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An African Adventure - 1995

Talk about all your non-Zed or even Kawasaki bikes here.

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Re: An African Adventure - 1995

#16 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Thu May 14, 2020 9:16 am

Part 11 (Southern Namibia Leg)
namibia (2)_LI_final.jpg

Leaving Windhoek for the second time we headed south west towards Solitaire, unpaved roads and quite bad in places but the scenery is spectacular all day! From Solitaire we ride south to Seisriem and the views get even better in the afternoon sun with stunning deep orange colours of the sand. Wonderful.
towards sesierem (2).JPG

We camp at Seisriem and then up early for the last 65km to Sossusvlei, what a place, surrounded by large dunes on all sides this is an oasis sometimes but currently dry. After 60km we decide to use the 4x2 car park not wanting to get stuck in the soft sand in the last 5km. We walked the last 5km into the park and ahead of us there was a strange chugging noise, as we approached we could see that it was a 2CV cleverly managing to negotiate the soft sand with amazing skill and patience. The driver said he had crossed the Sahara in the 2CV!
sossusvlei-1 (2).JPG

sossusvlei-2 (2).JPG

sossusvlei-3 (2).JPG

We had a lovely day walking around Sossusvlei and then headed south to Luderitz, another fine German style town on the coast. Close to Luderitz is the abandoned diamond mining town of Kohlmanskop and it is possible to walk around and see buildings that are now half buried in the drifting sand. In the 1950’s larger quantities of diamonds were discovered around the Orange river that borders South Africa.
luderitz (2).JPG

deserted mine (2).JPG

After a day in Luderitz we rode to Fish River Canyon which is pretty impressive and not too dissimilar to the Grand Canyon expect there are not any tourists! We camped at the Hobas campsite in the park. From here it was south following the canyon rim and then a short hop into South Africa as we crossed the Orange River.
fish river canyon-1 (2).JPG

fish river canyon-2 (2).JPG

Statistics update:-
Days Travelling: 192
Distance ridden: 18,500km
Money Spent : US$ 4,100 (@ $21/day)

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Re: An African Adventure - 1995

#17 PostAuthor: kawasaki_man » Sat May 16, 2020 8:30 am

Part 12 (South Africa & Lesotho) - THE LAST PART!

south africa_LI_final.jpg

We crossed the Orange River and we were in South Africa, it all seemed so easy! As we went south the weather was getting cooler every day, it was spring in South Africa and wild flowers were carpeting the land everywhere you looked.
wildflowers (2).JPG

Our destination of Cape Town was beckoning and there was no time to be lost, arriving in Cape Town on 6th September 1995 after travelling for 194 days. We had a welcoming party waiting for us at the Long Street Backpackers, meeting some friends we had met previously. It was time to party and explore Cape Town.
cape town-1 (2).JPG

We spent a total of 16 nights in the Long Street Backpackers. Some maintenance was required on the bikes, I changed chain and sprockets, greased the swing arm and replaced the front tyre. We did go up Table Mountain and also went down to Cape of Good Hope with our friends John & Bec from Australia whom we had first met at Livingstonia in Malawi all those months ago, last time we had bumped into each other was in Harare.
capeofgoodhope (2).JPG

South Africa is a huge country so we decided to limit our ridding to mainly costal routes, we had seen enough desert for now. Did whale watching in Hermanus, wine tasting around Stellenbosch, a side trip through the Little Karoo and then the scenic costal garden route. Did some canoeing North of East London then went inland via Transkei (very run down) heading for the lovely Drakensberg mountains, staying for many nights at the Sani lodge, a very basic backpacker hostel with animals. We did many walks from the lodge and on one such walk nearly stood on a spitting cobra.
sani lodge (2).JPG

spitting-cobra (2).JPG
sani pass start (2).JPG

The task we could not refuse to attempt was the ascent over the infamous Sani Pass into Lesotho. We were briefed it was difficult and challenging, but the weather was dry so we were going to ride over the pass into Lesotho. It was difficult and I fell off once but we made it eventually!
sani-pass-1 (2).JPG

sani-pass-2 (2).JPG

Our final journey was down to the coast at Durban to buy flights back home and arrange the shipping of the bikes and that involved building special crates again and then placing in 20ft containers. Customs formalities worked out just in time and we were then on our way back home after 242 days of biking.

Final Statistics:-
Days Travelling: 242
Distance ridden: 20,668km
Money Spent : US$ 5,500 (@ $23/day) – includes all flights and shipping – a bargain!


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Re: An African Adventure - 1995

#18 PostAuthor: davejames » Sat May 16, 2020 9:13 am

Wow!!! What an amazing adventure, you could spend that sort of money for 2 weeks "all in" at a poxy resort!! :) :)
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Re: An African Adventure - 1995

#19 PostAuthor: Swirl » Sun May 17, 2020 4:11 am

Wow amazing story, thank you for taking the time to share, great that you still have the photos too, I was 18 in 1995 and dont have many photos of that period of my life, till probably 2005, I bet you have got a few adventurous souls itching to go now.

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Re: An African Adventure - 1995

#20 PostAuthor: chrispyduck » Sun May 17, 2020 6:22 pm

What a great adventure thanks for sharing with us...........you should write a book! It stirs the adventure in us........... :)

Co incidentally i have just started reading Red Tape and White Knuckles by Lois Pryce (solo ride through Africa)
Her first book Lois on the Loose is a compelling read (first ride Alaska to Argentina)
Fat girls are like M****s, they are fun to ride, you just don`t want your mates to see you.

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Re: An African Adventure - 1995

#21 PostAuthor: Robw » Mon May 18, 2020 7:58 am

I was working in Malawi at the same time you went through. I was with an Army expedition clearing a road through the bush, so that rangers could track poachers. Amazing people. A few of our guys got bilharzia, although we were told the lake was safe and one ended up in medical research publications as the treatment was ineffective.
As for your trip to Archers point, we had a British Army detachment there as an aviation outpost. So I can feel your pain with the roads, although we would always fly in, using the Gazelle.
Excellent story. Nice to see other parts of Africa and not just the tourist spots.
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