From Al Makha, Yemen to Djibouti, Djibouti - December, 1999

Shipment From: 
Al Makha, Yemen
Shipment To: 
Djibouti, Djibouti
Shipper details
Company name: 
cargo boat
Contact details: 

see details below

Travellers Impressions of the shipper
3/5 - Average
Information about this Shipment
Shipping Method: 
Shipping date: 
December, 1999
Cost Paid at Start (US $): 

Boats, about 30 metres long, run at varying frequency between these two ports. They run more often in summer than winter because of storms. The boats follow the coast to the bottom of Yemen then between islands to the African coast and down to Djibouti.

We were informed that at the time of year we travelled, depending on weather, they averaged about two a week. They normally take about 24 hours for the trip. Much longer in bad weather. They vary in cargo and size but all can and do carry passengers sleeping on deck, some have the most basic cabins for one or two passengers total. They are generally old and overloaded, but seem to arrive safely.

Our motorcycle was winched onboard by the boat's winch used to on and offload its more usual cargo. Negotiating the price, first with the agent and then with the ship's captain and clearing customs seems to involve the local mafia who controls the port for illegal alcohol. All is friendly but slow and barganing hard.

Once on the boat the staff fed us adequately with local foods and fresh fish caught on the voyage. A tip (for ghat) for the crew is expected after offloading and as they were very helpful was given.

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