The venue of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2024 has been decided: This time the off-road adventure will take place in Namibia. Having been held on all continents around the globe, the International GS Trophy now returns to where it all began in 2008 – Africa.
Namibia’s fascinating attractions includes magnificent landscapes as well as unique flora and fauna. When night falls after a hot day has drawn to a close with a deep red sunset, a spectacular starry sky stretches out over this paradise located on the Atlantic coast of south-western Africa. In short, the journey into fascinating Namibia will be an entirely unique experience in many respects – well seasoned with a good portion of SpiritOfGS.
National qualifying rounds and the first international qualifying round for an International Team at the 2023 BMW Motorrad Days.
There is still some time to go before the official start of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2024, however. Meanwhile, the national qualifying rounds offer a foretaste of what is to come. There will be 15 national qualifying event and one international qualifying round worldwide, giving skilled endurance specialist to demonstrate their capabilities.
In order secure a place on one of the 22 national teams, participants are required to perform GPS navigation exercises, off-road rides and technical tests. The women’s teams that prevail at national level will win a trip to the international female qualifying round, where a total of six women’s teams will be selected for the much-coveted seats on the plane to Namibia, along with the 16 men’s teams.
The qualifying rounds for the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2024 are confirmed for the following countries and regions:
- Latin America – Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Columbia, Panama, Paraguay and Peru
- Middle East – Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai), Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
For those who do not see their home country on the list of national or regional qualifying rounds, there is no reason to despair: As part of the BMW Motorrad Days taking place in Berlin from July 7-9, 2023, BMW Motorrad is offering international qualifying for the first time from July 6-8, 2023 to give even more enthusiastic enduro riders a chance to participate in the Int. GS Trophy 2024 in the International Team. A link to the sign-up page will be available on gstrophy.com in March 2023.
BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2024 Namibia
Rugged cliffs, deep valleys, raging rivers and a gorgeous Mediterranean coastline provided the challenging terrain for the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy from 4 to 10 September 2022 in Albania, making full demands of the 57 participants in total.
But Namibia will present GS riders with completely different conditions, as Dr Ralf Rodepeter, Head of Brand Management BMW Motorrad, explains: “After Tunisia, South Africa, Patagonia, Canada, Thailand, Mongolia, New Zealand and most recently Albania, BMW Motorrad was again on the look-out for perfect GS terrain – and found it in the beautiful country of Namibia. Countless off-road kilometres with challenging route profiles passing through marvellous landscapes with fascinating flora and fauna once again ensure an exciting GS Trophy.”
Namibia is located on the Atlantic coast, bordering South Africa to the south and south-east, Botswana to the east and Angola to the north. Since 1990 the state has been a semi-presidential republic and has stable political conditions. In the very sparsely populated country, the inland highlands with an average altitude of 1,700 metres stretch out between the two deserts of the Kalahari in the east and the Namib in the west – the latter is considered the oldest desert in the world. In the area of the capital Windhoek, which has a population of some 300,000, the highlands actually rise to over than 2,000 metres.
Namibia’s climate is subtropical continental and predominantly hot and dry. There are significant differences between the individual regions of the country, however. In both desert regions of the Namib and the Kalahari, rainfall is typically rare, while on the Atlantic coast a powerful warm wind blows all year round. In the summer months of December and January temperatures can rise to 30 degrees Celsius, and even in the winter months of July and August, the thermometer climbs to 25 degrees. In winter, frost and sometimes even snowfall can be expected in the inland highlands.
Namibia has a number of national parks, game parks and nature reserves, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Sossusvlei National Park with its orange sand that is more than five million years old. Other national parks include the Skeleton Coast, the Namib-Naukluft National Park and the Etosha National Park. In addition, the region between the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean is one of the areas with the best climatic conditions for astronomical observations worldwide. Here, keen astronomers dedicate their attention to the unique night sky and stargazing in specially built “astrocamps”.
Cars drive on the left-hand side of the road in Namibia, and the well-developed Namibian road network covers a total of some 45,000 km. However, only the trunk roads, some main roads and the main inner-city roads are asphalted, while about 80 per cent of the road network is made up of dirt tracks with a gravel base – ideal terrain for the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2024.
- Capital: Windhoek
- Population: ~ 2.3 million
- Size: 824,116 km²
- Currency: Namibian dollar (NAD)
- Languages: English is the official language, but Namibians speak Oshiwambo, Afrikaans, German and numerous others
About the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy
The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy is an event that celebrates the spirit of the legendary BMW Motorrad GS models. It encompasses everything that a BMW GS stands for: riding fun, adventure and challenges. The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2024 Namibia is the ninth edition of the event. Previous editions were held in South Eastern Europe (Albania) in 2022, Oceania (New Zealand) in 2020, Central Asia (Mongolia) in 2018, Southeast Asia (Thailand) in 2016, North America (Canada) in 2014, South America (Chile, Argentina) in 2012, South Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique) in 2010 and North Africa (Tunisia) in 2008. The current event will involve 22 teams from all over the world with a total of 60 riders. Others involved include the GS Trophy marshals, media representatives, doctors, sponsors and a photo and film crew.
The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy is not a race: it is a team competition in which an international contingent of off-road enthusiasts compete against each other in various special tests. Not all of these involve just motorcycling: skills and teamwork are essential, too. Since competitors are together for a lot of the time, also spending the night in bivouacs, this is an adventure that promotes a sense of togetherness, too. People, cultures and motorcyclists from all over the world come together, and it is not uncommon for friendships to be made for life.
Based on the experience of past GS Trophy events, the most successful teams are ultimately those that demonstrate solid preparation, excellent teamwork and riding ability, while at the same time having a lot of fun and experiencing wonderful international camaraderie.
Be sure to get in on the action!
In subsequent press releases, BMW Motorrad will provide details of the GS motorbikes to be used and the equipment participants will be able to use to take on the challenges, as well as more information on the participating countries and selected teams. BMW Motorrad will be offering a multi-channel media experience during the event: details will be published in due course. The spectrum ranges from live streams and up-to-date social media posts through to regular written communications and professionally shot and edited video summaries produced on a day-to-day basis.
For details of event and teams, see the dedicated website gstrophy.com.
Immediately following the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2024 Namibia, BMW Motorrad will once again be offering “Follow the Trails” tours: these allow customers to follow in the footsteps of the competition on the original GS Trophy motorbikes.