Vic Falls to Lake Malawi
13-day Motorcycle Adventure
Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Southern Malawi

Vic Falls to Lake Malawi
13-day Motorcycle Adventure

Join us as we explore Zimbabwe and Malawi's hidden secrets: wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, history and culture on this 13-day motorcycle adventure from Vic Falls to Lake Malawi

Route Highlights
Victoria Falls – Hwange Game Reserve - Matopos Rhino Sanctuary – Great Zimbabwe Ruins - Savé Valley Conservancy -  Chimanimani - Honde Valley - Zomba Plateau and Forest - Lake Malawi

Total Distance: 3000 km
Riding Days: 11
Rest Days: 2
Average distance: 275 km per day
Riding Time per day: 4-6 hours
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate 

Tar roads of varying quality (occasional potholed sections) with some optional gravel roads

Tour Overview

This motorcycle tour will give you an experience of Zimbabwe and Malawi's natural beauty, culture and history, unique geology and local flavours. The riding is mostly on tar roads with occasional potholes and some gravel/dirt roads that take us into some beautiful places. You'll experience 'real Africa' - villages, food markets, and some truly beautiful landscapes you're unlikely to encounter anywhere else. 

Tour Dates

29 May - 11 June

Detailed Itinerary

Click on the headings to expand

Day 0: Arrive Victoria Falls

We'll meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time you'll have a chance to explore the falls on foot or book on of the various airborne tour offerings. In the evening we'll enjoy a pre-trip dinner at a local restaurant - dinner's on us 🙂

Day 1: Vic Falls to Hwange National Park, 190km

It's a short ride to Hwange Game Reserve so we'll have time in the morning to pack the bikes and/or do some more exploring. Once on the road we head south-east on a tar road towards Bulawayo. We'll ride through the African bushveld you will come to know well on this ride and may see elephants, or if we are lucky the Ground Hornbill.

We'll aim to arrive in time for an optional late afternoon game drive (safari) at Hwange Game Reserve.

Day 2: Hwange to Matopos National Park, 325km

We continue south-east towards Bulawayo on tar roads through wild woodlands, again with occasional potholes to keep an eye out for. At Bulawayo we turn south to Matopos National Park which is about 30km from the city. This area is famous for its beautiful rock formations, a rhino sanctuary and the grave of Cecil John Rhodes. We'll leave the bikes at the gate and catch a shuttle to our lodge. Activity options in the evening and following morning include: Rhino tracking, a visit to Rhodes' grave, or walking on local trails up the surrounding hills for great views of the park.

Day 3: Matopos to Great Zimbabwe, 360km

Today we head back up to Bulawayo before turning east towards Masvingo and the famous Great Zimbabwe ruins. We end with a fun ride along a narrow, twisting road around Lake Kyle.
Our lodge has direct access to the Great Zimbabwe site and you can do a self-guided walking tour of these fascinating ruins. 

Day 4: Great Zimbabwe to Savé Valley Conservancy, 180km

We have a shorter ride today to our destination at Savé Valley Conservancy. We begin with a twisting, narrow road around the shores of Lake Mutirikiwi, before joining the road east towards Birchenough Bridge. Just before the bridge we turn south into Savé Valley Conservancy and ride 20km on a dirt road and two river crossings before reaching the lodge. We'll have time to explore the wildlife in the conservancy in the afternoon.

Day 5: Savé Valley to Chimanimani, 220km

Today we'll head back out of the conservancy and cross the famous Birchenough bridge on our way to the highlands of Chimanimani. The last 40km are a fun ride of tight, twisting corners as we ascend into the high country. There will be time to explore the area on the bike with one of the park rangers including Tessa's Pool, Pork Pie hill and Bridal Veil falls.

Day 6: Chimanimani to Honde Valley, 280km

Today we'll descend again out of the highlands as we twist our way north towards Mutare. If you're feeling adventurous we can take the gravel/dirt scenic route via Cashel. It's a long, bumby ride but the views are worth the effort. We'll continue north along the A14 towards Nyanga before turning east and descending into the Honde Valley. We'll make our way through the valley and Eastern Highlands tea plantations before arriving at our lodge, nestled among rolling tea-plantations, rivers, mountains and lovely riparian forest. 

Day 7: Rest day at Honde Valley, 0km

Today we'll take a break from the bikes and enjoy this part of Zimbabwe. There are a few more active ways to explore the area. Activities include guided birding and nature walks, exploring the local waterfalls, a tour of the local tea factory and a forest canopy tour on ziplines.

Day 8: Honde Valley to Nyanga, 125km

Today we'll climb back out of the valley before continuing a short way through the town of Juliasdale before reaching our overnight stop at Troutbeck Resort, set below pine forests and overlooking a trout-filled lake. You'll be able to explore the area including World's View lookout. Our stop here sets us up well for the riding adventure tomorrow into Mozambique.

Day 9: Nyanga to Tete, 380km

We'll aim for an early start today as we have a fair way to go and some adventurous roads ahead. We'll ride north towards the border town of Nyamapanda on the A14. We'll ride through a mountainous area on a good tar road before the road abruptly turns to gravel. For the next 40km or so we'll thread our way along alternating patches of good gravel and some rocky bits as we ride north parallel to the Mozambique border. The going will be slow at times but after about an hour the surface improves and the rest of the ride is straightforward. We'll cross into Mozambique before making our way on tar roads to Tete on the banks of the Zambezi river.

Day 10: Tete to Zomba Forest, 280km

We'll aim for another early start from Tete as we have a border crossing to get through today. We'll begin by crossing the Zambezi River twice on our way out of town before heading due east for about 110km to the Malawi border. Once through we have about 140km to go before we climb up the Zomba plateau to our base for two nights at Zomba Forest Lodge.


Day 11: Free day at Zomba

Zomba Forest Lodge is one of our favourite places in Malawi. The food alone, provided by our hosts Petal and Tom, is worth staying two nights for. This is one of the few well-forested places on the plateau and there are 7km of trails to explore. You can also ride up to the top of the plateau for tea at the hotel there. If you feel like venturing further, Mulanje mountain is just over 100km away. 

Day 12: Zomba to Cape Maclear (Lake Malawi), 220km

Today we'll head back down the mountain and ride north towards Lake Malawi, taking the lakeside route via Mangochi. We'll get to the Lake around midday, giving us time in the afternoon to explore this part of the lake and local village.

Day 13: Cape Maclear to Lilongwe, 220km

It's a shortish ride to our final destination at Lilongwe so we can take some time in the morning to enjoy the lake. We have a fun, twisting ride up the escarpment into the central highlands. From there it's an easy ride into Lilongwe and to our final stop at Latitude 13 Degrees hotel.

Cost and Includes

Tour Price:
Rider: ZAR 135000
Pillion: R43000

Notes:
1) Prices in South African Rand. Click here to convert to your currency.
2) Prices are for minimum of five 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 Transalp 750 motorcycle
* Fuel & Oil
* 14 nights lodge accommodation

* All meals
* Support vehicle with baggage space and spare bike
* Airport transfers
* Tour guide
* Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance
* Motorcycle border fees
* Excess luggage storag
e

Excluded:
* Flights
* Visas
* Activities – e.g. game drives
* Accommodation at origin and destination outside of tour dates
* Drinks and tips
* Reserve and sightseeing entry fees
* Personal Insurance (Accident/Medical)

Our Motorcycles

Our fully owned and lovingly cared-for fleet of Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 and Transalp 750 motorcycles are built to handle the African roads we ride with ease


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

Accommodation includes comfortable 3 and 4-star lodges. For a detailed listing of our lodges please contact us for the full tour brochure 

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 Guides

All our rides are led by our guiding duo Andrew and Michael. Find out more about us on our About Us page

Andrew and Mike 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

Tour Gallery

Contact Us

You can reach us by phone, Whatsapp, email or Skype

Email: andrew@ridedownsouth.com

Or click on the icon to chat via Whatsapp

or fill out this contact form.

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

Follow Us

Subscribe to Email Updates