Pretoria, Groot and Klein Karoo and back – 12 days (dual)

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1. Total distance of route and date of ride?

3965km. From 13 September to 23 September 2013

2. How long did it take to complete? Were you going fast or travelling leisurely?

Whole trip was 12 days. We rode three days to actually get to the Karoo. Then we rode six days through the Karoo and it took us two days to get back in Pretoria. The pace of the route changed with the landscape, but most of the time we took it easy.

3. Why are you recommending this route? What’s special about it?

This route can be done by any biker and is not meant for only the super skilled riders. It could easily be done without knobblies. However you need to be cautious of heights and rocky roads. And I can ensure you that should it rain it’s going to be a very interesting trip. The trip was made extra special because of all the time in the saddle and days ending with good friends.

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On Gannaga Pass near Middelpos.

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The Tankwa Karoo blooming.

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Die Dorpshuis in Calitzdorp.

4. Please tell us how the route runs.

Day 1 Getting there; Pretoria, Heilbron, Reitz, Paul Roux, Senekal, Marquard, Brandford, Bloemfontein (663km)

Day 2 Getting there: Bloemfontein (rest day)

Day 3 Getting there: Bloemfontein, Redderburg, Buthulie, Venterstad, Morning Glory Guest Farm (249km)

Day 4 Karoo; Gariep Dam, Colesberg, Richmond, Victoria Wes, Loxton, Jakhalsdans Game Farm (435 km)

Day 6 Karoo; Jakhalsdans Game Farm, Loxton, Fraserburg, Middelpos, Tankwa-Karoo National Park (371 km)

Day 7 Karoo; Tankwa-Karoo National Park, Sutherland, Laingsburg, Matjiesvlei (397 km)

Day 8 Karoo; Matjiesvlei, Calitzdorp, Groenkloof, The Hell, Prince Albert (160 km)

Day 9 Karoo; Prince Albert, Willowmore, Steytlerville, Jansenville (385 km)

Day 10 Karoo; Jansenville, Pearson, Cradock, Venterstad, Gariepdam, Morning Glory (361km)

Day 11 Going home; Morning Glory, Venterstad, Bethulie, Wepener, Ladybrand, Ficksburg, Fouriesburg (475km)

Day 12 Going home; Fouriesburg, Clarens, Kestell, Reitz, Frankfort, Villiers, Balfour, Nigel, Springs, Pretoria (468km)

5. What kind of motorcycle is the route suitable for.

The trip is suitable for any dual purpose or adventure bike.

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The Tankwa Karoo blooming.

6. Please name significant points of interest along the way, e.g. eateries, supermarkets, accommodation.

Places we stayed;

Gariep Dam – Morning Glory Guest Farm; www.morningglorycottages.co.za, 051 654 0302

Loxton – Jakhalsdans Game Farm; www.jakhalsdans.co.za, 053 381 3005

Tankwa National Park – Elandsberg; www.sanparks.org.za, 027 341 1927

Calitzdorp – Matjiesvlei; www.www.matjiesvlei.co.za, 082 733 4556

Prince Albert – Bushman Valley; www.bushmanvalley.com, 082 452 8134

Jansenville – Angora Lodge; www.jansenvillehotel.co.za, 049 836 0243

7. Are there petrol stations along the way? Do you know of any motorcycle repair shops along the route or in the area?

There were more than enough petrol stations along the route. Two places you should keep in mind are Loxton and Middelpos.

In Loxton you have to fill up at the Koöperasie, they open at 07:00 and close at 17:00.

The very small town of Middelpos is actually owned by Koos and Helena van der Westhuizen. There’s fuel, but they are not open all the time. Give them a ring just to make sure or arrange with them; 027 341 2505/7.

There’s a workshop in Willowmore and they work on bikes too. It’s Zaayman’s Garage which is the Engen petrol station also; 044 923 1007.

8. Are there any dangers along the route, e.g. loose gravel, potholes, sharp bends, oil spills, wild animals or angry locals?

Be cautious on all the roads. We did not experience a lot of loose sand but there were quit a bit of rocks.

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Ouberg Pass near Sutherland.

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On the way to Sutherland.

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As the sign indicates; Seweweekspoort Pass.

9. What did the trip cost in fuel, meals and accommodation?

My petrol was R2400.
I used R1500 for spending money.
All our accommodation, breakfasts and evening braai’s were R2100 per person.
So my total spending was R6500.

10. Did you use any special gear, e.g. fuel bags that made your journey possible, easier or more enjoyable?

All bikes carried tools for maintenance. We could do tire repairs and minor repairs.

11. Any must-do activities on the route?

I believe with a smaller group you would have more time to enjoy more of the places. All of these small towns have a lot of interesting things to see and do and great places where you can have something to eat and drink. Take time to ride through the towns and check out what they offer.

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Near Prince Albert.

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The straight roads of the Karoo.

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On the Lesotho border.

12. Did anything funny happen that you’d like to share?

We were doing some repairs to a bike and I was playing with a socket and power bar. It slipped and hit the mechanic on the head. His only response was, “I’ll be done soon”.

13. Do you have any other comments or advice about the route?

All I can think of; take it slow.

14. Are there any doctors and/or hospitals in the area that you know of?

One member of our group had a nasty fall. We got a lot of help from the local farmers. We then rather phoned Bloemfontein Medi Clinic as it was a struggle to get hold of a local doctor.

Bloemfontein Medi Clinic – 051 401 6666
George Medi Clinic – 044 803 2000

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Tankwa Karoo.

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Near Steytlerville.

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The rider – Gideon Rossouw

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