South Africa on a BMW

South Africa on a BMW

On-road, off-road and everything in-between
The majestic craggy peaks and deep ravines of the Drakensberg Mountains and the vast dusty plains of the Great Karoo desert are contrasted by miles of untouched beaches flanked by superb roads against a backdrop of an African sky. Needless to say, South Africa offers all bikers a spectacular ride.

In fact, we’d go so far as to say that the country was built for biking and especially for any of the BMW GS range of motorcycles. We all know that ‘GS’ is a German acronym for Gelande Strasse which translates roughly to ‘off-road’ (gelande) and ‘on-road (strasse). South Africa offers any aficionado great Gelande, superb Strasse and everything in-between such as phenomenal eating and unrivalled hospitality for an unbelievable yet affordable getaway. That’s according to Jurgen Muess, the owner of Cape Town-based Karoo Biking which specialises in BMW motorcycle tours and rentals.

"I attribute our success to our intimate knowledge of South Africa’s less travelled roads, striking the right balance between on- and off-road riding, the affordable luxury South Africa offers and of course, the excellent client service which we focus on providing," says the impossibly tall German who has made Cape Town his home.

Launched in 2002, Karoo Biking has conducted countless successful tours in German and English as the testimonials on the website confirm. Located at the website is well worth a visit as it not only includes detailed day-to-day itineraries of its range of current tours but also galleries of past tours, insights into South Africa and useful tips of what to bring.

Although Karoo Biking currently offers nine guided tours it also has self-guided tours for the more confident traveler in-search of a solo experience. The standard group tours however, vary in length and price and include airport transfers, accommodation, catering, the motorcycle rental with unlimited mileage, insurance, maps and a tour guide. Here’s a list of the standard tours.

14 days - Karoo Gardenroute Tour, 3,300 kms.
10 days - West Coast Tour, 2,800 kms.
10 days - Around Lesotho Tour, 2,500 kms.
Day trip - Cape of Good Hope, 200 kms.
14 days - Cape Town to Jo'burg Tour, 4,000 kms.
9 days - African Adventure Tour, 2,000kms.
12 days - Great African GS Challenge Tour, 3,000 kms.
7 days - Karoo Gardenroute Tour, 2,000 kms.

[Karoo Biking has also recently launched a two-week 3,300 km trip which starts in Windhoek (the capital of neighbouring Namibia) and which winds its way down Southern Africa’s west coast to culminate in Cape Town. The city-to-city tour promises incredible scenery from cityscapes to desolate Namib Desert dunes.

With both on- and off-road riding, the Windhoek to Cape Town tour is an epic tribute to solitude and uninterrupted riding. The two weeks spent exploring one of the world’s oldest deserts and its second largest canyon will be punctuated by the razzle-dazzle of city lights.

For many, South Africa is but an overnight flight away and because it’s based in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the ideal way to extend the biking season as winter hits hard at home. "Astride top of the range machines from the most recent BMW line-up, we’ve fine-tuned our motorcycle tours to offer you customers not only the best possible riding experience, but also an extraordinary South African adventure," concludes Jurgen enthusiastically.