fun, smooth ride on a compacted salt road to Walvis Bay. We end the day with a short ride along the breaking waves of the Atlantic Ocean as we head north to Swakopmund.

Day 10: Explore Swakopmund, 0km

Swakopmund is a scenic, historical, coastal town that is one of the highlights of a visit to Namibia. After the long ride yesterday we get a chance to enjoy and explore the town. One of the best ways to do this is a morning tour of Sandwich Harbour - a spectacular, unique place where the dunes and ocean meet. After returning to town there's a wide variety of restaurants and interesting places to visit in the town

Day 11: Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe, 180km

Today's ride is a short one as we explore the southern part of the famous Skeleton Coast. We'll ride next to the cold Atlantic waters past a shipwreck before turning east into the desert at the coastal town of Henties Bay. Soon we'll see the outline of the iconic Spitzkoppe rock formations  appear and grow more imposing we get near. In the afternoon we'll have the chance to ride and walk around and up these beautiful rocks, 'Pondoks', and watch the sunset through the famous arch.

Day 12: Spitzkoppe to Erindi Private Game Reserve, 190km

After breakfast we leave Spitzkoppe behind and ride along gravel and tar roads to Erindi Private Game Reserve. Here we'll stay for a night at the luxurious Old Traders Lodge where you can watch the wildlife visit the waterhole. There are evening and morning guided game safaris where you'll have the chance to see all the Big 5 game and many others in this top-rated reserve.

Day 13: Erindi to Windhoek, 180km

After an optional early morning game safari in the park and some more time relaxing in front of the waterhole, we'll set out for the short ride to our destination, Windhoek. We'll unpack the bikes and get ready to leave before enjoying our last dinner together at the famous Joe's Beerhouse


Day 14: Windhoek to Ghanzi, Botswana, 530km

Today we begin the two-leg journey from Namibia to the Okavango Delta. We’ll set out due East from Windhoek on a good tar road as we ride through the eastern part of Namibia past a number of game lodges with the chance to spot antelope such as Eland, Giraffe and Kudu. After we cross the Botswana border we’ll need to be on the lookout for donkeys, cows and other wildlife on the road before we reach our overnight destination of Ghanzi.


Day 15: Ghanzi to Okavango Delta, 285km

After yesterday’s long ride we’ve got a much shorter leg, also on good tar roads, into Maun, the main base for exploring the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a unique place to experience Africa’s wildlife

Day 16 and 17: Exploring the Okavango Delta, 0km

You’ll have the option of a two-night fly-in safari experience at Oddballs Camp or a one or two-night 4x4 safari experience into Moremi Game Reserve. Either one of these will be an unforgettable experience of African landscapes and wildlife.

Day 18: Okavango to Nata, 360km

Today we’ll leave Maun around noon after returning from the Delta. It’s a short-ish ride on tar roads of varying quality to Nata with more chances to see Elephants, Giraffe and if you’re really lucky, a Leopard on the road as we ride.


Day 19: Nata to Victoria Falls, 320km

Our final riding leg of the trip takes us through Chobe Game Reserve with more chances to spot big game from the bike. We’ll cross the border into Zambia followed by a short ride to our base at Livingstone on the banks of the Zambezi river. We’ll aim to arrive by noon which will give you the afternoon to explore the Falls.

You’ll also have the opportunity to catch a helicopter ride in evening or early morning the next day for an incredible aerial view of the Falls.

Day 20: Explore Victoria Falls, 0km

Our final riding leg of the trip takes us through Chobe Game Reserve with more chances to spot big game from the bike. We’ll cross the border into Zambia followed by a short ride to our base at Livingstone on the banks of the Zambezi river. We’ll aim to arrive by noon which will give you the afternoon to explore the Falls.

You’ll also have the opportunity to catch a helicopter ride in evening or early morning the next day for an incredible aerial view of the Falls.

Day 21: Victoria Falls to Lusaka, 420km

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. We'll get a glimpse of rural village life as we ride past informal markets and some small towns. Things get a bit busier as we approach Lusaka, but our reward is some great food and comfortable rooms at our lodge on the eastern edge of the city

Day 22: Great East Road to Malawi, 570km

Our ride today takes us through one of Zambia's most scenic stretches as we ride the Great East Road to the Malawi border. The first half of the road requires a bit of pothole dodging but the scenery more than makes up for that small challenge. We'll ride past some enormous Baobab trees and beautiful rivers and valleys. Later on the tar road improves and we'll enjoy some lovely smooth curves as we ride through a bunch of mountain passes

Day 23: Malawi Highlands to Nkhata Bay, 450km

Today is our third of three longish riding days, but it's a magnificent one. We'll get an early start to get through the Malawi border quickly. We'll then head north and east through some small but busy villages. After an hour or two the road gets more remote as we enter the mountainous highlands. The riding here is up there with the best in Africa as we wind around mountains and through fertile valleys. We end the ride with a stunning descent down the escarpment into the Great Rift Valley at Nkhata Bay

Day 24: Explore Lake Malawi, 0km

Nkhata Bay 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 25: Shoreline of Lake Malawi to Lilongwe, 380km

Our final riding day of the trip takes us south to Lilongwe along the shores of the lake, or if you prefer we can retrace our route through the mountainous highlands. We'll reach our destination at Lilongwe by mid-afternoon, giving us time to unpack and get ready for the flight home the next day

Cost details

Tour Price:
Honda CRF1000: ZAR 155000
Honda XRV 750: ZAR 145000

Pillion: R49000

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.

Click to download our T's & C's

Included in the price:
Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L or  XRV 750 motorcycle
B&B Accommodation in 3-star lodges

Safari drive at Erindi Game Reserve
Airport transfers
Tour guide
Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance
Motorcycle border fees
Emergency evacuation to local medical center
Unlimited Mileage
Excess luggage storag

Flights to and from the tour start and end locations
Okavango Delta Activities (contact us for options)
Accommodation at origin and destination outside of tour dates
Lunches, drinks and dinners
Reserve and sightseeing entry fees
Personal Insurance (Accident/Medical)

Our Motorcycles

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


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. 

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 Andrew

Andrew is the lead guide and owner at Ride Down South. You can reach him by phone, Whatsapp, email or Skype


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Ride Down South
Registered in South Africa. No.: 2015/293371/07
SATSA Membership No.: 2313
Registered Office: 6A Chaucer Road, Claremont, Cape Town,
7708, South Africa

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