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Ride the highest country in the world!

Offered in conjunction with Ayres Adventures

Our 13-day Roof of Africa Adventure is conducted in conjunction with Ayres Adventures. The name of this tour is in recognition of the Kingdom of Lesotho - on average, the highest country in the world. The lowest point in Lesotho is at 1,400 meters (4,593 ft) and more than 80% of the country is above 1,800 meters (5,906 ft). Lesotho is the only country in the world that lies entirely above 1,000 meters (3,281 ft) in elevation.

The tour is designed for riders who relish leaving the pavement behind to explore rural areas of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Although we’ll seek “the road less traveled” by day, comfortable accommodations, great food, a cold beer and the comforts of home await riders at the end of a dusty day on the dirt and gravel.

The Adventure begins with one of our favorite routes: the Highlands Meander and the Panorama Route, situated at the higher reaches of the stunning Mpumalanga Escarpment. We’ll enjoy the legendary motorcycling roads of the Mpumalanga Province and the vaunted Panorama Route. Then we’ll head for Swaziland and Lesotho to collect a few more passport stamps.


Highlights of RawHyde's Roof of Africa Adventure:

  • A training component, conducted by RawHyde Adventures in California in February, 2014. The training will be tailored specifically for the riding conditions that will be experienced during this Adventure, specifically in riding the challenging Sani Pass and other areas of Lesotho. The training will be three days in duration.

  • Jim Hyde will accompany the tour and will provide coaching and reinforcement of the riding skills learned during the training session.

  • As with all RawHyde Adventures, an experienced off-road instructor/paramedic will ride "sweep" on this tour.

  • An overnight stay in the small hamlet of Dullstroom. This charming village is in the heart of the Highlands Meander, a beautiful part of Mpumalanga, noted for it's clear streams, lakes and breathtaking scenery.

  • An overnight stay in Magoesbaskloof, at the extreme northern tip of the Drakensberg Mountain Range in Limpopo Province - the northernmost province in South Africa. The province is replete with dramatic landscapes, forests and beautiful grasslands.

  • A two night stay in Hazyview bordering Kruger National Park with a free day that includes a safari. Kruger is one of the most famous and popular game parks in Africa and riders are often able to see all of Africa's "big five" during the safari (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and Cape Buffalo).

  • A ride through Barberton and over the Saddleback Pass into the Kingdom of Swaziland. We’ll stay in Piggs Peak, surrounded by the beauty of the Swazi Mountains.

  • An overnight stay at an upscale lodge at the Isandlwana Battlefield, near Rourke's Drift and Blood River, famous Anglo-Zulu battlefields that were featured in the movies "Zulu" and "Zulu Dawn".

  • A ride up the magnificent Sani Pass and an overnight stay at a mountaintop lodge that features “the highest pub on the African continent”

  • A ride through the Kingdom of Lesotho before re-entering South Africa and returning to Sandton.

This is truly a magnificent motorcycling experience for those with off-road skills.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Sandton (Johannesburg)
Welcome to South Africa! We will pick you up at the international airport in Johannesburg and transport you to our hotel in suburban Sandton. We'll turn over the motorcycles and will have a kickoff meeting to introduce you to the coming Adventure. We'll kick off things with a welcome dinner in the evening.

Day 2: Sandton to Dullstroom (270 km.)
In no time at all we'll leave Johannesburg behind and enter south Africa's "Cultural Heartland" - Mpumalanga Province. Our destination is the charming little town of Dullstroom - the fly fishing capital of South Africa.

At an altitude of nearly 7,000 feet, Dullstroom is often the coldest place in South Africa but temperatures will vary between 60 and 80 degrees during our visit - ideal riding weather. With it's proximity to the "Big Five" towns of South Africa's Lowveld, there is no lack of good motorcycling nearby.

Day 3: Dullstroom to Magoesbaskloof (335 km.)
We'll leave Mpumalanga Province for a trip to Magoebaskloof in South Africa's Limpopo Province - South Africa's northernmost Province which borders three other countries: Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

We'll enjoy several of South Africa's most popular motorcycling roads on the way to Magoebaskloof, including Abel Erasmus Pass and Tunnel, and possibly Long Tom Pass as well. At Abel Erasmus Pass we'll stop to have a look at various African arts and crafts being sold by local vendors. And don't worry, we'll have a support vehicle nearby to help you with anything that won't fit on the bike.

We'll arrive at our hotel in Magoebaskloof in plenty of time to relax with a drink on the veranda overlooking the beautiful green hills and nearby forests and we'll also have the opportunity to observe the very rare Samango Monkeys that inhabit the grounds. Because the hotel management is committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly management practices, they have lived in harmony with these monkeys for many years. Samangoes are seen around the hotel on a daily basis. Dominant males sometimes venture into rooms to scrounge for edibles left lying around.

Day 4: Magoebaskloof to Hazyview (295 km.)
We'll head back to Mpumalanga Province and we'll once again ride some of the most stunning roads on the African continent. Scenic stops will include several overlooks of the magnificent Blyde River Canyon and we'll visit the famous Bourke's Luck Potholes. Riders interested in a short hike through a tropical rain forest may also visit one of the most stunning overlooks of all at God's Window.

Our stop this evening in Hazyview is at "Hippo Hollow" - just a few kilometers away from Kruger National Park - one of the most popular game reserves in Africa. Hippo Hollow is named for the many hippo that populate the local rivers and you're almost guaranteed to see them during your two-night stay at Hazyview. The hippo is one of the most dangerous animals in Africa (more humans are killed per year by the hippo than by any other animal) and they pose a significant danger while out crossing the roads at night. We'll be fine, as they are almost never seen on the highways during daylight.

Hazyview will provide a nice two-night stop that will permit us to visit Kruger National Park tomorrow.

Day 5: Free Day in Hazyview (safari in Kruger National Park)
Safari in Kruger National Park. We'll leave the motorcycles behind today in favor of some open Land Rover vehicles for an all-day safari in Kruger National Park, including lunch at a game lodge inside the park.

Kruger is one of the largest game reserves in Africa - 40 miles wide and more than 200 miles in length. During your day in Kruger you're likely to have an opportunity to see all of Africa's "Big Five" - Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhino and Cape Buffalo. A popular YouTube video (Battle at Kruger) was filmed during a Kruger safari a few years ago and went "viral", with more than 20 million views. Click here to see it. Bring your camera and you may be able to capture your own "once in a lifetime" shots.

Day 6: Hazyview to Swaziland (190 km.)
We'll do a border crossing into Swaziland today, including a stop near the Swazi border for a visit to a Swazi village and cultural experience. We'll enjoy a beautiful ride through the Swazi Mountains with an overnight stay at a popular hotel/casino.

Day 7: Swaziland to Isandlwana Battlefield (375 km.)
We'll cross back into South Africa today and will head for the Isandlwana Battlefield. The Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879 was the first major encounter in the Anglo–Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. A Zulu force of 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the British main column consisting of about 1,800 British, colonial and native troops. Despite a vast disadvantage in weapons technology,the numerically superior Zulus ultimately overwhelmed the poorly led and badly deployed British, killing over 1,300 troops. The British Army had suffered its worst defeat against a technologically inferior indigenous force.

The area is also very close to the famous Zulu battleground sites of Rourke's Drift and Blood River.

Our hotel will be a charming lodge located adjacent to the Isandlwana Battlefield.

Day 8: Isandlwana Battlefield to Himeville (390 km.)
Today's ride takes us through the Zulu homelands of South Africa to the small town of Himeville, where we'll prepare for tomorow's ride up the Sani Pass to the highest pub in Africa at Sani Top.

Our hotel will be a charming lodge located in Himeville, at the foot of the Drakensburg Mountains.

Day 9: Himeville to Sani Top (150 km.)
For off-road aficionados, today's ride represents the most technically challenging of the trip, as we use the Sani Pass to reach the Sani Top Chalet at the top of the pass. The pass is a notoriously dangerous road and only 4x4s or dual-sport motorcycles are permitted to leave the South African border post to climb the pass.

Don't be fooled by today's mileage. Although the pass itself is only about 10 kms in length, we'll enjoy additional riding today - both in South Africa and Lesotho.

We'll spend the evening at a delightful (and very unusual lodge) at the top of the pass. Although the lodge features "the highest pub on the African continent", be sure to stay awake long enough to see the incredible white carpet of stars after the sun goes down.

Day 10: Sani Top to Katse Dam (300 km.)
Today we ride "The Roof of Africa" from the top of the Sani Pass to Katse Dam. Lesotho is, on average, the highest country in the world, with the lowest point at 1,400 meters (4,593 feet). Over 80% of the country lies above 1,800 meters (5,906 feet). It is the only country in the world that is surrounded by only one other country (South Africa).

Day 11: Katse Dam to Clarens (300 km.)
Today we continue our ride through "The Roof of Africa". Both the paved portions of the ride as well as the off-road portions provide stunning landscapes and glimpses into village life in this rural kingdom.

We'll re-enter South Africa at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park - an area famous for its golden, ochre, and orange-hued deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops, including the Brandwag rock. The area also features numerous caves and shelters displaying San rock paintings.

Day 12: Clarens to Sandton (320 km.)
We'll end our Adventure with a pleasant ride through South Africa's Orange Free State and back to Sandton. We'll enjoy a delicious final celebration dinner in one of Sandton's great restaurants.

Day 13: Departure from Johannesburg
Breakfast and airport transfer.

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