The idea hatches.
During the summer of 2010, a new vision of distant horizons flooded our nomadic minds. Always ready to submit to calls from afar, we decided to take on two of the most beautiful countries in Southern Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The plan originally took shape around a short scenic tour to Kolmanskop just outside Luderitz, Namibia. (S26 42.179 E15 13.865).
As the days dragged by, so the route increased... as it always does.
A genaral idea took shape during April of 2010 after a trip to Madagascar with good friends was postponed. We finally decided on a circular route, covering the Eastern parts of Botswana, Southern tip of Zambia and almost the entire length of Namibia. The total distance, according to the maps used came to 5600 kilometres, with an average of 300 kilometres per day. This does not sound like much, but unforseen delays, visiting special places and a constant desire to have a cold beer would make the days fly by...
This map indicates the full circle as it was planned. It is obvious that it will increase or decrease as the road unfolds. Nothing here is cast in stone, only drawn in sand.
How will this be acheived?
There is only one way to do this in our opinion. Any BMW motorcycle, as long it has off-road capabilities. We will be using the BMW GS 1150 Adventure. There is no doubt that this magnificent legend will take us all the way, without breaking a sweat. It has proven itself to be one of the most reliable, durable, unbreakable machines ever built. Taking load like a freight train, comfortably managing legal speed limits with astonishing stability, this is the purists choice. Using it's legendary 85hp Boxer engine and 30 litres of fuel on board, it's passangers can consume 550 kilometres, seated 850 (driver) and 900mm (passanger) off the ground before taking on fuel again.
Without doubt, the second most important survival tool will be the Garmin Zumo 55o. With maps loaded from Cape Town to central Africa, it is an absolute must have. Rugged, waterproof and easy to use, it has a track record second to none. Trip logs and tracks can make the difference between peace of mind and fighting for survival. It stood us in good stead in the past, it will do so again.
Nice to have. We installed the Interphone F4 bike-to-bike communication sytems to both our helmets. This intercom system stays connected through "Bluetooth" technology and delivers stunning stereo sound quality for up to 300 meters through slimline earphones, aided by the noise reduction microphone. It can be paired with a cellular phone, music player and GPS should these devices have "Bluetooth" capibilities. Preliminary testing looks promising.
This is our story... Departure - 10 June 2010.
The obious question would be, "what do we pack?"
As already mentioned, the BMW Adventure was designed to carry tremendous load, comfortably dealing with driver, passanger and items listed below.
This is a complete list of items we will take along for the ride. It might appear laughable at first glance, yet is was carefully thought through and based on previous encounters with the open road.
Riding gear - all leather, as that has always been a favourite.
A very light load of personal clothing, mostly thermal as it's winter.
Bathroom assesories - minimum.
Passports, credit card, drivers license and insurance documents.
Cash - ZAR.
Two sleeper tent.
Two sleeping bags.
4 x Bic lighter.
Very good Leatherman.
Survival pack of dry rations.
Water, depending on distance between watering holes.
Normal BMW toolkit.
1 x 500ml multigrade motor oil.
1 x 250ml brake fluid.
Pack of 50 cable ties.
Decent training on "running repairs" from BMW technicians.
Cheap cellular phone.
Very rugged portable PC.
12 Volt Neon lamp fitted with BMW adapter.
Flyfishing gear, fresh- and saltwater.
Hard copies of maps - Botswana and Namibia.
TOTAL WEIGHT: (Including passangers and motorbike.)
520kg - Remarkable !!
There is NO motorcycle from any manufacturer other than BMW that has such spectacular capibilities and will keep going even when the tarred road ends.
Adjustments made to the obvious, ingenuity a remarkable tool...