Every little thing You Want To Know About Biking In South Africa

by jpc_touring-bicycle

The nation of South Africa is a good looking and fascinating, but under-appreciated, location for bicycle excursions of any size. Whereas the nation is at the moment scuffling with problems with racism, finance and an absence of technological infrastructure, South Africa is arguably probably the greatest areas on the earth for each guided and self-supported bicycle excursions of varied lengths.

Whether or not you’re searching for a 1-2 week guided bike tour the place your meals, lodging, and transportation is all taken care of for you with the intention to merely sit again and benefit from the trip… otherwise you need to journey by yourself, create your personal cycle touring route and expertise a few of the lesser recognized areas of the nation, South Africa may simply be the bike using vacation spot you’ve been dreaming about!

I’ve only recently accomplished my very own bicycle touring journey in South Africa… and it was (for probably the most half) wonderful! I spent two weeks in South Africa’s Backyard Route space as a participant in a high-end guided bike tour with an organization known as African Bikers, after which I performed two-and-a-half extra months of solo journey throughout the nation (and it’s neighboring nations of Lesotho and Swaziland) on a self-supported bicycle tour of my very own making.

I realized loads throughout my three months of journey in South Africa, so I’d wish to take this time to share with you a few of the issues I realized and reply a few of the most typical questions I’ve acquired about bicycle touring in Africa’s southern-most nation.

Questions equivalent to:

Is South Africa as harmful as everybody says it’s?
Will I encounter wild animals whereas biking throughout the nation? If that’s the case, what type?
What are the highway circumstances like?
Which areas of South Africa are price seeing most?
Do I want a mountain bike or off-road succesful touring bicycle tour journey in South Africa?
What ought to I pack for a self-supported bicycle tour in South Africa?
The place can I buy bicycle touring panniers, racks, handlebar luggage and extra in South Africa?
What does a typical day of bicycle touring in South Africa appear to be?
What sort of meals/eating places can I anticipate to come across whereas within the nation?
Is it troublesome to seek out sufficient water to drink?
What lodging can be found to bicycle vacationers in South Africa?
Is it secure to camp in South Africa?
How a lot does it value to go bicycle touring in South Africa?
Can I trip my bicycle inside Kruger Nationwide Park?
Ought to I conduct a guided or self-supported bicycle tour in South Africa?
What sorts of guided bicycle excursions can be found within the nation?
And an entire lot extra!

If, in spite of everything of this, you’ve gotten a query about biking in South Africa that I’ve not answered right here, you’ll be able to ask me your query within the feedback part on the very backside of this web page and I’ll get again to you with a solution simply as quickly as I presumably can.

Is South Africa As Harmful As Everybody Says It Is?

Earlier than I reply this query, I have to say one thing essential.

My dad and mom raised me to by no means choose one other particular person – not by the colour of their pores and skin, the nation they have been born in, the sum of money they’ve, their faith, their political opinions, the garments they put on, the meals they eat or anything. I grew up in a really various a part of the world the place it’s regular to work together with individuals of various nationalities, backgrounds and languages every day. I’ve buddies from all around the world that look, act and consider in a different way from the from the way in which I look, act and consider… and that’s okay! I like the range.

It’s due to my understanding, non-judgmental upbringing that I discovered my time in South Africa to be each unusual and miserable. Whereas what I’m about to say might sound harsh and even racist at occasions, it is necessary so that you can perceive that I DO NOT FEEL THIS WAY myself. As an alternative, I’m merely sharing a few of the views that individuals in South Africa expressed to me throughout my three-month-long bicycle tour throughout the nation. I want South Africa (and the world as an entire) weren’t this manner. I want that a few of the individuals in South Africa had not advised me this stuff, however that is the way in which I skilled the nation and the individuals in it whereas I used to be there.

With that being mentioned… no, South Africa isn’t almost as harmful as it’s made out to be. Throughout my three months within the nation, I by no means as soon as felt threatened or in peril.

I believe South Africa is described as being a harmful place, not as a result of it’s as harmful as it’s made out to be, however primarily due to the racism that’s so prevalent all through the nation.

For those who’re a white individual and also you’re afraid of black individuals (as I do know many white individuals (sadly) are), South Africa will seem like a really scary place. The inhabitants of South Africa is basically black with a small white minority.

In lots of the cities I visited all through South Africa, I used to be typically occasions the one white individual round. I’d generally go for days on finish with out seeing one other white particular person (whether or not that be a neighborhood or a vacationer).

Whereas lots of the white individuals in South Africa are afraid of the black inhabitants, the completely different lessons of black individuals additionally appear to harbor some worry (or resentment, maybe?) towards each other. On high of all this, lots of the black individuals worry and distrust the white individuals. It’s a loopy, bizarre and depraved circle of worry, hatred, misunderstanding, injustice and, in fact, plain and easy racism.

Do I believe South Africa will likely be a kinder, friendlier, safer and fewer racist nation in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later? Sure, I believe so! Nevertheless, I don’t assume it will likely be occurring any time quickly. In two or three generations, I can see South Africa changing into a completely completely different (and much better) place. However in the intervening time, the racist undercurrents which can be so prevalent all through the nation make it a wierd (and a few would say, scary) place to be.

With that mentioned, I discovered the general public I met in South Africa to be extremely pleasant.

Whereas the occasional particular person would strategy me with a stern look on his or her face (they normally regarded like they have been petrified of me and have been ready to see what I used to be going to do – was I going to be pleasant or hostile?), as quickly as I smiled or lifted my hand and gave them a well mannered wave, their demeanor would immediately change. They’d smile, wave in return and normally provide a pleasant “Hi there!” Once in a while, a brief dialog would then observe.

Whereas I favored the general public I met in South Africa, there have been loads of individuals who approached me on the road and in eating places the place I used to be consuming and requested me for meals or cash. This bothered me. You will need to observe, nevertheless, that I by no means felt threatened by these people (in the way in which I’d if I assumed I have been going to be robbed, attacked or murdered). As an alternative, I primarily simply felt aggravated – particularly after a number of individuals would hit me up for meals/cash in a brief time period. Not as soon as, nevertheless, did I ever really feel scared or unsafe.

In addition to the racism and the frequent beggars on the streets, another excuse South Africa looks as if such a harmful place is as a result of safety is taken so significantly all through the nation. Nearly each property in South Africa is surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Within the cities, many homes sit behind giant metallic gates. Alarm methods are well-liked and there are safety guards in every single place.

After seeing extra of South Africa over the past three months than most South Africans will probably ever see themselves, I don’t assume quite a lot of this safety stuff is admittedly wanted. I may very well be completely mistaken (and I very properly is likely to be), however I believe that safety has turn into such a giant enterprise in South Africa that nationwide worry is generated virtually on goal as a way to hold the safety trade alive.

There are millions of individuals in South Africa working within the safety world in the intervening time. If the nation have been to immediately turn into a secure place to stay, all these individuals at the moment working as safety guards, alarm installers, gate operators, law enforcement officials and extra would immediately be out of a job. Whereas crime does certainly happen in South Africa (and nearly in every single place else on the earth for that matter), I believe quite a lot of the worry that individuals in South Africa have is perpetuated in some sense by the safety trade as a way to hold all these jobs alive.

Whereas I mentioned earlier that I by no means felt scared or threatened throughout my time in South Africa, I did really feel like I used to be being watched extra typically than I wish to be… and this did make me somewhat nervous at occasions. Greater than something, nevertheless, it merely added to my annoyance with the nation.

For instance, virtually each time I went to make use of an ATM machine, there could be a safety guard standing close by. After I entered a grocery store, there could be a guard on the door, watching to see what I used to be carrying into the shop… and what I used to be finishing up. At a few of the accommodations and guesthouses I stayed at throughout my bicycle tour throughout the nation, I must ring a bell as a way to name to the worker on watch in order that she or he may let me in or out of the big metallic safety gate that surrounded the property. All this stuff added up over time, not essentially to a sense of being scared for my security, however as an alternative, constructing to level of extreme annoyance.

For instance, I used to be aggravated to should rely upon one other individual simply to return and go from my guesthouse. I used to be aggravated that the safety guard on the door to the grocery store thought I is likely to be stealing one thing from the shop after I was truly spending my hard-earned cash there. And I used to be aggravated to see how a lot cash was being spent on individuals, sources and infrastructure within the title of security. The heightened sense of safety all through the nation didn’t scare me or make me really feel any safer. It merely aggravated me!

Now that I’ve mentioned all this, it must be famous that dangerous issues do occur in South Africa. Crime is supposedly excessive in each the cities and the countryside… and murders do happen extra often in South Africa than in lots of different nations. On my solo bike tour throughout the nation, I rode previous two separate crime scenes the place it appeared as if somebody had been killed and their physique had been dumped in a ditch (or wild space) on the facet of the highway. I’m not precisely positive that’s what occurred, however it positive did look that method.

Crime is excessive in South Africa (a number of locals advised me) due largely to the truth that there may be such an enormous distinction in way of life between the rich and the poor. Whereas the black inhabitants far outweighs that of the whites, white individuals in South Africa personal a lot of the nation’s land, buildings, companies and extra. And in the case of political energy, the white inhabitants takes the cake. In lots of cities, giant, costly houses are situated in shut proximity to lots of of individuals dwelling in tin and scrap wooden homes with no working water and few primary facilities. And if that weren’t sufficient, many white people, guesthouses, companies and extra have black people working for them – typically occasions for little or no (and seemingly prison quantities of) cash.

It must be famous that not all of the black individuals in South Africa are poor. There are many rich black individuals… and there are millions of poor white individuals as properly.

General, I discovered the individuals in South Africa to be identical to individuals virtually in every single place else on the earth. It doesn’t matter what their monetary standing, pores and skin coloration, or private beliefs, I discovered the people I met in South Africa to be pleasant, caring, and loving to their buddies, household and strangers alike. Most people I met have been good, regular individuals who merely need one thing higher for themselves and their household.

If I needed to fee the obvious stage of hazard in South Africa on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least harmful and 10 being probably the most, I’d fee South Africa someplace round an 8 or 9. The precise hazard in South Africa, nevertheless, I’d fee a lot decrease. In all probability round a 3 or 4.

If I needed to fee the extent of annoyance attributable to the safety trade in South Africa and folks asking for handouts on a regular basis, I’d fee the nation as a 7 or an 8. Whereas South Africa might not be as harmful as it’s typically occasions portrayed, I discovered it to be an annoying place to stay, work and journey.

Will I Encounter Wild Animals (Such As Hyenas, Lions & Rhinos) Whereas Biking Throughout South Africa?

It’s a widespread misunderstanding amongst people which have by no means traveled in Africa earlier than that there are wild animals (lions, tigers, hyenas, elephants, rhinoceros and extra) roaming round within the cities and villages. The reality, nevertheless, is that the big, harmful animals you affiliate with African journey are saved in giant nationwide or regional parks by giant barbed wire and electrified gates and fences. In other-words, the wild animals are locked up in big cages and also you don’t want to fret a couple of lion attacking you as you trip your bike throughout the nation.

African Lions

That mentioned, you’ll probably encounter a couple of wild animals in your travels in South Africa.

Baboons are widespread and they are often harmful. They normally roam in packs of eight or extra and are sometimes extra afraid of you than you might be of them. Nevertheless, baboons are giant, wild animals and in some areas of the nation (round Cape City for instance), the baboons have realized to equate individuals with meals. Subsequently, it is necessary to not feed or strategy any baboons you see on the highway.

In addition to baboons, you’ll you’ll want to see a large number of antelope. There are dozens of various kinds of antelope in South Africa. A few of these antelope species (such because the springbok, for instance) are fairly giant, whereas different species (such because the impala) are a lot smaller. Just like the baboons you’ll encounter within the nation, the antelope you see in South Africa will probably be extra afraid of you than you might be of them. Antelope are likely to roam in teams of six or extra and are able to leaping over, or climbing by, lots of the wire fences which can be discovered all through the nation. Antelope aren’t innately harmful, however like so many wild animals, shouldn’t be fed or approached.

Snakes of varied sorts may be discovered all through South Africa, however an encounter with a snake of any type is uncommon on a lot of the nation’s paved roads. Throughout my three-months of bicycle touring in South Africa, I noticed three snakes and solely one in all these was toxic – an African Cobra. You shouldn’t fear about snake encounters in South Africa, however you need to be conscious of your environment always and be particularly cautious when touring off highway or strolling by deep brush.

South African snakes

Wildebeest are one other widespread animal you could run throughout throughout your bicycle tour in South Africa. Wildebeest are literally a form of antelope, regardless of their apparent variations in look. Wildebeest are giant, awkward animals which can be normally present in small teams of six or extra and may run very quick. Like different animals in South Africa, wildebeest will normally hold their distance from you and may by no means be fed.

Lastly, you may be positive to see a number of forms of small monkeys and birds in South Africa. The small, gray Vervet monkey is widespread and very quick. And in case you are keen on birds, then South Africa is a paradise! Throughout my brief 3-month bike tour within the nation, I noticed greater than 100 hen species that I had by no means seen earlier than. None of those birds have been harmful or threatening in any method. As an alternative, each the monkeys and the birds I encountered have been a delight to see throughout my daily actions.

If you’re afraid of a run-in with a harmful animal in South Africa, don’t be! There’s little or no to be afraid of. The big, harmful animals are fenced in and evaded the general public by giant fences surrounding the sport parks which can be scatted throughout the nation.

If, nevertheless, you’d wish to trip your bike alongside elephants, giraffes, antelope or different African animals, there are methods to do it. Whereas biking in a lot of South Africa’s recreation parks isn’t allowed, there are some parks and reserves that permit bicycles. And in some areas of the nation, bicycles may be ridden contained in the parks if you end up being escorted by with an skilled (and normally armed) skilled information.

What Are The Street Situations Like In South Africa? Are The Roads Harmful For Biking?

The roads in South Africa are surprisingly glorious. In a lot of the nation, the roads are remarkably properly maintained, with little visitors and broad shoulders.

The highway circumstances clearly differ all through the nation, however on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the most effective, I’d fee South Africa’s paved roads an 8 out of 10.

roads in south africa

Whereas it’s attainable to trip throughout all the nation on paved, asphalt roads, some cyclists may want to search out dust or gravel roads for his or her bicycle touring adventures. Whereas a lot of these roads are much less generally traveled on, they’re plentiful.

Most cyclists, nevertheless, will likely be happy with the roads in South Africa and delighted to study that the visitors isn’t almost as dangerous because the locals make it out to be.

If you’re planning an intensive cross-country bike tour in South Africa, it’s best to come ready to cycle in quite a lot of completely different circumstances – from hectic metropolis streets with a lot of visitors and no shoulders by any means, to empty nation roads with shoulder’s so broad you could possibly drive a truck down them.

Do I Want A Mountain Bike Or Off-Street Succesful Touring Bicycle To Cycle In South Africa?

No, you do not want a mountain bike or off-road succesful touring bike to conduct a bicycle tour in South Africa. A lot of the major roads in South Africa are paved and are excellent for highway, hybrid or touring bicycles of any type.

If, nevertheless, you want to conduct a mountain bike tour, otherwise you plan to spend any time touring on dust or gravel facet roads, then a highway or conventional touring bicycle most likely received’t minimize it… and a mountain bike or a touring bicycle geared up with broad, 26 inch tires could be supreme.

off road touring bike

What Ought to I Pack For A Self-Supported Bicycle Tour In South Africa?

What you determine to hold in your bicycle tour by South Africa goes to rely upon the way you select to journey (guided vs. self-supported), the kind of touring you want to conduct (highway touring vs. off-road touring), the time of yr you select to journey (summer season vs. winter) and quite a lot of different elements.

Whereas there is no such thing as a one supreme packing checklist for a motorcycle tour in South Africa, here’s a full checklist of every little thing I used to be carrying with me throughout my bicycle tour in South Africa. Be warned, nevertheless, that I used to be touring within the autumn and carrying way more digital gadgets on my bike that I’d ever advocate.

Bicycle Touring Fundamentals

Bicycle Instruments

Tenting Gear

Cooking Gear

As a result of I’m touring with out a camp range, I both should eat chilly picnic type meals or exit to eat someplace as a way to get a heat meal in me. My kitchen consists of solely three small gadgets.

If you wish to prepare dinner your personal meals, you’ll want to hold a small camp range, gasoline canister, and gasoline.


Giro Xen Bike Helmet
Fox Racing Brief-Sleeved MTB Jersey
Biking Shorts (I take advantage of for strolling round in and for using my bicycle)
T-Shirts (3)
Marmot Rain Jacket
Patagonia Fleece Jacket
Baseball hat
Shimano SH-MT43L SPD Footwear
Nike Working/Strolling Footwear
Socks (5) (For each biking and strolling)
Underwear (3)
Sun shades & Case


Your typical bicycle traveler isn’t going to hold this many electronics. The one cause I’ve this a lot stuff is as a result of I’m working whereas I’m touring. I’ve to run the web site right here at BicycleTouringPro.com and that includes taking photographs, capturing video, storing all the info I’ve collected, and modifying every little thing on my laptop. I don’t advocate that everybody carry this a lot stuff.


Toiletry Bag
Camp Towel
Shaving Cream
Nail Clippers
Face Wash (3)
Security Pin
Bathroom paper roll
Journey Laundry Cleaning soap Packets (3)
Journey Mirror

Miscellaneous Gadgets

Small Backpack (used to hold issues with me when I’m strolling round off the bicycle)
Money & Cash
Credit score Playing cards (2)
Debit Playing cards (3)

The place Can I Buy Bicycle Touring Panniers, Racks, Handlebar Baggage & Extra In South Africa?

For those who stay in South Africa (or are touring within the nation) and need to discover a native retailer that sells bicycle touring panniers, racks, handlebar luggage or something touring associated… good luck! This stuff are extraordinarily unusual in South Africa and are virtually unattainable to seek out.

If you’re searching for tenting gear (equivalent to tents, sleeping luggage and sleeping mats), that may normally be present in South Africa’s bigger cities: Johannesburg, Cape City and Durban. This stuff will likely be troublesome (or unattainable) to seek out in lots of the nation’s smaller cities.

If you’re searching for bicycle touring gear, the most effective place to look is on-line at www.cycletouring.co.za.

This web site, which relies out of Woman Gray, South Africa, shares a few of the greatest bicycle touring equipment- Ortlieb and Arkel panniers, Outdated Man Mountain racks, and an entire lot extra! You may go to Woman Gray to choose up the gadgets you want… or you’ll be able to have the gear you buy shipped on to your own home.

What Does A Typical Day Of Bicycle Touring In South Africa Look Like?

In the future of bicycle touring in South Africa will differ vastly relying on the kind of tour you want to conduct (guided vs. self-supported) and the area of the nation wherein you might be touring.

For an in depth instance of what a typical day on a guided bicycle tour is like, I counsel you learn my prolonged overview of the African Bikers Backyard Route Mountain Bike Tour.

For an instance of what a typical day of self-supported bicycle touring within the South African Karoo is like, see this hyperlink.

What Type Of Meals/Eating places Can I Anticipate To Encounter?

Meat is king in South Africa. Rooster and french fries (or “chips” because the South Africans name them) are most likely two of the most typical meals. There are KFC quick meals eating places in virtually each South African city and different rooster and french fry eating places will normally be discovered within the surrounding neighborhoods.

Steak, sausages and eggs are additionally extraordinarily well-liked.

If you’re vegetarian, vegan or just not a giant meat-eater, nevertheless, there’s no want to fret. Vegetables and fruit are simple to seek out in cities of even the smallest dimension, though packaged meals and carbonated drinks are extraordinarily well-liked.

Relating to consuming out, there are a variety of widespread restaurant chains.

KFC – Rooster and french fries quick meals
Nando’s – Rooster
Spur – Steak and grill sit down restaurant
Wimpy – American sit down type restaurant
Debonaire’s – Pizza

If you wish to prepare dinner your personal meals, giant supermarkets are widespread and smaller nook markets are even simpler to seek out. If you’re searching for a grocery store, search for the next names:

Choose N’ Pay

Is It Tough To Discover Sufficient Water To Drink?

Discovering recent, clear water to drink may be troublesome in some areas of South Africa. Whereas ingesting from the faucet is mostly not really useful, many locals will drink the water even whether it is discolored and filled with apparent mineral or overseas contaminants. Fortunately, bottled water is plentiful in most cities. In smaller cities and villages, nevertheless, bottled water can sometimes be troublesome to seek out.

Whereas even the smallest roadside stands could have Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and different Coca-Cola model merchandise on the market, bottled water isn’t almost as widespread.

Throughout my bicycle tour throughout South Africa, I generally encountered shops the place nothing however soda or alcohol have been being bought. Water, juice or something even remotely wholesome was not on provide. Be prepared for this! I’m not usually a soda drinker, however I needed to go for a couple of days in South Africa by surviving on nothing however Sprite and Coca-Cola. My entire physique was shaking as a result of caffeine excessive, however no less than I didn’t die of dehydration.

Throughout my bicycle tour throughout the South African Karoo (a big desert area in north-western South African), I spent a number of days surviving by pulling water of out small wells. I’d merely spot a windmill within the distance, trip my bike as near the properly as I may get, after which stroll the remainder of the way in which over on foot – whereas carrying two or three water bottles in my fingers. These desert wells weren’t all the time functioning (a few of them have been damaged or stuffed with stale water and useless animals), however a lot of them have been flowing as they need to and I used the water from these buildings to replenish my bottles, wash my face and generally even ring out my soiled garments.

What Lodging Are Out there To Bicycle Vacationers In South Africa?

There are actually solely two major forms of lodging in South Africa – guesthouses and accommodations.

Guesthouse are by far the most typical kind of lodging.

The guesthouses in South Africa differ dramatically in each dimension and scope. In some components of the nation, the visitor homes you discover will likely be just like a mattress and breakfast, whereas in different components of the nation, the visitor homes you come throughout will likely be just like cheap accommodations. In a lot of South Africa, the guesthouses are non-public houses which have been transformed for the partial or unique use of visitor lodging. In virtually all instances, the proprietor of the guesthouse lives in a completely separate space throughout the property and has a number of employees members available to assist with the lodging enterprise.

Yow will discover guesthouses in each metropolis in South Africa. Nevertheless, knocking on the door and asking for a spot to sleep for the evening isn’t a typical strategy. Most guesthouses are surrounded by a metallic, barbed wire, or electrified fence… and there isn’t all the time somebody available to welcome you to the property. As an alternative, you’ll have to name these guesthouses for lodging prematurely. Because of this it’s best to most likely be touring with a cellphone of some kind. I didn’t have a cellphone throughout my time in South Africa, and this made it very troublesome for me to safe lodging in some areas of the nation.

South African guesthouses are widespread, however they don’t seem to be essentially low cost. Anticipate to pay wherever from 350 – 850 Rand or extra for a single evening of lodging in most guesthouses! If breakfast or dinner is included (which is widespread), the value may be even increased.

If you wish to lower the price of your lodging, ask for a room with out meals. This could cut back your nightly value by as a lot as 100 Rand or extra. One other nice technique to cut back your nightly prices is to ask for a reduced fee if you happen to plan to remain within the guesthouse for multiple evening. Nearly all of the guesthouses I stayed at have been fast to offer me a reduction after I advised them I wanted to remain for 2 or extra nights.

If guesthouses aren’t your factor, there are accommodations in some areas of the nation… however they’re positively not in every single place!

Whereas accommodations might not be as charming or as private as the numerous South African guesthouses which can be littered throughout the nation, the value of most accommodations is barely under that of the guesthouses. I normally paid between 250 and 400 Rand to lease a room in a resort for a single evening. If I had been sharing the room with one other particular person, we may have break up that value in half and dramatically diminished out lodging bills.

As soon as once more, lots of the accommodations include breakfast included. If you wish to cut back the price of your keep, you’ll want to ask for a room with out meals.

Is It Secure To Camp In South Africa? If So, The place Ought to I Camp?

Campgrounds are scarce in South Africa… however tenting is a good way to expertise the nation.

The most secure technique to camp when bicycle touring in South Africa is to discover a native farm and ask somebody working the property whether or not it will be okay so that you can camp there for the evening. Watch out when approaching farmers and distant farm homes, as a result of crime is a significant concern in South Africa and folks may turn into frightened in the event that they see you on their property or approaching them on foot.

camping in south africa

Throughout my time in South Africa, I didn’t ask for even a single place to camp. As an alternative, I stealth camped for about one entire month whereas I used to be within the nation. When I discovered a spot to camp for the evening, I’d roll my bicycle off the highway, push my cycle touring car out of sight and arrange my camp in an space the place I’d not be disturbed for the night.

In lots of components of the world, stealth or wild tenting is straightforward to do and very secure, however South Africa isn’t one of many areas.

I don’t advocate stealth tenting to anybody… until you’re a seasoned stealth camper who has camped on this vogue in a number of completely different nations all world wide.

Stealth tenting in South Africa normally requires leaping a barbed wire fence (with a fully-loaded touring bicycle), tenting illegally on another person’s property, after which getting out of there within the morning earlier than you might be found. This isn’t for novices or the faint of coronary heart… and I don’t advocate it for most individuals. If you’re caught tenting and even standing on another person’s property in South Africa, you could possibly end up in a really critical (and probably, life-threatening) scenario.

Learn this for extra info on stealth tenting and tips on how to do it efficiently.

How A lot Does It Value To Bike Tour In South Africa?

It’s exhausting to say precisely how a lot a bicycle tour in South Africa may cost a little you.

For those who plan to conduct a guided bicycle tour (which has a set value), then determining the price of your journey to South Africa will likely be comparatively simple. Simply add the price of the bike tour to the price of airfare to South Africa and add a pair hundred additional {dollars} for added bills and you’ll simply be capable to decide the estimated value of the tour.

However in case you are planning on doing a self-supported bicycle tour, developing with an estimated funds goes to be somewhat tougher.

Throughout my 2-month self-supported bicycle tour throughout South Africa, I saved detailed data of my spending and located that I spent simply over $2,300 USD throughout these two months.

As you’ll be able to see, the distinction between my first month in South Africa and my second month is sort of vital. That is due largely to the truth that I spent most of my first month in South Africa tenting without spending a dime… and most of my second month within the nation in accommodations and guesthouses.

The price of your bicycle tour will differ vastly relying on the place you select to sleep every evening, the categories and quantities meals you eat, and what you spend on leisure, souvenirs, and so forth.

Can I Experience My Bicycle In Kruger Nationwide Park?

No! You may’t trip your bicycle inside Kruger Nationwide Park (or most of South Africa’s wild animal parks).

If you wish to enter Kruger Nationwide Park, you should both lease a automobile and drive your self into the Park… or you should pay to be part of a guided tour throughout the Park.

elephants inside kruger national park

For those who attempt to get into Kruger Nationwide Park in your bicycle, you may be turned away. There are harmful animals (equivalent to lions, hippos, rhinos, hyenas and extra) contained in the Park… and you’d be extremely prone to assault if you happen to have been to trip by the realm in your bicycle.

Even individuals driving by the park in a car will get in massive hassle in the event that they try to exit their automobiles (even for only a second) contained in the Park. So don’t strive coming into the Park in your bike!

Guided driving excursions of Kruger Nationwide Park are various, simple to seek out (each on-line and close to the Park entrances) and may vary in worth from simply $90 USD per day to as a lot as $4,000 USD or extra for a multi-day journey. The price of your travels inside Kruger will rely largely on how lengthy you intend to be contained in the Park, the kind of lodging you want to keep in (tenting vs. good lodges, and so forth), and the meals or drink you ingest while you’re there.


I participated in a full-day safari drive inside Kruger Nationwide Park… and I used to be proud of simply that in the future within the Park. Nevertheless, I’d have liked to have spent extra time within the Park if I had been capable of afford it and had been feeling higher on the time (I used to be struggling with meals poisoning on the time).

Click on right here to see my photographs from my safari tour inside Kruger Nationwide Park.

Ought to I Conduct A Guided Or Self-Guided Bike Tour?

There are a selection of various methods to take pleasure in a visit by bike within the nation of South Africa. You may take part in a guided bicycle tour (the place the route is deliberate out for you prematurely and your lodging, meals and extra are all taken care of to your by a longtime bicycle touring firm)… or you’ll be able to select to conduct a self-supported bicycle tour (which requires you to journey alone (with out a skilled information) and carry all of the meals, clothes, instruments and extra you will have to outlive in your bicycle for days, weeks or months at a time).

For those who don’t benefit from the planning course of otherwise you merely don’t have the time to conduct in depth analysis on which roads to journey on, which areas to see, or which locations are most secure, then taking part in a guided bicycle tour might be the easiest way to go.

If security is a priority (otherwise you merely don’t need to journey by yourself), a guided bicycle tour with a bunch and even a person information might be a good suggestion.

Whereas guided bike excursions do are likely to value greater than self-supported bicycle excursions, they do have a number of advantages – the time you’ll save, the added security, the chums you’ll make, and so forth.

Self-supported bicycle touring has some advantages as properly although! Touring by yourself is inexpensive, means that you can see the true South Africa (locations they won’t take you on a guided bicycle tour), and provides you the independence to go the place you need, cycle so far as you need, and do just about something you need every day.

I used to be lucky sufficient to have the ability to conduct each a guided bike tour and a self-supported bicycle tour whereas I used to be in South Africa. Whereas I loved each expertise, I can truthfully say that my guided bicycle tour with African Bikers was the best possible factor I did whereas I used to be within the nation. The tour was amazingly well-run, the bike I used to be supplied with for the tour was implausible, the tour leaders have been great, the individuals on the tour with me have been extremely pleasant, and the biking every day was excellent.

My self-supported bicycle touring experiences in South Africa weren’t almost pretty much as good, however they have been nonetheless fairly gratifying. I liked the biking in South Africa. That’s most likely the most effective factor in regards to the nation in the case of bicycle touring – it has some wonderful roads and trails which can be completely designed for brief or long-distance bicycle adventures. I had quite a lot of great nights camped out below the celebs and I met quite a lot of very nice individuals throughout my travels. I felt secure all the time, however I used to be very often aggravated. I used to be aggravated with individuals continuously asking me for cash. I used to be aggravated with the tremendous gradual (and infrequently, non-existent) Web entry. And I used to be aggravated with the overblown safety, racist conversations, and lack of schooling that I skilled within the individuals whereas I used to be there.

If that is your first time touring in Africa, I believe South Africa is a good place to start out. Whether or not you determine to conduct a guided or self-guided bicycle tour within the nation, you’re positive to seek out one thing in regards to the place that you just take pleasure in… and doubtless some issues that you just dislike as properly.

Extra Notes & Feedback About Bicycle Touring In South Africa

My favourite factor about South Africa was the biking every day. I liked my time on the highway there. Whether or not I used to be biking as a part of the guided bike tour with African Bikers or bicycle touring throughout the nation alone, I liked my time on the bike. After I look again on my experiences in South Africa 10 years from now, I’ll keep in mind a couple of of the individuals I met and lots of the detrimental experiences I had whereas I used to be there, however greater than something I’ll recall simply how nice it was to get up every day and pedal on fantastically paved roads with broad shoulders and little visitors, whereas recognizing monkeys and antelope and birds working and leaping and flying throughout me, earlier than calling it an evening and tenting below a sky stuffed with stars.

If I have been to conduct my bicycle tour in South Africa another time, I’d solely make two small adjustments.

To start with, I’d have solely stayed there for about two months, as an alternative of three. Three months was too lengthy to be within the nation on my own, with out Web or entry to the skin world. I used to be able to name it quits and go house after simply two months.

Secondly, I believe I’d have loved my self-supported bicycle tour an entire lot extra if I had traveled with one other individual. Regardless that most individuals in South Africa converse English, I discovered it troublesome to converse with the locals at occasions – due partly, I believe, to variations in tradition, schooling, and so forth. Whereas I did meet a couple of individuals in South Africa that I linked with, these people have been few and much between.

My remaining piece of recommendation to you is that this: If you’re fascinated by taking part in a bicycle tour of any type in South Africa… don’t let worry (of animals, individuals, or anything) stand in your method! Go there… do it… and have a blast! South Africa is a good looking, pleasant, and comparatively secure nation with a few of the greatest bicycle touring roads I’ve ever skilled. Be ready for a memorable, life-altering journey… and you’ll want to ship me a postcard out of your travels!

You probably have any further questions, feedback or considerations about bicycle touring in South Africa, go away a message under and I’ll get again to you simply as quickly as I presumably can.


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