AFRICA WITH ELÁN

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Although Victoria and Michael Boomgarden of Elán Travel have many years of luxury travel experience, they decided they wanted to design something slightly out of the ordinary, something they hadn’t done before. The result? A first class tour of southern Africa – via motorcycle!

Knowing of Ayres Adventures premium reputation, they contacted us to develop a 15-day Adventure from Cape Town to Johannesburg featuring unique and luxurious accommodations, outstanding food and drink, and of course, stunning riding experiences through some of South Africa’s most storied lands. In addition to the phenomenal riding and scenery, this tour will allow riders and co-riders to observe traditional ways of life of the local people, visit the southern tip of Africa and stay at luxury game lodges where they will enjoy numerous game drives.

This Adventure is ideal for either singles or couples. Non-riding companions will have the opportunity to enjoy all aspects of the tour from the comfort of a Mercedes (or comparable) touring coach.

This truly will be the trip of a lifetime!

Tour highlights include:

  • A night in the beautiful Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town
  • Luxury accommodations, including 5-star hotels and game lodges
  • A night in The stunning wine producing area of Franschoek
  • A night at the southern tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas
  • Visits to local markets selling handmade crafts
  • Four nights in two luxury game lodges
  • Numerous sunrise and sunset game drives

At a Glance Your Southern Cross Adventure

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 1 The tour leaders will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel where you can spend the day relaxing or exploring the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

Later in the afternoon, the tour leaders will hand over the bikes before hosting a group briefing with more in-depth information about the tour. After the briefing we will enjoy our first dinner together at an upscale local restaurant.

For those arriving a day or two early, there are a multitude of options to choose from: hike or ride the cable to the top of Table Mountain, visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, or explore the many shops, bars and restaurants all within walking distance of the hotel.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 2 After a nice breakfast overlooking the Waterfront, we’ll jump on the bikes and head north of the city. We’ll enjoy several miles of riding along the oceanfront to the seaside town of Melkbosstrand where we will cut inland and make our way through verdant farmlands and winelands.

On our way to Franschoek, we’ll ride through the town of Wellington and enjoy our first taste of curves over the scenic Bains Kloof Pass cutting through Waterval Private Nature Reserve. After the Pass, we will be riding through the most famous winelands of South Africa as we pass through Paarl, along the outskirts of Stellenbosch and head to Franshoek where we will spend the night at a stunning, exclusive wine estate.

An early arrival will allow time for wine tasting before we are treated to a wonderful gourmet dinner on the estate. The perfect way to end the first day of our adventure!.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 3 Be prepared for an absolutely stunning day of riding over numerous mountain passes and along the beautiful coastline of South Africa as we make our way to the southern tip of the African continent, Cape Agulhas.

Along the way we’ll stop in the former whaling town of Hermanus, where the whales can be seen from June to December when they return to the bay to breed. This is the perfect place to enjoy a nice coffee stop overlooking the bay while keeping an eye open for whales.

When we get to Cape Agulhas, we’ll ride a short distance beyond our boutique lodge to capture a photo at the southern tip of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet”

Tonight is a special treat… we’ll enjoy a gourmet dinner, accompanied by the perfect local wine, all the while overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 4 The route to Oudtshoorn includes great riding and fun sweeping curves over rugged mountains and through fertile valleys. We will enjoy a scenic ride over the stark and semi-arid Tradouw Pass into the picturesque Tradouw Valley before taking a break in the friendly farming town of Barrydale. From Barrydale we will ride Route 62 – the longest wine route in the world – through to Oudtshoorn, with several stops along the way. This is a legendary ride, with the opportunity to see and learn about South Africa’s viticultural tradition.

Tonight we will stay at a small privately-owned Cape Dutch Country House in the heart of the Ostrich farming region of the world. This intimate setting will provide a unique glimpse into South Africa’s rich agricultural traditions.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 5 Decisions, decisions. Today riders have the choice of several routes depending on whether or not they want to go off pavement.

For those who would like to get a little more dusty, the ride over the Swartberg Pass (unpaved) offers a great ride and stunning scenery. Once over the pass, the paved route includes the Meiringspoort valley, a twisty and very scenic ride. From the town of De Rust you will again have a choice of routes – continue on the paved road over the stunning Outeniqua Pass or ride through the Knysna Forest on a very twisty unpaved logging road.

If you’d prefer a less rigorous option for today’s ride, the direct route is only 80 miles of twisty paved roads. This is the perfect choice for those who would like a relaxed morning with the opportunity to visit an ostrich farm, and perhaps do some leather-goods shopping.

We will be spending this evening at a magical lodge that is encircled by lush forests that extend through gorgeous rolling hills.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 6 This is truly an exciting day! Today’s journey will require an early start as it will be a full day of riding as we cross into the Eastern Province and make our way towards Port Alfred.

At the end of the day we will park the bikes at the gate and be taken to our private lodge by game viewing vehicle. Be sure to have your camera handy as we will see wildlife as we make our way to the lodge inside the game reserve. This is just the beginning of the excitement with more opportunities to experience the awe-inspiring Africa bush tomorrow.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 7 Today we will get to enjoy the tranquility of the African bush!

An early morning game drive will give you the opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife in their natural habitat from the safety of a comfortable open safari vehicle. After a morning coffee break in the bush, we’ll head back to the lodge for a great breakfast.

The rest of the day is yours to enjoy by relaxing at the lodge, going for a swim or getting a massage in the spa. An afternoon gave drive is available for those who would like to enjoy more game viewing.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 8 Today’s route takes us through rural parts of South Africa where we will see traditional African life and villages as we pass through the Transkei and Ciskei, two of the former African “homelands” during the apartheid years.

Riding through a couple of the small bustling towns, you will see markets along the sidewalks with people selling food, grain and clothing. This is a real treat, a sensory delight in every way. The towns will be lively with loud music, people dancing and the smell of meat being barbecued. The locals are very friendly so be sure to wave as you ride past.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 9 Today we will ride inland over rolling hills and through miles of farm land on our way towards the small town of Himeville.

After leaving the town of Kokstad, we’ll ride directly towards the foothills of the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains which form the border between South Africa and the small land locked country of Lesotho.

We will spend tonight at a boutique country hotel at the foot of South Africa’s highest mountain range just outside the town of Himeville.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 10 Today is a full day of riding through several African towns as we make our way to Dundee where we will spend the night.

Along the way we will pass through the town where Nelson Mandela was captured by the police in 1962 and where a monument and museum have been established in his honor. If time allows, we will also visit a few of the battle sites where the Zulus and Boers fought.
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Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 11 Today is a wonderful mix of riding through farmlands and rolling hills. Once we have crossed the border into Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), we will be treated to very scenic riding in the Swazi Mountains.

Before heading to the hotel, we will stop at an outdoor market where locals sell their handmade wood carvings, paintings and handmade candles. After the craft market we will stop at a glass blowing factory where local artists make beautiful glassware from recycled glass.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 12 It’s a nice, easy ride from Piggs Peak to the border of Eswatini and South Africa. Today is less about the ride than about the destination: Kruger National Park, one of the most legendary places on Earth.

Once we have completed the easy paperwork process at the border, we will visit a small Swazi Village to enjoy locals putting on a show of traditional singing and dancing.

From the border, it is a quick and easy ride to Malelane Gate where we will park the bikes and be taken to our lodge by safari vehicle. It’s a 45 minute drive from the gate to our luxury game lodge which is on a private concession within Kruger National Park. Be sure to have your cameras with you on this drive you will see an abundance of wildlife along the way!

Arriving at the lodge, we will have some time to settle in before enjoying a delicious lunch on the deck overlooking the bush. Where else in the world can one enjoy a gourmet lunch while watching wildlife stroll past in their natural habitat…

After lunch we will enjoy an afternoon/sunset game drive. Kruger is home to the African Big Five, and this is the perfect opportunity to see all five… and much more wildlife.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 13 Our free day in the park will give us the opportunity to enjoy an early morning game drive, a guided bush walk and a sundowner game drive.

Of course you are free to simply kick back, enjoy the lodge’s facilities, visit the spa or just enjoy watching the wildlife from your private deck.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 14 After another delicious breakfast at the game lodge, we will be taken back to the bikes by safari vehicle.

From the park it is a full day’s ride to Johannesburg but we will plan our arrival to avoid the late afternoon inner city traffic.

Tonight we will celebrate the last day of the tour at a nearby upscale restaurant. Our last night in Africa is the perfect time for reminiscing about the incredible experiences of the last 14 days.

Southern Cross Motorcycle Tour in South Africa, Day 14 After a relaxing breakfast at the hotel, the tour leaders will arrange transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Total distance ~ 2,120 Miles

The route is entirely paved, with a variety of road features including several twisty mountain passes. (There are a couple of optional unpaved routes along the way)

50%

40%
Traffic
10%

Please contact us about low frame and/or low seat options for our bikes.

  • Includes BMW F750GS
  • Additional charge of $200 BMW F850GS
  • Additional charge of $350 for BMW F850GS Adv
  • Additional charge of $1,000 for a BMW R1250 GS
  • Additional charge of $1,550 for a BMW R1250 GS Adv
  • Additional charge of $1,000 for BMW R1250R
  • Additional charge of $1,250 for BMW R1250RT
  • Additional charge of $1,900 for a BMW K1600GT
  • Additional charge of $1,900 for a BMW K1600GTL
  • Personal motorcycle: deduct $2,000 from the rider price.
Standard Inclusions
  • Late model, low mileage motorcycle
  • Upscale accommodations
  • A’ la carte dining
  • Two Ayres Adventures professional tour leaders
  • Airport arrival/departure transfers
  • Luggage handling
  • Comfortable support vehicle for non-riding companions
  • Comprehensive pre-trip planning and assistance
  • Customized trip booklet with day-by-day itinerary and attractions
  • Commemorative shirts
  • Adventurer Club travel award credit
Meals
  • All breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 14 dinners
Special Inclusions
  • Wine tasting in Franschoek
  • All game drives
  • All national park fees

Deposit per person: $3,200

Single room supplement – $2,100.

2022 Schedule
Date2022 AdventuresDaysPrice

(USD)
Co-riderNotes
March 5 - 19Africa with Elán14$18,450$16,450
Cancellation fee and refunds
FROM DATE OF
SCHEDULED COMMENCEMENT
AMOUNT FORFEITED
More than 90 days 50% of deposit
90 days or fewer but more than 60 days100% of deposit
60 days or fewer but more than 45 days50% of full tour payment
45 days or fewer 100% of full tour payment

Our high expectations were substantially exceeded from the moment we arrived in Africa.

After a few days at home Araceli and I are still digesting the many wonders we had the opportunity to enjoy during our tour throughout your amazing country.

Our high expectations were substantially exceeded from the moment we arrived in Africa. Every single detail of the trip was wonderfully organized and the selection of roads, lodges and restaurants was outstanding.

Both Jason and Braam did a terrific job making sure we had a great time, explaining many interesting things about multiple aspects of your country, facilitating superb riding opportunities and always willing to go the extra mile.

A big thank you for all that. We both have been bitten by the African bug and as you know we are already thinking in doing the Heart of Africa tour next year, so we will definitely be in touch.

Araceli and Raul's Adventures include:
Southern Cross

Araceli Barcena and Raul Gonzalez
Madrid, Spain

Ayres Adventures you have done it again!

Jann Barber O’Hara and Chris O’Hara, Ayres Adventures

Ayres Adventures you have done it again! Our second tour (Southern Cross) was amazing. Another trip with top notch motorcycles, accommodations, guides, scenery and excursions. It is obvious how passionate John and Jason are about Africa as well as accommodating each individual
tour participant. Ayres attention to detail sets them apart from other touring companies. Thanks again for another great adventure.

Chris and Jann's Adventures include:
Triple S Harley-Davidson Southern Cross
Call of the Wild Adventure

Chris and Jann created a video about our Call of the Wild Adventure. Click here to watch the video.

Jann Barber O’Hara and Chris O’Hara
Morgantown, West Virginia

The Southern Cross Tour was everything it claimed to be and much more

I just returned from South Africa and my first Ayres Adventure with a dozen customers. I've nothing but praise for the entire team. The Southern Cross Tour was everything it claimed to be and much more. From the bikes to the lodging to the dining it was all fabulous. Our two guides insured it was an incredible two weeks and represented what I feel is a fantastic value for the money. I will be selecting our next tour very soon!

Bob and Suzanne's Adventures include:
African Southern Cross Adventure

Bob Henig of Bob's BMW
Bob's BMW

We have been bitten by the "Ayres Bug", so we will certainly be on another trip very soon!

I have wanted to write and thank you and Barbara for a truly wonderful vacation.

What makes a great vacation? Superb food, outstanding accommodations, well planned itineraries, new friends who share the same values, new challenges every day all with a sense of security knowing that there is great team (Ayres) behind you. The net result is a truly fun time and a remarkable memory and to Lori and I who went on the Southern Cross trip all this came to pass and more. We have been bitten by the "Ayres Bug "so we will certainly be on another trip very soon.

Thanks to all your wonderful team: John constantly keeping the group's fun in mind and taking care of every little detail and with a great sense of humour, ED who was such a gentleman and pleasure to travel with. Lori especially spent a lot of time with him and talks highly about his thoughtfulness and kind spirit.

I can also say that to anyone who is thinking of taking an Ayres trip but whose companion is not a lover of the "Two Wheels" mode of transport, the companion vehicle is a great way for couples to share some truly memorable trips to some very unique and interesting places. These trips allow a multitude of dinner stories recounting the fun.

Thanks again.

Michael and Lori's Adventures include:
African Southern Cross Adventure

Michael Collinson
Caledon, Ontario, Canada

Congratulations on putting together such a memorable event

Still full of great food and fantastic memories, we are home from Brazil. I will be wearing my new Ayres' Adventures Best of Brazil shirt on the Thursday night ride with the locals tonight.

Brazil was beyond our wildest expectations.
Congratulations on putting together such a memorable event.

Bert and Val's Adventures include:
Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay
African Southern Cross
Best of Brazil

Bert and Val Reynolds
Fairview, Alberta, Canada

Now I'm dreaming of an Ayres Adventure in South America

The planning and organization that went into the African Southern Cross made this trip very special for me. I recommend this excursion to anyone who would like a very special holiday on a motorcycle. Now I'm dreaming of an Ayres Adventure in South America!.

Andre's Adventures include:
Escape to Ushuaia
Southern Cross
Viking Run

Andre Gareau
Ottawa, Canada

All of the tours that I have taken with Ayres Adventures have been excellent from start to finish

All of the tours that I have taken with Ayres Adventures have been excellent from start to finish. The itineraries, accommodations, and activities during the tours have provided many incredible experiences. Ron and his tour leaders have a way of finding the very best in each geographic area in which they travel.

John's Adventures include:
Escape to Ushuaia
Southern Cross
Call of the Wild
Namibian Splendors
Machu Picchu Excursion
Into Africa (Cape Town to Nairobi)

John Cheney
White Salmon, Washington

You win the oscar!

You win the Oscar for the category of "The Company that Works the Hardest to Please a Client!"

George and Sherri's Adventures include:
Southern Cross
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

George and Sherri DeMier
Tulsa, Oklahoma

The sixteen tours we were on with Ayres Adventures are the best we have ever been on!

“We have taken more than 20 motorcycle tours; sixteen of the last seventeen were with Ayres Adventures.

The sixteen tours that we have taken with Ayres Adventures were the best trips we have ever been on.”

Denny and Alice's Adventures include:
Call of the Wild
Best of Brazil
Southern Cross
Diamonds, Desert and Dunes (Africa)
South American Five Flags
South American Four Flags
Mediterranean Odyssey
Escape to Ushuaia
Swiss Alps and Italian Dolomites
Swiss, French and Italian Alps
Adventure Center Holiday (USA)
Escape to Colorado (USA)
Rocky Mountain Holiday (USA)
National Parks Tour (USA)
Prudhoe Bay Excursion
Best of Alaska and Canada
Portugal, Spain and Morocco

Denny and Alice Sanford
Anchorage, Alaska

Bikers Delight

Biker's delight. These are the words that come to my mind when I think of my Ayres Adventures tours. Great rides, sensational places, good food and great fun. A big "Thank you!" to the whole Ayres team for creating such an experience, you're doing an awesome job. I am looking forward to riding with you again.

Michael's Adventures include:
Machu Picchu Excursion
Southern Cross
Namibian Splendors
Spain and Morocco
Norwegian Midnight Sun
New Zealand Top Down Adventure

Michael B
Cologne, Germany

This trip had a little of everything and it makes me want to go back to Africa

My son and I rode the Ayres Adventures Machu Picchu trip over a year ago and we had so much fun I decided to go on my own trip to South Africa, at Ron Ayres suggestion.  I'm a fair weather, slower rider, the type that likes to look at scenery, stop often, and avoid highways, so after Machu Picchu which really challenged me, I asked Ron for something more suitable to my style, and the Southern Cross trip fit my needs perfectly.

It had everything: beautiful scenery that included seascapes and inland hills and valleys, cultural offerings by the Zulus in S. Africa and the Bsuto in Swaziland, game reserves and Kruger National Park where the big animals walked in their natural habitat, and most touching to me, visiting an orphanage and school where we met some children and which offered us the opportunity to give back a little by connecting them with possible resources in the USA.

The accommodations and the food were always the best, especially Otter's Den, where we were treated like family by the hosts and where I felt like I might hear Tarzan yelling as he swung from branch to branch.

John Jesson and Chris Carey offered wonderful support as group leaders, and they made my experience work, especially since I ride slower than most and I was traveling alone. It's not easy to satisfy everyone with different needs, but they did. The planned visits included a snake reserve, elephant farm, balloon ride, and could have included the highest bungee jump in the world. This trip had a little of everything and it makes me want to go back to Africa.

Deborah's Adventures include:
Southern Cross
Machu Picchu Excursion

Deborah Pigeon
W. Tilsbury, Massachussets

We can't wait for the next one!

It’s been less than two weeks since we completed the African trilogy and I’ve wondered how I’d ever find the words to describe our feelings about this extraordinary adventure. When the October 2008 Waypoints Bulletin arrived, it gave me the perfect start. As one who had to “overcome initial apprehension about travel to the ‘Dark Continent’,” I can honestly say that none of my fears materialized. Nick and I fell in love with Africa. From day one and throughout nearly seven weeks of travel, Africa grabbed us with the warmth of the people, the cultural diversity, the mind-blowing wildlife, and the spectacular scenery. Ayres Adventures delivered in its usual superb fashion on each and every day of the three distinctly unique tours.

The “Southern Cross” could be described as “Africa 101”, offering a taste of everything—from the busy, upscale Capetown waterfront to the luxury of L’Agulhas Country Lodge, from the cultural experiences in Eshowe and Shakaland to the overall African immersion at Otter’s Den. Leaving Johannesburg at the start of the second tour, we mistakenly thought ourselves steeped in a sense of place. Then came Shibula Lodge and we realized that a very different African adventure was just beginning. The “Call of the Wild” is truly all about the wildlife—watching the elephants crossing the river in Chobe can only be termed a life-altering event. As for Namibia, we’ll never forget the sands—towering over us on the dunes and shifting under our tires as we crossed the Kalahari! But the challenge was thrilling and the landscapes incomparable.

We’ll always be grateful to the Ayres “family” with whom we shared this amazing experience. So while "doing 'Africa Ayres Adventures Style'" may be addictive, I think it’s more accurate to say that we’ve simply become addicted to Ayres Adventures. We can’t wait for the next one!

Nick and Susan's Adventures include:
New Zealand Grand Tour
Southern Cross - TWICE!
Call of the Wild - TWICE!
Namibian Splendors
Escape to Ushuaia
South American Splendors
Best of the Mediterranean

Susan wrote an article about her African trips which was published in BMW Owners News. Click here to read her article.

Nick and Susan Vallario
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

Our trip was beautifully planned.

Our first Ayres Adventure was everything we'd hoped and more. John is extraordinary at what he does. We really appreciated his sincere caring, competency and sense of fun. When asked where we were headed that day by a waitress at a coffee stop, a fellow rider said, "I'm not sure. It's like going on vacation with Dad. We just follow him and everything's taken care of, everything's wonderful."

Our trip was beautifully planned. Greg and I enjoyed the variety of accommodations, from a luxury waterfront hotel, to a country lodge, to a 100 yr. old farmstead, to a tented tree house, and especially the opportunity to visit the Zulu school and AIDS orphanage. We felt that we learned a lot about the country, rather than just passing through it. We're looking forward to future Ayres Adventures. South Africa definitely captured our hearts.

Roseann

Greg and Roseann's Adventures include:
Southern Cross

Greg Hague and Roseann Dunteman
Phoenix, Arizona

First Class Adventures

Recently my wife Chris and I took an Ayres Adventure trip through South Africa (from Cape Town to Johannesburg). We have nothing but good things to say about the Ayres people, having done several "adventures" with them, in various parts of the world. They are first class, and go the extra mile to take good care of their customers. The Africa trip was exceptional in every respect. Ayres has a knack for picking exotic places to visit and stay. Kruger is breathtaking and Swaziland is really cool. We totally recommend anyone that wants to do an overseas adventure to strongly consider this opportunity.

Rob and Chris's Adventures include:
Machu Picchu Excursion (Twice for Chris!)
Best of Alaska and Canada
Southern Cross
Viking Run
Spain and Morocco
Dutch Treat (now named Normandy and the North Sea)

Rob and Chris Hiday
Jacksonville, FL

Exceptional Road Support and Tour Leadership

While searching on-line for motorcycle travel I came across the Ayres Adventures website. The site was far and away better than any other so I called Ron, took a chance, signed up for the South America 5 Flags Tour and never looked back. The trip was well run and well planned, offered reliable road support, experienced tour leaders and attracted fun, adventurous people.

The next trip I took was an Ayres Adventure to Africa and this past summer I rode with Ayres in Alaska and Yukon Territory. By now I knew I could count on Ayres for exceptional road support and tour leadership and I was not disappointed. The Alaska challenge for me was riding the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay and our leaders, John and Ed, aside from the expected road support, offered moral support and encouragement. I couldn't have done that ride without them.

My challenge now will be deciding which Ayres Adventure to sign up for next.

Marilyn's Adventures include:
Prudhoe Bay Excursion
Alaska/Yukon Adventure
Southern Cross
Call of the Wild
South America 5 Flags
The Epic Journey - Moscow to Hong Kong
Antarctica Adventure

Marilyn Makepiece
Santa Barbara, California

2021-06-25T16:57:52-05:00