General Information

Flights

SAA and Lufthansa offer daily flights between Frankfurt/Munich to Johannesburg/Cape Town. Average flight duration: to Johannesburg approx. 11 hours, to Cape Town approx.. 13 hours. Alternative options via Istanbul, Dubai or Cairo add substantially to your travelling time. the tickets are the most expensive between December and April.

Traffic

Left hand drive is the rule, the minimum age requirement is 25 years and you need to have an international valid driver’s licence. Speed restrictions: highway 120 kmh, 100 kmh on rural roads, 60 kmh in cities.

Climate

December and January are the hottest months of the year and temperatures can reach the high thirties. School holidays fall within this period and tourist attractions will be the center of attraction for many holidaymakers.

The climate can vary substantially in the different geographical areas, from the coastal regions, to the semi deserts and to the mountain regions. Visits to the Kruger National Park are best during the winter months. It does not rain often, the temperatures are pleasant, many bushes and trees have little foliage, which means the chances of spotting game are better than during the summer months.

Natal is most pleasant for a visit between April and May, the local autumn months. In summer time, rains are common and temperatures reach 30 degrees (+) regularly. Swimming is fine for the whole year due to the warm streams of the Indian Ocean.

The Karoo is mainly a dry, semi-arid area, which offers fantastic gravel roads. It can get pretty warm during summer, the evenings yet can provide nice cooling temperatures. Best traveling time is in the local winter between May and September.

The Garden Route is exposed to a maritime climate, with regular rainfalls, which makes it a paradise for all kind of plants, hence the name “Garden Route”. Spring and summer is an ideal traveling time.

The Western Cape is an absolute jewel to visit during summer time. The temperatures are very pleasant and often prevailing winds provide nice cooling. Never underestimate these incredibly strong winds which can make riding a motorcycle a task of note!

Further information is available at: www.weathersa.co.za

Credit cards

International credit cards are accepted by most hotels and shops. Petrol stations do not accept credit cards! Cash can be drawn from most ATM’s throughout the country.

Medical care

The country is more or less free from tropical diseases and there are no compulsory vaccinations. Malaria can occur in the Limpopo Province, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and in the Kruger National Park. Should you travel through these areas, it is advisable to take anti malaria prophylactic medicine, dress accordingly (long pants, long sleeved shirts) at night and apply anti mosquito lotion. In general the medical care facilities are of similar standards to Europe. Doctors have to be paid at the time of treatment. It is advisable to take out an international medical insurance policy in order to claim back any medical expenses upon your return from your holiday.

Emergency telephone numbers

Police: 10111

Ambulance: 10177

Opening times

Shops are generally operating between 8:30h in the morning to 17:00h in the afternoon during weekdays, Saturday from 9:30h to 13:00h. Banks close at 15:30h during the week.

Cities and street names

Many of the old names are either replaced already or are in the process of being re-named. A couple of examples: Pretoria = Tshwane, Bloemfontein = Mangaung, Warmbath = Bela Bela, Nelspruit = Mbombela and Durban = eThekwini. Try to work with the latest updated version of maps and/or GPS maps.

Safety

It is advisable to avoid visiting townships on your own. Rather take a guided tour if you are interested in doing so. Do not go for a walk after dark and preferably make use of taxi services when moving around. Only carry a limited amount of cash with you. For emergencies use a cell phone with pre-programmed emergency numbers. For further questions please approach the tour guide. We avoid areas known as risk areas and we do not ride after dark.

Language

South Africa has eleven official languages, English, Afrikaans and nine local languages.

Electricity

220V is the norm, adapters for European plugs (three pole) can be purchased in most shops.

Telephone

The international dialing code for South Africa is 0027. Use your own mobile phone from overseas and purchase local prepaid cards to keep costs reasonable.

Tipping

It is common practice to tip waiters, porters, taxi drivers, tour guides etc. between 10-15% of the bill. You can give car guards at shopping centres R 2,– or more, if you want them to look after your car/bike, the same for petrol attendants. Porters at the airport or hotels expect about R 5,– per piece of luggage.

Visa requirements

Visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland do not require a visa, if you don’t stay longer than three months. Your passport has to be valid for another 6 months after entering the country and needs to have enough space for entry/exit stamps.

Currency

South Africa’s currency is the South African Rand (1ZAR = 100 cent). Bank notes come at denominations of R 10, R 20. R 50, R 100 and R 200. Coins = 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, 1, 2 and 5 Rand.

Time

There is no time difference between Germany and South Africa in summer. During the European winter the time difference is + 1 hour.

Customs

Duty free items: personal clothing, jewellery, sport equipment and photographic equipment. New goods up to R 3000.00, cash up to R 500, traveler cheques and other currencies are not limited. Furthermore duty free: 2l wine, 1l spirits, 50ml perfume, 250ml eau de toilette, 200 cigarettes, 20 cigars, 250g tobacco.

Touring Information

Depending on the tour chosen, the daily distances can vary between 200km up to 500km. A briefing will be given prior to leaving each day, detailed information will be provided about the route and the attractions visited. Since the experience of riders may vary substantially from newbie to professional, we try to accommodate the group as much as possible. This will also determine, if the group stays on tar or if gravel roads will be considered. Regular stops are self-understood for taking pictures, smoke and meal breaks.

As per the weather conditions described beforehand, it is advisable to have rain gear available at any time, just in case. In general we suggest to use safety gear at all times, including helmets, which use is compulsory in South Africa. Smart casual dress code is generally accepted at the hotels and do not forget to bring swimwear as most of the overnight facilities do have a swimming pool. A spare jersey can be helpful when it cools down at night.