Edinburgh to Cape Town Via East Africa on KTM 990 Adventures

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by NZMat, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. NZMat

    NZMat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Two of us crossed from Genoa to Tunis on the 28th September 2013. We're heading to Cape Town via the east on two 2007 KTM 990s. Mat's a New Zealander living in Scotland. Jaap's Dutch and based in Switzerland.

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    Mat in the French Alps on his way to meet Jaap in Nice:
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    Ferry to Tunis:
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    Tunisia:
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    A big obstacle to the trip was the lack of suitable ferries to Egypt, and the difficulty in obtaining a Libyan visa. We ended up obtaining Libyan business visas through Libyan-based Tidwa Travel and Tours (www.tidwa.com). We dealt with Sem, a Dutch guy who acts as Tidwa's representative in Europe. A three month multiple entry visa cost us 375 Euro, and 75 Swiss Francs at the Embassy in Bern for the stamp. I can't say enough about how professional and helpful Tidwa have been. Absolutely brilliant. There was a hiccup at the Libyan embassy in Switzerland in that they would only provide entry approval to Tripoli or Benghazi airports. To ensure that things went smoothly, Mr Masoud from Tidwa travelled from Tripoli to the Ras Ajdir border at no expense and sorted everything for us (including customs, plates, Libyan Carnet, and insurance - all up costs about US$100). He's a lovely guy, with excellent English. He even brought us lunch and then set up a meeting with the Classic Motorbike Club in Tripoli. Once we arrived into the outskirts of Tripoli five guys on Harley Davidsons escorted us into town for coffee, and then a massive feed of jarred baby camel at a restaurant under Roman ruins. We were then put up for free by Abdul of the club in a mint guest-house. Probably the most generous and friendly people I have ever met. An amazing first day in Libya.

    We will post here about the trip, particularly motorbike relevant and admin type stuff, but because we're keeping our friends and family updated about the trip on Facebook, there may be more updates/pics on our page "Edinburgh to Cape Town" - www.facebook.com/edi2ct.

    Here is a video of the start of the trip: Edinburgh to Cape Part 1 on Vimeo

    More videos and other info about our trip can be seen here: Edinburgh to Cape Town Overland

    Mat
    #1
  2. NZMat

    NZMat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    We had an incredible time in Libya. Everyone without exception was friendly and welcoming, and for much of the trip we did not pay for anything - food, petrol, accommodation, coffee. We were really sorry we needed to leave. The photos may give you an idea:

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    Lots more on Facebook and video.
    Mat
    www.matward.com
    #2
  3. NZMat

    NZMat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    We reached Nairobi on the 11th November. We are relaxing at Jungle Junction while the 990s get serviced at KTM Kenya round the corner. Adam the workshop manager there has been very helpful, he's a good dude (his number is +254703567171).

    A few photos from the past few weeks are below. Brilliant times.

    Cairo. US$15 each at the Delta Kahoud Hotel. Good value.
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    Check points near Tahrir Square, Cairo.
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    If you're crossing from Aswan to Wadi Halfa, I highly recommend Kamal (+201005322669). He's laid back and friendly, and knows his business relies on maintaining a good reputation with overlanders.
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    Rice barge the bikes were loaded on. It arrived three days before the main vehicle barge. Thanks Kamal.
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    Nubian Desert
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    Karima
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    Ethiopia
    Simien Mountains
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    Road to Lalibela
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    Road from Lalibela to Waldia
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    Ron on a 1200GS rode with us, had a prang and broke his brake reservoir. This was his DIY solution. Genius, worked for two days with no need for refilling.
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    A pass before Addis
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    South of Arba Minch
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    Moyale to Marsabit. Bit wet and muddy. 190kms off-road. 60km brand new tarmac (the 60km immediately north of Marsabit). Apparently there is still conflict between tribes up there, but tourists are not targets. The banditry is apparently very much under control.
    Edited video of the day here.
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    Brett fell here and broke his hand.
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    Tarmac!
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    The road from Marsabit to Isiolo is about 140km of corrugated gravel. I used the sandy rut on the very edge of the road and it was not too bad a ride. The rest is brand new Chinese tarmac.

    We met Chris, Brett, and Ron in Aswan and rode with them for much of the way to Nairobi.
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    See www.matward.com for videos, and other links (Facebook/blog/etc).

    Mat
    #3
  4. KTM 950S

    KTM 950S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Greece....
    WHAT A TRIP!!! :clap:clap:clap:clap
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    70,795
    :clap Fascinating.. keep it comin' :lurk
    #5
  6. Dr LC8

    Dr LC8 ...soon or later

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,035
    Location:
    Manchester...but from Rome!
    OMG! That is a great trip!

    How did you feel in Libya? I have been few times there before the war.
    Was it safe? Or at least was that the perception?

    Nic
    #6