South Africa to Kenya and back in 3-9 Months

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Pack Dog
Sep 20, 2013
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AJS (all models)
Hi, Just registered here after reading advice on that this was the place to be for South African (and African in general) riding advice / information.

My Background :
I work online and run a business while I travel. I'm pretty well travelled from backpacking around Asia + South America etc... for over 2 years. I have always hired bikes locally in different areas (India, Thailand, Vietnam, Peru and more...) to explore but wanted to do a pure bike trip. Never been anywhere in Africa.

My Plan :
I fly from the UK (I am British) to Cape Town on Tuesday (24th September). I'm going to buy a bike in Cape Town and explore / adventure / camp my way up to Kenya and back again probably in some sort of loop. I have a return flight for Christmas booked but will more than likely change this to extend my trip to be 6-9 months depending on how I get on. When I'm done I will sell the bike in South Africa and fly back to the UK.

I do have a few questions that I hoped some people here could advise on :

I'm bringing my own camping gear and Helmet + Gloves. I WAS going to bring my leather jacket and trousers (pants) as my safety gear but I'm not so sure now. Bearing in mind the time of year and where I'm going (up to Kenya and back) would Leathers be uncomfortable and too hot ? Would I be better buying cooler textiles when I arrive ?

My budget is about 30,000-45,000 ZAR for the bike. I WAS originally going to buy a Honda XR400 travel light and use my Kriega soft luggage. Now I'm more leaning towards a Honda Transalp with some hard luggage. I imagine I am going to be doing 5 figures worth of km's (mainly tarmac) and a Transalp would be more comfortable and I can carry more gear. The hard panniers would be good security when Im camping too as I have to carry my laptop/electronics with me so I can work occasionally and keep my business running (hence the name TechnomadicJim). Soft luggage wouldn't offer me much security.  What do you reckon ?

I've researched and read its fine for a Brit to own a South African vehicle and they can be driven up as far as Kenya without a Carnet. Is this still correct ?

I have an International Driving Permit (IDP) and my UK license. I plan on getting my insurance in SA which will cover me up to Kenya and back. Any recommendations ?

I'm sure I will have more questions as I think of them and will use this thread to gleen what I can from you (knowledgable) people. :) Thanks in advance!