Adventure Tours - South Africa

I am considering setting up an Off-Road Adventure Tour Company in South Africa and would appreciate peoples ideas and input on the subject.

The tours would be geared towards the true offroad (enduro) motorcycle rider, and not some dirt/tar road riding experience.

The fleet of bikes will consist of Suzuki DRZ400Es or possibly the new Yamaha WR250Fs.

A tour could be set up for 7 or 10 days (flexible).

Six riders of similar skills would be prefered per tour although 2 tour leaders could be used to accomodate different skill levels. Accomodation would be based on good hotels in the respective ride areas. The riding party would be collected each day and driven to the start of each ride. No liason riding would be necessary as each ride would start and finish at the transportation vehicles.

A large range of riding terrain would be covered and would be different from day to day.It would be similar to Harescramble or Enduro type race conditions. This would include mountain foothills , sugar plantations, beaches and dunes, tight valley trails and footpaths, forests.(I can post pictures to give you a better idea). What's nice about this country is that there are very little restrictions to public land areas - if you see a real intersting trail or hillclimb you can try it, no problem, one's riding choices are almost limitless. The riding would be broken up with Game park tours (in 4 wheel vehicles not bikes - a lion might find a bike rider challenging prey, I could guarantee you your riding skill would improve drastically when chased by a bull elephant), mountain bike rides, river canoeing, just to allow recovery time from the bike rides.

I would look at setting up a package that would include everything like:

Accomodation

Game reserve entry fees

All meals

Bike hire and running costs

Fuel

Bike wear and tear items ie. tyres, etc

Transportation and shuttle services

Laundry

Exclusions would be things like:

Air fares

Alcoholic drinks (cheap in this country at $0.50 per beer)

Damage to motorcycles ie bent handle bars, exhausts, broken levers, fenders etc.

Riding gear

i would probably structure a package at around $200 - $250 per day.

What do you think? Could this work? Would you be intersted? Do you think its value for money and worth the experience? What ideas could I add to an operation like this?

What sort of pitfalls do I need to look out for?

I would appreciate your feedback on the subject.

------------------

YZ 426 2000

Craig Williams

South Africa

Around how much is airfare from the US East Coast to South Africa? That might be the biggest cost. Otherwise it sound great.

Craig,

I think you SHOULD ride through the game preserves. There was an article in last month's Conde Nast Traveller Magazine about true adventure tours in Africa, and how much better they are than the generic McSafaris. The article said that some of the game preserves are getting so popular that the big cats (cheetahs & lions) are actually using the jeeps as blinds to stalk prey.

One new company touted riding ATVs through a less frequently visited remote game preserve in Botswana. The author said that it was the most adrenaline that he had ever felt when a rhino began to run toward him.

If you get this set up, I will be your first customer. I just hope the Yamahas will start when we get chased!!!!

[This message has been edited by AngryCandy (edited 07-25-2000).]

This would be the kick-ass tour of all times! ! ! !

My cousins wife is from South Africa and tells interesting stories. I believe air fare is in the $2000 range? What town would we fly in to?

Other questions:

How many days for each tour are you thinking?

I assume you have support vehicles to carry food and gear?

Are there dangers out of the ordinary? I keep hearing how SA farmers keep getting killed by the locals. But Debbie says if you no where to go, the danger is low (just like in the USA).

Do Dirt Bikes piss off Rinos?

Sounds like the adventure of a life time and would be something I would seriously consider!

Bryan...

Check out the other tour companies operating in Baja & Canada - I'm sure they offer some good advice as you're not competing for the same clients. I have not participated in one of these tours myself but I have seen the groups at Mike's Sky Ranch in Baja and man that's the way to go. Ride all day on a professionally prepped bike, take a shower & drink beer while someone else is cleaning air filters, changing tires, lubing chains etc.

Good luck,

Brian

Craig,

For reasonable price I would do that in a heartbeat.

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