On all our South African tours we will be travelling through varied climates and we cover distance and altitudes. In general, South African riding conditions can be compared with those in southern Europe and the same riding gear is appropriate. The Northern South Africa Tour is likely to be a little warmer overall than the Southern Cape routes, but there’s not really much in it.
Being such a high country, Lesotho can be a bit cooler – more like a British summer. At Sani Top it can get down to 0ºC overnight. However, other parts of this tour are in the desert where it might reach 35ºC.
As, ever the message is to dress in layers and have something windproof to put on if you need it.
Compulsory on tour. If buying a new ‘lid’ specifically for your tour, then consider one with a venting system. If an open-faced helmet is your preference then you’ll need a face-protecting visor for cruising at speed. Also good for these tours, with a good blend of face-protection and ventilation, is an adventure-style helmet. Any decent full-face helmet is also perfect for these tours.
Vented summer gloves are the best bet to beat sweaty digits, but you may get cold hands up high or if it rains. Summer-style, waterproof gloves are ideal for all-round use.
One, or two-piece leathers are fine, but will still require you to bring a waterproof over-jacket, or an over-suit. Armoured textile jackets are a good bet generally, especially those with venting and breathable waterproof linings.
Again, armoured textile trousers are a good way to go. Likewise, leather, or protective jeans are good when backed-up with over-trousers.
Sturdy boots, covering the ankle, are a minimum requirement. We would recommend, though, that you wear ‘proper’ bike boots with shin protection. Touring-type, or enduro/adventure boots fit the bill well, as do race boots, especially those with ventilation. Consider the enduro/adventure kit for those tours with more dirt riding.
Other Clothing & Kit
The list below isn’t everything you might need to bring on one of our tours (some pants might also be nice), but highlights things that are best not forgotten. Some of these items (insect repellent, hats, etc) can be bought locally in South Africa.
- A snood is great for keeping dust out of the nose, for added warmth when needed and can even be worn as a hat to keep the sun off, or warmth in
- Sunglasses with UV protection are important
- Bring cool, thin socks, plus warmer ones
- Sandals are great for off-bike footwear, but also bring trainers or light walking boots if you intend to trek
- If you have a weak back, a kidney-belt may be helpful
- A fleece is good for both cool evenings and for under-jacket warmth
- A money belt, or waistpack in which to carry valuables and documents
- A sun hat, especially if you’re bald!
- Basic first aid kit: a few plasters and antiseptic cream
- Any regular medication you need
- Swimming cossie if you fancy a plunge with the sharks
- Insect Repellent – only ones with DEET content are reliable
- Sun Block
- Lip Salve with UV block
- Alarm whether on phone or not
- Malt whiskey for sharing with staff