Africa Trip Planning - help and advice needed

Discussion in 'Africa & Mid East' started by salcar, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    Dear Advriders,

    It is that time of the year to start planning my next long adventure. I have bought the lonely planet guide of africa, I have drafted a tentative route based on conversation with friends that have lived in Africa and I have started reading blogs of fellow Advs.

    The biggest concern right now is the road in northen Kenya from Nanyuki to Moyale which seem to be the most dangerous one. I still have several questions regarding the which bike to take (i have a fairly new F800GS, a 650GS dakar with 55,000 KM and a small 200cc Yamaha AG) or if to buy one in South Africa.

    The original plan was to start from switzerland, to italy and take the boat from genova to tunisia and ride south. However, that is not an option anymore with all the revolutions taking place. So the new plan is to fly to S.A and then ride north to Suddan. I still need to figure out if I can sell/ship the bike from there or if I should continue to Egypt to Alexandria and hope to find a boat back to EU.

    I'm currently trying to nail down the basic route, the areas that are dangerous and support points. Then build around it the points of interest and a more detail planner.

    The date of departure has to be finalized based on weather and work. The plan is to ride for approximately 4 months - is that enough time?

    Anyway, I look forward to any advice that you might have and if you have done parts of this route please let me know so I can follow-up with you. I'm also interested in GPS tracks and any support along the way.

    I have created a blog www.salcar.net that I will be updating with additional details on the planning.

    thank you very much and i look forward to hearing back from you!

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Hi check on our site www.pikipiki.co.za we just did a 6 month trip up to Ethiopia, we had to leave the bikes there to get back to SA. We will go back to Ethiopia in Sept/Oct to go onto Euro.

    The road you show is all tar and in good condition. The only bad piece is between Marsabit and Moyale but not that bad if you can ride a bike. We did the Turkana bit. Our travel parters Linda and Harold did the Marsabit road.

    4 months is okay, there is a fuel shortage in Ethiopia but other than that no issues. Your route from Tanzania is best to go Malawi then Mozambique then SA down Garden route to CP The one you show, to Zambia, Zim and then SA is a bit boring.

    What we want to know is from Egypt to Eruro what route to take? Cant go Lybia and Syria is a problem and the ferry from Italy to Egypt have stopped so how to get off Africa?

    michnus
    #2
  3. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    Michnus thank you very much for the tips! :freaky

    Asianrider just did EU, Turkey, Yemen to Ethiopia. Here is his thread.

    Jammin is in Ethiopia and is coming down from EU. He has not posted yet how he rode to Africa. Here is his thread.

    I'll check out your site and the route that you suggested. :wink:

    You have some cool pics!

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. titbird

    titbird motorcycle crazy

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    I thought Jammin was one of the last on the ferry Venice-Egypt before it closed down. Anyway this ferry will start working again in october, maybe sooner.

    My friends are now in Israel, waiting for Grimaldi to take them to Italy:
    http://www.roamingafrica.be/
    so that may be a solution also.

    @Salcar, when are you starting your trip, as I'm sort of planning the same route? I would start in august 2012 and take around 6 months, I just need to find a way to fly my 660 tenere to South Africa.
    #4
  5. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Thanks for the info Salcar. I will check out for Jammin.

    I met up with Laurant in Nairobi we still talk often via email, hellova guy!

    Titbird, thanks will follow them.
    #5
  6. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    I'm planning to depart around March/April/May. I heard that is a good time/weather in S.A. I still need to get the green light at work on the best date.

    Let me know if you come to switzerland by any chance or pm me your contacts. it would be good to hear about your plans.
    #6
  7. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    Hi all,

    Planning continous slowly as work has been crazy. I've send a couple emails out to the HU community and I'm starting to get replies with regards to shipping companies (see below). I'll start creating a list start contacting them.

    Today I'll start hitting the book stores in search of maps.

    Cheers,
    SalCar




    Shipping companies I know in Switzerland are:

    globoship.ch
    dhl.ch
    swissworldcargo.com

    if you need more infos, I might have some brochures.

    May be it is cheaper shipping from Germany due to the crazy exchange rates.
    We made very good experiences with:

    Intime-ham.com (contact Oliver Kleinknecht)
    Gs-sportreisen.de</pre>
    #7
  8. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    Got the Michelin Afrika maps 745 & 746 they look pretty comprehensive. Anyone has a link to GPS tracks?

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    tracks4africa launched a new maps for Africa. If you want I cam have a look for you at the difference between them. The Michelin mapw are not that hot when using for Africa.
    #9
  10. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    Thank you for sharing the name. I'll check at the site and would greatly appreciate if you could look at the difference. I quickly saw that they also have GPS tracks.
    :D
    #10
  11. srileo

    srileo dot Indian snakecharmer

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    Salcar,
    am glad you are planning this ride as well. I too am thinking of a south-north route roughly along the same lines as you, but with a bit more running around SA, botswana, lesotho etc. I would love to do the lake turkana bit as well.

    Instead of shipping my bike, I am planning on buying a local bike there. I figure that most of east africa is somewhat paved and i'd want an ultra simple bike i can get repaired locally. Am thinking the small, 150cc indian made Bajaj bikes might be pretty good. Ofcourse, it is not fast, but with some careful planning, i can avoid carnet headaches and also the shipping costs to and from africa. Let me know your thoughts...?

    Shridhar
    #11
  12. srileo

    srileo dot Indian snakecharmer

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    Actually,
    after a few hours of research, i am now thinking of a yamaha AGbike. Like one of these two.
    http://www.jhbyamaha.co.za/view_category.aspx?ID=104




    #12
  13. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    did you figure out if you can buy a bike as a foreigner? i have several AG's in Nicaragua and they are great bike. you probably just need to change the front sprocket to make it run smoother on road.
    #13
  14. Fudmucker

    Fudmucker ex-lurker

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  15. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    My girlfriend decided to quit the her job and join the adventure. Instead of starting directly on the motorcycle we have spent the last 6 months traveling mostly around Asia.

    Today, we finally bought our tickets to South Africa arriving on January 11th.

    However, I'm dealing with a few issues :cry
    1. since the carnet de passage is only valid for 1 year I haven't done and not sure if I can do it from here (Bali)
    2. I don't have an international driver license and from reading online is needed in most African countries

    more soon....
    #15
  16. Subi

    Subi n00b

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    I have done South-Africa - Holland this summer. Came back in september in did it in 8 weeks. In Turkey we noticed we forgot our International Driver License and told the guys we just have our Dutch license. Was not a problem at all. In Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt they didn't even ask for it... so we noticed we forgot them when we wanted to enter Turkey but haven't got any problems with it. But... maybe we were lucky.

    I shouldn't know why you shouldn't be able to arrange your carnet from Bali... we arranged it in Germany while we live in Holland.
    #16
  17. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    Dear Subi! Thank you so much for making this your first post! 8 weeks sounds like a marathon! We are planning to do it in approximately 5 to 6 months. Do you have a blog? How did you get your bike from Egypt to Europe?

    Please share any advice that you can!
    SalCar
    #17
  18. Subi

    Subi n00b

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    8 weeks was enough, but 5-6 months, wow, that's nice! We had problems with the ferry wadi-halfa to Aswan. Well, not really big problems, but we had to wait in Aswan for 10 days for the motorbikes, because all the captains from the barge were on holiday (at least, they told us... but we were in the period of the party (don't know the English word :huh,sorry ), after the ramadan).

    We came to Europe by boat from Egypt, Port Said to Turkey, Mersin (naggar shipping) and there is also another shipping company which goes from Port-Said to Iskenderun (Turkey). We had to wait another 5 days because (we think) there were troubles between the shippingcompany and the Egyptians (probably about money and papers, but twice a day they changed the reason why the ship wasn't there, we heard something about problems in Saudi Arabia, so 'our' boat had to go there, something with engine problems, something with an ill captain, something with... , and every morning they said: it will come this afternoon, and every afternoon they said: it will come tonight). But finally the boat arrived and we could go to Turkey. In theory the boat should go 3 times a week from Port-Said to Mersin.
    We were on the same boat as the bikes, with 62 Turkish truckdrivers and there trucks.

    Edit: I haven't got a blog. Well... just a really short one written in dutch on a motorforum ;-) But if you've questions, just ask. Maybe I can help.
    #18
  19. salcar

    salcar Riding 4 Health

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    Hi Subi, do you have any GPS tracks of the route that you did that you could share?

    I have started the a thread about the trip here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=848133

    I arrive in Cape Town on the 11th. I hope you check the thread and provide guidance a long the way.

    Thank you!
    S
    #19
  20. Subi

    Subi n00b

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    Well... actually not yet. But I can make one with the route we did, if it would help you. But we have only done the main routes, because we hadn't that much time... so we did, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Springbok, Ais-Ais, Fish River Canyon, Aus, Luderitz, Keetmanshoop, Windhoek, Walvisbay, Etosha NP, back to Swakopmund/Walvisbay, , Solitaire, Sossusvlei, Windhoek, --> Botswana, Maun, Letilhakane (uh, something like that, south of the MagadikgadiPans), Francistown, Bulawayo, Vic-Falls... and than you're already in Zambia. That's the short version... if you want more details, just ask.
    I just made another track in Mapsource for South-Africa and Namibia... just offroad (just the bordercrossing Tar), if you want that one, I can sent it.
    Have a good time!

    By the way... nice threat about you're trip :)
    #20