The Forbidden Tour
26 Day Tour – Zimbabwe Angola Namibia Botswana and South Africa
Welcome to our epic Forbidden Tour. Nothing is left out as we explore everything this route has to offer. We call this the forbidden tour because people have a perception that it is generally forbidden to travel through these magnificent countries. The people of these countries are friendly and remain optimistic, despite poverty and other challenges. We see it fit to contribute towards the development of these countries and to support the local population by travelling to these countries.
We will travel through Zimbabwe, visit the Vic Falls and Chobe National Park. Ride the Caprivi strip and enter Angola at Rundu. We will travel North West towards the Angolan coastline and visit the capital Luanda and then return in a clockwise direction to re-enter Namibia at Oshikango. We’ll make our way back again via the Caprivi Panhandle to reach Botswana and then enter Zimbabwe once again. We spend the remaining days riding through Zimbabwe, visiting some iconic sites. Returning to South Africa and concluding the tour in Johannesburg.
- Off the Beaten Track
- Bushveld Savannah
- Gravel Roads
- Unspoilt Nature
- Scenic Coastline
- Northern Namibia
- South Africa
- Atlantic West Coast
- Hwange NP
- Matopu Hills
- Great Zimbabwe Ruins
- Lake Kariba
- Vic Falls
- Zambesi River
- Zambesi National Park
- Chobe National Park
- Chobe River Cruise
- Caprivi Game Park
- Wild Elephants
- Kavango River
- Kunene River Falls
You will be met by AAMT on your arrival at Johannesburg OR International Airport and transferred to your hotel in the Cradle of Humankind. Tonight we will dine in true African Style.
Day 1: Pretoria to Musina
We start our ride nice and early from Hartbeespoort Dam, making our way North along the N1 Highway to reach Musina 470 km away. Along the way, we’ll stop in Bela-Bela for a coffee. After our coffee stop, we depart for Polokwane, this being the halfway point on our day’s ride. Lunch is served and afterwards, we continue all along the N1 through the most beautiful mountain passes, to reach Musina. This is the northernmost town in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It is located near the confluence of the Limpopo River with the Sand River and the border of Zimbabwe. We kick off our boots after a long day’s ride and enjoy our first evening in the bushveld.
Day 2: Musina to Lake Mutirikwi
Today we wake up on the banks of the Limpopo river. After a hearty breakfast, we set out for the Beitbridge border post. Border crossings completed, we enter Zimbabwe and travel North East to Masvingo. A town close to our first stop at the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. After admiring these ancient structures, we continue onto our destination, on the shores of Lake Mutirikwi. Tonight we sleep at the lovely Norma Jean Property. This is an African paradise, pristine Fauna and Flora. A relaxing evening awaits us after a long day’s ride.
Zimbabwe, a landlocked country known for its dramatic scenery and diverse wildlife, much of it within parks, reserves and safari areas. On the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls makes a thundering 108m drop into narrow Batoka Gorge, where there’s white-water rafting and bungee jumping. Downstream are Matusadona and Mana Pools National Parks, home to hippos, rhinos and birdlife.
Day 3: Lake Mutirikwi to Nyanga
Today we head North East to Nyanga National Park. Tonight we retire close to the Nyangombe Falls and the panoramic Worlds View lookout point. This area is surrounded by magnificent African landscapes.
Day 4: Nyanga to Harare
Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, once known as Salisbury. On the edge of the landscaped Harare Gardens, we visit the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and it’s large collection of African contemporary art and traditional artifacts such as baskets, textiles, jewelry and musical instruments.
Harare is home to some two million people, with most in central Harare but some 500,000 in the surrounding districts of Rural Harare, Chintungwiza and Epworth.
Harare, once a city of modern buildings, wide thoroughfares, numerous parks and gardens, suffered from increasing disrepair thanks to Zimbabwe’s economic downward spiral. However, there have recently been signs of improvement as the decision of the country to adopt the US dollar as its currency has begun to facilitate some investments.
The unusual granite formation Epworth Balancing Rocks is southeast of the city. Wildlife such as zebras and giraffes roam Mukuvisi Woodlands, which has bike paths and a bird park.
Day 5: Harare to Kariba
Leaving Harare, our destination is the town of Kariba in northern Zimbabwe. Kariba is the gateway to the formidable Lake Kariba and is known for its luxury houseboats. Today we park the bikes and board a houseboat for 2 nights on the lake. Searching for hippos and trying our luck to hook the mighty tigerfish that patrol these waters. At Kariba Heights lookout, we marvel at the panoramic views of the lake. Nearby, the circular Chapel of Santa Barbara has a memorial to workers who died during the construction of the massive Kariba Dam in the 1950s. Surrounding Kariba, the Charara Safari Area is home to elephants and buffalo.
Day 6: Rest Day on Houseboat
Rest Day on a houseboat
Day 7: Kariba to Vic Falls
Disembarking our houseboat, we head for Victoria Falls. Today is a stunning drive through amazing African landscapes. We reach our stopover for tonight after lunch. Don’t be surprised to see Warthogs around the town, this is Africa and animals roam around.
Victoria Falls town – gateway to the massive waterfall of the same name. Here the Zambezi River plummets over the edge of this World Heritage site and into the Boiling Pot below, before flowing through a series of gorges. If the season is right, we enjoy a swim in The Devil’s Pool, a natural infinity pool on the edge of this majestic waterfall with a sheer drop of 180m. Spanning the river is the Victorica Falls bridge built in 1905. We feel the adrenaline surge through our veins as we bungee jump off this bridge and hurtle towards the crocodile and hippo infested waters below. The surrounding Zambezi National Park is home to white rhinos and elephants.
Day 8: Vic Falls to Kasane
Kasane, a town in the North-Eastern corner of Botswana, near the borders with Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It’s the gateway to the Chobe National Park, known for the herds of elephants that converge on the Chobe River in the dry season. We visit the Caracal Biodiversity Centre, which shelters rescued wildlife and the Chobe Crocodile Farm nearby. We spend the late afternoon on a cruise in the Chobe National Park. Tomorrow we board the Kazungula Ferry and cross the Zambezi River into Namibia.
Day 9: Kasane to Divundu
The Zambezi region, until 2013 known as the Caprivi Region, is one of the 14 regions of Namibia. This area is located in the extreme northeast of the country. It is largely concurrent with the Caprivi Strip and takes its name from the Zambezi River that runs along its border.
The Okavango River is on our itinerary. It is the fourth-longest river system in Southern Africa – starting in Angola and flowing South Eastward for 1600 km. It is also known by its Portuguese name as Rio Cubango.
Day 10: Divundu to Oshikango
Today is a very long ride along fantastic roads. We pass through North-Eastern Namibia and leave the Caprivi behind us. Our destination is Oshikango – a former village in northern Namibia and since 2004 part of the town of Helao Nafidi. It has still maintained its own traditional village council for a number of years. Oshikango is still the name of the border post with Angola and the electoral constituency for this suburb.
Day 11: Oshikango to Lubango
Lubango, formerly known as Sá da Bandeira, is a municipality in Angola, the capital of the Huíla Province, with a population of 776,249. The city centre has a population of 600,751 making it the second-largest city in Angola after the capital city Luanda. Our ride today is through the aridest region of the country with savanna plains and the northern continuation of the Namibian desert.
Day 12: Lubango to Benguela
Today we head for the western Angolan city of Benguela. The city of Benguela lies on the bay of the same name. “Benguela was one of the grimmest slave ports on earth in bygone days. It is estimated that as many as four million slaves were shipped out of Angola via this port city. Many died in raids whilst marching to the coast, or at sea.” Made famous by Paul Theroux in The last train to zona Verde.
Benguela, a fort, founded in 1617 by the Portuguese, under Manuel Cerveira Pereira. It was a bustling centre for the slave traders of the West Coast. Besides the churches of S. Felipe and S. António, the hospital, and the fortress, there were only a few stone-built houses. A short way beyond Benguela is Baía Farta, where salt was manufactured and sulphur was extracted. Close to Baia Farta is the most beautiful beach of Baia Azul. The city prospered and grew in the decades that followed. The Benguela Railway was built in the early 20th century by the Portuguese, linking the city and Lobito to the interior. It achieved great success when linked to the Copperbelt of Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. Starting in the early 20th century, Benguela attracted, developed, and retained quality businesses and professionals into its thriving and growing economy. Sisal and fishing industries expanded and the financial, construction and services market boomed until 1974.
During the Angolan civil war, the Benguela Railway was all but closed except with a short distance of 30 km remaining in operation.
Day 13: Benguela to Luanda
Luanda, the capital of Angola, is a port city on the west coast of Southern Africa. A seafront promenade known as the Marginal runs alongside Luanda Bay. Luanda was founded in 1575 under the name São Paulo de Loanda by a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. Two forts were constructed in the early 17th century and the city became Portuguese Angola’s administrative centre in 1627. From the late 16th century until 1836, Luanda was a port where nearly all slaves bound for Brazil left. Nearby is the well-preserved 16th-century Fortress of São Miguel, which now contains the Museum of the Armed Forces. The fort has views of the harbour and the Ilha do Cabo, a long, thin peninsula in the bay that’s home to beaches, bars and restaurants.
Day 14: Rest Day
Day 15: Luanda to Huambo
Huambo, formerly Nova Lisboa, is the third-largest city in Angola, after the capital city Luanda and Lubango, with a population of 595,304 in the city and a population of 713,134 in the municipality of Huambo.
Day 16: Huambo to Menonque
Menongue, formerly Serpa Pinto, is a town with a population of 251,178, a municipality and the capital of Cuando Cubango Province in Angola. It is one of the four municipalities in Angola whose inhabitants are predominantly Mbunda.
Day 17: Menonque to Cuvango Lodge
We head South-East after breakfast and enjoy the scenery of the Great Rivers Region and ride towards the Cubango River. This is a very scenic route with a large distance riding along the Cubango River. We sleep close to the border tonight and enjoy our last dinner in Angola.
Day 18: Cuvango Lodge to Divundu
Divundu is the capital of the Kavango-East Region, northern Namibia, on the border with Angola on the banks of the Kavango River about 1,000 metres above sea level. The place normally receives an annual average rainfall of 565 millimetres, although in the 2010/2011 rainy season 757 millimetres were measured.
After breakfast, we clear border proceedings and head East for our accommodation on the banks of the Kavango River. Tonight we will hear the sounds of Hippos and other African sounds.
Day 19: Divundu to Katima Mulilo
Katima Mulilo is a town situated in the Caprivi strip and is the capital of the Zambezi Region, Namibia’s far northeast extension into central Southern Africa. It comprises two electoral constituencies, Katima Mulilo Rural and Katima Mulilo Urban.
We have an easy cruise to the extreme East of the Caprivi. We will spend tonight on the banks of the Zambesi River in Katima Mulilo.
Day 20: Katima Mulilo to Livingstone
Livingstone is a town in southwestern Zambia, a few kilometres from the Zambezi River and the border with Zimbabwe. It’s a hub for visitors to Victoria Falls. The adjoining Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park surrounds the Zambian side of the falls. The Livingstone Museum traces local history and archaeology, and the life of the Scottish explorer, David Livingstone, after whom the town was named.
Day 21: Livingstone to Hwange
Hwange is a town in Zimbabwe, located in Hwange District, in Matabeleland North Province, in North-Western Zimbabwe, close to the international borders with Botswana and Zambia. It lies approximately 100 kilometres, by road, southeast of Victoria Falls, the nearest large town.
Day 22: Rest Day
Big 5 Game Safari into Hwange National Park.
Day 23: Hwange to Buluwayo
Bulawayo is a city in southwest Zimbabwe. It’s a gateway to Matobo National Park, home to the Matobo Hills rock formations and Stone Age cave art. Park wildlife includes rhinos and black eagles. Nearby, Tshabalala Game Sanctuary has zebra and impala. West of Bulawayo, the ruins of 15th-century Khami city comprise stone walls and terraces. Bulawayo’s Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe displays finds from the site.
Day 24: Buluwayo to Louis Trichardt
Today we cross borders into SA. We have a scenic ride today, all the way over the Limpopo River. Louis Trichardt is a town at the foot of Songozwi, in the Soutpansberg mountain range in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It is named after the Voortrekker leader Louis Trichardt; the original Venda name is Tshirululuni, and it is also informally known as Tshitandani.
Day 25: Louis Trichardt to Pretoria
Our last day’s ride together and we head South after breakfast. We enjoy our ride through the Bushveld and arrive in Pta/Jhb after lunch. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a feast and reflect on our epic ride through the forbidden territory.
Day 26: Back Home
After our last delightful breakfast, we say our goodbyes and transfer you to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport.
ZAR 166 500 per Rider
Tour Pricing Includes
- Airport Transfers
- All Accommodation- 3 & 4 Star Guest houses/lodges/Hotels
- All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
- Backup Vehicle
- Backup Motorcycle
- Tour Guide
- All Activities/tours/experiences
- All park entrance fees
- Motorcycle Hire
- Motorcycle Insurance
- Tour Pack
- Soft Drinks/Bottle Water/Coffee/Toast
- All Snacks
- Complimentary Domestic Flight- Return to start of Tour in Johannesburg
Tour Pricing Excludes
- International Flights
- Medical Evacuation Insurance
- All drinks, meals, activities or excursions which are outside of the “tour inclusive”.
- Alcoholic Beverages.