Taking on a really big challenge

Tips from our experience

1.      Travel Light – Everybody say it but we all fall in the same trap. When you overload your bike it will increase the chances of break downs – pannier brackets and shocks takes a beating.

2.      Spare Tubes – Take at least one front and back spare tube with and make sure that you pack it properly. Do not throw it in a pannier or top box, because it will chafe through with the vibration of the bike. A good place is to pack it amongst your clothes or to tie it with cable ties on the outside of the bike.

3.      Alien registration in Sudan – When entering Sudan you have to register within three days as an Alien at an Alien office. This is done for a nominal fee and an official stamp will be endorsed in you passport.

4.      Residential stamp in Egypt – You also need a residential stamp in Egypt put into you passport. This can be done at a Hotel or at the Immigration and Passport offices.

5.      Fixers in Sudan/Egypt – You need assistance from the locals at the Sudanese and Egyptian border posts. They will make your life much easier to book tickets, fill out forms and translate at the control points.

6.      Resting stops. – It is important to rest enough and not do to long distances between rests. We found that a 10 min rest every 100 km or after 1 hour was enough. On slow riding gravel roads we rested every 30 km.

7.      Roadblocks – There are many roadblocks throughout Africa, often after every village. Have your Passport, drivers licence and road use certificate handy to produce without having to park and open panniers or top boxes.

8.      Early morning riding – We have found that we enjoyed riding the most, early mornings or late afternoons. Photo opportunities are also better at these times. It becomes unbearably hot at midday the further you travel north of the equator.

9.      Bike Intercom – We have found that it worked very well as long as you keep the batteries charged. It does make the ride more interesting if you can talk to one another or listen to music on an iPod.

10.  Carnet de Passage – Do not attempt to ride through Africa without a Carnet de Passage. This document you can get with the assistance of the AA.

11.  GPS – The use of a GPS has saved us a lot of time and made the journey more enjoyable. Make sure that the maps on the GPS are current and if possible get additional street maps software for big cities on your route.

12.  Throttle lock – We have found that this little device has made our journey a pleasure and we used it a lot on the long open tar roads.

13.  Air hawk seat – This definitely works and will help the lame less that one tends to get from sitting long hours on the motorbike.

14.  High Screen – The high screen has also made the ride more comfortable and does take a lot of the wind buffering away when doing reasonable speeds.

15.  Tool Kit – Make sure that you have a comprehensive toolkit amongst the group. There is no need to duplicate tools and have the tools handy to be able to get to them without having to unpack everything.

16.  General things not to leave at home – Cable ties, Pratley Steel, Insulation tape, Chain lube, Tyre repair kit and Compressor.

17.  Spares to take on a long trip – Sprockets, chain, throttle cable, clutch cable and a collection of different size nuts, washers and bolds.

18.  General – Cable tie spokes together of front and back wheels.

19.  Petrol – We had to regularly buy petrol on the Black Market in Malawi and Ethiopia. It can cost up to double the normal price. Keep an old stocking handy to pour the petrol through when filling you tank, to keep dirt from entering. 


30 responses

  1. Bly julle kon ‘n dag ontspan en weer alles regkry. Geniet julle verslae baie en die foto’s is pragtig.Gelukkig raak die vrag al ligter soos wat julle goed vergeet op die vorige plekke?! Beplan julle al ‘n volgende trip? Wat van Suid Amerika? E

    April 11, 2011 at 20:01

  2. Hi Stelio and Farmers

    Nick and Leo are highly impressed with the Greek and good luck to all you guys.
    Please give us more pictures as we would love to experience what you guys are enjoying.

    April 8, 2011 at 16:19

  3. Hi, Julle “trip’ laat selfs ‘n Ouma Blog! Ek het gedink julle is bietjie stapel gek maar nou raak ek jaloers! Bly dit gaan goed. Julle daaglikse verslae raak net beter en beter en die foto’s!!! Geniet alles, ons toer elke dag saam.

    April 5, 2011 at 07:36

  4. montyme

    Just read and looked at photo’s of Day 4 – am envious in some ways but not when I see how knackered you and Norman look, Rich. How are the backsides feeling after being in the saddle so long! Joe’s Beer Bar looked great. Lovely photo’s and scenery. Look after those keys and gloves … routine, routine, routine. Look forward to reading the next posting. Keep up the good work. xxx

    April 4, 2011 at 02:00

  5. Hi Guys
    Looking good so far! Keep the eyes and tyres on the road. Had Anne’ and the kids over last night Rufus. The kids had a ball and the ladies chatted up a storm. Keep safe guys, I’ve got all the locals here ‘rooting’ for your safe journey there and back!

    April 3, 2011 at 13:00

  6. gloriagracie

    Hi Norman & fellow bikers Glad the bike problem is sorted out and that you’re on the road again. You are constantly in my thoughts & prayers. I so enjoy reading the updates, seeing your great pics & following your progress. Enjoy!! God bless you all. Gloria

    April 2, 2011 at 20:39

    • Here is somthing to keep you all smiling 🙂

      A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a KLR 650 motorcycle when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop.
      The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage “Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?”

      The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his ha nds on a rag and said, “So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new.
      So how come I make R150 000 a year, a pretty small salary and you get the really big bucks R1,500000 when you and I are doing basically the same work?”
      The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic…………………………..
      “Try doing it with the engine running.”

      April 4, 2011 at 17:03

  7. ernaloretz

    Hi julle, ek is baie bly julle is veilig by Augrabies en ook dat jou bike toe nie ‘n groot fout gehad het nie Rufus! Sterkte vir die trip verder more, ry versigtig en geniet dit!!

    April 1, 2011 at 21:57

  8. All the best guys. I’ll be following your progress closely. Please post pics when you can.

    April 1, 2011 at 10:18

  9. Good Luck Norman & Friends!! We’ll be thinking of you and following you all the way!

    Cath & Greg

    March 31, 2011 at 10:56

  10. brademslie

    Good luck guys-hav a blast!! Look forward to following ur progress!!Happy biking!!

    March 30, 2011 at 20:59

  11. Hi Guys,

    All of the best and look after our Boss!!!!!!!!!!

    March 30, 2011 at 18:27

  12. Dad, Rich, Rufus, Stelious almost time to start tearing up the tar. Good luck with what promises to be the adventure of a life time. I am Super envious and very disappointed that the return leg hasn’t worked out. Enjoy every minute. “when the going gets tough, the Tough get going”

    March 30, 2011 at 10:22

  13. “I have a dream” – such powerful words once spoken Georgious Stelios. With gladdebek Bennett to charm the group out of any trouble; Stormin Norman ready to conquer desert sands and Rufus-on-line organising logistics & IT for the world to watch – you cannot fail! Your combined skills and talents will get you through the toughest times. And when the going gets tough get down on your knees and pray!

    “May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.”
    God bless you all. Enjoy the ride. See you in Cairo !!!!!

    March 29, 2011 at 22:16

  14. Our very best and warmest wishes love and thoughts with you on this big adventure. Be careful and have fun.
    We willbe following you very carefully.
    Allan,Lindsay, Katie and Richard lamb

    March 29, 2011 at 12:10

  15. montyme

    Amazing … it is now almost time for your wonderful men to set off on your journey. Wishing you a safe, fantastic and successful trip. Will be logging on regularly to keep up with how, where and what you are doing. You are truly incredible people, definitely “THE AWESOME FOURSOME”. Take care, have fun, stay safe and remember to always keep your sense of humour. You will be in my thoughts constantly over the next month and a half. Hugs to you all!

    March 29, 2011 at 11:31

  16. 2 Days to go chaps! Sure the butterflies are the size of bats at the moment…
    All the best out there. Its going to be one hell of an experience.
    Will keep checking the website for updates and pics.

    March 29, 2011 at 07:28

  17. Rufus, Richard, Stelious, Norman, I wish you a real blessed time. When things appear to deviate a bit from your wishes, just know that it will at the end be a wonderful treasure in your memory chest. Please just remember all the wisdom that I had attempted to teach you on the limited time I had available on our ride into the Hell. I wish I could now be part of this wonderful tour with four equally wonderful characters. Enjoy every minute. You will be in my prayers and have a permanent place in my (envious) mind.
    Will be in contact.
    Oom Jan van der Westhuysen (

    March 28, 2011 at 11:06

  18. Hi Guys. Heard your interview on Algoa. I did the trip from Egypt down to Cape Town in September last year in 3 weeks, but with Landies (see kent2cape2010 on facebook). I’ve given my number to Vicky, so if you want an update on road conditions, border formalities, fuel & speed strategies etc, give me a call. Otherwise enjoy. Rick

    March 22, 2011 at 12:28

  19. Hi guys, I think what you are doing is AWESOME. I will be following your progress and I will definitely put the word out to all my friends to support this very worth cause. Cassandra, Aston Bay

    March 22, 2011 at 08:25

  20. brademslie

    count down has started. good interview rufus on algoa fm, and a very big well done on setting the web site up!!!

    my old man is visibly nervous and getting quieter by the day. he should b nervous while the cats away the mice will play, we having stock fairs in post retief weekly.

    good luck keep the rubber on the road and follow ur front wheel!!!!
    brad,kate and scott

    March 21, 2011 at 10:42

  21. montyme

    Not long to go now. You must all be filled with excitement and trepidation. Heard from a friend, in Cathcart, that she had donated to you via the local Round Table … hopefully they will soon put in a good donation. Come on you locals DIG DEEP!

    March 19, 2011 at 02:57


    March 10, 2011 at 20:12

  23. rossbennett1993

    Wow i am so impressed with all the progress on the trip thats happening!! I am spreading the word and am so glad that you guys are raising money for the adelaide hospital. The time is running out till you set off but you guys are all prepared good luck well done again rufus for all this admin you are putting together

    March 6, 2011 at 13:49

  24. montyme


    Your website is brilliant. Love looking at the photo’s too – only thing is I get extremely homesick. Could you please confirm if the donation sent by Telegraphic Transfer (on 24 Feb) has arrived yet. If not I will have to chase up this end again. Many thanks

    March 6, 2011 at 03:09

    • Jane

      We have not received anything yet – late Friday. Will follow up on Monday. Thank you in atvance.


      March 6, 2011 at 05:49

      • montyme

        Hi Rufus

        Thanks for that. Eric has confirmed that the donation has finally got there. Thank heavens as I was beginning to believe that some dishonest cretin had got hold of it. All systems go now, hey. Good luck and safe riding to you all. Do hope the donations begin to roll in in earnest. Seems that the locals are very slow to dig deep!!!


        March 12, 2011 at 05:03

  25. Hey guys,

    Can you please add a twitter link the the share page as i have been tweeting about your trip but would be easier to send direct link to website for people to see more!!!


    March 3, 2011 at 16:48

  26. Your website is coming along fantastically. I think there is a slight problem with it “freezing” quite often though. Have you had to re-route at all because of the unrest? At last you starting to get some donations in. Lets hope the cash pours in, s it is such a worthy cause and I am sure most of us have had something to do with ath wonderful hospital. You have had so many hits………come on GIVE A LIITLE MORE…..

    March 3, 2011 at 13:39

  27. At last im on Rufus hope its going to work and i just want to let you know that i really appreciate all the hard work and long hours that you have spent putting the blog together. Lets hope that the public out there will open their wallets, dig deep down in their pockets and come out tops for the adelaide hospital to reach our 1.2 million rand target. Richard Bennett

    February 27, 2011 at 19:12

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