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February 20, 2013

Exploring South Africa on a motorcycle with Kaapstad Tours

Kaapstad Tours' Alex Jackson is exploring South Africa on the back of his motorbike

It isn't every day that you meet a dashing English biker with a passion for Cape Town who is determined to travel 6 000km through South Africa and explore its national parks. So naturally I was impressed and intrigued by Alex Jackson when we met recently for coffee to discuss his travel plans.

Renowned as a field guide and operator of the successful motorcycle tours company, Kaapstad Tours, Jackson has been tasked by the South African National Parks to explore the viability of motorcycle tours and routes through the country’s gorgeous national parks. He’ll do this on the back of a Kawasaki KLR650, which, I’m told, is a dual-sport motorcycle that works well on both paved and unpaved roads ... quite handy for a ride around our rustic roads, I should think.

This lucky fella will get to meet the amazing residents of our country and take in the sights of our spectacular national parks, including the Western Cape’s Table Mountain, Bontebok, Agulhas and Garden Route national parks. Having enjoyed the natural wonders of the West Coast National Park myself last year, I’ll admit that I am just a wee bit jealous of Jackson.

Armed with his motorcycle, a camera and a can-do attitude, Jackson set off for his sightseeing adventure on Monday and published the following post on his Over the Rainbow blog about his departure from the Mother City:

And so it begins!

Collecting his 'road horse' from Cape Bike Rentals

Day One of this 6 000km solo ride around the national parks of South Africa started with an easy drive into the city of Cape Town to pick up the KLR650 from the guys at Cape Bike Rentals, who have kindly donated the use of the bike for this trip. Paper work done and it was an almighty ride of about 3 minutes to pop in to see the team at Cape Town Tourism.

I decided to take the scenic route out of town, which took me up past Table Mountain. This road leads you to the famous Camps Bay area where the views from the top of the hill are simply breathtaking. My aim was to follow this road along to ride the Chapman's Peak road and on to Simon's Town for lunch, but I was having so much fun on the road and chatting to tourists from all over the world that lunch got missed.

Spotting whales was a highlight of Alex's first day on the road

I have heard many bikers say that they know of a road that is probably one of the best biking roads in the world. Well guess what … today I rode what i think has to be a serious contender for the title of THE best. The R44 coast road from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond is simply superb for motorcycling. Set on the Whale Route in the Cape Overberg region and part of Table Mountain National Park, it is so much fun to ride that I only stopped for a couple of photos ... my bad!

During the season southern right whales can be seen all along its coastline. Unfortunately right now it is not the season but I did manage to spot some seals on the rocks just off the beach.

On of the scenic roads Alex Johnson is travelling along as he explores South Africa's national parks.

A nice easy ride today taking my time to get the feel of the bike and soaking up the sun, finally arriving at the whale-watching town of Hermanus. Staying with old friends tonight that run the Aloe Guest House on Main Road and have just finished a wonderful dinner down at The Zebra Crossing in town.

Tomorrow will be a lazy start (because I can) and I will be heading east towards Agulhas in the rain I hear ... hope they are wrong. Now for a well-earned sleep I think ... That’s if my cheeks stop aching from all the smiling of riding that coast road today.

Thanks for reading

AJ

We will be following Alex Jackson's trip online and will be re-publishing a few of his trip-centric blogs from his website, http://www.kaapstadmat.com. Follow his epic journey on Twitter at @KaapstadTours. Keep checking back here for updates.

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