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Old 12-02-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
RasMan OP
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Wink Info For Trip Around Africa

Hi all ADVrider

I'm planning to do a trip around Africa (up east, down west) for 2011 with my trusted 200cc bike. Everyone that has done touring in Africa, I have 4 questions for now. (1) What was the average money you spent per day on fuel, shelter and food. I'm planning on going very cheap, a lot of wild camping. Is the fuel and food cheaper or more expensive. For now I'm budgeting for R200 to R300 per day. (2) What is all the expenses at the borders. Is it only for a Visa, or will there be a few other small expenses as well. I'm going without a carnet. (3) Is there a general currency used throughout Africa, or do I exchange in each country. How does the money issue work. (4) Roughly, how long do you think it will take me. I'm not gonna take the main road and head straight through each country, taking back roads. Not going along the coast all the way, but will go visit some places along the way. So far I think it will take me between 9 and 15 months.

I thank you all in advance for you information.

Safe Riding
Rassie
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:18 PM   #2
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Hi Rassie

You may get some useful information here but you should also try Horizons Unlimited for this type of location.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:12 AM   #3
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Hey Rassie,

A few questions there but I'll try to answer a couple.

1. Route - when you say up east and down west I gather that you intend on crossing Europe at the top and then back down? As you know, you can't cross the top on the African continent without taking at least one boat.
2. Fuel - cost per day depends on mileage per day. As a rough cost estimate, use the SA prices, take the total kilometers to the top, across and back, and that'll give you a total fuel budget. If you use 12 months as your estimated time, you'll have a pretty good estimate per day.
3. Carnet - you indicated that you weren't going with one which means that you'll have to miss Egypt as you need one to enter. That would make your route planning a lot more difficult. No carnet also makes the border crossings a little more expensive as they will sometimes charge for the tempory import.
4. Currency - you can change a little bit at each border through official or unofficial people, rates are usually poor but that will be enough to get you to a town where you can change more at a better rate. There is no one currency, it's local currency mostly but carrying some US dollars is always a good idea.

Safe riding.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:57 PM   #4
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thanks for the info

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTW Motorcycling
Hey Rassie,

A few questions there but I'll try to answer a couple.

1. Route - when you say up east and down west I gather that you intend on crossing Europe at the top and then back down? As you know, you can't cross the top on the African continent without taking at least one boat.
2. Fuel - cost per day depends on mileage per day. As a rough cost estimate, use the SA prices, take the total kilometers to the top, across and back, and that'll give you a total fuel budget. If you use 12 months as your estimated time, you'll have a pretty good estimate per day.
3. Carnet - you indicated that you weren't going with one which means that you'll have to miss Egypt as you need one to enter. That would make your route planning a lot more difficult. No carnet also makes the border crossings a little more expensive as they will sometimes charge for the tempory import.
4. Currency - you can change a little bit at each border through official or unofficial people, rates are usually poor but that will be enough to get you to a town where you can change more at a better rate. There is no one currency, it's local currency mostly but carrying some US dollars is always a good idea.

Safe riding.

Thanks for your info. The plan is to go up east till before Egypt, then Libya, Algeria, Mauritania and so on down west. Haven's calculated the total km, should be able to do it with Google Map? Thanks for the info about the carnet, did not know that. Doing it on a 200cc, what would you say will be same challenges? Have you done some adventure riding in Africa? Can you recommend a few places I must go and see.

Thanks
Rassie
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:04 AM   #5
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This is a very good basic guide:

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Old 12-15-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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as long as we're on the subject, for those with the experience, is 6 months enough time to ride Africa (at least most of it) and take in the culture??
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery_Goat
as long as we're on the subject, for those with the experience, is 6 months enough time to ride Africa (at least most of it) and take in the culture??
I've not done it myself (yet ) but I'm pretty certain the answer to that is "yes". The only way to see it all is North-to-South down one side and South-to-North up the other as the East-to-West routes above Zambia are all out of bounds or not recommended because of Darfur and the Moroccan-Algerian border but as the guidebooks always say, things may change. I'd guess that 'down and up' is a lot in six months but I'm not sure you need to do both traverses to feel like you've ridden Africa and taken in the cultures.

I fancy doing it in two goes, Morocco to Dakar and back (a reality for early 2011) and then Cape Town to Nairobi via Namibia, Zambia and Tanzania (a dream that may or may not happen).
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
I've not done it myself (yet ) but I'm pretty certain the answer to that is "yes". The only way to see it all is North-to-South down one side and South-to-North up the other as the East-to-West routes above Zambia are all out of bounds or not recommended because of Darfur and the Moroccan-Algerian border but as the guidebooks always say, things may change. I'd guess that 'down and up' is a lot in six months but I'm not sure you need to do both traverses to feel like you've ridden Africa and taken in the cultures.

I fancy doing it in two goes, Morocco to Dakar and back (a reality for early 2011) and then Cape Town to Nairobi via Namibia, Zambia and Tanzania (a dream that may or may not happen).
Thanks for the reply. I'd most likely be shipping a bike from Argentina so I figure I'll start in the south and make my way north.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery_Goat
Thanks for the reply. I'd most likely be shipping a bike from Argentina so I figure I'll start in the south and make my way north.
The West coast is (I'm told) very tough from both a visa and riding perspective. The reverse direction of Charley & Ewan's Long Way Down (South Africa - Namibia - Botswana - Zambia - Tanzania - Burundi - Rwanda - Uganda - Kenya - Ethiopia - Sudan - Egypt) is more manageable.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery_Goat
as long as we're on the subject, for those with the experience, is 6 months enough time to ride Africa (at least most of it) and take in the culture??
For a full circuit of Africa, six months would be fairly tight. Doable I suppose but hmmm ... depends of course on riding and traveling style. And again re full circuit, there's no overland route possible in northern Africa, from east to west or vice versa, so that means time shipping or ripping thru Europe.

The west side is a blast. Some tough riding but you can get totally off the beaten track. Less touristed than the east side. I took 5 1/2 months to ride from Morocco to Cape Town, could have done it in 4 months if pushing but enjoyed a circuitous route and hanging in a few towns for a number of days (chasing visas mostly!). I haven't done the east side yet but it's on my agenda for Jan-April 2011.

I have to disagree with Wildman's tout for the Bradt "Africa Overland" guide. It's sort of OK, but kinda basic and lame. I wasted some money on it ... eh.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ride Far
... I have to disagree with Wildman's tout for the Bradt "Africa Overland" guide. It's sort of OK, but kinda basic and lame. I wasted some money on it ... eh.
Each to his own. We agree it's basic and although I've found it valuable for planning, I bow to your greater practical knowledge. New edition may have improved it I guess.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:03 PM   #12
Misery Goat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ride Far
For a full circuit of Africa, six months would be fairly tight. Doable I suppose but hmmm ... depends of course on riding and traveling style. And again re full circuit, there's no overland route possible in northern Africa, from east to west or vice versa, so that means time shipping or ripping thru Europe.

The west side is a blast. Some tough riding but you can get totally off the beaten track. Less touristed than the east side. I took 5 1/2 months to ride from Morocco to Cape Town, could have done it in 4 months if pushing but enjoyed a circuitous route and hanging in a few towns for a number of days (chasing visas mostly!). I haven't done the east side yet but it's on my agenda for Jan-April 2011.

I have to disagree with Wildman's tout for the Bradt "Africa Overland" guide. It's sort of OK, but kinda basic and lame. I wasted some money on it ... eh.
Thanks for the post.

My hope is to spend b/w a year to year and a half riding central america, south america, and africa. At this point I'm fairly comfortable with the route for SA but Africa is largely unknown to me so I will need to do beaucoup research to get up to speed. I spent some time in Egypt many years ago but that's it.

Depending on how things actually pan out, I may be in position to spend 8 or more months in Africa. I'll start with 6 months for now and any extra will be bonus.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:12 PM   #13
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Misery Goat, when does your big ride begin? Sounds great...

FWIW ... Africa freaking gets into you. It's not just the mud and dust that fastens up to every square inch of bike, gear and rider, it gets right into your blood. For me anyhow, the whole Africa adv riding experience was more affecting than a TDF round trip I did a couple of years earlier. Not to diminish the SA experience. But Africa brings it to another level. And that's a good thing ....

Wildman, yeah, maybe the updated Bradt guide (5th edition) is better ... I have the 4th edition purchased in June 2008.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ride Far
Misery Goat, when does your big ride begin? Sounds great...

FWIW ... Africa freaking gets into you. It's not just the mud and dust that fastens up to every square inch of bike, gear and rider, it gets right into your blood. For me anyhow, the whole Africa adv riding experience was more affecting than a TDF round trip I did a couple of years earlier. Not to diminish the SA experience. But Africa brings it to another level. And that's a good thing ....

Wildman, yeah, maybe the updated Bradt guide (5th edition) is better ... I have the 4th edition purchased in June 2008.
I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but perhaps next year, late fall, early winter. And I expect Africa to be quite the experience.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery_Goat
I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but perhaps next year, late fall, early winter. And I expect Africa to be quite the experience.
So you can't be here in Morocco by Tuesday Jan, 4, 2010? I'm looking for some FFs for a little snowy blast in the Atlas.

Talk to SA (I think) inmate Tappet, who's done a trans-African, and French inmate Aurel, who is planning a RTW soon, and has been in N Africa a lot.
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