THE WARM HEART OF AFRICA
We have planned, and are now offering a once-only adventure in September 2019. Named “The Warm Heart of Africa” because this is what Africans call Malawi, and Malawi is the central point, “heart”, of this journey.
A total of around 4000 kms, we will start and finish our adventure at the epic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and will bike through the four lesser known countries that surround Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
On sealed roads with the possibility of some short lodge accesses being unpaved, the group will total 28, made up of 17 bikers and a total of 8 pillion/4x4 passenger partners, plus John as motorcycle guide/tour boss and myself and the dedicated paramedic as support vehicle drivers.
As is the norm on all MOTO AVENTURES tours we will run it fairly freely with every bike having a GPS with the days route installed to follow as a purple line, and regular meet up points will be decided by John for refueling, coffee/snacks and regrouping. This way the tour will split into smaller groups which is a much more pleasant way to experience these places and John will be travelling up and down the groups. We will have satellite communication between him and the two support vehicles which will be travelling the same route and seeing and experiencing everything the bikers do.
DAY #1 - VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
You will be met at the airport and transferred to our accommodation which is ideally situated
being close to both the Falls and the town centre. The decor of our lodge evokes an era of
early adventure and the quest for discovery in Africa. The National Park borders the front of
the property and it is quite normal to see a group of warthogs or other wild animals crossing the hotel lawns, with the spray of the “Smoke that Thunders” in the background.
The Victoria Falls are situated on the Zambezi River, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and are roughly 1.7 km (1 mile) wide and 128 m (420 ft) high. They are considered a remarkable spectacle because of the peculiar narrow slot-like chasm into which the water falls, so one can view the falls face-on. It is described by the Kololo tribe living in the area as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ - ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ and in encyclopaedias as ‘the greatest known curtain of falling water’. We also like to consider it the adrenaline and adventure capitol of Africa with a range of activities aimed at your wilder side.
The rest of the day free. Meet up for dinner on the terrace at the lodge.
DAY #2 - VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
Early morning pickup in a minibus for the bike riders and transferred the 45-minute ride through Zambesi National Park over the border into Botswana, where the bikes will be waiting your arrival. John will be on hand to help with handover and then head back into Zimbabwe and to the hotel.
Rest of the day free to acclimatise, for bikers to try out their bikes a bit more, fuel up and in the evening a pre-dinner drink on the terrace where we’ll give the first briefing of what your adventure is about.
DAY #3 - VICTORIA FALLS to MATOBO HILLS - ZIMBABWE
Leaving early, we head south towards Bulawayo to our peaceful African Lodge situated in the Matobo National Park. Today’s road is mainly straight running alongside different parks including Hwange National Park where the famous lion Cyril lived and died. Watch out for wildlife crossing the road.
Matobo National Park is known for the Matobo Hills – an amazing natural arrangement of balancing granite rocks formed by erosion.
Our accommodation is in individual, beautifully appointed Matobo style rooms set amongst the granite rocks with large sunlit windows offering breath-taking views out over the hills and surrounding bush.
The plan is to arrive around lunch time, so we have time to freshen up, have something to eat and then in the afternoon we have organised a safari into the National Park to see the last wild and free-roaming population of Rhino found anywhere in Africa. The park has both black and white rhinos.
If there is time you might manage a walk to the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, whom Rhodesia – now Zambia and Zimbabwe – was named after.
Dinner in our lodge.
DAY #4 - MATOBO HILLS to HARARE
Today we turn west and having skirted round Bulawayo yesterday, today we’ll have the pleasure of experiencing driving through this relaxed and attractive city, the second largest in the country. With its wide, jacaranda-lined avenues which in September should be in full bloom, beautiful parks and charming colonial architecture, it breaths an air of shabby gentility. Take your time to view the old Railway Station, Club House, City Hall where the flower sellers show off their wares and the Bulawayo Club – all of which are now heritage sites. Sparkling clean limos alongside very dusty 4x4s, and immaculately kept suburban lawns make this a city of fascinating contrasts.
From here we continue in the direction of the capital, Harare. About an hour from the capital we arrive at our destination for the next two nights, a beautiful riverside lodge set in the middle of 13000 acres of untouched bush and wilderness.
DAY #5 - DAY TO RELAX & ENJOY OUR LODGE ACTIVITIES
Breakfast when you feel like it and then the day to enjoy all the activities this beautiful lodge has on offer.
Horse-riding, canoeing, bush walks, fishing are just a few of the optional activities on offer. We have arranged a Lion’s Den Encounter where you will get up very close to these beautiful animals and learn the threats they encounter in the wild.
Lunch is included and of course we will all meet up for dinner in the evening.
DAY #6 - HARARE TO TETE (MOZAMBIQUE)
Totally relaxed and ready to continue our journey, we leave after a good breakfast. Today is the first border control of our adventure and we never know how much of an “African Experience” we will get. This is an important arterial road serving Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi so there will be many lorries.
Mozambique continues to be a politically torn country with the government group and the rebels periodically fighting each other in different areas of the country. Our one night in this country will be in the sprawling noisy metropolis of Tete which is the centre for their coal business. The Zambezi river runs through the middle of Tete and since our last visit they have completed another major bridge across it, as long queues would form.
Dinner in the hotel.
DAY #7 - TETE TO LAKE MALAWI(MALAWI)
Leaving after an early breakfast we turn in a north-westerly direction towards our second border crossing of this journey at Dedza. The first part of our journey will be through rolling hills and bushland, with countless small thatched villages along the way. A lot of villagers walking in the road going about their daily activities.
After Dedza there is a definite change in the air – lighter hearted and more smiles around – as we proceed to wind our way down the escarpment of the East African Rift. As we descend you will start to catch glimpses of Lake Malawi – the 9th biggest lake in the world and the 3rd in Africa – which was naturally formed in the southernmost part of the East African Rift system.
Arriving at our lodge and retreat, home for the next 2 nights, you can appreciate the beauty of the lakeside setting. Our rooms are private bungalows looking out over the lake.
We have timed our visit so that the spa is open during our stay so make sure, if you feel like getting some African pampering, that you book your spot.
Dinner will be a buffet on the lakeside terrace under the stars.
DAY #8 - LAKE MALAWI
If your idea of a day off is water-skiing, the spa retreat, sailing or simply lying in a hammock under palm trees reading a book and gazing out over the lake, there is something for everyone. If you enjoy fishing it is worth mentioning that this lake is home to more fish species than any other.
If there are enough of you interested, we can arrange to charter their boat and go out to Boadzula Island where you can snorkel and see the colourful fish darting in and out of the rocks. On the way we can watch the proud Fish Eagles swooping down to catch the fish thrown from the stern of the boat.
Dinner again by candlelight on the lakeside terrace.
DAY #9 - LAKE MALAWI TO LILONGWE (MALAWI)
A shorter day today. We retrace our route back towards the Rift Escarpment and then follow the lake northwards before turning east to the capital of this “Warm hearted” country.
Our pleasant country lodge is situated in 650 hectares of a private forest reserve and a successful dairy farm. The hotel also supports a Cultural Village that you are welcome to go and visit.
Dinner back at the lodge.
DAY #10 - LILONGWE TO SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK (ZAMBIA)
A pleasant buffet breakfast enjoyed while looking out over the lodges’ peaceful gardens and then we depart for one of this adventure’s highlights – our tented camp set in South Luangwa National Park.
Our third border crossing at Chipata followed by what has been described as a “bouncy” road.
This Park is one of the last true great wildlife wonders of the world with some 9.000 square kms of pristine wilderness. Countless wildlife species roam wild and there is a good leopard population which shouldn’t be missed on a night-time game drive. Flatdogs, the name of our camp, means Crocodile, and we are staying 2 nights here to enjoy to the maximum the wonderful atmosphere and activities on offer. The camp is situated on the edge of the park and there are no fences which means animals roam freely.
Dinner in camp.
DAY #11 - FLATDOGS CAMP & SOUTH LUANGWA PARK
A total of 4 game drives can be taken during our stay and watch out for the elephants that frequently roam through our camp. Impala, hippos, giraffe and many others also call by, as curious about us as we are of them!
Between safaris there is a pleasant swimming pool to relax by, or you could ask to go and visit one of the community projects the camp is involved in or some of the local artisan workshops.
Lunch is included and we’ll all meet up for dinner in the evening and then move to sit around the wonderful campfire and enjoy all the wildlife sounds out in the bush.
DAY #12 - SOUTH LUANGWA TO PETAUKE (ZAMBIA)
Always a bit sad to leave Flatdogs after the amazing wildlife experiences we will have had, but our journey continues to our next night’s destination in a small local village.
Our 2* lodge is a real African Experience. Owned by an ex local diplomat Mr Mwelwa Tembo and his wife, all the rooms which are in small bungalows have been gaily painted with local wildlife scenes to recreate a Zambian village atmosphere.
Small private terrace and gardens where we can sit and enjoy a local beer before our dinner. Maybe we’ll be given their famous “Village Chicken”!!
DAY #13 - PETAUKE TO LUSAKA
An early start so that we can get to our next lodge in good time. We must brave our way through the mad traffic of the Zambian capital, Lusaka, before heading northwards into the countryside to the Private Game Park where our lodge is located.
Arriving in good time means we can go and interact with their cheetahs. These are the fastest mammals on earth and they are quite willing to let you get up close, but you always feel you are being honoured to be in their presence.
The lodge has various “insaka” areas – village lounging places – where you can relax and enjoy the amazing panoramas of the Zambian bush. The Impili Insaka & Deck is a great place to have a sundowner whilst looking out over Chitoka Lake and seeing one of Zambia’s stunning African sunsets. A full-sized pool table and table tennis are available if you want some “exercise” after the plentiful buffet dinner!
DAY #14 - LUSAKA TO SIAVONGA (ZAMBIA)
Shorter day today, but we will plan to leave at 09.30 to try and avoid the rush hour traffic as we head back south through Lusaka and then on down to the north-eastern side of Lake Kariba. This is the world’s largest man-made lake in volumetric terms.
Our lodge which is located on the eastern shoreline sits on a green hillside with magnificent views out over the water. Surrounded by tropical gardens there are a total of 4 swimming pools to choose from. The main one has a large terrace shaded by jacaranda trees where you can enjoy a lunch snack, and this is where we will also eat our dinner buffet in the evening.
During the afternoon, time and weather permitting and for those wanting, we can arrange a sundowner boat cruise on the lake. You can also arrange to enjoy a relaxing massage in the hotel’s spa.
DAY #15 - SIAVONGA TO LIVINGSTONE (ZAMBIA)
Leave straight after breakfast as a long rather uneventful ride today. Get to our spectacular 5* lodge situated on the banks of the Zambezi as early as possible to enjoy the beautiful setting and make good use of the wonderful spa facilities. A very impressive high Mokuti roof forms the entrance hall and lounge area with wonderful views over the river.
Optional possibility of joining a sundowner river cruise.
Dinner will be on the deck of the Gwembe Terrace situated by the river and around the pool. Watch an amazing African sunset over the river while enjoying a cocktail and sampling some of the plentiful variety of food from the buffet.
DAY #16 - LIVINGSTONE TO VICTORIA FALLS (ZIMBABWE)
Distance: 85km or 14.5km
On this the last day of our adventure we will all depart after breakfast but in two directions. Those with motorcycles to return will proceed to the border with Botswana at Kazungula and then on to Kasane where the bikes will be checked over and handed back. From there it will be the same 45-minute transfer through the Zambezi National Park to our lodge in Victoria Falls where the rest of the team will be waiting.
The non-bikers will be taken by transfer from the David Livingstone lodge, across the “bungee” bridge and back into Victoria Falls to the lodge.
Time to relax and enjoy the surrounds and in the evening we’ll all meet up at the terrace bar for a drink before our adventure celebratory dinner on the terrace, 16 days and 4000 kms later.
DAY #17 - VICTORIA FALLS (ZIMBABWE)
On this your final day of the tour breakfast is served as usual at the hotel and depending on your travel arrangements you are then free to explore this exciting, colourful area more. Transfers to the airport on this day are included and will be arranged for you.
16 nights twinshare accommodation. (15 quality African lodges/tented camp 3-4* & 1 local style 2*).
Food & Drink
16 substantial breakfasts
16 evening meals - 2-3 courses
2 lunches on days off at Harare lodge and Flatdogs
BMW GS1200 recent model for 15 riding days with full insurance. Pick up & drop-off in Kasane, Botswana.
Bikers will leave a deposit to cover excess.
Note: For those preferring we can offer the BMW GS800 twin.
GPS - Garmin Montana 600
Installed with our daily routes in Tracks4Africa software
Mitas dual purpose tyres.
Return airport transfers at Victoria Falls airport on the specified tour dates.
Transfers to/from Kasane for hirebikes. (Only for bikers)
John will ride throughout the group/s during the riding days.
Assistance/medic vehicle equipped with satellite phone, first aid equipment, fridge, compressor, spare tyres etc., and pulling a trailer with spare bike. Second assistance vehicle for 4×4 passenger clients, carrying all personal luggage, pulling second trailer.
Dedicated paramedic driving the equipped assistance vehicle.
Rhino Safari in Matobo Hills, Zimbabwe
2 safaris/activities daily at Flatdogs - total 4.
Lion's Den drive at Harare
All airfares to/from start/finish of the tour. Flying in and out of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Personal Insurance (Obligatory)
All personal medical insurance with repatriation.
Anticipate about US$400 for the entire trip following the itinerary
Border Charges for bikes
anticipate these borders - See Fact sheet.
Zim from Kasane (Botswana)
Zim into Moz
Moz into Malawi
Malawi into Zam
Zam back to Kasane (Botswana)
Zimbabwe - (Bikers will require single & double entry. Non-bikers a double entry)
Most nationalities cost: single - US$55; double - US$70.
Mozambique - US$50
Malawi - US$50
Zambia - US$50
All vaccinations required for entry into Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
Food & Drink
Lunches, drinks and snacks. (Except the 2 lunches specified as included)
All other optional activities on offer during the tour.
The excess deposit which is arranged directly with the supplier of the BMWs in Kasane.
15000rand = approx. 1000€ held against your credit card but not charged.
All your personal riding gear for the duration of the tour, including a “Camelback” or similar 2-litre drinking system(Obligatory).
MOTO AVENTURES EUROPA S.L.
(hereinafter referred to as ‘the Company’) accepts clients, any accompanying 4×4 passengers and pillion passengers (hereinafter referred to collectively as ‘the Client’) subject to the following conditions:
- BOOKING AND PAYMENTS
- The 30% deposit paid at the time of booking is accepted as part of the total cost of the tour and will not be refunded unless the applicant cannot be offered a place.
- The balance of the total cost for the tour must reach us no later than EIGHT weeks before the tour date.
Cancellation charges on BALANCE payments are as follows;
- 7 - 8 weeks before departure by Client - 50% refund.
- 4 - 7 weeks before departure by Client - 40% refund.
- 2 - 4 weeks before departure by Client - 25% refund.
- 0 - 2 weeks before departure by Client - no refund.
- The Client must
- be in possession of a full motorbike driving license at all times during the tour
- have made known to the Company any endorsements or restrictions made to his driving license by the licensing authorities.
- be 25 years or older.
- Only the Client recognized and accepted by the Company may drive the motorbike.
- Should the Client cause the motorbike to be retained or embargoed, all costs will be payable by the Client, including any losses to the Company whilst the motorbike is immobilized.
- All fines, judicial costs, etc., derived from any form of traffic infraction or other, which are against the motorbike, the Company or the Client, and caused by the Client during the period of this contract, will be payable by the Client except when caused by the Company.
- ACCIDENTS, THEFT, BREAKDOWN
- In case of accident, theft or breakdown, the Client must immediately communicate this fact to the Company or its representative.
- In no case accept culpability for an accident, except in the “Amicable declaration of Accidents” form.
- The Client must obtain all details of the other party and any witnesses, and the Client will give these and all other details of the accident to the Company or its representative within 24 hours.
- Advise the authorities immediately if the other party is responsible for the accident.
- The Client understands that:
- he/she is responsible for his/her own personal insurance with repatriation
- acknowledges the inherent risk and dangers of the tour
- will travel entirely at his/her own risk
- neither the Company, its agents, or any other person assisting with them, is liable for any personal loss, injury, accident, damage, delay or inconvenience, whether caused by acts of the Company, its agents or events outside the Company’s control (e.g. strikes, civil war, mechanical breakdown, weather etc.)
- due to the nature of the tour, no responsibility can be accepted by the Company for any damage, loss, or accident to a Client’s vehicle or other property, whether owned, on hire, or loaned to the Client.
- if the Client leaves the tour voluntarily before completion of the tour, or is required to do so by a Company representative, then all liability that the Company may bear to that Client will cease immediately, and the Company will have no responsibility for repatriation or any other expenses incurred by the Client which may arise out of such an event.
- he/she will abide by the authority and decisions of the Company and/or its representatives.
- The Company reserves the right to alter or cancel all or part of the tour without prior notice. If a tour is cancelled, any payments already received by the Company will be refunded in full.
- The Client will comply strictly with the laws and customs of all countries visited, whether in respect of health, immigration, exchange control, drugs, or any other matter.
-Any dispute that may arise between the Client and the Company will be dealt with under the jurisdiction of the country where the Company is registered .
- Costs incurred by the Company (including lawyer and procurator fees) whilst reclaiming monies owed by the Client from this contract, will be payable by the Client.
- All distances and information quoted in our itineraries are approximates. These are meant as a rough guide and can vary if there is a change of route. At all times we will try to maintain this itinerary but due to climatic conditions or availability of accommodation the company might have to alter part of it.
- The Company reserves the right to alter or change all or part of these Terms & Conditions without prior notice.