Planning the 12th Section

(26th Dec 2005 - 23rd Dec 2006)

United Arab Emirates , Bahrain , Qatar , Saudi Arabia , Sudan , Ethiopia , Somalia (Somaliland) , Djibouti , Eritrea , Kenya , Seychelles , Mauritius , Reunion Island , Madagascar , Comores , Tanzania , Zambia , Namibia , Angola , Congo Brazzaville , Gabon , Sao Tome and Principe , Cameroon , Nigeria , Niger , Burkina Faso , Mali , Senegal , Cape Verde , Spain , Algeria , Tunisia , Italy , Slovenia , Croatia , Bosnia & Herzegovina , Montenegro , Serbia (Kosovo) , Macedonia , Greece , Turkey , Iraq , Iran , Pakistan , India

15/12/05  It's tremendous that we will again be a threesome of Kay, Myself and the Motorcycle travelling on this next section. With just 33 of the worlds 192 countries not visited yet by the motorcycle we are planning, and hoping, to visit all the missing countries of Africa this trip. The weather seems better for a clockwise circumnavigation of the continent, winter in the south the only possible downside. The plan is to return to Bahrain on the 31st of December. Leaving Australia on the 26th Dec with a stopover in Dubai enroute should enable us to get a Sudan Visa. There is no Sudan embassy in Australia and the Bahrain Sudan Embassy required an invitation from Sudan, whilst the Sudan Embassy in Dubai only required a letter of introduction from our embassy. Having received an invitation from a Saudi company, obtained through connections at the Harley Davidson shop in Bahrain, and applied for at the Saudi Embassy in Australia we were initially thrilled with getting a three month single entry visa, but on a personal approach to the embassy, whilst in Canberra recently, we managed to have that one cancelled, and at much expense, $US 200.00 each, received a multi entry three month visa, an incredibly pleasant surprise. This should allow us greater flexibility whilst in the region. Bahrain to Saudi (by trailering the bike across the causeway, as motorcycles are not allowed to be ridden on it), then Qatar, back to Saudi and across the country to Jeddah and the Red Sea with a boat to Eritrea in early February. As Eritrea is basically landlocked, the Sudan border being closed to foreigners, and the south road to Djibouti almost non existent, we will likely ship to Sudan, either directly or back via Saudi Arabia. Sudan to Ethiopia and onto Somalia (Somaliland) then to Djibouti in late March. Visas and border problems in Africa are always a headache. We hope to get Eritrea's visa in  Bahrain, Ethiopia's in Saudi Arabia (supposedly difficult in Sudan), Somaliland's in Ethiopia (it's only embassy representation) and Djibouti's visa in Eritrea. Hopefully a boat will be going south from Djibouti to the Seychelles, but if there is one at all, it will more likely go from Mombassa in Kenya or Dar-es Salaam in Tanzania where we will need to find another boat to the Seychelles. Of the 12 countries the bike has not yet visited in Africa, six are islands, three are separated by border conflicts and the remaining three are scattered. This makes for a logistical nightmare of shipping and travelling in a difficult part of the world under normal travel. We expect to have to ship back to mainland Africa from the Seychelles before a boat to the Comoros and Madagascar. Suprisingly there is a regular shipping, freight and passengers from Madagascar to Mauritius and Reunion islands, further to the east. Shipping again back to Tanzania and a quick ride across Zambia and Namibia to Angola about July. The Angolan visa is one of the most difficult to obtain and is still on the drawing board of where, when and how. A boat around Congo Zaire and onto Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, and another boat, to Sao Tome and Principe, a small group of islands forming a country offshore from Gabon. The Cape Verde islands to the west of Senegal and Sao Tome and Principe were both former Portuguese colonies and we hope still have shipping between each other and Portugal as we hope to ship along that route. Portugal to Spain and a boat to Algeria, our last, hopefully, country in Africa that the bike hasn't visited. The trip is expected to take 12 months, but must be incredibly flexible due to the uncertainty of ships and visas.

Morgan and Wacker in Brisbane Australia have again provided us with parts from our long list, all at cost price. Some parts are being replaced for the first time, like the windshield, rear brake disk and rear brake calliper. Maintenance items of oil filters, fork oil, brake fluid, brake pads, wheel bearings, spark plugs, grease, air filter and more often replaced items like the speedometer cable, drive belt, belt guard, stone deflector, engine stabilizers, a couple of oil seals and bushings. A bike with 443,000 hard km's ridden is likely to cause problems, and with the only Harley Davidson dealership in Africa, in South Africa, a country we don't plan to visit, we are expecting a lot from the worn motorcycle on this trip. The engine was already noisy, again, and burning a litre of oil per 1000 km's, at the end of the last trip, but not wanting to repair it prior to visiting Africa, we will cautiously wait and see the future.                     

You can now move onto the first country of the twelfth trip if you wish. Start Travelling


Top of Page

Story and photos copyright © 1996-
All Rights Reserved.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website, with more Travellers stories, a great Travellers Newsletter, and a Bulletin Board for all the latest On the Road Information! Webmaster: Grant Johnson