Good to know (FAQ's)
Be well prepared: worthful information and advise all around your tour with Gravel Travel in Namibia & South Africa. You’ll find our terms & travel conditions compiled as PDF for download here. If you have any further queries you’re welcome to call or to mail us.
Do you offer lower seated motor bikes?
Yes, we do! The seat could be lowered down to 72 cm. Should you require lower seat please let us know well in advance, best done with your booking form.
Does Gravel Travel rent out motorbikes?
Unfortunately not. Our motorbikes are strictly used for our guided tours only. From a safety aspect we won’t rent out motorbikes for own travels. Even a puncture or cracked chain can lead to much bigger problems in the middle of nowhere. However our guests booked extension days at our lodge are welcome to rent out a bike for travelling to town for a day rate of € 10,-.
How about pillion rider/co-passengers?
Most tours generally allow to take a companion along as pillion rider but it should be considered that gravel roads are much easier and more relaxing to ride in standing position. Thus riding with pillion rider can get very exhausting and uncomfortable. We offer limited seats in our following service vehicle. Your companion could travel in the car and join stages or part of roads on the motorbike. Please book this option explicitely.
Are my riding skills sufficient to participate with Gravel Travel?
A very important question, please read the following link about „Riding skills“ …
What road conditions can I expect? Our photo galleries do present a very good impression about the kind of roads and surfaces. We very often experience guests that have never been on gravel roads before … although most of them do cope good with that after the first days, but some don’t … and the phase of making yourself familiar with has usually a higher risk of falling. We don’t like to frighten you but also save you from wrong expectations and bad surprises as our aim is to provide you enjoyable holidays on the bike – safe and secure as much as possible.
Most tours run on well maintained, smooth gravel roads. They get graded regularly. However in the rainy season it might be different locally, as after heavy rains the roads can be washed out or silted severely. This can be frightening forn absolute enduro beginner, though it’s highly recommendable to be familiar with that kind of conditions.
Is there any introduction or training offered? Yes, we always have an general introduction into the bikes, the GPS and a first ride about a 100km on the first day of any tour. But it is very important for you to make a certain self-assessment before you book with us: are your riding skills sufficient to handle sudden, dangerous situations (e.g. emergency brake) securely? If you feel unsure, we recommend to participate on a professional training.
If you don’t have options in your region, we usually recommend (Enduropark Hechlingen/Germany) where various types trainings are offered. Basic riding skills are imparted and minimise your risk of accidents significantly. Gravel Travel also offers some training dates per year, an ideal option newcomers as well as for long-time riders without opportunity to go offroad. The trainings take part in lower saxony near Lüneburg. 4x4 trainings for SUV and offroad vehicle driving can be participated at ADAC Fahrsicherheitszentrum Hansa – also in Lüneburg.
Please note, that Namibia and South Africa have left-hand traffic, so for those not used to that, it’s especially important to drive cautiously.
What clothing is required? Our tour season is summer time in Namibia & South Africa. Bring along some light shirts and longsleeves together with shorts, long pants and sturdy shoes and you are prepared. A warm fleece or jacket would be good for cooler evenings at the coast. Whereas evening dresses may better be left at home! Tip: swimming trunks must come along for sure, best kept in your day pack on the bike to be prepared wherever you reach a refreshing pool.
How much luggage may I take along? Please bear in mind that you may not exceed 1 piece of luggage max. 23kg on your flight incl. your biker clothes. A medium sized, robust travel bag is a good average you will get along with. As we cannot handle hard suitcases on tour we ask you to please use soft travel bags only. Wheeled holdalls are a great alternative. Tip: Heavy or bulky clothes can discharge your checked baggage by simply wearing those clothes on the flight. Air Namibia accepts helmets as additional hand luggage though not needed to get stuffed into the main luggage bag.
How about photo/video equipment? Namibia and South Africa are highly predestined for amazing photography. Please don’t forget about the extensive dust and keep your equipment safe from that. We recommend to additionally seal lenses and bodys in zipper bags inside your camera bag. A lens brush and filters are highly recommendable.
Don’t forget the following things:
▪ proofed high sunscreen
▪ UV safe sunglasses best tinted
▪ mosquito repellant
▪ headwear: hat/cap/buff
▪ hydration pack /or daypack with unbreakable drinking bottle
▪ headtorch or small torch
▪ rain suit
Tip: If you however decide to use a suitcase, you must take a long an additional soft travel bag for the tour itself. The suitcase can be stored so long on our lodge. This option will not exist for the Windhoek-Cape Town and vice versa.
What motorcycle gear and other specific equipment should I bring along?
- Helmet: Off-road/Enduro helmet with goggles or dual-sport helmets, very prooved are also modular helmets with flip-up chin bar (eg. Shuberth, Caberg, BMW). A scarf is recommendable.
- Gloves: light breathable summer gloves (e.g. model „namib“ from Held)
- Jacket/pants: best light-coloured, breathable light motorcycle suit with protectors or separate protector jersey, back protector, (e.g. model "hakuna“/ Held). Pants with knee protector (e.g. model „sakai" oder "dakar" / Held)
- Foot gear: highly recommended are high protection enduro/cross boots, soft leather boots are not suitable!
- Drinking gear: a 2L - hydration pack or back pack with hydration bladder is a need.
- A back pack is anyway needed as there is no possibility to use tank-bag with magnets
- Rain gear: a rain suite should be taken along (e.g. model “flint & tempest" / Held)
- A first-aid kit for motorbikers should be on board with anyone
How’s the board & lodging looking like?
Our tours povide an amazing profile of Namibia and South Africa’s Western Cape. We selected our accommodations carefully, they are unique and of very various kind, thus you will experience so many different people and arts of living. We’ve choosen familiar guesthouses, private farmsteads with a personal flair, but also luxury lodges and hotels, so the adventure of lodging and boarding is very colourful. Friendly african hospitality and great, delicious food will get you enthusiatic about it.
As we know from experience, a rich lunch doesn’t match good with riding when being well-fed. That’s why we emphasise to have a rather good breakfast and an extended dinner in the evening, only taking a light lunchpack along from the breakfast table.
Drinking water (mineral water) is always available at the lodges before we start the stage.
Are there vaccinations required for Namibia/South Africa? If you take a direct flight from Germany to NAM/RSA, there is currently no compulsory vaccination required. You should however consult your doctor or a tropical medicine specialist to decide if you want to go for malaria prophylaxis.
You should take into consideration that none of the malaria medication available over the counter may provide absolute protection against the various types of malaria - and some medication may even have bad compatibility. Please further note that at least your Polio- and Tetanus status is up to date.
Also check following links:
Namibia – Foreign travel advice
South Africa – Foreign travel advice
What about sun protection? UV exposure is high to very high in Namibia. Protection by sufficient eye wear, high SPF sunscreen, longsleeve clothing and head gear is therefor very advisable.
Who is caring for first aid? Even potective clothing and careful driving won’t eliminate the risk of accidents and injuries completely. Our guides accompanying you on tour are skilled and prepared to give first aid and help with necessary steps for any rescue action. But we ask you to have a first-aid kit on hand and it is undoubtedly useful to be fit with basic first aid knowledge.
What happens, if something happens?: please follow this link in regards of accident/insurance.
What travel documents do I need? We recommend to visit the websites of your Namibian/South African embassy/commission to look up the specific entry requirements from your home country. Usually Namibia and South Africa grants holiday visa by entry with up to 90 days of validity for most visitors from EU countries and the United States. Decisive is the nationality of your passport, not country of residence if different. The validity of passport must be 6 months minimum beyond your end of travel date. The passport must have two blank pages left at least. We highly recommend to check all travel informations about Namibia (or SouthAfrica) with your country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Do I need a driver’s licence? To participate on our tours you will need an international drivers licence. Please contact your relevant authority well in advance.
What other documents are necessary? Very important is a reference/confirmation about your existent travel insurance. Tip: Advisable are hard copies of your most important documents tucked away separately in case of loss of luggage items or mobile phone. It will ease all trouble to recover your identity and relevant information.
Don't forget to arrange and/or take along
- Travel health insurance (incl. repatriation insurance)
- CreditCard-clearance: make sure with your bank to have unrestricted use in your travel country
- CreditCard-coverage over min. €5000/per person for emergency case
How to handle country’s currency? The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$) and the Rand (ZAR) in South Africa. There’s a cash limit of USD50.000,- in Namibia that may be brought to the country. After arrival at Windhoek or Cape Town it's no problem to easily change cash at forex counters. Master cards and VISA cards also allow to withdraw money from ATM’s nationwide. Credit cards are widely accepted in shops and hotels. We recommend to have at least a bit cash along for any case, usually an equivalent of 250-300 € cash is sufficient to cover the personal extra expenses.
Get help by the Currency converter N$ (NAD) to Euro (EUR).
What power supply is existing in Namibia and South Africa? The network runs on 220/240V AC. Both countries use the 3-pin plugs „BS 546“. Adapters for Europlugs are often provided from lodges and guesthouses. Some hotels even have Euro (CEE) sockets available.
Is there cellphone and internet connection available in Namibia and South Africa? Yes, the cellphone and mobile data network in South Africa is almost everywhere quite good, the coverage of cellphone in Namibia is also well developed, the mobile data (3G or 4G) usually works only close to towns. But latest the lodgings provide WiFi. Only on the Kaokoland Tour your expectations should be lowered as this remote regions often have bad or no connection.
Are there single rooms available on tour? We usually reserve available double/twin rooms. Our selected lodgings are often smaller and have a limit of rooms available. If you wish to have a single room you need to book so with us for a €50 extra charge per night, we recommend to book well in advance however we cannot guarantuee to get a single room everwhere.
Can I book a single room at Windhoek Mountain Lodge? You’re welcome to make a request for a single room at our lodge for additonal charge of € 20, as long as available.
Can I book to share a double room as single traveller? Yes, you can. 80% of our customers are single traveller. The room partners come together easily and usually the first day at the lodge.
May I get a namelist of tour participants? Because of privacy law we do not publish the namelists, however you may exchange contacts with others during the tour.
Can I extend my stay at Windhoek Mountain Lodge before/after the tour? Yes, you can, please send us your request with the extension dates for us to check availability, we then include the booking with the tour.
Can I extend my stay in Namibia or South Africa otherwise? If you like to extend your stay for additional travel time we surcharge € 50 to book your ticket accordingly. Air Namibia flights are almost daily available from Namibia to Germany, same valid for South Africa from Cape Town.
Will I be picked-up at airport? As participant of our tour group, you will get welcomed at the airport and transferred by our tourguide with no charge. Those customers travel individually or coming earlier than the tour travel date, may book a shuttle from us well in advance and pay this directly on site. There are also taxis available and hotels often provide shuttle services in case you extended your stay somewhere else before.
Will I be shuttled to the Windhoek or Cape Town airport? Yes, all participants of our tour group will be brought to airport by our shuttle. Those who extend their stay or take other flights than those booked by us, may take an individual shuttle from our lodge against surcharge. Please inform us well in advance if a shuttle is needed.
How much is the shuttle from/to the Windhoek airport? The shuttle from/to Windhoek Mountain Lodge is about 40,-€ (N$ 595,-). It’s about 1h drive. The shuttle from/to our hotel in Cape Town is about 20,-€ (N$ 320,-). It’s about 45’ min. drive.
What if I need to cancel the booking?
We generally recommend a travel cancellation insurance to cover you in case of late cancellation. However by booking with us at Gravel Travel you agree with our terms & conditions of travel. Those terms are compiled in a separte file to be downloaded here. All details about terms of payments, liability, as well as terms of insurance and cancellation fees are included.