Meet the Guides
Andrew Vaughan is the owner, lead guide, chief mechanic, email replier, and new route explorer at Ride Down South. Andrew formed Ride Down South in 2016 after returning from a two-wheeled adventure with a friend to Kigali, Rwanda. Having seen how awestruck his Canadian friend was by the experience of riding a motorcycle through some of Africa's most scenic spots, it seemed natural to see if there was a way to share that with others. It turns out there was - and is. In his former life Andrew was a qualified mechanical engineer with work experience in the aviation industry. He spent a few years at UK-based Rolls Royce Plc where he worked on the design of turbofan engines for Airbus and Boeing airliners. Andrew is also a qualified career coach and runs an education non-profit called This Better Work. His biggest motorcycling adventure was a 30 000km ride from Vancouver, Canada to Cape Town via Russia, Eastern Europe and Africa on a Kawasaki KLR 650 in 2007. Since then Andrew has ridden his Africa Twin 750 through 17 African countries and just about all of those south of the Equator. Andrew owns all the motorcycles in the Ride Down South fleet.
Kevin Baker has always loved riding motorbikes. He has ridden bikes since he was a kid, from dirt bikes to road bikes later in life, and now adventure bikes. Kevin loves meeting new people, seeing new places and being out on the road. Sitting behind a desk in an office has never been his thing. Kevin is an adventurer and an explorer, and loves being out in nature. He really enjoys showing people just how beautiful these places are, particularly in South Africa, but everywhere - showing people some of the stunning places that most don’t usually get to see. He believes that there is no better way than doing that on a motorbike because you are that much more in touch with the environment and nature around you. He has worn many hats over the years, including being a qualified bike mechanic, but being a guide on these adventures is his favourite so far. He says, "I still have a lot of world left to see – I have only just begun exploring! I won’t see it all in my entire life, but the call is strong, and I love getting out there whenever I get the opportunity. I love the freedom of the open road, the wind on my face, the unknown horizon."
They 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