Kirks Moto Travels

Travelling Africa on a KLR

Month: February 2017

Zambia and Zimbabwe

2012-02-13

I easily exit Botswana then board the ferry across the Zambezi river in to Zambia. This side of the border is slightly more confusing as everything is spread all over. From everything  I had read on the Internet you need to use a tout as there is no way to get kwachas outside of Zambia which you need to pay for certain taxes and no way to do this inside of the secure zone. This is not true, an ATM is inside the secure zone. Just north of the immigration office.

Crossing the Zambezi

I then headed in to Livingstone. Along the way there were a few police checkpoints only one wanted to see my drivers license but they were very friendly.

On Tuesday I headed to Victoria Falls. I spent the day travelling to both the Zambian and Zimbabwean Falls. The view is better from the Zimbabwean side but at $75 USD for a visa it isn’t fully worth it.

The rest of my time in Zambia it rained boot filling amounts of water so I didn’t get any more pictures but I had some good Indian food in Lusaka.

Botswana

I crossed into Botswana from Namibia in to the town of Shakawe. I camped on the Okavango Panhandle just south of town. I joined a group of Dutch travellers for dinner at the main lodge that evening. The staff brought us by boat to the main lodge.

Sunset on the Okavango Panhandle

The next day I rode into Maun. The road along the way was heavily potholed. I managed to hit one squarely at 80 hm/h which caused the left pannier to detach (see issue on the Wild Coast) and go sliding down the road. This ruined one of my gas can straps so now the whole operation is ratchet strapped together.

That evening I met Ieuan, who I met at the Horizons Unlimited travellers meeting,  for dinner. Ieuan is a pilot in Maun at the moment and setting off across Africa in April on his Yamaha Super Tenere. We went for Indian food, which I haven’t had in quite a while so I was happy to get some curry.

On Friday we picked my tires up from the shipping company and then went for a ride along the river with some other local pilots. The water level is quite high though so we had some challenging sections. All in we didn’t finish the ride and had two bikes end up in the river so it was only semi-successful. Oh-well beer solves most problems of this nature.

On Saturday I went to the local tire shop to get the tires changed. Unfortunately the staff there was not well trained and ruined the rear axle threads and brakes. Don’t go to Supa-quick if you are in Maun. I then spent the rest of the afternoon fixing the damage to my bike.

On Sunday I rode to Kasane in the northeast. I saw four big male elephants and two smaller ones alongside the road.

Elephants along the Highway

Namibia

2017-01-23

I cross into Namibia, surprisingly they actually want to know the VIN number on the bike, not that any paperwork was done but they wrote it on my road tax receipt. I then road to Ai-Ais, which is a hot spring in the desert. For the 35 degrees in the valley the water was way too warm. That night it didn’t cool down until 3 A.M. and even then not enough to use a sleeping bag.

Ai-Ais Hot Spring

2017-01-24

I rode a short distance to Fish River Canyon, which is the second largest canyon in the world.

Fish River Canyon

Afterwards I stopped at the Canyon Road House for lunch before continuing to Aus where I stopped to refuel before heading in to Luderitz. The last 100 km of the day was brutal with extremely strong wind for the first 50 km which was then followed up by blowing sand for the last 50 km. The blowing sand managed to strip the paint off my side stand where it had been painted from removing part of it to prevent tip overs. The rest of the lower frame is now noticeably duller from the abuse. By the time I arrived in Luderitz I had sand in most of my orifices that took two washings to finally get rid of.

Highway into Luderitz

2017-01-25

I took a rest day in Luderitz.

2017-01-26

I visited Kolmanskoop, a ghost town near Luderitz in the morning before heading back towards Aus then North on terrible gravel roads to Helmeringhausen.

Mine Wardens House

Dunes Reclaiming Buildings

In Helmeringhausen I met twins Craig and Mitchell who are originally from Tswassen (Greater Vancouver) and are travelling with their wife and girlfriend. I don’t find many other Canadians on the road so it is nice to discuss home with them.

Craig, Mitchell, and I

2017-01-27

The beating on the terrible roads continues to Sesriem. My wrists, elbows, shoulders, and knees have all received a thorough beating that I am sure I will regret if I make it to sixty and need to have all my joints replaced. Along the way there are a lot of Gemsbok (Oryx) and some beautiful scenery in this desolate place.

Gemsbok

2017-01-28

I catch the early shuttle out to Sossusvlei as they don’t allow motorcycles out there.

By the time I get back to camp at 11:00 it is too hot to function so I spend the rest of the afternoon in the pool.

 

2017-01-29

I ride into Walvis Bay, the roads improve but still aren’t great until you get within 100 km of Walvis Bay and the sand and gravel has salt added to it to hold it together.

The roads are taking a toll on the bike with the speedometer cable vibrating loose and my spare fuel canister bracket breaking causing the canister to fall off and be damaged beyond repair.

2017-01-30

I spent most of my day riding around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay trying to find a suitable fuel canister. Unfortunately I had to settle on a heavy steel one as the plastic ones here are all too big.

New Fuel Canister

In the afternoon I did some riding around the lagoon to get pictures of flamingos to send home to my sister as it is her birthday.

Flamingos

2017-01-31

I moved north to the town of Swakopmund and enjoyed a nice beer and bratwurst meal at the Brauhaus.

2017-02-01

I rode up the Skeleton Coast as far as motorcycles are allowed then head east towards Twyfelfontein. It is a good thing I replaced my fuel canister as the gas station in Torra Bay has closed.

As soon as you enter Skeleton Coast National Park the roads once again turn to unmaintained gravel roads. By the end of the day I am ready to go home as my body feels like someone has been hitting me with a baseball bat for the last 6 hours.

2017-02-02

I went to the 2000+ year old rock engravings at Twyfelfontein in the morning where San (Bushmen) engraved animals and maps of water sources in the rocks.

Afterwards I went to Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain Rock formations. There the parks guides decided they would like rides and to have pictures taken on the bike.

Organ Pipes

Burnt Mountain

The bolt for the left handguard has vibrated out and needs to be replaced during the ride to Khorixas.

When I pulled in to the gas station at Khorixas I notice coolant dripping from the bike. Upon quick inspection the radiator is leaking from the top and must have been hit by a rock on the gravel road just as I was entering town. I am extremely lucky that there is a radiator shop across the street from the gas station. I spent the rest of the afternoon tearing the radiator out of the bike and getting it fixed.

Radiator Repairs

2017-02-03

After two less enjoyable days in the backcountry I decide to head to Windhoek for pavement and civilization.

2017-02-04

Anna is in Windhoek so I meet her and Potti, a fellow KLR rider for breakfast. Then head to Potti’s house for an afternoon braai.

Anna and I

Potti on his KLR

2017-02-05

Potti is kind enough to have me for breakfast before I head North to Tsumeb.

2017-02-06

Unfortunately I have not beat the rains to Etosha so I look around Tsumeb before the massive storm begins in the afternoon. In the morning I visited Lake Otjikoto which is a sinkhole lake.

Lake Otjikoto

Birds at Lake Otjikoto

Field Gun Recovered from Lake Otjikoto

After visiting the lake I visited the town museum which houses some the artillery pieces that were dumped in Lake Otjikoto by German forces during World War I before surrendering to South African forces.

2017-02-07

I rode in to Rundu after stopping at the Hoba Meteorite, the largest Meteorite in the world.

2017-02-08

I head towards Botswana stopping at Popa Falls along the way.

Cape Town and North to Namibia

2017-01-12

Back at it after two full days of flying and waiting in airports. I got in late the night before so I stayed at a hotel at the airport. Johann picked me up and brought me to his house where I stayed for the week. In the afternoon we went for a ride along the coastline around Cape Town.

We also went to Boulders Beach and saw the penguin colony there.

2017-01-13

I went to a couple of garages today to get the motorcycle’s thermostat fixed. Turns out the shop in Johannesburg put wiring back wrong when they had the fuel tank off so it came loose along the way. With that fixed I headed to the Cape of Good Hope. In Simon’s Town they were fighting forest fires with buckets slung from helicopters being filled in False Bay.

Cape of Good Hope

The view from the Cape light house is pretty spectacular.

On the way back I rode by Kommetjie where some kite surfers were out.

2017-01-14

I went to the Castle of Good Hope which was built in the late 1600’s to defend the Cape after previous fortifications did not stand the test of time.

My timing was perfect as I was able to see the small canon fired and go on a guided tour.

“Dolphin” Pool

Castle of Good Hope from Table Mountain

Afterwards I went to the District Six Museum. The museum documents the forced eviction of District Six from the 1960’s to the 1980’s of Black and Coloured (mixed race) heritage from that area of Cape Town to the Cape Flats to convert the area from a multi-ethnic part of town to a whites only neighbourhood. The area was almost completely demolished save for a few churches and an apartment building. As the evictions were completed in the 1980’s redevelopment has largely not occurred other than the construction of a technical university and the area will be left undeveloped as a reminder of the apartheid era.

2017-01-15

I went to Franschoek and Stellenbosch. Franschoek was an area where the Hugenots settled after being offered asylum from the French Catholic regime as they were protestants and the Dutch regime offered asylum in the Netherlands but they ended up coming to the Cape Colony.

Fransschoek

Huguenot Memorial

2017-01-16

On Sunday I went to Robben Island and visited the waterfront in Cape Town.

Table Mountain from the Boat

Cape Town from the Boat

Political Prisoner Cells

Nelson Mandela’s Cell

2017-01-17

I was finally able to get on Table Mountain as the weather has been quite windy and the cable car has not been running. On my way to Table Mountain I saw a familiar KTM 1190 and Anna who I met near Hoedspruit last year. In the afternoon Johann and I toured some craft breweries in the region.

Lions Head

2017-01-18

Mainly running around shopping for tires and supplies.

2017-01-19

I left Cape Town in the morning and soon found Anna on the road. We rode together through Eland’s Bay to Lambert’s Bay.

Elands Bay

2017-01-20

On Friday I rode through the Cederburg mountains.

Local Brew in the Cederburgs

2017-01-21

On Saturday I rode to Springbok in the Northern Cape finally reaching the last South African province for me to visit.

2017-01-22

I feel a cold coming on so I just stayed at the hotel for a rest and recuperation day.

 

Sorry the internet was horrifically slow and constantly dropping connection in Namibia explaining why this post is so late.

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