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  #1  
Old 1 Oct 2010
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UK - Mobasa - Ethiopia. Anyone done this.

Hi all,

A newbie to this forum and I joined to get info on a trip I am planning.

1, I'm wishing to ship a car by RORO from the UK to Kenya and the price found is reasonable.
Is this a safe option compared to putting vehicle in a container?

2, I'm looking at a 2nd hand Toyota Hilux Surf (UK spec) about 8-10 years old. Would this age car be allowed for shipment into Kenya or is buying local a better option? Suggestions please.
Is there anything that I should really get checked /modded on the UK car before shipping?

3, With the car going RORO, no stuff is allowed to be put inside due to risk of pilfering. A roof tent and side awning is allowed.
Can most spares and associated gear (camping) be picked up in Kenya for a reasonable price?

4, For a one way trip from Kenya to Ethiopia (where I plan to leave car at my house for future use).
How long would the drive take to Moyale from Mombasa via Nairobi? Is it safe to drive?

5, Is it worth getting a Carnet or just rely on a TIP for Ethiopia? How easy is it getting insurance in Kenya when not a resident?

Thats the initial ones for now. Will no doubt think of more.

Thanks
ubdai

Sorry if this post is in the wrong place.
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  #2  
Old 20 Oct 2010
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Hi Ubdai, I have not done what you propose but have studied this subject recently.

... Is this a safe option compared to putting vehicle in a container?
No - but having zero in it to steal helps. I believe cars rarely go missing but if you want the car to arrive as it left, get a container.

2, I'm looking at a 2nd hand Toyota Hilux Surf (UK spec) about 8-10 years old. Would this age car be allowed for shipment into Kenya or is buying local a better option? Suggestions please.
Can't see why it won't be allowed in on a carnet. Don't know about buying locally either. You would think that would be simplest but don't know if LHD/RHD is a problem assuming you plan to import permanently to Ethiopia? What do people in Ethiopia do?

Is there anything that I should really get checked /modded on the UK car before shipping?
Depends on the model and what you will use the car for, but that's a whole separate thread! I am sure the web is full of it.

3, With the car going RORO, no stuff is allowed to be put inside due to risk of pilfering. A roof tent and side awning is allowed.
Can most spares and associated gear (camping) be picked up in Kenya for a reasonable price?

I doubt if quality imported stuff is cheap, but you'd imagine Hilux spares are all over the place.

4, For a one way trip from Kenya to Ethiopia (where I plan to leave car at my house for future use).
How long would the drive take to Moyale from Mombasa via Nairobi? Is it safe to drive?

It's 1300kms so give it 3-4 days. I cant see why it's unsafe apart from cops and bad driving. I am told to Mombasa-Nairobi road has many accidents. The shifta thing up north seems to be a thing of the past, if that's what you mean.

5, Is it worth getting a Carnet or just rely on a TIP for Ethiopia?
Ethiopia is not part of the carnet agreement (tho some overlanders get it stamped in and out unknowingly). Get a TIP.

How easy is it getting insurance in Kenya when not a resident?
Get the COMESA Yellow Card - it covers much of East Africa, including Kenya and Ethiopia.

You know there is a ferry now from Italy to Alexandria, so driving there via Sudan may not be so hard or complicated.

hope this helps

Chris S
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  #3  
Old 20 Oct 2010
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Chris,

Have looked at the ferry but with the time I intend to do the travelling in, it would just be too long.
(The price for the ferry from Italy worked out at £800)

The time to travel from UK to Italy then the ferry to Egypt then overland to the Eqypt-Sudan ferry then overland from Sudan to the border would just take too much time. Time is something I don't have. I would really love to do this but can't.

The RORO to Mombasa from the UK worked out at £800 which i thought was okay? I could take 2-3 weeks leave from work and plan to fly down to Kenya 5 days before car was due to arrive. This would hopefully give me time to sort out all the local paperwork (COMESA) and then set off once car arrived.

Then its a dash to Moyale and upto Addis.
Hopefully all would go as planned and not end up a complete dogs dinner.

ubdai
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  #4  
Old 24 Oct 2010
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Cars are very expensive to buy in Kenya - a 15 year old Discovery fetches $12,000 for example.
Pilfering will be a problem if you stick your car on a ferry unattended - I would avoid putting a roof tent or awning on as it won't be there when you go to pick it up - you can pick them up secondhand in Kenya.
You can get camping supplies at most of the big supermarkets - Nakumatt in Mombassa and Nairobi will get you a tent/cooker/sleeping mats etc. Not the best gear, but good enough.

If you want to go to Ethiopia, please check the current visa situation, as at the moment you WILL NOT get one while you are in Kenya - You will need to apply before leaving the UK.

Insurance - forget COMESA as its of no value to you, this just extends your normal insurance policy to make it valid in some other East African countries. Just buy a normal insurance policy - there is an agent in one of the high rise offices in the business area of Mombassa that will do insurance on non-kenyan registered vehicles- cant remember the name but there is a shopping arcade below and a couple of high street name insurance offices there, they directed me to them - cost about $20 for a months insurance.
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  #5  
Old 15 Oct 2011
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Exclamation Dont RORO

Hi

I shipped my car RORO from the Uk to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, 90% of what was in and on the car was taken off, they stole 1000's of pounds of things from us, I will never ever ship a car RORO, it's cheap but will cost you everything, they steal from head lights, to tyres, etc. RORO is only for companies to transport massive trucks, lorries, buses, etc and even they aren't safe, it might cost more than double to container it, but will cost half in things been ripped off, stolen and muddles with.

Car's are definetly expensive in Africa and shipping a car over can safe you loads it's just how you ship it.

I highly DO NOT recommend you to RORO

Our 6 month planned trip has now come to just driving the vehicle to Malawi, Mozambique and SA ending our trip in 2/3 weeks, a planned dream trip for 2 years has been torn apart. We were going to drive from the Uk to SA, but with all the unrest in north Africa is was not possible so made a change in plans which we tried to do on the cheap, but were only to be blammed ourselves.
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  #6  
Old 23 Oct 2011
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so sorry

hi

ever so sorry to hear your misfortune.i was following you preparetion and was

really looking forward to your blog.

Be strong and hope you realize your dream in near future


ram
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  #7  
Old 16 Dec 2011
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I echo that DO NOT RORO. I set off from the UK in my Surf in November and had to (or in retrospect, didn't have to) ship from Athens to Alexandria to avoid Syria. We used Grimaldi Lines, and not because Syria was dangerous - by all accounts it is fine for travellers, though less and less so, more because we couldn't risk the time delay in the event at being turned away at the border.

Short story is, we waited for 3 weeks to get the car out of Alexandria (protests, elections and holidays to thank for that). And it cost the most extortionate amount to clear customs, including 770LE for 2 fire extinguishers!! They took no notice of the one I currently have! Furthermore, LOTS was stolen. In our case we were allowed to take personal effects in the car... but many went missing and there is noone to blame - did it happen in Greece, on route or in Alex? Who knows. We actually made a mistake and left some pretty valuable stuff in there by accident. Not a wise move.

In Kenya, it might be a different option, but I wouldn't want to be stuck in Mombasa for too long, sure you can get down to Diani or up coast to Malindi etc. but you never know when the car might arrive and so you are forced to stay put.

Surfs are just great. We bought our 17 year old ssrx, 3L and it has done the job spectacularly (so far). Before we left we changed the springs to take the extra load, £80 a pair from Roughtrax, and managed to get sponsorred 6 all terrain tyres. You can put a spare on the swing away carrier and one underneath with a mini winch thing. This and a general service were the only things we've done. It runs smoothly at 130km/hr and is comfortable and quiet. We had a 200tdi Landrover 110 but decided against it.

We're now in Addis Ababa and we've seen 10+ surfs today and whats more, is that they have the 1KZ engine, which is common in several LandCruisers.

Today we had to get part of the exhaust 1st section welded locally (for free!) and get a patch for a slashed tyre wall and inner tube to boot, all of which only cost £10.

A word of caution, not that I know first hand, do not get a 2.4L surf as they are likely to blow the head if it hasn't been replaced already.

Happy travels
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  #8  
Old 4 Jan 2012
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Roro - no no!!!

Agree with the above

Do NOT undr any circumstance RoRo a vehicle, probably anywhere, it and you will be ripped off.

Everyone I knpow who has done it, have regretted it!

Chris
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