TG Newsletter: SAFARI ON A HERO
Safari On A Hero
(5 March 2023)
Our dear but weird friend, Anoniem, enlightened us to ADA’s Safari Experience taking place on the weekend, which we immediately invited ourselves along for. Nothing beats fresh air and fine company. For medical reasons.
We received a Hero’s welcome at the Lion and Safari Park in Broederstroom with our guides, Eckhardt and Jordynne, getting all our admin done for a morning of some kick ass game viewing.
Hand me the binoculars – this is going to be a wild ride!
Traditionally, the first creature one usually encounters on safari is the faithful impala. No surprise then that a small nursery of the adorable youngsters rocked their sprockets on our sightseeing spree, hop-skip-and-jumping all around us, reminding us to stay sharp should we need to bring our eleven-bike caterpillar to a halt when anything decides to dart across the road. Our Hero’s have those ‘Stop Engine’ buttons because otherwise they’d just keep on heroing forever! Just like the boundless energy and endurance of young impala…
The very next moment there’s movement behind the fence. Crikey! Five cheetahs have emerged from the long grass and walked right up to us, letting us check them out closely. They seemed somewhat menacing, and we were grateful for the fence between us. We can run reasonably fast but in the long run we do run like people who drink a little too much. Sure, it may sound like an exciting way to die but we still need to leave lots and lots of dirty tracks all over the Sahara before we go!
Skinny rode Comet, the long legged Xpulse for the day while Chikita had Clark for doing some last-minute mending from a recent spill. Don’t ask. Comet may not be as quick as a 120kph cheetah, but his conviction and invincibility convinced not Vince, but Juan, to put down a deposit on another long legged Xpulse – the Ross Branch rally edition! We can’t wait to see Juan’s six feet walking that new Hero on a leash all the way up Breedtsnek! Ooh la la!
The next big cat species awaited us around the bend. The king of the jungle had just awoken from his morning snooze. We’re not sure whether it was our mildly intimidating presence or simply their morning ablution ritual but they literally sh@t themselves as we parked beside them! It was impossible to look away and not cheer them on! Our litterboxes were overflowing with lion pride.
Hero’s can do up to nine thousand roars per minute and the exhaust flows freely. *wink wink* Hakuna Matata, Mufasa!
The self-drive safari route traverses some rolling hills and exceptional scenery so close to civilization. We were shown an enclosure where a few striped, as well as spotted hyenas are kept. Nocturnal by nature, they were just lazing away with their belly pans up in the early morning sunshine. The matriarchs head the chain of command and they can always bring more backup.
Eco-friendly friendies! Attracting bighearted smallbikes wherever we go. Hero’s save the planet by saving mega gallons of fuel. It’s really a wonder they don’t come out with ray guns and red boots…
This next animal can easily run at 70kph and even though they are not good jumpers, they’re apparently very good at crawling under things, which is not to be sneezed at…
Which is kinda what you see when the Xpulse’s pure white superhero light stares you down. We encountered many Blesbok, a few of which occasionally came braaaping across our path, keeping us on our tippy toes.
A warthog’s physical beauty is inversely proportional to its robustness. Hero’s, however, are simultaneously durable and attractive. We were lucky to catch a family of ‘hogs with young ones going about their bush-wacky business, putting their behinds in the past. The Hero’s crash bars look a bit like sticky outie warthog tusks – and from experience, they’re just as defensive!
Our wheels kept on rolling with that never give up attitude, right past a herd of blue wildebeest engrossed in a great migration from the south side of the field to just a little bit further north. Incredible survival instincts from these beasts! Crossing the water was sooo intense, since this is the Crocodile River! We’re lucky there were no casualties.
The road trailed off into a distant little forest where we welcomed the tree canopy’s cool shade. It was turning into a spicy hot day. We cruised even further down to the banks of the fast-flowing river, and as a bit of a croc myself, the water mirrored my inner me, and I felt at peace.
We followed the dust of our fellow safarians to a plateau where a herd of zebra playfully responded to the age-old question of whether they’re white with black stripes or black with white stripes, with “are you good with bad habits, or bad with good habits?” Well, bood or grad, we’re here to enjoy ourselves.
Sixpack abs on the front with the back wheel free to slide as you please. The Hero really is the whole package. Beefed-up suspension and a double-story seat on the rally bike mean more leg room to travel to far-out places. And while you’re at it, you’re guaranteed to have a good time!
Riding your line and looking around for animals is initially not as easy as it sounds. But it does get you looking up, which as we all know is the first and most universal rule of adventure biking. Whether you visit At se Gat or not.
The big adventure bikes were completely outnumbered by our li’l scoots and the speed limit also helped that they couldn’t eat us for breakfast. At a hard-to-miss 900kg, the eland is another mentionable heavyweight. Africa’s largest antelope, a majestic hunk of a creature, capable of jumping up to 3m from a standing start, and they can maintain a trotting pace of 22km/h, indefinitely! That means forever! Without getting tired! I’m sure the Xpulse has that same stamina. But personally, I like to ride hard, get tired, stop, rest, and have a beer, am I wrong?
You know how when you mention in general that you need a new feather duster, suddenly social media flings all those ads at you? Well, out of nowhere, a bunch of ostriches appeared!
Did you know that if you even just threaten an ostrich for their tail feathers you will trigger its fight or flight response? That is when you will remember that the ostrich is a flightless bird…
Turning a few more corners we saw, hidden behind some brushes, an elegant giraffe mama and her baby. That was just so rewarding after learning recently how the species must fight for survival in other parts of the continent.
“Wildlife is something which man cannot construct. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Man can rebuild a pyramid, but he can’t rebuild ecology, or a giraffe.”
~ Joy Adamson ~
In its natural habitat. Quiet, vigilant, armed and ready for everything you can throw at it.
Thank you, Hero Motor Corp South Africa, for letting us take Comet and Clark around our block!
The craziest thing happened! As we made our way around the deep end of the valley, one after the other kite took flight from the trees around us and right on their tails was a whole mob of pied crows! In their hundreds they shot higher and higher and higher still up into the heavens! (Well, that escalated quickly!) There is an old Swahili folk tale about the murderous rivalry between these birds. No chill!
This was the last stretch. The uncooked power and rare beauty of the Hero’s impressed us and others. As they will continue to do for the foreseeable future. Now, let’s drink!
They say everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all. I am positive that it must have been a radioactive one that, with its deadly bite, turned these Hero’s into Hero’s…
Sponsored by Daniel Mulder Distributors (DMD)
Hero Motorcycles South Africa (www.heromotorcycles.co.za)
Forma Boots (www.formaboots.com)
Caberg Helmets (www.caberg.it)
Oxford Products (www.oxfordproducts.com)
Answer Racing (www.answerracing.com)
Lion & Safari park (www.lionandsafaripark.com)
We might be heroes, but have you ever seen a rich hero??? Okay… okay… yes, there’s rich heroes - but we don’t know them. It’s not like we invite them for a braai. Talking about braai, you know what would be nice? Dropping us some geld so we can buy a few tjops!
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Fitting out capes!
Chikita & Skinny
YouTube: Skinny van Schalkwyk