Overview of the Experience
This exhilarating adventure motorcycle odyssey takes place in the captivating Nieu Bethesda region of the Eastern Karoo, a place filled with stunning landscapes, rich history, and a sense of untouched beauty.
SA Adventure's back-road motorcycle adventures are renowned for their ability to take riders off the beaten path and into the heart of the Karoo. This tour is just the beginning of a series of unforgettable journeys that will allow you to explore the hidden treasures of this remarkable region. As you embark on this motorcycle adventure, prepare to have your senses awakened by the sights, sounds, and smells of the Karoo. The carefully curated route combines both paved and gravel sections, ensuring that riders of all skill levels can participate and enjoy the experience. Whether you're a seasoned off-road rider or a complete beginner, this tour is designed to accommodate and challenge you in equal measure.
But this journey is about more than just riding. It's about immersing yourself in the culture and history of the Karoo. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to visit charming Karoo towns,
meet friendly locals, and indulge in delicious cuisine. The Nieu Bethesda region, in particular, is famous for its traditional architecture, quaint streets, and intriguing art and food scene. You'll have the chance to explore these hidden gems and discover a world that you never knew existed.
As you traverse the Karoo on your bike, you'll not only be exploring its beauty but also honing your riding skills. Our expert guides will be with you every step of the way, providing guidance and tips to help you navigate any challenges that come your way. You'll acquire new on and off-road riding skills and techniques, enhancing your overall riding prowess.
So, if you're ready to redefine your notion of adventure riding, join us for an extraordinary motorcycle tour through the captivating Eastern Karoo. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty, culture, and thrill of this remarkable journey.
It's an experience that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime…
Meeting Day: The enchanting allure of the Karoo beckons, and as we gather at our exquisite accommodation nestled along the serene banks of the majestic Orange River near Colesberg, the anticipation of the adventure ahead fills the air. Tonight, we are treated to a delectable Karoo dinner, a culinary masterpiece that will tantalize our taste buds while providing the perfect opportunity to forge connections and get to know our fellow adventurers.
As the evening unfolds, the SA Adventure team, a group of seasoned explorers, will regale us with their vast knowledge and experiences, offering a comprehensive overview of the upcoming tour. Their wealth of expertise and captivating tales from past motorcycle odysseys will transport us to distant lands and ignite our wanderlust. We will also delve into the rich history of this particular corner of the Karoo, gaining insights that will deepen our appreciation for the region.
After an evening of camaraderie and enlightenment, we retire to our luxurious, first-class rooms. The comfort and elegance of our accommodations ensure a restful night's sleep, allowing us to awaken refreshed and ready for the extraordinary journey that awaits us in the morning.
Tour Day 1: Before we kick off our thrilling day of riding, we will host a brief workshop on off-road riding skills. This session will provide you with essential tips to build a robust base for the off-road portions of our trip. Once we're set, we'll mount our motorcycles and start our journey on some incredibly picturesque gravel roads, making our first stop at the wall of the largest dam in South Africa, Gariep. Following this, our route will predominantly be on gravel back roads that take us to the historic village of Nieu-Bethesda. Although these gravel roads don't pose significant technical challenges, the stunning landscapes and encounters with wildlife are sure to captivate you.
At a farm located just 7 kilometres away from Nieu-Bethesda, we will indulge in a delectable and authentic Karoo lunch, expertly prepared by the talented Hester. Here, we will also have the opportunity to delve deeper into the captivating world of Karoo fossils, guided by our knowledgeable host JP. Prepare to be amazed as we witness the largest collection of Karoo fossils in South Africa. Additionally, we will explore the remarkable cave shelters on the farm, which house ancient paintings left by the San bushmen hundreds of years ago. This fascinating afternoon on the farm will be followed by our arrival in Nieu-Bethesda, where we will check into our splendid guest houses, offering a truly remarkable and unforgettable experience.
Tour Day 2: Nieu-Bethesda offers a plethora of experiences, and we are thrilled to have decided to extend our stay here for two days. We will begin the day with a hearty breakfast, fuelling us for the exciting activities ahead.
After breakfast, we hop on our bikes and embark on an off-road excursion around the famous Compassberg, a captivating pointed mountain that greets visitors as they enter Nieu-Bethesda. As we explore, we will keep our eyes peeled for some “stone men”, adding an element of adventure to our ride. Along the way, there will be ample opportunities to capture the beauty of Karoo windpomps and landscapes through our cameras.
Returning to Nieu-Bethesda in time for lunch, we will have the option to embark on a tour of the renowned Owl House, a masterpiece created by the talented artist Helen Martins. During this exclusive viewing, we will have the chance to explore the camel yard and house, immersing ourselves in the magical ambience while learning about the histories and stories behind each sculpture.
After our tour of the Owl House, we will have the opportunity to visit the James Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre. Here, Andries, the local fossil expert, will share his vast knowledge about the peculiar creatures that once roamed the Karoo plains a staggering 150 million years ago, predating even the most famous dinosaurs. Andries will lead us down to the river, where we will witness un-excavated sites containing actual fossils still embedded in the sediment. This thrilling fossil adventure will provide us with a deeper understanding of the ancient history of this region.
Following our fossil exploration, you will have some free time to further explore the village until dinner time. This is the perfect opportunity to discover the hidden gems and unique charm that Nieu-Bethesda has to offer. As the day draws to a close, we will indulge in a delectable Karoo meal at an award-winning restaurant, ensuring a memorable and satisfying end to our day in Nieu-Bethesda.
Tour Day 3: After a fulfilling breakfast in Nieu-Bethesda, we will embark on an exhilarating off-road ride towards Graaff-Reinet, a charming place that holds the distinction of being the fourth oldest town in South Africa. Our journey will take us through the magnificent Camdeboo National Park, where we will witness an awe-inspiring sight that will leave us in awe - the Valley of Desolation. From this vantage point, we will be able to imagine the once grand inland swamp that has now transformed into the vast and arid Karoo landscape. The sheer beauty of the Karoo will take your breath away.
Continuing our journey, we reach Graaff-Reinet, where we will indulge in a delicious lunch at one of the town's fantastic restaurants. Once satiated, we have the opportunity to visit a nearby Agave farm and learn from owner Tim Murray about the thriving craft Tequila or Agave Spirit industry in Graaff-Reinet. Tim will guide us through the farm, sharing his knowledge and expertise while giving us the chance to taste some of the finest Karoo Agave drinks.
With our senses awakened, we will hop back on our motorcycles and make our way to our luxurious accommodations, where we can relax and unwind. As evening falls, we will head out to one of the many renowned restaurants in town to enjoy a delectable dinner, savouring the flavours and atmosphere that Graaff-Reinet has to offer. It’s a perfect end to an extraordinary day of exploration and indulgence.
Tour Day 4: The final day of our Karoo adventure promises to be nothing short of epic. As we embark on our motorcycles, we will soak in the breathtaking Karoo scenery and traverse carefully selected gravel back roads, leading us to a hidden gem - an abandoned old Boer War hospital in Deelfontein, brimming with a rich history that will leave you in awe. The sheer mystique of this place will captivate your imagination.
En route to Deelfontein, we will make a stop in Richmond, where we will enjoy a Karoo-style lunch, incorporating the flavours of the region. Energised and ready for more, we will continue our journey on stunning dirt roads, surrounded by the raw beauty of the Karoo, until we reach New Holme near Hanover. Here, we will spend our final night on an extraordinary farm stay, where we can encounter hippos, buffalo, and other captivating wildlife. It will be a truly immersive experience, connecting us with the natural wonders of the Karoo.
As the day draws to a close, our host PC will treat us to a sunset drive along the beautiful Seekoei River that runs through the farm. The tranquil scenery and the sounds of nature will create a serene atmosphere, setting the stage for a memorable evening. We will indulge in a sumptuous three-course meal, crafted with passion and featuring a unique twist - Karoo sushi as a starter. This culinary delight will be the perfect finale to our adventure, allowing us to savour the flavours of the Karoo one last time.
As we gather around the dinner table, we will reflect on the incredible experiences and camaraderie we have shared throughout this off-road motorcycle adventure. It will be a time to integrate all the memories, laughter, and stories we have accumulated along the way, creating lasting bonds and cherished moments. With hearts full and spirits high, we will bid farewell to the Karoo, knowing that this remarkable journey will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
Accommodation And Food
Karoo Guest House Accommodation:
Ensuring the ideal accommodation is key to a comfortable and enjoyable trip to the Karoo. Fortunately, the Karoo boasts a range of delightful and hospitable guest houses that will make you feel completely at home.
The Karoo truly offers everything. On this tour, SA Adventure provides a mix of snug cottages, plush guest houses, and quaint farmhouses. All the lodgings on this adventure feature beautiful gardens, serene surroundings, and breathtaking views of the Karoo landscape, immersing you in the calm and tranquillity of the area. The Karoo's guest houses take great pride in delivering exceptional service and a warm, inviting atmosphere. The always amiable and well-informed hosts are keen to share their enthusiasm and love for this unique region.
Immersing yourself in the Karoo experience would not be complete without treating your taste buds to the delightful local cuisine offered at the charming restaurants. Known for its hearty and mouthwatering dishes, the Karoo will leave you craving for more.
We have explored the lesser-known culinary treasures to offer you a unique gastronomic journey. From traditional Karoo dishes to international cuisine with a local Karoo twist, these restaurants and eateries provide a diverse selection to satisfy every palate. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, these establishments create flavoursome and authentic dishes. Whether you desire a succulent Karoo lamb shank, a juicy steak, or a delectable vegetarian option, the Karoo is Calling off-road motorcycle adventure has it all.
5 nights of accommodation and breakfasts are included with this tour package.
Stunning Karoo landscapes
Seeing the Gariep Dam Wall
Karoo fossil presentation at Ganora
Viewing ancient San cave paintings
Lunch at Ganora farm
The Owl House in Nieu Bethesda
The James Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre
Outride around the Compassberg
The Stone Folk of Ongeluksloot
Exploring the village of Nieu Bethesda
Seeing the Valley of Desolation
Tequila farm and tasting tour outside Graaff-Reinet
Outstanding Karoo accommodation and cuisine
Learning on the fly
Embarking on a motorcycle adventure through the Karoo is not just about the thrill of the ride, but also about immersing yourself in the natural, cultural, and historical wonders of this incredible region. So, get ready to learn, discover, and be amazed by the Karoo's diverse offerings.
Geology and Ancient Past: The Karoo is distinguished by its distinctive geological structures and deep-seated natural history. As we journey through the area, you'll get the opportunity to become acquainted with the rock formations, buried fossils, and signs of ancient life that have been preserved in the Karoo.
Biodiversity and Nature: The Karoo boasts a wide range of animal species, ranging from majestic lions and swift cheetahs to the elegant Cape mountain zebra and agile springbok. Additionally, the region is a haven for various bird species, such as the elusive blue crane, and is adorned with the distinct and remarkable Karoo flora.
Rich Cultural Legacy: Immerse yourself in the captivating history and vibrant culture of the Karoo, a region that proudly bears the imprints of its diverse inhabitants. Delve into the past through visits to museums, galleries, and historical landmarks, where you can uncover the fascinating stories that shaped the Karoo's remarkable heritage.
Astrological Wonders: Renowned for its pristine skies, the Karoo beckons stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts alike to indulge in its celestial splendours. Embark on an enlightening journey through the cosmos, expanding your understanding of the universe and basking in the mesmerizing beauty of the Karoo's nocturnal tapestry.
Sustainable Living and Farming: The remarkable expanse of the Karoo's plains, combined with its semi-arid climate, has forged an unparalleled existence for those who call it home. Explore the hurdles and achievements encountered in implementing sustainable farming techniques within this arid environment.
Spirituality and Mindfulness: The vast expanses and serene ambience of the Karoo provide an ideal backdrop for contemplation and mindfulness. Whether engaging in meditation or simply immersing oneself in nature, discover the spiritual importance of this ancient land and its profound influence on personal harmony and well-being.
This motorcycle adventure is for you if:
You’ve never taken your adventure motorcycle off-road before.
You’ve ridden off-road but would like an extra boost of confidence to take your motorcycle off the beaten path.
You would like to further your off-road knowledge and learn new off-road riding skills and techniques.
You'd like to invest in yourself and become a safer, more confident off-road adventure bike rider.
This journey is more than just navigating the Karoo's physical terrain on your motorcycle; it's a chance to submerge yourself in the abundant wealth of knowledge, history, and experiences that this distinctive region provides. So, bring along your curiosity and set out on an expedition of enlightenment in the Karoo with us!
Why select SA Adventure as your Adventure Motorcycle Tour provider? It's simple - we possess the experience and expertise. Since 2009, we have been arranging off-road motorcycle experiences, and our proven track record speaks for itself.
From various locations like Peru and the Karoo, we have successfully led and organized adventures. Our reputation is further enhanced by our collaborations with respected individuals such as Charley Boorman, Billy Ward, Claudio Von Planta, Dylan Wickrama, Moto Aventures, and Compass Expeditions.
At SA Adventure, prioritizing safety is paramount. We go the extra mile to ensure your well-being throughout your adventure. With a fully equipped support vehicle and trailer, a lead and sweep rider, and a dedicated medic on every tour, you can ride at your own pace with the confidence that our exceptional backup crew is there for you.
When you choose us for your motorcycle adventure, you can unwind and fully enjoy the journey. We take care of all the details, from planning the best routes to arranging top-quality accommodations and delightful meals. Our goal is to provide you with an unforgettable riding experience that will leave a lasting impact...
This motorcycle tour is classified as a Grade 2.
See our ride grading system HERE for more details.
Our Adventure Bikes
You can choose to bring your own adventure motorcycle or rent one of ours. Either way, we guarantee you'll experience the thrill of exploring South Africa's stunning landscapes on a motorcycle. Our rental service allows you to ride the legendary BMW brand's top-of-the-line motorcycles, specifically designed for off-road adventures. Whether traversing rugged terrains or cruising along scenic routes, our BMW motorcycles provide the perfect blend of power, performance, and comfort. With our well-maintained fleet, you can fully immerse yourself in the excitement of exploring South Africa's diverse terrain, from the awe-inspiring mountains to the breathtaking coastline. Embark on an unforgettable journey, create incredible memories, and discover the true spirit of adventure.
We take pride in the quality of our motorcycles and ensure that they are maintained to the highest standards. Our fleet comprises late-model bikes that are carefully selected to provide you with a comfortable and hassle-free riding experience. Each bike undergoes thorough inspections and servicing to ensure that it is in optimal condition before renting it out to you. Furthermore, we equip each bike with a GPS and fit it with new tyres that are specifically chosen to match the terrain of your adventure, these, as well as fully comprehensive insurance, are included in the daily hire cost. You can be confident that you will ride a reliable and safe motorcycle on your adventure.
BMW 1250 GS
Experience the thrill of adventure on your terms with the BMW 1250 GS. With its advanced technology and comprehensive equipment, you can safely and dynamically navigate any terrain with this adventure motorcycle
1254cc | 136 HP at 7 750 rpm
Std seat height: 850/870 mm
Low seat height: 820/840 mm
ABS | ESA | Rider modes | Cruise Control | GPS
Fuel tank capacity 20 liters
Wet weight 249 kg
BMW 850 GS
Get ready for the ultimate adventure with the 850 GS. It offers the perfect balance of performance and comfort. With a powerful engine that packs a punch, you'll be able to tackle any terrain with ease
853cc | 90 HP at 8 250 rpm
Std seat height: 860 mm
Low seat height: 835 mm
ABS | ESA | Rider modes | Cruise Control | GPS
Fuel tank capacity 15 liters
Wet weight 233 kg
BMW 750 GS
The F 750 GS is a powerful motorcycle perfect for exploring the open road in South Africa. With its responsive handling and advanced suspension system, it promises an unforgettable adventure on two wheels
853cc | 77 HP at 7 500 rpm
Std seat height: 815 mm
Low seat height: 790 mm
ABS | ESA | Rider modes | Cruise Control | GPS
Fuel tank capacity 15 liters
Wet weight 227 kg
Dates and Pricing
17-21 February / 26-30 April 2024
R 9 950 per person sharing
Single room supplement at R 2 200
Only 12 places are available
Your soft luggage goes in the support vehicle
Guides, medic and support vehicle on the tour
Satellite communications and tracking
Tracks and waypoints supplied for GPS units
5 nights of guest house accommodation
On-the-fly off-road driver training and guidance
A visit to explore Helen Martin's famous Owl House
Full SA Adventure support team
Fuel and motorcycle hire
International flights and visas
Lunches, dinners and drinks
Optional activity costs