It’s rare that when you think of going on a motorcycle adventure that an aspect of it could include 3 days in the African bush surrounded by wild animals. In October this year, together with Bonafide Motorcycle Co. we embarked on a true South African motorcycle and safari experience!
Some of us riders in the group destined for the ‘Kruger to Canyon’ journey had never been to The Continent before and what awaited us was truly the ultimate experience and adventure.
The concept was simple at its core; we would spend 3 days riding over 700 kilometers of pristine gravel roads through 3 of South Africa’s provinces heading east towards Kruger National Park. After this we’d spend another 3 days off the motorcycles at a private use lodge in The Greater Kruger Area where we’d be picked up in a Land Rover Defender Game Viewer to experience the true wildness of Africa’s bush as we left the comfort of our motorcycles behind.
Sounds simple right?
What’s always a difficult challenge on any adventure is taking weather into account. During this adventure we were riddled with looming storms, dense fog where we couldn’t see 15-20 meters in front of us, mist so fine that we never knew if we should keep the goggles on or just let it hit us in the face, clay roads so slick that they seemed like ice and then all of a sudden for the sun to come out to clear all of that up and before we knew it - sweating in the humid climate that the lowveld brings.
Riding in these conditions on unknown roads isn’t an easy task and we got to truly push ourselves as we navigated through these roads. We eventually lost count of the amount of times the bikes went down and we had to pick them up. But every time there was an issue whether it be a flat tyre or picking up a bike no one did it on their own. We all chipped in. After 700 kms of riding, the adventure wasn’t over. It was just beginning.
Leaving the bikes at the border of The Reserve, we hopped into the Game Viewer, loaded all our gear and made our way to our own private lodge where we’d bare witness to Africa’s wildest animals roaming around the property with no fence between us and them.
Before arriving to drop the bags and get showered, we were welcomed by a pride of 9 lions at a watering hole within eyesight of our bedrooms. By then, we became aware of how wild this place was and how remote we were when the ‘donkey’ was lit to warm the hot water for the showers.
One evening a resident hyena reminded one us that walking outside at night is not recommended. Over the next 3 days we had some of the best damn meals we had experienced to date. Meals were simple, African inspired, and packed full of flavor. One of the aspects we enjoyed most about the meals was the African style of cooking used with open fire.
The sights we saw in the bush over that time will never be repeated again. That’s the beauty of Africa. You’ll never know where the animals will be as they’ll never know where they’re going to get their next meal from. The ride home through the vast canyons of the Blyde River Canyon back to Johannesburg gave us time to look back on what an amazing adventure we had been a part of. One of those that you’ll tell for the rest of your days.
A journey like this, through such a beautiful part of Africa, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and what made it truly special was to be able to share it with other motorcycle enthusiasts.
Here’s to the next adventure!