Detailed tour descriptions

These itineraries are also available in a more readable and printer-friendly pdf format, from within each of the individual tour description pages.

Himalayan Heights

Himalayan Heights Motorcycle Safari

This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by an Australian group of riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as Nepal and Bhutan, Turkey, Morocco, Peru-Chile-Bolivia, Rajasthan, Iceland, the Dalmatian coast, Mexico-Guatemala-Belize, and South Africa, as well as this one through the Indian Himalaya, all of approximately three weeks in duration.


Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make the final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our agent in Delhi, local authorities and group members.

Package Price

The Himalayan Heights tour price, excluding airfares and joining in New Delhi, is US$6,750-00. Riders must have a valid and unrestricted rider's licence. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of seats available in our support vehicle, a 15-seater minibus which accompanies the riders for the Safari – price for pillion or passenger is US$6,250-00. Please note that our prices are subject to exchange rates and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions, up to the date of final payment.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability but we will accept the Au$ equivalent. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to settle your account. Final payment of the US$ invoice will be due 60 days before tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before because you feel the exchange rate to Au$ is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.

Price includes

Full motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari (500cc Enfield Bullet)
Clean, friendly, mid-range accommodation throughout the Safari, nights 1 to 20 inclusive
Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$900-00) 1
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Experienced guide, local agent and Enfield mechanics
Minibus support vehicle and driver, for luggage transport and assistance
Spare parts, tools, medicines, first aid equipment
All fuel costs, maintenance and repairs, third party insurance for the bikes
Airport transfers if arriving & departing via our suggested Singapore Airlines flights
A complimentary World On Wheels long-sleeved Safari shirt, luggage tags and Himalayan maps

1 Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an acceptable roommate. But if you're the last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or preferably both!

Price excludes

Airfares to/from Delhi (approx. Au$1,800-00)
Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx. Au$207-00 for 24 days) 2
Tourist visa for India (currently Au$75-00, valid for six months)
Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)
Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs and all drinks
Tips for staff at tour completion; optional but always appreciated, US$100-00 suggested 3

2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you wish, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$207-00 (single, 24 days). Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or government Medicare resumes at that point.

3 A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Daily hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room, and our mechanics, drivers and support staff anticipate reasonable tips to supplement their modest wages whilst on tour with us. We suggest something like US$100-00 is affordable for your three weeks (only about US$5-00 per day), distributed amongst the crew. If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously! (… if you haven't, please let us know).

Our benevolent side

It is important to us to make a positive contribution to some of the less privileged communities that we visit. Our strongest connection is with India, and in focusing our efforts we have decided certain communities therein are most deserving of our care and support. We provide financial support and facilitate the donation of clothing to the Ganga Brijghat Charitable Trust, a registered help center for poor and underprivileged people at Brijghat, on the shores of the Ganga (the holy river Ganges), about 90k east of Delhi.

International Flights

You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Himalayan Heights' tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and they can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. Our suggested flight is Singapore Airlines SQ406, arriving at 20:05pm, and if you arrive on this flight we will meet you at the airport for transfer to your hotel.

Food & Health

Quality of food can obviously be a concern when visiting exotic foreign lands. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals and the local fare is not always as fiery and spicy as some people would have you believe. Our clients are often pleasantly surprised by the delicious meals available. Even so, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time.

Climate & Clothing

It is perhaps unfortunate (or perhaps not) that the mountain roads into and out of Ladakh are only passable for the warm months of the northern summer, Jul / Aug / Sept. Even then there is usually some snow, so good cold-weather gear is necessary. The air is crisp and clean in the mountains and the days are usually sunny and warm, but the Himalaya is always unpredictable so we need to be prepared for any eventuality. We can promise you some very hot days, some very cold days, and some very wet days – possibly all in the same day! At times there will be little shade available, so plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets should be brought with you from home, full-face or open-face a matter of personal preference.

Professional quality riding gear such as Cordura jackets, overpants and other protective clothing is an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Jackets are particularly versatile if they have a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and protection. But if you're susceptible to the cold, then probably a good set of thermal underwear would also come in handy. A couple of other products we've used for several years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-lined jeans and clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne ( www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those Velcro alternatives to 'occy' straps from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've recently teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard, Kevin Magee, Mark Willis....) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an international adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction and you're in the Sydney vicinity, there's a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and then on bush trails and gives real-time coaching via helmet-to-helmet bluetooth comms (he provides). Check him out on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid

Other important information you should note

India is not everyone's 'cup of tea'. It can be an extreme assault on the senses. In order to fully appreciate India's true beauty you will need the ability to leave western values behind and turn a blind eye to some of the harsher aspects of life in a developing nation. If you can do this, you will find it truly a rewarding experience.

India can be quite trying in other ways also. The riding conditions are sometimes arduous and whilst 200k or so would appear to be quite an easy day's ride, this is not always so. Some days may require us to be on the road early to beat the morning traffic, and the days can be long and hot. It is obviously expected that you are able to handle a motorbike competently and are fit and strong enough to cope with some demanding conditions. An important part of this is your mental approach and attitude. If you are the type of person who prefers lounging by the poolside with a dry martini, then perhaps this motorcycle safari is not for you. Try Club Med instead! (But having said that, at least one of our hotels does have a pool, so bring your swimsuit with you!)

Be prepared to rough it a bit, be prepared to accept delays and hastily changed plans, be prepared to be tolerant of India's oft-bungling bureaucracy and ineptitude. Be flexible and above all, bring your sense of humour. But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions. It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraph 15 of our Terms and Conditions! (End of sermon)

The Classic 'Royal' Enfield Bullet

Originally manufactured by The Royal Enfield Motorcycle Co of Redditch, Worcestershire, production of the Enfield ceased in Great Britain due to financial difficulties in the mid-1950s. The Indian subsidiary acquired the production line, transferred operations to Madras and simply continued to build Enfield Bullets without bothering to change any original design specifications. To this day they continue to churn out brand new, 60 year old bikes!

The Enfield is a true classic, with the single cylinder 500cc engine producing a deep, throaty rumble and powerful torque that have prompted some to christen it the two-wheeled tractor. At idle speed you can audibly count the engine revolutions per minute. High speed is not what the Enfield is about (any faster than about 60kph in India is suicidal anyway!), it's about aesthetics, comfort and style. Riding an Enfield gives a pure, unadulterated pleasure - particularly through the stunning scenery where you're going. It is the touring perfect bike for this part of the world, taking the rough roads easily in its stride.


Detailed Daily Itinerary


Day 1 of your trip involves the logistics of having all of you fly from different starting points at different times and somehow all meet up in Delhi. From your first glance at the sprawling metropolis you will immediately begin to appreciate that India is a land of contrasts, a land of diversity and variation unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Abject, squalid slums sit incongruously alongside amazing modern buildings of stunning beauty, like the lotus shaped Ba'hai temple. Five star hotels are served by 1950's-vintage Morris Oxford taxi cabs with engines the same size as their batteries. Something like 14 million people somehow manage to eke out an existence in this city whose levels of activity continue to escalate at an apparently unsustainable pace. At times confusing, at times challenging and at all times chaotic, Delhi is never still, never restful and never boring.

If arriving on our recommended flight you will be met at Delhi airport by our representative for your safe and rapid transfer to the hotel, to minimise what can sometimes be a testing introduction to the country.

Day 2 has us on an air-conditioned train, the Shatabdi Express, heading north to the Haryana state capital of Chandigarh. This relatively small city is a much better place than Delhi in which to come to terms with the vagaries of your motorcycle! Even the experienced biker will find the Enfield tricky to start until shown the TDC secret, but the purring chug of the single cylinder will have you falling in love with it immediately.

So, we practise a bit in the carpark to the amusement of the inevitable crowd of local onlookers, before heading out onto the road to tackle India's daunting traffic for the first time. We deliberately break you in gently, with a short casual ride of only 30k to Parwanoo where our hotel has a swimming pool and a cable car to take you to your rooms.

Day 3 sees us proceeding another 90k along a hilly and winding road to the Himachal state capital of Shimla, frequently alongside the railway track where the 'Toy Train' runs on narrow-gauge line through more than 100 separate tunnels in less than 100km, up to this picturesque hill station. Shimla was the summer national capital in the days of the British Raj, when the entire government would relocate up here for three months every year to avoid the sweltering heat of Delhi. The stately English houses are starting to look a little ragged around the edges these days, but the main street is still called The Mall where the locals enjoy a daily hawakhanna, their evening stroll. We should be there in time for a few pleasant hours taking in the charms before beer o'clock.

Day 4 and we are on our way to Mandi, along twisting roads above stunning terraced slopes such as might be seen gracing the cover of travel magazines on Bali. Densely wooded hillsides flank the many streams of the area. We cross the turbulent Sutlej River in the morning and arrive at Mandi in the afternoon on the banks of the boiling Beas ('Bee-Ahs'), a popular river for rafting or angling for India's famous mahseer, that monstrous freshwater fish weighing in at 30 kilos (65 pounds) or more! The world record stands at over 100 pounds.

Day 5 brings us to the wonderful Kulu Valley, a spectacularly beautiful region of lush green hills alongside the Beas. The narrow, winding road clings to the side of the sometimes steep gorge, with the river at times 300 metres directly below us. A road sign which always draws a smile advises, "Darling I want you, but not so fast". We encounter a rather daunting tunnel along the way; 3km through a hillside and without lighting! Make sure you know where the Enfield's headlight switch is, and slide your sunglasses down your nose.

Day 6 we shall spend having a 'rest day' in Manali, which could mean trekking through the forest to check out a 500-year-old temple. Or we can just wander through the markets, picking up bargains in the Tibetan bazaars. Today is also our first acclimatising day, before we start the serious business of climbing the Himalaya proper.

Day 7 is when we really start getting into it! On with the gloves and the jacket liner this morning. As we reach the snowline the sun will begin to disperse the mists, revealing the most sensational views ever imagined. Endless valleys stretch out in every direction from the 3,978-metre Rohtang Jot, ('pile of corpses') where we enter the remote world of the Lahaul Valley. Your head will be swivelling from side to side in amazement all the way to the tiny village of Keylong, our home for the night.

Day 8 Every turn into a new valley produces a breathtaking change of colour, texture, formation. Enormously deep river canyons combine with wind, rain and ice to carve impossible sculptures out of rock and gravel. To paraphrase the English author Douglas Adams, one section resembles the remains of a hundred Gothic cathedrals collapsed on top of one another. Several times today we may find water gushing across the road from glacier melt, causing us to dismount if deep; we push the bikes through with ignition turned off to prevent shorting out the spark plug. And yes, the water is cold. Our destination for today is a group of a dozen tents in a semi-permanent 'town' just before a police checkpost at Sarchu (4,400m), which marks our entry into the state of J&K (Jammu & Kashmir).

Day 9 and it just keeps getting better. The day starts with us tackling the 21 switchbacks of the Gata Loops up the side of a rocky mountain, then zipping along a flat, straight, lunar-landscape plateau where nomadic peoples tend their goats and yaks, which appear to have developed the ability to survive on a diet of gravel and sand. Then it's up, up and more up as we climb to the Taglang La, at 5,328 metres the second highest road in the world. (Don't worry, we're doing the highest in a couple of days, beyond Leh). At this altitude the Enfield as well as ourselves may have difficulty breathing the rarefied air - there's not a lot of oxygen up here! It's also cold, so after the obligatory photographs we then proceed to legendary Leh, the Ladakhi capital and a stunning green oasis in this otherwise desolate area. Red coloured run-off from the copper-rich bulk of the Zanskar mountains (zanz means copper, kar is white) feeds the sacred Indus river, source of all life in this region.

Day 10 is a Leh-day (pun intended) to allow further acclimatising. Either today or tomorrow we'll ride back along the Indus Valley a short way to Thikse Gompa, a dramatic Buddhist monastery clinging to the side of a hill and eerily similar to Lhasa's Potala Palace in Tibet. A little further on, Shey Palace houses a huge Buddha and a fine collection of thankas, Tibetan wall hangings. We can cross the river and ride back to Leh via Stok, where the Ladakhi royal family now reside. At sunset we can visit the splendid hilltop Shanti Stupa (peace pagoda) nearby, to watch the curtain be drawn on Leh.

Day 11 has us heading further north. Our objective is the Khardung La, at 5,600 metres the highest road in the world open to traffic! We have the satisfaction of knowing that no-one anywhere has ever driven or ridden higher in the world than we are right now. This is as close to heaven as we'll ever get on a bike! This whole area is actually a military zone and special permission is obtained from the authorities because it is fairly close to the sensitive border with China, aka Tibet. If anyone should happen to get shot, please advise your Tour Leader as soon as possible. We return to Leh again for the night.

Day 12 sees us following the Indus Valley, home of one of the oldest civilisations known to mankind. We head west with the river, passing some amazing scenery until we arrive at possibly the weirdest of it all; a 'moonland' of light-coloured composite rock wedged into a high little valley. Local speculation identifies it as a meteor or part of some other heavenly body crashed to Earth, but in reality it was a perched lake zillions of years ago. We then proceed a little further to Lamayuru, a spectacular 1000-year-old Buddhist gompa built in the traditionally accepted manner; ie clinging to an impossible hillside. This gompa is the oldest and one of the most important in Ladakh, but even more impressive is the medieval village beneath it. It's a little catacomb of dark passageways and stone dwellings virtually unchanged in over a thousand years and well worth more than just a casual glance.

After lunch we head the bikes further west again, crossing the Fatu La at 4147m and the Namika La at 3760m, to arrive at a quiet little town called Mulbekh. Here, having spent the first week of our travels in Hindu-dominated Himachal and the second week in the Buddhist-majority Ladakh, we now cross the threshold into very-Muslim Kashmir and proceed through to Kargil for the night, unnervingly close to the disputed border with Pakistan and the site of several recent conflicts between the two nuclear nations.

Day 13 will see us riding through Drass, whose main claim to fame apparently is being the second-coldest town on the face of the Earth (behind Hobart, presumably… ). We then climb yet another pass, the Zoji La at 3529m and continue to Sonamarg, a stunning green valley sometimes described as the Switzerland of India. We proceed through the Vale of Kashmir to arrive at Srinagar, the long-troubled but exquisite capital of Jammu & Kashmir state, where accommodation consists of a couple of luxury houseboats moored on picturesque Dal Lake, which for centuries has moved men to poetry and music. Led Zeppelin fans may be familiar with Robert Plant's haunting lyrics in Kashmir; "I am a trav'ler of both time and space, to be where I have been . . ."

Day 14 Srinagar has been the centre of the dispute over Kashmir since the troubles began at the time of Partition, 50 years ago. Violence has peaked and ebbed several times, all but destroying the tourism industry upon which much of the city's economy depends. In the mid-1980's, 650,000 tourist each year flocked to the beautiful lakes of Srinagar to enjoy the decadence of lazing on a houseboat for a week. A decade later only 5,000 per annum were venturing into Kashmir, although the position has improved considerably in more recent years. We'll spend a day here to judge the situation for ourselves, lounging around on our houseboats or paddling through the city's quiet backwaters in a shikhara, the unique Kashmiri gondola-style paddled boat.

Day 15 sees us heading south from Srinagar on a rather busy highway to one of J&K's hill stations, Patnitop. En route we experience the rather impressive Jawahar Lal Tunnel, 2½ km long, literally right through a mountain. Like the previous tunnel you've done earlier in the Kulu Valley, it can be a little nerve-racking if you're at all claustrophobic, so the plan is to bunch up and ride in groups. Six headlights are better than one. But the scenery along the river valleys and through the hills is again very spectacular, and the hilltop location of Patnitop offers commanding views all round.

Day 16 will take us to McLeod Ganj, back in the state of Himachal. Since Tibet's spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was forced to flee in 1959 following the Chinese invasion of his homeland, this has been his home and the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile. While the rest of the world seems to have forgotten that Tibet should be a sovereign state in its own right, the Tibetans have never given up hope that they will one day be permitted to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

Day 17 gives us another rest day. We may be lucky enough to be granted an audience with the Dalai Lama, or we may have to make do with visiting the Tibetan museum and library. The town is actually in two completely separate sections; McLeod Ganj is where the Tibetan community has settled en masse whilst Dharamsala is the lower part, a 3k walk away. The nearby cemetery and church of St. John in the Wilderness is worth a visit.

Day 18 and we're starting to wind down the clock, as we head back through the foothills of Himachal to complete our loop of the Himalaya. We cross a few more swollen rivers and the latter part of the day sees us descending to the plains to where it all began at Chandigarh just a few short weeks ago. We may need to fortify ourselves tonight for our final days' ride tomorrow to the nation's capital, New Delhi.

Day 19 The Grand Trunk Road, one of the great highways of the world and the busiest in India, described by Rudyard Kipling as 'that veritable river of humanity', traverses the country from Calcutta in the east right through Lahore in Pakistan to the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan. The traffic consists of as many bullock carts, camels, cows and pedestrians as it does cars, buses and trucks, so keep your eyes peeled and your thumb over the horn. We ride the 250k back to our hotel in Delhi, where a couple of celebratory beers are well in order.

Day 20 Today we get to view the road from the opposite perspective. We charter a bus to take us 200k south to the one-time Moghul capital city of Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. The magnificence of the Taj cannot be overstated; it is simply the most superb building and is a must for anybody visiting the north of India. We'll also take in the impressive red-sandstone Agra Fort before heading back to Delhi on our air conditioned bus.

Day 21 Congratulations, you have completed an epic 2,500 kilometre trans-Himalayan expedition! We may have time for some last-minute souvenir shopping, then we farewell you this evening with an early meal in one of the popular restaurants in Connaught Place before transfer to the airport for those on the night departure to Singapore or wherever you're headed. It's been a lot of fun! Home sweet home; please go tell all your friends.

Important Notice ! Please read carefully.

The political situation in Kashmir is a constant concern to any Tour Operator running trips into this region.

Government advisory websites, including Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) strongly advise against going anywhere near the place. But governments obviously have to err on the side of extreme caution and take the most conservative line, lest they be perceived irresponsible and held accountable for any mishap.

The world media focussed on the area in 1995 when six foreign tourists were kidnapped, and one subsequently killed, by a previously unknown Muslim guerrilla group called Al-Faran. These tourists were trekking in a remote valley in Kashmir, far from any major roads despite all sensible advice against such a risky undertaking. Rest assured that if we proceed to take the Kashmir route, our Safari will remain at all times on the main Leh to Srinagar highway, which is the principal supply route with several army and police checkpoints and other security measures along the way.

We have been running this Himalayan Heights Motorcycle Safari since 1995 and initially we would approach and return from Leh via the eastern route through Ladakh; ie back through Manali. In 1998 however, Ferris Wheels became the first international tour operator to put Kashmir back on the tourist map by extending our itinerary and running three motorcycle safaris into the region. We met with no troubles and all our clients voted overwhelmingly in favour of the inclusion, despite the military presence and conspicuous signs of unrest.

Since then we have continued to take three groups a year through Kashmir and have not encountered trouble of any kind. We obviously have no way of predicting exactly what the situation may be this year, but it is our on-going intention that our Himalayan Heights Motorcycle Safaris will continue to approach Leh through the eastern Ladakh route and leave via the Kashmir loop in the west, if this is practical.

But please be aware that if we consider it unsafe to do this, we shall revert again to our 'Plan B' format, returning via Manali and Shimla. Both options are designed to take the same number of days, so our flight schedules will not be compromised in any way.

If we do have to use this alternate routing, the second half of the itinerary will look like this:-

Day 12 Kargil back to Leh 220k
Day 13 Leh to Pang 185k
Day 14 Pang to Keylong 175k
Day 15 Keylong to Manali 125k
Day 16 Manali to Shimla 255k
Day 17 Rest day in Shimla
Day 18 Shimla to Parwanoo 90k
Day 19 Parwanoo to Chandigarh to Delhi 270k
Day 20 Day trip to Agra, Taj Mahal, etc
Day 21 Spare day in Delhi then outbound flights

Further detailed trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours



Yaks n Yetis

Yaks n Yetis Motorcycle Safari

This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by
World On Wheels, Australia's only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by an Australian group of riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as the Indian Himalaya, Turkey, Morocco, Peru-Chile-Bolivia, the Dalmatian coastline, Iceland, Mexico-Guatemala-Belize, as well as this one through Nepal and Bhutan, all of approximately three weeks in duration.

Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make the final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our agents in Delhi, Kathmandu and Thimpu, local authorities and of course, group members.

Package Price

The ARR Thunder Dragon tour price, excluding airfares and joining in Kathmandu, is US$7,500-00. Riders must have an unrestricted rider's licence. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of seats available in our support vehicle, a 15-seater minibus which accompanies the riders for the Safari – price for pillion or passenger is US$7,000-00. Please note that our prices are subject to exchange rates and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions herewith, up to the date of final payment.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment in US$ will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date if you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.

Price includes

Full motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari (modern 500cc Enfield Bullet)
Clean, friendly, mid-range accommodation throughout the Safari, nights 1 to 20 inclusive
Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$900-00) 1
A scenic one-hour joy flight from Kathmandu to the face of Mt Everest !
All meals except on rest days, when we encourage you to explore on your own
Experienced guide, local agent and Enfield mechanics
Minibus support vehicle and driver, for luggage transport and assistance
Spare parts, tools, medicines, first aid equipment
All fuel costs, maintenance and repairs, third party insurance for the bikes
Domestic flight from Guwahati to Chennai at conclusion of tour
A visit to the Royal Enfield factory in Chennai
A complimentary World On Wheels Safari shirt, luggage tags, Nepal and Bhutan maps
A special one-off travel bag from Andy Strapz, an Enfield T-shirt, some other stuff…

1 Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an acceptable roommate (same gender, similar age). But if you're the last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or preferably both!

Price excludes

International airfares to/from Nepal/India (approx. Au$2000-00)
Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx. Au$169-00 for 20 days) 2
Tourist visas for Nepal, India, Bhutan (currently US$30-00, Au$75-00, and US$30-00 respectively)
Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)
Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs and drinks
Tips for our support staff at the end of the tour; optional but appreciated; US$100-00 suggested 3

2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, you will need to ensure it covers use of a motorcycle of 500cc capacity. Or if you prefer, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$169-00. Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or government Medicare automatically resumes at that point.

3A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Daily hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room, and our mechanics, drivers and support staff anticipate reasonable tips to supplement their modest wages whilst on tour with us. We suggest something like US$100-00 is affordable for your three weeks (about US$5-00 per day), distributed amongst the crew. If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously! (… if you haven't, please let us know).

Our benevolent side

It is important to us to make a positive contribution to some of the less privileged communities that we visit. Our strongest connection is with India, and in focusing our efforts we have decided certain care facilities therein are most deserving of our care and support. We provide financial support and facilitate the donation of clothing to the Ganga Brijghat Charitable Trust, a registered help center for poor and underprivileged people at Brijghat, on the shores of the Ganga (the holy river Ganges), about 90k east of Delhi. This shelter was established and is administered by Srimata Kunti Devi, a lady in her 70's and mother of our business partner in New Delhi.

International Flights

You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or you may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Thunder Dragon' tour; they have a copy of this itinerary and can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. We recommend you book at least six months ahead, and full payment is generally required six weeks before your departure. We need to fly into Kathmandu and return out of Chennai, and the most convenient way to do this from Australia is via Singapore with Singapore Airlines and their subsidiary; Silkair flight 412 from Singapore at 09:10am arrives into Kathmandu at 12:05 and this is the flight we will meet for hotel transfer. At the conclusion of the tour, we take a domestic connection from Guwahati to Chennai, visit the Royal Enfield factory, and then Singapore Airlines flight SQ529 departs at 23:15 Sunday night to Singapore, arriving the following morning (Mon) at 06:10am.

Food & Health

Quality of food can obviously be a concern when visiting exotic foreign lands. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals and the local fare is not always as fiery and spicy as some people would have you believe. Our clients are often pleasantly surprised by the delicious meals available. Even so, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time. Please note that when it comes to malaria medication, it is our experience that the commonly experienced side effects of such medication, outweigh the potential benefit, for what is a very low risk likelihood of contracting this disease.

Climate & Clothing

Our tour is scheduled for spring, possibly the best time for touring in this part of the Himalaya. But it can also be quite cool in Bhutan, and single-digit temperatures but almost zero chance of rain will be the order of the day. At times there will be little shade available, so plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets should be brought with you from home, full-face or open-face a matter of personal preference. The modern flip-top lids offer the convenience of both.

Professional quality riding gear such as Cordura jackets, overpants and other protective clothing is an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Jackets are particularly versatile if they have a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and protection. But if you're susceptible to the cold, then maybe a good set of thermal underwear would also come in handy. A couple of other products we've used for several years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-lined jeans and clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those Velcro alternatives to 'occy' straps from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've recently teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard, Kevin Magee, Mark Willis....) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an international adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction and you're in the Sydney vicinity, there's a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and then on bush trails and gives real-time coaching via helmet-to-helmet bluetooth comms (he provides). Check him out on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid


Other important information you should note

The Indian subcontinent is not everyone's 'cup of tea'. It can be an extreme assault on the senses. In order to fully appreciate its true beauty you will need the ability to leave behind western values and to turn a blind eye to some of the harsher aspects of life in third-world, developing nations. If you can do this, you will find it truly a rewarding experience.

The riding conditions are also sometimes arduous and whilst 200k or so would appear to be quite an easy day's ride, this is not always so. Some days will require us to be on the road by 8:00am to beat the morning traffic, and the days can be long and tiring. It is obviously expected that you are able to handle a motorbike competently and are fit and strong enough to cope with some demanding conditions. An important part of this is your mental approach and attitude. If you are the type of person who prefers lounging by the poolside with a dry martini, then perhaps this motorcycle safari is not for you. Try Club Med instead !

India and Nepal, and occasionally Bhutan, suffer from regular power shortages, so don't automatically anticipate a long hot shower every single day. Be prepared to rough it a bit, be prepared to accept delays and hastily changed plans, be prepared to be tolerant of some grinding bureaucracy and ineptitude. Be flexible and above all, bring your sense of humour.

But let's not pull any punches here. This is not a trip for the faint-hearted; you'll notice there are only 4 'rest' days out of 18 on the bikes, and some of these rest days consist of strenuous (but optional) activities. And a tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions. It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraph 15 of our Terms and Conditions! (End of sermon)


The Classic 'Royal' Enfield Bullet

Originally manufactured by The Royal Enfield Motorcycle Co of Redditch, Worcestershire, production ceased in Great Britain due to financial difficulties in the mid-1950s. The Indian subsidiary acquired the production line, transferred operations to Madras and simply continued to build Enfield Bullets without bothering to change any original design specifications. To this day they continue to churn out brand new, 60 year old bikes!

The Enfield is a true classic, with the single cylinder 500cc engine producing a deep, throaty rumble and powerful torque that have prompted some to christen it the two-wheeled tractor. At idle speed you can audibly count the engine revolutions per minute. High speed is not what the Enfield is about (any faster than about 60kph in India is suicidal anyway!), it's about aesthetics, comfort and style. Riding an Enfield gives a pure, unadulterated pleasure - particularly through the stunning scenery where you're going. It is the perfect bike for touring in this part of the world, taking the rough roads easily in its stride. Our late-model Enfields now have the modern conventional left-foot gears, right-foot brake configuration.


Detailed Daily Itinerary


Day 1 Your flights need to get you into Kathmandu today. It's not quite the mystical magical capital it was in its heyday of the 50's and 60's but it still has an olde worlde charm to its dilapidated facade. The traffic is chaotic, the congestion is crazy, but the temples are exquisite, the people gorgeous, the atmosphere electrifying. We're taking you a little closer to the edge of your comfort zone.

There are two other large cities in the Kathmandu Valley, but they are so close as to be almost suburbs of Kathmandu itself. Patan is just across the river and Bhaktapur is only 12k away; depending on your arrival flight we can visit one or both to examine their ancient temples and splendid artisan works, much of which is still being produced in the local streets and bazaars today. Another option is the huge Bodhnath (Boudha) Stupa, the largest in Nepal and one of the largest in the world. It is the main religious centre for Nepal's considerable Tibetan population. Then there are the shops!! Don't be afraid to bargain hard, as the prices are often inflated and very negotiable.

Day 2 For your first full day on tour, how about a scenic joyflight to Mt. Everest and back? The whole majestic panorama of the world's greatest mountain range spreads out before us for an hour, and it is a totally captivating experience. Then when we come back down to earth, we have the rest of the day to explore Kathmandu's bustling bazaars and streets, visit the city's Durbar Square, roam through the surrounding area of Thamel, drop in for a quick drink at the Rum Doodle Bar (the traditional watering hole for mountaineering expedition teams) or simply relax in the garden of our hotel.

And in the afternoon we'll introduce you to the Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet, your weapon of choice for the next three weeks. There'll be a briefing in the hotel car park, followed by a short familiarisation run to acquaint you with the nostalgia of golden-era Brit Biking.

Day 3 We have to leave early to escape Kathmandu before the traffic gets into full swing. Heading to the Trekker Mecca destination of Pokhara, the scenery along the route is spectacular, with terraced hills, rushing rivers, steep gorges and green hills back-dropped by the magnificent Himalaya. Be careful not to run into the back of a fellow rider when, in the latter part of the ride, you come around a corner and there in all its glory is Machhapuchare (the Fishtail Mountain), lit to perfection by the slanting rays of the afternoon sunshine.

Day 4 Many popular Himalayan treks start from Pokhara, including the Annapurna Circuit, Jomson Trail and Dhaulagiri Base Camp treks for the serious walker. We take a half-day ride up a nearby ridge to Sarangkot for a bird's-eye view of Machhapuchare, Annapurna and Pokhara with its picturesque Phewa Tal (lake). For the energetic or adventurous there's the option of trying your hand at paragliding – a more spectacular setting would be difficult to imagine! For the serious shopper, there's some pretty serious souvenir hunting to be done in the markets this afternoon.

Day 5 sees us heading out of the mountains to the Terai, as the lowlands of Nepal are known. Although very much the 'poor cousin' of Nepal's main attraction (the Himalaya) and thus to a large extent ignored, the Terai has its own beauty and is a very fertile and prosperous area, home to half the population. We pass through mud-walled villages, rice paddies and thatched houses built high above the floodplains of the numerous rivers bursting out of the foothills. The plains are a mere 100m above sea level, but over 1000 km away from the rivers' final destination, the Bay of Bengal. Our destination for the night is Lumbini, the revered birthplace of Lord Buddha, and the subsequent huge temple complex is very close to our hotel.

Day 6 Huge tracts of these floodplains were uninhabitable until the early 1950's, when a successful malaria eradication program was introduced. The subsequent land-grab rush from the hill tribes saw much of the wilderness cultivated almost overnight, which in turn had a devastating effect on the habitat of large animals such as the tiger and the Indian one-horned rhino. We traverse the northern extremities of the great Gangetic plain to the small trading centre of Hetauda, on the main Tribhuvan Highway coming out of India.

Day 7 We continue through the eastern Terai for a long day's ride to Biratnagar. On the way if the skies are clear, Everest can be seen again on the northern horizon, standing proud of her companions. Sagarmatha she is known as in these parts, the Mother Goddess of the Universe. The road and the ride is straightforward and we usually just turn everyone loose on such a day. See you in the beer garden at the hotel this afternoon!

Day 8 involves the potentially bureaucratic hassle of crossing into India. Passports and visas will be double-checked, road tax has to be paid, bike ownership and registration papers will be double-checked, our staff will be scrutinised . . . ! Always a time consuming exercise, but soon enough we'll be into the next chapter of this tour. We're off to Darjeeling, following some of the same route as the narrow-gauge 'Toy Train' up into the hills. The only (non-tourist) steam locomotive still in active service in India criss-crosses the road dozens of times and is a very impressive sight and sound accompanying us on the final part of our climb.

Day 9 If you feel like an early start, we can amble along to the nearby lookout to watch the sun rise over the Himalayan massif including Mt. Kangchenjunga, 3rd highest peak in the world. We shall then visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, established by Darjeeling's most famous son, Tenzing Norgay following his ascent of Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953, and the associated Darjeeling Zoo, centre of the world breeding program for the endangered and stunningly beautiful snow leopard.

Day 10 After some small backroads winding from Darjeeling to Teesta Bazaar, we're on Highway 31 most of the way across the Great Gangetic Plateau, crossing a few more rivers as they burst forth from the mountains just above us. These rivers of course, all end up crossing into Bangladesh where they annually wreak havoc in this low-lying, impoverished country. Our destination tonight is the border town of Phuentsholing, where we cross and spend the night on the Bhutan side of the border, because the hotels are much nicer!

Day 11 Border formalities are refreshingly straightforward and efficient, so we'll soon be on our way into Bhutan. The first thing we'll notice upon leaving India is, there's virtually no traffic! The few vehicles we do encounter are well-maintained and well-mannered. The roads are great, the scenery is spectacular, the air is clean and fresh. We have a couple of 'foreigner registration' check-posts to pass through today but they don't slow us much as we wind our way along to third-largest town of Paro.

Day 12 we shall spend in and around Paro. As well as boasting the only airport in the country, the National Museum is also located here, housing an impressive collection of artefacts. Just a few k's out of town for the more physically-inclined, is the start of an arduous 4-hour trek up to the spectacular Tiger's Nest dzong perched high on a rocky ledge. Optional of course, but it just has to be done !

Day 13 sees us heading off to the capital, Thimpu, and it's a short enough ride to give us the afternoon doing some local sightseeing and souvenir shopping, as Thimpu is about the only commercial centre in the country. We'll visit a viewpoint overlooking the town and then the nearby 'zoo' containing maybe half a dozen takin. This strange beast, the national animal of Bhutan, is said to be the result of a god known as The Divine Madman having a huge feast, getting a little intoxicated, and sticking the head of a goat on the body of an ox.

Day 14 has us rolling out of Thimpu in the direction of Punakha, which has a stupendous dzong on the confluence of two rivers. (To get there we must first of all conquer our first serious mountain pass in Bhutan, the Dochu La at just over 3,000 metres). The dzong is the administrative head of both state and religion for the district, and this one is nothing short of sensational. We can spend a couple of hours strolling through its courtyards and temples. Then in the afternoon we proceed further, passing through Wangdue Phodrang on the way to our beautiful resort hotel at Chuzomsa, on the very banks of a raging torrent of a young river.

Day 15 keeps us heading east, through rhododendron forests and another pass (Pele La 3,300 m), as we come to Trongsa with yet another magnificent dzong, perhaps the most spectacular in the country, an imposing fortress of a structure built on several levels up a hillside. We can have a look around if you're not already dzonged out at this stage (you will have passed 5 or 6 by now), and our hotel is just outside of town.

Day 16 has us, guess what, climbing another pass, the Yutong La (3,400m) then we arrive at Jakar in the wilderness of the Bumthang Valley in time to check into our hotel and have a look around the town. The region is renowned for its local cheese production and perhaps we can find a small factory open for a visit.

Day 17 will probably see a cold start to the day (sometimes we've had ice on the seats of the Enfields….) so have your hand warmers in your pockets. We're getting into more remote areas now and it's another long day but we spend most of it riding through a national park on superb roads with no traffic. Overnight is a spotless little town called Mongar, the capital of the same-named district.

Day 18 is a more leisurely-paced day. With only 90k to Trashigang, we can cover this before lunch and then have the afternoon to stroll around and enjoy the second-largest town in Bhutan. A good time to catch up with writing those promised postcards back home, or watching the locals practicing their archery skills, or sitting in the tiny town square, a great place to enjoy an evening drink and watch the locals going about their business.

Day 19 is, dare we say it, another superlative day in the saddle on the road less travelled. We head directly south for nearly 200k, completing our traverse of Bhutan from one border to the other. Traffic out here is so rare that some of the locals take off their hat at the sight of an approaching car. Our destination is the frontier town of Samdrup Jongkhar which, whilst still actually in Bhutan, has a distinctly Indian feel to it….

Day 20 has us registering at the Indian side of the border crossing, which for some reason takes about five times as long as on the other side. We have a fairly short ride through more of the ubiquitous tea gardens to Guwahati, the state capital of Assam. It's a fairly typical Indian 'small city' of about a million people and we'll need to bunch up and follow our minibus in order to find the hotel. We scrub up for a cleansing ale and a celebratory farewell dinner – we've certainly earned it.

Day 21 is our "outa here" day. Kiss the bikes goodbye as we head to Guwahati airport for a domestic flight to Chennai where our charter bus is waiting to take us to the Royal Enfield factory. We can regale the production line workers with stories of what you've been doing to their bikes over the past three weeks. Then there's just enough time to catch your breath before it's back to the airport for your international connection back to Singapore. You're heading for home sweet home – thanks for your company, it's been a lot of fun!


Further detailed trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will also be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Contact our office any time for further information on (61 2) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours

Royal Rajasthan

Royal Rajasthan Motorcycle Safari


This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by a private group of Australian riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, Bhutan, Turkey, Morocco, the Dalmatian coastline, the South American Andes, Iceland, Mexico/Guatemala/Belize and this one through Rajasthan, all of approximately three weeks in duration.

Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make the final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our local agent, authorities and of course, group members.

Package Price

The Royal Rajasthan tour price, excluding airfares and joining in Delhi, is US$7,250-00. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of passenger seats available in our support vehicle, a 15-seater minibus which accompanies the riders for the length of the Safari – price for pillion or passenger is US$6,750-00. Please note that our prices are subject to exchange rates and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions, up to the date of final payment.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment in US$ will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date because you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.


A feature of our Royal Rajasthan safari is that we choose to stay in Heritage Hotels at every available opportunity. These centuries-old palaces, forts and havelis (mansions) of maharajas and their nobles have been converted to provide modern accommodation facilities. They definitely add a royal and nostalgic dimension to the whole Rajasthan experience.

Price includes

Full motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari (500cc Enfield Bullet)

All accommodation throughout the Safari from day 1 to day 18 inclusive

Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$900) 1

All meals (breakfast, lunch and evening), including coffee or tea

Experienced guide, local agent and Enfield mechanics

Minibus support vehicle and driver, for luggage transport and assistance

Spare parts, tools, medicines and first aid equipment

All fuel costs, maintenance and repairs, third party insurance for the bikes

Entrance to Taj Mahal and selected other monuments and attractions

Airport transfers if arriving & departing via our recommended Singapore Airlines flights

Complimentary World On Wheels long-sleeved Safari shirt

1Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an acceptable roommate. But if you're the last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or preferably both!

Price excludes

Airfares to/from Delhi (from Australia, approx. Au$1800 via Singapore Airlines)

Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx. Au$188 for 21 days) 2

Tourist visa for India (currently Au$75-00, valid for six months)

Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)

Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs or alcoholic drinks

Tips for support staff in India at the end of the tour (optional but appreciated; A$100 suggested)3


2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, we will insist on sighting a copy of the policy before you will be permitted to participate in this tour. Or if you wish, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$188-00 (single; 21 days). Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or government Medicare resumes at that point.

3 A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Daily hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room, and our mechanics, drivers and support staff anticipate reasonable tips to supplement their modest wages whilst on tour with us. We suggest something like $5 per day is affordable for your three weeks, but whatever funds are contributed by tour participants, we will match it dollar for dollar and the resultant pool of money will be distributed amongst our crew. If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously! If not, tell us why and we will contribute on your behalf.

Our benevolent side


It is important to us to make a positive contribution to some of the less privileged communities that we visit. Our strongest connection is with India, and in focusing our efforts we have decided certain communities therein are most deserving of our care and support. We provide financial support and facilitate the donation of clothing to the Ganga Brijghat Charitable Trust, a registered help center for poor and underprivileged people at Brijghat, on the shores of the Ganga (the holy river Ganges), about 90k northeast of Delhi.

We have also supported for many years the schooling of three sisters, Chimmed, Lhamu and Dolma in a small remote village called Darcha, which we visit each year on our Himalayan Heights safari.

International Flights

You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Royal Rajasthan' Tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and they can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. We recommend you book as early as possible and full payment will usually be required six weeks before your departure. Our suggested flight is Singapore Airlines SQ406, arriving at 19:35pm, and if you arrive on this flight we will meet you at the airport for transfer to your hotel.

Food & Health

The quality of food in India, contrary to conventional belief and rumour, frequently surprises and delights visitors and is often described as a highlight of the tour. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals. However, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time. Please note that when it comes to anti-malarial medication, it is our view that the commonly experienced side-effects of such strong medication often outweigh the potential benefit, for what is a very low likelihood of contracting this disease. If you're really concerned, use a mosquito repellent instead !

Climate & Clothing

The Indian state of Rajasthan consists largely of desert and has a typical desert climate; daytime temperatures can be quite hot whilst at night the mercury plummets. In the northern winter (Feb) we should enjoy mild weather with days in the high 20's and nights anywhere between five to 15 degrees. At times there will be little shade available, so plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets, full or open-face as you prefer, should be brought with you from home.

Professional quality riding gear such as Cordura jackets, overpants and other protective clothing is an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Denise wears a Rukka jacket and pants, with a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and protection. Mike prefers the range from Dririder, an Australian provider of riding gear from 35 years. A couple of other products we've used for many years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-lined jeans and clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those Velcro alternative to 'occy' straps from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Kevin Magee, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard...) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an international adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you're in the Sydney vicinity and you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction, there's also a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and bush trails and gives real-time coaching via helmet-to-helmet Bluetooth (provided). He gets right in your ear, so to speak. Check out his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid.

Other important information you should note

India is not everyone's 'cup of tea'. It can be an extreme assault on the senses. In order to fully appreciate India's true beauty you will need the ability to leave behind western values and to turn a blind eye to some of the harsher aspects of life in a developing nation. If you can do so, you will find it truly a rewarding experience.

India can be quite trying in other ways also. The riding conditions are sometimes arduous and whilst 300k or so would appear to be quite an easy day's ride, this is not always so. Some days will require us to be on the road early to beat the morning traffic, and the days can be long and hot. It is obviously expected that you are able to handle a motorbike competently and are fit and strong enough to cope with some demanding conditions. An important part of this is your mental approach and attitude. If you are the type of person who prefers lounging by the poolside with a dry martini, then perhaps this motorcycle safari is not for you. Try Club Med instead! You will not find the word 'holiday' used anywhere in our documentation other than in this sentence.

Be prepared to rough it a bit, be prepared to accept delays and hastily changed plans, be prepared to be tolerant of India's oft-bungling bureaucracy and ineptitude. Be flexible and, above all, bring your sense of humour. But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions. It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraphs 15 and 16 of our Terms and Conditions! (End of sermon)

The Royal Enfield Bullet

Originally manufactured by The Royal Enfield Motorcycle Co of Redditch, Worcestershire, production ceased in Great Britain due to financial difficulties in the mid-1950s. The Indian subsidiary acquired the production line, transferred operations to Madras and simply continued to build Enfield Bullets without bothering to change any original design specifications. To this day they continue to churn out brand new, 60 year old bikes!

The Enfield is a true classic, with the single cylinder 500cc engine producing a deep, throaty rumble and powerful torque that have prompted some to christen it the two-wheeled tractor. High speed is not what the Enfield is about, it's about aesthetics, comfort and style. Riding an Enfield gives a pure, unadulterated pleasure - particularly through the stunning scenery where you're going. It is the touring perfect bike for this part of the world, taking the rough Indian roads easily in its stride.

Detailed Daily Itinerary


Day 1. Your journey to the rugged Rajasthani deserts of India begins when you arrive in the nation's capital, New Delhi. From your first glance at this sprawling metropolis you will immediately begin to appreciate that India is a land of contrasts, a land of diversity and variation unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Squalid slums sit incongruously alongside amazing modern buildings of stunning beauty, like the lotus-flower shaped Ba'hai temple. Five star hotels are served by 1950's-vintage taxi cabs with engines the same size as their batteries. Nine million people somehow manage to eke out an existence in this city whose levels of activity continue to escalate at an apparently unsustainable pace. At times confusing, at times challenging and at all times chaotic, Delhi is never still, never restful, never boring.

You will be met at the airport by our representative, to minimise what can sometimes be a testing introduction to the country. You will have already run the gauntlet of India's notorious bureaucracy at the Customs and Immigration counters and as you leave the main Arrivals Hall you are likely to be besieged with offers of good hotels, cheap taxis, special deals and all manner of improbable things. Ignore them all and locate our guide holding the World On Wheels paging board. He will ensure your safe and rapid transfer to the hotel, giving a short briefing en route on preparations for your trip and the program for the next couple of days. If you are arriving outside our suggested group arrival flights, we will have advised the location of your hotel and also how to locate and deal with the pre-paid government taxis.

Day 2 and at the hotel we'll introduce you to the vagaries of your Enfield motorcycle. After a leisurely breakfast, the first half-hour or so is spent getting to know the bikes and having a practice ride in the (relative) safety of the hotel carpark. We set a leisurely pace and enjoy the burble of the bikes as we take National Highway 8 southwest from the capital and soon enter Rajasthan. We stay on the highway all the way until we peel off to spend the afternoon and night at Neemrana Fort Palace with its stunning garden setting and facilities, which include a swimming pool for the hardy (it's still winter!). Covering some 25 acres of land and built in 1464, it is the oldest heritage resort in all of India.

Day 3 The state emblem of Rajasthan is the peacock and many can be spotted roaming freely in the rural areas we traverse today on our way to the Shekhawati region, famous for its beautiful havelis, those centuries-old mansions of wealthy merchants and noblemen. The intricate frescoes and murals which decorate many of the rooms in these buildings, depict the history of the area. Our stop for the night is a mediaeval castle, the rather dilapidated but charming, Narayan Niwas Castle Hotel, near the regional capital of Jhunjhunu where the British based their famed Shekhawati Brigade.

Day 4 sees us heading directly west through arid wastelands, approaching the Great Thar Desert, which constitutes much of Rajasthan. Our destination today is Bikaner, a town of half a million, once an important staging post on the great caravan trading routes of the middle ages. The old city, founded in 1488, is full of historic architectural masterpieces, and we'll spend some time this afternoon exploring one such example, the fort (with museum), the original palace.

Day 5 will take us through progressively sparser vegetation and population, to the remote outpost of Phalodi. An obscure little spot mostly ignored by tourists and travel companies, it features a small lake nearby which offers a safe haven for thousands of migrating Siberian crane at this time of the year. If we're careful we can sneak up on them and bag a couple for lunch.

Day 6 Only joking, of course. They're far too tough to eat. Day 6 brings us right into the heart of the desert. As we approach the western extremities of India near the border with Pakistan, an amazing spectacle rises from the floor of the Great Thar Desert. This is Jaisalmer, a stunning fortress city looking like something straight out of Arabian Nights or Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. With its incredible array of bastions, battlements and ramparts, the colour of this sandstone fort at sunset has led to Jaisalmer becoming known as the Golden City.

Day 7 is a rest day spent exploring Jaisalmer, perhaps with an afternoon camel safari to view the sunset from the heights of the surrounding sand dunes. In earlier days it truly was a golden city, a place of great opulence on the caravan trading routes between India and central Asia. In Jaisalmer, much of the population still live within the walls of the Old City and fortress, but in recent and more peaceful times, the buildings have sprawled out into the desert all around. A feature of Jaisalmer is the abundance of splendid havelis, where intricate carvings and works of art are commonplace and visitors are welcome to roam freely throughout.

Day 8 is our longest day in terms of kilometres traveled, but the 300k to the Blue City of Jodhpur is mainly on good sealed highway without too many traffic hassles. Look out for the wildlife that abounds in this seemingly barren desert. Black buck, blue bull, gazelle, camel and various species of birds can all be seen roaming in the scrub along the highway. Jodhpur is famed for many things, not the least of which are the riding breeches of the same name. The Maharaja of Jodhpur found it quite impossible to play polo with the British in his long, flowing regal robes, so he summoned the court tailor and instructed that he design a pair of tight trousers which could be tucked into long boots but also allowed room for bending at the hip. And so it was that jodhpurs came into being.

Day 9 is spent sightseeing and getting to know Jodhpur. Although not appearing blue from ground level, the view over the town from the huge fortress of Meherangarh Fort is a true spectacle as all the blue-washed Brahmin houses shimmer in the sunlight. Not only is blue an auspicious colour for Brahmins, but apparently, it also repels mosquitoes. (If you don't get bitten wearing your blue World On Wheels shirt, you'll know this is true). The fort was one of the film locations for the Disney re-make of Rudyard Kipling's splendid Jungle Book and more recently for the film Taj, the story behind the construction of the world's greatest monument to love.

Day 10 has us leaving relatively early to ride the 265kms to Mt. Abu. The British coined the term "hill stations" to refer to several elevated military enclaves. Much cooler than Delhi and other low-lying centers, they were obviously a popular posting and much sought after. Although no longer militarily oriented, their popularity continues today, and Mt. Abu is virtually the only town in Rajasthan which can boast an altitude measured in quadruple digits, at 1200 metres.

Day 11 We can spend the morning strolling around the picturesque lake, or at nearby Dilwara can be found a compound of magnificent Jain temples carved in white marble. Possibly the finest example of such temples anywhere in India, or for that matter the world, the intricacy of the carving is nothing short of superb. In the afternoon we head off for the short ride to Udaipur, many would say our most romantic destination on the tour.

Day 12 is a rest day. As every second local will tell you, a scene of James Bond's Octopussy was filmed here, as were several segments of the 13-espisode TV drama, Jewel in the Crown. The Lake Palace, like so many other palaces in Rajasthan, has now been converted into a luxury hotel. A solar-powered launch is available for leisure trips, and the sunset over the lake with its stunning white palace provides great photo opportunities. Other places worth visiting are the markets, the City Palace complex (with its rare collection of 18th century Osler's crystal), or maybe a ride to the Monsoon Palace, 20mins out of town.

Day 13 sees us heading out of Udaipur on Highway 8 once more to Pushkar, home to the annual, month-long, world-famous Pushkar Camel Fair. Each November the town is invaded by thousands of camels, horses, cattle and oxen which are bought and sold with the enthusiasm and gusto that only an Indian crowd of around 200,000 traders can muster. While being a most colourful and flamboyant festival, it can also be chokingly crowded and an absolute haven for tourist rip-offs! Be on your guard.

Day 14 But at other times of the year Pushkar is a peaceful and picturesque little town, with its beautiful lake a pilgrimage destination for devout Hindus who come to bathe in its waters. If we rise early we can catch the dawn bathing and prayer rituals ('puja') and watch the town come to life. For those with the energy and inclination, there's a one-hour trek up to the Savitri Temple perched on a hilltop overlooking the lake; it's a lovely walk and the view is magnificent. So we're told. Then we saddle up again and head off in the afternoon to the Rajasthan state capital, Jaipur.

Day 15 Jaipur is known as the Pink City. Pink is the traditional Rajput colour of hospitality and many of the homes in the Old City are this colour. The Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), in the centre of town is a fine example of Rajput craftsmanship. It was built 200 years ago to allow the ladies of the court to observe everyday life and parades in the streets below, without themselves being scrutinised by any probing eyes.

At nearby Amber Fort in the afternoon we take a leisurely elephant ride up to the palace compound, another splendid example of middle-ages fortifications and defences.

Day 16 We hit the road again and head north to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Even for non-birdlovers, this place is quite special and a haven of peace, as no motorised vehicles are allowed in the park. Cycle rickshaws and their highly knowledgeable park guide/riders can be hired at the entrance. Some 415 bird species have been identified here, migrating from as far away as Siberia in huge, apparently unsustainable numbers. Upwards of 3000 painted storks have been counted in one square kilometre of marshland. Recent feathered visitors include the rare Scopes Owl and the huge Dusky Eagle Owl. We'll make an early morning visit tomorrow through the park, the best time to appreciate the wildlife therein.

Day 17 is when we leave Rajasthan behind and cross the state border (although you won't notice it) into Uttar Pradesh. After our early morning visit to the Bird Sanctuary we shall visit the incredible deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, once the capital of the Moghul Empire for a brief period before being completely abandoned, due to a total lack of foresight in obtaining a reliable water source! Then we proceed to Agra in time for a sunset visit to that most famous of all Indian monuments, the Taj Mahal. This mausoleum is without doubt the world's greatest symbol of love, constructed between 1631 and 1653 by Emperor Shah Jahan as an eternal tribute to his beloved wife Mumtaz who had died in 1629 perhaps not surprisingly, giving birth to their 14th child in 17 years.

Day 18 and those who wish can make a second visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise, to see the amazing colour changes on the brilliant white marble. We then head off on the last leg of our Safari to cover the 200km between Agra and Delhi, arriving late in the afternoon. The highway is very good, but there are a couple of chaotic towns to negotiate. On arrival at our hotel, your tour leader has the unenviable task of wresting the bike keys from you so the Enfields can be returned to their rightful owner!

Day 19 is a final day at leisure doing last-minute sightseeing and shopping, or those who want can make the pilgrimage to our bike supplier in Karol Bagh, an entire suburb dedicated to motorized transport of the two-wheeled variety. Then we'll have an early farewell dinner at one of the better eateries in Connaught Place before we transfer you to the airport for the evening departure to Singapore. It's been a lot of fun, but now it's home sweet home. Go tell all your friends!

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Further trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours





Moroccan Magic

Moroccan Magic Motorcycle Safari

This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by an Australian group of riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as the Indian Himalaya, Nepal-Bhutan, Rajasthan, Peru-Bolivia-Chile, Iceland, Turkey, Mexico-Guatemala-Belize, and the Dalmatian coastline, as well as this one through Morocco, all of approximately three weeks in duration.


Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make the final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our local partner, local authorities and group members.


Package Price

The Moroccan Magic tour price, excluding airfares and joining in Malaga, is US$7,250-00. Riders must have a valid and unrestricted rider's domestic licence. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of passenger seats available in our support vehicle, which accompanies the riders for the length of the Safari – price for pillion or passenger is US$6,250-00. Please note that our prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions herewith, up to the date of final payment.


In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment in US$ will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date because you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.


Price includes

BMW motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari; see 'Our Motorbikes' below

Clean, friendly, mid-range accommodation throughout the Safari, nights 1 to 19 inclusive

Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$900-00) 1

All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Experienced guide, local agent and qualified mechanic

Minibus support vehicle and driver, for luggage transport and assistance

Spare parts, tools, medicines and first aid equipment

All fuel costs, maintenance and third party insurance for the bikes

Camel desert dune safari

A complimentary World On Wheels long-sleeved Safari shirt, luggage tags, Moroccan map

1Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an acceptable roommate. But if you're the last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or preferably both!

Price excludes

Airfares to/from Malaga (allow around Au$2,000-00 depending on airline)

Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx Au$329-00 for 24 days) 2

Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)

Tipping for local hotel porters and guides

Road tolls departing from / returning to Malaga

Entry fees to selected destinations of interest and fees for local guides

Ferry ticket Spain - Morocco return

Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs and all drinks

Tips for support staff at completion; optional but always appreciated, US$50-00 suggested 3



2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, we will insist on sighting a copy of the policy before you will be permitted to participate in this tour. Or if you prefer, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$329-00. Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or government Medicare resumes at that point.

3 A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Daily hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room and our mechanic/driver/local guide will anticipate a reasonable tip to supplement his modest wages whilst on tour. We suggest something like US$50-00 is affordable for your three weeks (only about US$2-50 per day), collected at the conclusion of the tour. If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously! (… if you haven't, please let us know why and we'll contribute on your behalf).

International Flights

You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Moroccan Magic' Tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and they can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. There are a number of airline options to/from Malaga via Singapore and/or Dubai and various European capital cities. We recommend you book your airfare at least six months ahead, and full payment will usually be required six weeks before your departure.

Food & Health

Quality of food can obviously be a concern when visiting exotic foreign lands. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals and the local fare is not always as fiery and spicy as some people would have you believe. Our clients are often pleasantly surprised by the delicious meals available. Even so, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time.

Climate & Clothing

Our itinerary is designed to take advantage of the pleasant weather of the Moroccan spring. However Morocco's geography varies greatly and therefore temperatures can range from cold in the mountains to warm on the coast, with some chance of rain. At times there will be little shade available, so sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets, full or open-faced as you prefer, should be brought from home.

Professional quality riding gear including jackets, over-pants and other protective clothing are an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort and protection in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Jackets with a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and water proofing are versatile and useful. But if you're susceptible to the cold, then probably a good set of thermal underwear will also come in handy. A couple of products we've used for several years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-reinforced jeans and other clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those velcro alternatives to hooked 'occy' straps from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard, Kevin Magee ...) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an international adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction and you're in the Sydney vicinity, there's a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and then on bush trails and gives real-time coaching via helmet-to-helmet Bluetooth comms (provided). He gets right in your ear, so to speak. Check him out on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid.

Our Motorbikes

Our bike supplier is an official travel partner of BMW Motorrad. We will have the G650GS, F700GS, F800GS and R1200GS models available. All of these are fully-faired and are perfect steeds for traveling the Moroccan roads. For the more vertically challenged we are able to make some adjustments to the 650s to assist in your riding comfort. Fuel, insurance and maintenance are included.

Please note you will be required to sign a rental contract with our bike supplier in Malaga, leave a photocopy of your passport and a credit card imprint as a security deposit. Our package price includes comprehensive insurance but the policy carries an Excess (or 'Deductible self risk') of €2,000; ie the rider is liable for the first €2,000 of any damage -- if you drop the bike, any broken levers, mirrors, lights, etc will be payable by you. This Excess can be substantially reduced to €350 by the upfront payment of an additional insurance premium of €20 per day x 18 days = €360.

Our Riding Policy

We will occasionally require riders to 'bunch up', particularly when navigating through large towns, but out on the open road we know that you will want a lot of freedom and time on your own (isn't that what riding is all about?) We allow plenty of time for people to set their own pace, and it's unlikely that you'll ever be pressed to keep up. We know of some motorbike tour operators who insist that everybody ride in formation every day and play 'follow the leader', but that's not our style at all. You'll be given maps and daily directions on how far we're going, the destination for the night (including hotel name and phone number), and where we are likely to stop for lunch, drink breaks, sightseeing and refueling along the way, etc. There is always plenty of time to take photos, chat to the locals, or just sit and soak it all in. Our support vehicle with our luggage will always be the last vehicle in the convoy, with our mechanic, spare parts and tools, etc. in case of bike problems.

But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions. It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraph 16 of our Terms and Conditions! (End of sermon)

Detailed Daily Itinerary


Day 1 will mainly consist of flying, and involves the logistics of getting everyone into southern Spain at more or less the same time from several different locations. Malaga is a large international airport and since the opening of a new runway in 2012 it now has connections to 60 countries, and 100 cities in Europe alone. We need you to arrive please in time to complete some paperwork and commissioning for the bikes in the afternoon then we'll have a welcoming drink at our hotel in the evening and our first group dinner together.

Day 2 sees us heading out along the Mediterranean's world-famous Costa del Sol. No time for nude bathing this morning though; we have a ferry to catch. We nip across the Straits of Gibraltar, spend a little time getting through Immigration, then we are in the land of date and coconut palms. Depending on time constraints we'll either stick to the main road into Chefchaouen, or take a slightly longer detour via the Mediterranean coast and some exquisite mountain roads. Chefchaouen is a quiet medina village nestled in a valley encircled by the peaks of the lesser known Rif mountains and our accommodation tonight is an intimate and delightful Dar, offering us a lovely vista of this beautiful town and its surrounds.

Day 3 sees us continuing our pilgrimage south. We ride via Moulay-Idriss, the town named in honour of Morocco's most revered Muslim saint and a great-grandson of the prophet Mohammed, to visit nearby Volubilis, the largest and best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco, marking the southern limit of the Roman Empire. Then it's through one of Morocco's four Imperial Cities (ie former capitals) Meknes and on into our destination for tonight, the alpine village of Ifrane, the Switzerland of Morocco!

Day 4 Continuing south we cover ground rapidly through one of the main agricultural breadbaskets of Morocco, through regional centers such as Azrou and Khenifra, before heading high up into the Moyen Atlas. As we detour onto a magnificent country road, reminiscent of the Moroccan landscape depicted in the 2006 Brad Pitt/ Cate Blanchett movie Babel, the scenery just keeps getting better. Tonight's accommodation is a gorgeous hotel in the small lakeside town of Bin-el-Ouidane … a swim anyone?

Day 5 Leaving Bin-el-Ouidane we have time for a side-trip to view the Cascades de Ouzoud, the most impressive waterfalls in Morocco, before riding on roads less travelled via Demnate in the breathtaking Haut Atlas. The rest of the afternoon will be spent riding these extraordinary and remote roads, a photo opportunity around every corner. This afternoon's destination is Ait-Ben Haddou, an incredibly spectacular kasbah (citadel) 30kms from Ouarzazate. Tonight's Dar (traditional guest house) is as close to the kasbah as you can get, so after a refreshing swim in the pool we'll finish off the day with a well-earned beer/g&t, sharing tales of adventure whilst gazing at the unique vista and soaking up the exotic ambience.

Day 6 This morning while it's cool we'll go exploring the mud-walled medina and kasbah, resembling a Hollywood film set, which is why it has been chosen as the setting for such blockbusters as Lawrence of Arabia and more recently Gladiator. Any mention of Australian heritage will be greeted with cries of "Russell Crowe shopped here!" from the local vendors. And yes, we know, he's a Kiwi. Then we saddle up for an exciting 300k's to Marrakech, another Imperial City. Riding through the stunning Telouet landscape and across the spectacular Tizi-n-Tichka pass where we climb a series of switchbacks to 2260 metres (the breathtaking Atlas mountain scenery is not over yet!), we will arrive in Marrakech early enough in the afternoon to allow time to settle in and enjoy a relaxing drink on the rooftop of our riad before dinner. Tonight after dinner we'll experience the buzzing Djemaa el-Fna old town square that comes alive each evening, where we'll enjoy the wonderful array of street theatre and open-air entertainment.

Day 7 Marrakech is a fantastic place for a rest day. You can hop on (and hop off) the Marrakech Explorer open-top bus for a lap of the city, or wander at your own pace, visiting the array of places of interest on offer, palaces, museums, mosques, gardens ... maybe even a horse and buggy ride around town. You have all day for souvenir shopping in the souqs (don' t forget to bargain hard!), catching up on communications back home or even a relaxing massage in the comfort of the riad in preparation for the next leg of our journey.

Day 8 This morning we head out of Marrakech in a westerly direction on our way to Essaouira, tonight's destination. We arrive in time for lunch and then the afternoon is your own to explore this wonderful Atlantic coastal town. Essaouira has several claims to fame, one of which is being the part-time home of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix. It is also a popular location for the movie industry and many films have been shot and produced here (including Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven). Essaouira is a popular destination not only with moviemakers and actors but also with many artisans and of course as a windy coastal location, with local and international windsurfers. At the end of the ocean boulevard the well-preserved maze-like medina is definitely worth a visit, with many tiny shops and eateries lining the labyrinth of laneways. It's a great opportunity to sit and observe the local culture while sampling the famous Moroccan mint tea (whiskey de Berber!)

Day 9 Today it's south along the wild and rugged Atlantic coast. We'll ride through some relatively developed coastal surfing towns, out in 'the middle of nowhere', where surprisingly you'll observe the presence of many familiar Antipodean surfing brands. The Atlantic winds blow us further south, bypassing Agadir the principal port of southern Morocco on our way towards Tiznit at the end of the Anti Atlas, in the corner of the Souss Valley. Before reaching Tiznit we turn off the main road and make our way about 70k southwest to the small village of Mirleft, where we can relax for the night and watch the sun setting over the Atlantique.

Day 10 This morning we continue a short distance down the coast to Sidi Ifni and then we head inland, through the remote and beautiful Anti Atlas landscape. After an exhilarating morning's ride through the mountains we arrive, via the high or the low road, in 'almond capital' Tafraoute. This modestly sized village is nestled in the peaceful and delightful Ameln Valley, best known for its pink-hued rock faces and lush palm groves (palmeraies). The afternoon is your own, to explore Tafraoute and surrounds on foot or by bike. The tones of the surreal surrounding landscape will amaze and uplift.

Day 11 has us passing through the eastern half of the Ameln Valley and over Tizi Mlil mountain pass for the ride northeast to Igherm. It's another beautiful Anti Atlas ride and then we head southeast towards Tata and our destination tonight, Foum-Zguid. This area is known for its fossils and a large hot water source (tissint) … and the smell of the desert begins. Foum-Zguid used to be a major staging post in the famous Paris-Dakar rally.

Day 12 Today, sorry it's more picturesque riding on great roads, through more Atlas Mountains. We set off towards Tazenakht but turn right before getting there, riding onto the small town of Agdz. We stay here tonight, practicing our pronunciations, at the start of the luscious Vallee du Draa. The Draa river is one of the longest and most important in Morocco, providing irrigation for wonderful produce. Our accommodation tonight is a local Dar in an arid and dusty destination… but life is good.

Day 13 It's a 280 km day, initially east along the Draa Valley and then on to our evening desert destination of Erfoud and the nearby famous Erg Chebbi. An erg is a large, drifting expanse of sand dunes and Erg Chebbi is the only genuine Saharan erg to be found in Morocco. This afternoon we will embark on an adventure, this time on four legs rather than two wheels, our camel safari taking us out to the desert in time to watch the sunset over the Sahara. After dinner and drinks around the campfire it's time to retire to our Saharan bivouac for the night. The rest of the world seems so far away!

Day 14 sees us heading back to civilization from the Saharan desert to our modern day hotel. We have a rest day to explore the tiny town of Erfoud and surrounding dunes and plenty of time to relax by the pool with a good book or a cold beer or both. Alternatively grab your binoculars and see if you can spot a fulvous babbler or a blue-cheeked bee-eater hanging out in one of the country's best bird watching regions … if babblers and warblers aren't your thing grab a glass of Moroccan vino and a pen and catch up on those postcards back home.

Day 15 This morning we farewell Erfoud and the desert, heading north-west towards the Anti Atlas again. Our destination for tonight is the oft-photographed Gorges du Dades which we visit purely for the pleasure of riding some awesome switchback corners. We'll ride up to the top and then turn around and enjoy it again in the opposite direction. En route today we visit a wonderful open-air Berber museum passionately developed and show-casing an impressive collection of Moroccan artifacts. This afternoon is a good time to experience the hotel's hammam (steam sauna) and massage … emerging crease free.

Day 16 Today we have a 300+ km day in the saddle through beautiful gorges and amazing mountain scenery. We leave Gorges du Dades riding east and then northward into Gorges du Todra. The second gorge is completely different from the first and even more spectacular with its unique ambience and stunning landscape! With the gorges behind us we continue riding on into the heart of the Moyen Atlas mountains on some adventurous roads offering us breathtaking mountain vistas. Our destination for tonight is the small town of Midelt where not much happens but it's a convenient overnight point on our journey north.

Day 17 This morning we are Fes bound. We have a half day ride on some magnificent roads across the contrasting landscape of the Moyen Atlas mountains and through stunning cedar forests, before arriving in Fes, Morocco's oldest imperial city, for lunch. Fes is a very large and busy city with a population of more than one million people, bursting at the seams. Commonly known as the religious and spiritual capital of Morocco, the city is divided into three main areas and this afternoon is our opportunity to discover and experience one of them; the medina of Fes-el-Bali. The leather tanneries made famous by Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are here, and Fes also boasts the oldest university in the world. We will take a tour this afternoon experiencing the vibe, architecture and sights of this wonderful city rich in Moroccan history, tradition and culture.

Day 18 It's a leisurely start to the day, soaking up the ambience of Fes from our supremely located hotel and then we ride north and back into the alluring far north Rif mountains. We are reminded we've returned to northern Morocco by virtue of the completely different forested landscapes. Tonight's destination Tetouan is one of only two major Moroccan ports on the Mediterranean Sea. Situated in an orchard belt of the Martil Valley and a few kilometers south of the Straits of Gibraltar, Tetouan is known for its tile-work which we can appreciate this afternoon as we ride into town. It's our last chance for a swim in the Moroccan Med!

Day 19 Completing our circuit of Morocco and drawing the curtain on our tour, we board the ferry in Sebta (Ceuta) for the crossing back to Spain, losing an hour between countries. Back along the Costa del Sol we ride into Malaga, farewell the motorbikes, and then it's back to the hotel for a celebratory drink! The rest of the afternoon is for relaxing, exploring Malaga or doing a final pack (and re-pack) of the luggage to avoid paying excess baggage on all those mementos. Tonight is our farewell dinner, where we might have a celebratory jug or two of sangria...

Day 20 Swap addresses with your fellow riders at breakfast so we can all keep in touch and share photos of your happy memories. Don't forget to tell 100 friends how much fun you've had with us in Magical Morocco! See you somewhere else in the world, sometime soon, on two wheels.

Further detailed trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours


Turkish Treasures

Turkish Treasures Motorcycle Safari


This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by an Australian group of riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as the Indian Himalaya, Nepal-Bhutan, Rajasthan, Morocco, Peru-Bolivia-Chile, the Dalmatian coastline, Iceland, Mexico-Guatemala-Belize, as well as this one through Turkey, all approximately three weeks in duration.

Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our agent in Istanbul, local authorities and group members.

Package Price

The Turkish Treasures tour price, excluding airfares and joining in Istanbul, is US$7,250-00. Riders must have a valid and unrestricted rider's licence. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of passenger seats available in our support vehicle, a 15-seater minibus – price for pillion or passenger is US$6,250-00. Please note that our prices are subject to exchange rates and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions herewith, up to the date of final payment.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment in US$ will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date because you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.

Price includes

Full motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari (see 'Our Motorbikes', below)

Clean, friendly, mid-range accommodation throughout the Safari, nights 2 to 20 inclusive

Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$900-00) 1

All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Experienced guide, local agent and qualified mechanic(s)

Minibus support vehicle and driver, for luggage transport and assistance

Spare parts, tools, medicines and first aid equipment

All fuel costs, maintenance, third party and comprehensive insurance for the bikes

Airport transfers if arriving & departing via our preferred flights

A complimentary World On Wheels long-sleeved Safari shirt, luggage tags and Turkish maps


Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an appropriate roommate (ie same gender, similar age). But if you're the very last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or both!

Price excludes

Airfares to/from Istanbul (approx. Au$1,900-00)

Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx Au$210-00 for 24 days) 2

Tourist visa for Turkey, US$100-00 payable upon arrival in Istanbul (waived for some nationalities)

Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)

Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs and all drinks

Tips for support staff at completion; optional but always appreciated, US$100-00 suggested 3

Hot air balloon flight (approx. €185-00) and Turkish Night (approx. €30-00) in Capadocia

2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, we will insist on sighting a copy of the policy before you will be permitted to participate in this tour. Or if you prefer, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$210-00. Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or government Medicare automatically resumes at that point.

3 A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Daily hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room, and our mechanics, drivers and support staff anticipate reasonable tips to supplement their modest wages whilst on tour with us. We suggest something like US$100-00 is affordable for your three weeks (only about US$5-00 per day), distributed amongst the crew. If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously! (… if you haven't, please let us know).

International Flights


You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels Turkish Treasures tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and they can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. We recommend you book at least six months ahead, and full payment will usually be required six weeks before your departure. Our suggested arrival flight, which we will meet'n'greet for complimentary transfer to your hotel, is Singapore Airlines SQ392 leaving Singapore shortly after midnight and arriving Istanbul at approximately 07:45 in the morning of Day 2 of this itinerary. Our suggested return flight is SQ391 on day 21 of this itinerary.

Food & Health

Quality of food can obviously be a concern when visiting exotic foreign lands. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals and the local fare is not always as fiery and spicy as some people would have you believe. Our clients are often pleasantly surprised by the delicious meals available. Even so, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time.

Climate & Clothing

Our itinerary is designed to take advantage of the pleasant weather of the northern spring, but before the hordes of European tourists start flocking to the beaches and resorts. (It is also deliberately timed to avoid Anzac Day at Gallipoli, when enormous crowds and traffic congestion can turn such a special visit into a farcical waste of time). Temperatures can range from rather cold in the hills to quite warm (high 20's) on the beaches, with little chance of rain. At times there will be little shade available, so sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets should be brought with you from home; our preferred choice is the flip-up variety which gives a lot of flexibility – you can close it to give protection from the wind at high speed but open it at low speed to get some air in your face or chat to the guy beside you at the traffic lights.

Professional quality riding gear including jackets, overpants and other protective clothing are an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort and protection in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Jackets with a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and waterproofing are versatile and useful. But if you're susceptible to the cold, then probably a good set of thermal underwear will also come in handy. A couple of products we've used for several years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-reinforced riding jeans and other items of clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those Velcro alternatives to hooked 'occy' straps from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard, Kevin Magee ...) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an international adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction and you're in the Sydney vicinity, there's a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and then on bush trails and gives real-time coaching via helmet-to-helmet bluetooth comms (provided). Check him out on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid

Our motorbikes

Our standard model bikes are the Suzuki V-Strom 650 and the Honda NCX700. These well-mannered twin cylinder road bikes are fully-faired, powerful enough and quite comfortable with two on board for long distances. For the more vertically challenged we are able to make the necessary adjustments to certain bikes to assist in your riding comfort. Some of the larger bikes may incur an additional premium; please see our Booking Form for full details.

We will attempt to provide you with the bike of your choice, but they may be allocated on a first-booked first-choice basis and we retain the right of assignment. Our bike provider is a commercial motorcycle dealership and their fleet changes frequently, so your preferred model might not always be available. All bikes are late model and in well-maintained condition. Fuel, insurance and maintenance are included.

Please note you will be required to sign a rental contract with our bike supplier in Istanbul, and leave a photocopy of your passport and a credit card imprint for €1,000-00 as a security deposit, which will not be processed unless/until needed. Our package price includes comprehensive insurance but the policy carries a €1,000-00 Excess (or Deductible); ie the rider is liable for the first €1,000-00 of any damage. If you drop the bike, any broken levers, mirrors, lights, etc will be payable by you.

Our riding policy

We will occasionally require riders to 'bunch up', particularly when navigating through large towns, but out on the open road we know that you will want a lot of freedom and time on your own (isn't that what riding is all about?) We allow plenty of time for people to set their own pace, and it's unlikely that you'll ever be pressed to keep up. We know of some motorbike tour operators who insist that everybody ride in formation every day and play 'follow the leader', but that's not our style at all. You'll be given maps and daily directions on how far we're going, the destination for the night (including hotel name and phone number), and where we are likely to stop for lunch, drink breaks, sightseeing and refueling along the way, etc. There is always plenty of time to take photos, chat to the locals, or just sit and soak it all in. Our Mercedes support mini-bus with our luggage will always be the last vehicle in the convoy, with our mechanic, spare parts and tools, etc. in case of bike problems.

But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions. It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraph 16 of our Terms and Conditions attached hereto! (End of sermon)

Turkey trivia: The nation shares its border with eight other modern-day countries. How many can you name without taking a sneak look back at our map on Page 2? The answer can be found later herein.

Detailed Daily Itinerary


Day 1 will mainly consist of flying, and involves the logistics of getting everyone to Istanbul at more or less the same time from several different locations.

Day 2 sees us arriving early in the morning. We'll check into our hotel in the central Golden Horn region before heading out to explore this exciting and vibrant city. Istanbul was once the capital of the whole known world, and although it is no longer even the capital of Turkey, it retains an atmosphere and a 'presence' which is difficult to define but very tangible. It used to be referred to as the 'Paris of the East', and the famous Orient Express would ply between here and the other Paris to the west.

We shall visit Hagia Sophia, which for one thousand years was the greatest church in all of early Christendom, before being converted into an equally splendid mosque by the simple addition of four minarets, and is now an impressive museum. We'll of course also visit Istanbul's most famous landmark, the stunning Blue Mosque.

Day 3 The bikes are waiting at our hotel and we head out of Istanbul this morning in a westerly direction, along the northern shores of the Marmara Sea. The highway soon gives out to smaller roads as we make our way down to the Gallipoli peninsula. The narrow isthmus connecting the Marmara with the Aegean is called the Dardanelles and has been heavily fortified and defended for many centuries, as it allows strategic naval access firstly to Istanbul and thereafter to an ice-free port for the Russian states on the Black Sea. So crucial is the peninsula (known as Gelibolu in Turkey), that this is where the heaviest fighting was concentrated during the First World War, when the Anzacs and Allies tried but failed to gain vital territorial advantage due mainly to the strategic brilliance of one General Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Day 4 We spend the morning examining the battlefields, tunnels and trenches of Anzac Cove and Shrapnel Valley, monuments such as Lone Pine (Australian Cemetery), Chunuk Bair (Kiwi Cemetery), and Ari Burnu (Turkish Cemetery). Particularly moving is a monument erected by Kemal Ataturk paying tribute to all the young sons who lost their lives on both sides of the conflict, magnanimously consoling mothers from distant lands that 'after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.' At the end of the war, General Ataturk went on to become the Turkish Republic's new leader after his mighty revolution to overthrow the oppressive Ottoman regime. To this day he is quite rightly idolized and revered as the father of the nation.

In the afternoon we have a short pleasant ferry ride across the Dardanelles to Canakkale; you probably won't even realize you've in fact just crossed from Europe into Asia Minor. Outside our hotel on the promenade of attractive Canakkale, stands a famous but not original wooden horse. This one was donated to the town by the producers of the 2004 movie Troy starring Brad Pitt and Eric Bana.

Day 5 We'll travel a short distance to explore the ruins of Troy, with its older but also not original wooden horse. Ancient Troy actually went through at least nine incarnations as a city, the oldest having been dated as far back as 3000BC. The town then eventually disappeared in the 14th century, to be rediscovered in 1863 by a Frank Calvert. We proceed south along the Aegean most of the day, sometimes venturing a little inland before plunging back down to the coastline. A few twisty bits, a few straight bits, and lots of good riding surface. But watch out for the guys with the radar. After lunch we endure the chaos of Izmir, the 4th largest city in Turkey where the main industry appears to be massive self-perpetuating construction, before reaching the lovely port of Kusadasi, a popular resort town for all the cruise ships stopping here on the Aegean island-hop circuit.

Day 6 is a short day in terms of distance traveled. We visit the ruins of Efes, (or Ephesus), the grandest and best preserved classical city on the Mediterranean. St. Paul came here and wrote his epistles to the Ephesians, but long before then its Temple of Diana built by the Romans was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and long before that it was the city of the Ionians. It's easy to spend half a day here and we'll lunch in nearby Selcuk, have a wander through the bazaars here, then return to our beachside hotel in Kusadasi for some free time in the afternoon, probably relaxing by the pool.

Day 7 We turn away from the coast properly for the first time, heading some 200k's or so inland to the amazing spectacle of Pamukkale. Hot calcium-laden water bubbles out of a hilltop and cascades over the sides, forming towers of brilliant white travertine rock pools, resembling those pyramids of overflowing champagne glasses sometimes seen at weddings. It is a totally unique sight, unmatched anywhere else in the world.

We'll also explore nearby Heirapolis, another impressive Roman city, where chariot wheel-ruts can be seen on the marble streets. The amphitheatre here is even more spectacular and in better condition than the better-known counterpart at Ephesus we visited yesterday.

Day 8 We cut across the Aegean hinterland in a south-easterly direction back to the coast, this time arriving at the Mediterranean Sea rather than the Aegean. We pass through many little villages and towns, and some rugged mountain valleys only a few kilometres from the coast. Fethiye is our destination for lunch, before we head another 120k or so along a spectacular, twisty Mediterranean coast highway to quiet little Kas for the night. Your first sight of the incredibly azure-blue waters of the Med will be memorable.

Day 9 has us following the coast to Antalya, the regional capital in a spectacular harbour-and-mountains setting, where it's fashionable to go snow skiing in the morning and then scuba diving in the afternoon. St. Tropez and St. Moritz rolled into one. We'll be there by late afternoon and can spend time exploring the old harbour and its fortress walls along with the myriad of attractive shops literally just outside our hotel. We'll probably also inundate the local launderette with all manner of grimy biker gear…..

Day 10 is a well-earned rest day, and Antalya and its environs are worthy of some detailed exploration. We take a short gulet cruise along the coast to witness the remarkable sight of a substantial waterfall gushing directly into the Mediterranean Sea. We can take a dip, try and swim to the waterfall (the current is strong) or sunbathe on the deck of our charter yacht with a cold beer as the crew prepares our lunch.

Back in port, Kaleici, the old part of town where we are staying, is particularly interesting with its combination of beautifully restored Ottoman houses and the Roman harbour, complete with the monumental marble arch of Hadrian's Gate in honour of the Roman emperor who visited here a little before our time, in 130AD.

Day 11 sees us flanking the Mediterranean to Anamur, where a stunning crusader castle dominates the southernmost point of Turkey's coastline. We hug the coast along a beautiful sweeping highway conjuring up images of James Bond coming the other way at a reckless speed in an Aston Martin. The fine sandy beaches here are a double-edged sword for this part of Turkey; the resort town of Alanya, which we pass through this morning, has 'benefited' heavily from the tourist boom recently and now resembles Miami.

We continue east along the Med, with the road occasionally winding up into the hills before sweeping back down to the coast. But we'll have to keep an eye out for very enthusiastic traffic police on this stretch of the road with their speed cameras, we're warning you now! Tonight we head to Kizkalesi, near Silifke, where our hotel faces another spectacular castle built on a small island just offshore, floodlit at night.

Day 12 sees us heading inland again, into the surrealistic landscapes of Capadocia. It is simply not possible to adequately describe the 'fairy chimney' topography of this area. Great boulders of hard granite perch precariously atop columns of softer, eroded sandstone called tufa, resembling the Warner Bros playground of Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. It is another unique geographical phenomenon, unreplicated anywhere else in the world.

Day 13 is a day exploring the wonders around us. Early morning brings the option of floating serenely over the amazing Capadocian landscape in a hot-air balloon … a life experience not to be missed! As well as the spectacular formations above the surface, there are some amazing surprises to be found under foot. The subterranean cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli have been dated as 4,000 years old. Twelve storeys deep, with churches, schools, stables, communal kitchens, ventilation shafts and deep wells, these troglodyte dwellings are a marvel of early engineering. In peaceful times it is believed the residents used to live and farm above ground, but when threatened by invading armies they would retreat below the surface, complete with their animals and supplies, leaving a deserted town and only a few holes in the surface of the ground which were unlikely to be discovered or investigated. Tonight for those who wish, there's an optional night of vibrant Turkish cultural dancing including a performance of the Whirling Dervishes.

Day 14 is another stayover day, allowing us to explore the region's towns and valleys. Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, Capadocia was an early stronghold of Christianity, with St. Paul making long pilgrimages through this part of Anatolia (he was born here in Tarsus, near Adana). Ancient churches are plentiful, carved into the soft rock in the same way as many of the old houses here. Development of real estate was cheap and efficient; find a hillside, carve your house into it – being careful not to inadvertently chisel through into your neighbour's living room. We allow you a totally free day, with the bikes, to visit some of the area's small towns and hamlets.

Day 15 Time to move on. We head north across the vast Anatolian plains where evidence has been found of the very earliest human communities, dating back to 7,500BC. Many civilisations have risen and fallen here on this strategic 'land bridge' between Asia and Europe and the area continues to flourish, with huge agricultural belts providing many and varied crops. After lunch we visit Bogazkale (with a silent 'g') and some spectacular ruins where once stood the capital of the ancient Hittite empire, before heading on to Corum, the little known -- but locally celebrated -- chickpea capital of the world!

Day 16 takes us across the northern alluvial plains to Sinop on the southern shores of the Black Sea, which is quite a remarkable body of water. Recent research has proven that the Black Sea was a massive freshwater lake until about 7,500 years ago, when the great melt following the last ice age raised the level of oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. The entire length of the Bosphorus Valley was breached, and salt water flooded for months 'with the force of 200 Niagaras' according to Harvard University, into the Black Sea which was previously some 500ft lower. Some have speculated this may in fact have been the biblical Great Flood.

After the sea levels gained equilibrium, the denser salt water filled the bottom of the basin, leaving a layer of lighter, brackish water on the surface. Since it lacks the circulatory currents of the oceans, oxygen never penetrated to the lower levels. Deadly hydrogen sulfide formed, and life suffocated – the murky depths of the Black Sea are poisonous.

Day 17 Today we present to you one of the world's best-kept secrets; the coastline along the Black Sea forests. 300km of twisty, winding roads, wonderfully lush and verdant forests, with dairy farming and rich crops of cherries, hazelnuts, tobacco and others in evidence. The waters of the Black Sea are much cooler than the Aegean and the Med, so tourism is not as developed and quaint little fishing villages (the upper levels of the sea are teeming with life!) tend to dot the coastline rather than ritzy resorts.

We reach Amasra late in the afternoon, a quiet little town with a splendid Genoese fortress defending the beautiful harbour. We can complete our swimming trifecta by having a dip in the Black Sea.

Day 18 takes us inland a little through the hills on a winding little road to a gorgeous little Ottoman town called Safranbolu, which translates literally as 'big saffron'. Saffron is indeed big here, having been grown for centuries as a primary source of trading revenue way back when this part of the world was on the Old Silk Route. Safranbolu is now also famous for its Turkish Delight, and we'll spend half a day exploring the town's delights and charms before retiring to our boutique Ottoman-style hotel.

Day 19 and we're winding down the clock. We complete our circumnavigation of central/western Turkey bumping along through little coastal towns before joining the expressway for a while and ending with a short ferry ride back into the heart of Istanbul. We relinquish our trusty steeds to their rightful owner this evening, having covered a little over 4,000km in the past three weeks.

Day 20 gives us a chance to explore Istanbul a bit more, with a ferry cruise up the Bosphorus followed by perhaps a shopping expedition to the huge, covered Grand Bazaar for those mandatory last-minute souvenirs and T-shirts for the family back home. Tonight sees us gathering for our final farewell dinner in our favourite roof top restaurant … with arguably one of the best views in the world!

Day 21 That's all folks! You're outa here shortly after noon, with a thousand photographs and quite a few tales to tell over your next dinner party. Swap addresses with your fellow riders so we can all keep in touch and trade a few photos next time we all catch up at a Phillip Island race meeting or some such.


Further detailed trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Feel free to contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours


Trivia answer: Turkey's eight neighbouring countries, clockwise from midnight, are Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Greece and Bulgaria. How did you do?


Dalmatian Delights

Dalmatian Delights Motorcycle Safari

This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's original professional tour operator specializing solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by an Australian group of riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to such diverse destinations as the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, Bhutan, Rajasthan, Turkey, Morocco, Peru-Chile-Bolivia, Iceland, Mexico-Guatemala-Belize as well as this one along the Dalmatian coastline, all of approximately three weeks in duration.


Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our agent in Ljubljana, local authorities and group members.

Package Price

The Dalmatian Delights package price, excluding airfares and joining in Ljubljana, is US$7,500-00 with a US$500-00 rebate offered if you nominate one of our smaller bikes. Riders must have a valid and unrestricted rider's licence. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of passenger seats available in our support vehicle, a minivan which accompanies the riders for the length of the Safari – price for pillion or passenger is US$6,750-00. Please note that our prices are subject to exchange rates and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions, up to the date of final payment.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment in US$ will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date because you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.

Price includes

Full motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari [See Our Motorbikes, herein]

Clean, friendly, mid-range accommodation throughout the Safari, nights 1 to 19 inclusive

Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$1,200-00) 1

All meals except some non-riding days where we leave you to find your own lunch

Experienced guide, local multi-lingual agent and mechanical assistance

Minibus support vehicle and driver, for luggage transport and assistance

Spare parts, tools, medicines, first aid equipment

All fuel costs, maintenance and repairs, third party insurance for the bikes

Half day locally guided tour of Sarajevo, half day boat cruise from Dubrovnik

A complimentary World On Wheels long-sleeved Safari shirt, luggage tags and Dalmatian map

1Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an acceptable roommate. But if you're the last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or preferably both!

Price excludes

International airfares to/from Ljubljana (approx. Au$2500-00)

Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx. Au$239-00 for 24 days) 2

Tourist visa for any of these countries (currently not required, but things change!)

Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)

Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs and all drinks

Plitvice National Park and Skojcan Caves entrance fees (optional sightseeing)

Vehicular ferry tickets to/from Hvar island and Pag

Tips for support staff at completion; optional but always appreciated, Au50-00 suggested 3

2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, we will insist on sighting a copy of the policy before you will be permitted to participate in this tour. Or if you prefer, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$239-00 (single). Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or government Medicare automatically resumes at that point.

3 A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room and our local partner pays this daily on your behalf, and would appreciate compensation. We suggest something like US$50-00 each is affordable for your three weeks (only about US$2-50 per day). If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously!

International Flights

You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Dalmatian Delights' tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and they can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. There are many carriers to get you to/from Ljubljana from our part of the world, and we don't have a 'preferred' group flight as such. The airport is close to the city and you can travel to the centre for approximately €50-00 by taxi, or €10-00 each by shuttle bus.

Food & Health

Quality of food can sometimes be a concern when visiting exotic foreign lands. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals and the local fare is typically of European standard. Even so, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time.

Climate & Clothing

Our itinerary is designed to take advantage of the pleasant weather of the shoulder season. Temperatures can range from cool in the hills to very warm (high 20's) on the beaches; with some chance of rain. At times there will be little shade available, so sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets, full or open-faced as you prefer, should be brought with you from home.

Professional quality riding gear including jackets, overpants and other protective clothing are an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort and protection in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Jackets with a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and water proofing are versatile and useful. But if you're susceptible to the cold, then probably a good set of thermal underwear will also come in handy (better to have them and not need them than …). A couple of products we've used for several years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-reinforced riding jeans and other items of clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those Velcro alternatives to hooked 'occy' straps from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've recently teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard, Kevin Magee, Mark Willis....) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction and you're in the Sydney vicinity, there's a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and then on bush trails and gives real-time coaching via helmet-to-helmet bluetooth comms (he provides). Check him out on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid

Our motorbikes

Our local business partner has a wide range of top-end luxury bikes available, including several models and sizes from BMW, Triumph, Honda and Suzuki. All bikes are late model and in well-maintained condition. For the more vertically challenged we are able to make some adjustments to certain bikes to assist in your riding comfort. Fuel, insurance and maintenance are included. If you are willing to accept one of our smaller capacity bikes there is a rebate offered; please see our Booking Form for full details.

We will attempt to provide you with the bike of your choice, but they may be allocated on a first-booked first-choice basis and we retain the right of assignment. Our bike provider is a commercial operation and their fleet changes frequently, so your preferred model might not always be available.

Please note you will be required to sign a rental contract with our bike supplier in Ljubljana, and leave a photocopy of your passport and a credit card imprint as a security deposit. Our package price includes comprehensive insurance but the policy carries an Excess (or Deductible), depending on the size of the bike; typically €1,000 for a 600/700/800 and €2,000 for a 1200. The rider is liable for this first amount of any damage; if you drop the bike, any broken levers, mirrors, lights, etc will be payable by you.

Our riding policy

We will occasionally require riders to 'bunch up', particularly when navigating through large towns, but out on the open road we know that you will want a lot of freedom and time on your own (isn't that what riding is all about?) We allow plenty of time for people to set their own pace, and it's unlikely that you'll ever be pressed to keep up. We know of some motorbike tour operators who insist that everybody ride in formation every day and play 'follow the leader', but that's not our style at all. You'll be given maps and daily directions on how far we're going, the destination for the night (including hotel name and phone number), and where we are likely to stop for lunch, drink breaks, sightseeing and refueling along the way, etc. There is always plenty of time to take photos, chat to the locals, or just sit and soak it all in. Our support van with our luggage will always be the last vehicle in the convoy, with our mechanic, spare parts and tools, etc. in case of bike problems.

But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions. It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraph 16 of our Terms and Conditions! (End of sermon)

Detailed Daily Itinerary


Day 1 of your trip involves the logistics of having all of you fly from different starting points at different times and somehow all meet up in Ljubljana. There are no 'organised' activities scheduled for today, as people will be arriving at various times and in varying degrees of jet-lag ! We will meet up in the evening for our first dinner together and introduce you to the delights of central Ljubljana by night.

Day 2 We'll take a stroll through the picturesque old part of town with its narrow streets and laneways and perhaps ride the funicular up to the castle. The day also involves the beginning of the logistics of bike allocation and familiarisation, with some inevitable paperwork.

Day 3 sees us heading immediately out of town through beautiful green Slovenian countryside to the border with Croatia. Border crossings are a simple formality in this part of the world; no fingerprinting or iris-photography required. We continue on wonderful country roads to Plitvice National Park in time to check into our hotel, dump our bike gear, and head out to explore this amazing network of waterfalls and ponds.

Day 4 is a longer ride than yesterday and involves another border crossing (three countries in three days) as we enter Bosnia-Herzegovina. There are some wide open spaces without much human activity, and some pleasant little towns along the way as we make our way to the capital, Sarajevo.

Day 5 is our first 'rest day' in the program, which basically means a rest day for the motorcycles rather than us, as we spend the day exploring what was a magnificent olde-world capital before it was ravaged by the recent wars. Sarajevo has had an interesting role to play in more than one major conflict; the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne) on a street corner here in June of 1914 is generally accepted by historians as the immediate start of the first World War. Discuss.

Day 6 will be spent on an amazing series of winding roads to take us the long way round to get to Mostar. If you enjoy twisties, we've plenty in store for you today. We should still get to Mostar in time to enjoy the old centre of town. It also suffered from war damages after Bosnia-Herzegovina gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1992, but has quickly been rebuilt to its former glory.

Day 7 From Mostar we head further east and cross another border into Montenegro, probably the least-known countries of the former Yugoslavia, whose name of course translates as Black Mountain. And indeed we head into the Black Mountains to Durmitor National Park and the regional capital Zabljak, which has the distinction of being the highest town in the Balkans at 1456 metres. Today we ride some incredible natural landscape.

Day 8 Heading out of the Park on a (different) winding road through gorges and canyons and along steep mountainsides, we make our way down towards the Adriatic but before reaching the coast we detour to take another border crossing, bringing us into Albania. We weave our way along some wonderful little country roads into Shkoder.

Day 9 sees us heading out of Albania and returning to Montenegro, where we discover a surprisingly idyllic little coastal resort called Petrovac. We shall be there early in the afternoon and of course it's obligatory to have your first swim in the Adriatic's pristine waters. Or sit and enjoy a cold beer with plates of seafood.

Day 10 From Petrovac we follow the Adriatic coast back into Croatia and north-westerly to Dubrovnik. Along the way we take in some spectacular mountain roads and switchbacks and we pass a little gem called Sveti Stefan, or St. Stephen, which was once a simple fishing village on a tidal island. It is now the most exclusive 5-star luxury resort on the coast of Montenegro, in fact probably the entire Dalmatian coastline, and permanently connected to the mainland by a man-made isthmus. And No, we don't stay here . . .

Day 11 What can we tell you about Dubrovnik that you haven't already read? Our second rest day sees us chartering a yacht for a half-day sailing on the Adriatic, exploring the famous Dubrovnik harbour and shoreline. We'll have lunch on board and probably force-feed you some fresh calamari, washed down with a local chardonnay or whatever one quaffs on such occasions.

Day 12 We continue our north-westerly direction up the coast, and take a ferry to Hvar Island. We traverse the length of the island to the furthermost tip, to the township of the same name where well-to-do nautical types from around the world sit in alfresco cafes sipping lattes and wondering who let all these bikers in.

Day 13 will be another rest day with lots of opportunity to relax by the hotel pool, or go shopping, or visit the bars and cafes and restaurants Hvar is famous for. It is a lovely, relaxed, picturesque town, even if you don't know your halyard from your mainsheet.

Day 14 sees us on a late-morning ferry to Split back on the mainland, and we head north to the sensational little medieval town of Primosten, another coastal gem like St. Stephen or a miniature Dubrovnik, by lunchtime. We then continue to Pag, usually referred to as Pag Island even though it's actually a long thin peninsular connected to the mainland.

Day 15 From Pag a short ferry hop across to the shore saves us a circuitous 200k or so, and we continue north to visit the cavernous underground systems known as the Skocjan Caves, close to the border with Italy.

Day 16 brings us to our fifth country, as we head into northern Italy to have fun in the mountains. Don't forget to speak with your hands and lots of eyebrow movements as we explore Rossi's homeland. You'll probably see more Ducatis and Guzzis here than anywhere else on the planet, as we head to Corvara in the Dolomites.

Day 17 is a rest day for those who want, or if you've not earned enough saddle sores yet you can go explore some of the exhilarating Dolomite passes (motorcyclists heaven) or do a quick 400km loop up to Passo de Stelvio and back. We'll be waiting with a chilled beer for when you get back.

Day 18 It's time to start heading back to base camp, so we cross into Slovenia but the good riding isn't over yet; we spend some time taking to the smaller roads in the Julian Alps and overnight in Bovec, which prides itself as the Adventure Capital of Slovenia. We can go zip-lining across some stunning river canyons.

Day 19
Julian keeps us busy for some of the day but after swinging by the scenic Lake Bled we eventually find ourselves being drawn back by centrifugal force to Ljubljana, where we have to convince you to hand back the keys and the motorcycle!

Day 20 A final rest day winding down and finalising any necessary paperwork, having a lager or two in the old town, then getting you to the airport. You're outa here, homeward bound; please go tell 100 friends.


Further detailed trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours


Awesome Andes

Awesome Andes Motorcycle Safari


This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's one and only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by an Australian group of riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, Bhutan, Rajasthan, Turkey, Morocco, Iceland, the Dalmatian coastline, Mexico-Guatemala-Belize, as well as this one through Peru-Chile-Bolivia, all of approximately three weeks in duration.

Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make the final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our agent in Arequipa, local authorities and all group members.

Package Price

The Awesome Andes tour price, excluding airfares and joining in Arequipa, is US$7,250-00. Riders must have a valid and unrestricted motorcycle rider's domestic licence. A limited number of pillion positions will be available, as some of our bikes are unsuitable for two-up usage. Price for pillion is US$6,250-00. Please note our prices are subject to exchange rate fluctuations and we reserve the right to alter pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions, up to the date of final payment.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment in US$ will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date if you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.

Price includes

Standard motorbike rental for the 20 days of the Safari (see 'Our Motorbikes', below))

Clean, friendly mid-range hotel accommodation throughout the Safari

Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$900-00) 1

All meals (breakfast, lunch and evening)

Experienced motorcycling guide, local agent and motorbike mechanic

Nissan Navarra 4WD support vehicle and driver, for luggage and equipment transport

Spare parts, tools, medicines and first aid equipment

All fuel costs, maintenance and running repairs, comprehensive insurance for the bikes

Island cruise on Lake Titicaca, Inca Rail transfer and entry to Machu Picchu

A complimentary World On Wheels T-shirt, cap, luggage tags, basic roadmaps

1Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an appropriate roommate (ie same gender, similar age). But if you're the very last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or both!

Price excludes

International airfares to/from Arequipa (approx. Au$3000-00)

Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx. Au$329-00 for 24 days) 2

Visas for Peru, Chile and Bolivia; presently not required for Australian passports, but may change 3

Optional scenic flight over the Nasca Lines on Day 19

Airport departure taxes – some may be included with your ticket, some may not !

Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (note, Yellow Fever is mandatory)

Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs and all drinks

Tips for staff at tour completion; optional but always appreciated, US$100-00 suggested 4


2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore this personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, we will insist on sighting a copy of the policy before you will be permitted to participate in this tour. Or if you wish, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approx. Au$329-00 for 24 days. Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private cover or government Medicare resumes at that point.

3 Bolivia charges US citizens a US$130 visa fee, and slightly less for some other nationalities; check with the Bolivian consulate in your own country. If flying in via Santiago in Chile, they charge Australian passports a US$95airport fee.

4 A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Daily hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room, and our mechanics, drivers and support staff anticipate reasonable tips to supplement their modest wages whilst on tour with us. We suggest something like US$100-00 is affordable for your three weeks (only about US$5-00 per day), distributed amongst the crew. If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously! (… if you haven't, please let us know).

International Flights

There are several ways to reach Arequipa but none of them are straightforward. From Australia, our options include via Santiago with Lan Chile, via Buenos Aires with Aerolineas Argentinas, or via the USA with Qantas. (Be aware that if stopping over in Santiago, Chile charges Australian and USA citizens a US$95 airport fee). You need to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates in Mona Vale. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Awesome Andes' tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. We recommend you book at least six months ahead, and full payment will usually be required six weeks before your departure. Please note that Arequipa sits at 2,350m and is higher than Australia's highest mountain Kosciusko, so you may want to think about arriving a day or two early in order to begin acclimatising to altitude.

Food & Health

Visiting any foreign country involves exposure to food, water and disease to which your body is unaccustomed so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Seafood, beef and various other meats (including alpaca and yes, guinea pig) feature prominently in South American menus but there is usually a vegetarian selection also available. We will use only clean, reputable establishments for our meals. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time.

Altitude, Climate & Clothing

We start and finish in Arequipa, which enjoys a relatively lower altitude and allows us to prepare for the serious highs of the Andes. We carry with us a synthetic drug called Diamox (or a local Peruvian alternative, Sorojchi), which is specifically designed to counter the unpleasant side effects of altitude sickness. We also need to drink plenty of water as the symptoms are much worse if exacerbated by even mild dehydration, and dehydrating of course, is easy to do in the rarefied air of higher altitudes.

Our itinerary is timed to take advantage of the pleasant weather of the southern spring, but the topography of our destination is very diverse and varied; bear in mind we are exploring one of the most formidable mountain ranges on the planet. Temperatures can range from bitterly cold in the mountains to quite warm (high 20's) on the coast, with little chance of rain. At times there will be little shade available, so sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and gloves. Helmets, full or open-faced as you prefer, should be brought with you from home.

Professional quality riding gear including jackets, overpants and other protective clothing are an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort and protection in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Jackets with a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and water proofing are versatile and useful. But if you're susceptible to the cold, then probably a good set of thermal underwear will also come in handy. A couple of products we've used for several years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-reinforced jeans and other clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those Velcro alternatives to hooked 'occy' straps, from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard, Kevin Magee ...) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an international adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction and you're in the Sydney vicinity, there's a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and then on bush trails and gives real-time tips via helmet-to-helmet Bluetooth comms (provided). Check him out on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid

Our motorbikes

Motorbikes are a luxury toy in South America and limited options are available. Our standard offering is the Suzuki DR650. We also offer, for an upgrade premium, the luxury of a BMW F650GS, F800GS or R1200GS in limited numbers. Please see bike specifications on the final page of this itinerary to help with your selection, and our Booking Form for prices.

Please note you will be required to sign a rental contract with our bike supplier in Arequipa, and leave a photocopy of your passport and either cash or a credit card imprint (Visa only! No others) for US$1,000-00 as a security deposit. Our package price includes comprehensive insurance but the policy carries a US$1,000-00 Excess (or 'Deductible'); ie the rider is liable for the first US$1,000-00 of any damage. If you drop the bike, any broken levers, mirrors, lights, etc will be payable by you. Scratches are ignored.

Our riding policy

We will occasionally require riders to 'bunch up', particularly when navigating through the large towns, but out on the open road we know you'll want a lot of freedom and space on your own (isn't that what riding is all about?) We allow plenty of time for people to set their own pace, but occasionally there's a long day where we'll need to move along fairly quickly. Even so, it's unlikely you'll ever be hassled by us to hurry it along.


We know of some motorbike tour operators who insist that everybody ride in formation every day and play 'follow the leader', but that's not our style at all. You'll be given daily directions on how far we're going and our destination for the night (including hotel name and phone number), and where we are likely to stop for lunch, drinks breaks, sightseeing and refuelling along the way, etc. but you're free to set your own pace. There'll be time to take photos, chat to the locals, or just sit back and soak it all in. The support van with our luggage will always be the last vehicle in the convoy, with our mechanic, spare parts and tools etc. in case of bike problems.

But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions (eg. right-hand side of the road throughout South America). It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining the tour and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge paragraph 16 of our Terms and Conditions forming part of our Booking Form! (End of sermon).

Detailed Daily Itinerary

Day 1 involves getting everyone to Arequipa and will entail many, many hours in the air! Arequipa is a very attractive city of cathedrals, courtyards and town squares, in a very beautiful location surrounded by impressive mountains and volcanoes. We may have some of the day here to catch up on some lost sleep, check out the motorcycles, and do last-minute preparations for our first day's ride tomorrow. The central square of every Peruvian town is called the Plaza de Armas, and the one here in Arequipa is particularly beautiful. By the way, at 2,350 metres, we are already higher than Australia's highest mountain, Kosciusko.

Day 2 We'll head out of town at 8:00 to beat peak hour traffic. The 370k to Tacna will illustrate to you how sparse and barren the landscape of the Andes can be, as parts of the northern Atacama Desert here have never recorded a single drop of rainfall since measurements began. Tacna is a pleasant little town, with another typical Plaza de Armas being the central focal point.

Day 3 brings our first encounter with border bureaucracy. It's a four-stage process, getting bikes and people stamped out of Peru, then bikes and people stamped into Chile. With a one-finger typist on a steam-driven computer, it takes time and a little patience but we'll be on our way soon enough and continue heading south across the world's driest desert, the Atacama, to the seaside resort of Iqueque.

Day 4 We head inland away from the coast, on a newly sealed road, to our second border crossing. As we ride east then south across the altiplano to Oruro, you'll notice a huge difference between relatively prosperous Chile and Peru, and desperately impoverished Bolivia, the most depressed economy in South America. When a war with Chile in the 1880's cost Bolivia its coastal port of Antofagasta and access to the sea (as well as 300k of coastline), it became a land-locked state and trade suffered enormously. With the mineral wealth lurking just below the surface, the country should be hugely rich, but of course it was plundered by foreign interests (see Day 8below). Oruro is a typically desolate mining town, where we arrive in the evening. The locals are very proud of the town's mining heritage and the main boulevard into town is lined with large, creative and somewhat bizarre sculptures in tin and copper. It is hardly an edifying place for tourists, but unfortunately there are limited options in this part of the world, and we need a place to bed down for the night. Thistle do.

Day 5 We're on our way to Potosi, whose main claim to fame these days is being the highest city in the world, at 4,200 metres above sea level. You'll feel it as you try to carry your bags up to your room; there's not much oxygen in the atmosphere. A couple of hundred years ago however, Potosi was famous for other reasons . . .

Day 6 Potosi was the largest and wealthiest city in all of Latin America by the late 1700's (and bigger than either Paris or London!) thanks to the discovery of huge quantities of silver and the subsequent establishment of what quickly became the most prolific mines in the world. The entire Spanish economy for more than two hundred years was underwritten by the vast fortune dug from the slopes around Potosi. It was said that a bridge of pure silver could have been built from Potosi to Madrid. . .

So we'll have a 'rest day' here in Potosi taking a look at one of these mines, where primitive conditions remain prevalent and we can glimpse how tough a slave's life would have been here 200 years ago. Pyromaniacs are in for a real treat, as we have the opportunity to detonate some sticks of dynamite. You can buy them for a few cents at the corner store while you're picking up your bread and milk.

Day 7 We'll wind through another 200k of undulating, twisting hill roads before we reach the barren but startlingly beautiful landscape of the amazing Salar de Uyuni. With an area of over 12,000 square kilometres, this is the largest salt pan on our Earth and the centre of a salt extraction industry which produces 20,000 tons of salt annually for domestic consumption.It is a bizarre motorcycling experience to be barrelling along in the middle of absolutely nothing but a white expanse from horizon to horizon. See if you're game to ride with your eyes closed for 30 seconds! We cross the salar for about 80km to an interesting island covered with amazing cacti, before returning to Uyuni for the night.

Day 8 There's a brand new beautiful highway, just completed in 2016, now connecting Uyuni to Oruro where we stayed a couple of nights ago but never got the chance to explore. This time we shall arrive today in time to have a look around

Day 9 We proceed further north across the cold and barren altiplano to La Paz. Often mistaken for the capital (which is actually Sucre), this is a fascinating city for its location alone, at an altitude of almost 4000m but in a huge bowl of a valley 400m below the lip of the surrounding altiplano, and more than 5km from rim to rim. The name La Paz of course means 'the peace' and despite modern-day hustle and bustle, there is still a peaceful olde worlde air to the place. We'll wander the local Plaza and find the Witches Market in the afternoon/evening.

Day 10 sees us climbing back out of La Paz's crater and off across the altiplano again, to the border crossing back into Chile. We pass a couple of beautiful conical volcanoes, one of which is often seen steaming, and there are colonies of pink flamingos on the lakes up here at 4,000 metres. Our destination tonight is a remote little mining town called Putre, high in the colourful mineral-rich hills.

Day 11 Another wonderful newly sealed highway, virtually devoid of traffic, brings us down to the Chilean coast and to the border back into Peru. The border formalities should be quicker this time, as we are taking the Peruvian bikes 'home'. We proceed to Moquegua, a picturesque little green oasis with a thriving algriculture in the otherwise arid desert landscape.

Day 12 takes us back into Peru for another sensational mountain road to Puno, arriving in time to head out for an afternoon cruise onto the highest navigable lake in the world Lake Titicaca,to visit Las Islas Flotantes de Uros, impressive floating islands constructed of matted papyrus reeds. In the evening we can sample delicious barbequed alpaca in one of the many restaurants, or perhaps try the local specialty, cuy, the grilled guinea pig. [Trivia: define navigable? Explanation next page]

Day 13 sees us heading off again to serious altitude, as we climb above 4,400m on our way north to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas. We climb and drop and climb and drop, and if it's a clear day the Andes will stand on the horizon around us, to be applauded by all. Cusco is an attractive town with a very impressive Plaza.

Day 14 We will take you on a half-day walking tour of Cusco to familiarise you with your surroundings, then turn you loose for the afternoon with a few options. It's worth just sitting in the Plaza for an hour watching the locals and soaking up the atmosphere. There's a Biker's Bar here (the Norton Rat's Tavern) which is usually popular with our clientele and we'll maybe meet there for dinner, as they boast the best burgers in Peru.

Day 15 Today is a nice gentle meandering ride, as we explore a few little gems in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Moray is a spectacular example of early agricultural expertise, and Salineras is an equally impressive salt extraction plant. Then we head to our hotel in linguistically challenging Ollantaytambo, surrounded by astonishing fortifications but relatively uncelebrated because Machu Picchu is just up the road.

Day 16 We're on the train early in the morning. We chug for a couple of hours through the most breathtaking scenery and impenetrable countryside to arrive at mystical, magical Machu Picchu. How did they ever build a city up here? And why? Popular modern belief is that it was already deserted at the time of the Spanish invasion, after being occupied for only a hundred years or so. It is everything you've seen and read about it, and more. It's much larger than many people expect from having seen only the one classic photo from a nearby ridge, and the quality and precision of the dry stonework is absolutely incredible. If you're left unimpressed by what you see today you're pretty hard to please! It's a long day though, and we return by train in the evening to our hotel in Ollantaytambo.

Day 17 is a day of regular ups and downs as we cross two more mountain passes (4,500+ metres) on our way to the very heart of the Peruvian Andes. It is spectacular in some parts, bleak in others, sections of it are newly sealed and the temperature may vary from stifling hot to bluddy freezing. And even though we are on Highway 26 all the way today you'll find nothing about it in the guidebooks because we are way off the beaten track here. It's more than 300k to Chalhuanca and a beautiful little resort hotel in the middle of nowhere.

Day 18 sees us continuing across the mountains to the west, with Nasca being our destination for the day. The Nasca Lines are a series of incredibly huge drawings and shapes carved into the floor of the stony Ica Desert, properly discernible only from the air. Current scientific belief is that the Lines pre-date the Inca culture and were created between 300BC and 700AD by the Nasca Indians, but nobody knows for certain by whom or for what reason. They were discovered in 1929 by Paul Kosok, researched extensively in the 40's by Maria Reiche, and sensationalised on TV in the 70's by Erich von Daniken as possible alien landing maps.

Day 19 Those who wish can take a morning flight over some pretty impressive images of monkey, condor, hummingbird, whale, astronaut (!) and others. On the way out of town we may have time for a visit to the ancient aqueducts bringing fresh water to the town from the Andes, or perhaps the open-air cemeteries at Chauchilla, with their mummified remains. We then have the pleasure of riding the Pan Americana highway nearly 200k along the rugged Pacific and continue all the way to a little spot on the south coast consisting of not much more than our resort hotel at Puerto Inka, near the town of Challa.

Day 20 A final 400k riding day brings us back to where it started, Arequipa. Then we have to convince you to part company with the bikes that have taken you across the Andes in both directions. You'll probably want to throw a lot of clothes at the nearest laundry facility and have a cold beer or three. We'll have our farewell dinner at a restaurant overlooking Arequipa's majestic Plaza de Armas, where it all began three weeks ago.

Day 21 is your fly-out day, when we shepherd you off to the airport. It's been fun, now please go and tell 100 friends!

Trivia answer: In days of old, the term 'navigable' implied navigable under the power of steam. The higher in altitude one goes, the lower the atmospheric pressure and consequently a lower boiling point of water. Any higher in altitude than Lake Titicaca (3800 metres) yielded a steam with not enough heat and pressure to drive the turbines in old-fashioned steamboats. So now you know.


Further trip notes including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Please contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370, or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours


Inspiring Iceland

Inspiring Iceland Motorcycle Safari

This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by an Australian group of riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,600+metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, Bhutan, Morocco, Turkey, Peru-Chile-Bolivia, Rajasthan, Mexico-Guatemala-Belize and the Dalmatian coastline, as well as this one through Iceland.

Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our partners in Reykjavik, local authorities and group members.

Here's a little trivia question for you; if you were to sail directly south from Iceland, what's the first landfall you would encounter? No peeking at a map! The answer shall be found herein.

Package Price

The Inspiring Iceland tour price, excluding airfares and joining in Reykjavik, is US$8,000-00. Riders must have a valid and unrestricted rider's licence. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of passenger seats available in our minivan support vehicle– price for pillion or passenger is US$7,250-00. Please note that our prices are subject to exchange rates and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions herewith, up to the date of final payment.


As you've probably heard, Iceland is not a cheap destination. We have managed to keep our package price below the emotional threshold of US$10k by designing a 15-day tour, several days shorter than our usual 3-week itineraries but it is still the most expensive tour we offer.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment in US$ will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date because you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.

Price includes

BMW motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari (see 'Our Motorbikes', below)

Clean, friendly, mid-range accommodation throughout the Safari, nights 1 to 14 inclusive

Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$1,200-00) 1

All dinners and breakfasts

Experienced motorcycle guide and a local escort

Support vehicle and driver, for luggage transport and assistance

Spare parts, tools, medicines and first aid equipment

All fuel costs, maintenance, third party and comprehensive insurance for the bikes

A complimentary World On Wheels long-sleeved Safari shirt, luggage tags and Iceland map


1Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an appropriate roommate (ie same gender, similar age). But if you're the very last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or both!

Price excludes

Any airfares to/from Reykjavik

Any tourist visas (no visa presently required for Iceland)

Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx Au$178-00 per single for 16 days) 2

Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)

Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs, drinks

Any lunches; we will always stop at a place where lunch may be obtained as desired

Optional whale-watching cruise at Husavik on day 7; optional Lava Cave visit on day 13

Tips for support staff at completion; optional but always appreciated, US$50-00 suggested 3

2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, we will insist on sighting a copy of the policy before you will be permitted to participate in this tour. Or if you prefer, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$178-00. Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or Medicare automatically resumes at that point.

3A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. If you let a porter carry your bags to your room he'll expect something, and our support staff appreciate a little tip whilst on tour with us. We suggest something like US$50 is very affordable for your two weeks (only about US$3.50 per day). If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously! (… if you haven't, please let us know why).

International Flights

You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Inspiring Iceland' tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and they can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. We recommend you book at least six months ahead, and full payment will usually be required six weeks before your departure. There are several flights daily to Reykjavik from European capitals such as London, Paris, Copenhagen, or from North America via Washington, New York, Vancouver... A stopover in one of these for a day or two is suggested, before arriving in Reykjavik.

Food & Health

Quality of food can obviously be a concern when visiting exotic foreign lands. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals and Iceland is a very modern country with no hygiene concerns whatsoever. We have found the food to be sensational! Even so, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time.

Climate & Clothing

There's a good reason why this place is called Iceland. Our itinerary is designed to take advantage of the pleasant weather of early summer, but it can still be very cold in the remote regions. Temperatures can range from warm (high teens) around Reykjavik, to downright bone-chilling in the windswept mountains of the Westfjords. At times there will be little shade available, so sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets should be brought with you from home; our preferred choice is the flip-up variety which gives a lot of flexibility – you can close it to give protection from the wind at high speed but open it at low speed to get some air in your face or to chat to the guy beside you in the gas station.

Professional quality riding gear such as Dririder's jackets, pants and other protective clothing are essential and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort and protection in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Your favourite old leather jacket just ain't gonna cut it here. Read this and please heed! We spend a lot of our year riding in the Himalaya, the Andes, etc, and we can tell you we've been colder in an Iceland summer than anywhere else on the planet. Jackets with a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and waterproofing are versatile and useful. But if you're susceptible to the cold, then probably a good set of thermal underwear will also come in handy. The BMWs all have heated handgrips; if you also have a plug-in electric vest, bring it! A couple of products we've used for several years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-reinforced riding jeans and other items of clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those Velcro alternatives to hooked 'occy' straps, from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com), also in Melbourne.

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. Our training partner here for Aussies is motoDNA (www.motoDNA.com.au) who boast an impressive array of instructors; Mark McVeigh, Chris Vermeulen, Steve Goddard, Garry McCoy, Kevin Magee.

Please note that some of the roads we ride in Iceland, possibly 25%, are gravel or dirt. They are generally of a very good quality and there's no clay or slippery road base, no marbles or fine dust. We typically can continue to ride at a pace similar to that on the sealed surface highways.

Our motorbikes

Our Iceland bike provider is a dedicated BMW-only enterprise, and we will have various models available. Our standard price includes an F700GS, and upgrades are available to the F800GS or R1200GS for an additional premium -- see our Booking Form. All are excellent steeds for coping with the Icelandic conditions in comfort, particularly with their heated handgrips! All bikes are late model and well-maintained. Fuel, insurance and maintenance are included, and all bikes are equipped with a top-box.

Please note you will be required to sign a rental contract with our bike supplier in Reykjavik, and leave a photocopy of your passport with a credit card imprint for €2,000-00 as a security deposit. Our package price does include comprehensive insurance but the policy carries a standard rental Excess (or 'Deductible self risk'); ie the rider is liable for the first €2,000-00 of any damage. If you drop the bike, any broken levers, mirrors, lights, etc will be payable from this deposit. If you return the bike undamaged, your credit card imprint will be handed back to you. They do not charge for simple scratches, only breakages.

Our riding policy

We will occasionally require riders to 'bunch up', particularly when navigating through towns, but out on the open road we know that you will want a lot of freedom and time on your own (isn't this what riding is all about?) We allow plenty of time for people to set their own pace, and it's unlikely that you'll ever be pressed to keep up. We know of some motorbike tour operators who insist that everybody ride in formation every day and play 'follow the leader', but that's not our style at all. You'll be given maps and daily directions on how far we're going, the destination for the night (including hotel name and phone number), and where we are likely to stop for lunch, drink breaks, sightseeing and refueling along the way, etc. There is always plenty of time to take photos, chat to the locals, or just sit and soak it all in. Our support minivan with the luggage will always be the last vehicle in the convoy, with our mechanic, spare parts and tools, etc. in case of bike problems.

But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions (eg, right side of the road). It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraph 16 of our Terms and Conditions attached hereto! (End of sermon)

The Midnight Sun

One of the unusual aspects of this tour is simply being so far north. The northern tip of Iceland touches the Arctic Circle, at 66°33'N. In the winter months they never see the sun, but in the summer when we are visiting, the sun virtually does not set. It gets a little dark just after midnight and then brightens up again at around 2:00am. So the extended number of daylight hours means our riding day (and other activities) can be very flexible. It's a little weird watching people heading out for a game of golf at 9:00pm but it means we are never pushed to find our hotel before it gets dark -- because it doesn't!

Detailed Daily Itinerary

Day 1 of the itinerary is simply everyone flying into Reykjavik on the same day, probably via several different European/American routes. The airport is quite some distance from the city and our preferred hotel is right in the heart of town. Most flights seem to take advantage of the long daylight hours, and arrive late in the evening.

Day 2 gives us some leisure time to wander the city centre in the morning and mingle with the locals for a while. Then we'll meet with our bike supplier in the afternoon because of course we need to do some paperwork for the motorbikes, in preparation for our departure in the morning.

Day 3 Even though there's something like 22 hours of daylight here, people still tend to keep 'normal' operational hours. For example, breakfast is usually available from 07:00 til 10:00. We'll probably head off at 9:00 (15 minutes after rush-half-hour finishes) and make our way to the south coast. You'll see steam coming out of the ground, you'll see volcanic lava beds, you'll see wonderful waterfalls. On the way we'll visit (wait for it…) a power station! Yes it may sound humdrum but Iceland of course is preaching the geo-thermal gospel of sustainable energy to the world, and we shall stand in their cathedral. We'll then continue along the coast a short way to the Skogafoss waterfall, where our hotel is so close you can feel the spray.

Day 4 Try pronouncing Eyjafjallajökull. This is the volcano we wake up looking at this morning; the troublesome little one which erupted in 2010 and shut down virtually all of Europe's air traffic at gi-normous financial cost. You'll ride across the new lava fields which were formed, and past resultant black glaciers as we skirt the southern coastline. From 100km away you'll start seeing first glimpses of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier. We find a glacial lagoon with great chunks of floating icebergs broken off from the main glacier, and we'll stop here a while where we can opt for a short rubber-boat cruise through the bergs. Seals are often spotted fishing in the lagoon. The 007 movie Die Another Day was filmed here.

Then with more breathtaking scenery we proceed further along the coast to Höfn (pron. 'Hurp'), a splendid little fishing town which is renowned as the lobster capital of the north. You've possibly got time for 9 holes of golf here with magnificent sweeping views of the glacier, and we hope you don't mind but we're going to insist on taking you to a local lobster restaurant for dinner tonight.

Day 5 We proceed to Djupivogur for morning coffee, before heading inland for a while through 'forested hills' in a northerly direction to Egilsstadir in time for lunch. You will by now have come to appreciate a local joke: It's important to know what to do if you get lost in the woods in Iceland ...you stand up. Then we'll head way off the beaten track to a remote and beautiful fjörd called Borgarfjördur for our night's accommodation. There's a huge puffin colony here, with a well-constructed boardwalk taking you very close to the comical little birds.

Day 6 sees us heading away from the coast for a while before swinging north to visit Dettifoss, considered to be Europe's most powerful waterfall. Refreshingly, there are no safety barriers or restrictions here; you can walk right up to the edge of the falls for spectacular photos. We continue north to visit Asbyrgi, an impressive box canyon made, legend has it, by a hoof print from Odin's 8-legged horse. And then back to the coast to Husavik, the whale-watching capital of Iceland, and perhaps jump aboard an afternoon departure in search of the gentle giants in the fjörd. Humpback sightings are common, as well as Minkes and the occasional Blue. Lots of dolphins, seals and other aquatic life abound as well.

Day 7 We're going to take the Long Way Round to Akureyri, the pseudo northern capital, by heading down to picturesque Lake Myvatn. There are some incredible geo-thermal features to visit nearby, including a smaller version of the famous and over-commercialised Blue Lagoon. But be warned now, the lake's name means 'midges' and there are millions of the little blighters. Bring some strong deet repellent.

Day 8 We'll have a rest day here in Akureyri, Iceland's only real city (well, big town) other than Reykjavik. There's good shopping and a motorcycle museum for those inclined; there are restaurants and bars and live music venues and a picturesque waterfront. It's also a good opportunity to perhaps get some laundry done.

Day 9 And again we'll again take the long way, up around the northern coastline and past a few fjörds. It's perhaps a little similar to the highlands of Scotland, except for the hundreds of Icelandic horses (don't call them ponies!) instead of sheep. In the middle of nowhere we find a nice little hotel at Hvammstangi, perfectly placed for us at the entrance to the imposing Westfjörds.

Day 10 Lots of coastline on the way to Holmavik before striking inland over a couple of high passes. Waterfalls everywhere and little fishing villages, and we proceed further into the wilderness until we reach Isafjordur in the far northwest. It's possible up here to ride for an hour and not see another vehicle on the road.

Day 11 It's a good thing your BMW has heated handgrips, 'cos it might start to get a little cool as we climb across snowy mountains to discover yet more fjörds, pass Thingeyri, and past a few more waterfalls on our way to Patreksfjördur. Then we continue right out to the westernmost point of Iceland, and therefore Europe, at Latrabjarg where we can observe puffins coming home to roost at around 9:00pm.Again they show no fear of us.

Day 12 Our destination for tonight is Stykkisholmur and it's a long but gorgeous ride around more twisty windy coastline with, yes, some fjörds. We leave behind the Westfjörds peninsular and regain the 'mainland' so watch out, the traffic density may double from four vehicles per hour to eight.

Day 13 Snaefellsnes is the name of the peninsular we find ourselves on today (it's best pronounced in a Sean Connery accent), and as we ride around it we find some startling discoveries. The Snaefellsjökull volcano's frequent eruptions have left huge lava flows all over the western half, hiding secrets underground. Jules Verne's classic book 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' was made into a film here, both the 1959 original and the 2008 re-make. We can visit a subterranean cavern within the lava flow. We continue on past Borgarnes to Reykholt, to visit an impressive spectacle; a subterranean river emerges to the surface through a volcanic lava wall.

Day 14 We head away from the coast to visit Iceland's most popular tourist attraction(s), the Golden Circle. The great Geysir has apparently been active here for some 10,000 years; it has given us the English word 'geyser' and was the first such geothermal phenomenon ever recorded. It is quite spectacular and well worth the visit, and then just a few kilometres down the road is the equally impressive Gullfoss waterfall, cascading down several tiered levels. If that's not enough, there is a huge fault line nearby which is actually the continental divide in the tectonic plates; it's possible to stand here with one foot on the North American shelf and one on the European shelf.

And at the same location is found Thingvellir, location of the world's oldest operating parliament, dating back to 930AD! In risk of overload after all of this we shall meander the 100k or so back to Reykjavik to complete our lap of Iceland. Back in the capital we relinquish our bikes, have a cleansing ale or two, then meet for our farewell dinner somewhere in the centre of downtown.

Day 15 That's all folks! We officially finish at breakfast (not a last supper, but perhaps a last kipper), and you're free of course to extend your stay or head to the airport. Be sure to tell 100 friends and post lots of pics on your Facebook page, and maybe we'll meet again on another tour somewhere in the world.

Answer to trivia question: Antarctica! Iceland has nothing to the north but the Arctic; nothing to the south but the Antarctic.


Further detailed trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Feel free to contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours


Tacos 'n' Tequila

Tacos & Tequila Motorcycle Safari

This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by an Australian group of riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, Bhutan, Rajasthan, Turkey, Morocco, Peru-Chile-Bolivia, Iceland, South Africa and the Dalmatian coastline, as well as this one through Mexico-Guatemala-Belize, all of approximately three weeks in duration.


Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make the final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our partners in Mexico, local authorities and group members.

Package Price

The Tacos & Tequila tour price, excluding airfares and joining in Mexico City, is US$7,500-00. Riders must have a valid and unrestricted rider's domestic licence. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of passenger seats available in our support vehicle, which accompanies the riders for the length of the Safari – price for pillion or passenger is US$6,750-00. Please note that our prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions herewith, up to the date of final payment.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment in US$ will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date because you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.

Price includes

BMW motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari; see 'Our Motorbikes' below

Clean, friendly, mid-range accommodation throughout the Safari, nights 1 to 18 inclusive

Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$900-00) 1

All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) except on rest days, breakfast only

Experienced guide, local agent, qualified mechanic

Minibus support vehicle for luggage transport and assistance

Spare parts, tools, medicines and first aid equipment

All fuel costs, maintenance and third party insurance for the bikes

Entry fees to selected destinations of interest and fees for local guides

Border crossing tariffs and fees for motorcycles

A complimentary World On Wheels long-sleeved Safari shirt, luggage tags, central America map

1Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an acceptable roommate. But if you're the last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or preferably both!

Price excludes

Airfares to/from Mexico (allow around Au$2,000-00 depending on airline)

Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx Au$329-00 for 24 days) 2

Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)

Tipping for local hotel porters and guides

Road / highway / bridge tolls

Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs and all drinks

Tips for support staff at completion; optional but always appreciated, US$100-00 suggested 3


2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, we will insist on sighting a copy of the policy before you will be permitted to participate in this tour. Or if you prefer, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$329-00. Be aware, however, that any travel insurance ceases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or government Medicare resumes at that point.

3 A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Daily hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room and our mechanic/driver/local guide will anticipate a reasonable tip to supplement his modest wages whilst on tour. We suggest something like US$100-00 is affordable for your three weeks (only about US$5-00 per day), collected at the conclusion of the tour. If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously! (… if you haven't, please let us know why and we'll contribute on your behalf).

International Flights

You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Tacos & Tequila' tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and they can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. There are a number of airline options to/from Mexico via the USA or European capital cities. We recommend you book your airfare at least six months ahead, and full payment will usually be required six weeks before your departure.

Food & Health

Quality of food can obviously be a concern when visiting exotic foreign lands. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals and the local fare is not always as fiery and spicy as some people would have you believe. Our clients are often pleasantly surprised by the delicious meals available. Even so, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time.

Climate & Clothing

Our itinerary is designed to take advantage of the pleasant weather of the tropical winter. However Mexico's geography varies greatly and therefore temperatures can range from cold in the mountains to quite warm on the coast, with some chance of rain. At times there will be little shade available, so sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be required. Jeans and our long-sleeved World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets can be full or open-faced as you prefer.

Professional quality riding gear including jackets, over-pants and other protective clothing are an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort and protection in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Goretex jackets with a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and water proofing are versatile and useful. If you're susceptible to the cold, then probably a good set of thermal underwear will also come in handy. A couple of products we've used for several years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-reinforced jeans and other clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those velcro alternatives to hooked 'occy' straps from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard, Kevin Magee ...) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an international adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction and you're in the Sydney vicinity, there's a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and then on bush trails and gives real-time coaching via helmet-to-helmet Bluetooth comms (he provides). He gets right in your ear, so to speak. Check him out on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid.

Our Motorbikes

Our Mexican business partner is a dedicated BMW-only enterprise, and we will have various models available. Our standard price includes a G650GS or F700GS, and upgrades are available to the F800GS or R1200GS for an additional premium – please see our Booking Form. All of these are fully-faired bikes and are perfect steeds for traveling Mexican roads. For the vertically challenged we are able to make some adjustments to the 650s to assist in your riding comfort. Fuel, insurance and maintenance are included.

Please note you will be required to sign a rental contract with our bike supplier in Mexico, leave a photocopy of your passport and a credit card imprint as a security deposit. Our package price includes comprehensive insurance but the policy carries an Excess (or 'Deductible self risk') of US$1000; ie the rider is liable for the first US$1000 of any damage -- if you drop the bike, any broken levers, mirrors, lights, etc will be payable by you.

Our Riding Policy

We will occasionally require riders to 'bunch up', particularly when navigating through large towns, but out on the open road we know that you will want a lot of freedom and time on your own (isn't that what riding is all about?) We allow plenty of time for people to set their own pace, and it's unlikely that you'll ever be pressed to keep up. We know of some motorbike tour operators who insist that everybody ride in formation every day and play 'follow the leader', but that's not our style at all. You'll be given maps and daily directions on how far we're going, the destination for the night (including hotel name and phone number), and where we are likely to stop for lunch, drink breaks, sightseeing and refueling along the way, etc. There is always plenty of time to take photos, chat to the locals, or just sit and soak it all in. Our support vehicle with our luggage will always be the last vehicle in the convoy, with our mechanic, spare parts and tools, etc. in case of bike problems.

But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions. It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraph 16 of our Terms and Conditions! (End of sermon)


Detailed Daily Itinerary

Day 1 will probably consist of flying, and involves the logistics of everyone getting into Mexico City at more or less the same time from several different locations. If you're not part of a Group Arrival, you will by then have our list of hotels for the tour and you can simply show your cab driver the name and address of the one at the top of the list. We have chosen a hotel in the centre of town, the heart of the old city known as the zocalo. Try to arrive by mid-afternoon and we'll have a meet 'n' greet dinner and perhaps a cold cerveza.

Day 2 sees us heading to nearby Teotihuacan, sensational site of the ancient pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. We'll be here for a couple of hours and then it's back to the hotel to do some paperwork and take possession of our motorbikes. We might do a lap of the town square to see how you cope with the traffic! For those who want, there should be time to take in one of the nearby museums before dinner.


Day 3 sees us heading south through forested hills, to arrive in world-famous Acapulco late afternoon, in time to catch an evening performance of the cliff divers doing their death-defying leap into the ocean. Acapulco is best known as one of Mexico's oldest beach resorts, something of a hangout and a getaway for Hollywood's rich and famous. Elvis Presley and Ursula Andress certainly had Fun In Acapulco in 1963 (Google it!)

Day 4 we follow the direction of the coast, although not always within sight of it, along to Puerto Escondido. The name means 'concealed port' and has recently seen an escalation in popularity, primarily from the surfing community. But birdwatchers and nature lovers are also well catered for in the nearby large lagoon area to the west of the main town.

Day 5
again we continue to head southeast to the city of Tehuantepec. Zapotec culture and a matriarchal society is much in evidence here, with the women in particular continuing to wear traditional dress, made famous by perhaps Mexico's most prominent artist Frida Kahlo. Before the creation of the Panama Canal this town prospered from the rail passing through it, which linked the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific.

Day 6 We head inland to San Cristobal de las Casas. Although the state capital of Chiapas has recently shifted to Tuxtla, San Cris still remains the cultural capital and has some superb Spanish colonial architecture. The town sits high in the hills and has delightful old cobblestone streets.

Day 7 is an easy pleasant ride to Palenque, giving us opportunities to visit some splendid nearby cascades and waterfalls at nearby Agua Azul (Blue Waters) and Misol Ha. There are also some well preserved and impressive Mayan ruins here; some consider it to be Mexico's most beautiful archaeological site. It's estimated that only 10% has thus far been uncovered, with the remainder still hidden by dense jungle and waiting to be discovered.

Day 8 brings us to our first border crossing, as we proceed into Guatemala. Everyone knows this country is insanely green of course, with dense canopies surrounding the roads.

Day 9 is a rest day to allow us to appreciate the town. For those who want a ride even on their rest day, Guatemala's most famous Mayan ruins are nearby at Tikal, less than an hour away. But the little town itself is gorgeous, with cobblestone alleys, red rooves, a Spanish plaza and a whacky sense of humour. We love the laundry with a street sign in English saying 'Drop your pants here'. It was also here that the last Mayan civilization held out against the Spanish for over a hundred years.

Day 10 takes us from Flores across another border and into Belize, where we proceed to the capital Belize City, on the Caribbean coast. The town itself holds nothing special so we park the bikes, jump on a boat and head to our hotel on an island offshore.

Day 11 gives us another 'rest day', by which we mean lots of activities. Optional activities, such as snorkeling, or a visit to the famous Blue Hole, or simply lying on the beach or by the pool with a cocktail or two. Belize is unique in all of Central America for the fact that English is the spoken language rather than Spanish.

Day 12 takes us back into Mexico via our final border crossing, and we proceed inland to Puerto Calakmul in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula. The peninsula is dotted with cenotes, which are deep sinkholes filled with cool clean water. We pass a few of them and can stop to take a look.

Day 13 Today we have a leisurely ride to the coastal port town of Campeche. This is an impressive walled city, and in the 17th century was the most important Spanish port in Central America. The fortifications were built to stop pirates and bandits like Walter Raleigh and Frankie Drake from plundering Spanish bullion. Which of course the Spanish had plundered from the Aztecs, the Incas, the Mayans …

Day 14 is a day exploring the delights of Campeche. Inside the city walls is now a delightful pedestrian area of cafes, bars and restaurants, shops and diversions. Plazas, churches, colonial buildings; there's also a lovely Gulf beach promenade to stroll along at sunset.

Day 15 takes us across the top of the Yucatan peninsula to a small town called Piste, and the site of Chichen Itza, possibly the best known ruins in central America. But for some reason they close it at 4:00pm so we'll have to wait til tomorrow to visit!

Day 16 It's far better in the morning anyway, before the crowds get here and the day gets hot. We'll stroll around for a couple of hours to soak it all in, before changing into our riding gear and heading to Mexico's Caribbean coast. We head offshore again to the island of Cozumel but this time we take the bikes with us so we can have a good look around at our own pace.

Day 17 is our final rest day on the tour. There are of course, stunning beaches to lounge around on. There are sensational reef dives to enjoy, or snorkeling, or swimming with the dolphins, or there are many local tours to be had – food tours, archaeological tours, even a bar tour!

Day 18 is a ferry ride back to the mainland, then a short hop north along the coast to Puerto Morelos. We choose to stay a little to the south of Cancun, which is so overdeveloped with shoulder-to-shoulder mega hotels that it's actually difficult to find your way to the beach! The beach is the reason people come here in the first place… At Puerto Morelos you have your own unspoilt length of beach right outside your hotel window.

Day 19 gives us time for a lap of the glitzy hotel coastal strip of Cancun, before returning to the hotel to bid farewell to the bikes, get changed, and head to the airport. Swap addresses with your fellow riders so we can all keep in touch and share photos, and don't forget to tell 100 friends how much fun you've had! See you somewhere else in the world, sometime soon, on two wheels.

Further detailed trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours



Spectacular South Africa

Spectacular South Africa Motorcycle Safari

This Motorcycle Safari is one of several itineraries offered by World On Wheels, Australia's only professional tour operator specialising solely in international motorcycle adventures. Operating for 20+ years as Ferris Wheels, Mike Ferris pioneered the Himalayan Motorcycle Safari concept in 1994 with his first crossing of the world's greatest mountain range by a private group of Australian riders. In 1995, by now a qualified travel agent, he took his first commercial safari to the Khardung La in Ladakh (India), at 5,602 metres the highest road in the world. Mike and Denise Ferris now operate and personally lead annual World On Wheels motorcycle safaris to diverse destinations such as the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, Bhutan, Rajasthan, Turkey, Morocco, the Dalmatian coastline, the South American Andes, Iceland, Mexico-Guatemala-Belize and this one through South Africa, all of approximately three weeks in duration.


Be aware that this itinerary is a guide only and may need to change due to weather, road conditions or other factors. Please be flexible, but rest assured your Tour Leader will make the final day-to-day decisions only after consultation with our local agent, authorities and of course, group members.

Package Price

The Spectacular South Africa package tour price, excluding airfares and joining in Cape Town is US$7,250-00. Riders must have a valid and unrestricted rider's licence. Pillions are welcome and we also have a limited number of passenger seats available in our support vehicle, a minivan which accompanies the riders for the length of the Safari – price for pillion or passenger is US$6,250-00. Please note that our prices are subject to exchange rates and we reserve the right to alter any pricing, pursuant to Clause 9 of our Terms and Conditions, up to the date of final payment.

In this itinerary (and all others) our tour prices are set in US$ for stability. We ask for a US$1,000 deposit and will invoice you in US$ thereafter for the remaining balance, but you have some flexibility as to when to pay. Final payment will be due 60 days before the tour date, but if you choose to pay us say 90 or 120 days before tour date because you feel the exchange rate is favourable, this works well for everyone all round.


Price includes

Full motorbike rental for the duration of the Safari (See Our Motorbikes, herein)

All accommodation throughout the Safari from day 1 to day 19 inclusive

Twin-share basis; (single room supplement, additional US$900) 1

All meals (breakfast, lunch and evening)

Experienced guide, local agent and mechanical assistance

Minibus support vehicle and driver, for luggage transport and assistance

Spare parts, tools, medicines, first aid equipment

All fuel costs, maintenance and repairs, third party insurance for the bikes

Game safari in Kruger National Park

Complimentary World On Wheels T shirt, luggage tags and South African map

1Accommodation is provided on a twin-share basis and if you're on your own we'll do our best to bunk you in with an acceptable roommate. But if you're the last person to book, there's obviously a 50-50 chance you'll have to take a room on your own and will therefore be liable for the single room supplement. So the moral of the story is, book early or bring your own roommate with you. Or preferably both!

Price excludes

Airfares to/from Cape Town/Johannesburg (from Australia, approx. Au$3,000 SA Airways)

Travel insurance policy covering use of motorbike (approx. Au$340 for 21 days) 2

Tourist visa for any of these countries (currently not required, but things change!)

Medical examination and vaccinations before departure (recommended)

Expenses of a personal nature such as postage, laundry, souvenirs and all drinks

Border fees into Lesotho and Swaziland

Ferry tickets & entry to Robben Island and National Park, Museum and Game Park fees

Tips for support staff at the end of the tour (optional but appreciated; Au$100 suggested) 3


2 Please note that a motorcycle safari overseas must be considered one of life's more adventurous pursuits and therefore personal travel insurance is mandatory. If you already have existing travel insurance, we will insist on sighting a copy of the policy before you will be permitted to participate in this tour. Or if you wish, we can arrange comprehensive travel insurance for you (Australian clients only) for approximately Au$340-00 (single; 21 days). Be aware, however, that any travel insurance eases immediately on return to your own country, even if on-going medical treatment or surgery is required. Private health cover or government Medicare resumes at that point.

3 A note on tips. We recognize tipping is not generally part of the antipodean psyche, but it is pretty much expected in most other parts of the world. Hotel porters will expect a small reward for carrying your bags to your room. Our mechanics, drivers and support staff anticipate reasonable tips to supplement their modest wages whilst on tour with us; we suggest something like A$100 (only about $5 per day) is affordable for your three weeks and the resultant pool of money will be distributed amongst our crew. If you've had a good time, we would encourage you to donate generously!

International Flights

You will have to arrange your own airfares through your preferred travel agent, or Australian clients may wish to take advantage of an arrangement we have with our local agent, Press & James Travel Associates. Phone 02 9979 5235 or email natasha_dann@travel-associates.com.au and mention you're joining the World On Wheels 'Spectacular South Africa' Tour. They have a copy of this itinerary and they can arrange your route and flights as well as any stopovers or extensions you desire. We recommend you book as early as possible and full payment will usually be required six weeks before your departure. Our suggested flights are Virgin/South African Airways, arriving Cape Town on 6th October a.m. and departing Johannesburg 25th October p.m. Qantas and Emirates airlines also offer suitable flight arrival and departure options. Both airports are no more than 25k's from our hotels.

Food & Health

Quality of food can sometimes be a concern when visiting foreign lands. We take care in selecting clean and reputable establishments for our meals and the local fare is typically high standard. Even so, an occasional upset stomach cannot always be avoided in remote areas, so we advise initial caution and we carry various medicines to ensure as much comfort as possible. Participants in any of our adventure activities are obviously expected to have a reasonably high level of health, fitness and capability, but in all cases a consultation with your doctor is recommended in order to identify necessary vaccinations and precautions, particularly if traveling overseas for the first time. Probiotics can be a useful supplement in helping your system adjust to international cuisines.

Climate & Clothing

South Africa is a subtropical region moderated by ocean on two sides and the altitude of the interior plateau. Our itinerary is designed to take advantage of the pleasant moderate weather of the spring season. Temperatures can range from cool to warm, depending on our destination. At times there will be little shade available, so plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and long sleeves will also be

required. Jeans and our World On Wheels shirts tend to be the norm, with strong boots and riding gloves. Helmets, full or open-face as you prefer, should be brought with you from home. Whilst being a relatively dry country there can always be some chance of rain.

Professional quality riding gear such as Cordura jackets, overpants and other protective clothing are an excellent investment and will go a long way to ensuring your comfort in what may sometimes be adverse conditions. Denise wears a Rukka jacket and pants, with a zip-in / zip-out padded liner for extra warmth and protection. Mike prefers the range from Dririder, an Australian provider of riding gear for 35 years. A couple of other products we've used for many years and are happy to endorse are the Kevlar-lined jeans and clothing from Draggin Jeans in Melbourne (www.dragginjeans.com.au) and those Velcro alternative to 'occy' straps from Andy Strapz (www.andystrapz.com).

And while we're giving plugs, we'd like to suggest you consider a Rider Improvement course, regardless of your experience or perceived ability on a motorcycle, to brush up on your skills prior to joining an international riding safari. We've teamed up with motoDNA as our Adventure Training partner. An Australian outfit boasting an impressive array of hugely talented instructors (Mark McVeigh, Kevin Magee, Chris Vermeulen, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard...) they have the skills and the syllabus to get the most out of your riding ability, which will give you the weapons you need to survive and enjoy your next ride, whether it be the daily commute or an international adventure with World On Wheels. They offer track training, road training, off-road courses, bush bashing, sand and water techniques, you name it, in venues up and down Australia's east coast.

If you're in the Sydney vicinity and you think you could benefit from some off-road instruction, there's also a guy called David Smith who's toured with us and has recently set up a very personalised training program. He's been a qualified instructor for 20 years or so, and he rides with you in the paddock and bush trails and gives real-time coaching via helmet-to-helmet Bluetooth (provided). He gets right in your ear, so to speak. Check out his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HandmadebyDavid.

Our Motorbikes

Our bike supplier is a BMW-only shop, and we'll have various GS models available (F700GS, F800GS, R1200GS). All bikes are late model and in well-maintained condition. They are fully-faired and are perfect steeds for travelling the South African roads. For the more vertically challenged we are able to make some adjustments to certain bikes to assist in your riding comfort. All motorbikes come with a top box, and all fuel, insurance and maintenance are included.

We will attempt to provide you with the bike of your choice, but they may be allocated on a first-booked first-choice basis and we retain the right of assignment. Our bike provider is a commercial operation and their fleet changes frequently, so your preferred model might not always be available.

Please note when you pick up the motorcycle and top box you will be required pay an insurance excess deposit (in the form of a transactional sale) of ZAR 20,000 (approx. AU$1,800) on your credit card. At the conclusion of the tour an assessment of any damage incurred during the tour and any repairs necessary to your motorcycle is carried out by an independent BMW Motorrad representative. You will be notified of any repair/replacement costs incurred and then these will be claimed from the deposit held. Any difference between any repair cost and the initial deposit held will be refunded to your card within five working days.

Our riding policy

We will occasionally require riders to 'bunch up', particularly when navigating through large towns, but out on the open road we know that you will want a lot of freedom and time on your own (isn't that what riding is all about?) We allow plenty of time for people to set their own pace, and it's unlikely that you'll ever be pressed to keep up. We know of some motorbike tour operators who insist that everybody ride in formation every day and play 'follow the leader', but that's not our style at all. You'll be given maps and daily directions on how far we're going, the destination for the night (including hotel name and phone number), and where we are likely to stop for lunch, drink breaks, sightseeing and refueling along the way, etc. There is always plenty of time to take photos, chat to the locals, or just sit and soak it all in. Our support van with our luggage will always be the last vehicle in the convoy, with our mechanic, spare parts and tools, etc. in case of bike problems.

But let's not pull any punches here. A tour such as this is potentially a dangerous undertaking; it's inherent in the very nature of the trip. You'll be on an unfamiliar bike, on unfamiliar roads in unfamiliar traffic conditions. It is important for you to recognize this and accept ultimate responsibility, firstly for joining and secondly for riding in a circumspect manner for the duration of the tour. Please read and acknowledge Paragraph 16 of our Terms and Conditions! (End of sermon)

Detailed Daily Itinerary

Day 1 We arrive in Cape Town from our various starting points and meet up at our hotel late morning. After checking in and showering, if we're not too travel weary we'll jump in a minivan and go and explore one of the nearby wineries that this region is so famous for, enjoying a leisurely relaxing lunch. Then it's back to the hotel for a light dinner and an early night!

Day 2 Sees us catching the first ferry of the morning for the 3.5 hour round trip and tour of Robben Island. This morning we will visit the prison where Nelson Mandela (named Prisoner 46664, as the 466th prisoner to arrive in 1964) and his ANC comrades were imprisoned in the early 1960's for their stand against apartheid in South Africa. Our fascinating tour will be conducted by an ex political prisoner and actual inmate of Robben Island, we will see the prison and hear his story. The afternoon is free time to continue to adjust to your jet lag or explore Cape Town.

Day 3
This morning we complete the paperwork for the bikes and saddle up. Today is the day of the two Capes; Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope. Leaving Cape Town central our first stop is just up the road climbing Table Mountain, before the majestic scenery of Chapman's Peak on the western side of the Cape Peninsula. The afternoon then sees us continuing down the Peninsula to visit the well-known Cape of Good Hope. Watch out for ostriches en route! Tonight we're in nearby Simon's Town.

Day 4 Our destination today is Cape L'Agulhas, sometimes regarded as one of the great Capes. Cape L'Agulhas is the geographic southern tip of the African continent and the beginning of the line dividing the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. On the way we'll swing by the beautiful coastal town of Hermanus famous for its southern right whale watching and preservation. We'll wish we could stay longer, but the bottom of Africa beckons !

Day 5 Today sees us putting some k's under our boots as we ride 470k from Cape L'Agulhas to Prince Albert. Weather and road conditions permitting we'll travel via the Swartberg Pass and the somewhat mystical Swartberg Mountain range. Prince or Prins Albert is a small Western Cape town at the foot of this mountain range and on the southern edge of the Great Karoo.

Day 6 Leaving Prince Albert this morning we ride the Outeniqua Pass in the mountain range of the same name, before leaving the Western Cape and entering the Eastern Cape. Today we join the main arterial highway of the famous Garden Route (which lies between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth) as we ride to our evenings destination, the rugged and naturally spectacular Tsitsikamma Forest National Park. Tsitsikamma (khoi word meaning "place of abundant sparkling water") is a protected coastal reserve known for its indigenous forests, dramatic coastline, otters.. and the lesser known rock dassis.

Day 7 We wake this morning to the scents and sounds of the National Park before heading north east to another national park, with a different focus and feel. Avoiding the industrial town of Port Elizabeth, we turn back into the arid inland for our overnight destination of Addo. This afternoon sees us enjoying game viewing in the Addo Elephant National Park, the third largest national park in South Africa, covering around 180,000 hectares. It is sanctuary to more than 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard and a variety of antelope and zebra species.

Day 8 From Addo we have a short days ride, north west to the town of Graaff-Reinet. Founded in 1786, Graaff-Reinet is the fourth oldest town in South Africa and often referred to as the 'Gem of the Karoo'. It is the only town in South Africa to be surrounded by a national park.

Day 9 Today is our first full rest day. So we can do just that, rest, catch up with laundry, write postcards ... or Skype, send email, Facebook, Tweet! Alternatively, Graaff-Reinet is a lovely town to wander round at your leisure. There's an optional ride to two nearby places of interest: Valley of Desolation in the surrounding Camdeboo National Park and Nieu Bethesda, a whitewashed village and artist's colony, home to The Owl House with its extensive collection of unusual works by the late Helen Martins.

Day 10 We are all now well rested and bound for Aliwal North. This modest inland town was named in tribute to the then Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Harry Smith in 1850. He named the town 'Aliwal' in memory of his victory over the Sikhs at the 'Battle of Aliwal' during the 'First Sikh War' in India in 1846, and 'North' in contrast to Aliwal South (now named Mossel Bay).

Day 11 Now over half way through our safari, today sees us crossing from the Eastern Cape into KwaZulu-Natal, the home to the Zulu monarchy, created in 1994 with the merging of the KwaZulu and Natal provinces. Our evening's destination, Kokstad is built on the outer slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains and is 1,302 above sea level.

Day 12 One of our biggest days on the itinerary in terms of distance, we ride from Kokstad to the kingdom in the sky of Lesotho. Lesotho is a high altitude kingdom encircled by South Africa and made up mainly of highlands. Prepare for some spectacular scenery today. Wikipedia will tell us it is just over 30,000km in size and has a population of 2 million. Many people here live below the poverty line. To cross the border between the two countries we ride up the famous Sani Pass - get your passports out at the top.

Day 13 After our big day yesterday we have a shorter ride back down into South Africa and the tree-filled town of Clarens at the foothills of the Maloti Mountains, in the Free State Province. We should be there in time for a late lunch and an afternoon exploring the attractive town with its springtime natural beauty and collection of artisans' studios and shops.

Day 14 Today we saddle up for a 400km ride from Clarens to Piet Retief, in the timber growing region of Mpumalanga, not far from the Swaziland border. Our destination tonight was founded by the 'Voortrekkers' in 1883 and named after their leader. 'Voortrekkers' was the name given to Afrikaner emigrants in the 1830's and 40's who relocated from the Cape Colony to the interior of South Africa.

Day 15 We are Swaziland bound! This morning we have a short ride across the border and on to the pioneering conservation area of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary which we'll be able to enjoy for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Our secluded sanctuary, covering 4650 hectares is nestled in Swaziland's Ezulwini Valley 'Valley of the Heavens' and offers us unique accommodation and an authentic taste of local culture.

Day 16 It's time to leave our special wildlife sanctuary to head towards the world famous Kruger National Park. We obviously can't ride our bikes into this National Park so we'll park 'em up just south in the small farming town of Hazyview so named for the shimmering haze that occurs during the heat of summer. Located amongst subtropical fruit orchards in the region of Mpumalanga, it's a great base for our game safari tomorrow.

Day 17 Today we trade our bikes for a game safari jeep off in search of The Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant, Cape Buffalo). 'The Big 5', a term coined by big game hunters referring to the difficulty in bagging these large animals, is now somewhat misused in promoting only these 5 species as the ones to see in wildlife parks. We might also come across giraffe, hyena, zebra, wildebeest, cheetah, wild dog, spectacular birdlife and the fleet-footed impala. It will be a day to remember.

Day 18 We begin to draw the curtain on our tour with our final days ride, just over 400k, to Johannesburg (Jo'burg/Jozi), the capital of the Gaunteng province. Jo'burg is South Africa's biggest city with over 3 million people and in fact the fourth largest city in Africa. At the end of our final riding day back at the hotel we'll farewell the motorbikes and then perhaps enjoy a celebratory drink or two !

Day 19 This morning we visit the excellent Apartheid Museum opened at the end of 2001 illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa. This afternoon is free time to explore Jo'burg, before our farewell dinner tonight.

Day 20 Swap addresses with your fellow riders at breakfast so we can all keep in touch and share photos of your happy memories. Free time today to do a final pack (and re-pack) of the luggage to avoid paying excess baggage on all those mementos, before the evening flight home. Don't forget to tell 100 friends how much fun you've had with us in Spectacular South Africa (and Lesotho, Swaziland)! See you somewhere else in the world, sometime soon, on two wheels.

Further detailed trip notes, including a list of essential clothing and equipment to take, health considerations, visa formalities, etc, will be sent upon receipt of a completed Booking Form and deposit. Please contact our office any time for further information on (02) 9970 6370 or email adventure@worldonwheels.tours