Africa: Frequently Asked Questions

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We love questions about anything motorcycle or motorcycle trip related! Here are some of the most frequently asked for you to browse though.

Because we are a guide-run company, we can tell you every detail of every day. If you want to know where the restrooms are on Day 5 of any trip, we can tell you!

Third party trip sellers, or those who re-sell other companies’ trips don’t have access to the level of experience and street smarts that we offer our guests.

So send the questions in, the wackier the better! If you do not see your question answered here, email it to “[email protected]” and we can promise an answer!

Trip planning pedigree! Renedian Adventures founder Rene Cormier spent 4.5 years circling the globe on a solo motorcycle ride (following with the book “The University of Gravel Roads: Global Lessons from a Four-Year Motorcycle Adventure”). During this trip he experimented with travelling fast (while seeing a little bit of many places) and travelling slow (while seeing a lot of fewer places). This is our dilemma as travellers. This solo trip gave him 1500 days of practise in balancing what to see in a day, what needs to be seen in a particular area, and the right amount of travelling to connect them all together. Trip pacing is an art!

Our global crew is small, talented, and excellent at what they do. It is common for guides, including Rene, to work trade shows and rallies to market our trips as we can talk honestly about what is to be expected while on tour and start to pre-screen potential riders to ensure they will fit as a fun and capable rider in the group. We do not hire agents to sell and take commission on selling our products.

Finally, it is important to note that we do not subcontract our tours out for somebody else to run. This is a common business method in the travelling world, unfortunately for the end user, as the level of responsibility for delivering a great trip is watered down with each middleman taking a commission. These are our trips, and our guides are 100% responsible to ensure all our riders have the trip of a lifetime, while being 100% authorized to make any changes to make it so.

That depends on what you want to see or do. The best time to ride motorcycles is when we can avoid the heat of high summer (their summer), or the cold and wet of coastal winter (their winter). Keep in mind that we need to balance riding weather with the activities that we want to do (animal safaris) to make sure the timing is great for you. We only run tours when the weather is pleasant to do so.

We spend time on our northern routes in the July-August-September months, when the rain is absent and daytime temperatures are pleasant. As our northern routes warm up, we go south to Cape Town and the coast. Here are yearly weather graphs from roughly the four corners of our touring area. The coldest days are in July, when it can be COLD on the bike at 120 kph for the first hour until the sun gets a little higher in the sky. Some riders wear rain gear on these sections; not for the rain (it won’t rain in July in Namibia) but to keep the cold wind out. By 10am, layers are coming off fast and the day is beautiful.

Average High and Low Temperatures:

Cape Town

Kruger Park / Mpumalanga

Victoria Falls


Africa does get rain, but we have arranged our touring to minimize its impact. In fact, if you join the Waterfalls and Wildlife tour in July or August, you will be lucky to see a cloud in the sky for those 15 days.

Daily Chance of Precipitation:

Cape Town

Victoria Falls

Kruger Park/Mpumalanga


Again, not a straightforward answer. The data will tell you that the river is fullest in April/May, and the emptiest in November/December. If you are there to see a massive waterfall, then April/May is the best time. We do a walk in Victoria Falls National Park along the paved walkway the follows the Zimbabwe side of the falls. When the river is in full flood, this walk is done with ponchos and cameras in zip lock baggies as there is full mist and “rain” created by the volume of water pouring over the edge. You cannot see the falls as it is raining upward in the gorge.

In July, August, September, and October the river is losing volume, so it is not as spectacular from a distance, but we are able to walk the path and see the walls behind the falls, and a leisurely in the mini rain forest that surrounds the gorge without getting soaked. The guides prefer these months as we can simply see more.

At either time, many riders opt for an 8- or 12-minute helicopter ride to show the magnificence of the falls from the air.

In Africa we run with a morning program that we call 6-7-8; up at 6am, breakfast at 7am, and noise out of the bikes by 8am. We never know what is in store during our travelling day ahead, so we always prefer an early start. On longer stretches, our guides know to pull the group over every 75 -90 minutes for a roadside stretch and pee. Our demographic of 45-75 has lots of peeing, so we build in opportunities for that. At these breaks, the chase truck will arrive and hand out water, apples, granola bars to ensure blood sugar levels are maintained. These stops also help to be a time where we can answer questions about animals, funny signs, or anything else of curiosity.

Normally we have two of these sections before we stop for lunch. The crew prefers to build a small but tasty roadside lunch for riders, instead of stopping in restaurants. These lunches all riders to build sandwiches, or have fruit, cheese and crackers, hummus and veggies, etc.

One more riding section after lunch and we pull into the lodge between 3pm and 4pm on a typical day. Some of our lodges are quite unique and special, and it would be a huge disservice to arrive at dark or late in the day when we don’t get a chance to experience the venue.

Dinner is almost always at 7pm, and guests can retire at their leisure after that.

The roads on our tours are either paved or gravel. People are often impressed with the quality of the paved roads, assisted by the fact that these paved roads do not have a harsh winter to deal with. We do not travel on two-track, goat track or singletrack. The gravel roads are good quality, wide, secondary highways. They are well crowned, but they are still made with a natural surface which changes with the amount of traffic on them and the amount of maintenance.

We strongly encourage those riders who have been off gravel roads for a while to take a training course (or two) that will allow you to brush up on those gravel road skills and allow you to enjoy all aspects of your African ride. This training is always best done near your primary care physician, just in case.

On each tour page we list the amount of gravel or paved roads, so you can find the right trip for you.

On the question of experience, the short answer is the more experience you have on similar roads at home, the more fun *and safer* your trip in Africa will be. This is a linear relationship. If you are comfortable on paved roads at home, including under windy conditions, then you should enjoy African roads. Just remember we ride on the left in Africa.

Even though the gravel roads are generally in very good condition, Africa is not the place to discover if you like gravel or not. For those choosing the trips that have gravel roads, please realize that the more comfortable you are on gravel in your home country, the more you will be able to enjoy your time in Africa. How much experience is needed? Hard to answer without riding with each guest, but one rule of thumb is that you should be comfortable on looser road surfaces when the bike starts to ‘dance’ beneath you and be comfortable knowing that this is a normal function of motorcycles on loose surface. Instead of hitting the brakes (because you feel something is not right) rather give a little shot of gas to straighten the bike out and continue down the road. That takes time and experience to re-wire that brain-throttle connection, and if you have done, you will likely have a super fun time on Namibian roads. They are super.

Yes! Couples are very common on all our tours, with the Waterfalls and Wildlife taking the title of the ‘most popular’ couples’ trip for us.

All our African trips can be done 2-up, depending on rider skill. If you are two people on a 1250GS (our recommended 2-up bike) we will install a top case with padded bar to allow the passenger to rest against.

It is important to note the flexibility that passengers have. Your tour will likely have our Mercedes Sprinter van as a backup vehicle. If a passenger does not want to ride on the motorcycle, they are most welcome to spend time in the van. They can decide at breakfast if they want to ride on the motorcycle, or the van. We have some spouses who enjoy the entire trip in the van, and don’t even bother to bring motorcycle gear. For them it is a blend of perfect worlds: the motorcycle nut gets to ride a motorcycle and see Africa, and the non-motorcycle half gets a chauffeur ride to all the best places in Africa to visit, in a big, air-conditioned van complete with fridge, freezer and Top Hits of the 80’s on the radio.

We normally limit the group to 10 or 11 bikes, plus crew. This is a nice size for group travel, dinner conversation, and general logistics.

If you prefer, we can run private tours with up to 30 guests.

We have newer models of BMW F750, F850, R1250GS, R1250GS Adventure, Honda Africa Twin (both automatic and standard). For short inseam riders we offer the Factory Lowered BMW F750 with an extra low seat. On paved tours, we do have a Spyder RT.
On our African tours that feature gravel roads, we pay to take the road tires off the bikes and install a 50/50 tire on that works well and safely on Namibia’s gravel roads. It is expensive to do, but a trip of a lifetime cannot cut corners on critical items such as tires.
We will let you in on a tour operator secret – you always pay for fuel. Some tours may ‘include fuel’ as part of the tour price, but only because they have already rolled that amount into the trip cost you are paying.
There is also a logistical element to why we ask riders to pay for their own fuel. In Africa many of the gas stations are quite modern, and all have attendants to help you fuel the bikes if you want their help. If we can get 10 bikes to 10 pumps all filling at the same time, we are saving big chunks of time. And since we want to fuel every 200-300 kms, we can lose a lot of time in the day to gas stations. Most riders pay for fuel with credit card, and we can be on our way quickly.
We are big believers in “all the gear, all the time”. Africa has first class medical facilities, but we don’t want to use them. At a minimum, helmet no smaller than a ¾ open face for paved tours, and full helmet for gravel roads. Armoured jacket and some style of motorcycle specific pants. We encourage riders to bring full calf-length riding boots. There is a chase vehicle behind us, but some riders also bring their own person hydration pack with them as a small backpack, so they can hydrate while riding.

We would hope you could as we don’t include much “starting city” or “finishing city” tourism activities in our routes as they can be added on for those who want to. Our office can help with airport transfers and hotel recommendations, and our guides can suggest places to eat and activities to do. It is also easy to get you a rental motorcycle if you are keen on exploring on your own. If your trip starts or ends in Victoria Falls, we suggest a MINIMUM of one extra night to squeeze out all the cool things that you can do in that town.

ATTENTION Waterfalls and Wildlife riders! Many riders on this trip come with us to the famous sand dunes of Sossusvlei before the trip. In addition to visiting this UNESCO World Heritage list, arriving early also allows you to acclimatize (and even allow your luggage a few more days to get to you if it did not arrive with you). This excursion will get you into the world’s oldest desert and see a part of Namibia only accessible by using gravel roads, a nice balance to the parts that we will see from the paved roads/motorcycles. Normally the Sossusvlei trip appeals to those who enjoy wildlife, and the open spaces of the scenic Namibian desert. And it really appeals to those who love the night sky as we rarely have clouds, and we are very far from any towns.

If you loved the scenery in “Mad Max: Fury Road” you may love this trip even more. That was filmed a few hundred kilometers away and will give you a sense of the other worldliness of the landscape.

This trip is done with our Sprinter van, not the motorcycles.

As an example, here is the itinerary based on the April 15 – 29, 2023 trip.

April 12 – arrive into Windhoek, Namibia (WDH) Transfer to your hotel in Windhoek.
April 13 – early departure to the Namib desert. Hotel at Sossusvlei Lodge. This night the moon is in the first quarter, allowing for a great moonlit desert, as well as some great stargazing.
April 14 – early departure to the Sossusvlei Dunes, Dead Vlei Dune 45 and back to our hotel by noon. Lunch at the hotel, transfer to our next hotel in the small town of Solitaire in the late afternoon. Possible for Cheetah encounter in the late afternoon.
April 15 – departure back to Windhoek, arriving about noon. Day 1 of the motorcycle tour starts in the afternoon with paperwork, bike check out, and dinner at the hotel at 6pm.
April 16 – 8am departure on the motorcycles.

This trip is all inclusive except for alcohol.

Note that we get back from the dunes and get right into the tour paperwork and leave the next morning. This schedule does not leave time for wandering around Windhoek or casually doing some exploring of the downtown area for souvenirs or gifts (or other more practical shopping like for any forgotten medicines or clothing, etc). If you think you take advantage of some shopping/exploring time, it would be advised to come a day or two before you head out to the desert or arrange your flights so that you leave a day later than the last day of the trip. One day is normally enough time to explore Windhoek.

We use a variety of lodges, from simple but clean 3-star hotels to the 5 star Victoria Falls Hotel, and a few other boutique hotels that are completely Instagram worthy, as you watch hippos in the river from your private outdoor shower. Many of our lodges are listed as ‘luxury’ on other tour operator sites, but we learned long ago to undersell and overdeliver.

We only have one camping night and that is in the Okavango Delta. This would be on Waterfalls and Wildlife, Vic Falls to Cape Town, and the Grand tour. This is a very special 24 hours, starting with a private plane low altitude trip into the Delta. We will land on a dirt strip where the land cruisers will be waiting for us to take us immediately into the bush on a game drive as we drive toward our tented camp. The crew at the tented camp arrived the day before, setting up tents, the dining area, the two latrines, and the bag-in-a-tree shower (that nobody in 12 years has used!). Sleeping is done in two-person canvas tents, on low medical cots, and mattresses, sheets, pillows, duvets are all provided. All the meals are cooked over an open fire, as this is all that is there. No buildings, no power, just the beautiful African bush. We will teach you to find the Southern cross in the nights sky and try your luck in winning the hyena calling competition. Fall asleep to the sounds of lion and hippos…. Up early the next morning before the sun for coffee, tea, and a quick breakfast and back onto the trucks to search out more photographic wonders. When you return to the camp at about 11am, you will find it completely taken down, except for the dining table where your brunch is. From here it is a long dusty drive back to town back to the lodge and your waiting motorcycles. There is an option to fly out (fee applies) for those who already know they won’t enjoy the ride out.

Yes, we average one CPAP per trip! We will supply a long extension cord for you to use while on tour, as some of the rooms only have plug in far from the bed. We also know where to buy distilled water for the machine. If you are joining a trip that goes into the delta for a camping night, that will be the only night without power. Make sure your machine works is compatible with 220V.
Breakfast is always at the hotel, and often a western style buffet. On riding days, your crew will tempt you with our trailer picnic lunches, and dinners will be at the hotel or favourite restaurant. Almost all dietary concerns or restrictions can be managed. Dinners in Africa often centre around fires and meat, but vegetarian or vegan diets can easily be accommodated.

In your group there will be a guide on a motorcycle in front, and a chase vehicle in the back which carries luggage, first aid, and a small trailer with a spare motorcycle in case of a mechanical issue we cannot solve. This van is owned by us and has been modified for our motorcycle groups with the removal of some seats for added comfort, and a fridge/freezer inside.

[inert pic of Sprinter van]

In the Cape Town office and behind the scenes will be our Operations Manager Danise Zuidmeer, who tracks the group and calls ahead making sure hotel reservations are correct and ready for us, as well as smaller details like group dining reservations at our favourite tables or contacting the kitchen of upcoming restaurants for any special dietary needs.

One of the major appeals of Africa of course is the wildlife. There are lovely roads all over the world, but you will only find lovely roads + giraffes + lions + African elephants + hippos… in Africa.

Some riders are content with one quick photo of each of the animals they see, other riders are keen to spend all morning photographing birds. Keeping in mind that although this is a motorcycle tour and not a photographic safari, we still have many hours on some tours to devote to animal watching. Our Waterfalls and Wildlife tour is – in a practical sense – a motorcycle tour bringing you from one safari to another and has the most animal encounters for all of our tours.

Grand Tour: In 44 days we see it all! Eight safari experiences including the private flight over the Okavango Delta, and a night in a tented camp where you can practise your hyena calling. Sunset riverboat cruise, and many animals can be seen from the bike, including warthogs, springbok, elephants, giraffes, kudu, oryx, and occasionally lion!

Waterfalls and Wildlife: This is our most animal intensive trip. Five safaris, sunset river cruise, flight over the Okavango Delta with a camping night in the bush, and 3 riding days through National Parks with a good chance of seeing wildlife from the motorcycle.

Victoria Falls to Cape Town: Four safaris, sunset river cruise, flight over the Okavango Delta with a camping night in the bush, and 2 riding days through National Parks with good chances of seeing wildlife from the motorcycle. Near Cape Town we may catch the Southern Right whale, as well as African penguins. We also have the option of a private tour of a primate sanctuary near Cape Town.

Cape Town to Victoria Falls: All Paved Route: Four safaris, sunset river cruise, and riding days through National Park with a good chances of seeing wildlife from the motorcycle. Major parks are Kruger National Park and Chobe. African penguins can be seen near Cape Town.

Spectacular South West Africa: Some Namibian wildlife seen from the bikes, good chances for Southern Right whale sightings along the coast. Near Cape Town we may catch the Southern Right whale, as well as African penguins. We also have the option of a private tour of a primate sanctuary near Cape Town. Some riders have chosen to fly in 5 days early to join as we do a camping night in the Okavango Delta for a night or two.

Two Oceans: Safari at Addo Elephant National Park, some chances for Southern Right whale sightings along the coast on the November tour. We also take a private tour of a primate sanctuary near Cape Town and stop by to say hi to the African penguins.

When people ask about safety, it normally comes from two areas of concern: things that may bite/sting/eat them, or bad guys with guns.

There are many new insects and bugs and animals in Africa that will be new to riders (we’ll even eat a few of them). Of these, a few needs caution. Mosquitos carry the risk of malaria (however it should be noted that in 12 years, no one has ever contracted malaria while on tour with us). Natural ground critters like spiders are always around, and we ask guests to wear closed toe shoes when off the bike for this reason.

For the bad guys with guns concern: we cannot predict the future or offer a risk-free adventure. But we can tell you in the last 12 year we have never seen a bad guy with a gun, or experienced a strike with burning tires, or had an unpalatable border crossing due to anything other than a power outage or general busy-ness. We have had an attempted iPhone theft from a rider’s pocket in a grocery store, and we have had a bad person interfere with a lone rider at an ATM, trying to take the card.

One of the reasons for the general safety of our areas is that we spend little time in big cities, and most of our time in the rural countryside. It should also be noted that rural South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe are sparsely populated, so there are not many people there – good, bad, or otherwise! We save special love for Namibia, the second least densely populated country on the planet, meaning not many people but lots of road (mostly gravel) and spectacular landscapes.

Don’t worry about traveling alone. Solo travelers are pleasantly surprised to discover that a portion of guests on every trip do not have traveling companions.
Solo travelers who really do enjoy a cabin to themselves pay the single supplement. Others can request we look for another traveller of the same gender. Both guests save the single supplement. Should we be unable to find a roommate, the single supplement is waived. It is a worry-free way for single riders to join in the fun.
Laundry service is normally available every few days. Costs are reasonable. Excess baggage charges will often exceed laundry charges, so we recommend that you pack fewer items and use the laundry service to refresh your wardrobe. Guides will use quick dry clothes, and regularly do a quick rinse in the sink to keep things fresh-ish. Low humidity means any washed clothes done before dinner and hung over a chair to air out should be dry by the time you get to sleep.
Leave the jacket and tie behind if you prefer. Our trips are informal. However, we do spend time in some special hotels and restaurants, so you may want some pieces to have for these special nights.
Nope. It makes no sense for riders who know they don’t like group travel to join a group trip. If you like stopping every 10 minutes, or not stopping until you run out of gas, you should re-consider joining a group tour. We can happily assist you on a private tour where we can build the itinerary together, riding as you prefer and building a trip that you can truly enjoy.
How much *can* you bring, or how much *should* you bring?  Less than you think! Riders typically bring two suitcases over to Africa. One will carry the riding gear, and the other will carry the rest of the luggage (riding suit and boots, non-bike clothing, toiletries, etc). On a looped tour, we leave all empty suitcases at the hotel until we return. On one-way tours, we transport empty luggage by courier to our end hotel. Our guides restrict their luggage to a carry on sized and a lap top briefcase. Couples are encouraged to place all items into one shared suitcase.
Your personal health provider will have the final say on this, but Vaccines: The following vaccines are recommended for all travelers – please consult your healthcare provider for details:
• COVID-19
• Tetanus
• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis C
• Typhoid
• Seasonal Influenza

Guests should consult their primary care physician or travel health clinic at least 8 weeks before departure, to allow adequate time for any vaccines to be completed. A detailed copy of the itinerary and route should be provided to assist with vaccine recommendations.
The Renedian team is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We strongly recommend that all riders get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and receive any booster shots (if eligible), even if you already had COVID-19. You should keep your vaccine record or card with you.

Where we travel does not have cholera, yellow fever, or zika. But we do have the possibility of malaria in the north of Namibia, the upper half of Botswana and in Zimbabwe. The highest risk periods for malaria are usually during summer (November to March), and the lowest risk periods during the winter (May-August). If our hotel is in a malarial area, the hotel will provide mosquito nets.

We strongly recommend you consult the US CDC’s “Malaria and Travelers for U.S. Residents” and follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding drugs for prevention of Malaria.

BEFORE the trip starts, the following are for your account:
-Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

-Riding gear

-All international flights

-Visas: Most of our riders are from the EU, Canada or USA. For those riders the only visa will be into Zimbabwe, which we get at the border upon entry (or at the airport, if your tour starts in Vic Falls.)

-Shots or medical/health prep

-Optional VIP motorcycle insurance to prepay, to bring deductibles down to USD$0 is about USD$500 per trip, pre-paid and non-refundable. Otherwise, the basic insurance is included with the tour (and deductible of about USD$2500).
ON TRIP – the following are for your account:
-Fuel: some trips include this, others not. (I can be frank here and say that the rider will ALWAYS pay for fuel, it’s just a question of if the tour operator puts that cost in a more expensive tour or leaves it out of the tour price and has the rider pay while on the tour.)
-Alcohol, and any tips on alcohol
-Any SIM cards/data/airtime if riders which to use
-Personal effects
-Tips for local guides used for game drives, excursions: when we on safari, we use professional guides and crew to assist with your safari experience. Tips directly to them after your safari are most appreciated, as tips are the major source of income for them. We normally suggest USD$10-20 per guide, depending on the length of their help.

-Sometimes there is optional insurance to reduce the deductible in the event of an accident. This is a pre-paid, optional expense.
-Tips for tour staff. Gratuities or tips to your tour staff at the end of your trip are always at your discretion. We recommend that you budget USD$10 to USD$15 per person per day if you are pleased with your guides

We love questions about anything motorcycle or motorcycle trip related! Here are some of the most frequently asked for you to browse though.

Because we are a guide-run company, we can tell you every detail of every day. If you want to know where the restrooms are on Day 5 of any trip, we can tell you!

Third party trip sellers, or those who re-sell other companies’ trips don’t have access to the level of experience and street smarts that we offer our guests.

So send the questions in, the wackier the better! If you do not see your question answered here, email it to “[email protected]” and we can promise an answer!