Andy, A guest from Germany asked me to plan a special once off personal tour for him up to the Orange River, The natural border between Namibia to the north and the Northern Cape region of South Africa.
With a couple of minor changes to our regular Orange River Wild Ride tour, some of which will now be included in the regular offering we put together a great plan. Andy wanted to ride with a support vehicle and we enlisted regular back-up man Fast Fred and co driver Andrew Harris to shepherd us, carry the gear and generally make for a happy group.
The tour began in Cape Town on 22 January and headed through the Cederberg and Tankwa wilderness areas, offering rugged gravel and dirt tracks amongst beautiful sandstone mountains. The vegetation changed from lush fynbos to more desert like renosterveld scrub as we travelled north west to our first stop at the legendary Stonehenge Tented Desert Camp in the Tankwa Karoo. We brought good fortune with us and that night the area received good dousing of rain while we slept soundly in the comfy tents.
The second day, the longest distance of the tour took us up to the Orange River from where we followed the first section of the 4×4 river trails to Klein Pella Guest Farm on the Orange River. By now we had left the greens of the south behind and entered the vast desert of the Northern Cape.
Day three we had the famed Namaqua River Trail. From Klein Pella to Vioolsdrift this incredible track meanders to and from the river through rocky canyons and valleys for almost 2oo km of adventure motorcycle heaven. Our lodging was our regular highlight of the Wild Ride Tours, Frontier River Resort. Graham and Christine run a superb luxury tented resorted right on the river that never fails to impress.
On the fourth day we had an early start, crossed the Namibian border at Noordoewer and headed into the Northern Richtersveld on the Namibian side of the Orange River. After 40km of rolling tar road to Aussenkehr, a great breakfast at Noritsharma River Resort we headed into the canyons to Rosh Pinah to the west. After crossing of the Orange River back to South Africa via the motorized pont at Senderlingsdrift we took some rough roads to the strange town of Eksteenfontein and then back to Frontier River Resort via a tough 4×4 pass and the river road.
After the previous days tough riding we took an easier option than planned to the town of Springbok , had a hearty lunch at the legendary Springbok Lodge and then road one of my favorite tracks to Kamieskroon. Andy declared this little known track his favorite of the tour and I must concur, it is a special piece of road.
Day six had been sitting heavy on Andy’s mind as I’d talked up the toughness of the west coast sand tracks, with sand being his nemesis. We cooked a roadside breakfast before reaching the sand tracks and before long we were at the coast riding through thick sandy two track. Well he should never have worried and soon he was loving the tracks , riding like a Dakar pro. We had lunch in a spectacular coastal cave, visited a seal colony and finally headed to our beach camp. After meeting a friendly meerkat and a spectacular west coast sunset we enjoyed an awesome beach barbecue.
After a goods nights rest only 50 meters from the waters edge we continued south along the coast for about 100km on sandy tracks and then a further 100 on good roads to our lodgings in the quaint seaside village of Elands bay. Sadly our last night and so after dinner on the patio and good conversation over a good local red wine we turned in for the night.
Heading back to Cape Town we detoured for our last bit of gravel near Darling, stopped for coffee and a snack in the picturesque hamlet of Philadelphia and then straight back to Cape Town. Eight days that started with client and returned to Cape Town with a new friend. Strong are are the bonds made traveling and more so on a tough motorcycle adventure.
If you’re interested in future Orange Rive Wild Rides we usually manage two trips a year with up to 8 riding guests. The tours vary between 5 and 8 days.
Email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.