Touring South Africa by Motorcycle, Limpopo

A Motorcycle tour of Limpopo Province, South Africa

(Part 1)

Author: Steve and Carole Eilertsen.

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 Limpopo is the northernmost Province of South Africa - rural Africa at its best. We love Limpopo for its great spreading African trees and for its fertile valleys
(11 November 2005 - 19 November 2005)

African trees and BMW motorcycles

Carole's BMW F650 and my BMW 1100GS

African tree on tour
You cannot make a mast for a sailing ship from an indigenous African tree. Instead an African tree invites you to sit down in its shade, to enjoy some beer and to listen to an ancient story as the hot, red African sun falls below the horizon.

For us a motorcycle tour must have a theme, an objective, that can drive you forward through pelting rain, blasting wind and 42C African heat. This tour was to be the "Friendship Tour" with stops at family and friends along the way. For Michael this was his first motorcycle tour with his newly acquired BMW F650, helmet, license and biker attitude.

Steve and Mike

Father and Son . . . (and biker-chic wife Caz taking the photo)  . . . does it get any better than this?

Thohoyandou in Venda, East Limpopo was our first stop to meet two Peace Corp volunteers. Sonia and Naheed, both from the USA, (New York and Washington respectively) are Peace Corp volunteers. Sonia helps victims of domestic violence while Naheed works with children (which in Africa means HIV/Aids a lot of the time).

Mike, Naheed, Sonia and Steve

What makes a young 20-something girl leave her comfort zone to live, assist and work among rural African people - eat porridge, wash out of a bucket and use an outside toilet? We treated them to a luxury hotel dinner in an attempt to find out!

We spent two days with them, enjoying their company, their idealism and stories of their friends and family back home. For more you can read Sonia's blog

African roadkill

Africa is not for wimps, but the issues are always very simple. Break the rules and you die - respect them and you will be granted another day.

Limpopo roads are filled with grazing cattle, donkeys and goats. The roadkill however told us one thing - the donkeys are the problem. (This was the only cow compared to nearly a dozen donkeys on a 100km stretch.)

A local told us that the problem is at its worst on cool nights. The donkeys like to sleep on the warm asphalt . . . yes you can miss one donkey, even two, but your luck is bound to run out after that. 

Black Leopard Soccer Club, Limpopo, South AfricaSonia and Neheed took us to a soccer match, the local Black Leopards v FreeState Stars i.e. five white faces in sea of ardent black supporters.

Awesome! What a great experience. I am now the proud owner of a Black Leopards apron to protect my Northern Suburbs, designer T shirts from oil splatters from the boerewors on the braai (barbeque).

Strangely enough the images on the apron are of two yellow cheetahs . . . ??

We left Thohoyandou and turned our BMW motorcycles south to the indigenous forests of Magoebaskloof (Tzaneen, and Haenertsburg). On route we passed the kraal of the legendary African Rain Queen (Modjadji) with its collection of rare and ancient cycads but did not stop . . . maybe next time.

Us, doing what we enjoy most!



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