Camera, Africa and two wheels
The ride of a lifetime is completed, the bike is returned, and your flight home brought you back safely. Now it’s time to slowly get back to ‘normal life’, and all there’s left are the memories of the days exploring unknown roads, discovering incredible places and meeting unique people along the way. The memories will eventually fade and, most probably, will give place to the urge of embarking in yet another adventure. This is the moment when you realize how important the images you brought back from your trip are. For most of us, this is also the moment when you discover that the photographs you just took don’t even begin to make justice to all the once-in-a-lifetime moments you experienced on your trip. How to make sure you will have truly exceptional photographs from your next amazing adventure?
Ricardo Serpa, a Brazilian photojournalist based in South Florida, with over 25 years of international experience, has partnered with Ayres Adventures to offer the world’s first PhotoMoto tour, developed with the objective of offering a top-class photographic experience combined with one of our already famous motorcycle tours. Participants in the PhotoMoto tour will have a photography workshop like no other, riding through bucket-list roads and experiencing some of the most incredible photo opportunities along the way. Ricardo will be offering hands-on instruction throughout each day, while the group stops in scenic places, focusing on image composition, lighting and general photographic approach to each subject. In the evening, after a fantastic day of riding, photographing and exploring, the group will get together for an on-camera review and critique of the day’s images, as well as tips on how to further process digital images using Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom. During the 2-week tour, Ricardo will be fully available to plenty of individual Q&A time with all participants, and to share his own experiences and ideas about photography, covering landscape, people and fine art.
The tour is open for all levels of photo enthusiasts, but if you’re a beginner interested in getting to the next level and finally understanding the basic (and not-so-basic) settings of your digital camera, rest assured that Ricardo will be able to help you getting to speed in the first couple of days.
Keep in mind though that PhotoMoto is not a traditional photography course. It would be unrealistic to consider it a substitute for the full and lengthy education you can obtain in a multi-year course. The very nature of a motorcycle tour is a laid-back, “stop-and-smell-the-roses” experience, and the photography workshop here is meant to share the same mood: a relaxed, no-classroom approach, where the thrill of riding through unique places combines seamlessly with the pleasure of expanding one’s photographic horizons. Best of all, you will bring home your own unique photographs, images which will become a permanent proof of this spirit-enriching experience.
We have developed a one-of-a-kind Southern Africa itinerary for the first PhotoMoto tour, favoring the most scenic routes and making sure you will have plenty of opportunities to stop and capture the stunning landscape, as well as the different cultures you will be visiting. Here are some of the highlights of the Southern Africa PhotoMoto tour:
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At a Glance
Your Photomoto Africa Adventure
Arrive at Johannesburg International Airport where you will be met by the Ayres Adventures Tour Leaders and taken to the tour start hotel in Sandton, a very upmarket and popular suburb just outside of the city centre. During the afternoon we will have the kick off briefing, the tour leaders will hand over the motorcycles and we will enjoy our first group dinner.
Is the first riding day of the tour, heading South out of the city, its an easy first days riding to the town of Clarens where will spend the night at the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. Clarens is well known for its arts and craft shops and is a great small town to walk around and explore.
[Will start off with a ride through the Golden Gate National Park that offers great views of the surrounding mountain ranges. We will continue to skirt around the foothills of the Drakensberg monitions which form the border between South Africa and Lesotho as we head to Underberg where we will spend the night.
We will backtrack for a few miles as we head back towards the town of Howick, then on to Greytown. From Greytown we will ride through several small African Towns where riders will get a great view of the traditional ways of living in the Zulu kingdom before getting a unique hotel just outside of Eshowe where riders will be entertained with a drum show done by local Zulu’s.
Is a ride through a few more small villages and the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park before heading to the East Coast and St Lucia where riders will have the option to take an afternoon boat cruise where they will get the chance to see hippo’s, crocodiles and a lot of bird species.
Shortly after leaving St Lucia we will cross into Swaziland where we will enjoy some spectacular mountainous views of this unique Kingdom. We will also be staying at a local hotel offering great views of the valley below.
Today we will leave Swaziland through the Northern Border back into South Africa and take an extended ride to the town of Sabie before heading to Hazyview where we will spend two nights right at the gate of Kruger National Park, the most well known Nature Reserve in South Africa and home to the African Big Five animals.
Is a non riding day, we will do a full days game safari through Kruger National Park in an open top safari vehicle that will offer some spectacular game viewing.
The direct route to our next destination, Graskop, is very short, however we will extend the days riding to take in The Panorama Route which includes some magnificent riding as well as breathtaking views of the Blyde River Canyon, Gods Window and several other view points along the way. Graskop is a charming and popular town, well known for its local arts and crafts.
Another spectacular days riding that will take us over the Long Tom pass, through the town of Sabie and Lydenburg as we head to Dullstroom, the fly fishing capital of the world!
Is one of the longer riding days of the tour, however riders will be rewarded with two nights in a small privately owned 5 star game lodge as well as an afternoon game drive.
Our second free day of the tour, today riders will have the option of two game drives, one in the early morning with a stop in the middle of the park for coffee whilst over looking the reserve. The second game drive is later in the afternoon, includes sunset drinks in the park and the last hour of the drive is done after sunset, offering riders a different and amazing wild life spotting experience.
After an optional morning game drive, we will jump back on the bikes for our last days riding into Johannesburg. Tonight we will enjoy our final group dinner together at a very nice restaurant in Sandton.
Is the departure day when all the riders will fly. The tour leaders will arrange each guests transfer to the airport for their flight home.
About Ricardo Serpa
Ricardo Serpa is a Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, native photojournalist, and has been working as a professional photographer for over 25 years. A graduated Master of Business Administration, with specializations in finance and marketing, Ricardo worked as an Export Manager for British American Tobacco, where he had the opportunity to travel the world and develop new markets at quite a young age. During his business trips, he developed a profound passion for photography, and decided to go after his dream of becoming a full time photojournalist. He took his chances, left his day time job and, by a combination of much luck and a little talent, was able to become a staff photographer for the Jornal do Brasil, one of the most traditional Brazilian daily newspapers back in the early 90’s. There he spent the next few years learning and developing his natural skills, and the newspaper proved to be the best school any photographer could dream of, since its daily pressures and demands simply couldn’t be replicated anywhere else.
Ricardo had the vision to dedicate his time to learn digital photography as early as 1994, when he attended a couple of courses at the Rochester Institute of Technology – RIT. This proved to be a turning point in his photographic career, for he feels completely at ease with today’s ever-changing technology. He wrote a weekly digital photography column at the same Jornal do Brasil for over 7 years, taught Photoshop for Computer Graphics graduates in Rio, and then moved to South Florida in 2001, together with his family. There he opened his successful commercial studio, and has been working non-stop since then.
Another side of Ricardo’s background is his passion for motorcycles, which he started riding when he was 18. He was immediately attracted to off-road racing, and he competed for many years in Enduro races back in Brazil, both short and long distance events. In 2013, Ricardo took the summer off to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams, which was to ride all the way to the end of the road in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The journey lasted 10 weeks, and he rode solo for 19,000 miles, photographing a lot along the way for an upcoming photo book. The concept for the PhotoMoto tours was born during this trip, after he met many different groups of riders exploring the same distant and unique roads, but in guided tours.
Besides photography and motorcycling, Ricardo is very passionate about surfing, reading and traveling. He lives in Weston, Florida, with his wife Nicole. The couple’s four kids are spread over the country, working and studying in places like Miami, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Roads are paved and in very good condition. The entire trip is very suitable for two-up riding.
Deposit per person: $800
|Sep 26 - Oct 9||PhotoMoto Africa ||14 days||$10,990||$8,900||A minimum of 12 bookings is required for this tour
|Sep 24 - Oct 7||PhotoMoto Africa ||14 days||$10,990||$8,900||A minimum of 12 bookings is required for this tour