We cycle the most beautiful parts, we sit at the warmest campfires, we sleep under the most starry skies, we will feel healthier and freer than ever before, can something else be described as more outdoor?
1000 – 1500 km
Best travel period
8 / 10
8 / 10
2 Huge diversity of landscapes: vineyards, coast, semi-desert and the mountains of Lesotho
3 Kruger National Park, spot the big Five
4 Lesotho and Swaziland
Explore the freedom!
As an “AWOL special” we will organize a one-time group tour in March / April 2021 through this fascinating country. We use a so-called “overland truck”.
We notice that there is a certain reluctance to cycle individually through South Africa. “Is it safe there?” Is a frequently asked question. The country is too beautiful to pass you by, hence with enthusiasm, we offer a trip that also covers a larger part of South Africa for anyone with reservations.
Within the “safety” of the group, you will be able to keep individual freedom to determine your own day distances. We camp, but in some places, you can choose to use a lodge or not join the dinner from our field kitchen, but eat elsewhere. Some trips are also optional: this way you keep your freedom!
Warning: the outdoor life and dining together by the campfire are addictive ;-).
In and on top of the overland truck there is room for everyone plus the bicycles and luggage, including; large two-person tents; all camping equipment; a full kitchen. As a result, we are prepared for all circumstances and completely self-sufficient, which is exactly what gives “Overlanding” an ultimate feeling of nomadic freedom! We will bike around 4 to 6 hours each day, however, everyone can determine their own day distance and thus the severity of their day. Often we will use the Overlanding truck to travel a bit more after our bike ride, so that we can cycle the most beautiful routes as well as the entire route Cape Town -> Kruger National Park in three weeks. By “most beautiful routes” we mean here: quiet paved and unpaved roads, varied and surprising and 100% safe.
The total trip covers more than 3,000 kilometers, of which you will – according to your own needs – cycle about 1,000 to 1,500 by bike.
This trip is ideal for the adventurous traveler.
Sketch of the route
The route is a rough draft, the overland truck makes it possible – as a kind of Noah’s Ark – to respond to all situations and opportunities. The driver of the truck, Grant, is a very experienced South African guide who knows his way everywhere and who is also a star in our “outdoor kitchen”. A South African braai will certainly not be missing during this trip. Of course, accompanied by a delicious South African wine.
You will be able to maintain your freedom by; deciding how many kilometers you want to cycle per day (ideal for cyclists with a difference in level ;-), where possible determine whether you want to use a lodge instead of the tent, or, when possible, eat somewhere else and you have the freedom to decide whether or not to participate in little trips.
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the nickname “Mother City” is well deserved. It is recommended to stay here for a few days.
After a beautiful bike ride through the National Park De Goede Hoop – the illustrious corner of South-Africa where many ships have been wrecked – we travel to the wine region around Stellenbosch. Can you really miss a wine tasting?
It will take a week to arrive in Port Elizabeth, trekking inland through the semi-desert Little Karoo and along the Garden Route along the coast. Great contrasts can be found in the panoramas!
From Port Elizabeth, we head for Lesotho, the highest situated kingdom completely surrounded by South Africa. The Sani Pass is the legendary road leading to it, a must-see & feel.
Eswatini (formerly: Swaziland) is our next goal. The mini-country is best known for King Swati and his 15 wives, but we will visit it more because of the Mlilwane Reserve. Here you can participate in a bike safari: with lots of wildlife and without any risk.
Our final stretch leads to Kruger National Park, without doubt, one of the most impressive National Parks in the world, with an almost 100% certainty of seeing the Big Five. Cycling here would be life-threatening, Grant will make it possible for us to spot all wildlife from the overland truck.
South Africa is such a diverse country, in between the aforementioned highlights, there are still so many surprises waiting for us. In all respects, this “rainbow nation” gives you the ultimate colorful experience and experience by bicycle.
This is a camping trip. We will spend the night in spacious 2-person tents.
The campsites in South Africa are equipped with the right functionalities and at the same time they are very close to nature: South Africans love ‘real outdoor, camping & braai’.
At many campsites, it is possible to book a room (chalet, bungalow) against extra payment.
“Overlanding” is at its best when everyone contributes to the field kitchen, at the campfire or when loading and unloading. At the same time, we mainly try to create as much individual freedom as possible.
Four days of rest enable you to visit some extra sights, to recover from the efforts made and to make plans for yourself.
A moderate condition is sufficient, in principle, Overlanding tours do not require a pronounced top condition. The more you want to cycle, the more a good condition comes in handy. After every 20-25 km, the overland truck will be there for a stopover and you can decide how many of the 3-4 blocks per day you cycle.
The road surface is often paved, but we are also looking for easy-to-drive, quiet gravel roads.
March is a great month to travel and cycle through Southern Africa when the weather is dry, sunny and warm.
Since parts of the route are unpaved, a mountain bike is the preferred two-wheeler. A randonneur without suspension, with thicker tires, is certainly also possible; it can be a little less comfortable sometimes. Small gears are a requirement for the heaviest / steepest parts.
We have good mountain bikes from Cape Town for rent.
The daily management during this tour is in the hands of Monique Satink of AWOL and Pascal Kolkhuis Tanke. His Tropical Cyclist has organized eleven previous Overlanding tours in Africa since 2007.
The group size is a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 18 participants.
The combination of a small group, an exotic environment and carefree can not possibly be low-budget. The use of a fully equipped overland truck – which moves us about 60% of the route – results in extra high transport costs.
On the other hand, the price of participation covers most costs on the spot, because this includes:
- Both flights including transport of your bicycle
- Two nights in a good hotel in Cape Town
- Airport transfer from Cape Town airport to your hotel
- Transfer to the airport in Johannesburg
- All camping nights
- Once we are on the road with the Overlanding truck all supplies of drinks (including local beer and wine) and food are included; lunches and dinners on rest days are the exceptions, this is to enable everyone to be completely free;
- Our cycling assistance
- All transport between start and finish, of course, including transport of all your luggage while cycling
- Entrance fees to NP Cape of Good Hope, Mlilwane Reserve, and Kruger National Park
- Any additional nights in Cape Town
- Food and drinks on the days you stay at the hotel in Cape Town (excluding breakfast)
- The costs for any / optional room nights
- Lunches and dinners on the four rest days
- Other entrance fees
- Possible wine tasting
Participation in the 25-day trip (including travel days) will cost up from 3299 euros per person *.
* Price depends on applicable ticket prices at the time of booking.
The extra cost for a 1-person tent is 150 euros.
We have good mountain bikes from Cape Town for rent for 245 euros.
Due to the overwhelming interest in this trip, we decided to organize a second connecting Overlanding tour. The first trip is already fully booked. The second trip will start the Overlanding tour from Cape Town on Thursday, April 15, 2021, which means a departure from the Netherlands on Monday, April 12 (or earlier if you want to stay longer in Cape Town: recommended!). We will arrive in Johannesburg on Wednesday 5 May 2021 for your flight home. With many extra beautiful experiences and memories.