16th of May – 15th of June (Eswatini)
18th of June – 19th of June (Lesotho)
21st of June – 29th of June (Botswana)
24th of September – 12th of November (Eswatini)
Kilometers Per Bike
USD For 2 People
Liters Of Petrol Per Bike
21st of January – 18th of April 2018
Detailed Costs For 2 People And 2 Bikes
778 $ petrol
365 $ camping
714 $ accommodation in AirBnB’s
50 $ toll fees
17 $ taxi and public transport
237 $ entry fees
1367 $ supermarket
832 $ restaurant
1005 $ other things (laundry, souvenirs, doctor appointment, dentist, medicine, random stuff, cloths, maps)
43$ import fees
1687 $ repairs, tires, spare parts for the motorbikes, new front rim
56 $ SIM cards and data
43 $ repair and maintenance of our gear
43 $ new gear
Highest Point: 1362 m a.s.l
Lowest Point: 0 m a.s.l
South African Rand
Average Petrol Price
~ 1.1 $ per liter
23x AirBnB accommodation
Between 4 and 35 degrees
The tarmac roads are good and most of the gravel roads have been in pretty good condition too, if you want a challenge, there are plenty of 4×4 tracks to go for!
It depends alot where you are and at which time of the year. Around Johannesburg, Kruger and the Wild Coast it is best to be there for winter. We had good weather and nice temperatures but be aware that the nights can get very cold! Along the East Cape, it is better to go in summer. We were a little early and got still quite some rainy days.
Apps / Websites
Here some apps and webpages we think are usefull for travelling overland to this country
Maps: Tracks 4 Africa (for whole southern Africa, great paper and gps maps)
Xenia: a broken tooth, which she had to fix in Johannesburg (due to a stone in food)
Service / Work on the bikes
XTR: oil change and new oil filter,2 times new tyres (Dunlop 606), 3x cleaning the air filter, valve clearance, new coolant, radiator service (flushing with acid and check for leaks), greasing the brake calipers, tightening all spokes
XTZ: oil change and new oil filter, swing arm bearing cleaning/greasing, replacing all bearings and bushings of the linkage, 2 times new tyres (Micheline Anakee Wild front/rear and TKC 80 rear, Dunlop 606 front), new rear brake pads, 3x cleaning the air filter, greasing the brake calipers, valve clearance, new coolant, radiator service (flushing with acid and check for leaks), new spark plug, tightening all spokes
Problems / Breakdowns
XTZ: replacement of mirror in right side mirror, new front rim (after welding did not work for long), pannier rack needed two welds, welding crash bars twice, side panel needed some fixing, heated grip on the left needed some glue,
XTR: replacement of mirror in left side mirror, fixing broken contact of regulator, fixing a hole in radiator,
Other: GoPro lens protection broke and needed replacement, all our mobile phones stopped working (3 old phones) and we needed to replace them, Quick Strap of Xenias goggles needed replacement, both lenses of the goggles needed to be replaced
Visa: As Swiss passport holders we get 90 days for free and had no issues getting a new one at the border when we re-entered.
Carnet de Passage: As we travel with the CdP we used it but you can also get a temporary import permit (TIP) at the border (also if you ship into the country). Be careful with the CdP stamps when you travel in the SACU (Southern African Customs Union). You need to stamp in when you enter the union and then only stamp out when you leave it (therefore not at every border). The problem is, that a lot of people working at the custom offices have no idea about it and therefore do it wrong.
Insurance: You don’t need one as it is covered via the petrol prices.
Into South Africa
We flew our bikes into South Africa, to Johannesburg. Everything was a breeze. We did not need an agent but just went to the customs building at the airport, got our Carnet stamped and with all the necessary documents which we got from our shipping agent, went to the warehouse and got the bikes out. This took less than 24 hours from the time they arrived. We only had to pay a very small administrativ fee at the warehouse, which was absolutely legit.
Out of South Africa
We did not ship the bikes out of South Africa but know quite a lot of people who did it and it seems to be no issue at all. You can either fly the bike out or put it on a ship.
South Africa is not the safest country but don’t let it stop you from travelling around! We had never a bad experience even if many people warned us before. But you have to beware of the fact, that there are a lot of tensions and crime. We felt much safer in the surrounding countries but would still advice people to visit this beautiful country.
Here some very country specific information:
It is not allowed to visit most of the national parks by bike
Vodacome is a good phone company to get a prepaid SIM card but it is quite expensive. We only got one SIM card with data and when we had no wifi, we went both over the hotspot of one phone
Ever Wimpy (fast food chain that is everywhere) has free wifi