L’Agulhas Motorcycle Trip.
This Gravel and Tar route was completed from Franschhoek to L’Agulhas with the aim of riding as much gravel roads as possible all the way through Caledon, Tesselaarsdal, Papiesvlei, Elim and Struisbaai to L’Agulhas.
L’Agulhas Motorcycle Trip Route Maps:
* Areas marked in red are gravel roads.Get it on Google Maps
L’Agulhas Bike Trip Features:
- Huguenot Monument – Francshhoek
- Francshhoek Pass
- Theewaterskloof Dam
- Van Der Stel Pass – Gravel Pass
- Hawston View Rd – Gravel Road
- Tesselaarsdal – Gravel Roads
- Papiesvlei – Gravel Roads
- Moravian Mission (Church) – Elim
- Coastal Road – Struisbaai
- Cape Agulhas Lighthouse – L’Agulhas
- Southernmost Tip of Africa – L’Agulhas
Franschhoek to L’Agulhas on as much gravel roads as possible!
It has been ages since my last visit to the Southernmost Tip of Africa. First time visiting the area by adventure bike.
This was a completely unplanned trip and I tried to ride as the crow flies, on gravel roads as far as possible, without planning one single part of the trip except the final destination.
Even though this is listed as a day trip I would suggest an overnight stay at L’Agulhas backpackers or any other overnight spot of your liking. The trip took me more than 10 hours to complete. So yes, it can be done in one day if you like a numb bum. (Note: I started from Welgemoed/Bellville)
Early on Saturday morning I set off in the direction of Franschhoek, my starting point for the trip, and reached Franschhoek Pass in good time.
I carried onward through Franschhoek Pass and reached Theewaterskloof dam from where I headed in the direction of Grabouw on the R321. Shortly after passing the bridge over the dam I took one of my favorite gravel passes Van Der Stel Pass. This time however I did not continue all the way to Bot River but rather took a left onto Hawston View Rd.
Hawston View road is just as stunning as Van Der Stel Pass. It is a combination of narrow stretches, tighter s-bends and inclined bends that offer fantastic views over the Overberg region. The road itself is in impeccable condition. I continued on Hawston View Rd until it ended at the R43 from Villiersdorp to Caledon.
From Caledon I got onto the R320(Hermanus Way) towards Hermanus and took the first left turn where the name board states Tesselaarsdal. Seeing as this gravel road is unnamed we will call it Tesselaarsdal Rd.
Tesselaarsdal Rd is a beauty. This road is as good as riding on tar most of the way. It offers hidden gems such as an old bridge where you can decide if you want to ride over the bridge or next to it through the mostly dried up river. This road offers various options in terms of destinations with side roads that go to Hermanus or Elim. There are road signs at every intersection so you cannot get lost, unless you are doing so intentionally.
The road ends at the R326 to Stanford. I ventured onto the R326 towards Stanford until I passed Raka Wines (on the left) and a couple of km thereafter you reach a name board Papiesvlei. Make sure to start slowing down a tad after Raka. I missed the turn-off and had to turn around. If you reach the Pass (Paardeberg Pass) then you know you missed the turn-off.
Papiesvlei being the next gravel stretch of the trip turned out somewhat testing.
The road is a mixture of gravel, clay, and in not too many places I encountered a bit of soft sand mixed with loose gravel that tried to get the better of me. These testing stretches tends to sneak up on you just before or after a corner.
At the end of the Papiesvlei road I got onto the R43 towards Elim.
After a quick scenic ride through Elim on the R43 I reached the gravel road to Struisbaai. This gravel road is a hard-packed wide road and felt like the N1 of gravel roads. Very wide, lots of traffic and as good as riding on tar. The scenery however remained breath taking.
The Struisbaai Gravel road does become a bit tiresome as it consists of vast straight stretches and no matter how fast I traveled it still felt at times as if the straights were never ending.
To be honest this was not one of my favorite roads but it still beats most tarred roads.
After surviving the straights I finally reached the end of the road and the beginning of a new one, the R319 to Struisbaai.
I rode through a very quite Struisbaai. It was just after the school holidays ended. The main road led me past the ocean with a fresh sea breeze and heart-warming views all the way into L’Agulhas.
From the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse I found the gravel road that leads to the Southernmost Tip of South Africa.
With over eagerness to reach the tip I almost toppled over a view times on the large loose rocks on the gravel path leading into the parking area.
After reaching my goal for the day and with many hours spent on exciting and scenic gravel roads it was time to head back towards the place I call home.
It would have been great to call it a day and check in at the local backpackers but alas. I had a prior engagement set for the next morning.
My return journey was simple and on tarred roads through Bredasdorp, Caledon, Villiersdorp, Franschhoek, and then home.
Considering I only reached home at 8pm and left at 9am, a bit of trip planning might have saved me some time…. or maybe not.
What a journey. Enjoy the footage below. Next trip coming soon!
L’Agulhas Bike Trip Videos:
Full Trip Teaser:
Hawston View Rd:
Road from Elim to Struisbaai:
L’Agulhas Bike Trip Photo Gallery: