Africa overland: Europe to Cape Town via east coast

Discussion in 'Africa & Mid East' started by rade, May 1, 2010.

  1. rade

    rade Adventure enthusiast

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Prague
    Afrikou 2009

    we've just returned back from Europe to Cape Town overland tour and I would like to give you few updates on what to watch out. Mainly visas, problematic areas, must see places etc.

    - From Czech Republic (5th Oct 2009)
    - Finish Cape Town (29th Jan 2010)
    - Bikes: BMW Xchallenge (modified) and BMW 1150 GS
    - 24000 km
    - 116 day
    - besides few punches no technical problems


    [​IMG]
    gpx track is available on demand

    Here are basic info from each country:

    Syria (click for pix)
    - visas needed in advance
    - CARNET is required (but customes call it "triptich")
    - border fee 20 USD
    - time spent on borders 2h in and 1h out
    - people are friendly and helpfull, but driving like crazy - watch out!
    - Aleppo and Crac de Chevalier is worthy to see
    - hostels are about 6USD person and night
    - petrol available, about 1USD per liter, only cash payment

    Jordan
    - visas available on the borders
    - CARNET is required
    - border fee 50 USD including insurance
    - time spent on borders 1h in and 1h out
    - Dead see is interesting, Petra must see, Damaskus is ok
    - no camps available, hostels are about 15 USD person and night
    - petrol available, about 1USD per liter, only cash payment

    See short video from Middle East

    Egypt
    - visas needed in advance
    - CARNET is required
    - border fee is 170 USD (...crazy)
    - time spent on borders 5h in and almost a day out (because police, customs, traffic and port are 10km from each other! In T4A are the coordinates...)
    - only way to Sudan is via ferry from Asuan
    - passenger ferry goes every Monday (sometimes not)
    - cargo ferry should go every Tuesday (sometimes earlier)
    - ferry fee per person and bike is aprox. 60 USD
    - on the ferry go to the upper deck to the captain's board
    - watch your space, or you will be squeezed like a lemon
    - it is nice to follow river Nile and but also see Western desert
    - no camps available, hostels are about 6 USD person and night
    - petrol available, about 30 cents per liter, only cash payment

    Sudan
    - visas needed in advance
    - Sudan grant visa only for 30 days from issueing! You can get them in Cairo, but it takes time. Better it to arrange them from your country...
    - the famous Wadi Halfa - Dongola sandy piste is gone - now there is brand new tar road up Chartoum
    - petrol you can get in Dongola, 400 km after Wadi Halfa, make sure you have also water with you
    - than petrol is available, about 60 cents per liter, only cash payment
    - border fee is about 100 USD (on top of visa fee)
    - no camps available, hostels are about 6 USD person and night
    - Sudaneese are nice people

    See short video from Egypt & Sudan

    Ethiopia
    - visas needed in advance
    - CARNET is required
    - border fee is 0,-
    - you MUST SEE the Simien mountains!!!
    - you can go tar road, but nicer is going north to mountains where are dusty gravel roads
    - no camps available, hostels are about 6 USD person and night
    - petrol available around tar roads, about 1USD per liter, only cash payment
    - money exchange only street black dealers

    Kenya
    - visas available at the borders at 50 USD (Moyale)
    - the famous "Moyale piste" split into two days: 1/ to Marsabit - first 120km from Moyale is ok, next 100km are big stones and deep rails, last 30 is ok, 2/ to Isiolo is better but a lot of corrogation - if you have GS 1200 go breakes to cool down the susspesion!
    - in Nairobi go to famous Joungle Junction camp - European standard! and it is hubb for adv. travellers
    - the roads west from Nairobi towards Victoria lake are in very bad conditions with big pot wholes, so even with bike you go slowly...

    Rest countries will come soon:-)
    #1
  2. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Good info. Cheers. Can't wait for the pictures. :thumb
    #2
  3. rade

    rade Adventure enthusiast

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    Hey, just click on the country names and it will open the gallery...
    #3
  4. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    excellent :thumb
    #4
  5. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    Great stuff, Rade! :thumb :thumb

    Enjoyed the pics, especially the close up shots of people.

    Hope you're planning on putting together a ride report for all of us!

    :ear
    #5
  6. gerchepi

    gerchepi n00b

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    Hi all, hi Rade.
    I'm plannig a trip for the next November-December, similar to yours but from Madrid.
    I'm on an old Transalp and I have only two months.
    Yes, I know, that is not enough time but I will not have make tourism.

    http://orienteafricano.blogspot.com/

    A cuestion, please, Where did you the visa for Ethiopia in Khartoum or Cairo?
    Thanks, very nice the videos!!!!
    #6
  7. rade

    rade Adventure enthusiast

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    Location:
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    Hey,

    are you sure you will be able to pass the Alps in Nov? There will be snow most probably. Secondly I think you underestimated the distance. We did 24000km. Your trip I see 26000+ km and than 12ths. per month is crazy. If you can negotiate more time with your boss...

    Visa for Ethiopia I got before the journey in Berlin. I think you can even apply for them via mail...

    Khartoum is tricky, because they grant visa only for 30days from issueing!!! And if you apply in Cairo it take one week...

    We asked czech travel agency to arrange it for us and than they sent it via DHL to czech embassy in Cairo, where we picked it up...

    That is my reco:D
    #7
  8. Gruebane

    Gruebane Pawn Star

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    Johannesburg,South Africa
    Excellent , thanks for posting this :clap
    #8
  9. gerchepi

    gerchepi n00b

    Joined:
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    Thank you very much for your answer.
    Alps are not a problem, I can go along the coast.
    In Madrid there are Embassy of Sudan and Consulate of Ethiopia but the visas are very slow.
    OK, you're right, too much kms and little time but there is not another solution, only more work and more time to ride the bike.
    In 2008 travel from Madrid to Cape Town in 50 days with a Honda XR 600 very very slow, was hard but really enjoyed.

    http://madrid-ciudaddelcabo.blogspot.com/

    OK, tnank you for all.
    Regards.
    #9
  10. Neubz

    Neubz Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    How much money did you spend total per person?
    #10